Steven Universe 4×06 Review: Last One Out of Beach City
Steven Universe never ceases to amaze me, and with “Last One Out of Beach City” they did so by fitting an entire rom-com plot in one amazing eleven-minute episode.
Let me start by saying that I haven’t always been the biggest Pearl fan. When she tricked Garnet into fusing with her I honestly wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to love her the way I love so many other characters in this series…and yet lately she’s been more lovable with each episode, with “Last One Out of Beach City” cementing how much she has grown since the beginning of the show.
Not to mention the fact that “Last One Out of Beach City” was downright *funny*. From Amethyst bouncing around in excitement because she was supposed to go to a “show” (a.k.a. a house party with a band) to Pearl describing how hardcore she was during the Gem Wars and Amethyst pointing out how that’s very different from hanging out with humans, it was amusing but also made me wonder who had the better picture. Could Pearl hang with the “cool kids”, or was Amethyst right to be concerned?
That said, Pearl was certainly trying very hard! She put on jeans and a jacket and even popped the collar – which is cool “because the collar isn’t supposed to go that way”. Oh, Pearl. She also decided to try drinking…apple juice, that is. Ohhh, Pearl.
And the “zingers”, as fellow Geekiary author K-K called them, just kept coming. Amethyst described the band they were going to see – Mike Krol – as having a “real garage vibe, nostalgic for the suburbs”…to which Pearl quipped, “Nostalgic for the suburbs? They’ve only existed for what, seventy years?”
Personally, though, I practically lost all track of how funny “Last One Out of Beach City” was when the Mystery Girl appeared. Like Steven said, she looked just like Rose, which was what I immediately thought…and clearly, so did Pearl, who was clearly taken with said Mystery Girl and tried to cover it up by insisting that she “didn’t realize humans could come with pink hair”. Even though Pearl messed up her first chance to talk to the Girl, they ended up seeing her on the road, anyway – and at this point when Pearl looked at her, the Mystery Girl smiled back!
Now, while the fact that this person was going to the same party seemed pretty obvious to me, of course Pearl, Amethyst, and Steven didn’t assume that would be the case…so when they lost her at a red light and Pearl made the decision to run the light and speed after the Mystery Girl, I was just as shocked as Amethyst and Steven. And while I do think it would have been funny to watch Pearl (who obviously doesn’t have a license) interact with the cop who was trying to pull them over, the fact that she not only tried to outrun the cop but *succeeded* in doing so was probably better than any possible interaction could or would have been.
Unfortunately things still weren’t quite going right for Pearl. They outran the cop, but then they ran out of gas…and I couldn’t believe that Pearl hadn’t thought to check the tank! That’s not just her trying to be cool, that’s her not being herself at all. This was definitely her breaking point; she started pulling her jeans off and yelling about how she’s lost her edge and should have stayed home with the puzzle – but then she also mentioned that she’d just driven to loud music, chased a mysterious woman, and ran from the cops. “You’re a criminal now!” Steven exclaimed. “Now?” Pearl replied. “I’ve been a criminal for six thousand years.”
As I thought, Mystery Girl WAS at the party, which Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven practically stumbled into on their walk to…find gas, I guess? And the best part was that this time, Pearl didn’t flinch, even though Amethyst and Steven clearly doubted her at least a little bit. (And seriously, come on guys! Pearl was out of her element but she was doing great so far!)
Sadly, we didn’t get to hear what Pearl was saying to the Mystery Girl while their conversation was happening, but her explanation afterward was still great. They talked about hair (Pearl told her “My appearance is just a conscious manifestation of light”) and then Pearl randomly blurted out that she’d saved Earth…at which point Mystery Girl gave Pearl her phone number! Amethyst was so impressed that she even called Pearl a “total rockstar”, and honestly, after “Last One Out of Beach City”, I totally agree with this observation.
I didn’t think the episode could have ended any better, but then we even got some bonus credits listing Pearl as “Repressed Nerd”, Amethyst as “Ultimate Wingman”, Steven as “Voice of Reason”, and introducing Mystery Girl as “Herself”. The question is, will Mystery Girl return? K-K believes that “the Girl doesn’t *need* to show up again – her function as a ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl‘ (Confident Goddess Mystery Girl?) has been fulfilled. She is more important for what she represents, a win for Pearl, a bonding experience for the Crystal Gem family. It would still be awesome and fascinating if the show chose to expand the Girl’s role.” I completely agree – Mystery Girl may not HAVE to show up again, but I kind of hope she does…especially if that means we get to see more of Pearl being “delightfully dorky and gay”.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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