Film Talk: Steven Universe S01 E02

Posted September 17, 2015 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Film & TV, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Plot Recap: We have been introduced to Steven and the Crystal Gems. Steven is the only one of the Gems not in control of his powers, although he has summoned a shield once. It wrecked a tv.

Yep. There’s not a whole lot of plot going on just yet.

s01e02

Episode 2: Laser Light Cannon

I have a small confession to make: I managed to miss this episode, so I have no idea what this one is about. Well, no. I know what it’s about. I just haven’t seen it at all.

Introduction to the bits! And Steven bonding with Amethyst. And something has appeared in the sky that manages to freak out Amethyst enough to haul Steven off after her without the bits he wanted so much.

I imagine it’s massive if you don’t actually need a telescope to see it, Pearl. WHY IS IT BAD, GARNET?

I’m not entirely sure if my definition of “awesome” includes “a giant eyeball on a collision course with Earth” like Steven’s is, but Steven kind of thinks everything is awesome until conclusively proven otherwise.

Thank you for explaining, Pearl. Someone at least cares about filling people in on what’s happening even if you’re a little stressed out talking about it the way that you are.

And we’re introduced to Rose Quartz, Steven’s mother. Well, sort of because she’s kind of not there and all. Which sucks because Amethyst points out this would be an easy problem with Rose Quartz around. And LOOK AT PEARL’S FACE. This is going to come up again in later episodes and I’m looking at this with hindsight, but look at how pained she looks when she responds to Amethyst’s comment. DETAILS. THIS SHOW LOVES THEM.

And once again we see Pearl’s more tactful approach colliding with Amethyst’s blunter directness. It’s also interesting that our introduction to Greg Universe is the Gems’ opinion of him rather than just us meeting him in a scene like we did with the Gems in the previous episode. It’s a nice parallel to the fact that we, per force, are introduced to Rose Quartz the same way, but it’s also a slight hint at Greg’s relationship with both the Gems and his son.

Greg lives in a van. I knew this. I just… am still surprised. I do love that the first thing they do upon waking up is hugging each other, though. And honestly Greg does not seem to be getting the best of introductions here, even knowing later episodes and accounting for the fact that the Gems have already prepared us to read Greg more negatively as we might because they were so negative about him.

It’s a fascinating bit of storytelling. It’s easy to see why the Gems speak of Greg that way and it’s also fairly easy, based on what we see, to agree with their assessment, but it runs right against Steven’re more optimistic and positive view of him. He clearly loves his dad and looks up to him. And… I’ll give you a slight spoiler: the show will put that front and centre all the time. Greg may be, well, Greg, but he’s got his heart in the right place and he definitely cares for his son.

Greg has a lot of cat things. I AM SENSING A THING ABOUT CATS IN THIS SHOW. I approve of shows that have things about cats.

Awwwww. That scene with Greg explaining to Steven how he met Rose and how Steven came to be is so sad. Steven’s clearly of the “Hear this a million times, don’t need to hear it again” opinion, but those moments… they also clearly mean so much to Greg that he just wants to remember and maybe relive them a little by sharing them. And they also hurt and we get a sense of Greg’s idea of himself.

And Steven just gets entirely distracted by the photo of his parents and then finding the light cannon and — plot progression and all, but I kind of just want to stick with the feels of a dad talking about his family. <3

Oh, dear. Now the whole storage unit needs to be reorganised.

A song! :O  And suddenly all the things in Beach City get pulled up into the sky. Whaaaaaat?! And no one knows how to use it and Greg’s trying to reassure Steven that everything’ll be fine and Steven’s trembly repeat of his father’s phrase that says “I am not really buying this, but maybe if I say this out loud I will” and it activates the light cannon.

And, again, even though it’s Steven who brings the solution — a light cannon rather than an electric shock — the Gems and Steven all work together to lift the cannon high enough to actually hit the Red Eye. And I kind of love how it doesn’t protect the whole city. Just most of it. And Steven shouting ‘sorry about that’. He’s adorable. <3

And look at Greg he’s crying. I told you he misses Rose. Have I mentioned yet how some of this story is about moving on after a loved one dies? ’cause it is. And then it’s all about Greg’s van and the fact that he lives in there.

Awwww. The end. I love the way this episode sets up things that we’re going to see more of later. <3

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