Steven Universe Future, Episodes 5-6 Review
No matter how big and plot-focused a show can get, sometimes its best to return to its roots. This week’s episode of Steven Universe Future did just that, shenanigans and all. However, what’s different is the fact that Steven’s now a young adult, so he deals with hijinks differently. Then again, this episode does help show how far Steven’s matured.
You know that old trope of an over-the-top villain whose idea of evil is too silly to take seriously? In the first half of this episode, Steven winds up facing this kind of villain in the form of Bluebird Azurite. Everyone recognizes that it’s Eyeball and Aquamarine fused into one. Since Steven and the Gems are all about giving people second chances, though, they roll with it.
I found this whole episode to be very entertaining, primarily due to Bluebird’s shenanigans. She is out for revenge, but thinks she’s this evil mastermind with a brilliant disguise. However, not only do the Gems and Steven realize who she is, but understand she’s too dumb to be a real threat. Seriously, who thinks TP-ing someone’s car involves stacking rolls of TP on top off it? At best, Bluebird’s shenanigans annoy Steven. Even their one serious attempt that involves holding Greg hostage fails without Steven having to do anything. However, it does cost Greg his flowing mane of hair, which causes Steven to go Pink Steven in anger.
As uneasy as it can be to see Steven get genuinely angry, I took this as a sign of his emotional growth. Unlike in “Volleyball”, here Steven’s channeling his anger into something positive. In this case, protecting his dad. In addition, Steven remains true to his ideals despite his anger, offering Aquamarine and Eyeball a chance to genuinely reform. They refuse and flee, and unlike Jasper, I don’t think they’ll ever truly change. However, the whole thing doesn’t darken Steven’s willingness to help others, which is most important.
“A Very Special Episode”
The shenanigans continue in the second half of the episode as Steven finds himself in over his head. He promised to hang out with Onion as Rainbow Quartz 2.0, but has to teach a safety class as Sunstone. It’s a classic sitcom plot that sees Steven try to be two places in once. The end results are pretty hilarious:
There are two things I liked about this episode. Firstly, we see the return of Rainbow 2.0 and Sunstone, two Fusions that I personally love. With their umbrella and nanny like personality, Rainbow reminds me of a gender bent version of Mary Poppins. Meanwhile Sunstone’s a homage to the spokespeople from the after-school cartoons of the 80s and 90s. They’re both fun to watch and I’m glad we got to see more of them before the show ends.
Secondly, it reinforces the theme that Steven Universe Future seems focused on: reminding Steven that he’s still human. In my look at “Three Gems and a Baby” last year, I compared Steven to Jesus; as in, he’s this messiah like figure. However, while he’s done a lot of wonderful things, he’s still human and can mess up. Case in point, this episode with Steven admitting that he should have managed his time better.
Then it turns out that the whole thing was a PSA by Sunstone about managing time. It’s a clever way to end the episode, though I got confused. Was the whole episode a PSA or did it really happen?
Steven’s Still Human
Steven fits the role of the messianic archetype to a tee: he’s the son of a human and the Gems equivalent of a god, befriends many of those that were once his enemies, and brought great change to the universe. However, while the series has built Steven up as this archetype, Steven Universe Future reminds us that’s he not perfect. Then again, that’s one of the themes about the series: no one’s perfect.
As Steven Universe nears its possible end, it’s nice to enjoy the shenanigans from its earlier days. It helps put in perspective how far we’ve come. In short, I liked these two episodes.
I Give “Bluebird” and “A Very Special Episode” each a 4/5
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