Steven Universe - Episode 56 "Love Letters"

Steven Universe - Episode 56 "Love Letters"

Ep. #56
ORIGINAL AIR DATE:
Mar, 23rd, 2015
SONG: No
SYNOPSIS: Jamie the Mailman instantly falls for Garnet and tries to woo her.

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Steven and Connie are having an adorably cute moment taking pictures with each other when Jamie the Mailman arrives. Remember Jamie? I didn't the first time, but that's because he was literally onscreen for five seconds in the third episode. It's really neat to see the creators remember him. Not only is it a magnificent attention to detail, but it expands on the show's universe.

Speaking of worldbuilding, we find out Jamie recently returned home after an extended stay at Kansas, the place for any aspiring thespian to go to. Yep, in the Steven Universe world, it's not Hollywood that breeds movies, but Kansas. This is likely another sign of the Gems' interference with human history that subtly altered Earth just enough that history didn't end with California as the birthplace of cinema.

Jamie missed his mailman days, so he came back home. Thank goodness that he did, Steven has a buttload of mails that no one in the post office bothered to deliver because they didn't know where he lived. This baffles me because it's not exactly secret that he has a house where the Gem temple lies. Nobody but his closest friends goes to Steven's place, but is it really so barred off despite Steven always wandering back and forth? And he's definitely the kind of kid who would invite people over to his place. As Jamie fishes out Steven's goods, Garnet arrives. She's been searching for Lapis and Jasper under the sea, but no such luck. Jamie is speechless, awestruck by this powerful woman.

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Jamie later approaches Steven and Connie, stammering as he tries to ask the kids to deliver a love letter. He hands it over to them without context and nervously runs off. Steven and Connie realizes it's meant for Garnet. They read it for her and being the dramatic little nerd that he is, the letter is incredibly poetic. It's heartfelt, but Garnet's already in a relationship. Connie thinks they should at least send a letter back proclaiming disinterest. Garnet's suggestion is concise ("start with the letter "N", then the letter "O." Period.), but it's honest and straightforward. Letter in hand, the kids search for Jamie.

They find him relaxing by the beach, lost in thought. Jamie confesses that he actually came back because he kept getting rejected from acting roles. If he suffers anymore rejections, he's going to crumble. Knowing the letter would send him on a downward spiral, Steven and Connie revise the writing privately. They match his poetic script so that it'll come off as a gentle rejection. I really like that the kids still conclude this, knowing Garnet is happy being in a relationship. They feel for Jamie, but they don't try to squeeze him into Garnet's life because there is no place for him in her life, no matter how upset and negative he's feeling.

Unfortunately Jamie misinterprets the letter, thinking the phrase "returning his heart" was a declaration of love. He runs to Steven's place and shouts for Garnet. It's gotten so bad that Steven confesses in front of Garnet and Jamie that the letter was written by him and Connie. Garnet harshly tells Jamie to beat it because he's never, ever going to win her heart. Jamie is crushed.

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Jamie is so upset that he can't even go to Steven's house to deliver the mail anymore; a woman named Barb had to do it. Okay, so Barb explains no one in the post officer believed Jamie when he said Steven lives in the Gem Temple, which is why he was the only one delivering his goods, but that still feels like a weird excuse. Minor, anal issue aside, Garnet checks up on the kids after another ocean voyage. Steven and Connie feel guilty for getting Jamie into his current funk, so Garnet goes out of her way to talk to him. She softly, but sternly tells him that though she was a bit harsh, she's still not interested in him and will never date him. Jamie is begging and blithering out his love for her, but she shuts him down. Love takes time and it means getting to know the other person and making sure they're both on the same page with each other. Jamie doesn't know a thing about Garnet and only thinks he's in love. He's a good actor, fooling even himself. Garnet suggest something better for him: start in local theater. The last one is good advice and one Jamie will eventually take to heart.

Now that we've seen who Garnet really is, season two can open the veil between Ruby and Sapphire. These two have already moved past the Meet Cute stage as well as the awkward first steps of their relationship, so most of their interaction is them as a lovely-dovey couple. "Love Letters" only serves to emphasize how much they can't stand to be apart. We don't hear it specifically from their mouths, but Garnet's very existence is proof in the pudding and Jamie has a .01% chance of driving a wedge between the two. The message is simple, but no less important: you can't force someone to love you when they don't want to, dummy!

"Love Letters" was clearly written to address the problems of romantic entitlement (particularly male entitlement.) Sadly, women have been conditioned throughout history to be kind and polite, especially in the face of people who force and guilt-trip them into doing something they don't consent to. From Jamie's perspective, he thought his romantic gestures were sympathetic because hey, he's in love, there's nothing more beautiful than that! Unfortunately this ties into his "Woe is Me" pity card and the fact that he idolizes Garnet, but never bothers to ask what kind of person she is. It ultimately ends up in his head anyway! There were miscommunication from the letter, but for the most part, he automatically assumed he and Garnet were meant to be without any consent from her end or the inner workings that go into a relationship. At least Jamie understood this once Garnet clarified everything. Would that I could say that for the rest of the world.

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Updated 10/9/2017 By neoyi in the fan site Steven Universe

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