ep.537

Here Comes Some Thoughts About Mindful Education

Because, seriously, this episode gave me so many feelings, and I need to take some time to unpack it.

Okay, quick thoughts first:

  • Pearl programmed the robo pearls to fuse (by dancing like utter dorks)
  • Steven and Connie fuse by dancing like utter dorks too (because they’re kids and they love being Stevonnie and it’s great okay)
  • The fact that Pearl turned from ‘this fusion must somehow be inappropriate’ to ‘giddy proud teacher’ is beautiful
  • Garnet’s sign. And Steven’s endless love for ‘fusion jokes’ i’ll never get tired of it
  • “Hold the phone. Now give the phone to me.” GARNET LEARNED THIS FROM STEVEN I CAN’T
  • garnet and stevonnie duet hold me

OKAY. Complicated thoughts.

I think something people have trouble grasping with fusions is that they are, to a certain extent, their own person. Not two people in a trenchcoat or piloting a mecha. They’ll get down and try to pinpoint which sentence or action belongs to which character. And yeah, there are times where things can neatly line that way, especially when a fusion is on the verge of breaking down… but even then, I think there’s a lot more subtly than people are giving the writers credit for.

‘Here Comes a Thought’ is a perfect example of how it this works:

Oh, you’re losing sight
You’re losing touch
All these things seem to matter so much
That they confuse you
That I might lose you

This is Garnet, singing simultaneously from the perspective of both Ruby and Sapphire– and, as herself. It’s easy to imagine what the ‘something’ said to her that caused so an intense reaction must have been; cries of her being wrong, a freak, a war machine, an abomination. Ruby, getting wrapped up in a singular idea– that maybe fusion is wrong, that maybe she’s not worthy of being Sapphire’s partner. Sapphire, meanwhile, getting lost in thousands of thoughts, so many different futures, ways that the two could get separated– choosing to leave each other, being captured, being shattered. 

So, let’s turn to Stevonnie’s portion of the song. It’s almost identical to Garnet’s section, with one key difference: they turn the ‘you’s into ‘me’s.

That they confuse me
That I might lose me

Stevonnie isn’t afraid of losing Steven/Connie. The two of them are close, they’ve totally internalized how beautiful fusion is, are supported by their friends and family, and aren’t (yet) in the middle of the war, where the threat of something like death is heavy on their minds, like it was for Garnet.

No, they fear losing themselves. Who they are, what they believe in.

It’s easy to see why Connie fears this. She’s utterly horrified that she used her training– skills that she honed to protect people– to hurt some innocent bystander. She’s guilty. She wants to make it better, but she doesn’t know how, she’s confused.

But we see later in the episode that these sentiments apply to Steven as well.

What does Stevonnie see? Not a single stranger hurt by accident. He sees three people he tried to be friends, tried to save, tried to be close with– and failed. He ended up lashing out in self-defence.

And then he sees Rose Quartz.

Not Rose Quartz as the healer and the mother. Her face is filled with fury and judgement. This is the warrior. This is the one who fought and fought to defend Earth. The one who hid Bismuth away and told no one about. The Rose who kept secrets from her closest friends. The Rose who left gaping wounds behind when she left. The Rose that willingly shattered someone. 

The Rose that Steven’s afraid he’ll never measure up to. And the one he’s worried he’ll have to become.

That’s the ‘me’ Steven is afraid he might lose. His ideals, his commitment to pacifism, someone who believes in the power of love and friendship above all else. 

There’s no easy resolution. Unlike with Connie and Jeff, Steven can’t talk to his mother and discuss things with her. Maybe, hypothetically, he can with Jasper, Eyeball and Bismuth, but doing so would be difficult and complicated, and probably wouldn’t end with them easily forgiving him and everyone becoming instant BFFs.

But until some sort of…. peace, can be made there, Connie is there for Steven. And Steven is there for Connie. Together, they bring the emotional balance necessary to float seamlessly.

“I’m here.” That’s Stevonnie’s last line. And it can’t be assigned to any one aspect. It’s all of them, together. 

“that is the sort of decisions we’re going to start having to make, and I don’t want to make that one.” 

can we talk about this for a minute because shit percy, he is in full on war table mode.  this entire conversation, ever since he realised this is a war, not a battle has been so interesting to me, because here’s this noble child, thrust into a role he was never meant for, trying to be the general he knows they’ll need but that none of his friends are willing to be. he’s putting out these ideas he knows are going to be met with hesitation or revulsion, because he’s long ago accepted that he’s already broken, tainted, bloodstained, and so if anyone is going to make the hard calls, it should be him, rather than any of his friends who are still good, still pure of heart. It’s okay if he does it, his soul is already forfeit.