Steven Universe: Change Your Mind
January 21, 2019 5:15 PM - Season 5, Episode 28 - Subscribe

Steven pushes the limits of the Power of Friendship.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia (90 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
CN ran the whole block as one, and I would have to re-watch to notice where the breaks were and I don't want to spoil.

So my all-purpose reaction is: (ahem)

Thank you.
posted by cage and aquarium at 5:34 PM on January 21, 2019 [4 favorites]


First, a list of all the long-awaited fanservice featured in this episode:

Lapis and Peridot's Crystal Gem forms! Lapis ditches the femme dress and both she and Peridot add a splash of color (and stars!)

The Giant Humanoid Ship. This was a serious Chekhov's Gun but it was still satisfying to see it all come together. Also served as a good "first stage final boss" for the encounter to build tension prior to the real showdown with White's form.

Steven/CG Fusions (Imagine the Vince McMahon increasing reaction meme):
Smoky Quartz - Seen before, but her brief appearance hints at Amethyst's new form.
Sunstone - Garnet brings out Steven's sunny disposition!

The Answer to "What happens if Steven is separated from his gem?" is given: It's Bad. I love it. Human!Steven clearly can't survive without the gem. Gem!Steven is fine physically, but is completely inhuman and unsteven. I also like how this came as the answer to "Is Steven really just Rose?" and I appreciate the answer is no. Steven is more than a gem. I like that his nature played a role in overcoming White Diamond, but I would have liked it if White's breakdown was explicitly more about how Pink/Rose had successfully reconciled Gem and Organic in a way White could never do.

The Off-colors arrive on Earth! Sadie and Pink Lars reunite! They seem happy with how they've grown in their time apart. I could see them being happy apart still.

THE CORRUPTED GEMS ARE CURED. I love that Rose's fountain plays an important role in their healing. I also like how many of the corrupted gems are the obviously off-color, all the better to want to join with Rose and her "Off-colors are OK" rebellion.

JASPER REDEMPTION - sort of. I like how she's still immediately ready to throw down, and how she kept the bit of off-color imparted to her by fusing with that corrupted quartz. If anyone still has a story to tell, it's Jasper.

Other Notable topics:

When White is Monologing about Yellow and Blue she implies that the light they refract is affected by their impurities, while she herself is pure and white. Blue, Yellow, and Pink are each examples of something White sees as weaknesses (I also note that they reflect three of the four classical humors, Choleric, Melancholic, and Sanguine). Were they created in an effort to purge White of her "impurities"? Is that how it all started? We'll probably never know how the Gempire started but that seems as likely an answer as any.

One of the few bits of long-awaited SU fanservice we didn't see is a Lapis/Peridot fusion. We may yet see it, but they definitely pulled out all the stops for this one, so I wouldn't bet on it.

I'm not entirely happy that Steven saved the day once again with his Steven Antics. It's not surprising, but in real life you can't always win everyone over with the Power of Friendship. Sometimes all you can do is punch the nazi, or at least stick to your principles and show them you won't tolerate them. I didn't honestly expect it to play out differently than it did, but Steven's ultimate foil is a foe who won't buy into him no matter what, the way Jasper didn't.

So.... it's over, isn't it? The series could absolutely end on this note. AFAIK they've not announced a Season 6, just a movie. Will the movie be the last Steven Universe we see? It seems quite likely, and I think I'm fine with that. AT THE VERY LEAST IF THERE'S A SEASON 6 THERE HAD BETTER BE A NEW INTRO. In any case if there's new Steven Universe between now and the movie this fall I'll eat my hat.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:53 PM on January 21, 2019 [13 favorites]

Wait, that's all 4 episodes. Is "Change Your Mind" all 4, aka The Battle of Heart and Mind? There was "We Need to Talk", and then the other title cards weren't shown.
posted by cage and aquarium at 6:02 PM on January 21, 2019

I seem to remember a Season 6, in addition to the movie, has been announced.
posted by JHarris at 6:04 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think so? Like you said, there were no other title cards. I actually forgot the title card was "We Need to Talk" and saw the whole thing listed online and promoted by the Crewniverse as "Change Your Mind"
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:05 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ah, OK. Anyhow, I don't want to get it wrong so I'll just sit back and favorite. Yay.
posted by cage and aquarium at 6:11 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

In any case, this thread is about all four episodes, since they aired as one unit. Splitting specials like this into four discussions generally doesn't go well on Fanfare anyway.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:11 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

*breathes rapidly into a paper bag*

*for the next several hours*
posted by duffell at 7:15 PM on January 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Of all the fusion concepts the fandom has run through over the years, NONE OF US came EVEN SLIGHTLY CLOSE to a Hothead Burrito-based fusion. Wtf y'all! So good!!

Obsidian ❤︎

I know that the thing was the Emotional 180 of the diamonds, but I wish they'd put more thought into how they would dismantle their power structures (maybe take Bismuth as an advisor/Earth delegate? That gem knows what's up). It's so easy to slip into old habits.


Also, laughed during the last few minutes. That theory about Greg being irresistible to the diamonds never stops being funny.
posted by snerson at 7:32 PM on January 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

I legit laughed when I saw Peridot on her trash can lid. And now she has her star(s)!

Also Rebecca Sugar, Lamar Abrams and Miki Brewster did an AMA today. Among the gems (ha), my personal favorite: "Garnet's glasses are her own. They're prescription."
posted by later, paladudes at 7:57 PM on January 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Things that they still haven't delivered on despite all this fanservice (roughly in order of most to least interesting):
- What's in the chest in Lion's mane?
- Sneople (All of Ronaldo's other inane theories have had some nugget of truth)
- Where do Pearls come from?
- Lapis/Peridot fusion
- I want Garnet and Rhodonite to meet dammit!
- WHAT HAPPENED TO UNEXPECTED FUSION (Rebecca identified her as "Lemon Jade" in a Reddit AMA)
- How will Jasper handle this?
- What's in Ruby and Sapphire's temple rooms?
- I miss Mystery Girl :(
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:08 PM on January 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

There's plenty more. What's the history of the Lunar Sea Spire? What's going to happen to Homeworld now? Where did all those crazy gem artifacts come from, Homeworld doesn't appear to use that kind of tech? What are the stories behind the other bubbled gems? What happens to Lars now? I wish they had been able to do more Lars In Space stories. It feels like that plot thread was dropped for season length.

As for Sneople, I'd be willing to believe that that's the one thing Ronaldo's been wrong about, it being the obvious signifier that he's fundamentally misguided even if he's been right about a lot. Also, remember that his lighthouse has files on a bunch of other supernatural and cryptozoological things that are unrelated to gems. Really, the main thing he's been right about was the Great Diamond Authority thing.
posted by JHarris at 8:18 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, forced fusion experiments - is there any hope for them? Same with the cluster, does it sleep forever or is there some other future? Homeworld is full of servant gems built into the walls and being combs and whatever, does that change and how? Homeworld itself is split in two, and from the murals it looks like that probably happened at some point - is that a problem, and if so is there a solution? The zoomans - do they rejoin Earthican society or what?
posted by traveler_ at 8:22 PM on January 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yellow also had a bunch of forced fusions bubbled in her chamber, WTF, Yellow? Her role in all of this hasn't really been resolved, one of many of the things that have been papered over and not directly addressed by Steven's Power of Friendship.

I agree there's still plenty of room to tell more stories in Steven's Universe, but most of those new story threads will start up new rather than be resolutions of threads already established. "What does Homeworld do now?" Is a new question, not an old one that still needs answering.

My final prediction before I go to bed is: the heart-shaped gem from the movie teaser, who is probably the shadowed laughing face and antagonist of the movie, is what is locked away in the chest. Bismuth was in a bubble because Rose still had hope for her, but heart gem can fuck off and be locked away in the most secure location possible: a locked chest with no key in a pocket dimension only Rose can access. Maybe Heartface will finally be the perfect friendship-proof antagonist that I want for Steven.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:32 PM on January 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Peridot: unbelievable!

Sunstone: oh, you better believe it.

Peridot: OK!
posted by Rinku at 8:45 PM on January 21, 2019 [16 favorites]

So, woah. It's all so much, and seems to have gone so fast, after waiting so long. Also, the movie has been in the works since 2015? what other show takes that long? I think they even make Avengers movies with less turnaround...
posted by eustatic at 8:49 PM on January 21, 2019

Speaking of the Avengers, they had an Avengers-esque story challenge to try to fit all these ensemble characters in meaningful ways and I think they did ok, at least with the full-set Crystal Gems. Even if the off-colors ended up relegated to comic relief.
posted by traveler_ at 9:19 PM on January 21, 2019

Also, link to the Hand, as mentioned by Sugar as aesthetic inspiration.

Also, for Blue Diamond, Lamentation and Fruma Sarah
posted by eustatic at 9:19 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have two reactions to this. The first and biggest is obviously that this is an amazing episode and holy shit so much.

But, on the other hand, I'm curious about how this came about. Why is it so clearly a series finale, when it's also... not?

Maybe Rebecca Sugar thought, let's have a big finale! We'll wrap some of our main arcs so we can tell some other stories. Zoo humans figuring out life on earth, changes for homeworld, new big bad, new conflicts.

On the other hand, Homeworld / insane white diamond seemed like a rich vein that could have been tapped for... forever? It felt a bit like they were jamming things in this episode a bit too fast. (New fusions! New forms! Big battles! Fusions are healed! Yellow cries! White is off color now! Steven has always been Steven!) While that was a real sugar rush... I'm still kinda reeling. It kinda feels like some years ago CN told the crew, hey, wrap it up, and then... gave them more seasons? That's kinda my guess. I'm sure it's also true that they've got rad new stories to tell us and this episode gets us there. But I kinda want to savor this show forever, I guess, and this episode felt a bit like too much too fast.
posted by Rinku at 9:40 PM on January 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

slo mo on bismuth jumping into the pool "Biggs!"
posted by eustatic at 9:42 PM on January 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I can explain that much at least Rinku, Crewniverse members have said that the original plan for the show was five seasons, the progress of the story was always aimed at being finished around that time.

It's been announced that there's both a Season 6 and a made-for-TV movie coming up. Remember, while the space gem war and drama stuff was always there, the show began as, and remains, a story of this kind of weird kid growing up, which is why the show sticks to Steven's perspective, and which is why the townie episodes are so important, since Steven is half human. That's the engine that drives the cosmic drama, that's what gives the show heart.

While the Diamonds may not be direct antagonists any more, people do not change overnight, so that's one obvious direction for the show to go. I've made tons of guesses about where the show will do, a few right and most of them wrong, so I can't say for sure what they'll do, but I think a lot of dramatic hay could be made about gems on Earth, interacting with humans (the source of some of the best episodes, IMO), and maybe even exploring what human culture is like on this version of Earth.
posted by JHarris at 9:51 PM on January 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

Boy that was a lot. Perhaps too much? It didn't hit me directly in my feels the way I expected it to, so it was a little disappointing from that perspective. I was however grinning like an idiot when all the fusions happened one right after the other. Steven being split up got me choked up a little. That yell! I think I actually said, "holy shit" out loud to the TV.

I forgot to mention that I love that Garnet's stern-but-kind guidance combined with Steven's unbridled enthusiasm became Saturday morning cartoon PSA slogans. I was half expecting a GI Joe to pop up and tell us about the hazards of downed power lines.
posted by runcibleshaw at 11:07 PM on January 21, 2019 [6 favorites]

I still haven't seen it. It's waiting for me, but I have anxiety about hitting play. How weird is that?
posted by JHarris at 3:11 AM on January 22, 2019

There are all these implications for what happens to Homeworld society, and those are kind of stressing me out. I can imagine a faction who, despite not being Diamonds, preferred the strict hierarchy and order and want to suppress all this wanton fusion and individuality, and MHGA.

And on Earth, how are things going to work for the formerly corrupted gems and the Off-Colors? And presumably someone is going to liberate the Zoomans, but will they appreciate it?


Homeworld / insane white diamond seemed like a rich vein that could have been tapped for... forever? It felt a bit like they were jamming things in this episode a bit too fast.

Agreed. While I was watching it I blurted out that I was glad they didn't stretch this out over four weeks -- but I think I said that after the big scary thing happened to Steven. But I kind of felt dizzy when it was all over.

I'm also almost disappointed that the whole Wizard of Oz fan theory was wrong and Pink->White Pearl was just WD's puppet. I have to wonder at the psychology of using a Pearl's body -- a broken one, at that -- to get around her own capital, but personally going to Earth to put down a rebellion instead of having a puppet do the thing. ...and why she didn't try doing the bleaching/mind control thing to the notorious Rose Quartz.

The teaser for the movie said fall. That's a long time to wait :(
posted by Foosnark at 5:47 AM on January 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

The music during the fight against Giant Robot Ship was oddly reminiscent of Final Fantasy IV (a.k.a. Final Fantasy II).

I got strong A Wrinkle In Time vibes off of the entire creepy White Diamond showdown.

The double-Steven dance, with love and laughter, was just the most beautiful thing.

Part of me is hoping they do a series of online shorts about the continued adventures of the Pebbles. Also, a mega-Pebble fusion would be the most adorable thing.

I too want Lapidot to become a thing. I suspect Peridot is still too reticent to make the first move, as it were, but it could still happen!

We give a lot of praise to the voice actors on these here threads, and I especially want to give a shoutout to Lisa Hannigan (Blue Diamond) for her work on this episode. In addition to strong dramatic voicework, that Irish lilt works really well with her character.

With so many Big Mysteries solved, I sort of suspect there's no Big Reveal in Rose's treasure chest; if we ever find out what's in it, I suspect it's something of sentimental value--in story terms, something more charactery than plotty.

Random thought, I hope Mayor Dewey finds someone nice to settle down with, since he appears to be single and lonely. Yeah, he's kind of a doink, but he has a good heart. I'm at work, so I'm not going to google "Dewey/Rutile Twins."
posted by duffell at 5:47 AM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Dewey hung out and danced with Mailman Jamie at Garnet's wedding, unless my memory and Google have failed me - so at the very least, they can be sad sack buddies.
posted by cage and aquarium at 8:13 AM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]


Did the (now uncorrupted? That wasn't clear because some of them weren't in their original forms yet in the pool/still had horns and miscoloring) gems return to Homeworld? You don't see them after that scene.

We still don't know what's in that box

Lars and Sadie; maybe nah? Just friends?

Will the Off-Colors stay on Earth now that they are no longer illegal? They came a long way just to turn around and go back. If they do, where do they go?

Will Steven ever grow up or does that scene mean that he's this size forever? I am still a big fan of the fanart of him the size of his mom with her big hair.

WHAT ABOUT ZOOMANS. Seriously, what about the zoomans, bringing them into human society is going to Be a Challenge when they've basically been little kids their whole lives, even though we ALSO know Steven introduced pain and suffering into their society by helping his dad deny them his love, so. But you can't leave them locked up!

Amedot or Lapidot? Neither?

Where do Diamonds/Gems come from? Why did White create the others? What happens if they stop exploiting other worlds? Can they reproduce without killing all life around them?

What is the DEAL with all the sentient Gem Objects like on Homeworld, what would a better life look like for them, could the blinking statues be freed and be like normal Gems, I need to know!
posted by emjaybee at 9:09 AM on January 22, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh also:

- I want Garnet and Rhodonite to meet dammit!

They did! There was a brief glimpse at the beach. Also they already met on Lars' ship when Garnet came to visit and made everyone uncomfortable/told Rose's (inaccurate) story.
posted by emjaybee at 9:13 AM on January 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by numaner at 9:43 AM on January 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

I've been down on SU for a little while now. All the strangenesses and subtleties of the first few years were becoming rote and blunt. Fusion was once alien and strange, but it became just a melding of superpowers. And all the mysteries were getting answered. Steven became preachy as he got older and he started explaining what everything meant, and the plots turned soapy. I think the show was actually getting bad.

This episode really shot forward in that direction. It surprised me just how much it went for broke and decided to just answer everything. Obviously they wrote it so that it could serve as a series finale, but they still have a movie and two seasons lined up.

I think the only real unresolved mysteries left have do with Pink's Pearl and with Rose's first human love. I can't decide if it's good or bad that the show just answered everything. On one hand, it was a little deflating. But I think this could be the thing to knock the show off its stagnating course. I'm hopeful that the show's now free to go in some weird and new unexpected directions.
posted by painquale at 9:46 AM on January 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

The show's biggest problem has always been CN's ridiculous release schedule.
posted by Pendragon at 10:11 AM on January 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

Came across this image on reddit.
posted by Pendragon at 10:15 AM on January 22, 2019 [8 favorites]

It seems like most of the corrupted gems are retaining at least some of the changes from their corrupted forms? Which could be interesting.

(I have SO MUCH ELSE to say but don't know where to start. OMG TEMPLE FUSION)
posted by nonasuch at 10:49 AM on January 22, 2019

Amedot or Lapidot? Neither?

Neither. Peridot is (likely) the show's analog to an ace gem. She's got an open invitation to an easy, gentle, non-judgmental partner in Garnet, and she doesn't appear to be interested in trying.

There's still a fair amount of fodder for good episodes post-movie, if only in a slice-of-life "dreaded filler" sense. I always appreciated the filler because it's an important part of Steven.

Pearl still needs to call Mystery Girl. We have no idea whether Gem society was always militaristic, or was subverted toward the war machine. We have no idea how it'll change as Era Three begins. White won't be quite so overbearing, but will the Diamonds insist that Steven have a part in Gem Society rather than Earth Society?

We'll see how much the movie covers, but a sixth season to wind the show down slowly will be fitting for the atmosphere and philosophy of the show. Showing us all of the ways life goes on and continues to be weird and complicated is much better than ending with the Big Bad defeated/reformed.
posted by explosion at 11:09 AM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm not sure if the uncorrupted gems are retaining some of the qualities they had in corruption, since they're essentially taking a new form after their old corrupted form. It's also possible that they were always a bit weird and off-color and that's why they joined the rebellion. It's probably a bit of both, but they've been monsters for thousands of years so honestly you should probably expect them to not return exactly to as they were before. Their minds are restored, and that's the important part.

And you're right, Emjaybee, I totally forgot Garnet and Rhodonite met in space, and Garnet even said something to the effect of "A Ruby and a Pearl? I bet that's an interesting story."

Man, I can't get over Steven's showdown with White Diamond. What a powerful scene, especially the yell. They captured the two halves of Steven's character. They also noticably upped the animation budget for that scene, which helps it stick in my mind.

I can also understand why the show could get less satisfying as the mystery slowly drains out of it, but really that's the nature of the beast. If they kept the weird mysterious air of the early episodes it would have grown frustrating and stagnant by this time. I fondly recall how mind-blowing it was every time a new Gem was introduced, and whispered theories about how the gems in monsters relate to the Crystal Gems and why Garnet has two gems instead of just one. Anticipation is always better than getting what you want, but you can't keep that anticipation up for five seasons. Eventually the questions have to get answered, or you close up shop early and end the show after Ocean Gem and people wonder what could have been.

I'm glad Steven Universe got this far. I would be happy if it went no farther. I'd also be happy if it kept going. They did a good job and told a good story, and even if what comes after is the epilogue where Steven sails off to the West or sends his kids off to Hogwarts or whatever I know they'll handle it well.

I don't want Lapidot or Amedot or anything so much as I want to see Lapis in a happy fusion after her traumatic past. It's the payoff her story deserves.

I think the happiest outcome for Gem society is that all the gems who are unhappy and don't fit in can come to Earth and live, while the rest live out their lives as they want. If you don't want to be weird sentient wall art come on down! If you do, that's fine, you are a weird alien! Be your weird alien self!

Same with the Zoomans. I wouldn't dump them on Earth after thousands of years of isolated existence, but I would also shift their culture into one where they have control and are free to leave if they choose.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:07 PM on January 22, 2019 [6 favorites]

Came across this image on reddit.

The wiki has a list of the characters in the episode, and in part 4 they also list the corrupted gems we've seen in the show so far and their "healed" version. Looks like all of them retain some of their monster parts, since I'm sure the crab monster gem didn't have a claw when they were on homeworld. Even though Jasper was only corrupted very shortly, she still retained the horns.

They captured the two halves of Steven's character. They also noticably upped the animation budget for that scene, which helps it stick in my mind.

from the wiki's Trivia section: "The 30-second shot of Steven reuniting with his gem was guest-animated by James Baxter, a former Disney and Dreamworks animator who has worked on films such as Beauty and the Beast and The Road to El Dorado. "
posted by numaner at 2:06 PM on January 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:10 PM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

Pearl still needs to call Mystery Girl.

Well, Pearl is particularly excited about that jacket. Her new form is pretty close to the outfit she had on in Last One Out of Beach City. Just sayin'.

This..this was big. I think it probably could have done with another twenty minutes to let everything breathe, realistically. I too felt a bit dizzy and I'll need to watch it again to really let things sink in. It really was written as a series ender, so I'm not too upset at all that they tied up the bulk of their threads in neat little bows. That was their last chance, when it was written. I'm glad there's more coming, though.

My favourite bits:
Diamond fight!
"Stop using your power, Blue."
The long fusion descent (although I gotta get over my squick about Steven fusing with Pearl - like, she's basically his mum)
New forms for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall! Special shout outs to Peri just slapping some stars where the diamonds used to be and calling it a day, Lapis' pretty golden sash and Pearl's aforementioned girlcatcher outfit.
Peri metalbending Bismuth!
White's discussion of impurites.
THEM TALONS. I've been waiting for her to pop Steven's gem out since they got to Homeworld.
That hug!
Sadie and the Killers covering Greg's least favourite song while he blushes in the audience.
Playing spot the monster in the fountain - I saw the Watermelon Tormaline (the pufferfish monster), the crab thing from Rising Tides, Crashing Skies, the thing with the starfish babies from Meat Beat mania, and I wasn't really paying that much attention. Going to go back over it I think.
Also Amethyst's Jasper be coo, sis. BE COOL.


Things I'd still like to see:
Filthy Lapidot Shipper desires Lapidot. Not so much for Peri's sake as Lapis'. She's got a lot of baggage from Malachite and it would be good for her to have something pure to compare that to.
What's in the frikkin chest already.
The Zoomans! I can't recall whose suggestion it was, but the Famethyst and the Zoomans should like, form a space Love Boat and just roam around having low key cruise level adventures for the rest of time.
Mystery Giiiiiiiiiiirl. Come on jacket, work your magic.
posted by Jilder at 3:39 PM on January 22, 2019 [4 favorites]



1) Welcome to Era Three.

2) The backup ended up using option 2 (repairing the armships)

3) Theory:
Pink Diamond broke her first Pearl
White took over that Pearl and gave Pink another one that was a little bit harder to break
And that started ... everything

4) Heaven and Earth Beetles explained!

5) So humans were not the first organics that Pink tried to save

6) It never occurred to me that Cookie Cat left his family behind because his family was pretty messed up

7) Obsidian may be the longest fuse on a Chekov's Gun that I have ever seen
posted by kyrademon at 3:52 PM on January 22, 2019 [7 favorites]

what about the slinker tho
posted by duffell at 4:17 PM on January 22, 2019

She's slinking, obviously.
posted by Jilder at 5:06 PM on January 22, 2019

Apparently I am processing my feelings about this episode via the medium of hand embroidery.
posted by nonasuch at 5:22 PM on January 22, 2019 [14 favorites]

I'm really fascinated with what this reveals about Steven's nature. He's not a human with Pink Diamond's gem, he's not Rose Quartz shapeshifted, he's just Steven and his gem is Steven's Gem. Whatever there was of Rose or Pink's personality isn't there anymore. Memories, perhaps, but the person is gone. All that lives in that gem now is a Steven-shaped empty shell, nothing more than the raw power of the pink diamond gem waiting to be used.

Also, everything that happened here doesn't rule out the idea that Pearl really might have pulled Steven's gem out at some point early on. When faced with a dying baby and a baby-shaped pink shell maybe that's when she finally decided to try living with Rose's decision. That'd make a good fanfic. Just sayin'.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:36 PM on January 22, 2019 [5 favorites]

posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:31 AM on January 23, 2019

I kind of like Lapidot the way they are, which is wonderful on its own. Especially since a chunk of Lapis's big story arc was about broken boundaries, having non-fusion relationships between companions strikes me as important. Similarly, this episode put me back on the Lars/Sadie boat because they were people who needed to not be in each other's space all the time to grow.

But, I need to let this one sit because it's a roller-coaster. In its own way, there were scenes I found to be terrifying. The particular psychological horror used hits my personal blisters. But also the scenes of people coming around to to growth as well. Maybe it needed a bit more space because it's so compact.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 5:50 AM on January 23, 2019 [7 favorites]

It occurred to me, we still don't know why the Diamond attack corrupted the earth Gems instead of destroying them. It doesn't seem that White Diamond was behind it, none of the Diamonds seems to know why that happened.

There's still a lot of loose ends with backstory (flashbacks to Greg and Rose's history, gem war business), the nature of the Crystal Temple and all those gem artifacts from earlier episodes. (The Hourglass, the Desert Glass, the Desert Temple, the Scroll Garnet Had To Burn.) The Heaven and Earth Beetles also seemed to have minds that were more advanced than the other corrupted gems. The Watermelon Stevens are now capable of sea travel (other than just walking in the ocean). The Cluster's still buried, the fusion experiments are still around, and Kevin's still out there, being crappy. And also: Era 3. Now that it's pretty much official,what does this mean for the Gem Empire? It seems obvious that they can't continue growing as they have, eventually they'll run out of planets, and Homeworld itself is in awful shape. Presumably the large number of restored and reconciled with Homeworld gems can help with that.

It really was written as a series ender, so I'm not too upset at all that they tied up the bulk of their threads in neat little bows. That was their last chance, when it was written. I'm glad there's more coming, though.

I think, by the storyboard phase, they had to have known there'd be a Season 6 by that point. That might not be true of the script phase, though.

In any event, Season 6 will probably look like a completely different show. Probably the movie will set up the conflict for the series. Something I don't like is the idea that there has to be a big cosmic backstory going on as an excuse to stage the personality-driven stories that have always been Steven Universe's best episodes (An Indirect Kiss, Lion 3, Maximum Capacity, Rose's Scabbard, Bismuth, Too Short To Ride, Last One Out Of Beach City). Why can't the show do those without the threat of interplanetary devastation lurking behind everything?

It's been five seasons, but when I think of all the potential plot threads that Steven Universe has just dropped over the years. Blue Agate? Was in like two episodes, and the Famethest scarcely more! The Ruby Squad were around and did things for a bit and then just went away. Aquamarine and the Topazes showed up for their arc and were gone. (Apparently they were in a couple of the comics?) We never found out about Greg's family, like the two people in the barn's picture! Wherefore art thou, Uncle Andy?

Speaking of comics, Grace Kraft, who has done a lot of work on them, has said that the current series is ending. I don't know if this means it'll resume with an Era 3 line of comics.
posted by JHarris at 6:26 AM on January 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

6) It never occurred to me that Cookie Cat left his family behind because his family was pretty messed up

If I may dive into the Cookie Cat is a Chekhov's Gun weeds for a sec... I love this, because Season 1 Episode 1 Steven is Maximum Kid Steven. So of course he's going to see a situation like that in obvious, simple ways. (In-universe, it's a commercial jingle he didn't write, but bear with me here)

If he, and we, had been exposed to the Diamond Dynamic that early on, he would never have been able to grasp it on the level he eventually did. Like, that's the arc we've been on from "Gem Glow" through now.

I'm one of those "DTMFA your terrible family" people over in Ask, but I feel like most people, confronted with a storyline like "hey, Steven's mom ran away from her entire planet," would have seen that as a tragic and terrible thing for her to have done. Some fans still kind of do; Pink and Rose is/are complicated.

So yes, the arc goes from "Rose left her family behind (and that's tragic)" to "Rose left her family behind (and that's good, and difficult, and complicated)".

Man I love this show.
posted by cage and aquarium at 6:27 AM on January 23, 2019 [9 favorites]

God, this was amazing! Lars really has a knack for timing, huh. Loved the brief shot of Ronaldo fawning over him near the end.
Anyone else notice that Deedee Magno-Hall was credited as voicing "Thing"? I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out who that's referring to..
posted by Berreggnog at 1:39 PM on January 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Anyone else notice that Deedee Magno-Hall was credited as voicing "Thing"? I've been driving myself crazy trying to figure out who that's referring to..

Hmm. Could it be that alien worm from Steven's dream at the beginning?
posted by duffell at 3:00 PM on January 23, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ah, yeah, that makes sense. Cheers!
posted by Berreggnog at 4:20 PM on January 23, 2019

Something I just noticed that's not been mentioned yet, that I've seen anyway. Pink Pearl's head and eye are still cracked. Whatever damage was done to her, I'm not sure it was White Diamond's fault or due to her control. It may actually have been Pink Diamond who broke her, by accident.
posted by JHarris at 2:03 AM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

One more and I swear I'm gonna shut up: Cartoon Network's official SU podcast has an episode out now about "Change Your Mind", including a discussion about how a Disney-made educational film from the '40s inspired White Diamond.

I think it's one of their best episodes yet.
Sometimes it's more chatty/fillery or just plugs other CN properties, but this one digs in a lot.
posted by cage and aquarium at 5:52 AM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

There's a fan theory going around that fake!Connie's breakdown in Rose's Room after Steven tells her not to do what he wants is a representation of what happened to Pink Pearl.
posted by traveler_ at 7:25 AM on January 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

Another thought, the development of Pink Diamond (and also Yellow, Blue, and multiple other gems) is both QUEER AS FUCK and a big FUCK YOU to biological essentialism, with a lot of meat there about how those roles become toxic within families. So that whole scene of White Diamond trying to gaslight Steven's identity as an extension of Pink's pre-determined purpose in life taken a little bit too far was freakishly familiar. I've had nearly that same conversation with family.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 11:10 AM on January 24, 2019 [4 favorites]

The idea that Pink Diamond broke her first Pearl throws her relationship with our Pearl into a new light.

About that podcast... there re statements in there that the next season will see very big changes. I hope, in their attempt to change the show up, that they don't lose sight of what made it popular. Long time skips, huge setting changes, removing much of the cast, etc.

Steven Universe is a show that, for some reason, has attracted an extraordinary and ludicrous amount of internet hate, at least on YouTube, and for a while know-it-all videos listing a hundred reasons why it sucks were inescapable. (Because, you know, The Algorithm.) I'm not trying to be like them, those for whom the show can do no right. Every one of these characters in the show is terrific, and I hope whatever format it takes going forward allows them to keep following their lives, because while the main plot has been resolved for now, it feels like all these little stories have a lot of mileage left in them. I mean, Peedee's only had like one real episode!
posted by JHarris at 2:04 PM on January 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'd like to read something that examines White Diamond as being a metaphor for White American conservative homogeneity. I really think they were trying to pull at that thread with her character.

I mean, her cape was literally Stars and Stripes.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 4:29 PM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Do we think Pink damaged the Pink Pearl, or did White damage her and take her away? In the dream sequence there was that bit about White taking away Pink's Pearl.
posted by Anonymous at 6:27 PM on January 24, 2019

James Baxter posted the pencil test of the Steven-Steven fusion scene!
posted by Anonymous at 6:44 PM on January 24, 2019

btw: major shades of Pleasantville when White Diamond got flushed.
posted by duffell at 6:59 PM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, one more small mystery that hasn't been resolved yet: is Greg's perma-tan really the result of a flash of magical light at the birth of Steven?
posted by traveler_ at 7:45 PM on January 24, 2019 [2 favorites]

I like that, in the end, White Diamond came around. All the Diamonds are particularly interesting characters to show up sometimes. It'll be interesting to see how the Gem Empire changes under Era 3. It'll be interesting to see what happens with this influx of new gems, I presume that they will go off somewhere and not show up every day, in order to save on voice costs.

One thing I realized: although they have a cure for corruption, it is not universally applied, they have to catch a corrupted gem in order to cure it. So, corrupted gems can still play a role as episode antagonists.

There are still mysteries concerning the Temple too. Maybe we'll get more information on these side things in Season 6.
posted by JHarris at 4:14 AM on January 25, 2019

A Reddit thread informs us that Change Your Mind is currently the highest rated TV show episode of all on IMDB, with a 9.9 after 1,154 votes. Second place is the Lazy Town episode Robbie's Dream Team (which might be up there out of respect for the deceased actor who played Robbie Rotten). Third place is a Game of Thrones episode.
posted by JHarris at 7:35 AM on January 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

Things I need to see since the series is continuing:

1. Pink Pearl healed and happy (if confused!) She and Blue and Yellow Pearl can hang.
2. Diamonds fusing (CAN THEY? Steven can so...yes? This would be a good thing to do if there was an attack by a New Villain).
3. New villain is Sneeple. Or somebody is Sneeple.
4. Our Pearl GETS SOME with Mystery Girl or really any hot lady of her choosing
5. Pebbles getting some kind of important role: repairing their shattered planet, say?
6. Really everyone should be rebuilding their sad planets. Plot twist: this will require ORGANIC LIFE
7. Hey, speaking of organics, BRING THE ZOOMANS HOME. I'm sure Dr. Maheshwaren would find them wonderful subjects of study; humans separated from Earth humans for millennia could tell us a LOT about ourselves!
8. If you close the Zoo, then it's FAMETHYST REUNION TIME.

What do ya'll want to see?
posted by emjaybee at 11:40 AM on January 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

So many things are still unresolved in the series.

1. Where did the gems come from?
2. Why is WD so obsessed with "perfection"?
3. WTF is onion? (Ok, maybe some things don't need to be explained)
4. Are they going to heal the Cluster? Why did Yellow want a Geo-weapon?
5. Zoo and (fake?) rose quartzes still unresolved.
6. What happened to Homeworld that caused it to split?
7. How are pearls created?
8. What is the deal with the sentient walls/statues/combs?
9. If Steven, YD, and BD fuse do they make another White Diamond? Or a Black Diamond?
posted by domo at 1:00 PM on January 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also, did anyone else notice the initials for Change Your Mind are CYM, as in Cyan, Yellow, Magenta?
posted by domo at 1:03 PM on January 28, 2019 [6 favorites]

Also, did anyone else notice the initials for Change Your Mind are CYM, as in Cyan, Yellow, Magenta?

posted by duffell at 5:34 PM on January 28, 2019 [4 favorites]

It would be cool to see an actual Rose Quartz gem. Nobody seemed to question Pink's disguise, so she probably has some level of similarity to what actual Rose Quartz gems looked like. Maybe they even have a variation of the powerset of the Rose we know, although healing and organic life-related powers are still an odd fit for soldier-type gems. Dealing with the bubbled gems and the zoomans is definitely something I want to see addressed in a sixth season.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:06 PM on January 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

One theme I think the show could pick up in an additional season would be to have the gems and the humans begin to conflict as more and more gems create lives for themselves in beach city. There's certainly a lot of new gems around, and I think they're all going to want to stay close to Steven. I'd like episodes where humans complaining about their new gem neighbors and misunderstanding their attempts to connect, and so on. Maybe they clash so much it's a sharks vs. jets thing around beach city, and you do a west side story episode. It seems like it could be a source of show-appropriate conflict. Plus I think acquiring intercultural diplomacy skills would be a good mini-arc for Steven.
posted by Rinku at 7:25 PM on January 29, 2019 [2 favorites]

So check this video out at 1:47... I'm wondering if the gem front and center, in front of White Diamond, might be a post-corruption rose quartz gem?
posted by duffell at 8:52 AM on February 5, 2019

"What happens next" with Jasper is a really interesting question that I hope we get to explore. FWIW, I'm kinda interested in seeing the more sociopathic gems like Navy and Aquamarine again, too.
posted by duffell at 5:14 AM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

About that video duffell, I've seen people speculate that gem is Crazy Lace.
posted by JHarris at 8:04 AM on February 8, 2019

Nah, I'm pretty certain that's Geraldine, from the pilot.
posted by Jilder at 4:36 AM on February 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

There's definitely a lot of Gems who are perfectly happy with the way things are(were?) like Jasper and Aquamarine. It will be interesting to see if that sort of conservative/progressive dynamic appears in the future.

Also I can't stop thinking about an alternate reality where Steven starts his training earlier and by the time Jasper and Peridot arrive the CGs just form Obsidian and make extremely short work of the hand ship.

Jasper: Fusion is just a cheap tactic to make weak gems stronger!
200 foot tall fiery black woman: *squish*
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 2:41 PM on February 14, 2019 [4 favorites]

Pink Swan (2018)
posted by runcibleshaw at 8:03 PM on February 17, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ooooh guyyys.... do any of you still play Minecraft?
posted by JHarris at 1:02 PM on February 26, 2019

It's sad that the Steven Universe mashup pack is probably as close as we'll get to a game where we really get to explore the space of Steven Universe. Turning the Nether into Homeworld was an excellent touch.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:45 PM on February 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Depends on what you mean by "explore the space". But, there's already a SU RPG with a new gem created by Sugar.

Steven Universe: Save the Light (via Steam)
posted by runcibleshaw at 3:42 PM on February 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Two new gems, Hessonite and a Peridot with square hair they call Squaridot. And get this: Peridot is one of the playable skins in SU Minecraft, but they included Squaridot as a skin for witch mobs!

The attention to detail in the SU Minecraft world is admirable. Beach City's layout follows the official map pretty well, although there's some differences (Funland is separated from the rest of the city by a bay) everything is generally where it should be. I think they hit upon every Gem location in the show: I've found the Lunar Sea Spire (it's awesome, and has a whole extra basement for the game), the Sky Arena, Mask Isle, Blue's Hand Ship, the Beta Kindegarted (recognizable from Jasper's emergence hole), Bismuth's Workshop, Rose's Sanctuary, Rose's Armory, the Ziggurat (its interior is different, but has some working traps!), the Strawberry Battlefield, the Communication Tower, Rose's Desert Retreat, the Galaxy Warp. Music discs are scattered around to find. I've found four so far, one in Amethyst's Room, one in the Sky Arena, one in Rose's Armory and one in the Ziggurat. Every time you find one, the game notes in the log, cryptically, "Two control blocks filled." Hmm....
posted by JHarris at 3:05 AM on March 6, 2019

Oh, another nice thing about SU Minecraft is that, if you've been away from Minecraft for awhile because of dismay over all the weird new stuff you can only get or do if you've got an advanced game going, many of these things are available just from exploring around and finding stuff. Elytras, for example, a kind of cape that lets you glide like in Super Mario World, can be found by climbing the Communications Tower, and Blue's Palanquin is made of blocks of Lapis Lazuli (no relation to the beleagured gem -- in Minecraft, they're used for enchanting equipment now).
posted by JHarris at 3:09 AM on March 6, 2019

At my parents' house this evening. Their smart TV is logged into my cousin's Hulu account. He and his wife and kid all have profiles on here. I'm watching SU on all of their profiles so they'll see it in their recent activity and maybe get interested and watch. WHY THE FUCK ISN'T EVERYONE WATCHING THIS SHOW
posted by duffell at 9:19 PM on March 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Also... oddly, for some reason, rewatching that scene with Steven's two "halves" helped me understand how it is that Steven (and only Steven) can fuse with humans.

But I'm pretty baked, so.
posted by duffell at 9:50 PM on March 14, 2019 [2 favorites]

but WHEN does season FIVE come to HULU

asking for a spouse who has like standards or something and won't just watch whatever bootleggy thing I contented myself with
posted by little cow make small moo at 7:44 AM on April 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Good news for both me and my toddler: Vol. 2 of the soundtrack is available!
posted by duffell at 4:50 PM on April 18, 2019

For anyone who still has this thread in their recent activity:

I recently came into possession of several dozen Steven Universe postcards. I will send one to anybody who wants one! Just MefiMail me with an address.
posted by duffell at 4:41 PM on April 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

It's not long until the movie....
posted by JHarris at 3:06 AM on August 20, 2019

After the show made it clear that Steven has a real human body that is not only a projection of his gem, I'm wondering if Steven had a surrogate human mother. My first guess would be Vidalia, but then I notice that Steven looks a lot like Barbara...

Or chalk it up to gem magic, which is probably the intended take.
posted by subocoyne at 7:50 AM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Crew members have confirmed that Rose shapeshifted a womb with which to bear Steven, which you have to admit, is not the kind of detail that would normally make it to air in a Kids' Children's Youngster's Television TV program show.
posted by JHarris at 8:39 AM on August 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Huh. Well that raises more questions which I'm going to go ahead and not worry about. Gem magic it is!
posted by subocoyne at 10:31 AM on August 22, 2019

So I turned in a few minutes early for the Steven Universe movie - just in time for Steven to sing "Change Your Mind" and I was immediately bawling again.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:09 AM on September 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

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