Apple & Onion wraps up its limited 10-episode run with a bang in “Pancake’s Bus Tour” and “Block Party.” Let’s eat, drink, be merry, and buckle up for some finger-lickin’ fun.
Something that has been building during previous episodes was brought into a bright spotlight in “Pancake’s Bus Tour”: both Apple and Onion are neuroatypical. Specifically, Apple seems to have a lot of attributes of ADHD and Onion might lie somewhere on the autism spectrum. I don’t want to be an armchair psychologist, nor do I think it’s important to have a precise diagnosis for the best food friends. It’s just nice to see representation of characters who might stumble in certain social situations because of their wiring, but who are no less worthy of love and friendship because of it.
As we saw in “4 on 1,” Onion can become very overstimulated in certain situations. He tends to hyperfocus on his projects, losing sight of the world around him. The conflict of “Pancake’s Bus Tour” begins when Apple cannot find his shoe, which is a frequent problem for the focus-challenged fruit. But nothing really captured their symbiotic and wonderful friendship as it relates to their neuroatypicality than when Pancake is explaining her relationship to her (deceased) father. “What do you mean, ‘was,’ does he do another job now?” says Apple, because he wasn’t paying enough attention to understand that past tense = dead. Onion puts a quick hand on Apple’s mouth and says to Pancake: “Wow! 30 years! You must be really old!” Apple puts up a hand to quiet Onion’s social faux pas, and they’re left like that, hands literally covering each others’ mouths and metaphorically supporting one another in their various foibles.
It’s not as if Apple and Onion are given “get out of bad behavior” free cards just because their brains work a little differently. Pancake might be overreacting just a bit when she kicks them off her bus tour, but they (well, Apple) were being disruptive and disrespectful overall. This has been a pattern again and again on Apple & Onion, and I really appreciate it. Usually in attempting to do a good deed, Apple and Onion mess something up and hurt someone’s feelings. But they don’t react defensively, there’s no insistence that no ill intent = no ill action. They do their very best to fix their mistakes.
In the case of “Block Party,” fixing their mistake means saving the lives of ducklings. But not before a hilarious montage of trying to get past the “evil” Mama Duck first. They try dressing up like ducks… but Apple’s apple bottom gives them away. They try disguising Apple as a cloud and floating him via drone to their door… but at the last second, he ruins the costume and the duck attacks. If they can’t get to their door in time, the ice cream cake will melt onto Onion’s computer, and the song will be ruined and that means their block party will be ruined, too!
Onion realizes they have to think outside the box to defeat the duck. He tries to get Apple to understand what he’s implying, using visuals and telling him it starts with a “B,” but the closest Apple can figure is putting the duck inside a box. Which… turns out to be a perfect plan. Or it would, if it weren’t for the ducklings.
Of course, the best food friends choose to save the ducklings over their song, and earn the friendship of the Mama Duck. As their friends gather around them for the block party, they lament their lost song. But surprise! The friends, including the duck, start an acapella rendition of the music and Apple and Onion sing the song. Everyone dances, and the show ends that way: friendship prevailing through problems great and small.
Ten episodes is not a long run, and it’s even shorter when each is only eleven minutes. Apple & Onion has been fun, heartfelt, and I don’t think I will ever again be able to consider a Chip Bag-person exploding in surprise, turning into a single chip, and then cleaning the remains of itself up with a broom. Shine on, you crazy dumpling.
I will miss Apple & Onion, its characters, the world. Luckily, now and forever is rewatch time! I can’t wait to pick up what I missed the first time through. Bon appetit.
Author: K-K Bracken
K-K Bracken grew up overseas and in the Washington, DC area, went to the Ohio State University to get her BA in English, and has been in Columbus, Ohio ever since. She is currently querying her first novel ORCHESTRATION under the name Bracken Beveridge. She is the founder and organizer for the first Steven Universe exclusive fan convention, Beach City Con.
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