Steven Universe: A Very Special Episode
December 14, 2019 10:57 PM - Season 6, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Rainbow Quartz 2.0 is baby-sitting Onion. Sunstone was scheduled to teach Earth Safety to a group of gems at the same time. How will Steven manage to fulfill both responsibilities at once? And what about Amethyst??
posted by JHarris (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some fans call episodes like this one filler, but I love these kinds of stories. Not everything has to feed directly into an overarching plot!
posted by JHarris at 11:02 PM on December 14, 2019

This is a bit Uncle Grandpa for me. Like, waaaaaah? Still fun, at least.
posted by Jilder at 12:58 AM on December 15, 2019

I hope the shenanigans were just an Alternate Timeline sorta situation (or Made For Sunstone TV) because it'd be really galling if the Gems really were so reliant on Steven that they can't seem to manage things for themselves without him.
posted by divabat at 3:36 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

I also got a strong Uncle Grandpa vibe, mainly from the repeated 4th wall breaking and characters acting out if character for the sake of comedy. I'm just happy to get more Sunstone and Rainbow 2.0.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:34 AM on December 15, 2019

Some people have noticed that Sunstone's set at the end is the same as that from the Dove self-esteem commercials.
posted by JHarris at 9:54 AM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

I was just thinking... Steven Universe's modus operandi is that even "filler" episodes usually reveal some important information. Rebecca Sugar has referred to the show as a "puzzle" they've been designing since 2012. Did we learn anything new from this episode?

We learned that the gems have gotten increasingly comfortable with fusion. Of six episodes so far, four have had fusions (other than Garnet of course, and including one where even Steven's enemies fused, paradoxically something they wouldn't have felt it proper to do without Crystal Gem attitudes towards fusing spreading through gem culture). It feels like the show is moving towards doing something with fusion in general.

It was a fairly light episode, but I enjoyed it. Of course, I enjoy all of them. I even liked the Uncle Grandpa episode.
posted by JHarris at 11:43 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ah, of course! It establishes what Rainbow 2.0 and Sunstone are like outside of their limited appearances in the Change Your Mind series. The new version of Rainbow Quartz is like a Mary Poppins magical nanny person; Sunstone is a walking Ad Council spot.
posted by JHarris at 12:03 PM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

To be clear, I also liked the Uncle Grandpa episode, much more than anything else Uncle Grandpa-related. There aren't many episodes of Steven that are fully devoted to comedy but the ones that are are so fun
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:58 PM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

How is this filler? It s about the conflicts of overcommitment post utopia. Pretty clear part of a set of "new Steven problems," even if Steven didn't go pink this episode.
posted by eustatic at 2:18 AM on December 16, 2019

I don't think it's filler so much as a return to the episodic slice-of-life episodes the show began with, which I like. There are fans, however, who derisively refer to any episode that isn't obviously part of Grand Underlying Scheme or refer to Portentous Ancient Lore as filler.
posted by JHarris at 4:52 AM on December 16, 2019

Uh, guys? I just realized something. It's not directly related to this episode, but this is the most recent thread as of this writing, so I'm going to put it here....

Remember when Jasper emerged from the ground? Remember how she was the only perfect quartz in the Beta kindergarten? There was an implication that her perfection kind of came at the expense of the others; that, because of Beta's haphazard layout, she soaked up the material that other gems could have used to attain a larger, stronger form. This seems to indicate something about gem formation in general.

What if the Diamonds were the same way? White formed really really well, Yellow and Blue moderately okay, and Pink was the Amethyst of the group, taking longer and being more resource-deprived than the others? Remember back in Greg the Babysitter, Rose talking about gem formation: they pop out of the ground already knowing what they're supposed to be, and then, that's what they are, forever. That could give a gem like Pink a huge inferiority complex? Maybe resulting in tantrums and the like?

Well, this is just speculation. I've speculated like this here before, and I think on the average I've been wrong, heh. It's fun to think about though!
posted by JHarris at 5:05 AM on December 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh man you and me both, JHarris. I'd love to know why Pink was so small. And as for being wrong, I was adamant for ages that Pink couldn't possibly be Rose Quartz because Reasons, and we all saw where that got me.
posted by Jilder at 5:50 AM on December 16, 2019

Pink is very much the Amethyst (and Steven) of the Diamonds, for sure. Pink and Amethyst both came out "wrong" relative to their peers, they both don't have the sense of purpose and belonging that their peers have. And Pink and Steven were both coddled and protected by their family when all they wanted was to be included. It's interesting that sans the overwhelming strength of her sisters Pink developed a different set of powers, including a "Super Saiyan" overcharged form and, later, powers over organic life and healing.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:01 AM on December 16, 2019 [2 favorites]

I am still curious about how Pink Diamond got those powers, of healing, resurrection and to animate plant life. Maybe slow falling is another one? The only other instance we've seen on the show of a gem gaining new powers has been Peridot's metal manipulation, which are pretty good now. Are powers something that a gem can improve with practice, or is something else at work? My old theory is still out there, that Earth life and environment naturally empowers gems over time.
posted by JHarris at 11:43 AM on December 16, 2019

"Familiar" from the episode of the same name is a really lovely nod to that, Mr. Encyclopedia.
posted by Jilder at 6:26 PM on December 17, 2019

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