Written by: Winona Young
This article contains spoilers.
Everyone loves a good wedding. That, and a pair of matriarchal alien overlords crashing one. Meaning, Steven Universe is back with five-episode “Steven Bomb” (a noun that the show’s creators use to describe the scheduled release of a few episodes all at once). This week’s episodes are full of love and long overdue character and story development.
With Pink Diamond out of the proverbial Rose Quartz bag, we begin this arc with a fight between everyone’s favourite couple, Garnet. There’s a break-up, a Western mini-movie, a proposal, and a redemption arc for Bismuth.
For fans, there’s a lot to gush over. For one, even though Steven Universe stands as a children’s cartoon, it does not pull back on presenting emotionally complex characters with complex problems. These episodes effectively ended the discussion of Pink Diamond’s morality, and finally acknowledged the Crystal Gems’ emotional dumping on Steven. That, and we get a wedding! This shows that despite the gems being, well, gems, they still have completely human emotions.
The wedding was one of beautifully written vows, and once the Diamonds arrived, had well-choreographed fight scenes. Musically, these episodes were to die for. Aivi & Surasshu reworking “Stronger Than You” brought on tears galore at the wedding. The raspy voice of Ruby’s voice actress, Charlyne Yi, worked perfectly for a country western ballad, while a typical showtunes-style musical was great for a bright and sentimental as all heck wedding song with Steven (Zach Callison) singing away.
With the Diamonds back and with every character fighting their best, we also saw some great and well-needed character development — Lapis, Pearl, and the Diamonds themselves being great examples.
However, while there was a lot to rave and cry about these past few episodes, the Steven Bomb wasn’t without flaws.
For one, characters’ moods and plotlines escalated fast. Sapphire’s breakdown seemed out of nowhere, and inconsistent for her character. The first episode in particular had a forced storytime sequence with Pearl, which overall felt rushed, and would have definitely benefited from extra time.
The following episode with Ruby as a neo-cowboy, while adorable, was ultimately unnecessary. It’s clear that these episodes, as well as these past seasons were leading up to the wedding episode “Reunited.” The buildup to this showdown for the most part was organic, seamless, and very well written; it just so happens there were a few stray spots.
It’s clear that with this Steven Bomb completed, the last arc is in view. With White Diamond now revealed, the series overall still only has a few burning questions to answer: what will happen to Homeworld, along with the Off Colours? Will Lars return to Earth? Will Steven live on Homeworld or Earth? Will we finally find out more about Onion?
Until then, this Steven Bomb remains a satisfying, wonderfully written (but slightly rushed), couple of episodes which showcase the best of Steven Universe.