This episode is just filler, pure and simple.
It all begins when Steven decides he wants something besides fry bits for once (or, y’know, fries).
Steven: Mozzarella sticks? With all the fixings?
Peedee: I can’t believe it either! They were way back in the freezer for some reason. Feels good to fry something else for a change.
But Kofi takes this as a declaration of war, because this is gonna be our plot.
Kofi: Steven, what is this? Bread, cheese, marinara sauce? The basic elements of a pizza! […] Fryman infringing on my business…I have been ready for this day.
Steven: Now serving…fries?
Fryman: So it begins anew, eh, Kofi?
Kofi: Just like old times, Fryman.
This is by no means a bad episode, but it’s not particularly good either, so it’s generally pretty forgettable. Like, when I hear Steven Universe Restaurant Wars, I want to see actual battles of some sort! It’s just not absurd enough to be counted among the best comedy episodes.
Peedee: I violated the food treaty!
Steven: What do you mean?
Peedee: Years ago, my dad and Kofi made an agreement to not steal each other’s business. When I fried up those mozzarella sticks, I reignited the hot oil of war.
Steven: Don’t blame yourself. I was the one who wanted to shake things up.
Peedee: Oh yeah. It’s your fault.
Which is not to say it doesn’t have its moments…
They’re trying to outdo each other in their opponents’ signature food, like french fry pizza with a french fry crust or deep fried pizza (the latter I don’t doubt exists in real life).
Kofi: Before you place your order, you must sign these papers and pledge your allegiance to Fish Stew Pizza! Not only that, you will be issued a brand new, permanent VIP Pizza Eater Card!
It’s bits like this where the episode justifies its existence.
Steven: Ah! What have I done?
So Steven promptly calls a meeting of the feuding families’ children (although Nanefua’s conspicuously absent from the episode; I can’t help feeling like she would’ve put a stop to this with relative ease).
Steven: I’ve called you all here tonight because, this war between your parents has to stop!
They’re all in agreement about ending the war, since for some reason it’s made the establishments really busy, and subsequently they’re all working a lot more than usual.
Steven: Hm…we need to stop this hate with some sort of…opposite of hate…Ronaldo! Kiki! You’re sitting next to each other.
Kiki: Where are you going with this, Steven?
Steven: You guys should pretend to be in love! There won’t be any time for fighting if your families have to plan a wedding together!
It’s cute how Steven always seems to jump straight from “romance” to “getting married”. Surprisingly, though, Ronaldo is the one who objects.
Ronaldo: No way! We can’t do this, because I…have a girlfriend.
Jenny: Where’s she at, though?
Peedee: You said what I was thinking…
Honestly, Steven should know by now not to mess with the love lives of his friends.
Surprisingly, this plan actually seems to work…until Ronaldo’s girlfriend suddenly shows up.
Jane: Ronaldo? I come all this way to return your Koala Princess DVDs, only to find you with another girl?
Ronaldo: Jane, my sweet! This was all just a trick to get my dad to stop selling mozzarella sticks!
Wow. The delivery on this one is just perfect. And it doesn’t hurt that Ronaldo’s the sort of character I don’t mind seeing get hurt.
Anyhow, this puts the peacemaking efforts back to square one, when the kids mention that the first war was ended when the two families were forced to join forces against a new restaurant that cut into both of their businesses…so naturally Steven starts a restaurant.
This is about the point in the series where you need some serious suspension of disbelief, because Steven frequently ends up dealing with adults as equals in matters such as business (he doesn’t seem to be doing much of the actual cooking, but it seems like he had to come up with the gourmet recipes, considering that one can’t very well trust a Gem’s palate for taste). I can buy it for the sake of the plot, but I do generally prefer when Steven’s doing stuff he’s actually shown an aptitude (or at least an interest) for in previous episodes.
Fryman: The ketchup…is inside the fries?
Kofi: This cream cheese in this pizza bagel…it adds a whole other level of flavor! And with pizza on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime!
Although that still makes me wish these recipes were real…
Somehow they’re under the impression that Steven actually intends to keep this restaurant up and running, so he finally gets the leverage to stop the food war.
Steven: Stop this foolish war! Cook for yourselves and the good of the boardwalk! No more cooking out of hate and spite!
As underwhelming as the episode was, I still appreciate that this season actually bothers with filler episodes, and that they’re spending some time with the townsfolk (even if not all those characters are necessarily fleshed out).
Until next time…