I couldn’t come up with anything else for this week’s review. I really didn’t want to review Steven Universe but I couldn’t come up with anything else. I didn’t know what my work schedule would be like, so I went with the easiest thing. At least, I don’t have to do any kind of research or give background detail because I’ve written about the topic so much.
It’s a bit hard to believe since my last review of Steven Universe was like six months ago. Technically, the hiatus ended the other week, with “Legs From Here to Homeworld.” But, it aired or was leaked or whatever a while back so it doesn’t count.
The hiatus is officially over. And unfortunately, the newest episode “Familiar,” the second episode in the Diamond Days arc, isn’t as good of an opener.
I mean it’s an interesting concept; after the events of the last episode, Steven is on Homeworld, more specifically in Pink Diamond’s room, after meeting White Diamond. To everyone’s surprise, White doesn’t harm him; she still thinks he’s Pink, but she just admonishes him like he was caught with his hand the cookie jar.
Obviously, Pink was the favorite child. Which Yellow and Blue seem to resent. But they’ve also missed Pink Diamond are trying to reconnect with her, without understanding Steven doesn’t have any of her memories. And so in order to try to draw White out of her head, and bring the family back together, Steven decides…to throw a party.
Which is where the episode ends.
The other notable aspect of the episode are the Pebbles. The Pebbles live in Pink Diamond’s walls and floor, taking care of little things. They can speak, but they don’t say more than a few words at a time and their voices are very high-pitched; they’re gems, but not quite.
And as it turns out Steven’s tears can make rocks come alive.* It comes out of nowhere. It doesn’t make sense. Why haven’t his tears bought pebbles to life before? Are these magic pebbles?
Like seriously? I waited six months for all of this?! It’s boring. It’s not even a full episode. It’s like half a plot, in which we find out more or less nothing, and we have the Diamonds all happy and Steven gets to wear Pink Diamond’s outfit.
This last part bothers me. It makes no sense. Gem’s clothes are made out of light. This has been explicitly stated in canon. The clothes are extensions of their bodies, they’re made out of light. So, why do the Pebbles have cloth and know how to sew? Am I missing something? Am I thinking too much?
I do wonder whether they’ll play a significant role or if they’ll just be pushed back into the background and not mentioned for a season and a half.
Then there’s the random, not-quite Gems around Homeworld in weird supportive roles, like walls, doors and combs. They’re not Pebbles. But they seem to have Gems and sentience. Maybe this is what Peridot meant by “harvesting.”
I’m interested to see where this goes. But, it still feels like the episode was kind of incomplete. We do get a better idea of the dynamic between the Diamonds, which is important, but…it also feels a little repetitive. I would have liked to see more of White Diamond, since she’s the newest but I know we’ll see more of her in the future.
But at this point, and I think I’ve might have already said this but this show is starting to feel like more of a chore to watch than a joy. And I hate that. I want to like it. I want to enjoy it. It’s one of the few shows currently airing that I keep up with rather than binging.
I just hope it gets better. Cartoon Network better get it on a more regular airing schedule, and they better not do this shit to Infinity Train when it premieres. Otherwise, I’m going to be pissed. Seriously.
Otherwise, I will scream. They better not do that to what I hope will be my favorite show of 2019.
And that’s the scoop.
Happy New Year everyone!
*As was kindly pointed out by Eternal_Flame_Baby on reddit. Steven does have healing powers, which was a huge plot point. I amended the paragraph.
If you liked this review read: “Heart of the Crystal Gems” or how I stopped worrying and learned to reunite with “Steven Universe”
Year of Release: 2018
Creator: Rebecca Sugar
Episode Directors: Kat Morris (supervising), Liz Artinian (art)
Writers: Amber Cragg, Hilary Florido, Tom Herpich, and Pen Ward