Steven Universe: Jungle Moon
January 6, 2018 1:06 PM - Season 5, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Stevonnie has a strange dream stranded on a jungle moon.
posted by Small Dollar (31 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I love Bird Blob.

I assume Steven's healing powers make it ok to ingest water with alien bacteria in it.


White Diamond shattered Pink. And Yellow knows or suspects. And maybe Blue does now also.
posted by emjaybee at 1:23 PM on January 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

White Diamond? Who's that?

My thoughts:
- Pink Diamond is Amethyst. No, not literally, but she's the youngest of the Diamond Authority, and she's a runt compared to her sisters. Actually, they all sort of map to the Crystal Gems. Pink is Amethyst (Runt, seeks belonging), Blue is Pearl (Sentimental, cries a lot), Yellow is Garnet (Businesslike, takes charge), and White is Rose (presumably in charge, absent).
- Adds a lot of depth to the rebellion. No wonder homeworld gems hate the Crystal Gems. Rose shattered their matriarch kid sister.
- The Jungle Moon was another staging area for a colony on its primary, just like our moon was for Earth. But... that colony seems... unsuccessful. We saw what the Earth was supposed to become, and it's a certainly not a shattered wreck like that planet. Was that colony just a smash and grab job and that's the intended result, or did things go real bad?
- I have to believe Steven's healing powers, and maybe some level of plantomancy, kept Stevonnie alive in an alien world eating alien fruits and drinking alien water.
- I suspect Pink was having serious doubts about the whole Colony thing shortly before her end. She had a zoo after all, maybe she was coming around to Rose's thinking in the matter? That could be problematic, if one fourth of your gem matriarchy decided to go fully off the reservation. What next, letting gems do what they please? Might be for the best if she had a terrible accident, or maybe, if she was assassinated by a known enemy to gemkind.
- Even wilder theory: Pink faked her death with the help of Rose, assuming her "death" would lead to homeworld retreating for good. She was right, but didn't know or suspect the Diamonds would corrupt every gem on Earth as they left. Afterwards, Rose could never bring herself to unbubble Pink and she remains bubbled to this day. Yellow doesn't care about the truth of Pink's death because she never liked Pink and Earth was a useful place to hide her research on forced fusions and The Cluster.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:59 PM on January 6, 2018 [2 favorites]

STEVONNIE HAS STUBBLE STEVONNIE HAS STUBBLE STEVONNIE HAS STUBBLE!!!!!! That was just such a wonderful and thoughtful detail and it makes my heart happy.

I kept shouting at the screen for Stevonnie not to eat mysterious alien berries.

Big reveals/teases here, obviously, but this episode also reminded me that we don't know what the floating globe thing on the 2nd floor of the moon base is (also seen in this base, albeit overgrown). And to your "wild theory," Mr. Encyclopedia, we *still* don't know what's in the treasure chest inside lion's mane... though I doubt it's a bubbled diamond.

What do you guys think is going to happen when Yellow finds out the cluster won't be emerging after all?
posted by duffell at 5:55 PM on January 6, 2018 [5 favorites]

My theory is that, like Mr. Encyclopedia said, PD isn't shattered: she's alive enough that Stevonnie's able to get into her mind.
posted by divabat at 11:12 PM on January 6, 2018

Pinkie's defective. She's only as tall as Stevonnie - even if you take into account that dreams don't often work on logic, the shattered window in the real world clearly shows she was short as hell for a diamond. I wonder if diamonds actually need to mature? Maybe being so big they need a bit more maturation outside the ground?

I really want to know now our timeline. How long ago was that destroyed colony? Did Pink grow up? Leggie, Amythest and Peridot both have shown that young gems can mature emotionally and that they start off a big wide-eyed and gullible.

I also suspect that gems don't need organic life to make their kindergartens function. Yellow's clearly heard chastising that nephrite about how the organic life should just deal because it's an invasion - she wouldn't need to say that if it was standard procedure to invade places with life.

As far as Pink's death goes, I still want Pearl to have done it. Pearl is absolutely Pink's Pearl, and I can totally see her murdering an abusive child to gain her freedom. It'd fuck her up, no doubt, but if there's anything that Pearl does well it's surviving despite being an emotional dumpster fire.

I loooooooooove that floofy bird. Just lovely. And Yellow Pearl's selfie is just the best thing, the smug little witch that she is.

- I suspect Pink was having serious doubts about the whole Colony thing shortly before her end. She had a zoo after all, maybe she was coming around to Rose's thinking in the matter?

She had a tank of sea monkies she could play with herself without having anyone tell her what to do.

Ugh. The worst thing about this episode is we now get to wait like, another six months for follow up.
posted by Jilder at 4:57 AM on January 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think the odds are now more in favor of Rose being Pink Diamond somehow, in disguise. Notice: when we see Pink's reflection in the window, her eyes are obscured by shadow just like they usually are for Rose. That's a fairly strong hint. We're shown Pink at her worst right here; by this theory, she would have had to have come around in favor of Earth life.
posted by JHarris at 6:05 AM on January 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

I think the only thing we can be sure of at this point is that whatever happened to Pink Diamond, she wasn't killed by Rose Quartz.

I've always been fond of the Rose IS Pink Diamond theory, but at this point I think it's more interesting narratively if either Pink faked her death and lives on or Pink was killed by some non-Rose entity. There's a lot of weird holes that would have to be resolved for Rose is Pink Diamond to be true, not least of which the fact they were seen together. And what would that get us if she was? If Rose was Pink Diamond that means now Steven is Pink Diamond, so what, we end the series with him taking control of the Gempire? That doesn't strike me as a very Steven Universe ending to me.

P.S. one more wild-ass theory: You know who could have bypassed all of Pink Diamond's defenses that
Moonstone enumerated at the trial? A human.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:14 AM on January 7, 2018 [8 favorites]

Rose (and Steven) being Pink explains a lot of things. Rose seems absurdly powerful, even by gem standards. Having a pocket dimension is something so weird that Homeworld gems don't even consider the possibility. Being able to revive dead organic life is a transcendent level of power, as is being able to heal cracked gems, an ability that, according to Eyeball, only Rose had. Of course, if Pink Diamond had these abilities, shouldn't her sisters have known about it? I don't pretend this is a perfect theory.

If it IS true, who would know about it? Greg specifically told Rose it wasn't important for him to know. Garnet may suspect--remember that weird breakdown she had, back in Keeping It Together, when Ruby and Sapphire argued within Garnet about whether Rose had known about the Cluster? Pearl may have important information that she can't reveal. To Amethyst, of course, all this is ancient history.

Also, there is only one Rose Quartz in the show, so we have nothing to compare her power to. The other Rose Quartzes are conveniently bubbled up in the Zoo. Wouldn't it be wild if they went up there to rescue them, popped all those bubbles... and nothing happened?
posted by JHarris at 10:35 AM on January 7, 2018

I'm sure there are a lot of ways around it, but for me the biggest strike against the RQ = PD thing is that Rose doesn't have those distinctive, creepy diamond pupils.
posted by valrus at 10:56 AM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Have we had any hint about White Diamond ? Where is she ?
posted by Pendragon at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

Still no direct mention of WD in the show (or confirmation that she even exists). Seems almost certain that she's an entity we'll encounter eventually, though. Someone on Youtube had a theory that White Diamond is kept out of view because she's a corrupted gem, which is wild conjecture but kind of a fun theory.
posted by duffell at 11:27 AM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

what about the fact that their gems are completely different?
posted by eustatic at 11:28 AM on January 7, 2018 [1 favorite]

eustatic: If you rotated Pink's gem 90 degrees so as to view it top down, what would you see?

Not saying I buy the theory 100%. But that'd be a plausible way for a gem to disguise themselves. I do hope that if it's true Steven manages to un-corrupt Jasper. What Rose did to Bismuth was bad; but if Rose was Pink Diamond then what she did to Jasper is beyond monstrous. On the one hand, I'd enjoy that, because Steven cleaning up his mom's messes is good drama and Jasper is kind of like Miles O'Brien or John Crichton. You don't want to see them suffer per se, but their suffering does make for good TV. On the other hand it creates some huge questions about motivation and just who the hell Rose Quartz actually was.
posted by Grimgrin at 12:20 PM on January 7, 2018 [2 favorites]

what the heck was Stevonnie using for the firepits? Do the sticks on that world burn turquoise?
posted by numaner at 11:04 PM on January 7, 2018

I am not sure how deep the gem mythology goes, but I wildly, irresponsibly speculate that a future season will introduce a godlike alien being or race who created gemkind.

Gemkind are themselves an ancient, weird race, but they often seem robot-like, and their civilization seems to be working, on an enormous scale, on... something. Remember when Peridot saw inside the temple and said something about being harvested when she saw all the bubbled gems? I think colony worlds create kindergartens, make gems, and these gems are somehow "harvested" by this reclusive overlord race. White diamond, the leader and perhaps first gem, is the emissary of this other force and passes on their orders; she's missing because constantly waiting by the space-phone for the god of the gems to call, or standing beside its lovecraftian space-throne.

It's a weak theory because I haven't seen them foreshadow it much, and having a purely evil big bad would be outside of the tone of the show. But, introducing an evil space god would be extremely anime, its elimination would allow for a crystal gem / gem empire team up leading to a happy ending in which gemkind ceases its destruction of worlds and cuddles up with humans, and it would explain why pink diamond had to be killed -- she committed gem heresy. It could also explain the corruption --it was a power or weapon that came from evil space god, in order to shut down the rebellion.
posted by Rinku at 12:18 AM on January 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also, great episode. Also, Jinx Monsoon did so, so good. And as soon as I heard Patti LuPone's amazing villain voice I freaked out a little.
posted by Rinku at 12:21 AM on January 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

>It's a weak theory because I haven't seen them foreshadow it much

These space gods are the Sneeple, obviously.

Also, apparently they couldn't get Patti LuPone and that was the VO for Connie's mom doing an impression of LuPone.
posted by fomhar at 12:50 AM on January 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Really? Huh. She did nail it though. Maybe that's why it affected me the way it did, that I recognized it as the right voice but then I heard the yellow diamond in it. It worked.
posted by Rinku at 1:38 AM on January 8, 2018

Yeah, I was fooled too Rinku. Took a second viewing to make me realize it was Mary Elizabeth McGlynn.

I am very firmly not of the opinion that Rose is Pinky. They have eye witnesses (including the Eyeball witness) that saw the two of them in the same place at the same time, outside of the assassination. We know that Bismuth said Rose Quartz is from earth, and the Earth has not been colonized as of the dream sequence. And there are other Rose Quartzes in those bubbles, so presumably the other gems know how to spot a RQ gem.

I also think it totally guts the message of the show - that ordinary people can be extraordinary - to make RQ Pinkie in disguise. Every other Crystal Gem is ordinary in some way, and has made themselves extraordinary. Connie is an ordinary human too, and Steven is always finding the specialness in other people. It is thematically out of rhythm to suddenly undermine that by making Steven the Special Magical Hidden Prince Pink Diamond.

I still think she's dead. I think it was Pearl, shape shifted into Rose, which is why, as the zircons said, none of her retinue saw it coming. Pearl just went where she was supposed to be, that killed her oppressor. I don't think Rose would have wanted to shatter anyone, Pinkie included. She bubbles Bismuth, after all, and had a special sword made that would incapacitate but not kill. If she was willing to off a diamond, why would it be difficult for her to end a soldier, too?
posted by Jilder at 3:14 AM on January 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

My household has a pet theory that (and I'm not sure whether color theory makes this work?) White Diamond is a fusion of Blue, Yellow, and Pink Diamonds, and can thus never again exist since Pink is shattered.
posted by brainwane at 9:52 AM on January 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I keep wondering if White Diamond could actually be a fusion of the other three Diamonds -
so without Pink, they can't form White. Their court could be so anti-fusion because the Diamonds don't want their secret guessed.
posted by tomboko at 9:57 AM on January 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow, I was still typing that when you posted, brainwane. I am glad someone else thinks this is possible!
posted by tomboko at 9:58 AM on January 8, 2018

One issue with the White-Diamond-is-a-fusion theory is the murals in the moon base. One would think that the number and types of planets that White is holding up would then match the numbers of individual planets the other Diamonds hold, but they don't. What's more, Yellow holds two *stars* with bodies orbiting them, and White holds a sphere that may also be a star, or could represent something else (maybe Homeworld).

However, if the murals could be reconciled with the WD fusion theory, it could be a powerful support for it.
posted by JHarris at 10:24 AM on January 8, 2018

How are they going to fit all this into, what Fourteen episodes left?
posted by eustatic at 10:26 AM on January 8, 2018

White diamond is also depicted as having a gem on her forehead, which wouldn't be consistent with gem placement on fusions. I assume the sphere White holds in her hands on that mural is Homeworld.

I also suspect Gems are a manufactured race, but I think their masters are long dead (or destroyed) and they're still coasting on the explore/expand/exploit/exterminate imperative designed into them.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

The show has not been said to end in 14 episodes. The closest we had is that the original plan for the show was to last to the end of a 5th season. Plans change, and Crewniverse have been heard saying that they wanted to be open to explore a bit. This could be taken as a sign that the show is headed towards major resolutions at the end of Season 5, even if not a conclusion.

SU's willingness to examine both large-scale events (the Cluster! Diamond intrigue) and small (Sadie quits Big Donut! Pearl looks for new romance!) means they could find lots of stories to tell even if the major threat of gem war is resolved. So it is likely the show will last beyond Season 5; the crew hasn't disbursed overall (a few members have left, but they've also been hiring).

BTW, just to poke a hole in the Rose-is-Pink-Diamond theory from earlier. It should be noted that both Yellow and Blue have now been in the direct presence of Steven, and Steven's gem, and neither of them seemed to notice any simularity. But there is still something that doesn't add up--we know that gem shards have power, sometimes significant power, and no shards of Pink Diamond's gem have ever been shown or mentioned.

Here's another thing to factor into your theory-making, whatever they might be. Don't forget about the Pyramid Mural, from way back in Serious Steven. It's events have never been accounted for. There, a gem that is clearly Rose Quartz is opposing against another gem that *may* be a Diamond. But which Diamond? Her gem is on her chest, which only matches Yellow or Blue, but her hairstyle matches White. That mural remains one of the biggest mysteries of the show; note that the hands at the bottom resemble those of the Cluster as it tried to form.

Nice use of the 4X video game trope to describe the Gempire, Mr.Encyclopedia.
posted by JHarris at 10:56 AM on January 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Here's another out-there thought: The corrupting light/song is implied to have been broadcast to the gems on earth by the diamonds. Jasper showed us that it's possible to "catch" corruption if you have terrible quarantine practices. Where did the corruption originate from? None other than White Diamond, who has existed for so many untold eons that her mind is ruined and she serves as nothing more than a figurehead of the gem empire.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:48 PM on January 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

There are few shows that it's such fun to theorize about as Steven Universe!
posted by JHarris at 7:17 PM on January 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ratings are in! Steven Universe scored 1.1M viewers that week, coming in 10th place in all of cable among the 18-54 demographic. I guess the show can still do pretty well when you don't spoil the episodes early on the app!
posted by JHarris at 12:36 AM on January 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

oh yeah, speaking of, I ended up having to watch the episodes illegally on Daily Motion. first I tried the app, and after finally getting to Lars of the Stars and clicking on it, an ad plays. NBD, it's just one ad. But no, the ad freezes! And then it loads another ad! The ads just wouldn't not stop freezing and loading another!

So then I tried the website on my phone, except even Android 8.1 don't have the latest flash plugin so their player wouldn't load. Then I tried the website on my computer, and even without ad-block, the player wouldn't play. The page seems to load fine but the player is just a black screen with no messages and nothing to click on.

Ugh, i hate cartoon network's technical stuff so bad.
posted by numaner at 4:22 PM on January 9, 2018 [4 favorites]

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