Steven Universe: Earthlings
August 8, 2016 4:26 PM - Season 3, Episode 23 - Subscribe

Steven, Amethyst, and Peridot confront Jasper in the Beta Kindergarten.
posted by Small Dollar (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Rather a huge lorebomb in this episode! Finally we learn about Rose Quartz's connection to Pink Diamond. I think there's still something to it, though, there's stuff there we don't know about yet. If Jasper was made in the Beta kindergarten as a reaction to the rebellion, by Pink Diamond or her agents, to the extent that Jasper feels loyal to her, then it stands to reason that she couldn't have been destroyed by Rose at that point, meaning that Rose must have fought against Pink Diamond for a substantial period.

Also: Jasper's search of power finally results in terrible consequences for her! And Steven finally fuses with another gem! And lots of great Peridot moments on top of those things!
posted by JHarris at 5:11 PM on August 8, 2016

Smokey Quartz is ADORABLE!
posted by divabat at 5:15 PM on August 8, 2016 [7 favorites]

My internal thoughts:

that's pretty much it. I'm flattened by the lore bomb.
posted by emjaybee at 5:35 PM on August 8, 2016 [7 favorites]

This is pretty much a running reaction to this episode (and the previous one)
  • oh hey, Jasper is an earth gem too, cool.
  • Hey, her kindergarten is all orange and yellow! :o that's cool too..
  • poor Amethyst is having such a hard time..
  • the sonic spin with the flaming whips is a cool attack!
  • Peridot, you're lovable but useless.
  • *Had to pause the episode at this point because she was unable to process thoughts*
  • WAH
  • I CAN'T
  • Ok ok we have to finish watching this episode.. *resumes play*
  • omg the yoyo is cool! That's such a perfect weapon for them too. Go Steven and Amethyst, go!
  • Ugh Jasper's going to fuse with one of those monsters isn't she.. yep she is. She has issues.
  • Yay run little monster gem run!
  • OMG wait Jasper is corrupted! Hurry Steven, heal her!
  • Omg, did she hurt Steven's gem!? Whew, he's ok.
  • Wait wait what did you say Jasper, what did Rose do?
  • Rose killed Pink Diamond?! Confirmation of Pink Diamond?!
  • Ah Peridot! :O YOU POOFED JASPER!
  • Amethyst called her sister, omg.

posted by INFJ at 5:49 PM on August 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

Slightly more coherent thought:

Could the reason Earth is so valuable to the Diamond Authority is because it's such a rich source of Quartz-gems? We got semi-confirmation that Rose was made on Earth, and we now know both Jasper and Amethyst were. Furthermore, based on hole size, it looks like all the gems that were made in the Prime Kindergarten were Quartz-gems.

Maybe homeworld, with their lack of resources, couldn't grow anymore Quartz-gems.

Jasper being an Earth gem does blow a hole in my theory that all earth-grown gems are rebellious by nature.
posted by INFJ at 6:13 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


...I know other important things happened in this episode, and at some point I may be ready to consider them. Can't get past the yo-yo tricks yet.
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:52 PM on August 8, 2016 [5 favorites]

brb screaming forever
posted by dipping_sauce at 7:43 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

The corruption thing was interesting in that it looked like Jasper sort of "caught" the other gem's corruption, based on the color scheme.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:09 PM on August 8, 2016

This all makes me thing that the way to heal the corruption is going to involve Steven fusing with a corrupted gem. The cluster was resolved when Steven was able to communicate mentally and get them talking to each other. If the corruption is mental damage, then you can't really hope to deal with it cut off from everything whether by a bubble or the monstrous form you wind up in. Steven makes the effort to communicate with centipeedle, and it's the closest anyone's come to reversing the corruption.

Now Steven is part human. We know he's immune to gem weapons that disrupt the physical form. He's got a human brain that's also, presumably, not vulnerable to something that corrupts gems. We've seen him resolve Kiki's internal psychodrama in Pizza Dreamscape Evangelion, er, Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service. Figuring out what Rose Quartz did to Pink Diamond might also be a motivator to try and get into what's left of Jasper's head. I mean, everyone only tells you how wonderful Rose was, until you meet the gem she abandoned in suspension and then quietly erased from history who tries to murder you the moment she thinks you are Rose. That seems like might make you a little bit curious, maybe suspecting you're not being told the whole story.
posted by Grimgrin at 8:20 PM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh my goddd Steven fused with another gem. I thought that the show would avoid this cuz it seems like it would be really complicated with Connie. But this seems like it puts a whole lot of amazing stuff back on the table. Will Steven fuse with Pearl? Will Pearl fuse with Connie?

posted by rustcrumb at 8:21 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


God what an incredible episode I still need to unpack but GOD ALL OF IT IS SO MUCH and then the end with Lapis trapping the returned Rubies! This week is gonna be a roller coaster!!!

posted by angeline at 8:39 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's said before that gems and baseline humans can't fuse, but I wouldn't be surprised if one of the big final revelations is they actually can. Connie + Pearl seems a strong candidate if it does happen since she's already experienced fusion and they have a close bond. Maybe there's a revelation that Steven's conception involved fusion? That would be a weird thing to include in a kid's show.

I wonder if Steven's human side will have an impact on Amethyst thanks to the fusion. You can't say fusion doesn't have an impact on gems, look at Malachite (and subsequently Jasper catching corruption.) Fused gems become one mind, so Amethyst became the first gem to actually experience what it means to be Human.

Amethyst said "C'mere Sis" when she picked up Jasper. Poor Jasper. Poor Amethyst. She learned that being a beefcake is nothing next to the Power of Friendship.

I think there is a tiny hope that Rose Is Pink Diamond is not dead. Just because Jasper says Pink Diamond was her diamond doesn't mean they ever met, and just because Rose was also "Pink Diamond's" doesn't mean the Diamonds didn't invent the tale of Rose Quartz betraying her Pink Diamond to cover up Pink Diamond abdicating her position. It's a long shot but it's still possible.

This isn't the end of Jasper. The fact she got corrupted is basically a guarantee Steven is going to figure out the cure for corruption, and the cure is going to involve fusing with a corrupted gem.

I think the haphazard setup of Beta Kindergarten is a symptom of a larger issue Homeworld is having. Whether or not Rose was Pink Diamond the loss of Pink Diamond led to Homeworld giving up on taking over new worlds, meaning Homeworld is on a slow decline. They're stuck with already established Kindergartens with shrinking resources, leading to Peridots with (supposedly) no inborn magical powers.

Has anyone been keeping up with Peridot's Twitter? I bet she has something to say about all this.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:42 PM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Now that it's really, really for sure confirmed that Rose isn't Pink Diamond, I've been wondering if maybe Lion is Pink Diamond.
posted by baf at 9:11 PM on August 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Peridot hasn't tweeted since July 28 :( She's presumably too busy bonding with Lazuli Lapis.
posted by glass origami robot at 10:23 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm betting now that Rose caused the corruption, not homeworld. Maybe it was meant as a non-lethal weapon, or as a way to let the gems choose their forms, or as a side effect of fighting Pink Diamond.
posted by smasuch at 11:23 PM on August 8, 2016 [3 favorites]

Peridot hasn't tweeted since July 28 :( She's presumably too busy bonding with Lazuli Lapis.

I guess important meepmorpists don't have time for Twitter. :(

Natasha Lyonne is the voice of Smoky Quartz! How perfect! I love her so much.

The corrupted gem that Jasper fused with was obviously not a consenting partner (nor probably capable of consent in her current state?) which made it... super extra dark.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 2:21 AM on August 9, 2016 [5 favorites]

I think this is the first gem fusion with a unique voice who isn't voiced by a musician. I really liked that convention; I wish they had kept it. Natasha Lyonne did sound a lot like a combination of Steven and Amethyst though.

Smokey Quartz is fun! I liked her freckles. That extra arm was slightly grotesque.
posted by painquale at 3:27 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Not yet mentioned: Steven says "That sucks!" Has he ever said anything that remotely negative before? It's very teenagery of him.
posted by emjaybee at 10:29 AM on August 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh and I forgot to post: Smoky Quartz is not symmetrical and seems like she might be a "rough" fusion, like Garnet when she first fused was all swirly and had mixed-up clothes. Maybe if they fuse more, they'll smooth out their style/have 2 or 4 arms/have a more polished/complete outfit. Like Sardonyx or Opal.

Stevonnie seems to do ok with their teenagery combo, but might eventually change as the two of them mature.
posted by emjaybee at 10:32 AM on August 9, 2016

So the first antagonists on the show were various corrupted gems. Then, Lapis stole all the oceans of the planet. Then we had Peridot's probes/drones, and Peridot herself, as the major threat. Then she shows up accompanied by Jasper, who promptly poofs Garnet and captures everyone. After being defeated by Garnet, Jasper fuses with Lapis to become Malachite, a fusion of the two previous biggest antagonists on the show. Yikes! After a detour to deal with the Cluster, Alexandrite eventually defeats Malachite, and Jasper starts building an army of corrupted gems.

So in addition to all the incredible lore reveals, and hints at previously un-imagined backstory twists and turns, and the amazing character development, this episode is a huge, huge turning point in the plot. Jasper has been a major threat since The Return, and now she is pretty thoroughly defeated -- corrupted, poofed, and bubbled.
posted by rustcrumb at 10:44 AM on August 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

My current theory is that this seasons is about "what's really up with Rose" and next season is "find a cure for corruption" although it's possible they'll be reversed.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:07 AM on August 9, 2016

Oh my goodness, Peridot in this was the best. "I have metal powers! I'll show you! Nggghghgghh...."

Interesting that Smokey Quartz forgot her name at first. Rose & Amethyst must have fused before, but Steven's inability to remember life as Rose must affect his gem fusions as well.

Also, wow, facing a fusion puts Jasper way off her game. She gets way more angry and way less strategic as soon Smokey Quartz shows up. And then fusing with the corrupted gem... yiiikes. She's awful, but also increasingly tragic.
posted by Kilter at 5:32 PM on August 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Smoky Quartz is not symmetrical and seems like she might be a "rough" fusion, like Garnet when she first fused was all swirly and had mixed-up clothes.

Hmm, I just thought it was Amethyst's haphazardness and Steven's quirkiness, but you might be onto something.

But squeeeeeeee! Smoky is the best. Between her and the lore reveals and Peridot's moment of awesome, this episode is my new favorite.
posted by Foosnark at 7:07 PM on August 10, 2016

Referring to people above, Peridot's Twitter feed has updated. The new tweets say either a lot, or a little, depending on your perspective.
posted by JHarris at 7:01 AM on August 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

I was just thinking....

Jasper is presented as a threat throughout the episode and all the cues point to her being dangerous. But discard the staging and incidental music and look at Jasper for what she is: some woman who trapped a whole bunch of dumb animals in caves thinking they were going to be her personal army. Cat ladies are less crazy than that. And the moment they get let out of their caves, of course, they run for the hills.

Poor Jasper. Fighting really is her life. She basically saw herself as a Pokemon trainer.
posted by JHarris at 6:49 AM on August 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

I really appreciate the development of Steven and Amethyst's friendship in the past several episodes, culminating in the Smoky Quartz fusion... and I'm really excited to see where they take the arc of their friendship as the show goes on. I feel like this fusion might... be a healthy thing for both of them?
posted by duffell at 7:50 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

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