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Recap / Steven Universe S5E16 "Letters to Lars"

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Steven writes to Lars about the latest news in Beach City.

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  • Apology Gift: Dewey gives Mr. and Mrs. Barriga a type of donut named in their son's honor, implicitly to apologize for his insensitive remark regarding Lars's kidnapping in "Dewey Wins".
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Played with; Ronaldo assumed Homeworld's abductions were made up — not because they involved aliens, but because he heard it from a government official (Mayor Dewey). He believes Steven saying the same thing (as soon as he realizes he's not joking). He then complains that Lars got abducted and not him.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: Mr. Dewey tries dressing up as a ghost to help with Sadie's band. Buck points out that a bed sheet ghost isn't really that scary, and Sadie is mad Dewey cut holes in her bed sheets for his costume.
  • Captain's Log: The episode begins with Lars dictating an entry.
    Lars: Captain's Log: ...I think it's a Friday.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: Amethyst uses her shape-shifting to become a plunger for Jamie's improv show. Neither she nor Peridot get that the point is to act it out.
  • Continuity Nod: The whole episode references the various changes that have happened in Beach City.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Although demonstrating some serious Skewed Priorities, Ronaldo's assumption that Lars is on an "adventure of a lifetime" in space is a lot closer to the truth than Steven had guessed before his first time checking in on the Off Colors.
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  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: After losing the election, the former Mayor Dewey desperately tries to find a place to fit in somewhere in Beach City. He ends up finding his new place at the Big Donut.
  • Happiness In Minimum Wage: Dewey takes going from mayor to donut shopkeep pretty well, as he's happy he still has a place in Beach City. He also enjoys naming donuts after himself.
  • Improv: Jamie starts an improvisational comedy troupe, the "Beach City Laugh Guards", with Amethyst, Barb, Mr. Smiley, and Peridot. Dewey tries to make himself part of it.
  • Iris Out: Over Steven's head sticking out of Lars' hair.
  • Irony: In "Dewey Wins", Dewey promised to "do everything in [his] power" to find a replacement for Lars at the Big Donut. Unlike most of his promises as mayor, Dewey ends up fulfilling this one, but only after he stopped being mayor, and by becoming said replacement.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Played for Laughs. Peridot argues that improv would be a lot more clear if the actual prop is clear. After Amethyst agrees with her, she notes how she "improved improv".
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lars points out that he doesn't know a lot of the people Steven is updating him on, giving Peridot as an example. Steven then realizes they really haven't ever met, so he should introduce them once Lars gets back.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The episode shows how most of Beach City's been since the events of the season 4 finale.
  • Misplaced Sorrow: Ronaldo is upset to learn that Lars really is in space... because he's jealous that Lars got abducted and not him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Pearl treats her "cellular phone" with absolute glee and importance.
    Kiki: [delighted] Pearl... is this your first cell phone?!
    Pearl: [smugly] Maybe.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Ronaldo thinks Steven is joking at first when he says that Lars got stuck in space.
  • Ninja Prop: The episode's narration appears to be a Voiceover Letter for Lars reading Steven's letter, but it's actually Steven himself Sounding It Out while sticking his head out of Lars's hair.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: In a more benign sense; after Nanefua became mayor, the Crystal Gems and people of Beach City work together to make the town safer. Seemingly as a consequence, Gems and humans are interacting much more often. Lampshaded by Dewey in his depressing speech.
  • Punny Name: Peewee's tater tot food truck is called "Hot 2 Tot", after the phrase "hot to trot".
  • Reality Ensues: Steven is a very outgoing person who knows pretty much everyone in Beach City, so he updates Lars on everyone's activities. Lars, on the other hand, was not, and doesn't know who most of these people are.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: After Kiki, Jenny and Pearl come up with a convoluted three-part plan on how to warn the people of Beach City in the event of an emergency they quickly realize they can just text them.
  • Tomato Surprise: The shot of Lars apparently reading Steven's letter stays in very close to obscure Steven's head sticking out of Lars' hair.
  • Unobtanium: The Off Colors begin the episode scouring an Asteroid Thicket for a "flotanium deposit" to get their warp engine online.
  • Vignette Episode: Shows many different scenes of the people of Beach City and the Gems, with Steven's letter as a Framing Device.
  • Voiceover Letter: Parodied. Steven had been reading the letter to Lars the whole time. Lars questions why Steven sent him a letter if he's just going to tell him what happened.
  • Win-Win Ending: The first scene in Beach City is of the Big Donut still closed because no one's running it. Throughout the episode, Dewey tries to find a place where he belongs now that he's not mayor anymore. Steven eventually puts two and two together and advises Dewey to work at the Big Donut, though he's got a long way to go with running the place.

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