Steven Universe Rewind – Chille Tid

Spoiler Policy: All spoilers up to and including the currently discussed episode will be unmarked. Spoilers for episodes beyond the current point will be enclosed in Future Vision blocks, which will include spoilers for the entire series.

Episode Description: Steven and the Crystal Gems try to relax with a slumber party.

This is one of the more unusually named episodes of the series. “Chille Tid” apparently means “Chilling Time” in Danish, and the title was inspired by an overseas promo of fellow Cartoon Network show Regular Show.

A couple of weeks ago, we caught up to Peridot. This week concerns one of the other ongoing plot threads, as the Gems are on a raft in the ocean looking for Malachite, the fusion of Lapis and Jasper that formed in Jail Break. They’ve apparently been at this for a while, as they’re all obviously tired, Pearl getting fairly paranoid and Amethyst forgetting to pull Steven out of the water when he starts running out of air.

Pearl complains that they’ve been “searching for light years” and that she’s tired of wearing “life diapers.” Amethyst incorrectly corrects Pearl by saying that light years measure light, not years. Steven hands Garnet a life jacket when she hops back onto the raft, but she promptly throws it overboard in favor of summoning her own.

Garnet refers to the fusion as a ticking time bomb. “A fusion like theirs is unstable, bound together by anger and mistrust. If their bonds snaps, their anger will take over, and destroy.”

We saw an example of a fusion turning unstable against the wishes of her component parts in Sugilite, and that fusion wasn’t even formed out of hatred. It isn’t hard to see how a fusion between Lapis and Jasper could easily go out of control. Even though they hate each other, their primary shared trait at the moment is their anger and desire for revenge.

This is another example of how the entire front half of Season 2 deals with different types of fusion, in many cases unhealthy fusions like the Cluster, Malachite, or Pearl and Rose fusing out of jealousy. This is a theme that will continue for a few more episodes.

The Gems go home as Steven badly needs sleep, although Pearl protests that they need to go out searching. “Sleep is a curse, and yet a curse I need to live,” says Steven. Same, Steven, same — although this is another example of how he can’t fully fit in with the Gems.

Steven asks if Gems need rest. We’ve previously established that they don’t really need sleep the same way humans do, but it is apparent that they can’t work endlessly with no breaks whatsoever. Steven points out that they look tired. “We look awesome,” says Garnet, as they make the above faces.

Steven proposes that they have a slumber party together. “It’ll be like there isn’t a vengeful fusion boiling the ocean with hatred!” Pearl, in particular, is skeptical of how sleep can possibly be fun.

Garnet decides that Pearl and Amethyst should stay with Steven and relax, but she’ll continue the search because she’s “always relaxed.” Pearl is desperate to help, although she momentarily slips and says that just she will help instead of including Amethyst. Pearl’s need to help and be useful is about to come up in a big way in the next episode. Garnet shuts them down and tells Steven to put the Gems to bed.

In his bedroom, Steven has created a cute setup for a slumber party. He offers the Gems a selection of “slumber companions” from his stuffed animals. Amethyst declines and immediately falls asleep. As we’ve seen in previous episodes, Amethyst enjoys sleeping and does it often.

Pearl has no idea how to sleep, so Steven has to explain it to her. It’s a bit odd because in Lion 3 we saw that she has a habit of watching Steven sleep, so you’d think she’d understand the mechanics a bit better.

Future Vision

So why doesn’t Pearl know how to sleep? At this point it seems like it’s because it’s something Gems just don’t know how to do because they don’t need to, and Amethyst only picked it up because she likes to imitate humans. However, Lapis and Peridot both apparently know how to sleep and enjoy doing it. It’s possible they picked it up from humans as well, but it also might be the case that Pearl specifically never learned how to sleep, maybe because of her position as a personal servant?

[collapse]

Steven lies down and falls asleep himself. He has a dream about himself and the Gems on a black-and-white set similar to an old sitcom. “Steven Universe was filmed before a live studio audience,” says a narrator. Pearl and the other Gems are human, and it’s interesting that Steven is having this dream just after we’ve had a number of episodes where he seems to be having a lot of uncertainty over his nature as both human and Gem. This dream seems to represent his buried desire for a more normal human life.

Amethyst appears to be a stock sitcom wacky character archetype, riding in on a skateboard and yelling “Bunga-cowa!” This scene is fittingly punctuated by a laugh track.

Garnet arrives to studio audience cheers like the fan favorite character on a sitcom. “Chille tid!” she says, dropping the obscure title. She tells Steven about a bonfire party on the beach, which he can’t go to, because he is already going to the school dance with Connie.

Previously, in Alone Together, Connie told him about how awkward she is dancing. Steven definitely has some desire to have a more normal existence where he gets to go to school with Connie and do things like take her to dances.

Steven opens the door, but instead of Connie, it’s a nightmare vision of Lapis with water pouring out of her eyes and mouth. It’s been pretty obvious that Steven feels a lot of guilt over what happened to Lapis, but in case you needed it spelled out, here you go. Connie being replaced by this horror Lapis also potentially symbolic of Steven’s fear that Gem business will continuously get in the way of his human relationships.

Future Vision

This guilt over Lapis’ fate is likely one of the driving forces behind Steven working so hard to try and befriend Peridot in upcoming episodes.

[collapse]

Steven scares himself awake, and is further startled to find Pearl in his face, watching him sleep again. Steven tells Pearl he had a dream where he opened the door and Lapis was there. Pearl doesn’t understand why he was having a dream about something clearly illogical, and Steven attempts to explain dreams: “When you dream, the thoughts in your head get mixed up into a weird movie. And they’re really hard to explain, which is why they’re boring to listen to.” Steven proves the latter by trying to describe a dream he had once and promptly putting both him and Pearl to sleep.

Steven dreams about Dogcopter, the character from the movie he and Connie saw in Lion 2. Steven previously dreamed about Dogcopter in Lion 3. Dogcopter flies too fast for Steven to keep up. A giant Pearl head materializes, eats Steven and spits him out with rocket feet. Steven sees Amethyst riding a dolphin as the scene fades to black…

Steven encounters Lapis, and unlike in the last dream, this seems to actually be her consciousness. She asks Steven what he’s doing here and tells him that she needs to concentrate. Steven wants to know if she’s okay, but before she can respond, he wakes up again.

This is one of the first instances of Steven having dreamwalking powers, which will come up a few times during the series.

When Steven wakes up, Amethyst is laughing at something. Pearl is asleep and projecting a dream from her gemstone, and of course she is dreaming about being with Rose. “Forget about Greg, let’s go travel the galaxy!” says dream-Pearl. This is perhaps a little awkward for Steven, but it won’t be the last time. Of course, we saw a lot of Pearl’s jealousy towards Greg in the previous episode.

In one of my favorite series gags, dream-Rose turns around to reveal Greg’s face. “Thank you so much… for fixing my van!” he says, then produces a slice of pizza from his mouth as Pearl recoils in horror. Pearl previously fixed Greg’s van after the events of both Ocean Gem and The Return.

Steven tries to tell Pearl about his dream with Lapis, but after that experience, Pearl is quick to declare that dreams aren’t real. Steven insists that he somehow knows he was talking to the real Lapis. Pearl asks if she’s still in control of the fusion, and Steven isn’t sure. He wants to go back to sleep to try and connect with her again, and asks Pearl to describe her dream to help him fall asleep. Amethyst thinks this is hilarious: “Come on, Pearl, it’s for the greater good!” Thankfully for Pearl, Steven falls asleep again before she even gets started.

This time, Steven realizes he’s dreaming, and swims through random objects from his previous dreams while searching for Lapis. He hits a giant, flowing, white mane that he first mistakes for Lion’s mane, but which is later revealed to be Malachite’s hair. He ends up here, in this strange plane that seems to be a kind of physical representation of Lapis and Jasper’s fusion.

Future Vision

We’ll see this kind of “fusion realm” a few times in the series, most notably in Mindful Education.

[collapse]

Lapis is pulling on water chains she’s made, but is effectively chained herself. She explains to Steven that she can’t get distracted, because she needs to use the weight of the ocean to pin down their fusion. Steven tries to get her to tell him where she is, but she refuses.

Lapis is suddenly pulled out of the water, and Jasper surfaces, chained by her wrists. She screams “YOU!” as she crawls after Steven, and is dragged under the surface again just before she gets there.

Lapis re-emerges, this time bruised with her clothes torn, showing how difficult it is for her to keep Jasper under control — as well as the violent nature of their fusion born of hatred. The episode’s theme of Gems needing to rest is also relevant here, as Lapis is clearly exhausted from the constant effort.

Lapis refuses Steven’s offer of help — “Just let me do this for you!” she says, echoing Pearl saying the same thing in Sworn to the Sword. In both cases, the Gem in question was willing to give up everything about themselves, including their own identities, in order to try and help someone they care about. Sworn to the Sword rejected that notion, showing how Connie and Steven working together were much more effective than Connie sacrificing herself for Steven’s sake.

Future Vision

In this situation, too, asking for help is shown to be better than pointlessly sacrificing oneself. When the Crystal Gems finally locate Malachite, they’re able to defeat her and rescue Lapis.

[collapse]

While Lapis is obviously doing this partially for Steven — his act of freeing her from the mirror inspires her near-unwavering loyalty to him — it’s interesting that Lapis has chosen to effectively trap herself forever shortly after she just escaped from being trapped forever. She’s obviously having a difficult time adjusting to life outside of the mirror, especially given how much everything has changed, and it’s her stubborn insistence on staying in this fusion is also borne out of the fact that being trapped has become familiar to her.

Lapis declares, “We’re Malachite now,” and sinks into the water. The fusion emerges, and screams at Steven to go, indicating that Lapis is still in control, at least for now.

Steven wakes up in a panic and tries to explain what he saw to Pearl and Amethyst. Garnet arrives, and Steven hastily describes all of his dreams, recognizing that he “might have some issues [he] need[s] to work out.”

Future Vision

Shame he doesn’t really follow up on that very well until the end of Future…

[collapse]

Garnet calms Steven down and demonstrates her sleeping abilities by planting herself face first into the ground.

This is a fun episode. The dream sequences are entertaining, although I wish they would have gone a little deeper into the characters’ psyches. It’s good to see Lapis again, even if she is in a particularly bad situation.

Next time on Steven Universe Rewind! It’s time to delve deep into Pearl’s relationship issues in Cry for Help.