Steven Universe: Reunited, parts 1 and 2
July 6, 2018 5:52 PM - Season 5, Episode 23 - Subscribe

posted by thesmallmachine (63 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Hey! Only problem I have with this post (GREAT description!) is the title is "Reunited".
posted by JHarris at 5:55 PM on July 6

I have no words, it was amazing.

And the preview was almost crazier than the episode itself!
posted by Memo at 5:57 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]

Dammit, you're right -- I'll contact with a correction.
posted by thesmallmachine at 5:57 PM on July 6

So, this episode is like ASDFGHJKL, Part 2. Big ol' Diamond fite! The Cluster's back, and it's on our side! Peridot getting thrown at Blue Diamond! Creepy psychic out-of-body power for Steven! Greg running out of the house holding Cat Steven! Lapis is back! BARN ATTACK 200D6 DAMAGE!

And.... "It's you!"
posted by JHarris at 5:58 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]

So many great moments:

- Saphire's vows.
- Peridot throwing flowers at people and knocking Fryman down. My favorite!
- Greg being 100% prepared to seduce Blue Diamond.
- "I've felt worse"
- "I think it's a classic psychic ghost type situation" "Ah, of course!"

I'm guessing they poofed both Peridot and Lapis to dedicate an episode for them to actually talk things out once they reform. And to finally give them their Crystal Gem stars.
posted by Memo at 6:06 PM on July 6 [9 favorites]


When he was unconscious, I thought maybe Steven had been poofed, and this is what it looked like from his perspective.


OH and like, the freakin' wedding?! How adorable and wonderful was that?! Steven's wedding planner song! Ruby hot-footing it to the front while Greg speeds up his guitar plucking! Ruby's vows! Sapphire's vows! Garnet's fusion wedding outfit! Bismuth's armor! Peridot's dress! EVERYONE'S formal wear! Jamie and ex-Mayor Dewey dancing their lonelyhearts dance!

The fight, obviously: amazing. LAPIS FREAKING LAZULI! "I've felt worse," holy shit yes. Peridot flinging soda cans at Blue. Bismuth admiring Peridot's spunk.

Patti LuPone, man, she makes Yellow terrifying. Growling her lines and shit. YES.
posted by duffell at 6:08 PM on July 6 [7 favorites]

[Fixed title.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:10 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]

"Think of yourself too, Pearl!" "I'll do it for ME!" I know I'm not getting the lines precisely right but Sweet Gem Jesus, YES.
posted by duffell at 6:11 PM on July 6 [11 favorites]

This was a, well, a climactic episode, and so full of awesome. Just think about how the team was curbstomped by one Quartz soldier on that same beach but were holding their own against the diamonds. Yellow and Blue are officially resolved as villians, though of course there's questions remaining like "Are they going to let Steven/Pink and the Earth alone now or what?" If there's really another season coming, there's got to be a new conflict. Are they going to finally tap the mysteriously absent White Diamond? Are we going to delve into even deeper Gem lore, like their origins?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:14 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]

If there's really another season coming, there's got to be a new conflict.

I mean, as happy (yet conflicted, no doubt) as the Diamonds might be to learn the truth about Pink/Rose, I don't think they'll be willing to give up on their brutally enforced hierarchy, colonial projects, and mass exploitation of the universe, so...
posted by duffell at 6:18 PM on July 6 [4 favorites]

I was just describing to a friend how much I love this show. It's the only show out there that can not only get me excited about a wedding but actually get me to tear up at wedding outfits. Seeing Peridot in a dress... yes! Even better though was seeing Sapphire in a tux and realizing that Ruby would probably be wearing a dress. My dog was real confused at my squees of delight.

On preview, White Diamond is definitely the fusion of the three diamonds. Cyan+Yellow+Magenta = wait.. that equals black? Still I don't think their color scheme is a coincidence.

Any word on when new episodes might drop after this?
posted by runcibleshaw at 6:19 PM on July 6

On preview, White Diamond is definitely the fusion of the three diamonds. Cyan+Yellow+Magenta = wait.. that equals black? Still I don't think their color scheme is a coincidence.

There's a white hand in the shot when the Diamonds used their powers to corrupt the earth. So... maybe a future villain once Blue and Yellow get defeated by Steven's talking powers?
posted by Memo at 6:22 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]

I'm kind of dying to know what Ronaldo and Bismuth's conversation at the reception was like.
posted by duffell at 6:24 PM on July 6 [6 favorites]


I thought Steven DIED (his body was pink like Lars!!!) and I was like "oh god no don't do this to me noooooo"

and now we wait for the new episodes!...WHEN?!
posted by divabat at 6:30 PM on July 6

At some point Lapis is going to get frustrated that her major story moments keep getting upstaged by RQ=PD drama.
posted by traveler_ at 6:39 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't count out the Diamonds not being antagonists. Steven is a meatball preventing Pink from reforming. If I were a tyrannical overlord with a deep disdain for the individual, it'd be nothing to peel the meat off to get to the stone.

I was so pleased to see Lapis, and to see her fighting with the power of Emo. I knew she had to be back - she's just too good a character to let go. My filthy shipper's heart was hoping for a big ole fusion hug with Peridot, but I'm just glad she's back.

And Peri in a little yellow sundress flying into the face of Blue!

And Greg, man, you're always willing to put it on the line for the fam, aren't you? There's giant women, then there's giant women.

What else - Gunga's on this mayor business, isn't she?

That said, it was getting a bit annoying to have Steven narrating everything. Like, we can see the cluster dude - we don't need you to tell us it's fighting on our side if we can see it fighting on our side. It's something that I've noticed a bit with the later season. There's a lot of that, Steven just babbling away to himself. I think it really started around Gem Harvest, actually. Just let the story tell itself already.
posted by Jilder at 6:40 PM on July 6 [5 favorites]

I also think this is one of the first times Cartoon Network's inhumane scheduling actually worked. We got Can't Go Back and A Single Pale Rose to update us on Lapis and reveal the truth about Rose, then we get some time off to process before we move forward with this week of further developments. I could definitely see this all having less impact with a standard one a week format. I'm not going to defend the endless hiatuses but in this one specific instance, it worked.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:41 PM on July 6 [2 favorites]

Now I've had a chance to collect my thoughts, a few things I noticed:

Lapis still doesn't know Steven is Pink Diamond yet does she? The last of the non-corrupted gems to learn? (Oh no, Lars & the off-colours still haven't heard yet either.) ((Plus all the other homeworld gems like the famethyst and Holly Blue and oh well, you know what I mean.))

The wedding cake was a together breakfast.

Ruby's expressions have been getting progressively cuter throughout this bomb but she maxes out when she sees Sapphire at the altar.

Rose's sword got trashed. The barn got trashed. Half the house got trashed. There's going to be a lot of rebuilding.

"Dearly beloved: gems, humans, lions big and small, living gourds, Onion."
posted by traveler_ at 7:35 PM on July 6 [12 favorites]

My favorite revelation came in the end-of-episode preview. I only got to see it once, but it sounded to me like it confirmed my theory about the war-ending Diamond attack intent being to obliterate the Crystal Gems, not corrupt them, that the corruption was something else, maybe a gem defense mechanism.
posted by JHarris at 9:33 PM on July 6

Earth being Earth, perhaps, JHarris.
posted by Jilder at 10:11 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]

I've considered that, but I am not sure. I've theorized that there's something about Earth, above its culture and lack of authoritarian oversight, that is healthy for gems, that it might be why Peridot's metal powers have awakened and slowly improved, may be why Lapis is so absurdly strong, and may explain the extra little powers Pearl, Amethyst and Garnet seem to have. (Pearl's autonomous holograms and sand telekinesis, Amethyst's shapeshifting proficiency, and some of Garnet's great strength and senses [which I think may go beyond future vision]).

But if that is true, the Crewniverse has been cagey about it. There have been no absolute signs. Those all could be powers that those gems already had, just maybe didn't have opportunity to discover before reaching Earth (if they didn't originate here).

My theory about corruption is based on the fact that most of the corrupted forms seem to simulate animals, which is something gems do not ordinarily have contact with. They seem to take after biological processes. Remember, Centipeedle Mk. 1 and the Pufferfish had young, although without gems, the sea worm in Bubble Buddies was attracted to light and ate the glowing seaweed, and then there's the most mysterious of all the corrupted monsters, the Heaven and Earth Beetles. The Heaven Beetle had a little Beetle Bedroom that was shockingly well-furnished, including a ceiling fan, backpack with H.B. on it, a TV and even a video game system. Some of that could just be a sight gag, but SU doesn't usually go into throwaway gags like that unless there's some real aspect to them.

(And then there are creatures that seem to be Earth animals, but that seem to be affected by gem magic, like the crystal shrimp from Cheeseburger Backpack and the masked fish from Island Adventure. What is up with them?)
posted by JHarris at 11:13 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


Even better though was seeing Sapphire in a tux and realizing that Ruby would probably be wearing a dress.

The fandom seems to agree that putting Ruby in a wedding dress is Sugar & Co giving Certain Other Countries a big middle finger for having cast a male voice-over actor as Ruby (in order that the children don't learn about Teh Gays). I have no idea how they're gonna get out of that--and with a full-on kiss, too!

it was getting a bit annoying to have Steven narrating everything. Like, we can see the cluster dude - we don't need you to tell us it's fighting on our side if we can see it fighting on our side. It's something that I've noticed a bit with the later season. There's a lot of that, Steven just babbling away to himself. I think it really started around Gem Harvest, actually. Just let the story tell itself already.

It will behoove all of us to remember that this is a show for young kids.
posted by tzikeh at 11:43 PM on July 6 [13 favorites]

Yeah I don't mind the narrating, it's just how the show gets some points across especially during more frantic scenes.
posted by numaner at 12:13 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]

So today is actually one of my close friends' wedding day. I watched this on the app past midnight so really it's like the wedding sequence is for today. I immediately felt the connection of what Steven was singing. We do indeed live in a time where there's an awful lot of awful things to think of, but for just today, let's think about love. It's amazing how these things work out... I'm going to enjoy what promises to be a great wedding today and I don't have to worry about lies and war and looming disasters.
posted by numaner at 12:18 AM on July 7 [13 favorites]

But yeah basically just AAAAAHHHHHHH about that whole episode.

Also wasn't there a thing on the bingo board about Pearl and Kiki?
posted by numaner at 12:20 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]

It was Pearl + Kiki Become BFFs, and I'm glad someone else noticed that!

There's so much in the episode that one of the biggest consequences got almost forgotten about: the Cluster is out, but has control of itself, and Steven can talk to it. The sight of it arm wrestling Yellow's ship was one of the most hilarious moments in the whole exhausting thing! The art design for it is particularly awesome: a huge red-and-blue mass of tissue like a hand without skin, quite unsettling, or at least I was unsettled.
posted by JHarris at 2:43 AM on July 7

It will behoove all of us to remember that this is a show for young kids.

I get that. It would annoy me less if they'd been doing it from the start. There was some pretty complex ideas dealt with over the first two seasons that were done beautifully without having Steven babble over the top - the bit at the end of Monster Hospital, for example, when Connie and her mother make up, and Steven is just standing sadly off to one side, for example, hand on his gem. Peri's redemption arc has whole patches of Peri and Steven off doing stuff without Steven narrating it. It's almost like they have to rush through a lot of things now that the seasons are shorter and are having Steven spell it out quickly rather than letting things happen organically over an episode or two.

Like, kids aren't stupid. They pick up on things just as well as we do, and better, in some cases - Mefites with kids watching SU have told us as much.
posted by Jilder at 4:14 AM on July 7

That said, it was getting a bit annoying to have Steven narrating everything.

This is still a show for kids, so that's to be expected.
posted by Pendragon at 5:43 AM on July 7

As for new conflict going into Season 6 (if we get one, which I think is likely):
- Not all issues with Blue and Yellow Diamond are necessarily resolved. It might not take the form of hostilities, but instead argument and maneuvering. Homeworld is still a repressive society that treats gems as disposable. At the very least Bismuth will make sure that gets remembered.
- Lars has yet to make it back home, and there's still a locked chest in that pocket dimension.
- There's still a lot of corrupted gems around, and looks like those won't be a simple fix.
- There's still a lot of first season mysteries that haven't been explained, not to mention there's now this weird psychic world that Steven seems able to interact with in dreams, both involving the Cluster and the other characters.
- And, of course, there's White Diamond, who may be to Yellow and Blue what they were to Pink.

And, finally, Steven Universe also works as a slice-of-life show. The real story is Steven growing up in a very non-traditional family (getting more non-traditional with every passing season). There's still lots of room for Beach City stories. They're not drenched in lore, but a lot of the show's energy and humor has always come from the human interacting with the alien.
posted by JHarris at 5:43 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]

My favorite revelation came in the end-of-episode preview.

I stopped at the preview bit and would consider it off limits in this discussion, please.
posted by Pendragon at 5:44 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]

That makes sense. Sorry about that.
posted by JHarris at 6:03 AM on July 7

About Ruby's dress -- yes, it's not only an adorable visual, but it's a cue to make no mistake: Ruby is pretty butch, but you're DEFINITELY looking at a queer wedding here. Sapphire in the tux, after years of setting up that Sapphire is a high femme even to the point of wearing a dress to play baseball, is one of the many amazing payoffs in this episode. Bold, precise, experimental.

The wedding was presented as this fun space where characters could experiment with gender presentation, but also confirm it. The brides both took it as an opportunity to play, but I got the sense that it was a butch coming-out moment for Pearl, when the tuxedo stops being about playing. Peridot's yellow sundress was maybe somewhere in between, and for Amethyst the wedding was more about coming out as...a polished adult? Anyway, it's a really well-observed view of how queer people (and especially queer women) have always expressed gender and played with its tropes, treated lightly and joyfully.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:50 AM on July 7 [24 favorites]

Also, the gender stuff in these episodes is so important for Ruby and Sapphire. When they move beyond their hero-worship of Rose and learn to see her as a person, they have to grow up. That means learning more about the sides of them that are a flower-bedecked bride, a suave groom, a femme soldier grieving the loss of her femme hero, and a cowboy. Sapphire and Ruby have always been sort of coded as adolescents, super intense and hormonal and giggly about their Beautiful Forbidden Love, but now they're moving forward as adults rather than just relying on Garnet to even things out. Exploring these gendered tropes is a huge part of how they do that! And it's not about drawing conclusions or figuring out the One True Gender Answer; that's not what becoming mature means at all. It means learning to question.
posted by thesmallmachine at 10:12 AM on July 7 [17 favorites]

Just as an aside, there's also nothing queerer than dropping a house on a wicked witch.
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:47 AM on July 7 [31 favorites]

UNLESS it's levitating and sending out waves of pink rose energy while demanding that your parents acknowledge you as family and understand who you are
posted by thesmallmachine at 11:49 AM on July 7 [15 favorites]

White Diamond is definitely the fusion of the three diamonds. Cyan+Yellow+Magenta = wait.. that equals black?

In pigment, yes, but in light, we get white.
posted by tzikeh at 12:24 PM on July 7 [4 favorites]

My interpretation of the tux thing is that in the world of Steven Universe, tuxedos are femme culture.
posted by divabat at 4:11 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

It IS kinda funny that Connie is the most femme human on the show. She and Lapis are carrying a lot of weight in that department.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:04 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

White Diamond is definitely the fusion of the three diamonds. Cyan+Yellow+Magenta = wait.. that equals black?

In pigment, yes, but in light, we get white.

Ohhh yeah, you're right, and so am I, which is the important part.
posted by runcibleshaw at 6:52 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

I'm a sucker for any story with a dream world component, and I hope they're going somewhere with whatever zone unconscious Steven was in. We've seen something similar in the past, with the cluster, and with Lapis/Jasper, but this seemed like a slightly more thorough exploration of it. I liked that the diamonds sensed Steven was there, and had some kind of mind-ray power there the other gems did not. What other entities might exist there? What reason do yellow and blue have for being conscious of that place? I get that it might just be a storytelling device, but it interests me. Given that the gems are a race of parasitic interstellar near-robots, what does it say about them and the world that they're all linked within a spirit realm? I guess you can't make to much of it, but still, I think it's a very interesting thread.
posted by Rinku at 7:25 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]

The dream world/"psychic ghost situation" could be something that all diamonds have access in some capacity, after all Blue seemed more than willing to weaponize her grief. It's interesting to note that not only did Blue and Yellow seem to have awareness of that place and launched an attack against Steven, but they interacted with each other. It could represent some fundamental connection between diamonds and other gems. Maybe Steven's organic bits make him even more capable of interfacing with it, and extending that influence to humans as well.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:41 PM on July 7

Forgot one! Steven shaving. Because he's going through the pubes.
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:13 PM on July 7

Steven's lone facial hair was great, but I'm gonna be SO MAD if he doesn't get to have a growth spurt via a magical girl transformation sequence.
posted by nonasuch at 8:23 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]

Mr Encyclopaedia: at least in the comics, if not the cartoon itself, Connie’s been partial to suits while Steven’s gone for dresses.
posted by divabat at 1:13 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]

Hah! According to the wiki: When Steven is shaving, he uses the razor Garnet gave him in "Three Gems and a Baby".

I think there's a good chance that the diamonds' reaction to the corrupted gems will be similar to their reaction to / treatment of off-colors. Corrupted = impure = must be destroyed. I think the happy reunion will be a brief one.

Now that the barn's been trashed and the house is in bad shape... maybe the house can be rebuilt with additional space for a larger team?
posted by duffell at 4:22 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]

I still think it felt like they were rushing to resolve the emotional fallout, especially with Bismuth -- one of those times when you really feel that 10-minute episode, 5 episodes every six months squeeze -- but this double-feature really knocked it out of the park, honestly. Steven's little song is affecting and in-character but also very zeitgeist, and I all the way teared up at Lapis being able to stand up to Blue Diamond because she knows trauma, because all this time she has been learning to live with it, because the very fact that she has showed up back on Earth is itself already an expression of her renewed determination and resilience.
posted by inconstant at 11:52 AM on July 8 [5 favorites]

Steven's lone facial hair was great, but I'm gonna be SO MAD if he doesn't get to have a growth spurt via a magical girl transformation sequence.

Another thing I hope we see is Steven going to school, and struggling a bit academically before solving stereotypical high-school social difficulties (bullying, cliques, burn out) with his god-level emotional intelligence and then having to leave on interstellar adventures.
posted by Rinku at 4:56 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

My understanding is that the tux/dress situation is to be a giant fuck you to distributors in other countries who have used male voice actors for Ruby to hide that it’s a queer relationship.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:41 PM on July 8 [6 favorites]

Rinku, there is a comic where Steven went to Connie's school for a couple of days. I've not seen it yet though.
posted by JHarris at 7:55 PM on July 8

I think I said 'I just have so many feelings' about six or seven times while watching this episode.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:47 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I would also like to note that there was a fairly recent official interview with Rebecca Sugar that inadventently featured extremely spoilery footage from the show. It's now evident that this footage is from the next episode of the show, since it features the smashed house, Bismuth, and of course, the two Diamonds on earth and seemingly non-antagonistic toward Steven. So, if you've been avoiding that interview because of the potential spoilers, it now doesn't contain anything we don't already know. The "coming soon" promo is more spoilery than that interview, since it hints in what direction the plot is going to go now.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:59 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

The main song, For Just One Day Let's Only Think About (Love), is on Spotify (as is Ruby Rider!) and I love how Broadway-ish it is. Like, I totally see a whole play happening as it plays.
posted by numaner at 12:13 PM on July 10 [7 favorites]

My wife has a delightful theory that Bismuth will help the townspeople rebuild, instantly becoming the most beloved gem in Beach City despite only having been unbubbled for like a week.
posted by duffell at 1:40 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]

random thought: i want to see someone cosplaying as Bismuth run into one of those gem shows where they sell actual gems and just start freaking out about all those poofed gems.
posted by numaner at 3:47 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]

Rebecca Sugar: the flowers in Ruby's hair are hydrangeas! They're based on the flowers my friend Celeste Lai wore in her wedding day.
posted by numaner at 4:28 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]

I was just thinking about how the dialogue went after the end of the episode.

Blue: "It's you! Pink!"
Steven: "Well, kind of...."
Yellow: "Wait a moment. Rose Quartz, infamous criminal, who fought the gem empire to a standstill, symbol to gems traitorous everywhere... she was Pink Diamond? Our Pink Diamond?!"
Blue: (stops, stands up) "Wait, how can that even be?"
Yellow: "I got her this colony because she threw a tantrum, yet she raised her own army to fight us and almost won?"
Blue: "While also maintaining her presence as Pink Diamond, until she faked her shattering."
Yellow: "That's actually kind of genius. To think we made her wear those doofy shoes all the time."
Blue: "Huh. I always wondered why Rose Quartz went barefoot...."
posted by JHarris at 6:06 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]

I may have been thinking about this.
posted by JHarris at 6:09 PM on July 15 [2 favorites]

Rebecca sugar came out as non-binary in this npr interview.

You can read a transcript of the relevant part of the interview in this article.
posted by Tabitha Someday at 8:41 AM on July 17 [3 favorites]

One thing that I just remembered... I wasn't really that surprised when it turned out that Rose == Pink, because the show has subtly hinted that Steven might be royalty at least twice. His "birthday suit," seen in two episodes, is a crown and cape. And at the end of Watermelon Stevens, after Steven told the watermelons to go off and think about what they did, Garnet said: "Spoken like a king," which Steven denied.
posted by JHarris at 3:09 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]

Rebecca sugar came out as non-binary in this npr interview.

It's been kind of amusing seeing people freaking out about this (often in a positive, squeeing sort of way) as if it were a huge surprise.

I do like that she said "non-binary woman" because it emphasizes there are many ways to identify as non-binary that are not strictly "neither woman nor man." It relieves me of a bit of "not enby enough" for continuing to use a masculine name, accepting either he/him pronouns, not coming out to coworkers etc.
posted by Foosnark at 8:11 AM on July 20 [4 favorites]

Heads up folks! Spoilers are around from the next episode, which was shown at SDCC yesterday. Some time today it's going to go live on the Cartoon Network app, so be ready for it! It's another portentous episode!

Also revealed at SDCC, there's going to be a Steven Universe movie!
posted by JHarris at 2:25 AM on July 22 [3 favorites]

On reading more about the panel, it seems it might be a TV movie.
posted by JHarris at 2:29 AM on July 22

yeah i had to unfollow the hashtag on instagram until i can see the episode. maybe like 1 in 20 posts actually had a SPOILER AHEAD first image for the multi-image posts.

i'm excited though!
posted by numaner at 12:30 PM on July 22 [1 favorite]

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