Steven Universe: Fragments
March 21, 2020 5:12 AM - Season 6, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Steven heads to the woods to train with a powerful mentor.
posted by sugar and confetti (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by sugar and confetti at 5:12 AM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]


Indeed. My 13 year old daughter saw this last night and came into my office just gobsmacked. And yeah. I agree. I was talking in the Ep. 15 thread about how Greg was trying to explain to Steven that a nuclear family/suburban experience wasn't possible/going to happen due to this gem legacy.

And then this. Steven showing (hopefully) the outer envelope of his gem legacy, and now having to deal with -- not just dancing around the issue -- but the 100% "worst case scenario".

Shattering Jasper...

Fixing Jasper...

And the real kicker, Jasper pledging her loyalty to her sovereign, Steven, for besting her.

Now, they have to leave the bathroom and Pearl, Amethyst, and Garnet are in the living room, and have that conversation Steven had avoided earlier.
posted by mikelieman at 5:55 AM on March 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

Honestly, I would have been fine with Jasper staying shattered. I mean, obviously that would have been terrible for everyone else, but it's a pretty good button on Jasper as a character: A defiant fighter to the bitter end. Folks have wished for Jasper getting redeemed for a long time, I guess this is a sort of redemption.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:14 AM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

Steven has problems
posted by Anonymous at 7:01 AM on March 21, 2020

Last episode he rebelled.

This episode he ran away from home to spend a few days with a friend who's a bad influence.

That went poorly.

I'm still processing this, to be honest.

Jasper did have some great moments, though, and I generally hate her a bit. But. The kick? Perfect. The bit where Steven kissed his bicep and she deadpanned "I did not teach you that." Glorious.

I also liked how Steven grew like a foot over three days. The return of Steg's quiff. The Impossible Angst Cape in the Rain Eating a Murdered Fish thing (maybe we truly are in the pepperoni timeline). The really dramatic return to Soft Round Steven from Buff Woods Steven after the shattering.
posted by Jilder at 7:09 AM on March 21, 2020 [4 favorites]

It really highlights that Steven's body reflects his frame of mind. If he wants to be buff he's buff. If he wants to be a soft little boy, he's a soft little boy.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:26 AM on March 21, 2020 [3 favorites]

I think you can't deny that Jasper did show him an outlet he needed, of fucking shit up. There was real joy in the sequences where he learned to fight and channel his power. Blowing up rocks and such.

Jasper's position is pitiful in many ways: she doesn't have anything but power and no reason to value herself, no task or goal.

Steven can always have other things/has had them. But they have failed to help him and Jasper's Rage as a Lifestyle is attractive.

So I don't know what's next for him or her.

I did notice his pupils became diamonds right before he sent down the Spiky Shattering Wall.
posted by emjaybee at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

It was really hard to watch the training sequence given the x-ray a few episodes ago.
posted by curious nu at 7:24 PM on March 21, 2020 [8 favorites]

Oh, cookie cats. Your crunchy cookie outsides, your chilly, creamy insides. You were too good for this world.
posted by eustatic at 9:20 AM on March 22, 2020

It was really hard to watch the training sequence given the x-ray a few episodes ago.

Yes- I kept thinking of that and getting increasingly anxious throughout this ep. And then the end came and I was not expecting that at all. Only 4 left, there's still 2 unknown "villains" and I really want to know Steven will be okay or at least on his way to okay.
posted by dogmom at 4:37 PM on March 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

So, jasper came back with a different shirt and a break in the stripe across her face. We 've also gone from shield to bubble, to bubble with spikes, to these geometric forms, to the hexagons with spikes
posted by eustatic at 8:16 PM on March 22, 2020

The next episode is watchable now on the Cartoon Network app. I've not seen it, but from what I hear it doesn't look like Steven's gotten through this yet.

I'm wondering... we know that Steven is Steven and not Pink Diamond or Rose Quartz. BUT... just because this being has moved on to a new form and life doesn't mean that all the stress, all the resentment, all the pain that Pink Diamond suffered is gone. Like an elemental force, directionless. Maybe it's all still in there, buried, long-simmering and subconscious.
posted by JHarris at 7:47 PM on March 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Let's just say Diamonds are not good nurturing parental figures, which sucks for a former child soldier going through puberty and PTSD at the same time.
posted by zabuni at 8:42 PM on March 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Some of this reminds me of the work of Avery Gordon in Ghostly Matters. Here's a short explanation of how the word "haunting" is used to explore the impact of hidden historical trauma (usually in a capitalist system):

"What's distinctive about haunting as I used the term (and this is not its only way, of course) is that it is an animated state in which a repressed or unresolved social violence is making itself known, sometimes very directly, sometimes more obliquely. [...] Haunting raises specters, and it alters the experience of being in linear time, alters the way we normally separate and sequence the past, the present and the future. [...] As I was using it, haunting is an emergent state: the ghost arises, carrying the signs and portents of a repression in the past or the present that's no longer working. The ghost demands your attention. The present wavers. Something will happen. What will happen of course, is not given in advance, but something must be done." (More in PDF here.)

Pink was traumatized by her expected role in the gem system, and while it's not the same system and Steven isn't the same person, these experiences are continuing to pass down to haunt Steven. I have no idea how they can reconcile this, and I'm looking forward to finding out what they do.
posted by past unusual at 9:39 AM on March 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

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