In the tenth episode of the fourth season of Steven Universe, Steven learns about his first snowstorm. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.
AH, BABY STEVEN. I WASN’T READY. I love these little glimpses into Steven’s past, both for the insight and the chance to see how Greg and the Crystal Gems dealt with the complications of life on Earth. This flashback in particular highlights just how much these characters have changed, especially Pearl.
At the same time, they’re still learning how to be a family, and given that this comes after “Gem Harvest,” that’s a very important theme. Their lives are always going to be complicated! Yet there’s a purity here, one born of the struggle by Greg to figure out how this whole parenting thing works. We know from previous episodes that he had Vidalia to rely on in the early days, but I’m guessing that this episode marks the point where the Gems took a more active role in raising Steven. Of course, it’s not without some conflict, since the Gems had no concept of what raising a human was like. (Hell, neither did Rose prior to having a kid with Greg. Remember Baby Sour Cream?) That’s not to say they didn’t try! I loved them bringing gifts to Steven, much like they were Gem-versions of the Three Kings visiting baby Jesus. (Sorry, I couldn’t get the image out of my head, y’all, and now I’m sharing it with you.)
Yet in those scenes, it’s clear that none of the Gems are ready to accept that Steven is his own person. Amethyst thinks Rose can’t shape shift in her current form; Garnet is convinced that Steven is some weird fusion; Pearl believes she just has to remove Rose’s gem to help her come back. It was clear that this was going to be a hot mess, so I felt really bad that they freaked Greg out by KIDNAPPING STEVEN. Oh my god, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? But that was just another sign that they didn’t truly understand the ramifications of their actions. Steven was just in the way of Rose, right? Thus, how could they get this baby to stop preventing Rose from coming back?
That’s what they eventually adapt to: Steven is a person. This is what Rose wanted! Obviously, that’s hardest for Peal to accept, and she struggles throughout this episode to do what she thinks is right as opposed to what she wants. This felt like a much easier journey for Garnet and Amethyst, though both of them fail to “turn” Steven back into Rose as well during “Three Gems and a Baby.”
This was a super cute episode that STARTED WITH A SONG, so I was already in a good mood. But I love knowing that these characters devoted themselves to raising Steven as best they could, even if they knew they were unprepared for the journey that awaited them. That’s a pretty loving thing to do.
The video for “Three Gems and a Baby” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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