Steven Universe: Open Book
March 20, 2015 10:18 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Steven takes Connie to Rose's room so they can make up a different ending to their favorite book series.
posted by Small Dollar (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Rose's room is really the worst Holodeck ever. It's not really capable enough for a real simulation, it's overly concerned with pleasing its user, and it seems almost impossible to separate fantasy from reality once inside. It's reaction to being told to stop doing what Steven wants is especially disturbing, and is the first real indication that there may be some form of consciousness enslaved to operate it. I have to wonder what exactly Rose used the room for. She's been described as a warrior and tactician with a strong connection to life, so why have a room of pure fantasy?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:51 AM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, tacticians need to train for future situations, so maybe it's like the Danger Room for the X-Men.
posted by Small Dollar at 2:41 PM on March 20, 2015

Actual!Connie's outfit was so much cooler than Room!Connie's outfit. Steven is a total dweeb but his taste in people is peerless.

I thought this episode was trying a little too hard to be clever, but it pleased me greatly that the conclusion was the same one I've come to after a lifetime of getting into fights with people about media consumption. I also thought it was weird how much they pushed the "tease" of Steven owning up to his crush on Connie when I thought that was... not a secret at all? But I did like what they did with the scary moment of Steven being forced to be truthful about liking the shmaltzy bits. I probably only liked it because I have been in Steven's position plenty of times. Very "my fave is problematic".

Rose's room is bizarre but I have theories about it. I wonder if it's only the way that it is because Steven's still changing and growing? Maybe when Rose was around, it was what she'd grown into needing it to be, and it reverted back to cloudy purposelessness when she left? As a storytelling device it has holodeck level problems. How dangerous is it, actually? Are there safety protocols at all? What are its physical limitations? Obviously, it's limited by what the animators can draw, and Steven needs to be able to think it up, but the more Steven sees and learns, the more he can imagine. And with his life, that gets pretty intense pretty fast. I guess things made in it can't leave the room. But they really seem to have physical weight and volume and presence inside of it. If it were anyone other than Steven who had control over it, things would get terrifying immediately.
posted by Mizu at 5:49 PM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yeah the whole "stop doing what I want" was more or less a direct callback to The Next Generation's Moriarty. Long story short, don't imbue your fantasy machine with the power to oppose you.

The other Crystal Gems use their rooms to keep their stuff and generally relax in private, which I guess is exactly what a human uses their room for when they have roommates. Thing is, Rose had a different place to keep her stuff, one which surely existed prior to the temple's construction. Another thing about the temple is, as we see in the test it can be reconfigured as needs arise, so it's possible each room started out like Rose's but as Misu suggests it is molded by the desires of its owner. Steven doesn't have many desires and in general doesn't interact much with Rose's room, so it's formless clouds.

Really what I want to see, and what will probably happen sooner or later, is what happens when Steven tells the room he wants to speak to Mom.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 7:34 PM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

Fandom commentary! Whee.
posted by wintersweet at 8:58 PM on March 23, 2015

Argh, Amazon, put this on your site, argh.
posted by emjaybee at 8:05 AM on March 26, 2015

We're in season 2 now, emjaybee, are you looking in the right place on Amazon? (This thread should be S02E02, not S01E51, BTW).
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:30 AM on March 26, 2015

Mod note: Edited the season and episode number.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:33 PM on March 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

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