Steven Universe: Together Forever
March 15, 2020 7:49 AM - Season 6, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Steven asks a question.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not really happy with Connie's "busy studying 24/7" characterization in Steven Universe Future. I get that she's super motivated and disciplined and wants to finish college early, but it's such a cliché. If she was really that smart she'd know you gotta do more than take the occasional 15 minute break if you want to be really effective at studying.

The arc of Steven Universe Future seems to be "Steven's traumas come home to roost as his friends abandon him and his coping mechanisms fail him" so sidelining Connie with her ambitions makes sense from the overall arc. Steven is terrified of Connie leaving him too, which is why he makes the mistake of proposing. I don't think Connie would ever intentionally leave him, but given Connie's drive and ambition and Steven's listless malaise I can imagine a world where they drift apart.

Most telling of all, perhaps, is Steven not just proposing, but wanting to make Stevonnie into a permafusion. No doubt the idea appeals to Steven, who has nothing better going on, but Connie has set a path for herself that Stevonnie is unlikely to follow. Thankfully Garnet finally gives him some good advice, which is that a couple should be two whole people that compliment each other, and that trying to make someone else fill in your missing pieces is not a healthy path to take.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:48 AM on March 15, 2020 [4 favorites]

Oh Steven. Oh man, what are you doing?
posted by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on March 15, 2020

Connie may also feel extra behind in school, because it sounds like she spent a lot of time helping Steven negotiate peace throughout the galaxy these past few years. It's unclear how much average humans are aware of this (to judge by Beach City, hardly at all), so that may not rate for college applications. She's probably also at least subconsciously using studying as a dodge, because Steven's become increasingly hard to hang out with.

Still, I was pleased to see that she responded REALLY WELL to his romancing, and was all gooey-eyed and super receptive right until the moment he popped the question. TOO FAR, Steven.
posted by rikschell at 3:36 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'm a little....put Ruby and Sapphire apparently having their own stuff all of a sudden out of the blue when it makes sense for a Life Lesson for Steven moment. Like they were so together the rest of his life he never noticed she was a fusion at all till his teenage years.

But I'm kind of also a bit disappointed in Sapphy here. Garnet says there is no future timeline where Steven doesn't propose. And Sapphy said "ah, Steven, right on time", so clearly she had a bit of a look upstream. And she didn't see the massive cringefest about to unfold? That would have been a nice thick unavoidable pathway. I get she's blinded by love but really? Missing something so obvious Garnet saw it too?


Baaaaaeb. You're functionally immortal. Let the girl finish puberty first, hey. Also you have a warp lion. Calm the fuck down.

I do feel M.Encyclopedia's unease about how Connie's being framed in SUF, too. The Maheswarans relaxed Connie's micro-schedule after Monster Hospital, so this is something she's probably decided to do. She's also just 16 - that's at least a year too soon to be really thinking too much about college in my part of the world, I don't know about the US, but she's got like 18 months to go. She got to take the night off to go skating and didn't seem too stressed about, so maybe the Hell Schedule is Steven projecting. We do see this from his perspective, and always have, so perhaps that sense of everyone abandoning him is purely part of Steven's perception, and not the actuality of what's going on with him. I mean in Prickly Pear and Snow Day there was a sense of them being all up in his business, too present. When he wants room they're smothering him, when he needs them they aren't there.

So I dunno man, maybe this is more Steven feeling lost than people genuinely leaving. I mean Lion can take him literally anywhere he needs to go. The Gems being in the woods is nothing. He can get there if he really wanted to. The distance is emotional, I think.
posted by Jilder at 3:55 PM on March 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Isn’t that what the teenage years are, though? Your family all up in your business when you want to be independent, and leaving you to your own devices when you ought to be begging for help. Meanwhile your hormones are making you irrational and you feel like everything is the most important thing ever and will go on forever and yikes!
posted by rikschell at 4:34 PM on March 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Proposing marriage! Wow, heh. Pretty dumb teenage thing to do. I wonder if suggesting becoming a permafusion is Steven's way of trying to negate himself? We've seen in prior episodes that he doesn't feel like there's a place for him.

I have a crazy theory. We know Peedee, the least-present of the main cast of them all, has a new character design (visible in the SUF intro, he's tall now!) but hasn't shown up yet. My guess (my hope, because Peedee is great) is they're saving him up. How fun would it be if the show ended with Steven Universe, savior of the universe, heir to the legacy of Pink Diamond, wielder of like 20 different awesome powers, decided to spend a bit of his possibly infinite time working with Peedee at Fryman and Sons' fryshop?
posted by JHarris at 11:16 PM on March 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Wow, harsh reactions here. I liked the episode, and I liked Garnet's comments at the end.
posted by Pendragon at 4:36 PM on March 16, 2020

Man, I liked this episode, but also the whole thing felt like watching two cars about to collide in slow motion. There’s a lot to be said for Steven’s luck in Connie being charmed instead of horrified, too.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:37 AM on March 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

Steven literally exploded when emotionally stressed out, destroying his instrument. Saphire probably encouraged the cringefest because there could be other potential futures where he couldn't hold that smile until after she left the blast radius. I mean, they parted on good terms and even without the definitely-too-dark specter of potential physical danger there would be alternate futures where they break up over this and Garnet really doesn't want that.

The episode was a little much of a slow emotional car crash for me in the middle but the exchange at the end was some of the best shit this TV show has ever done. "Maybe shoving this adorable cake in my face will make me feel better." "It really really won't." "I'M DOING IT ANYWAY." "I know."
posted by fomhar at 5:30 PM on March 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here's an interview that covers a few things in the following episode, but focuses on this one. Most important bit for this episode excerpted here:

Sugar: [Steven is like Pink Diamond], but again, he’s being himself. Garnet is fairly pragmatic as a character, but Ruby and Sapphire individually—Ruby is extremely impulsive and very, very excitable. The idea was that Ruby would really not have the kind of perspective that would allow her to know why Connie wouldn’t want to necessarily immediately say yes, because Ruby’s a complete romantic. Hopelessly so. Sapphire, on the other hand, she used to be a fatalist, and while she’s able to see the future, she can only see a single path, and it’s a future where she does nothing. The important thing to understand about Ruby and Sapphire is actually reflected in how Garnet’s powers work.

Sapphire’s future vision works because she’s completely passive, and while Ruby can’t see the future, she’s extremely spontaneous, and that spontaneity and impulsivity alter the tracks of her life all the time. Garnet’s future vision shows multiple paths and they’re paths where she’s being proactive. Even if Sapphire can see a single track where something happens that she can’t control, she knows because of her relationship with Ruby that that’s not necessarily true. She could see a future where whatever it is goes wrong, but her experience with Ruby has told her that love alters fate.

To Sapphire, it doesn’t matter if Garnet as a person is an impossibility. Experience has shown her that love changes fate, and she thinks that Steven’s proposal can work. Ruby, not being able to see any future at all individually, thinks that anything is possible if she rushes into it with enthusiasm because it’s been true for her, so she’s just excited at the idea of Steven doing the same thing. When the two of them come together as Garnet, she’s able to see multiple possibilities that are being shaped by her actions, but this is getting so technical I don’t know if it’s helpful—

posted by fomhar at 6:25 PM on March 17, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm also totally okay with Garnet having a different outlook on what relationships are and having time apart than she did within the first season of Steven Universe - in a lot of ways she's the one that's done the least amount of growth throughout the main run of Steven Universe, but there was plenty with Sapphire and Ruby trying to figure out their codependence and how to mitigate conflict in a relationship. I don't necessarily think it's sudden.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:19 AM on March 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Connie's studiousness is SUCH an Asian family thing. Makes sense that she'd want to (or feel like she has to) work hard now and maybe even overdo it! I feel like her parents might have relaxed a little, but (having grown up in a culture of Study All The Time Because You Have No Other Life, though with a very complicated experience of it) I doubt that pressure is completely gone.
posted by divabat at 12:50 AM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

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