Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Steven Universe Returns with ‘Dewey Wins’, Guilt, and Politics

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It’s over! The Great Steven Universe Hiatus is finally over! At 164 days, this latest gap between episodes beat the previous record by 40 days. Well no more! Steven and company are back with 6 episodes and no surprise; they’re awesome. As if we expected any differently. Steven Universe is one of the best shows on TV.

Betchen couldn’t make it, so Bo’s here alone to fill all your Steven Universe review/analysis needs. Let’s start with the first of the six episodes, “Dewey Wins”.

Spoilers for 5×05 “Dewey Wins” below


In case anyone forgot (it has been almost half a year, after all), Steven had just returned home after his trial on Homeworld to the shock of the Crystal Gems and his father. This episode begins shortly afterwards.

Steven walks Connie goodbye while his still-shocked space moms watch from inside the house. He blathers on excitedly about his Homeworld adventure, but Connie gloomily walks along. She is angry that Steven gave himself up after they promised to always face danger together. Jam Buds meant something. Steven argues he had to give himself up. He had to save everyone and fix it himself.

He shows a complete lack of regard, or at least understanding, for Connie’s view. She takes off on Lion, but not before Lion throws some side eye at Steven.

dewey wins lion shade

Sadie doesn’t take the news much better and understandably freaks out about Lars. Because apparently Steven told her he was a zombie. They leave to tell Lars’s parents when they come across Nanefua giving a campaign speech. That’s right, she’s running for mayor against Dewey! Her main argument seems to involve Dewey’s inaction during Aquamarine and Topaz’s kidnappings.

Steven, of course, takes responsibility for this. He decides to help Dewey keep his office. Turns out Dewey has no clue what to do. He’s never had a political opponent before. How??? Steven decides they should have a meeting on the boardwalk so Steven can explain Dewey’s lack of fault. Since he literally never does anything about anything.

Surprise, surprise, it doesn’t go well. When Dewey takes the megaphone, he blows it by showing complete ignorance of who Lars is. His solution? He’ll hire a new donut boy! Understandably, Lars’s mom hits him in the face with a tomato for that.

Afterwards, while ruminating on the impossibility of recovering from a tomato to the face, Steven decides to help Dewey prepare for his debate. They spend all night preparing! And really for nothing, because Dewey can’t possibly compete with the awesomeness of Nanefua. She wipes the floor with him. Dewey decides Beach City needs a better mayor and concedes.

Steven confronts him afterwards, angry that Dewey abandoned everything they worked for without consideration for Steven’s feelings. Life lesson time! Steven realizes that what Dewey did to him is what Steven did to Connie. He starts making calls to Connie to try and make up with her.

Delightful Little Gems

  • Check out the picture in Dewey’s office of him in full suit on a horse.
  • Lars has a last name! Lars Barriga!
  • Speaking of the Barrigas, Lars’s mom had that second tomato cocked and ready to fire. You rock, lady.

Lingering Questions

  • So did the Deweys just hold the position of mayor without complaint since Beach City was founded? How has Dewey never had to run a campaign before?
  • Was that really it? Nanefua is mayor?
  • How about Dewey for new Donut Boy?


It feels amazing to finally have Steven Universe back. “Dewey Wins” is a nice return after a long break and did a lot of things I worried the Crewniverse would avoid. Why was I worried? Honestly, I don’t know. This show almost never lets me down and certainly didn’t here.

Mainly, I worried about Connie’s reaction with Steven back.

“Dewey Wins” handled that fear in the first minute of the episode. Look, let me start off by saying that I understand Steven’s choice to surrender. He had valid reasons to do what he did and you can easily argue he was right to do so. Thing is, that doesn’t invalidate Connie’s anger. She has worked hard to live up to the promise she and Steven made to always face danger together. She has made her own remarkable journey to become a legitimate member of the Crystal Gems.

When Steven surrendered, he broke that promise and hurt her the same way he hurt Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst. Only where those three have always swallowed their hurt and moved on, Connie refused to. She didn’t need Steven to apologize or admit he was wrong. She just needed him to acknowledge why she was angry and understand.

Instead he lingered on this noble sacrifice thing that led him to surrender in the first place and tried to bury it himself. Call it the influence of three gems raising him. For all the lessons Connie has learned about facing and accepting her feelings, Steven still tries to bury them. This is especially true when he doesn’t want anyone to feel bad about something.

I really worried Connie either wouldn’t feel as betrayed as she would or the issue would resolve quickly. I’m so glad to be wrong. And really loved the shade Lion threw. He had reason to be upset as well.

Steven also avoided his feelings out of desire for a quick fix of his mistakes. He jumps quickly into the political fray for this reason, as well. Dewey’s mayor-ship was threatened because of his inaction during the Aquamarine/Topaz conflict, and Steven thinks it was his fault. Did it matter that Dewey makes Raiko look like Barack Obama? Not to Steven. His compassion and empathy is his defining trait. He always wants to help and always will, even at the expense of his personal relationships.

And speaking of the politics, it was brilliant. Nanefua had my vote from the first word she spoke. I love that Beach City’s alien activities finally caught up to Dewey. I loved the closer look at Dewey and why he was so incompetent. Speech-a-palooza was incredible. The only thing missing was a “Dewey Defeats Truman” joke to end it all, but nevertheless, I’m excited for Mayor Nanefua.

Through the political process, Steven finally realized and acknowledged what he did to Connie, and why she was so upset. Late, but better than never.

“Dewey Wins” was a wonderful return episode after so long and a nice display of the many things that makes Steven Universe a Fandomental favorite. The humor was top class. The characters were emotional and true to themselves. We even got to see how Lars’s current circumstances affected those closest to him, making clear how his disappearance will matter going forward. “Dewey Wins” packed a lot into this episode, and did so without making it feel rushed or overly busy.

It was plain great Steven Universe. Here’s hoping the next hiatus doesn’t last so long as this one did, because it sucks to go so long without this great, great cartoon.

Images Courtesy of Cartoon Network

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