‘Steven Universe Future’ Offered a Double Feature of Fusion Shenanigans This Week

‘Steven Universe Future’ Offered a Double Feature of Fusion Shenanigans This Week

19 Dec 2019 (PT)
STEVEN UNIVERSE FUTURESTEVEN UNIVERSETHIS WEEK

The latest double-feature episodes of Steven Universe Future return to idyllic shenanigans. After the last intense episode, “Volleyball”, which spilled some discomforting revelations about Rose Quartz, two low-stakes breezer episodes are refreshing and bring us back to the old season one days of the original Steven Universe. Fusion-lovers like me especially perked up.    

“Bluebird” brings back a lingering plot thread and suggests some long-term consequential elements: Steven using his new near-invulnerable Pink powers and reaffirming he still has Gem enemies.

Steven Zach Callison welcomes a new Gem arrival, Bluebird Azurite Larissa Gallagher. But he puts together immediately that said fusion-Gem is the fusion of Aquamarie Della Saba and Eyeball-Ruby Charlyne Yi, doing cutsy gruffness, two former enemies. But Bluebird’s excessive and misplaced gestures to Steven and his friends seem non-malicious. 

Despite his protests, the Crystal Gems Estelle, Michaela Dietz, Deedee Magno remind him he’s out to reform all Gems and maybe Bluebird did change for the better. They’re not necessarily in the wrong to encourage Steven. After all, he has been consistent with his values in reforming “problematic” Gems like the tyrannical Diamonds, even ones that directly pummeled him. But it does feel like the Crystal Gems mount pressure on him to forgo his discomfort, even as Greg Tom Scharpling assures him it’s fine if Steven keeps his distance and the Crystal Gems promise they would apprehend Bluebird if she reverts to her evildoing.

It seems to go in a direction where the lesson would be Steven’s discomfort has to be respected, that even genuinely reformed beings shouldn’t impose on the space of their former victims. But the lesson doesn’t quite go there. Sure enough, Bluebird picks the most vulnerable being, Steven’s human father, to hold as hostage. 

Steven unleashes his new nigh-invincible Pink powers to apprehend them. He eventually plays couple’s counselor—does he do fusion counseling at Little Homeworld?—and suggests they should fuse over mutuality, not hatred of him. Well, they are mutual in their hated of him and they will come back for vengeance.

The obvious outcome, likely done to file a long-term conflict for future episodes, is funny but doesn’t all stick the landing dramatically since it goes off its suggested direction. Premise-wise, it doesn’t feel as fresh as it should, considering Steven already learned that some Gems, like Jasper, just aren’t into positive and productive change—or the change he deems ideal. And if it’s meant to be a longer arc, nor does it feel like it hits enough to complement this arc.

Steven receives a lesson that isn’t bad to stick to his reform-all principles while accepting that some Gems will still hate him. But considering the Crystal Gems pressured him into letting go of reasonable skepticism over their faux-reforming, the Crystal Gem sure owed Steven an apology.

“A Very Special Episode” is as 80s-didactic as it sounds. It sets out to teach young viewers that time management is key—or really, its scenario is a welcomed excuse to deliver the biggest laughs of Steven Universe Future so far.

Considering their exciting few-second appearance in the finale of Steven Universe, it’s natural that the pun-spewing Rainbow Quartz 2.0 Alastair James and the sunnily preaching Sunstone Shoniqua Shandai are warring for screen-time for one episode.

Steven has overbooked his schedule, trying to be in two places at once. First, he must babysit the creepiest human kid, Onion, with Pearl in their Rainbow Quartz 2.0 fusion form and perform their Mary Poppins magical music number where they animate Onion’s action figure, disconcerting dolls, and… Onion’s creepy voodoo-like makeshift doll of Steven. 

But Steven also must assist Garnet with new Gems safety seminars in their Sunstone fusion. But, oh no, the unsettling Onion is causing trouble for Pearl so Steven must dash back to her. But Steven also has to run back to Garnet’s session. You get the gist. It accumulates into insanity—and Callison’s most priceless psychotic vocal performance–when Steven decides to just put Onion in Garnet’s safety session. Things go wrong and it somehow leads to the new Gems falling off a cliff.

Just when you think you might find the escalating goofiness and Steven’s frazzled scheduling contrived, it’s all just an elaborate PSA production by Sunstone, churning in every lesson it can: don’t pull a Steven and manage your time wisely, it’s okay to say “no” to assisting your friends, cross the street safely, and don’t jump off the cliff unless you’re a trained professional.

Tidbits: 

Was Amethyst the camera person in “A Very Special Episode”? That would explain most of her absence until she randomly pops up. It has been two years and it feels like Onion stayed the same size and never aged.

Source: Slashfilm.com

STEVEN UNIVERSE FUTURESTEVEN UNIVERSETHIS WEEK
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‘Steven Universe Future’ Offered a Double Feature of Fusion Shenanigans This Week
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