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Steven desperately needing therapy after all the crap he's been through has been a topic of discussion since the original series, and it comes to fruition here. The epilogue series does a good job of establishing just how screwed up Steven should be after everything, as well as deconstructing his All-Loving Hero persona, as well as dealing with his own personality flaws such as constantly repressing his feelings and bottling up his resentment. On paper this seems like a compelling story. In application however, the narrative falls flat.
A lot of the episodes can be seen as the series spinning its wheels: Steven is faced with some new issue he can't deal with, his powers go nuts if he gets emotional so he bottles it up and pushes everyone away, and then he blows up and either creates a problem or just makes an existing problem worse. This is okay the first few times, but it can very quickly get repetitive. There's also the fact that it gets frustrating watching Steven's refusal to talk to anyone and only making things get worse, especially when you consider it required he suffer Aesop Amnesia from the original series where multiple times it was made clear he can talk to others about his issues and shouldn't bottle things up. After watching this happen repeatedly to the point he actually shatters Jasper yet still refuse to do anything but bottle his issues up, and it can get hard to feel anything but frustration with Steven, especially when others do try to reach out to him and he just keeps pushing them away or starts resenting them. I think my breaking point specifically was when he began resenting Greg to the same extent he did his mother, since at point he was ignoring what Greg was going through and accusing him of It's All About Me despite that being what he's doing at that point.
Outside of Steven's trauma though, the epilogue series wastes a lot of potential.
You know, is a little bit ironic that you said that the Beach City cast being underused is a bad thing because that only happened as a response from the writers to all the critics said cast received in the original series. Because nearly everybody said that those characters were unimportant and boring and also liked to call episodes that starred them as filler and skippable, they decided to simply drop the characters to appease the majority.
My major issue was when they detracted from the plot, taking up time more properly spent on developing the Myth Arc. A Sequel Series like this however is the perfect time to actually use them though, showcasing how they interact with the Gems in a day to day setting, while also showing how they have changed. As much as I dislike Ronaldo, it still feels like wasted potential to not have the alien geek not interact with any of the gems, and instead be relegated to The Cameo at best. Sadie Killer and the Suspects only get one episode to have a role in, and only Sadie really gets focus, with Buck, Sour Cream, and Jenny all apparently coming to terms with growing up and having career paths. And while Sour Cream's path you could probably guess he'd take, I can say I wouldn't have expected Buck to go to medical school or Jenny to have an online business.
Didn\'t those episodes developed the Pizza and Fryman family?
Steven\'s trauma was an issue that dwelved all the way back to the original series, but that didn\'t really panned out much. Steven always was afraid of talking about his issues with the gems and at most ultimetly confided in Connie. Going to unrelated parties was always his go to move (hence he wanted Jasper to hear her out). It also showed that these things aren\'t just resolved in 15 minutes.
I don\'t get your point about Greg. It addressed an issue that many people kept pointing out over the years. Steven doesn\'t go to school, doesn\'t seem to have a home school curriculum, we found out he never went to the doctor in 16 years among other things. Greg may have showed more maturity and responsability over time, but he started with a pretty low bar.
I agree that it was a bad idea to add new stories that they didn\'t plan to resolve on top of not adressing some of the old ones. Bismuth has feelings for Pearl? why would you add that?
That was actually hinted at in her debut, but I agree that bluntly addressing it then not doing anything further was a bad move.
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