what really impressed me about the new su episodes, was how the writers skillfully maneuvered the plot into a position where the status quo is restored, the earth is safe for now, and more exploration into Homeworld will continue, and they did it all without it feeling forced or cheap or easy.
1. Since the Diamonds now think “Rose” is hiding somewhere on Homeworld, they no longer have any reason to send soldiers to earth. Especially since they still mistakenly believe the Cluster is set to wipe it out shortly. The Crystal gems might have to worry about another raiding party sent to catch humans for Blue Diamonds zoo, but its not a major concern.
2. With Steven back on earth, the status quo is restored, allowing the writers to still weave in some calm, beach city moments to break up the heavy plot, as well as continue to develop the other non-lars humans of beach city.
3. And with the portal connection between Lars and Lion, Steven and pals now have a free portal into Homeworld. At any point we could start an episode in steven’s living room and have it turn into some kind of homeworld adventure.
They subverted the cliffhanger of the last bomb, the idea that Steven was gone from earth now and nothing would ever be the same, but it feels earned bc the writers gave it consequences and executed it well. Because Lars died for it, because they set up Lion and his mystery since episode 10 for this, it doesn’t feel cheap to me.
idk, im just really impressed once again at how good su’s writers are. They play a long game with strong focus on continuity and characterization. Thats what always keeps me bringing back despite any minor missteps.