The Five Most Mature "Steven Universe" Episodes
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The Five Most Mature "Steven Universe" Episodes

Five episodes from the beloved show that discuss major universal themes.

The Five Most Mature "Steven Universe" Episodes

“Steven Universe” is one remarkable show. Already four episodes into its fifth season, the program has captivated fans and critics for its animation, characters, and relatable, but most notably, mature over-arching themes found intertwined among the enchanting elements of each episode. Themes such as love, coercion, betrayal, societal roles, maturity, healthy and unhealthy relationships, obsession, intolerance, power and abuse are commonly discussed and often considered to be the back-bone of “Steven Universe.” Instances, or episodes that exemplify these aforementioned themes, are quite blatant—even if masqueraded behind by a nom de plumes like fusion—and sometimes bring about a sense of discomfort or uneasy feeling for the viewer, as it should. Tough subjects such as abuse or societal roles are not easily discussed, as they are perceived as taboos and are more conveniently dealt by being swept under the grand metaphorical rug. “Steven Universe” is one such show that prefers to air-out these stigmas and natural themes, and do so magnificently with maturity and in a way that is comprehensible to children, so without further-ado, here are five such episodes thus far that best bring to light such deep and impactful, but most importantly, important issues to life.

1. "Greg the Babysitter" - Season 3 Episode 16

“Growing up is something you have to decide to do.” Wise words from Greg Universe, and a great way to begin a list of mature episodes with one such episode dealing specifically with maturity. In this episode, Greg takes Steven back to how he first started working at the car wash he currently owns, and the events that surrounded such a decision. Greg, just prior to working at the car wash was an unemployed, broke bum who either hung out with Rose all day or waited for her to get back from her mission to hang out with her. Unfortunately, Greg needs to eat, and he cannot really eat when he is broke, however, he has his friend Vidalia to mooch of off, and abandoned fry-bits to eat that were perfectly placed in the trash. On one of the days of mooching, Greg is tasked with babysitting Vidalia’s son, Sour Cream. This task, eventually enlightens Greg, when he climbs to the top of a Ferris wheel to retrieve an adventurous Sour Cream (after Rose allows the infant Sour Cream to), Greg realizes that he is like Sour Cream, a baby. Obviously, Greg is not an infant, but his immaturity, much like many individuals’ that people can identify today, is palpable and is like a cloud of ignorance that makes life unclear. It is why in Greg’s moment of realization that the fog clears, and he decides to get a job at the car wash. We all would like to have our needs catered to and to be provided for like a baby but life just does not permit that. In order to have an impactful in life, one has to grow up and provide for themselves and be a person who can do the same for others, otherwise, a society cannot function, and no one would hang out with you because no one likes an immature adult.

2. "Cry for Help" - Season 2 Episode 11

This is one of those episodes that evokes that uneasy sensation.

Essentially what happens is Pearl lies to Garnet that Peridot keeps rebuilding

the communication hub, when really, after the first dismantling, Pearl rebuilds

the hub to fuse with Garnet to take it apart again. When Garnet is informed of

Pearl’s doings by Amethyst and Steven, who had spied on Pearl doing so the

night previously, she is scolds Pearl and begins to ignore and cannot forgive

Pearl for some episodes to follow. Amethyst attempts to come to Pearl’s aid as

she begins to tell Garnet that to fuse with her is empowering as they literally

get a taste of power that they themselves can never feel alone. This does not

matter to Garnet, and it should not because fusion in this show is the total combination

of two gems, and is an act that can be equated to love, and as many of us are

aware, love is not built or sustained with mistrust or betrayal. This is

exactly what Garnet feels, that their fusion was for Pearl’s personal gain, and

nothing to do with Garnet. Garnet was used, and for anyone who has ever been in

one-sided relationship, and felt they have been walked over and used, they can

attest that is a miserable feeling.

3. "Sworn to the Sword" - Season 2 Episode 6

Pearl is the center of this episode but this time the theme

in question is love. Connie trains with Pearl to become a capable swordsman and

individual to aid Steven whenever he may need it. However, Pearl puts it in

Connie’s mind that she not only lends her skills to Steven, but her whole life

as well. Pearl makes Connie believe that Steven and his destiny is bigger than

whom she is, and is nothing compared to Steven and must sacrifice herself to

ensure Steven achieves his destiny. This is done through a dope song that I say

resembles a Disney song, but this song is misleading for Connie and not at all

a heroes’ anthem, which freaks Steven out who goes and tells Garnet and

Amethyst. They tell Steven that Pearl gave up her form many times for Rose,

blatantly getting poofed for Rose even when not needed. Pearl loved Rose

through every ounce of her being, and would give up anything for Rose, however,

this is an unhealthy thing to do, and is a dangerous notion to give to Connie

as she is human and not a gem so she cannot simply be poofed and come back good

as new. Steven tells Connie that he does not want Connie to do that, rather, he

wants Connie to fight with him and not for him as Pearl had for Rose. Steven

and Connie depict a healthy relationship, one based on mutual appreciation and commitment,

whereas Pearl and Rose’s relationship was unbalanced as Pearl wanted to do everything

for Rose and looked at Rose as a Goddess who far surpassed Pearl in every

regard, which is not how a relationship is works. Everyone one is important in

a relationship, especially oneself, and as the expression goes, it takes two to


4. "Alone at Sea" - Season 3 Episode 15

In my opinion, this is the most mature episode in the “Steven

Universe” series, and the episode that always forces me to watch uncomfortably.

After Malachite is unfused, and Lapis and Jasper are separated for a while,

Steven and Greg take Lapis on a boat ride to rekindle her relationship with the

element of water which is part of whom she is, and as a stress-free day to

relax. Unfortunately, the gang runs into Jasper who had been following Lapis

since their separation. Prior to Japer’s visit, Lapis admits to Steven that she

missed being with Jasper, that she missed the power and constant exertion she

had while with being fused. It made Lapis less lonely, finally in control, and dominant,

characteristics Lapis had longed for. Steven (like all of us) was shocked to

hear this, and saw Malachite as the unhealthiest relationship in a cartoon

show. What makes this even more feasible, is Lapis’ understanding of how wrong

their relationship was, which is like many who engage in unhealthy

relationships, they are aware of the wrongness but cannot get away because it

feels so good. Just as the conversation of Jasper begins, who else appears from

the ocean but…Jasper! Jasper comes to Lapis because she too wants to be

Malachite again. Jasper wants to feel the power of their fusion, she wants to

be able to fly (she actually attributes one of her reasoning’s to wanting to be

Malachite because they were able to fly). Jasper even attempts to coerce Lapis

to take her back, telling Lapis that fusion has changed her and that she can be

better for Lapis. This attempt at persuasion is much like how Jasper got Lapis

to fuse with her in the first place, by promising revenge on the crystal gems,

and as a way to not feel lonely in the process. Fortunately, Lapis says no and

punches Jasper out into the horizon, and feels an excruciating weight lift from

her shoulders. Lapis is now able to appreciate herself and even admires the

ocean that had once helped chain her and Jasper to its deepest depths as Malachite

for so long. Like Pearl in the previous entries, Jasper and Lapis used each other

for their own personal ideals without caring for the other gem. They wanted to

only feel the power of Malachite and not of one another. It is an unhealthy and

abusive relationship at the extreme but feels like a genuine relationship I

have seen before, and that is the worst part of it all.

5. "The Answer" - Season 2 Episode 22

I realize the past few entries have been quite melancholy and quite the downer so let’s talk about love. It is midnight, Steven’s birthday, and Garnet surprises Steven with the story of how Ruby and Sapphire met. Ruby had met Sapphire when on a mission from Blue Diamond in the earth to take down the rebels, the crystal gems, some thousands of years ago. Ruby changed her and Sapphire’s fate by saving Sapphire from the renegade Pearl and Rose Quartz. When Ruby jumped to save Sapphire, they fused and became Garnet. It seemed to be the first fusion of two different gems that the council of Blue Diamond’s have ever seen. They were disgusted by this, saw this fusion as a disgrace, and Blue Diamond ordered Ruby to be shattered for fusing with a member of her court, but Sapphire saved Ruby and fled to the outskirts of Earth. Later, Ruby and Sapphire learn from one another and developed a relationship to better understand each other. However, there is one thing they could not understand: why they felt more comfortable and happy when fused than apart? Back as Garnet, she stumbles into the crystal gems (Rose and Pearl) and asks Rose why they saved each other and why they would rather be fused than anything else? That answer is love. Love defied expectations, fate, and even challenged the way of the home world’s definition of fusion and the roles of gems themselves. It is parallel to the ‘taboo’ relationships that as a society had once deemed gross such as same-sex relationships, or interracial relationships. However, love conquers all and depicts how beautiful love can be. True love is powerful, strong, capable, and in control like Garnet, and I do not think Garnet is the best gem by coincidence. The answer is love!
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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