Steven Universe: Legs From Here to Homeworld
July 22, 2018 4:57 PM - Season 5, Episode 24 - Subscribe

Steven travels to visit family.
posted by Lurch (88 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
So... how long do you think the Diamonds will let Pink "keep her new form?"
posted by duffell at 5:14 PM on July 22, 2018


WHO is White's voice?? She sounds so much like the GLaDOS voice actor, Ellen McLain!
posted by tomboko at 5:18 PM on July 22, 2018


Christine Ebersole!
posted by duffell at 5:19 PM on July 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!

Aaaaaaah!

Okay, moving on.

Duffel, my dude, as soon as White started with the patronising soothing talk I was just waiting for her to reach down, pick Steven up, and peel the meat away from his gem the same way I brush mud off my son's feet after playing in the garden. Tender, caring, and completely oblivious. Like, I know it's not going to happen because this is television for children written by a playful and occasionally cryptic person, not a horrorshow spat out by Cronenberg or Lynch, but man alive I had a moment there, big time.

Also it's just dirty having a pearl voiced by someone other than Didi. There'll be a good reason, but that otherwise pleasant voice signalled "broken" far more effectively than the crack through the eye did.

Speaking of Pearls, where's Yellow P and Blue P? Are they poofed somewhere in the hand ships waiting to reform? It did take our Pearl a week to pick a form the last time she was poofed. See also: Lapis, Peridot. Speaking of which, of course Bismuth wants to stay on Earth. Smart move, Bismuth.

And YES CENTI. There's gunna be some angry Jasper stans who wanted her healed first, but Centi is the First of Firsts. She gets to be first forever as far as I'm concerned.

What else...

White Diamond. Yes. Yes. Perfect. She sounds kind, and thoughtful, and completely batshit insane. Such an expressive pair of eyes. So feeling. Gunna be a wild ride for our little meatball I think.
posted by Jilder at 5:30 PM on July 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


It seems like Steven's mind powers are an aspect of his Diamond nature. Yellow and Blue seemed to be accessing Nephrite on a low level to "repair" her, but it wasn't enough to put her back together. I guess if "restore the corrupted gems" is a overall goal of the series it's gonna take all 4 diamonds to do it.

Why were the gems on Earth corrupted instead of obliterated? Is it something about Earth, or did the diamonds miscalculate?

Pink's leg ship is 100% as silly as it was theorized to be. Also twice the size of the other diamond ships, which is... Interesting. Nice ass, though.

W...why does White Pearl look like that? What did White Diamond do to Homeworld? Why doesn't anyone there seem concerned, instead having a big "welcome home Pink" party? My theory that White is corrupted somehow isn't... Exactly right. She's not corrupt, but she doesn't seem entirely there either. What IS she? Did we even see her gem? It ought to be on her head but her head was just... Glowy. It seems like she used to be more mobile, but who's to say that body we saw is her body? The fact her body was drawn in the background rather than animated just makes her seem super off, which is surely the point.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:37 PM on July 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Why were the gems on Earth corrupted instead of obliterated? Is it something about Earth, or did the diamonds miscalculate?

My theory is that the weapon was conceived to use the power of all four diamonds, and without Pink it was operating at 75% capacity.
posted by Jilder at 5:42 PM on July 22, 2018


That was intense, but Pink's ship made me burst out laughing! LOTS to speculate about.

Several theories I've seen on Reddit so far:

-What we saw isn't actually WD's true form, judging from how she barely moved and Blue mentioned she hadn't left Homeworld in eons--maybe she's projecting onto a statue somehow?

-White Pearl was originally made for Pink, since her gem placement matches Pink's...but SOMETHING happened and White gave Pink our Pearl instead. Why is White Pearl so robotic? And what's up with her cracked eye?
posted by Lurch at 5:42 PM on July 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


Also, it was interesting how White Pearl matched WD's immobile pose.
posted by Lurch at 5:45 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yellow and Blue Pearl have left to start a band with Lars of the Stars. The REAL final battle in SU will be the Beach City Battle of the Bands with Sadie Killer and the Suspects facing off against Bingo-Bongo.
posted by duffell at 6:07 PM on July 22, 2018 [5 favorites]


So the Diamonds are clearly your typical wealthy WASP family: you have the dutiful first child (Yellow); the creative middle child who thinks she's nicer than she is and lives in the eldest's shadow (Blue); the rebellious youngest child who can't take the family's hypocrisy (Pink); and the terrifying matriarch who never acknowledges the problems under the surface and rules with an iron fist. Someone call Arthur Miller and make this into a mid-century drama.
posted by CatastropheWaitress at 6:15 PM on July 22, 2018 [33 favorites]


Dear CatastropheWaitress, that was perfect. I would fav it twice if I could. Also, I'm sure it was fully conscious on the writers' part!
posted by thesmallmachine at 6:21 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


Same CatastropheWaitress, family dynamics "writ large," so to speak.

As for why Homeworld is a wreck... well, look at the planet in Jungle Moon. This is the natural result of gem development confined to one world. You saw the Homeworld Kindergarten back in Off-Colors, it's possible the whole core of the planet is just decayed shafts filled with gem holes. I'm surprised it hasn't all collapsed on itself.

What will happen next with Steven? I think it's something that the show's been building towards for a long time. With all of the positive depictions of same-sex and alternative relationships and lifestyles, it's time to tackle one of the hardest parts....

Pink Diamond isn't Pink Diamond any more. He is Steven now. How is he going to get his big big family to accept that? They've been stuck in their ways for thousands of years....
posted by JHarris at 6:29 PM on July 22, 2018 [4 favorites]


duffel, that's as valid a speculation as any. And CatastropheWaitress, great analysis - after all, so many great stories are variations on things written before ... of course Rebecca and company will put some kind of jaw-dropping spin on it.

When I saw the movie teaser before the spoiler episode, I looked at the last face in the gem and thought (1)that's obviously not White Diamond, (2)that must be the 'Big Bad' not just for the movie but probably the upcoming story arc and (3)what's with the Mickey Mouse ears?

And all previous communiques said Season 5 would have 26 episodes and 'Legs' is #25. Is the movie #26, or is there something 'in the can' we're going to see semi-soon?
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:51 PM on July 22, 2018


For a long time my "master theory" has been that the absence of Pink Diamond has fundamentally broken something about gem civilization. (In fact I think I got that from season 1's The Message, when Lapis Lazuli tells us Homeworld has changed from the old days and she doesn't like it.) And that Rose Quartz's embrace of change, symbolically and physically in Steven, would be the cure. I expected the show's apotheosis to be Steven Heals Homeworld.

In light of these recent revelations I still think that's the endgame: RQ=PD amplifies the importance of change, and becoming someone new. But now also with White Diamond I think homeworld has problems that go beyond an imbalance of the humours: she's cracking up. But I can't imagine a more literal representation of somebody being too rigid.

So yeah JHarris, I think getting everyone to accept Steven is who that person is now, ending with getting White to accept it, is going to be the culmination of the core arc.
posted by traveler_ at 7:52 PM on July 22, 2018


oh my god I love white diamond so much

by which I mean she is TERRIFYING

I always hoped she would be more of a cosmically overpowered character, like Galactus or some such, and this is even better. It's very GLaDOS. Super menacing.

My take on WD's pearl is that she is Pearl 1.0. The template, possibly. White seems like the kind of gem who gets nostalgic and would keep her first Pearl, even if never ones are less robotic.

The world inside her Head Tower (which, lets extrapolate here, is also probably her ship) is very reminiscent of an old 50s black and white TV show, and white diamond projects a formidable blend of cosmic supervillain and June Cleaver.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 8:36 PM on July 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


Steven is initially awkward at piloting the leg ship, but he's grown in skill by the time he has to brake it, and it strikes me that he figures it out so quickly because he's already walked in heels (in "Sadie's Song") and doesn't need to learn that part. Joking but not joking: this show is SO tight. All the things Steven randomly learns how to do will eventually be important.
posted by thesmallmachine at 9:17 PM on July 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


cutting the scene right as we hear an explosion is maximum cliffhanger moxie, and I love it
posted by smasuch at 10:24 PM on July 22, 2018 [1 favorite]


So the Diamonds are clearly your typical wealthy WASP family

"Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together..."
posted by speicus at 12:18 AM on July 23, 2018 [15 favorites]


I can't believe I didn't realize this before, considering I even used to talk about how all the gems' palettes are basically pride flags, but Steven Universe is a coming-out story.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 1:12 AM on July 23, 2018 [3 favorites]


I'm happy the rumors about Christine Ebersole turned out to be true! For all you non-theater kids, here's her singing an eerily apropos song. Can't wait for her to sing on the show.

My early unformed theory is that's not WD, or at least not her actual "body". Where's her gem? Why isn't she moving? Why hasn't she left Homeworld in so long? Why is this Pearl voiced by her and not Deedee and why is she so robotic? I feel like this is a Wizard of Oz situation maybe?

anyway poor Centi. :( I know they'll figure it out but that was rough.
posted by colorblock sock at 5:50 AM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


Theory: She is homeworld.
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:52 AM on July 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


-What we saw isn't actually WD's true form, judging from how she barely moved and Blue mentioned she hadn't left Homeworld in eons--maybe she's projecting onto a statue somehow?

-White Pearl was originally made for Pink, since her gem placement matches Pink's...but SOMETHING happened and White gave Pink our Pearl instead. Why is White Pearl so robotic? And what's up with her cracked eye?


Pearl's projection ability makes a lot more sense now if these two things turn out to be the case! I actually wondered, way back when we saw the murals, that White WAS Homeworld for the longest time (and her planet/colony with the many satellites represented the entirety of Gem society and conquest), especially since no one ever mentioned her directly. Until the story of the corruption showed three hands extended towards Earth.

Maybe White Pearl is robotic because she basically is one?
posted by Freeze Peach at 5:59 AM on July 23, 2018


Theory: She is homeworld.

I love this.
posted by thesmallmachine at 8:11 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


a. Aw I wanted to see Peri and Lapis with their stars
b. WD has some awesome toenails.
c. Her lack of movement except for her face reminds me of that lady made out of nothing but stretched skin in the Eccleston Doctor Who.
d. I am sad about damaged White Pearl and want to know her story. I am also a little excited by the fan theory that a PEARL is behind the curtain and WD is actually out of commission. Except that would mean an Evil Pearl so maybe not.
e. Poor Centi keeps almost being ok, then not. Hopefully she remembers none of it. Except Chaaps and that Steven=Friend.
f. How do Lars and the Off-Colors tie into all this again I wonder?
posted by emjaybee at 8:31 AM on July 23, 2018 [5 favorites]


Here's another theory for you. Steven has been puzzling over why Rose/Pink had him. Well, as she said in Greg the Babysitter, she considers human's ability to grow up an amazing power.

Pink Diamond never got the hang of flying her ship. As thesmallmachine pointed out, he managed to land successfully when they arrived. It's not just that Steven learned to walk in heels, he's just better at learning things than Pink Diamond was.

When you're learning something new, there is no greater obstacle than incorrect things you already know. Gems emerge knowing what they need to know. What if that knowledge is incorrect? Humans are better able to determine for themselves what's correct or not. Pink wished she had an opportunity to grow into her role instead of being handed it and expected to be a Diamond from the start. Maybe there's something else about her that got in the way--being so much smaller than the others may have resulted in them looking down on her.

Now, her station is in the hands of someone with a profoundly different way of looking at the universe, and is better able to grow and adapt to new challenges.
posted by JHarris at 8:35 AM on July 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


What do you folks think about the Star Wars references? WD's Pearl's hair, YD failing to lift her ship.
posted by bdc34 at 10:51 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I also love "Homeworld is White Diamond" other than the implication that at one point White Diamond wasn't limited to Homeworld. I get the impression that White is different than she used to be, and I really like the idea that White is basically insane and running the empire is now left to Yellow and Blue. Now it could be that White has changed, or it could be that Yellow and Blue assume/were told that White used to be different.

But I like the idea of a planet developing a crystalline conciousness which then hollows out and destroys itself by using every scrap of resource to produce child gems, then sents those gems out to do the same to other worlds. It's as plausible as any idea, and is there really any doubt whatsoever that whatever White Diamond is she is the oldest and likely the first gem. It reminds me of the background regarding the original vampires from Anne Rice's vampire books.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:27 AM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


I've seen fan theories that WD is the result of a white dwarf that cooled to form a diamond core. They're actually quite common, as white dwarfs are usually made of carbon and oxygen and are dense enough to crystallize it to diamond. Homeworld would literally have been a star that went nova.
posted by domo at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2018 [6 favorites]


that was bonkers. wow. i'm not going to theorize anything.

"oh geez you don't know what a mom is"
posted by numaner at 4:40 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


what i wanna know, is how does the atmosphere on a broken up planet work? does the source of gravity hold everything mostly together except atmosphere also flow through the cracks and the gaps of the breaks? that's super fascinating.
posted by numaner at 4:44 PM on July 23, 2018 [1 favorite]


what i wanna know, is how does the atmosphere on a broken up planet work? does the source of gravity hold everything mostly together except atmosphere also flow through the cracks and the gaps of the breaks? that's super fascinating.

Hmmm... were the pieces being held apart with some structure? I can't remember and it's non-trivial for me to pull up that part again. If pieces of the planet were just floating they'd come back together by mutual gravitational attraction. If they're being held apart there'd be some complicated tidal forces between the different pieces.
posted by runcibleshaw at 5:23 PM on July 23, 2018


Hmmm... were the pieces being held apart with some structure?

There's a screenshot and, nope. It looks like part of it might sort of be glommed together but with a weird gap.

My guess for how this works is: magic
posted by Foosnark at 8:11 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


A friend said that WD gave her immediate vibes of old hollywood, specifically "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" -- I definitely get some of the same feelings, which makes Steven's situation maybe even more worrying
posted by flatluigi at 9:00 PM on July 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


So my big question now is: if you really need all four of them to solve corruption, how is that going to work with WD being crazypants? Are they going to, as a trio, fix her first? Find a workaround that doesn't require her?

Steven + team have already solved:

1. Threat of Peridot + Jasper
2. Threat of the Cluster
3. Threat of Blue and Yellow; they're not going to turn on him now, Blue is certainly already sentimental about him and Yellow seems at least capable of feeling guilt about Pink, so not likely to hurt him either.

WD is the Final Boss, and we're not even sure what *kind* of threat she is. Is she Firelord Ozai-type just-plain-evil? Is she badly damaged but capable of healing/turning? Those are basically your two options, yes?

"Steven wins WD over with his love" would seem like a cop-out for this show, the kind of Power of Looove ending that kid shows always fall back on. SU has in the past admitted that while many people can be persuaded to your side, some cannot or will not.

Similarly, "Big Bad is vanquished by some sort of team combo/superweapon" is also a cliche.

But where else can they go with this? In most shows I would assume it would be a cliche ending and accept, welp, that's the way it goes. But the writing has been so good on this one that I'm hoping for a resolution that makes sense but still avoids those cliches.
posted by emjaybee at 9:47 AM on July 24, 2018


Is there a black or green or whatever diamond yet to be announced? There have been no clues to one I've noticed but but but but... BUT their ships are like ONE TORSO away from forming a Voltron or a Megazord
posted by elr at 1:25 PM on July 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


(assuming the giant white head is a ship, of course, which I very much want it to be)
posted by elr at 1:27 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Similarly, "Big Bad is vanquished by some sort of team combo/superweapon" is also a cliche.

We haven't seen the Temple Fusion yet (Ruby + Sapphire + Pearl + Amethyst + Rose/Pink). Not even in a flashback during the wars on Earth. But it seems unlikely that even that could defeat White Diamond since it was never suggested as a way to deal with previous threats.

(For that matter, we've only seen two Steven-fusions, or know whether they are the same as Rose fusions (e.g. Rainbow Quartz). And we don't know whether Peridot, as an Era 2 gem, can fuse, but I kinda want to see a Peri/Lapis fusion...)

There's also Bismuth and the Breaking Point; though IIRC the original was destroyed, presumably she could make another. She is currently unable to accept the Blue/Yellow apparent heel-face turn and is left to her own devices right now... but that seems like kind of a shocking end.

And there's the Cluster. It's in the center of the Earth right now, but thinking about how Homeworld looks like it's broken open, it seems suggestive.

With White Pearl being all busted-looking, as well as Homeworld itself, I suspect Steven's healing powers may come into play in some way. Or his way with organic life might even fix Homeworld -- I think that'd be a fitting way to bring the whole conflict to a close, given it was Rose/Pink's appreciation for organic life that caused her to rebel.

Is there a black or green or whatever diamond yet to be announced?

If so, maybe waaaaaaay back in the past. All the Great Diamond Authority stuff we've seen on Earth, the Moon, the Galaxy Warp, the jungle moon etc. has had a 4-diamond motif (or 3 with missing/defaced Pink).

I'm guessing WD's ship is a head + torso.
posted by Foosnark at 1:37 PM on July 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Steven's healing powers aren't unique, though, I think all the diamonds have the power to heal, but they have never utilized it to the extent that Pink did (Yellow complained about healing Centipeedle but knew exactly what to do). I do think that Steven's existence has to represent the way forward for gemkind, since it seems their current strategy is producing weaker and weaker gems. Gems need to embrace organic life the way Rose did if they want to carry on into the future. I wonder if it has something to do with proximity to White Diamond, the further away from Homeworld a gem is produced the weaker that gem is. That could certainly cause their colonization efforts to falter, and perhaps explains the shattered failed colony Stevonnie saw on the jungle moon. The planet's gems were unsuitably weak and the colony was abandoned as a failure.

We've seen very, very little of White so far but she seems more on the "Insane" side of the spectrum than "Evil". She's like a scary abusive family member that everyone placates while quietly working around her because nobody can stand up to her. I guess you could call that evil, but it's a very realistic kind of evil because it's really just her following her agenda with zero regard for the desires or interests of anything under her.

If there is some other antagonist beyond White Diamond, and I doubt there is, I imagine it's going to have to be something outside the Gem empire rather than some hidden internal threat. White strikes me as the self-made type, but it's still possible that the gems were produced as some form of self-replicating weapon that went out of control, and perhaps whoever made that weapon is still out there. Or perhaps there's just some other alien race out there that the Gems need to fight off? Neither option stikes me as very interesting, though. Too space opera-y.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:58 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it has something to do with proximity to White Diamond, the further away from Homeworld a gem is produced the weaker that gem is.

A hole in this might be Pink herself; surely she would be produced as close to possible to white, and yet she is so much smaller than her sisters Blue and Yellow. I do agree that gem society is in deep decline, and that Steven's dual nature as gem and human will provide a way forward, but I think it must be more complicated that physical proximity to white.
posted by Rinku at 5:14 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


There are two particular cards the show has not played yet that I can think of--
1. We have seen, in a way, the temple fusion. We saw it, in stagecraft form, in Historical Friction, as the entity that took down the monster that threatened William Dewey's ship. But there's something potentially greater. We've so far only seen one Steven fusion with a human, Stevonnie. It's possible, if it involves Steven, that we could get a fusion with Connie and other gems, which would have unknown properties.
2. The Cluster is in a bubble. What happens when a bubble is warped? It goes "home." Steven and the other CGs, they go to the temple basement. With Peridot, it went to the Barn. Think: If Blue or Yellow Diamond warped it, where would it go? Do they have motivation now to do such a thing? If not, do you think they might if White Diamond, who never leaves Homeworld, completely flips out?

We've seen no indication that gems grown away from Homeworld are weaker. On the contrary, gems grown on Homeworld now are small (like our Era 2 Peridot) and depowered, while Earth gems are full size, and in Jasper's case, extra-powered. And Steven's healing powers, outside of possible decorruption, are still unique. The only other way gems have shown being repaired from physical damage is through the fluid from Peridot's robonoids/her ship's escape pod.

BTW, we now have a bit of uncertainty over whether the planet in Jungle Moon was a failed colony, since it resembles Homeworld to an extent. It's certainly not a fancy colony, of course, but maybe Pink Diamond's early idea of a colony was different from Yellow's?

I've heard that there are plans for more seasons of Steven Universe beyond this one, which are certainly possible with the show's slow-boil approach to things. There's the human subplots of course, there's definitely more stories that can be told of Rose and Greg, and the time between the war and the present, and the history of the Earth in that timeline. And Lars is still out there, of course.

We've seen gem warships, but nothing about what they would be used for other than attacking rebel gems. It's possible that there's some spaceborne threats out there, but that hasn't been foreshadowed which makes it seem unlikely.

And as I've mentioned before there's also lots of early show things that haven't been played up on. The Shooting Star, the Heaven and Earth Beetles, the creepy scroll from Together Breakfast, the Sea Spire, the time laboratory, and such. I guess we'll just have to see where it goes....
posted by JHarris at 8:43 PM on July 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is there a black or green or whatever diamond yet to be announced? There have been no clues to one I've noticed but but but but... BUT their ships are like ONE TORSO away from forming a Voltron or a Megazord
posted by elr at 1:25 PM on July 24 [1 favorite +] [!]


white has the torso
posted by eustatic at 9:07 PM on July 24, 2018


Similarly, "Big Bad is vanquished by some sort of team combo/superweapon" is also a cliche.

But where else can they go with this?


I feel like it's been hinted that a Peridot + Bismuth + Lapis + Steven/Rose + (all crystal gems?) + (cluster?) fusion can OP the "resource limitation" problem at the core of the plot, they are all builders, engineers. Peridot in particular has been learning biology...

more relevant, the world building skills of these two gems, particularly Peridot, is a solution to the problem of "resources", which will probably be revealed as the root or stemming from the root of what is wrong with white diamond / homeworld, since Peridot was so surprised about Yellow Diamond's dismissal of the resource issue.

I can tell you with certainty that there are things on this planet worth protecting.
posted by eustatic at 9:21 PM on July 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


It seems pretty clear, especially in this season, that Rebecca Sugar and the SU creators have made a conscious decision to resolve conflicts with as little violence and as much emotional truth as they can. It is somewhat disappointing in that I love the action in the show, and a lot of the action happens when there is physical conflict. I suspect that there will be some big flashy setpiece where Steven and the Gems get to show off their stuff against White Diamond, but that the final battle will be an emotional one.
posted by runcibleshaw at 10:55 PM on July 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


We haven't seen the Temple Fusion yet (Ruby + Sapphire + Pearl + Amethyst + Rose/Pink). Not even in a flashback during the wars on Earth

I do wonder if Rose ever fused with someone who didn't know her secret (i.e. not Pearl) or if she could without giving herself away.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:55 AM on July 25, 2018


What has the Diamond Authority been doing for the last six thousand years that will make them the laughing stock of the universe?
posted by bdc34 at 10:49 AM on July 25, 2018


Pearl successfully lied to Garnet while they were Sardonyx, re: comm tower, so it seems possible
posted by eustatic at 1:02 PM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


What has the Diamond Authority been doing for the last six thousand years that will make them the laughing stock of the universe?

They misplaced the youngest, weakest member of their matriarchy on a backwater planet in the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy and their empire has experienced a decline in her absence?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:22 PM on July 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Pearl successfully lied to Garnet while they were Sardonyx, re: comm tower, so it seems possible

yeah but that's a knowledge thing, i think if you fuse with another gem you would recognize instinctively what kind of gem you're fusing with. but i wouldn't discount a diamond's ability to disguise themselves as whatever gem they can pass off as, in this case a quartz.
posted by numaner at 1:28 PM on July 25, 2018


numaner: That was always one of the big data points against Rose being PQ prior to the reveal for me. Smokey Quartz says something along the lines that Amethyst should have known their name, which always suggested to me that Rose and Ame had fused at some point. So either a) that's not the case and Smokey was wrong, or b) Pink was capable of hiding that in a fusion.
posted by Jilder at 2:54 PM on July 25, 2018


They misplaced the youngest, weakest member of their matriarchy on a backwater planet in the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of the galaxy

HOMEWORLD (GEM): Not to be confused with GEMWORLD, of Princess Amethyst fame. Dangerous. Not advised to visit, not only is the planet geologically unstable and liable to collapse, but the locals are minded of empire and distrustful of organic life. Silicon-based lifeforms are also not trusted, considered by gems as "doing it the wrong way around." Energy-based lifeforms have experienced some success at infiltrating and introducing natives to drinking and sex, although they require adaptation to fully participate. One particularly bold Hooloovoo reporter for the Guide managed to get involved in a torrid affair with a Lapis Lazuli, but when she got to know the reporter better came to regard them as insubstantial, a charge that could be levied against most Guide reporters, in one way or another, if they were honest with themselves.
posted by JHarris at 4:44 PM on July 25, 2018 [15 favorites]


Some things I'm super curious about and I hope get explained:

1: why have the diamonds decreased in size over time? (Or do they get bigger as they age?)

2: were the diamonds somehow "planned" as a complete set of four, given that their megazord spaceships form a complete figure? If so, to what end? Are diamonds more than very powerful gems created to be rulers?

3: were the gems created by a second party, or did they arise by chance in some way? Relatedly, is the expansionism of gem society part of a specific purpose?
posted by Rinku at 5:16 PM on July 25, 2018


It's an interesting question, because we're told that gems emerge from the ground already knowing everything they're supposed to know, but we also see gems like Amethyst and Pink Diamond who are not only smaller than they should be but also act less mature than their peers. Was Pink undercooked the same way Amethyst was? I kinda suspect she was. I don't doubt that White was the first gem, but I also suspect her first order of business was to create three underlings to carry out her wishes, and Yellow and Blue emerged on schedule but Pink did not. The three Diamonds under White then went about creating more gems and establishing Homeworld and later establishing colony worlds. Pink likely emerged into an already smoothly operating empire, one that had a pink spot for her in the logo but little else. It's no wonder she felt the way she did, seeing her sisters with their worlds and their courts and her with not so much as a pearl.

One thing to note is that White has more worlds on the mural than Blue and Yellow combined, so it's quite possible that she operated the empire alone for a while before Blue and Yellow showed up (either that or Blue and Yellow just suck at making colonies compared to White, or White demanded half the colonies that Blue and Yellow establish be turned over to her).

The wrecks of the Blue and Yellow arms notwithstanding, the fact the four diamonds have ships that assemble into one humanoid form is the most blatant Checkov's Gun that has ever existed. There's no way they don't assemble voltron-style in the third act.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:48 PM on July 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


a knowledge thing, i think if you fuse with another gem you would recognize instinctively

Well, I'm scared at how small the hairs we re splitting here are, I don't want to go subatomic, but it seems like the existence of malachite as a fusion would preclude the kind of intuitive knowledge of a gem you propose, as that fusion was based on interlocking valences of lies and emotional manipulation. You know, like a marriage. ;)
posted by eustatic at 7:19 PM on July 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ronaldo's been remarkably prescient the whole time, and he has this entire theory about "sneople", so that might be a thing.
posted by divabat at 2:02 AM on July 26, 2018


He's projecting. The only snerson is Ronaldo.
posted by duffell at 2:57 AM on July 26, 2018 [4 favorites]


We've been rewatching the whole series, and just got to the episode where they're on the moon base and Peri is looking at the records in the computer. There's an image of what a completed Earth colony would have looked like, and it was pretty much broken up and surrounded with rings like Homeworld is... and Peri described that as "perfect."

So I'm going to read a little bit less into Homeworld being cracked into pieces and assume that's not the same as the resource depletion that marked the transition to Era 2.
posted by Foosnark at 5:19 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


i didn't see it posted yet, so here's the link to the full panel at SDCC, which includes a screening of this episode
posted by numaner at 11:15 AM on July 26, 2018


I think saying "If you fuse with a gem you would know if they're not who they say they are" is about the same as saying "If you have sex with someone you would know if they're not who they say they are"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:16 AM on July 26, 2018


Here is what I think re: Pearls :

Originally, Pink Diamond got a "Pink Pearl". Pink Pearl was maybe very much like Pink Diamond - silly, childish, irresponsible. She would have been a bad influence on Pink Diamond, and the relationship between the two could have gotten more towards "friendly" than "subserviant". This irritated the heck out of the other Diamonds, or at least White, who stole Pink Pearl away. Pink Pearl gets "corrected" - and the messed up "White" Pearl we saw was the result. She's not a White Pearl, she's a Pink Pearl that got completely bleached.

White keeps the old Pink Pearl, then gives a White Pearl (our Pearl) to Pink in hopes that the more logical influence will level her out. (I think that the scene of Pink and Pearl in the spaceship might actually be pretty early in their relationship, and it's awkward because Pink is trying to treat the new Pearl how she treated the old one, chatty and friendly.) When that clearly doesn't work, White catches on, but she decides to let the situation play out like an exasperated mother. The thinking is Pink will tire herself out and come crawling back having learned a lesson.

I've seen theories that Pearls are created from gems, via some "gem space magic" used to form layers around a central gem grain in the same way that oysters make pearls IRL, since Pearls aren't technically "real" gems. If that's the case, then I think our Pearl is made from White Diamond, and White Pearl is made from Pink Diamond. :O
posted by one of these days at 11:27 AM on July 26, 2018


I haven't see the voice actors so the panel at SDCC video is so fun. "First of all..." at 1:46.
posted by bdc34 at 11:29 AM on July 26, 2018


the discussion on gem placement is really interesting!
posted by numaner at 12:44 PM on July 26, 2018


I ve seen theories that Pearls are created from gems, via some "gem space magic" used to form layers around a central gem grain in the same way that oysters make pearls IRL, since Pearls aren't technically "real" gems

Yeah, the other non gem is Bismuth, which is an element; Bismuth s gem is the crystallized form. Interesting
posted by eustatic at 6:14 PM on July 26, 2018


one of these days, that's an interesting theory, only thing is it was said in Now We're Only Falling Apart that that Pearl had been with Pink for thousands of years at that point. That need not torpedo the idea though; it might be that it was only when they reached Earth that Pearl finally brought herself to loosen up.

Here's my favorite baseless theory at the moment:
White Diamond is gone. I mean, she doesn't exist. She probably did at some point in the past, but she didn't at the time the war-ending attack was done, and that's why it didn't obliterate anyone. Instead, White Pearl has been doing a Wizard-of-Oz on everyone for thousands of years, pretending to be White Diamond. That's why WD never leaves homeworld. She maintains the aura of fear to keep anyone from getting too close and finding out.

How did it happen? Maybe White Pearl was pushed too far one day by a demanding boss and shattered WD herself. Maybe it was an accident she's covering up for, or maybe it was a natural process for the very very oldest gems. Anyway, White Pearl keeps it up for the good of the gempire. Maybe Steven will discover this and be taken into WP's confidence.

If this happens, then White Diamond's cooperation cannot be obtained to cure the corruption. The gems might have to remain corrupt indefinitely, until Steven can develop his powers more.
posted by JHarris at 12:38 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


JHarris, I like that theory a lot, and it absolutely tracks with Rebecca Sugar's love of allusion & tributes to other works (as others have pointed out, Lapis DROPPED A FRIGGIN HOUSE ON BLUE DIAMOND). But it does Wizard of Oz one better--the real conflict wouldn't be in the shocking reveal, but in the repercussions (for the Diamonds, the gems, homeworld, etc.) after the fact.
posted by duffell at 7:07 AM on July 27, 2018


We've been rewatching the whole series, and just got to the episode where they're on the moon base and Peri is looking at the records in the computer. There's an image of what a completed Earth colony would have looked like, and it was pretty much broken up and surrounded with rings like Homeworld is... and Peri described that as "perfect."

I remember that frame well, and while I think it does have rings, it's not "broken" as Homeworld is. It's like a deliberately-made hollow shell with huge gaping holes in it. It looks kind of like a certain memorable planet from Super Mario Galaxy actually. Homeworld, on the other hand, looks like it's undergone a planet-shattering catastrophe, not unlike a Cluster emergence.

I wonder if, in the future, sci-fi media will use the Cluster as a kind of shorthand for a world-shattering apocalypse? I think it's a really iconic idea, a kind of egg or seed that will crack open a planet when it hatches/sprouts.
posted by JHarris at 8:51 AM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think there's something to the Wizard of Oz theory. It's even possible that some other, so far unknown to us non-gem alien intelligence is masquerading as WD and WP, and they will be the new adversary in future seasons.

I like the idea that that alien race is... Snake People. After all, Ronaldo was right about "polymorphic sentient rocks" and the Great Diamond Authority.

Also, snakes don't have any arms (which made Steven cry), and IIRC, White Pearl doesn't move her arms.


I remember that frame well, and while I think it does have rings, it's not "broken" as Homeworld is.

On another viewing, I think you're right; it's pretty messed up but not as shattered as Homeworld.

I wonder if, in the future, sci-fi media will use the Cluster as a kind of shorthand for a world-shattering apocalypse?

In the 90s I used to work for an online text-based RPG which was set on a world that, at least according to myth if not fact, had a dragon sleeping or incubating at its core (with a religious order dedicated to keeping it from waking up and destroying the world, and a cult dedicated to the opposite). Thousands of years ago, that world had four moons but one shattered, with the myth claiming it hatched. I'm pretty sure that wasn't an entirely original idea at the time though.
posted by Foosnark at 11:10 AM on July 27, 2018


Also, snakes don't have any arms (which made Steven cry), and IIRC, White Pearl doesn't move her arms.

I can't tell you how much I would love it if that throwaway joke was an actual important plot point.
posted by emjaybee at 11:55 AM on July 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder if, in the future, sci-fi media will use the Cluster as a kind of shorthand for a world-shattering apocalypse? I think it's a really iconic idea, a kind of egg or seed that will crack open a planet when it hatches/sprouts.

Kill the Moon
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:45 PM on July 27, 2018 [1 favorite]




Malkovich malkovich?
posted by JHarris at 11:35 AM on July 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Being Steven Malkoverse... that could drive the plot for a couple more seasons easy, after the Big Bad threat of all the Diamonds is neutralized in Season 6. This ride is far from its finish, so don't start preparing for the souvenir picture taking on the last drop.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:26 PM on July 28, 2018


Okay, the really funny thing about the above exchange was when I read duffel's comment, I didn't watch the video, because I was in a loud public place. I just made my Malkovich comment because I thought it was the most appropriate. Now I watch it and... well, apparently duffel thought it was the most appropriate, too, because they made the same joke, before I did!
posted by JHarris at 8:28 PM on July 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Instead of Malkovich I just thought of the D&D thing of trying to put a Portable Hole into a Bag of Holding or vice versa.
posted by Foosnark at 8:53 PM on July 29, 2018


Just noting that Cartoon Network is a division of Warner Brothers whose Looney Tunes brought us the Portable Hole decades before D&D. Homage is good.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:39 PM on July 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


So, since it's Hiatus time again, let's play the baseless speculation game again.

One theory I have out is that White Diamond doesn't exist any more, White Pearl is doing a "Wizard of Oz." Here's another one:

Homeworld is constantly on the verge of falling apart. Many thousands of years of gem extraction has left the planet in a hugely unstable state. The view from space, and the sight of the interior kindergarten, substantiate this. In this theory, White Diamond does exist, but the reason she never leaves Homeworld is because she's keeping it from physically collapsing using her diamond powers. By this, she cannot help the corrupted gems on Earth, because to leave even for a minute would result in homeworld's collapse.
posted by JHarris at 10:06 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


In this theory, White Diamond does exist, but the reason she never leaves Homeworld is because she's keeping it from physically collapsing using her diamond powers. By this, she cannot help the corrupted gems on Earth, because to leave even for a minute would result in homeworld's collapse.

Hmm, that would explain her distraction/dismissiveness toward the other Diamonds, and revealing that would serve as the turning point that makes her a bit more sympathetic. At that point Steven and the CGs, with the help of Yellow and Blue, and maybe even the Cluster, might be able to fix things so she in turn can undo the corruption on Earth.

Trying to shatter all the Crystal Gems in one move, without even giving their own soldiers adequate time to retreat, was a pretty blatant war atrocity. But I guess healing the corruption, declaring Earth a free world and a haven for Off-Colors and perma-fusions (or even undoing the strict hierarchy of gem society), and releasing the imprisoned Rose Quartzes would be as close to redemption as is possible for the Diamonds.
posted by Foosnark at 5:33 PM on August 16, 2018


Running through a rewatch right now. Unless I'm mistaken, we don't know the precise circumstances of the cluster's placement in the center of the Earth. Interestingly, though, when Garnet first discovers the gem mutants, she has a spark of recognition and says something to the effect of "so this is where they all went, the ones we couldn't find after the war..."

So does this mean the cluster was implanted after the diamond corruption weapon went off? And does that mean the Diamonds returned to Earth to implant it? I wonder if we'll revisit the cluster's origins...
posted by duffell at 11:59 AM on August 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yes, I had surmised something similar duffell. And the Ruby half of Garnet was unsure if Rose knew about it. It's possible that there's still information to come in that area.

There's a Steven Universe panel at DragonCon today. I'm hoping I can get in, but I'm severely allergic to waiting an hour in line for something that itself lasts about an hour, so we'll see.
posted by JHarris at 7:14 AM on September 2, 2018


It was a good panel. It had no official show staff or anything, but it was a full room of enthusiastic people talking about a great show.
posted by JHarris at 12:31 AM on September 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


goddamn Robot Chicken, I feel like it only win the Emmy for short form animated program so consistently because Emmy Voters are basically industry insiders and Robot Chicken routinely has so many of them on as guest voices. And it's "edgy" or whatever. arg.

I guess at least background painter Patrick Bryson won for outstanding individual achievement
posted by numaner at 10:06 PM on September 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Man, remember this show? I wonder if they'll ever bring it back.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:36 PM on November 16, 2018 [3 favorites]


Some of us have chosen to try to survive hiatuses by writing fanfiction.
posted by JHarris at 4:17 PM on November 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


The Hiatus has an end date! LFHTH will air on December 17th, followed by one episode a week after that for four weeks. Four new episodes! Happy Steventide to you! Merry Gemsmas! And a Happy New Arc!
posted by domo at 12:40 PM on November 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


The Hiatus has an end date! LFHTH will air on December 17th, followed by one episode a week after that for four weeks. Four new episodes! Happy Steventide to you! Merry Gemsmas! And a Happy New Arc!

This is the most exciting news I've heard all day, AND OUR OFFER ON A NEW HOUSE WAS ACCEPTED TODAY.
posted by duffell at 12:55 PM on November 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Wait, so is tonight’s episode Legs part 2? I’m so confused.
posted by janepanic at 1:53 PM on December 17, 2018


No, LFHTH was what aired. It hadn't officially aired on Cartoon Network yet, somehow.

New-new from here on out, though!
posted by cage and aquarium at 4:48 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


We closed on the house today, and we move tomorrow, and is it wrong that I'm... still a little more excited about new SU episodes than my actual exciting life developments?
posted by duffell at 6:03 PM on December 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yeah, well, duffell, six months is a long time to wait for anything.
posted by Jilder at 3:33 AM on December 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


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