Steven Universe S5E19: Now We’re Only Falling Apart

After May’s “A Single Pale Rose” dropped the reveal of the century on us (I caaaaalled it, y’all! I called it!) it was clear that the next few episodes at least would deal with the revelation of Pink Diamond’s true fate. A lot of my fears about Rose and her motives were definitely allayed by this episode, thanks to Pearl finally being free to tell the story of the Rebellion from the point of view of one of the few to know its deepest secrets.

While the story, due to the necessities of length, is a bit light on connective tissue and can even feel like a series of scenes strung together (because it is, Pearl basically narrating all the gaps), each of these scenes fleshes out Pink Diamond’s journey towards her eventual rebirth as a revolutionary. It did indeed begin as the adolescent joyride so many of us feared, but Rose’s motives become more and more complex and sympathetic with time, growing into the motives we’ve heard about all along: the preservation of life and earth and the freedom for gems to live and love as they will. The first is de-complicated somewhat by the revelation that the Kindergarten was not Pink’s creation, but Blue and Yellow’s attempt to mollify her, while the latter gains an exciting new wrinkle: It was the experience of meeting Garnet and seeing Ruby and Sapphire’s love for one another that inspired it (and that kickstarted Rose and Pearl’s 5000-year romance.) As Sapphire so eloquently puts it, Garnet thought she was following Rose, but all this time Rose was following Garnet.

Stray thoughts

  • Welcome to our coverage of the Heart of the Crystal Gems Stevenbomb! Thanks to some leaks I know a few things that are happening this week and I’ve never been more excited than for some of the plot developments to come. We’ll see how they go, but it’s off to a strong start, I think.
  • As usual, Steven Universe coverage will alternate between myself and Nemrex, you’ll be hearing from him tomorrow and Thursday and me on Wednesday and Friday.
  • We got minor appearances by a few familiar faces today, including the Famethyst and both halves of Topaz.

  • And of course, where Yellow and Blue are, their Pearls naturally followed.

  • Pearl is at maximum cute this episode– as to be expected, since she spends most of it in her frilly past outfit fawning over Rose:

  • Line of the episode goes to Amethyst, who exasperatedly declares that she expects that since every other significant pink object or creature they’ve encountered was connected to Rose, she expects to next learn that Rose also invented cotton candy.
  • The through-line of this week appears to be the relationship between Ruby and Sapphire– the framing device for all this exposition comes from Pearl trying to help Sapphire see that her relationship with Ruby isn’t based on a great big lie, and it looks like at least the next episode or two will involve tracking down Ruby, who fled the temple after Steven and Pearl went looking for Sapphire. If it culminates in what I believe it culminates in, I may not be fully coherent by the end of this week.