Steven Universe: Rose's Scabbard
March 9, 2015 5:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 45 - Subscribe

Lion finds a scabbard that belonged to Rose Quartz, and Steven and Pearl go looking for the sword.

This is the first episode of a week-long #StevenBomb, with new episodes every weekday and two on Thursday.
posted by Small Dollar (13 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
It's seeming more and more the case that everyone that knew Rose Quartz had strong feelings about her. Pearl's... devotion to Rose is revealed to be especially strong. I guess this explains Pearl's attitude towards Greg, who must have seemed like a very strange choice after a 5,000 year long... friendship.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:24 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Steven Universe subreddit has been in tears over this one, and there's still five more to go. The Steven Bomb continues exploding....
posted by JHarris at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh, the episode? Very well:

I've already mentioned covered the armory and Lion and their connection with Rose in prior geeklists, and how the other Gems didn't see to know of their connection to Rose. This episode made all that secrecy (mentioned in the Newsarama interview) explicit.

This kind of explains why Pearl watches Steven while he sleeps sometimes, she's strongly reminded of Rose.

Am I the only one who was a little disturbed, at the beginning, when Pearl told Steven maybe he should find his own weapon? It's just one of those places where the disconnect between Steven's humanity and what is expected of him as a gem is striking.

The way Pearl said: "Sometimes, you even sound like her...."

Pearl wondering if Steven has any of Rose's memories. That's the closest we've gotten to making it explicit that Rose is in there, somewhere.

The two of them riding on Lion at the end, with Pearl looking down at Steven, then back up. Wondering....

At the end of the tape in Lion 3, Rose tells Steven to take care of them. It's becoming more and more obvious that the ones he has to take care of are the Gems, because everyone's a wreck.
posted by JHarris at 6:24 PM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, as you would expect, this one wrecked me too, but we've been over that.

It's interesting how of the course of this season, the Gems have moved from being "Space Moms" to needing Steven's optimistic leadership. I can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:48 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


In the previous episode's thread I hid a spoiler (that people discovered in a crediting error) that, it turns out, doesn't apply to this episode, but probably to the season finale. Which is why we didn't see SPOILER this week.

Oh, and I do have to crow that I totally called it about Rose keeping secrets. It turns out that Pearl did know about the armory. Note, however, Steven didn't show off the giant penny. Because, in context, it wouldn't make cents. IM NOT SORRY THE SHOW DID IT FIRST

One more thing--

Rebecca Sugar has said in the past that Steven is our point-of-view character, we're basically seeing the show's world through his eyes. But this episode plays with that somewhat, in the ending. That last shot, with Pearl looking down at Steven and looking back up, that's a look Steven didn't see. What does it mean?

I think it might be Pearl actually starting to question Steven's nature. Because not only does he sometimes look and sound like Rose (to her, at least), but he has some of the same qualities, and seems to do things she would do. Like drag out their old battle banner at just the right moment, recognizing its value to Pearl. Like keeping secrets; Steven had no reason not to tell the Gems about finding the armory, or the weird stuff Lion does. Other times he's been able to do something apart from the Gems (like Island Adventure) he's excited about telling them.
posted by JHarris at 1:43 AM on March 10, 2015


I'm shocked and delighted at how blatantly non-platonic Pearl's love for Rose obviously was and is, and how that further complicates an already-complicated situation. Also fascinating to me is how cohesive Pearl is as a character—early in the series, she reads as the most obviously "motherly," constantly concerned about whether this or that situation is safe or appropriate.

But it turns out (here, and in Steven the Sword Fighter, and elsewhere) that Pearl is in her way just as much of a fighter and soldier as the other Crystal Gems—perhaps even moreso. Her mothering is more combination of her own instinct for (martial) discipline and knowledge combined with the uneasy affection she has for Steven (as Rose's offspring and heir to her gem) along with how out of her depth she must constantly feel, having been tasked with raising him.

Suddenly everything is clear: She's an uptight alien nerd who misses her dead girlfriend, and isn't sure how she feels about having to raise her dead girlfriend's kid who is also Gem Jesus.

Oh, Pearl.
posted by Sokka shot first at 8:29 AM on March 10, 2015 [15 favorites]


I wonder how close they really were. It seems like Rose didn't actually confide in Pearl as much as she thought, and Rose chose Greg over the other Gems. I feel like Pearl's "You didn't even know her" outburst could fit just as well directed at Greg considering Greg knew her for a few years and the Gems were together for thousands before that. That outburst seemed like there was a lot of anger from being left alone or feeling abandoned when Rose chose Greg and then passed away, which must have seemed like it happened in an instant for someone as old as her. It must not seem fair to have this person you cared for so much for so long disappear suddenly for reasons that you don't understand.

(I love the "subtext" and "specialfriendship" tags on this one)
posted by Peccable at 9:32 AM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Unlike all of tumblr I'm hesitant to assign human relationships to gems. They certainly have something analogous to human (sexual) intimacy, and surely their long lives leads to powerful friendships, however I don't think intimacy and friendship are natural to your average gem. I kinda see the crystal gems as similar to Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens: very alien creatures first assigned and then exiled to earth and humanity and finding themselves and their motivations greatly altered as a result.

Interesting things I noticed: Amethyst did not participate in the battle for earth. Presumably she was the last gem to awaken in Kindergarten after it was deactivated and wasn't found until long after by the crystal gems, probably on an inspection of the old ruins.

Some of the gem artifacts we've seen probably predate the battle, but one thing that must come post-battle is the exterior of the gem temple, and presumably the interior too, since it includes Amethyst. Seeing how relatively trivial it is for the crystal gems to reconfigure it (for example, Steven's test) they must have constructed it too. I wonder who did the most work in its building. Rose? That sort of tech doesn't seem like her plant/life wheelhouse, although her room is certainly the most elaborate. Pearl? Perhaps.

One more musing, that battleground is huge, with lots of huge weapons. How many gems participated? How many on Rose's side? How many fusions were there? How many died? How many were corrupted into the monsters we've been seeing?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


New theory: in addition to thinking that Garnet is a permanent Gem fusion, I now wonder if her two parts were gems who were critically injured during that enormous battle, and could only function/survive afterwards by combining themselves into one.

HMMMMMM.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:27 PM on March 10, 2015


Weeping.

The music was perfect in this one, too. I guess I'm just a sucker for any variation on Pearl's theme. But I also loved the moments of silence. The soft catch of Rose's portrait instead of a crash. The scrabble and climb instead of Pearl screaming and rushing to Steve's rescue. This show speaks in silences as much as it does in color and light.

Also Steven leaping out on his bike, complete with carefully buckled helmet, from Lion's mane just cracked me up. (I'm pretty sure Greg taught him to ride a bike. I doubt the Gems care about safety pads.)
posted by Mizu at 5:23 PM on March 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Actually, in the comics Steven participates in an all-ages bike race. At first the Gems are against it as being too dangerous, but they come around and even soup up the bike a bit... causing it to take off at high speeds. Oops. ENDING SPOILER
posted by JHarris at 8:40 PM on March 10, 2015


How does that work, oh He Who Actually Engages In This Fandom, is it like Star Trek where the everything that's a novel/comic/not on screen goes on Memory Beta and isn't considered canonical, or is it like Star Wars where people demand everything to be absolutely interconnected and the most obscure character gets a ten novel series that's considered canon? Like basically is this something the nerds fight about or is there word of god saying it's all legit?
posted by Mizu at 9:38 PM on March 10, 2015


Actually, we don't know how canonical the comics are. At least one of the show's actual storyboard artists has done a story for the comic (Lars and Sadie in issue 1), and the content is not such that it conflicts or establishes much that's essential. The stories are very sweet-natured and happy though, which might be of solace as the STEVENBOMB continues its relentless slaughter. Issue 7 has Pearl getting into the mythos of one of Connie's fantasy novels, as I said another has Steven in a bike race, and the most involved story is a two-parter where Garnet and Steven have to go into the space where Pearl stores miscellaneous objects. All the issues contain little site stories as well, which include great bits like Steven entering Lion in a pet show. (That one's a classic if just for Onion's entry, which is weirder than Steven's.)
posted by JHarris at 12:32 AM on March 11, 2015


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