Steven Universe thread because I don't have a Tumblr


#265

I’ve been thinking a lot about this post a guy on my other forum made about this.

Last night’s episode.

So.

fucking. it’s just. they just fucking turned it. they just turned it and we’re just seeing the top of it. they just fucking turned it.
those motherfuckers. they. just. turned it.

Pink Diamond wasn’t just evil, or wasn’t just misunderstood. She was an addict. Pink Diamond is the kind of person that urges you to do things you know you shouldn’t, but you love them too much not to. Pink Diamond did everything that she did because she was bored and frustrated with her life and just wanted to change and chase a new high. And she just kept chasing new highs until there were no more highs to chase – having a child was literally the last thing she could do. She was an addict who pulled everyone in her orbit into her schemes so she could see something that wasn’t just unchanging Homeworld rigidity. She abused the trust and unconditional love of someone who was made specifically to serve and love her, leaving Pearl behind every step of the way as soon as she had another new high to chase. It’s been implied before that Rose went around with plenty of humans before she found Greg, and this just adds a whole other set of implications about her constant desire and need for things that are changing and unpredictable.

Having Steven has always seemed like this big sacrifice to what comes next, children are our future kind of metaphor, love is more important than one’s individual existence. Through the lens of narcissism and addiction, of Pink just constantly needing new experiences, giving up her life for one more comes across as an overdose.

Fuck. This hurts so much more than any other way they could have told this story. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it, but I don’t know how or if they’re going to be able to redeem Pink after this. Her actions directly lead to the Diamond attack on the remaining gems, lead to Pearl’s deep-set traumas, lead to Bismuth being locked away because if she’d ever found out the truth she would be able to shatter a Diamond, lead to – everything. Her selfishness and addiction lead to everything, and the rigidity of Homeworld driving her toward her vices means that whatever comes next is probably going to shade just how much they’re culpable for driving Pink to be the sort of person that she was, but I don’t think it’s going to change that Pink still made a severely catastrophic series of choices for basically everyone in her life who wasn’t herself.

Steven is his mother’s redemption, for better or worse. And that’s what makes it hurt so damn much, how often that’s the legacy of those left behind by an addiction.


#266

Thinking back to that time Steven tried to maintain an older form for an extended period.

Edit: oh, as mentioned above.


#267

“You know Rose; she always did what she wanted.”

The notion that this all is dredging up about unreliable history, putting this absent figure on a pedestal as some God-like being who defines the world by her absence, and everything would be okay if she were just here again… when in fact that figure was manipulative at best, abusive at worst, and helped to create much of the chaos that everyone is dealing with now.

There are so many real-life parallels here, from a personal to a national or global level. All of this stuff about idols and heroes and leaders and gods. To date, all the major characters have been members of the Cult of Rose. And now the doctrine has been shattered.


#268

Man, it really does blow the mind to reframe the entire show as a bunch of people coping with the vacuum left behind by this overbearing, narcissistic figure and trying to figure out what life is now that nobody’s defining it for them anymore.


#269

i’m v into this. i’m v into all these takes. thanks team


#270

And you know, man, Pearl. Despite what we’ve been led to think, at no point has she actually been free. And her relationship with Rose, it was always unequal but now it strikes as nothing short of exploitation. As a pearl, she was made to serve and love her diamond; she had no choice in the matter. As a diamond, Rose thought nothing of expecting obedience from her pearl.

How much of Pearl’s angst is from her own, real affection for Rose/Pink as a person, and how much is flailing about her purpose for being? And how much of her dysfunction can be traced to this knowledge about the horror that everyone lived through that she’s physically unable to talk about due to Rose? How must that screw with her, isolate her?

Also worth revisiting this:


#271

i’m kind of ehhh on these takes actually. We are still at enough of a remove from how Rose feels about all this that i don’t want to lean all the way in to “Rose was a total shit person”. i mean, we know she fucked up horribly as an irresponsible teenage royal, and spent the rest of her life trying to clean up after her mess (the CGs had been going around poofing and bubbling their corrupted former comrades for a looooong time when the show started). We also know that Greg and the gems sincerely loved her. And she did, in fact, succeed in saving the human race and all other organic life on Earth from extinction. The pendulum was on one extreme re: Rose when the show started and has swung back the other way, but i have no doubt it’ll end up in the middle by the end.

i’m also real down on “Rose/Pearl was a one-sided and abusive relationship” takes, or as this person i follow on twitter put it

The way the scene is framed makes it seem like Pink Diamond thought her “final order” was just a sweet moment between her and Pearl, not a magical gag. It would be totally in keeping with what we know of Pink/Rose that she didn’t grasp the power imbalance, and the consequences of her words/actions
(i mean hell, do we really know if it was a magical gag, or is it just that Pearl is TOO good at “compartmentalizing”)

idk i’m way more into “Rose was a well-meaning, but short-sighted and privileged dipshit” than “Rose was a manipulative narcissist”. i guess both can be true…

edit: also comparing anything about a fictional character’s personality to addiction is fuckin… dicey and i’m not comfortable with it personally. especially when paired with judgments like “this character seems irredeemable to me now”


#272

yeah the whole ‘a pearl with no owner’ thing is kinda grim in retrospect. and oof i’m relating a lot with Pearl coz of the stuff you’ve mentioned here
so interested to see the fallout of this. i’m wondering if it’s like, completely fucked and she was actually just terrible and everyone was too bedazzled to see it, or if she came good at some point


#273

Re: Pearl. Remember how much she wanted to show Steven the stars, to see how everyone was getting along without her? Pearl may have transcended the limits proscribed by her status in Homeworld, but that status was not without its share of benefits. We don’t actually know that Pearl was designed explicitly to love Pink Diamond–details of her true origin are still ambiguous–but we know that she did love Pink Diamond, regardless of the name she used, in much the same way that many of the gems in Homeworld society still love their Diamonds.

I think people question Pearl’s ideological purity and cast Rose as this manipulative figure because we’ve heard about how oppressive the Homeworld regime is and got to see a little bit of it firsthand when they were sneaking into the Zoo, but otherwise Pearl didn’t have those personal grievances the way Garnet and Bismuth did. In the hierarchy of gemkind, personal servant to an unexpectedly progressive ruler is certainly not the worst position you could wind up in.

I don’t agree with my friend that Pink Diamond is irredeemable. She made mistakes; she clearly recognizes this, by the time Greg enters the picture. But where Rose Quartz can see her personal responsibility for the terrible things which have happened, Pearl was still riding the high of their triumph: she never really had to reckon with the consequences of basing her entire life around Rose’s decisions, or at least, never before in such a sustained manner until Steven arrived. Her arc won’t be finished until she finds a way to live for herself.


#274

i just want Pearl to be happy ;_;

actually, all the cool drama aside i enjoyed how much of “A Single Pale Rose” was jokey and funny and showed Pearl as the sweetheart momming dork we know her now (she fucking vacuums the warp pad). Really effective contrast with her past selves and the Big Reveal – and again the fact that it’s treated as a punchline at the end is So Good, this show at it’s best


#275

and thinking more on Rose Quartz, i think part of why the takes that this shows she was actually a total fucko all along ring false to me is that, if anything, these eps made her more sympathetic – she was a naive idealist blinkered by her own privilege, and romanticized the idea of rebellion without understanding the implications. That’s, again, why i’m hesitant to write off her character. We see how Pearl reacted to the post-rebellion, wondering if any of this was actually worth it, but we don’t yet know how Rose feels.

And a lot of what Steven has done so far has followed in her footsteps, believing the best in everyone and everything, and taking action from the heart without thinking things through. It’s one thing for him to realize that his mom kinda sucked and hurt a lot of people, it’s another for him to see that her feelings were genuine and that the best way he can be “better than Rose” is in his humanity, his ability to grow and mature and treat complicated problems with the nuance they deserve. Which is something Rose visibly struggled with!

This is a good show and i am a gigantic nerd for it


#276

except Kevin


#277

I’m skeptical ‘cursing your girlfriend to never talk about a tramatic incident giving her terrible anxiety and then not fixing it for 6,000 years’ can be salvaged into a healthy relationship outside of Rose being similarly cursed or having diamond-related amnesia. Which I guess I wouldn’t be surprised by, but I’m not sure the amount of Greek tragedy that would be would offset what it would do to the emotional impact of Rose keeping secrets from everyone.


#278

2013 Crewniverse shirt


#279

more Sadie Killer please


#280

Yeah what a fuckin good episode that was. Anytime this show does something with recordings/VHS tapes it works so, so well (i think it helps that they really nail the FX)

all of the recent developments with the boardies have been awesome but Sadie and Lars have got the best of them imo. Which is great because ive always been really fond of those characters! i was among the people kind of chafing at how often the show returned to status quo for Beach City but i’m glad that slow burn is beginning to pay off.


#281

the spoilers got me to go back to the show and I really enjoyed this last season, which I couldn’t say was the case for a lot of season 3 and 4.


#283

The fact that this show has dedicated so much of this week to unpacking the emotional fallout from Rose really speaks to why I like it so much

I’m half glad that The Zoo was a present from the other Diamonds to appease Rose even if it’s still fucking weird and wild. I mean ultimately it shows how alien they actually are in a tangible way so it kinda works…

I really wonder how all the more conservative localizations that try to pretend that Ruby and Sapphire are just good pals or even translate Ruby as male are gonna deal with this extremely gay wedding especially with Ruby in a dress and in what seems like it’s gonna be such a plot crucial episode.

I’m glad they let her out but I wasn’t fully satisfied with how they resolved this. I’m glad they acknowledged that Bismuth Was Right™ but I still don’t feel like they’ve actually dealt with the aspect of Steven as a Jailer. Also there’s just the practical fact of wondering if Uzo Aduba has the time to voice this character if she sticks around? I mean people like Patty Lupone are in more peripheral roles and they never could bring back like Nicki Minaj? Hmmm…


#284

holy shit that finale


#285

god everything was so much

the callbacks on re-watch are gonna be so fun like “you should move the barn to the beach” or how steven used a little hand puppet as the cluster

“i’ve felt worse” was really like one of those great DCAU Superman moments or Rock Lee taking off the weights on Naruto you know…for traumatic depression

I can’t believe after getting so many aunts now steven has biological(?) aunts

Dewey and Jamie maybe getting together seems interesting for two sort of unlikable characters

nanafua’s guards doing fucking vogue scene ass dead drops was a next level gag for something on screen for .5 seconds

man destroyed house, destroyed rose’s sword, maybe new lapis/pearl star forms, bismuth out and about, seems like we really might be due for a new intro sequence sometime