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Steven Universe Says Goodbye

Saying Goodbye to Steven Universe

Steven Universe Future Episodes 17-20 Review

As Tony Stark once said, “part of the journey is the end”. We may not always like it, but it happens all the same. Now, after seven incredible years, Steven Universe ends its run on TV. Technically, it already ended last year, but then we got the movie and Steven Universe Future. The latter did a great job of showing that Steven’s life as a child hero left a lot of emotional scars that he doesn’t know how to handle. If I’m being honest, last week’s episodes were some of the darkest moments I’ve ever seen in animation!

So, did the series finale to Steven Universe blow my mind? Nah, it wound up following the route that I predicted. However, instead of taking away from the end, I think it complimented the final lesson of the show.

Homeworld Bound

Spinel on Homeworld in "Homeworld Bound"

Picking up right where “Fragments” left off, Steven’s close to rock bottom after what he did to Jasper. So, he runs from one part of his family to another in the form of the Diamonds and Spinel. Despite their best efforts, though, they don’t know how to help. All Steven knows is that he just wants to “be better.” I know it’s not said outright, but I think part of his problem is learning that he can be as angry and selfish as his mom. After knowing how much of a jerk Pink Diamond could be, that’s the last thing he wants to be like!

To be honest, this episode was hard for me to watch. Not because it was bad, but because of how dark Steven can get. In one particularly dark moment, White allows Steven to take control of her body. However, Steven’s memories of her removing his gem surface and fill him with rage. He actually tries to force White to shatter herself! That was absolutely terrifying!

Everything’s Fine

As hard as it was for me to watch Homeworld Bound, that was nothing compared to Everything’s Fine. This episode basically sees Steven in complete denial over his dark side and insisting to everyone that “he’s fine.” Yeah, being the size of your mom, pink, and having your mom’s eyes does not make you fine, Steven.

Watching Steven be in denial all episode and try to help others only to fail was about as painful to watch as they come. All Steven’s ever done is help others; he’s the nicest, sweetest boy you could ever meet. And to see him fail in that was, in a word, heartbreaking. It all comes to a head at the end where he vomits out everything bad that’s happened to him in recent weeks. He’s at the absolute lowest point in his life, and think he’s no better than his mom, that he’s a monster.

Steven Universe Turns into Steve-Zilla "Everything's Fine"

I Am My Monster

As a result of hitting his breaking point, Steven transforms into a massive Gem Kaiju, the same one that we saw in the intro. Points to all the fans who speculated about this, but it doesn’t make it any less painful to watch. What’s even worse is that no one knows what to do help Steven in his state. Not the Gems or the Diamonds, and everyone’s basically in tears.

Steven Universe Future "I am My Monster"

Except for Connie. Connie probably knows Steven better than anyone alive, and she’s the one who says what everyone needs to hear. Steven’s always been there for them when they needed help the most; now it’s their turn to do the same. As she puts it, “the only one who never had Steven is Steven”. It’s summing up the whole point of the epilogue series: that even someone as selfless as Steven can need help. So, in an action that embodies the show’s message on love and acceptance, everyone rallies together to give Steven a big hug and let him know that they’ll always be here for him. Even the Cluster gets in on this!

Saving Steven From Himself, Steven Univsere Future, "I am My Monster"

I’ve seen a lot of stories where the hero’s friends come together to let them know that they’re there for them. It’s always an emotional moment to behold, and I suspected that this would ultimately be what would happen. However, the fact that this entire show is about help others makes this feel so much more genuine. I loved this scene, and when Steven finally changed back and let out all the tears he was holding in, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Such a great moment.

The Future

Book ends from Steven Universe

Months pass, and Steven’s gotten some much needed therapy off screen and seems to know how to accept his dark side. The only question is, what does he do now. A few months ago, I suggested that it maybe it would be best for Steven to leave Beach City. To go out in the world and see what it has to offer. Turns out, that’s exactly what he ends up doing. Steven Universe is hitting the road! So this episode is all about saying goodbye to everyone in Beach City.

This has to be one of the best finale’s I’ve ever seen, and that includes A:TLA! In a callback to the first episode, Steven even breaks the news to the Gems over his own home-made Cookie Cat sandwiches.

Out of all the characters reactions to Steven leaving, though, I think my second personal-favorite was Jasper. She acts like such a Vegeta during the whole thing, saying she wants to come with him and trying to act like it’s not a big deal when he says no.

The thing that surprised me the most, though, was how Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl are so calm about it. I knew they were holding it in to “be strong”, and I was right. As soon as Steven calls them out on this, they start bawling their eyes out.

One big thing about Steven Universe is that Rebecca Sugar wanted the show to fight toxic masculinity. In other words, that it’s fine for guys to cry when they’re sad. I don’t get sad enough to cry very often, but I think that somewhere, in the back of my mind, I was bawling my eyes out. Thus we get our true ending as Steven drives away from Beach City to begin a new chapter in his life.

Steven Universe Future the Final Moments

That’s How You End a Show

Steven Universe could have ended with “Change your Mind” a year ago, or Steven Universe: The Movie. Yet Rebecca Sugar did the impossible and wrapped up any unanswered questions and give us a definitive ending to the world she and the Crewniverse created. In short, I loved the finale and how it stayed true to the show’s message.

Do I think this is the last time we see Steven and the Crystal Gems? Not really. Like with Star vs, Steven Universe ends with enough legroom to return in the future. I’d love to see Steven traveling the country helping people. But if this is goodbye, then I think it’s ending at the best possible place. My only regret is that I never watched the show from the beginning.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go look up how to make Cookie Cat Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Final Score

Homeworld Bound: 4/5

Everything’s Fine: 4/5

I am My Monster: 5/5

The Future: 4.5/5

Stray Observations

  • We finally got that Steveonnie/Connverse kiss! I tweeted this, and it’s gotten thousands of likes!
  • I need to find someone making fanart of Jasper and Vegeta. They’re so much alike!
A drawing from Rebecca Sugar of a potential future for Steven Universe

Click here to see my other animation stuff.

8 thoughts on “Steven Universe Says Goodbye Leave a comment

  1. Agreed it’s one of the best finales I’ve seen. Not just for a cartoon, but for TV in general. I applaud this show for always staying true to what it is. It’s sounds easy, but that can be hard due to fan pressure and pressure from society itself. Let’s not forget, almost every main character isn’t straight and somehow SU has dodged the eye of ignorant parents. It deserves a metal just for that!

    While I didn’t love every Future episode, I’m glad it started and ended strongly. Still, my biggest complaint is no Lapis/Peridot fusion. Maybe it’ll happen in the comics or something. Anyway, this show is revolutionary and will no doubt influence many writers and animators in the future. My hope is that we will get to the point where we can also have a cartoon with male gay main characters since I feel that’s a slightly bigger hurtle to cross (lesbians, I feel, are more accepted by straight guys than gay men due to them being sexualized).

    In any case, bravo to Ms. Sugar and her team. Shows like this give me hope that the world is, if very slowly, becoming a better place.

    • And, one more thing: I’m glad it was stated Steven is going through therapy. There’s a common negative stigma about having mental health issues that need to be addressed. It’s so easy for shows to ignore that and just have characters “get over it” (see Eri from My Hero Academia). Nope, mental trauma takes time to heal,. A good cry or an uplifting experience is a good start but it’s no way the end-all/be-all many shows claim it to be.

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