Um, what was the point of this episode? Are the writers trying to make Ronaldo even less popular than Lars? After Ronaldo is given a reality check in his hunt for “rock people” (since Steven is half-rock), Ronaldo wants to become a Crystal Gem himself. Steven tries to humor him, but Ronaldo spends most of the episode telling Steven how he is doing things wrong.
So yes, Ronaldo is a self-absorbed (take your pick of two words that rhyme with brick). This was just an awkward episode from start to finish. It is in Steven’s nature to see the best in everyone including people like Lars and Ronaldo. And yes, Steven has lashed out at Lars before (“Lars and the Cool Kids”) and does the same here with Ronaldo. Yet, they are still jerks and Ronaldo is doubly so here. Ronaldo calls himself “Jerknaldo” towards the end of the episode after the way he treated Steven, but you would be justified if you yelled at your TV or digital device, “THANKS, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!”
This was simply a terrible episode featuring an uninteresting character who comes off as even more of a jerk than he was previously.
Admittedly, I find Steven Universe a bit more complicated to review at times than MLP. Mostly, the former puts quite a bit into 11 minutes while the other runs 22-minute episodes at a more fluent pace.
Steven has very conflicted feelings regarding his Mother, so he goes to the room for some answers. Out comes a mirage of his mother as what he wants to feel about her. Things take a turn after the Peanuts reference as Steven lets loose about Bismuth and Pink Diamond and wonders if he merely exists as an excuse for Rose escape her mistakes.
Many of the episodes of SU in recent times have acted as setup for future arcs and this is one of them. This arc will be Steven coming to terms with how Rose lived–both the good and the not-so-good.
This episode could be divided into three parts. The first is to setup the second where Connie talks about her Mom and it leads to Steven thinking about his. The second part in the room leads to the tempest in the room–and then it kind of ends abruptly.
I’m not sure about the rest of you, but this is why I’m more comfortable with the 22-minute format. This show have proven it could do it (read: “Bismuth”). The sudden ending just makes things a bit awkward.
The one thing to take from this episode is that Steven, who likes to see the best in everyone he meets, has to come to terms that not everyone is perfect–not even his own mother.
So while Steven and the Crystal Gems were in outer space rescuing Greg, Connie went to Steven’s house where she meets Lapis and Peridot. They try to fill the roles of the Gems. Connie will play the part of Steven, Peridot will be “The Garnet”, Lapis will be Amethyst, and Pumpkin will be Pearl. Their first misson: Clean the head on top of Mayor Dewey’s van. Despite trying to act out the Gems’ roles, Peridot does her thing levitating the van while Lapis waterbends to wash the car and Connie and Pumpkin dries. That works out well, but when half the town comes to see the spectacle, things unravel.
Peridot slips into Peridot mode because she feel Lapis is not fully performing as Amethyst. A quarrel ensues and Yellow Tail’s truck ends up in the sign. Since Connie is not Steven, she settles things with an angry speech instead of a typical Steven speech (which could be angry at times) and says it’s okay that they are not the Crystal Gems, they are the Crystal Temps and fix the mess and present Greg with a new sign for the car wash.
It was nice to see the dynamic between Connie, Peridot, and Lapis. Peridot and Lapis are a great comedy tandem whenever they are together. While Lapis may go a bit Dory in remembering Connie, she does do a reasonably well Amethyst. This was really a breather episode after last week’s arc, but was a pretty funny episode featuring the neat collection of secondary characters.
In this fifth and final part of the arc, Steven and Greg are taken to a a group of amethysts which include Amethyst and a jasper and a carnelian. Everything’s cool and they’ll help Steven and Greg break free. Meanwhile, Blue Diamond has arrived and goes to a room of quartzes that have been bubbled when Yellow Diamond makes a visit. Yellow wants Blue to shatter the gems, but Blue is hesitant since the gems are still representative of Pink Diamond.
We get our first villain song where Yellow misses her too, but wants Blue to move on. It’s a setup for perhaps the remainder of the season. However, that part of the story will have to wait as we still need to get Steven and Greg back home. Blue Agate ultimately discovers the ruse, but is stopped from doing anything by fusion again Garnet and Pearl who tells “Holly Blue” to keep her mouth shut as the Diamonds probably wouldn’t go for rebel gems infiltrating a facility and escaping with a pair of humans.
So, what to think here? We get some midseason world building (we’re still in the middle of Season Four) with the introduction of Blue Diamond and what she is all about. She seems to be a bit more merciful if not still mourning the loss of Pink Diamond. We are certain to know more about this as the season progresses. Steven will still probably seek some answers into the story behind his Mom shattering Pink Diamond. To me, all of this is midseason setup for what is to come the rest of this season.
Overall, the arc as a whole was good, though it really doesn’t do anything more than to set up the remainder of the season and beyond and to introduce Blue Diamond. Steven is returning to a weekly schedule at least for the rest of this month on Friday nights at 7pm ET/6pm CT on Cartoon Network.
Pluses and Minuses:
- + World building
- + Introduction of Blue Diamond
- + Gems: How do the work in the gem world?
- – Zoo humans are one-dimensional and made mundane
- – Does little else but build up for later
- Steven’s Dream: A-
- Adventures in Light Distortion: B+
- Gem Heist: A
- The Zoo: C
- That Will Be All: A-
- Average: B+