Steven Universe Recap: ‘Reformed’

Beware the spoilers!

This week we have Steven, Garnet, and Amethyst searching for a corrupted gem monster in the bowels of Amethyst’s junk heap of a room.  The monster bests Amethyst several times, forcing her to regenerate her body from her gem.  Garnet criticizes her hasty malformed choices enough that things come to a head and Amethyst realizes she has to start liking herself.

It’s interesting to see each phase of the argument literally represented by Amethyst’s physical form.  The first time she reforms she accidentally comes out with some extra feet, highlighting how she doesn’t think things through.  Eh… four limbs, check!  Time to pop back out!

After she overhears Garnet suggesting she be more like Pearl, Amethyst responds to the next ‘poofing’ by making herself into a caricature of Pearl.  She has completely missed Garnet’s point: she wanted her to be more responsible, not be more… Pearly.

After she misconstrues another remark as an accusation of weakness she tries to create a hulked-out form but winds up with one strong leg and one strong arm.  After a few minutes of effort the strengthened limbs deflate and give out, revealing to us some of the limitations of gem formation.  It seems they can’t significantly increase or decrease their ‘natural’ size without consequences.  I do love when the show clarifies things as it helps to drain the ‘Saturday morning’ cartoon logic out of it and replace it with the more consistent world building of a show with a story arc and a planned concrete ending.

This whole argument is framed by Steven and his silly internet quiz that purports to tell you which ‘crying breakfast friend’ you are.  As much as this show tries to get me to understand the younger millennials  by making Steven lovable, I fear they will never succeed.  Steven’s emotional honesty and wiggly sparkly eyes can’t make me sympathize with the shortcomings of his cultural choices.  His attempts to ship a falcon and a girl from a fantasy book series still comes off as something more worth rolling your eyes over than trying to understand.  Just like Pearl and Greg at the beginning of the episode, I don’t get crying breakfast friends.  It does successfully remind me of shows that seem to try and justify their appeal by the height of their randomness factor (think Regular Show, Aqua Teen Hunger Force or Uncle Grandpa).  Like I said though,  no amount of Steven smiles actually make these things likable.

The monster from this episode, nicknamed the slinker, did manage to escape, so we haven’t seen the last of it.  I’d love to see an episode where one of these corrupted gems actually manages to be fully restored to its previous intelligent self and proceeds to reveal some awesome aspect of the gems or the main plot line.  (Side note: How crazy would some kind of fusion of corrupted gems be?)

This episode holds up as well as the last few but I’m starting to have a hankering for a really solid action scene, so here’s hoping one of those is coming up.

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