Steven Universe: Bubbled
August 10, 2016 4:11 PM - Season 3, Episode 25 - Subscribe

Steven gets stuck in a bubble with Eyeball.

And that's it for the third season!
posted by Small Dollar (27 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for the dedication to posting these, Small Dollar.

I felt like this was on par with Log Date 7 15 2. A calmer resolution to this season in contrast to the tense and emotional rollercoaster of the last few episodes.

It sounds like Pink Diamond was shattered toward the end of the rebellion, and not toward the start. We might be back to the "Pink Diamond's the cause of the corruption weapon" theory being the most likely.

And if it was a light-based weapon (and not a sound-based weapon) here's an interesting idea: What if Rose's Light Cannons contain shards of Pink Diamond?
posted by INFJ at 4:53 PM on August 10, 2016


Man, this is bleak. I feel like this episode, and the end of this season, really dealt a vicious blow to Steven's sense of all-encompassing empathy. He tried to save this Ruby from being lost in space, he healed her gem, and she still pays Steven back by trying to stab him to death. Jasper is similarly uninterested in receiving any emergency medical attention from Steven. All this leads to Steven kinda ... resignedly accepting the news about Rose shattering Pink Diamond. The crystal gems don't really offer any outs for Rose here either. Pearl does not take the blame. No one asserts any kind of alternative interpretation of events. Rose shattered Pink Diamond, and she did it because it was the only way to protect the Earth and the Crystal Gems.
posted by rustcrumb at 5:12 PM on August 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


I can't believe Steven fucking di-- ...oh. Never mind.

Many posters on Reddit point out how much Physics Doesn't Work That Way, in terms of escaping the Moon's or the Earth's orbit. But whatever.

I am glad Steven is getting the lesson that some people are not people you can save. This is important for kids to know. Always offer help, but accept that other people may not want it/be able to take it.

Not all the Homeworld gems are going to become Steven's friends.

I hope they do find all the Rubies though, I don't want them floating in space forever.
posted by emjaybee at 6:55 PM on August 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think it's funny that people are complaining Steven couldn't escape moon's gravity well when we're talking about a little boy that can float in the air.

You can't save everyone, Steven. We're not going to see a happy friendship ending with regard to Homeworld. How else can this end but in a second rebellion?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:21 PM on August 10, 2016


Daaaaaaaang.

(And never mind gravity wells, since when does the ability to make bubbles include the ability to generate air? But, okay, this is not a hard SF show, I get it.)
posted by Shmuel510 at 7:35 PM on August 10, 2016


I just really want to hug Steven.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:06 PM on August 10, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Destroying her was the only way to save the planet. For Amethyst to be herself, for Pearl to be free, for me to be together. For you to exist."

Amethyst joined the team relatively recently, and Steven came along even more recently than that. Probably this is Garnet taking the long view, where everything that's happened since is a result of saving the planet. On the other hand, there may be something to this?
posted by Shmuel510 at 8:59 PM on August 10, 2016


I believe Eyeball was referencing my fac George W. Bush quote:
“There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.”

Steven now joins Finn and Bender on my list of favorite cartoon characters who have been rescued from floating around space.
posted by bleep at 10:25 PM on August 10, 2016 [7 favorites]


(from Shmuel's link)
Okay so I haven’t seen anyone talk about this yet but the fact that Garnet specifically says that Rose did what she did for multiple reasons including so that Amethyst could be free and we know that Amethyst wasn’t added to ago group until a few decades ago and the fact that she says that she did it so that Steven could exist tells me that Rose actually shattered Pink Diamond recently. Like at some point between watching Sour Cream and giving birth, Rose killed another gem.

Amethyst did not join the Crystal Gems "a few decades ago." The temple fusion includes Amethyst and that statue was thousands of years ago. Amethyst was there when William Dewey founded beach city hundreds of years ago as a hard minimum. Centipeedle drew three diamonds with Pink Diamond absent. This theory really doesn't hold water.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:40 AM on August 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hope they do find all the Rubies though, I don't want them floating in space forever.

Me neither! Rubies are adorable, and some of them seem like they'd be pretty friendly. I'm sure that they'll turn up again later, it's not like the show not to return to an established character, even Kevin has shown up twice now.
posted by JHarris at 7:19 AM on August 11, 2016


Re air: Steven and Connie once spent the better part of a day trapped in a bubble without running out of oxygen. This could just mean that the bubble is permeable, but is seems more like it just comes with enough self-replenishing air to fill it.
posted by baf at 8:09 AM on August 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


This could just mean that the bubble is permeable, but is seems more like it just comes with enough self-replenishing air to fill it.

This actually makes comic-book sense, beanplating about it a moment: Rose Quartz had an enormous affinity for living creatures, and a green thumb in particular. I could see her perfecting a shield technique that would include touches like 'breathable air' that other Gems wouldn't even think of. I mean, what if she had to protect someone like Greg?
posted by mordax at 8:57 AM on August 11, 2016


It helps to think of the bubble not in terms of "Keep danger out" as "Keep occupants alive" if you need air to breathe, there's air. If you need to not freeze, there's warmth. If you need to not be corrupted by a gem doomsday weapon, there's that too.

I'm sure the rubies will be back. Eyeball is the only gem who has encountered Steven without her loyalty to Homeworld faltering. Even the mighty Jasper lost her way, though mostly by the forbidden fruit of Fusion.

So is Garnet the Worf of the show now? She was built up as the super strong member of the team early on to make her (temporary) defeat of Jasper all the more impressive, but now Stevonnie and Smokey Quartz both mopped the floor with Jasper. Is this just a testiment to Steven's Hidden Power? Could Opal have bested Jasper as easily? (Presumably Sardonyx and probably Sugilite would have managed it) I suppose Rose was, at a minimum, equal to Jasper, but probably significantly stronger.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:21 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


And that's it for the third season!

Wait, what ? According to IMDB season 3 has two more episodes!!
posted by Pendragon at 9:57 AM on August 11, 2016


I think it's just suppose to show that fusions are inherently stronger. In theory, any fusion of two gems are as strong - or stronger, than a Quartz soldier.

Garnet was built up as super strong team member because she's a fusion.
posted by INFJ at 10:00 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


So is Garnet the Worf of the show now? She was built up as the super strong member of the team early on to make her (temporary) defeat of Jasper all the more impressive, but now Stevonnie and Smokey Quartz both mopped the floor with Jasper.

I think it's more about Jasper's reaction to Garnet beating her, actually. Jasper's apparently one of the most elite Quartz soldiers ever, a living legend. Garnet is the fusion of a Ruby, (low caste, none too bright), and a Sapphire, (not even a soldier!).

Garnet beat her with the power of fusion, and I think that's screwed Jasper up in much the same way Amethyst was screwed up when confronting her - her head's not in the game against fusions. Like, she's clearly not just *losing* against Smokey Quartz, she's visibly floundering and emotionally off-balance.

(That said, I'm betting Steven does bring more to a fusion than the rest of the Crystal Gems: he has more raw power than the rest of them with the probable exception of Lapis.)
posted by mordax at 10:03 AM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


(See also: Malachite combining just Jasper and Lapis, and being an even match for Alexandrite who combines twice as many Gems. Raw power does seem to factor in resulting fusions.)
posted by mordax at 10:05 AM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I bet the moment where Steven uses his healing power is a deliberate reference to the "eyeball-licking" hoax. It's got to be, right? The Crewniverse is japanophile to be aware of it, even if it never was a genuine Japanese trend.
posted by baf at 4:49 PM on August 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Re: longshot theory I linked to earlier. Yeah, I was pretty sure the Amethyst timeline was off, but I was still kinda hung up on Greg's line about "it was thousands of years ago, it's— it's not like I was there," which I did remember as sounding suspiciously defensive.

Having gone back and reviewed that scene with the benefit of two more seasons of context, nah, you're right, there's no there there.
posted by Shmuel510 at 9:14 PM on August 12, 2016


I haven't seen episodes beyond this one yet, but thinking about the song "Love Like You" and why the damned thing always makes me tear up...

Maybe Rose gave up her life to make/become Steven not just because she was fascinated with Earth and humans and organic life, but because after shattering Pink Diamond she couldn't live with herself.
posted by Foosnark at 9:57 AM on August 13, 2016 [6 favorites]


oh snap ^
posted by bleep at 1:44 PM on August 13, 2016


Rose Quartz has SO many secrets and mysteries. It does seem that the Rose-is-Pink-Diamond theory has been laid to rest. But....

She doesn't really seem to be the same kind of thing as Jasper. Jasper is all muscle and little else. Rose can influence plants, and had healing tears, can regulate her falling speed, she had the bubble and her shield seems to have weird properties, and if Steven's dream adventures are indicative she may have had weird psychic powers, too. What is up with Lion and his pocket dimension mane? How could she build a freaking laser light cannon, or the stuff in her armory? What about those little gemstones in the flowers the moss bloomed into in Lars And The Cool Kids? Those seem indicative of a power level much greater than an "ordinary" quartz.

One possibility that I mentioned before is that Earth somehow empowers gems, just from their being here. It might not just be a cultural thing that's enabled Peridot to have metal powers, or Pearl to learn to zap things with her spear, the Earth might actually slowly improve gems. That would explain how Peridot could suddenly bubble the road runner gem, something she evidently had never done before, or even knew she could do.
posted by JHarris at 3:35 PM on August 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


One possibility that I mentioned before is that Earth somehow empowers gems, just from their being here.

Possibly? I don't see any mechanism for that to occur though. As best I can tell, Gems aren't even alive in the traditional sense. (Don't metabolize anything, reproduce naturally, etc. - they come across as really advanced artificial sapients to me. More like the Doctor from ST:VOY than any kind of natural life.)

One possibility I see is that Rose was like Lapis: intended to have some purpose wrangling Earth life, and so better able to interact with it. Like, if her plant abilities were designed into her, sky's the limit on what she might have been able to do. I don't put too much stock in that because the Diamonds seem to regard Earth life the way I look at weeds: unsightly and in the way. However, it's possible that Pink Diamond's attitude about terrestrial life was more opportunistic. (Use it vs. destroy it.)

Alternately, Rose may have figured out how to modify herself. It stands to reason that someone on Homeworld is tasked with figuring out how to make new kinds of Gems, (Era 1 vs. Era 2 and so on), so maybe that was Rose's job. I like this notion because it neatly explains things like Lion and her own augmented power set which incorporates a lot of innovations Homeworld shouldn't be interested in.
posted by mordax at 6:49 PM on August 13, 2016


That was dark.
Steven finds out his mom murdered someone. Then got stuck in a bubble with a gym out to kill him. He also sent concious beings to float in space alone for an undetermined amount of time, possibly forever.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:26 PM on August 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


One possibility I see is that Rose was like Lapis: intended to have some purpose wrangling Earth life, and so better able to interact with it. Like, if her plant abilities were designed into her, sky's the limit on what she might have been able to do. I don't put too much stock in that because the Diamonds seem to regard Earth life the way I look at weeds: unsightly and in the way. However, it's possible that Pink Diamond's attitude about terrestrial life was more opportunistic. (Use it vs. destroy it.)

Yeah, this seems likely to me. The gems/Diamond Authority find that Earth's organic life is far more than they bargained for, stubbornly inching its way back over gem-claimed terrain and work sites, and generally gumming things up. Rose could have been some kind of experiment with power to control and contain organic life (that's why she's so special, and her powers so unusual!) that went horribly awry from the gems' perspective.

Even her ability to heal gems might've stemmed from this. We haven't seen any other gem with this power, and someone (Jasper, I think?) seemed to imply the ability to heal gems is unique, or very nearly so. The very concept of healing--restoration--doesn't appear to be a priority for the hierarchal gem society. But in creating a gem to control and order organic life, maybe they inadvertently created someone in Rose whose abilities mirrored the chaos of organic life more closely--including the propensity to heal. And that healing ability extended to healing other gems, too?

Again, I've only seen through the end of S3, so please, no spoilers!
posted by duffell at 2:59 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


Another thing I hope this show starts to get into is some of the mythology and history of gem society. We know the Diamond Authority rules over everyone, and that gems are bred for a purpose. So how and when were the diamonds created? And by whom? Were they created for a purpose, too, and if so, for what?

My working theory is that the "gems are bred for a purpose" thing (at list to the rigid, ordered extreme we see) only goes as far back in gem history as the diamonds themselves. Gems procreate by... creation (we still don't *quite* know how this works). But this doesn't necessarily mean gems have always been bred with their place in society predetermined. It's conceivable that at one time, gems were created purely to share in the joy of existence. But when the diamonds were created... all of that changed. They saw themselves as the natural rulers and orderers of all gems, and reordered society accordingly. (This sort of fits, symbolically, with the "ordered" nature of diamonds in general, as we humans know them.)

If any of this is true, it makes me wonder if there are any gems now alive in the "present" of SU that pre-date the diamonds.
posted by duffell at 3:24 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


...AND, I'm deeply curious how Pink Diamond's shattering went over back on Homeworld. Shattering itself is understood to be a pretty serious deal--but the bigger crime, from the Diamond Authority's perspective, may have been in making the unthinkable literally thinkable. The diamonds' weakness exposed, the fragility of their rule laid bare.
posted by duffell at 6:48 AM on August 4 [1 favorite]


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