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Erin Rewatches Steven Universe, s2 e11-15 February 10, 2016

Posted by Erin Ptah in Erin Watches.
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It’s Week of Sardonyx here in the rewatching queue!

Spoilers may include everything, up to and including the latest Stevenbomb.

s02e11 Cry for Help

  • Pearl’s big sparkly eyes when Garnet invites her to fuse, aww.
  • Steven in his “fusion fusion fusion!” excitement speaks for us all.
  • The fusion dances get more and more lesbiantastic. Three or four fusions from now, they’re just going to be grinding and making out.
  • Controlled! Surgical! Graceful! And…powerful! Seriously, Sardonyx is great. Near the top of my personal scale of SU’s Hottest Character Designs. (Yellow Pearl is also on there, and an honorable mention to Jasper.)
  • “She’s evading my future vision! No matter how many times I try, I can’t see us finding Peridot.” Okay, so Garnet’s vision is limited by what she’s looking for…? (But she picks up on random dangers, like the lightning bolt that was going to hit Steven. Maybe she gets general stuff most of the time, but right now she was really intently focused, just on the wrong thing?)
  • The phrase “cry for help” is usually seen in the context of things like self-harm and suicide attempts. So. Possibly what Pearl is doing could be categorized as dangerous thrill-seeking without regard for the risks? (Risk of hurting Garnet, and of getting herself yelled at.) It’s definitely a “trying to get support in a roundabout and unhealthy way” situation.
  • The way Amethyst defends Pearl here…look, we know she loves her friends, she’s already proven herself ready to punch things in their defense if necessary. But I think this is the first time she’s stood up for someone by admitting her own vulnerabilities. As recently as s02e05 Reformed, she was having a major crisis just from being pushed to think about herself and her issues — and here she is, not only thinking about them, but being emotionally astute enough to figure out how they connect to Pearl’s issues, and then strong enough to open up about it.
  • Point is, Garnet and Pearl are ostensibly at the forefront of this arc, but there’s all this Amethyst character development going on alongside it, and I love it.

s02e12 Keystone Motel

  • Our-world Pennsylvania is nicknamed the Keystone State. Savvy viewers have pointed out that Beach City is probably somewhere on the our-world coast of Delaware…whose nicknames include the Diamond State. (In other jewel/rock-type nicknames: Idaho is the Gem State; Montana is the Treasure State; New Hampshire is the Granite State; and there are multiple claims to copper and silver.)
  • “I don’t like those brushes. They feel weird on your fur.” Awwwk, callback to that time Steven had out-of-control cat limbs.
  • Ruby being dense enough (physically speaking) to just stomp around on the bottom of the pool is a neat detail.
  • “Sapphire! The toilet’s frozen.” “Such is fate.” Ahahaha.
  • Greg’s nonchalant “Oh, boy. Where’s the other one?” is great. It’s such a nice change from the earliest episodes, where he would be all “wait, the lavender cat with a purple gem on its chest is Amethyst??” He’s familiar with, and unfazed by, Gem stuff.
  • (I really hope we get a “first time Greg met Ruby and Sapphire” flashback.)
  • Stephen when he just can’t even with them anymore is wonderful.
  • …although I don’t get Steven’s “is it me?” tangent (and I don’t think it was necessary; Ruby and Sapphire would have gotten the cluebat about how much their arguing was affecting him anyway, without that extra step). Normally you can see where his feelings are coming from — like, when he feels conflicted about being “the reason Rose isn’t here any more” — that’s not his fault either, but you can see the line of logic he’s following. Here…there’s no line of logic at all.

s02e13 Onion Friend

  • Dammit, Onion, stop stealing things.
  • “It’s been years!”…wait, hasn’t Vidalia been living in town this whole time?
  • This naming scheme, I swear. Vidalia, Yellowtail, Sour Cream, and Onion.
  • Dammit, Onion, in general. Look, the kid has a fair number of traits that are (a) not well-represented in media, and (b) harmless and fine — the unusual way he communicates, for instance, and the way he seems to have trouble with food. Which leads some people in the fandom to go “awesome, he’s Good Representation, everyone should learn a lesson about tolerating people like him!” Except…Onion also does things that reeeeeeeally need to be shut down. Starting fires on boardwalks is bad. Showing people videos with unwarned-for genitalia is not okay. And this episode shows Vidalia being tolerant and understanding with the okay things, but never setting any boundaries against the over-pushy or dangerous things. When in fact, good boundaries are also important and healthy.

s02e14 Historical Friction

  • If some plays have 1 actor, and yours has 2, then you have 100% more actors. Not 200% more.
  • Long still frames for the flashback narration. I wonder if this was another budget-saving episode.
  • I’m so intrigued that “he grew into a giant and saved the ship!” is something that people will sorta-buy, as historical human behavior. I mean, our world has folklore about giant people like Paul Bunyan, but we know it’s a tall tale. This world has Gems, including giant fusion Gems…and I guess not every culture quite groks the idea that this is a separate species? So “sometimes humans get very big” works its way into our historical consciousness as a fact, rather than a legend.
  • Proud stage mom Pearl FTW.
  • Jamie’s low-budget impressions of the various Gems are a thing of beauty.
  • North America is “no walk in the park for your species”?? What does this mean for AU Native Americans? I have so many questions. Is Especially since we know from the map that getting from Africa to the Americas involves a short hop between some islands, so you would think the continents would have been continuously aware of each other from much earlier on.

s02e15 Friend Ship

  • Steven, forgetting to be threatening, then belatedly making a stab at it: “Have a great weekend!…I mean…I hope your weekend is not so great?”
  • Pearl projects a globe in this episode, where you see a bit of the AU continents.
  • I’m so impressed that there are ancient spaceships just lying around, and humans haven’t found and dissected them yet.
  • “I’m just a Pearl. I’m useless on my own. I need someone to tell me what to do.” Kkkka;dkgfapefadkfhdzth.
  • “You really think this is the end? This…this is only the beginning!” Are we sure Peridot hasn’t been watching Earth TV already?
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