Dr. C – TV Review: Steven Universe #64 – Keystone Motel

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It’s not a real road trip until there’s family drama.

Ever since the reveal of Garnet’s true nature in #50 – Jailbreak, viewers (and Steven to a degree) have been clamoring to get to know Ruby and Sapphire as individuals… Their history, personality, and how they mesh to form one of the shows most dynamic characters.  Well… We all wanted to see Pearl and Garnet’s fusion, and that wound up with such a happy ending.  Once again, we shoulda been more specific with what we ask for.

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Definitely not Pennsylvania.

An unspecified length of time has passed since the last episode, and Garnet is still silent and dismissive around Pearl despite her best efforts to make it up to her by contributing to the search for Peridot.  Greg arrives to invite Steven to tag along on a road trip to the Keystone state.  The state called Keystone.  That’s its name.  In the real world, this would mean Pennsylvania, but it’s an odd detail to call attention to.  Beach City is in a place called Delmarva as we’ve seen on a written address, which is a specific region of Delaware, but apparently its own state in… You know what, pin in the fictional geography discussion.  Plot is happening.

The road trip is apparently for Greg to buy car wash brushes he found on the SU equivalent of Craigslist, and he just thought he’d bring Steven along as a bonding thing… until Garnet declares that shes coming too.

They arrive at the titular Keystone Motel and Greg leaves Garnet and Steven in the motel room while he goes to complete his business transaction and hopefully not get axe murdered.  Garnet, who’s been mostly silent the whole trip, begins arguing with herself and her fusion breaks down, allowing Ruby and Sapphire to have a very loud, very stressful argument as Steven looks on.  Sapphire, the calmer of the two, is ready to forgive Pearl while the hot headed Ruby is still boiling with rage over the matter.  Sapphire thinks she’s taking it to personally, but Ruby argues there’s nothing more personal to them than fusion.  The argument ends when Ruby storms out, while Sapphire tells Steven that she’ll be back once shes calmed down.

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Depicted: Rejected design for Anger in Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’

Steven, being Steven, does not like this sort of conflict and immediately starts trying to patch things up between the two.  He tries to get Ruby to cool off in the motel pool, but Ruby radiates intense heat when angry, boiling away the water in the pool and leaving scorch marks with her footsteps.  (Guess that’s where Garnet gets her ability to swim in lava unharmed.)  Meanwhile, Sapphire’s mere presence has frozen the hotel room, and it becomes clear that she is the source of Garnet’s future vision.  Steven is driven away by both of them when his father returns with pizza.  He’s not surprised to see Garnet separated, he must have learned they were a fusion at some point in the past, but he notes the conflict must be really bad to drive her apart.

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“Sometimes people that love each other can hurt each other’s feelings without meaning too…”

The next morning, breakfast quickly goes south and Ruby winds up smashing the table whilst arguing.  Steven decides he’s had enough of everyone being angry with each other and storms out, waking the two of them up to how badly their fighting is effecting those around them.  And each other.  They chase after him, and it becomes apparent that he’s been internalizing a lot of this since the Sardonyx incident, even questioning if it’s his fault some how.  It’s not, but it’s a timely reminder that Steven is just a kid, and kids are often those who suffer most when families fight.  Sapphire tears up at this… She explains that’d she’d been looking ahead with future vision to AFTER this was solved, but in doing so was ignoring the very real consequences of inaction in the present.  Ruby and Sapphire tearfully make up and start flirting in the lead up to re-fusion, which is enough to make Steven blush and cover his own eyes.

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Fire-mom and Ice-mom are making out off-screen and oh god where’s the brain bleach?

When they get home, Garnet at least sort-of speaks to Pearl.  It’s an improvement, but I don’t think the healing is over; more like Garnet has now decided to try and forgive, for Steven and their little families sake.

See you tomorrow for an episode featuring… Onion.

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Well, tears of fear might be a nice change of pace at this point.