Steven Universe s5e25: “Familiar”

Oh dip, the hiatus is finally over for real! A lot has changed for so many of us since Legs originally aired on the CN app months ago, hasn’t it? We’ll all have some catching up to do, I’m sure, unless you see one another in one of the threads with a more regular schedule.

Catching up is relevant here, as it’s what Steven and Pearl (as his presumed servant, the only gem in a position to accompany him on Homeworld) spend much of the episode tasked with. Neither Yellow nor Blue seem to fully grok that Steven is a separate person from their lost little sister, sadly, like I’d hoped– apparently playing around with identity is something she liked to do long before Rose Quartz. As such they’ve made a little time for her in the ways that were familiar to them long ago– a steam or a bath before rushing off to continue the whole empire-building and oppression deal.

This is one of those trademark taking-stock-before-the-plot-gets-active episodes that this show loves to do (as did its elder sibling Adventure Time, whose creator, Pendleton Ward, scores his first Steven Universe storyboarding credit this week), but it adds some new wrinkles, which we’ll discuss in a bit. Steven can’t get the diamonds in one place to discuss curing the corrupted gems, until, in the titular song (when are we getting Escapism already?), he realizes that Pink’s dynamic with her fellow diamonds is awfully reminiscent of his early relationship with the gems. And just like them, the best way he has to get the Diamonds together is to convince them to have fun with him, the way Pink used to: by throwing a ball (with Amethyst, Connie, and Garnet smuggled in in Pearl’s storage space.) I presume we’ll be seeing that next time, and I for one can’t wait.

Stray Observations

  • Blue Pearl continues to be kind of adorable.
  • It must be a terrible relief for Pearl to talk about her life with Pink now.
  • The big revelation this episode is the existence of the Pebbles, the menial servant caste of gems. Their overall design and characterization suggests Cinderella’s mice (and their role in the episode is certainly shades of the mice!) I think we saw a few pebbles that might even present as male, though I guess we’ll have to wait and see if that’s part of their characterization or not. Their lack of presence in the rebellion is conspicuous, is it something that will be addressed in the future?
  • Merry Christmas to all those celebrating!