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Rebecca Sugar's Steven Universe (Warning: Untagged Spoilers)

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Jojo Steven tho. I’m kinda diggin that form. Minus the homicidal insane part.

 

but being super serious for a second, my mouth was dropped for this entire thing. From Steven loosing all respect of his dad, all the way Steven going insane for a moment and doing the one thing he was morally against in every sense, down to the core of his being, and shattering Jasper. And yeah, jasper got fixed, but now he’s being referred to as a diamond by his once enemy, which he DOESNT want to be compared to. This episode took a dark turn, and I’m seriously at the edge of my seat in anticipation for the finale, cause oh boy.  

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White Diamond Spinel is the most glorious thing we have ever been gifted by this series.

...And White Diamond Steven is the opposite.

I didn't think they could scale things up from "Steven accidentally shatters someone", but actual attempted murder will do that.

 

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2 hours ago, Your Vest Friend said:

The final episodes air in less than 24 hours! How about you listen to the opening theme again to reflect on how far its come.

 

 

What the shit?! 

Did the actual cast do this?

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13 minutes ago, mayday2592 said:

Well this is the first time a cartoon has brought me to actual tears in its finale.

Spoiler

I won't lie, I also found this finale heartwarming.

I also like that the end title and end cards for this series are of Steven already on the road.

 

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I thought the ending was really well done. Unlike Change Your Mind and SU The Movie that had a heap ton of problems that made the characters look a bit bad in their decision making to try wrap things up with a bow ASAP, they actually resolved everything in a good way with heart and made everything feel like it ended well.

Spoiler

Also, I'll give them props - I think it was cool how the ending wasn't about Steven learning to live with Rose's actions, getting over his phobia of becoming like the Diamonds, or such. It was focused solely on the fact Steven was the one who had to shoulder all of the emotional problems and baggage of everyone else without a support system to rely on, and I thought that was neat.

 

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4 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I thought the ending was really well done. Unlike Change Your Mind and SU The Movie that had a heap ton of problems that made the characters look a bit bad in their decision making to try wrap things up with a bow ASAP, they actually resolved everything in a good way with heart and made everything feel like it ended well.

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Also, I'll give them props - I think it was cool how the ending wasn't about Steven learning to live with Rose's actions, getting over his phobia of becoming like the Diamonds, or such. It was focused solely on the fact Steven was the one who had to shoulder all of the emotional problems and baggage of everyone else without a support system to rely on, and I thought that was neat.

 

it made for a much more relatable character arc, so I’m happy they went this way.


 

 

3 hours ago, Your Vest Friend said:

 

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Okay, that was a bit of a copout.

 

mind explaining why? None of this felt asspulled to me. 

 

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Honestly, I think Everything's Fine was the best out of all of them, solely because of Steven's breakdown in the end. It's one of the most terrifying things in the entire franchise, in a franchise with White Diamond turning people into puppets, Spinel poisoning an entire world and trying to murder a stranger, this just topped it. 

There's such a oppressive foreboding atmosphere in the whole episode, where you know the meltdown is coming, but you don't know when or how, and it just keeps progressing on and on. First it starts with Steven horrified and terrified that he's becoming a diamond. Then he denies it, pretends he never hurt Jasper or planned to hurt White, and how he'd never argue with his dad. It's scary just how much he seems to believe it, while also seemingly being completely drunk on power and self-denial, as not only does he remain permanently in Diamond form - but he has the diamond pupils for the whole episode.

The only other time we saw them was when he sadistically told Jasper he was holding back, and he shattered her with a grin on his face. It's a tip off that whoever we're dealing with in this episode, it isn't the regular Steven who would feel bad about his actions, it's an insane power-high Steven who believes he can do no wrong and any wrong he can do is easily fixable. It's absolutely horrifying to witness.  

But when the breakdown happens, it enters another realm. The emotions expressed, the animation, the atmosphere, it was all built right to give this the right weight. The way Steven keeps shifting in the scene, first by telling everyone it's no big deal and they don't need to worry. 

Then he brings up smashing Greg's van as "a minor disagreement and a rite of passage", how he just had thoughts about killing White Diamond, and how he did kill Jasper for a chunk of time, before degrading more and more. I think the point it gets absolutely insane is when he's got a wide grin, and talking like the Joker, about how it doesn't matter what he does, because he can just "fix" it before anyone finds out, and that he can get away with whatever he pleases and still look like an angel. 

This really was the point of no return, because when Steven realises what just came out of his mouth, it's what makes him finally realise he's no longer Steven Universe, he's not Pink Diamond, he's not even diamond, he's a monster - at least in his eyes.

I really do think it's one of the strongest pieces of story-telling in the whole show.

 

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So I took a bit of time to digest the ending and thought I'd just share my 2 cents on it all.

Overall, I liked it. I loved how Steven's plotline was resolved and even teared up a bit at the end. It really did feel like the end of an era.

That being said, I do have two main issues with this 4 parter. The first being the Diamonds as, while I personally still find them fun to watch and love the direction they've taken since Change you Mind, I know a lot of people took issue with how they were reformed and I don't think the finale helped that in any meaningful way. I honestly wish we had generally seen more of them throughout the season as I feel we skipped a lot of steps on their arc. I liked where they ended but I just don't feel like they had the same time as all of the other main characters did. Considering their role in the entire story... I don't think that's good at all. Also, as a side not, White's little sad speech towards the end there was a bit too long and sappy for me, even for this show.

The second is maybe more of a nitpick but damn if I don't need to get it off my chest here. It was the one thing that I really had hoped to get from this ending. Simply put, I would've liked to have gotten one last scene with Pink. Just something that, for better or worst, ended the guessing game with her character. I get that this is probably the more "powerful" ending as it mirrors the real life experience of losing someone without all the answers but fuck man, this is a show and they really put her character through every twist and turn. I don't know how to feel about the character and with her being the catalyst of the entire series, not to mention there being entire story beats revolving around her... shit's frustrating to say the least lol.

Anyways, again, I did overall greatly enjoyed this, as I did Future in general. It didn't pull any of its punches and took a deeper look into mental stress than I've seen any show of this level tackle. Guess I shouldn't be too surprised given the show's history of pushing barriers but it was amazing to watch nonetheless.
 

For me, this entire series will always hold a special place in my heart. It's characters, music, art-style, atmosphere, and universe in general are simply unlike anything I've ever watched. It really transported me to another place. While there were definitely a number of flaws, I can't deny that I did enjoy the ride throughout most of it. There was always a sense of uniqueness to it, even in it's failings. Like, those months of hiatuses and lackluster townie episodes weren't great (and I'll probably end up skipping a lot of them during rewatches), but damn if it didn't lead to a greater filling of payoff when the plot did start to pick back up.

To put it simply, SU is a series that I absolutely adore. While I can certainly see why it has its critics, I'm still one of the many who see this as one damn fine show. While I do hate to see it go (along with the last real remaining pillar of the early 2010 CN renaissance), it did leave on a great note in me. Can't wait to see what Sugar and her team do next.

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My thing with having no mention of Pink at all means that her character pretty much ends in the worst possible light; and because she's dead, she has no way of redeeming herself.

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I should probably have done a review myself, but just didn't have the time or mood yesterday.

In summation, I feel like this finale was pretty alright, mainly in being a emotional soft end that carried from a long journey. Monster Steven looked a little doopy and too pink for my liking, but it most certainly wasn't him anyway.

If there's one criticism I can give that is easy enough to state, Jasper felt kinda like an afterthought in this. I initially didn't think about it until we saw everyone together on the beach, but even her goodbye seemed a little...confused? I liked her introduction at the beginning of the epilogue series and her contribution to the pre-finale was certainly impactful, but she started to feel a little dumbed down.

Actually, another one I just thought of had to do with Pink's influence in all this. What exactly was causing Steven's fluctuations by the end? I actually do recall during his crumbling asking , "Where is all this coming from?" Was I forgetting something? 

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3 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Not everyone is meant to get a second chance. We know more than enough about Pink and what she did to pass our own judgement as viewers. No need to bring it back up again.

True, but my thing is that her character goes in reverse the more you learn about her, so much so that you can basically trace every negative thing in the main characters' life back to her. I'm not saying that she should have had a second chance, but it's a very weird way to frame a character that initially served as an inspiration to them

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13 minutes ago, Strickerx5 said:

The second is maybe more of a nitpick but damn if I don't need to get it off my chest here. It was the one thing that I really had hoped to get from this ending. Simply put, I would've liked to have gotten one last scene with Pink. Just something that, for better or worst, ended the guessing game with her character. I get that this is probably the more "powerful" ending as it mirrors the real life experience of losing someone without all the answers but fuck man, this is a show and they really put her character through every twist and turn. I don't know how to feel about the character and with her being the catalyst of the entire series, not to mention there being entire story beats revolving around her... shit's frustrating to say the least lol.

 

9 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

My thing with having no mention of Pink at all means that her character pretty much ends in the worst possible light; and because she's dead, she has no way of redeeming herself.

 

5 minutes ago, Wraith said:

Not everyone is meant to get a second chance. We know more than enough about Pink and what she did to pass our own judgement as viewers. No need to bring it back up again.

I think the entire point of Volleyball was to be a quite encapsulation of checkpoints for her life--starting out a somewhat out of control brat who hurt her own people demanding to be taken seriously as a Diamond to someone who took just about every step she could to change all that as well as what her fellows Diamonds were doing to the universe by giving up her identity & eventual existence.

White's blubbering was probably meant to be a last acknowledge of the cause for all that, but they probably could've used one last direct address.

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5 minutes ago, Kuzu said:

True, but my thing is that her character goes in reverse the more you learn about her, so much so that you can basically trace every negative thing in the main characters' life back to her. I'm not saying that she should have had a second chance, but it's a very weird way to frame a character that initially served as an inspiration to them

Rose is far from a good person but it's disingenuous to trace her every action as negative. 

Rose gave the gems the gift of free will.  Life and love and family.. She gave them Steven, who eventually dismantled the chokehold the Diamonds held on the galaxy. It's up to you to judge her worth. The show doesn't need to tell you how to feel about her. 

The truth isn't that she's bad, it's that she's complicated. The show dug into that more than enough for me. I was relieved that the cast was over it in future for the most part and living happily. 

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Its disingenuous sure, but the more you learn about her, the worse her character comes off as. Particularly since the last time you hear anything about her is how she treated Spinel. 

 

Its a similar thing they did with Greg recently, but he was given a chance to acknowledge his faults and to try and work past them. Not the show needed to do that for Rose, but having no mention of her at all through the entire season, even as an aside, felt strange after all of the influence she's had on the show. 

 

For the record, I think the finale is fine as it is, aside from a few other nitpicks I had (JASPER!!).

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I honestly believe it was fine not to have anything with Pink. The story was about Steven, and that - frankly - is where it had to stay. It would've been the far easier option to have some reason for Pink to be redeemed for her shitty actions, and have that be the reason Steven feels better - because he gets to realise it's not bad to be a diamond, or Pink Diamond wasn't bad, and I feel like that would've just been a cop out for the ending. 

I don't necessarily the show was about redeeming Pink/Rose, the whole point of that was that she'd already more or less gone through her redemption when she stopped being the spoiled bratty diamond girl who hurt others and didn't care about it, and when she moved to being Rose Quartz and led a rebellion to save the planet.

That doesn't excuse her actions, and that also doesn't excuse the things she even did as Rose (Especially what she did to Bismuth), but that's always kind of been the point to me, it was never an exploration of if Rose could be redeemed, because her role to me at least was two fold - shifting from the typical "big good" trope, to being revealed that she's someone who made a lot of mistakes, and 2 - to prove that Steven ultimately was never her, and that was resolved by the end of Change Your Mind.

Personally, I'm someone who thinks they really put Rose through the wringer far too much. I really honestly did get sick of constantly seeing some new twist about some stupid ass thing Pink did in the past that will come back up to bite Steven, and I think the point I was well and truly sick of it was when Spinel appeared to confirm another massive fuck up, even if comparatively speaking - Spinel is one of the best villains of the show. It really did just get to the point where it felt like the crew just wanted to figure out how far was rock bottom for Rose, and that got really frustrating after awhile.

But as I said, I don't think we really needed a Pink conclusion here. To me, it's always been a case of "Do you think her redeeming actions outweigh the pain and harm she's caused?".

At most, I would've liked to have had a moment actually call back in a meaningful way - earlier in Future, Steven had been moving Rose's portrait around the house, trying to find somewhere to put it because "I didn't want her hanging over our heads anymore". I think it would've been a strong moment if Steven had just looked at the portrait with either a smile, or a proud look during the finale episode.

We don't need a word, or a in-depth conversation, but I feel like having Steven now better understand and empathise with how Pink might've been down the same road as Steven prior to her redemption arc was what caused her mental problems and hurting of others. Steven did horrible things and just barely saved himself because he had the love of his family to help him. Pink/Rose never had that prior to redemption, her family were a bunch of evil space tyrants who treated her as a child and mistreated her a lot, so having Steven understand that much would've been nice.

1 hour ago, DabigRG said:

In summation, I feel like this finale was pretty alright, mainly in being a emotional soft end that carried from a long journey. Monster Steven looked a little doopy and too pink for my liking, but it most certainly wasn't him anyway.

In fairness, I suspect it was the point to empathise Steven didn't really want to be like this. He isn't trying to be malicious. Someone on Tumblr even pointed out the interesting fact that Monster!Steven never scowls or looks angry, he just looks like a mindless beast, which would line up with what White Diamond said when she says Steven wasn't in there anymore. 

I think the point was that Monster!Steven wasn't meant to look particularly threatening, as much as he was meant to look like a mindless beast of chaos who had no idea what he was doing.

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27 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

 

But as I said, I don't think we really needed a Pink conclusion here. To me, it's always been a case of "Do you think her redeeming actions outweigh the pain and harm she's caused?".

At most, I would've liked to have had a moment actually call back in a meaningful way - earlier in Future, Steven had been moving Rose's portrait around the house, trying to find somewhere to put it because "I didn't want her hanging over our heads anymore". I think it would've been a strong moment if Steven had just looked at the portrait with either a smile, or a proud look during the finale episode.

We don't need a word, or a in-depth conversation, but I feel like having Steven now better understand and empathise with how Pink might've been down the same road as Steven prior to her redemption arc was what caused her mental problems and hurting of others. Steven did horrible things and just barely saved himself because he had the love of his family to help him. Pink/Rose never had that prior to redemption, her family were a bunch of evil space tyrants who treated her as a child and mistreated her a lot, so having Steven understand that much would've been nice.

Essentially and a nice way of doing it.

27 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

In fairness, I suspect it was the point to empathise Steven didn't really want to be like this. He isn't trying to be malicious. Someone on Tumblr even pointed out the interesting fact that Monster!Steven never scowls or looks angry, he just looks like a mindless beast, which would line up with what White Diamond said when she says Steven wasn't in there anymore. 

This is what you're talking about, I assume?

5e7.png

Neat. 

27 minutes ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

I think the point was that Monster!Steven wasn't meant to look particularly threatening, as much as he was meant to look like a mindless beast of chaos who had no idea what he was doing.

I guess. The super light greyish pink may have been a way of emphasizing his eyes; I just thought the shade didn't exactly blend in well with everything else.

The beer belly combined with the long thick neck though... 

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Moments like this is when I worry that I'm shallow or at least not very perceptive. You see, this finale did almost nothing for me.

I just don't connect at all to Steven's breakdown, it's a little vague. Whole season is him cracking in so many ways, his friends departing, marriage rejection, anger with his father, almost killing Jasper. Those are legitimate problems, but none of them are core of the subject. if anything most of them are side effect of this real problem.

But what is "real problem"? His powers goes wack because... he's sad? Kinda self fulfilling prophecy, especially since him anger (especially with diamonds) seemed to be side effect of Powers going wack. So angers caused bad powers causes anger again?

And IDK, whole thing is resolved by people saying they love him and want to help. I could swear they were saying this last several episodes, but I guess he needed a megaphone on that?

I just don't feel it. Even end-end with Gems I was like "yeah, I know exactly where it's going. Just start crying and hugging already". I remember when original Digimon ended and last episode was each monster and human having small heart-to-heart. It was worse written, but better idea. No attempt at drama, just bitter sweet goodbyes. Steven goodbye to Lapis, Peridot and Bismuth was better done for me.
Heck, My Little Pony had better idea when

Spoiler

They just made it about coronation that goes as badly as possible. Such pointless thing to show, but it turns out to be last bonding moment between main six and it's surprisingly sweet.

 

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