People don’t realize how deep the Jesus parallels in “Three Gems and a Baby” go
An extremely powerful being miraculously birthed in human form, carrying the powers of their parents with them, who will eventually “Save” the earth using “peace and love”. Both were also “Fusions” between man and another, superior creature.
Three wise men (Gems?) coming to the nativity scene originally going to harm the infant end up giving presents meant for the infant when they’re older (though, for Steven Universe, this happens in reverse order, and the three wise men were ordered to do it as opposed wanting to)
The people conjugate in unconventional location (A van/A farmyard)
Both are set in winter (Speaking Pop culturally)
Jesus caused an insurrection; Rose was only able to give birth because of her’s
Greg wears a outfit similar to that of Mary, using the blue blanket as a shroud.
As far as christmas episodes go, Three Gems and a Baby was surprisingly subtle in that it never explicitly dealt with christmas. That said, for any other topic the symbolism doesn’t get more ham-handed than that. From Greg’s dolorosa pose and garb, the snow-in, and the three wise women coming baring useless gifts (what the fuck am i supposed to do with myrrh?)
Finally, there’s the fact that the whole episode is about discussing the nature of a half-human half-immortal child who will grow up to become the savior of earth.
It’s pretty obvious what they’re angling at, so I feel I should give a spoiler warning here because things are getting really goddamn plot-twisty. Here it is. Don’t come crying to me when you get spoiled
Okay, are you ready?
JESUS FUCKING DIES!
Okay, sorry, I know I’m supposed to wait a bit before I post stuff like that, but what’s done is done.
Okay, but what does that have to do with Steven? Well, by casting steven as the baby jesus in the nativity scene, the crew is adding a huge and explicit connection upon him. If steven was just your typical half-human half-alien savior, it could be played any number of ways, but the addition of a christ allegory narrows down what sort of savior he is. By making Steven a christ-figure, he is now burdened with the responsibility of sacrifice
Steven’s arc will have to end in his death!
Okay, that might have come out wrong. Obviously even if the writers wanted to kill off a child the FCC would come down hard on their ass. No, he would need to come back from it. Aren’t we lucky then that gems can regenerate and that the christ narrative is defined not by death but by resurrection.
Steven will poof and reform at the end of the series!
Edit: I’m going to discuss why Rose won’t come back if Steven dies later, but someone raised a good point that I need to bring up: We don’t know if Steven can poof.
Well, as it turns out, Steven need not poof for this all to play out. Even without a a body made of easily reformable light, Steven still has several more safety nets.
First off, let’s not forget that Steven’s mouth is full of healing saliva. Even if he’s seriously injured, he’s in constant contact with a substance that heals instantly. Of course using that would be fucking cheap even though we’ve known about it the entire time.
No, Steven’s real safety net is far more mundane
Now, I could go easy here and bring up the fact that connie has access to both her mother’s ambulance and defibrillators as seen in Steven’s Birthday, as well as the statement that she knows how to use them, but in the end, drama and young love are the real asset here. CPR is called the kiss of life for a reason, and I don’t doubt Connie knows it. What better way to save their first kiss for the right moment than having it happen with her resuscitating him at the finale!
Woo! Cute cliches!
Okay, now that rose thing
I’m going to clarify right here and now that Rose is not coming back. Steven will poof, he will regenerate, and Rose will remain a small part of him. There are two reasons for this, both of which are metafictional
The first and biggest reason is that fundamentally, having Rose come back is identical to killing Steven. Even if she retained Steven’s memories, Steven’s identity would no longer exist.
The other and almost equal in brobdingnagianity (god I love recycling that SAT word), is the fact that so much of the show is defined by the irreversibility of Rose’s death. Loss is a fundamental part of who we are as a species, and no matter how much we want it, the dead aren’t coming back. As ironic as it is to bring up when we’re discussing that another character is going to be resurrected, the fact remains that everything about the story, about the characters and their arcs, hinges on the idea of moving on. Steven has an easy way to sacrifice himself and survive it, but Rose is already gone.
Pearl is the only one who actually decided that they needed to stop trying to get Rose back.
Amethyst and Garnet keep trying to get Rose to come back in their own ways, and don’t know what to do when their plans fail.
So Pearl takes Steven and thinks she’s probably just going to poof him, NOT kill him, and when he reforms he’ll just reform as Rose. I don’t even think she thought what she was doing could even result in the death of Steven.
And yet, she stops herself either way. Knowing that Rose, the love of her life, wanted to do this more than anything. She thinks removing his gem will bring Rose back and she STILL decides to respect what Rose originally wanted.
And that’s how much she loves Rose. But now 14 years later and with so much growth, Pearl has come to love Steven with everything in her. And I don’t think for one freaking second that she resents him today.
I love this character and I will continue to defend her to the end of time sorry.
I think we get a better time frame from this episode. Basically Greg met Rose when Sour Cream was conceived. We can say Sour Cream is about 8 maybe less maybe more in this photo, so we can find out Greg and Rose were together about 8ish years more or less and Greg was quite young when he met Rose, so he can’t be that old when he had Steven.
The wiki says Greg was 22 when he played in front of Rose, so about 8 years later he has Steven, which would make him about 30? And by the time Steven is 14 that would make Greg about 44?
This actually explains a lot of what we’ve been seeing from the flashback narratives, at least those from Greg’s perspective. A lot of the time, we see Steven as a hero and the boy who’s going to change everything, but we’re not only defined by who we want to be.
We are just as clearly defined by our relationships with others, and in these relationships we take on different roles. Parent, child, friend, lover, mentor. All of these roles, just like demographic characteristics, come with their own set of expectations.
And in Greg’s flashbacks, we see that life is made up not only of those roles and expectations but is also constantly smashing right through them. Greg and Rose’s relationship is unconventional. There has never been anything like Steven. And yet, their narratives resonate with us. We feel when we see them do things.
It’s true for all of us. In the uniqueness of our own individual experiences, there is a common thread that ties us all together, that allows us to put our stories onto pen and paper, on a big screen, into music, and elicit the same feelings and impressions from others. In our uniqueness there is a sameness, and in our sameness there is a uniqueness. That is the beauty in storytelling.
After “Three Gems and a Baby”, I have a bit of confusion: the scene in the van where Pearl has Steven and talks about separating the gem from Steven.
When Pearl touches the gem and it goes to that blackness, it seems as if something happened. Pearl touched the gem and it was almost like a flicker of…consciousness? But here’s the thing that I’m torn about–that consciousness could just be Steven’s, or it could have been some remnant of Rose. Pearl even says, “She wanted this so much! I just don’t understand why.” That has been established several times throughout the series so far, so it is also implied that Rose knew what would happen to her, or at the very least had an idea.
I’m left with this question in my mind: Is there some consciousness of Rose in Steven’s gem? Even in the episode “Rose’s Room” the tiny floating whale talks to Steven in Rose’s voice (although that is mixed evidence for either side of the answer.)