This Steven Universe review contains spoilers.
Steven Universe Season 5 Episodes 23/24
There’s almost too much to talk about here but yeah, this isn’t the end of Steven Universe. It was the climax. While the reveal of Rose as Pink Diamond was a shock this is the true big bang of Steven Universe’s plot. When all those pent up feelings get unleashing in one gigantic battle.
But we can’t forget the wedding, can we?
As I discussed in the last review just getting to see a lesbian wedding on a kids show is revolutionary. It’s not a blink and you’ll miss it shot. It’s not implied. Ruby and Sapphire get married and a large chunk of the episode is devoted to it. It’s wonderful, hilarious, and it brings a tear to the eye. Just like all the best weddings do.
I loved the little touch of Sapphire wearing a suit and Ruby wearing a dress. If I had to lay money on it I would have assumed the opposite but Steven Universe loves to play with expectations even in these small ways. I can’t even begin to speak on the good seeing this will do not just for the adult fans of the series but also especially for kids.
How much better will those kids lives be growing up seeing two lady characters get married? How much will that do to either help them through tough times or at the very least make them more understanding of others? Bless this show.
It also made me think a lot about fusion. For some the fusions are clearly just a stand in for sex, which is the most boring surface level reading of it. Fusion is and always has been a display of love, one that could be good or twisted into evil. It could be controlling or it could be nurturing.
Like love in real life, it’s not the same thing to every person. There’s romantic love. Sexual love. Platonic love. Incredibly screwed up abuse (which is the farthest thing from true love possible). It’s all there and every fusion is different. I adored how Ruby summed up her love for Sapphire with,
“I wanna be me… with you.”
So simple and yet it says it all. I think for the good kinds of love that should be what it always is. The ability to just be yourself with others.
A long time I ago I speculated the big final conflict of this show wouldn’t be a battle but it’d be a conversation. It ended up being both.
Steven tried to tell the Diamonds, “there’s no reason to fight” but they did it anyway. Steven knows violence isn’t the first answer but they have to protect themselves… And Lapis finally took a stand.
Trust me, I could go shot by shot with this episode and especially this gorgeously animated fight but I want to focus on Lapis. Her running away was completely valid before but I’m glad she stood up for herself. She wasn’t going to let her fears consume her. She wasn’t going to let anyone else have power over her anymore. That’s just as empowering as the Ruby and Sapphire wedding, standing up to those who caused you deep hurt.
Lapis also used that hurt to her advantage. Even when Blue Diamond tried to take her out she just shrugged it off.
“I’ve felt worse.”
Lapis is my favorite character in this show for a reason. She’s a survivor. She’s not perfect. She’s messy, but she’s still there when it counts. Her hurt may try to define her but she fights it. Bless her.
As amazing as that fight was the only way to win it was through communication. Steven basically turns into a ghost and uses his emotions to keep his friends going. While all his messages were adorable the most important was the one he gave to Pearl.
In the heart of battle Pearl is still only thinking of doing it for Rose and Steven… but he reminds her to think about herself to. She then delivers this powerhouse of a line that sums up Pearl’s development.
“I’ll do it for me.”
BLESS. THIS. SHOW. Everyone has come so far but seeing where Pearl was in the flashbacks with Pink Diamond, someone who just wanted to be everything to Rose, to now fighting for herself? Again, incredibly powerful for everyone watching. Steven Universe just hammers home so many powerful themes and messages.
And so the episode ends with Steven finally getting through to the Diamonds.
“We aren’t enemies. We’re family!”
And now the falling action. The big battle is over. All that’s left is the biggest loose end of all. White Diamond. Where is she? Who is she? How will all of this change Gem society?
While there’s an inclination to go for another big battle with thousands of Gem warships I hope it’s smaller than that. I hope the main goal now is White Diamond and how the team, with Blue and Yellow in tow, will change the universe.
We’re slowly coming to the end.