This Steven Universe review contains spoilers.
Steven Universe Season 5 Episode 21
Steven Universe has an ability to turn what seemed to be answers into questions. That is particularly apt here, where the series draws a direct line to “The Answer” and asks a question no one had really thought about.
Did Ruby know herself before the fusion? Her whole purpose as a Ruby was to be a solider (serving someone else) and to form with other Ruby’s for that purpose. The moment she discovered herself was when she met Sapphire… and they became Garnet.
It was a beautiful story then and it’s not totally negated here. There isn’t an angst fest over if there love means anything because it was formed thanks to a Diamond. It’s much more subdued than that. The love between Ruby and Sapphire is still important but Ruby needs a moment to reflect. She needs time to take stock of what she wants. She needs to be alone.
Again, Steven Universe is using these episodes as a long therapy sessions for its main cast. Ruby here wants to see how she feels without Sapphire. That’s a beautiful and incredibly wise thing to do. For any of us who’ve been in relationships (or watched our friends be in them) we’ve seen how we can become totally reliant on someone else. We lose our sense of self and become one person.
That isn’t presented in this episode as a bad thing, it’s just that Ruby needs some time now to be herself WITH Sapphire. The episode doesn’t make it totally clear what the future will be for them but this line says enough when Ruby proposes to Sapphire.
“This way we can be together… even when we’re apart.”
It’s not just about the physical connection anymore, it’s about an emotional one. Perhaps the two will spend more time unfused now but still be close. It’s telling they didn’t fuse at the end of the episode, they just delighted in being with each other as themselves.
That might be one of the healthiest lessons Steven Universe has delivered yet. You don’t have to always be together to be happy. You can still have that joy even when you’re apart. You don’t have to share every single thought. You don’t have to share every moment, but as long as you’re carrying each other in your hearts? That’s the healthiest thing.
Just questioning your relationships (romantic or otherwise) every once in awhile is good. Maybe you need to be closer. Maybe you need a little time apart. Don’t just accept something because it’s been working for a long time or someone else told you it was good. Always be willing to look inside and examine your own feelings.
While not as strong as the last episode (it would be tough to follow that up) this is still a fitting way to start closing the book on Steven Universe. Come on, wouldn’t a wedding be the perfect way to end it all?
There’s still a few loose ends to tie up (Peridot and Lais especially) but we even got some resolution with Greg finding out about Rose/Pink Diamond. Everything is slowly coming to its natural conclusion. Sure, they could do a huge twist to blow it all open but I’m actually hoping we’re approaching the end. It would be fitting for Steven Universe to go out on what really mattered most.
Feelings and examining them.