Steven Universe: Together Alone
December 31, 2018 7:31 PM - Season 5, Episode 26 - Subscribe

Steven throws a party to bring his family together.
posted by AlexiaSky (25 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Omgomgomg this was entirely too creepy and I couldn't keep thinking this should have come out on holloween instead of new year's eve.

I loved the little bits of rebellion, the pearls were fantastic in this.

But the ending, aaaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Ok i will let other people make more thoughtful comments now.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:34 PM on December 31, 2018

I'm just gonna do this headline style



HI OPAL! BYE OPAL! (seriously is Aimee Mann that expensive, give this lovely fusion a line or two)



posted by emjaybee at 8:24 PM on December 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Amethyst with limb enhancers was amusing, and is also a backdoor proof that Peridot is smaller than she's "supposed" to be as a Peridot.

Unexpected Green Fusion was a funny aside in an otherwise disturbing episode, and I suspect is a portent of things to come. This arc is shaping up to be "Steven inadvertently taps into 6000 years of unrest and sparks a second rebellion" rather than "Steven wins over White Diamond with love and friendship." I mean, it took Steven no time at all to stumble on to a clave of off-colors, there's probably a huge number of gems in hiding or barely passing. Honestly Steven would do more good declaring all off-colors can find respite in Pink's Court rather than focusing on trying to get White to help fix corrupted gems on Earth.

Any ideas on what Steven puking up Rose Quartz hair is all about? As for Pink Pearl, it seems that she was taken away and replaced with our Pearl, and "fixed" to become White's Pearl. This may imply that our Pearl was originally White Pearl, but that's not necessarily true. I wonder if we'll ever learn about where Pearls come from. There's reason to suspect they're not made the same way other gems are.

I was kinda hoping Yellow would try (and fail) to unfuse Stevonnie but yeah, a diamond would not publicly attack another diamond like that. They tolerated Garnet before so perhaps they won't move to immediately shatter the gems involved in that brazen display, but I hope Steven's first priority is securing the safety of the gems that stood with him (including Unexpected Green Fusion). Also I agree that it's cool that they picked singers to portray the fusions but less cool that they picked ones that are hard to bring back later.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:01 PM on December 31, 2018 [3 favorites]

Well, that's certainly one way for Stevonnie to make an entrance. So much for Era 3?

I definitely let out an 'Awww' when I saw that Ruby was wearing her ring.

The dancing at the party was creepy and I wondered why they were making sure to show those two green gems during Yellow and Blue's entrance. Poor Green Gems.
posted by later, paladudes at 10:09 PM on December 31, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, and also it's always seemed like gems have an inherent ability to identify the name of other gems, but this doesn't extend to fusions. I think in the past the crewniverse have said that even though sapphire + ruby = garnet that doesn't preclude other "natural" garnets who may or may not resemble our Garnet. But the diamond didn't say "Are you going to stand with the Garnets" but listed off other types of gem similar to garnet. Nothing about that exchange implies another Garnet exists, which honestly is the way I like it.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:11 PM on December 31, 2018

Is ... is White Pearl running the empire right now?
posted by kyrademon at 6:21 AM on January 1, 2019 [8 favorites]

I have a feeling White Pearl is diamond.

Especially because WD doesn't talk to anyone.

Though, I also wonder if our Pearl knows exactly what happened to whites pearl, especially with the break comment she made last episode.
posted by AlexiaSky at 6:47 AM on January 1, 2019

So much danger at the court, so much at stake. Who will control the new historical era?
posted by eustatic at 1:29 PM on January 1, 2019

One fan theory is that Pink accidentally broke White (formerly Pink) Pearl. Another is that Pink was broken by the Diamond Authority on purpose to make her usable after association with Pink made her non-useful, which is an act Steven would probably find unforgivable? I'm impressed that just as the show winds up some of its biggest mysteries, more are being seeded. Wheels within wheels, yo.

Here's a thought. We saw in the previous episode that the fluids that run off of the Diamonds are collected, in an "extraction chamber." Possibly, this fluid is used in the production of new gems. This could mean that all Gems have a bit of the Diamonds in them. That suggests, if normal Gems find it not only useful but beneficial to fuse, that it could be so for the Diamonds as well, and they find that idea uncomfortable. A personal hangup writ large across the whole empire.

Anyway, this episode! Harsh, but a least we're getting a continuation in six days now instead of months.
posted by JHarris at 1:33 PM on January 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah so good.

As soon as Connie suggested dancing I may have involuntarily sputtered "DON'T DO THE THING" and then they did the thing and well done guys. But hey, at least Stevonnie is super huge and impressive compared to the two kids, and we got to see Opal for an eighth of a second.

And everyone is going to get new clothes now!

But yeah, I think Steven is going to have to go Full Rose on Homeworld. There are Gems with enough status to make it to a formal court ball who are secretly harbouring fusion relationships. Blue Pearl has an artistic streak. The Pebbles strike me as like, five seconds away from full Gremlins level mischief.

Gunna be a hell of a ride no matter how it pans out.

(Also I really hope we get to see what's going on back in Beach City during the block. I really want to know how Bismuth, Peri and Lapis are going. Rebuilding the house, presumably.)
posted by Jilder at 1:47 PM on January 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do Lapis and Peri have stars now tho??????
posted by emjaybee at 5:47 PM on January 1, 2019

Still banking on Deus Ex Bismuth-Lion-Lars-Peridot-Offcolors.

Hey, maybe in a fit of rage, Rose/Pink returned to Homeworld after the corruption attack, poofed White Diamond, bubbled her, stashed her in the treasure chest, and got her old friend White (Pink) Pearl to help her cover it up, and the Pearl has been running the show ever since.

No, I don't actually think that happened.
posted by duffell at 6:21 PM on January 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

Let's play guess what the show will do!

How will Stevonnie (or Steven and/or Connie) escape?
- Brute force, super strength, bash through the wall! Rarr! (Odds: 1-in-48, very unlikely)
- Pebble intervention! Turns out they really are everywhere, like mice, even in the walls of the cell! (Odds: 1-in-3, I think this is what will happen, it'd explain why it was so important to give us a full introduction to Pebbles last episode)
- Stevonnie escapes through use of powers, like organic matter's resistance to anti-gem fields such as back in Jailbreak. (Odds: 1-in-6, they've done this trick before.)
- Lars attacks from OUTER SPACE and frees them! (Odds: 1-in-6, possible, but they're still seeking out Floatanium in said OUTER SPACE.)
- Popular uprising! Shocked that cross-type fusion denied for so long, the People's Front of Homeworld and the Homeworld People's Front, join forces, revolt and free them. (Odds, 1-in-12, they'd actually considerable but such an event would involve things happening outside of Steven's vision and so from a story perspective I don't think it'll happen that way)
- One of the Diamonds (prob. Blue, but maybe Yellow if she thinks their exit from Homeworld will simplify things for her) sneaky lets them out. (1-in-12)
- Really unlikely, Beach City citizens storm through a somehow-repaired Galaxy Warp, led by one or more of Bismuth, Peridot or Lapis, and let them out! (1-in-24, very unlikely, but for that reason it'd be the most fun to see, and may technically be possible if Peridot finds where Pearl stashed her robonoids)
- They don't escape, the Diamonds release them for some reason, or they're still imprisoned at the end of the next episode. (1-in-12)
- Something else!
posted by JHarris at 8:47 PM on January 1, 2019 [4 favorites]

- Lars of the Stars shows up and lets reinforcements from Earth in through the mane/hair portal. (1 in 100)
- Yellow and Blue Pearl fuse and bust Stevonnie out of prison. (1 in 1000)
- Bloodstone, who really was a gem all along arrives to lead the resistance. (1 in 10,000)
- It turns out that Uncle Grandpa episode really was canon and he shows up to save the day (no, just no)
posted by duffell at 9:14 PM on January 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

- The Zoomans team up with the Famethyst, poof Holly Blue Agate, commandeer a freighter, form a free-love space commune on board, then swing by Homeworld to offer our heroes a ride (1 in 100,000 but chances are like 1 in 10 this already exists in fanfic somewhere)
posted by duffell at 9:21 PM on January 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

- The Sneeple, Gemkind's original progenitor (progemitor?) species appear, are horrified that their experiment has become a genocidal empire, vow to eradicate their mistake, Steven saves the day through Love and Understanding. (1 in 100,000,000).
posted by Jilder at 9:38 PM on January 1, 2019 [2 favorites]

Most important point first: the Homeworld Fusion's joyful shout that "I knew it! I knew I couldn't be the only one!" could function as an articulation of the series' motto. Wonderful!

So many great moments, the dream sequence, Amethyst's limb enhancers, Steven helping the other Pearls open up, Blue Diamond's nasty side visible again. The ending makes it feel like the episode is meant to "rhyme" with The Return. Opal cameo, Garnet poofed, Steven imprisoned by Homeworld. Familiar, why is this so familiar?

The internet seems to have decided that White Pearl is confirmed as ex-Pink Pearl based on a dream also featuring noodle-neck Yellow Diamond (who doesn't have a noodle-neck) and Steven-as-Pink-Diamond juggling Chaaaps! and MC Bear Bear (which are Steven things, not PD things). For me it's a dream sequence, it's not literal! If anything he's remembering/recognising how White Pearl is just like "his" Pearl. I dunno, I guess I'm grumbling against the rest of the internet and not everyone above.

Theory time! I'm 100% all in on my personal theory which is that White Diamond is long dead, existing only as a Rose's Room version powered by the memories of how Blue, Yellow and Pink remember her being. Hence why she's so hard to engage meaningfully with and why she never leaves her room. She's not real, just the manifestation of how she's remembered. If the Diamonds (including Steven) can come to terms with who she really was as a person (i.e. the same thing Steven has learnt to do with Rose Quartz) then they will be able to engage with her and change the rules of Homeworld and SAVE THE DAY!

Dunno how WD-voiced White Pearl could be made to fit into that though. I've seen a few Wizard Of Oz, power behind the throne/curtain half-theories elsewhere which were fun, not least when you remember that BD literally had a house dropped on her Wicked Witch Of The East style.

It's an amazing show. Why can't SU be on every week?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:12 PM on January 1, 2019 [5 favorites]

Interesting. Could white diamond be inside white pearl, perhaps? This whole Pearl-pocket dimension concept blew up in the last few episodes, Connie and gems hiding within Pearl this episode was a shoe drop to me....
posted by eustatic at 7:05 AM on January 2, 2019 [4 favorites]

One thing that stood out to me (besides the twilight zone vibe) was that the overhead shot of the dancers spinning in circles looked a lot like that poster for Handmaid’s Tale, with the dresses that look like wheels. It made me feel ...very scared for everyone.
posted by janepanic at 8:30 AM on January 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

It's an amazing show. Why can't SU be on every week?

Because CN sucks.
posted by Pendragon at 1:28 PM on January 2, 2019 [1 favorite]

Well, shit.

This episode was hard to watch in the aftermath of the holidays and abusive family shit and what struck me the most is how Pink Diamond is/was a scapegoat for the rest of the family, the two Golden Child elder sisters (especially . . . shit, yellow diamond) who were more successfully trained through White Diamond's abuse. The tension and the fear through the party scene was real. I don't know what's going on with WD, if she's even alive or just mostly absent but I actually really hope that Steven doesn't heal her/fix her and that instead Steven shows his sisters that there are other ways to be happy and functional. I could easily see the two of them or even the three of them fusing, but they'd have to overcome a lot of negative programming that is just total classic narcissist divide and conquer to do that. Of course, White Diamond would have a lot of reason to fear that. The others would easily be as bigger or bigger than she is if they fused.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:08 PM on January 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Roles of children in narcissistic families, which tracks pretty well with the diamond family structure. Especially notable for me was Yellow Diamond's jealousy that Steven/Pink gets attention from White because of his failure.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:12 PM on January 2, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wow. That is a heck of an essay. I can definitely see certain family members in that piece. The thing is, anyone around a narcissist will take on shades of these archetypes by virtue of proximity. The only way out is to not engage. I wonder what qualities Steven will exhibit...
posted by domo at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Well, first he will try to heal everything (like he did in this episode, and as he does traditionally) and then he will likely realize that the only way to do that is to destroy himself and, more importantly his human friends and the Crystal Gems. This episode felt very much like a queer coming home, to me. It all feels familiar, but you're no longer the same person (you're not even using the same name!).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:02 PM on January 2, 2019 [5 favorites]

...and just in case any of you are super into RuPaul's Drag Race and Steven Universe, I poorly photoshopped a thing.
posted by duffell at 10:33 PM on April 6, 2019

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