Steven Universe Recap: ‘Sworn to the Sword’

After a long break, the best show on television has returned to us.  As usual, there are spoilers ahead!

In this episode we have Connie finally being brought into the gem fold in the form of swordplay lessons from Pearl.  I’ll tackle this episode point by point, starting with the new intro.

Is it just me, or are both Steven and Connie looking a touch more grown-up?  The intro changes just enough to indicate how things are likely to progress.  Connie now carries Rose’s sword instead of a book, making me think she will be appointed its guardian.  That way whenever Stevonnie enters the fray she’ll have one hand that has mastered the sword and one that has mastered the shield.  I’ve already seen some great fan art of Stevonnie wielding Rose’s weapons.  Personally, I’m hoping for some kind of eventual gem outfit or armor for Stevonnie that doesn’t just look like they’re wearing each others’ attire in layers.

After the intro we get Connie and Steven playing instruments together and singing about their ‘jam session’ while snacking on fruity preserves.  I seriously doubt it’s a coincidence that ‘jam’ sounds extremely similar to ‘gem’.  When they’re singing about their ingredients in harmony and sharing the ‘jam’, it seems obvious they’re really talking about the Rose Quartz gem or Stevonnie.  Smaller note, though several flavors of jam are mentioned (peach, plum, and strawberry) the one they are actually eating is a color very similar to his gem.  That one may be unintentional, but I would still whisper I knew it if I heard the creators say it.

After Connie defends Steven’s snack from some gulls, they convince Pearl to teach Connie how to use a sword.  Pearl almost immediately throws herself off her favorite cliff into the quarry of martyrdom and beckons the fragile Connie to jump down with her.  (I suspect martyrdom is taken less seriously among the nearly immortal gems and may just be a bad habit like falling asleep at work or picking your nose)

Connie, being like Pearl in her motivational intensity, falls right into the role and starts taking Pearl’s you don’t matter compared to Steve ideas very seriously.  While this is happening we get to see Steven in the corner growing more and more uncomfortable  with hearing his best friend described as nothing.

Eventually we get what might be the most common clash of the show: Pearl’s rigid course-locking versus Steven’s childishly insistent optimism.  We’ve heard something like this a hundred times before:

Pearl:  Steven you can’t do that.

Steven: Yes I can!

Pearl: Steven it literally doesn’t work that way.

Steven: Yes it does!

Pearl:  Okay.  If I squint hard enough at your idea I can see how some permutation of one principle of it resulted in a positive outcome this time.  You can’t count on that happening again!

Steven:  YES I CAN BECAUSE I LOVE EVERYTHING!  HEY TENTACLE MONSTER, GIVE STEVEN A HUG!

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy this routine; it’s loads of fun.  They’ve still got some mileage to get out of the angle that Rose’s faith in all living things inspired Pearl before, but now filtered through Steven it just seems like a childish day dream.

Things are resolved when Connie and Steven sabotage Pearl’s training exercise and fight together.  They actually are a team, in a way that Rose and Pearl may not have been.  I think Pearl realizes that instead of living vicariously through Connie as a knight, she can vicariously live through her as a partner.  Not much of an improvement for Pearl’s mental state, but probably a step in the right direction.

That’s all for now!  More new episodes are hitting soon so I’ll stay on it.

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