This show is pretty good. I figured I’d write down my thoughts on important/favorite episodes somewhere. This is basically a slightly delayed liveblog, so don’t expect too many deep thoughts for any individual episode.
SPOILERS FOR ALL OF SEASON 1, FOLKS. DUH.
Episode 5, Frybo
This was the first episode with a big hint that this show was going to be more than a lighthearted kids show. Frybo is truly terrifying.
Episode 6, Cat Fingers
This episode one-ups the previous ones horror with the Steven-cat amalgam. For readers of Worm (https://parahumans.wordpress.com/) this reminded me of Echidna to a frightening degree.
Episode 12, Giant Woman
The first fusion, and the first really catchy goofy song (no slights to Cookie Cat lovers). After watching this episode I wanted to see alll the possible fusions!
Episode 13, So Many Birthdays
A meditation on old age and death. Sure, that’s a reasonable premise for a kid’s show.
Episode 15, Onion Trade
I don’t know what Onion’s deal is. He seems like a monster. Another nightmare episode when Onion uses a Gem tool exactly how I thought of using it.
Episode 16, Steven the Sword Fighter
Noooooo Bird Mom! Shocking, completely shocking, and the show really sold this moment as bad as Steven felt, despite it being temporary.
Episode 17, Lion 2: The Movie
I just want to point out under an episode that is relevant how many episodes involve going to ancient Gem ruins and making no mention of them.
Episode 18, Beach Party
Gem clothing transformations!
Episode 19, Rose’s Room
TERRIFYING NIGHTMARE THAT IS ROSE’S ROOM. WHY WOULD A ROOM EVEN DO THAT?
Episode 20, Coach Steven
Blah blah blah SUGILITE. More fusions plzzz.
Episode 22, Steven and the Stevens
Existential nightmare of an episode perfectly capped off by a bouncy, catchy song about it. Pearl’s worried face during the song is the best.
Episode 25, Mirror Gem
The first introduction to an intelligent Gem, and the beginning of learning about how the Crystal Gems on earth relate to the Gem society as a whole. Did the Crystal Gems know they had a sentient being bound in basically a Gem television? Also learning that every gem they recover on missions used to be a Gem at one point = …
Episode 26, Ocean Gem
Lapis is so. powerful.
Episode 29, Secret Team
Embodied gem shards are scary.
Episode 30, Island Adventure
The main characters of this show lie to each other ALL THE TIME. Not sure how I feel about that.
Episode 31, Keep Beach City Weird
This was a scary episode for me, because it was very clear that Ronaldo was meant to be ‘ranting’ about the truth at the end. What did the Gems want with Earth, originally??
Episode 32, Fusion Cuisine
Episode 33, Garnet’s Universe
This is a cute idea for an episode. I’m a little unclear about when in time this show is supposed to be set– Steven has a Gamecube (rendered with very high fidelity) in his room, and all of the sound/action in this episode evokes a SNES/N64 era video game structure.
Episode 34, Watermelon Steven
More existential nightmares, capped off with the perfect ending of Steven absentmindedly eating a corpse he was just lamenting over.
Episode 37, Alone Together
WAT. STEVONNIE YES.
Episode 39, Future Vision
This is one of the reasons that Garnet is so powerful. Being able to see possible futures in incredibly high fidelity is…very useful.
Episode 40, On the Run
The return of the information from Ronaldo in Episode 31. Nothing is mentioned by the characters themselves (has the word Kindergarten ever been scarier?) but adults and well-read kids will immediately recognize the bacteriophage design of the machines. That together with Ronaldo’s ranting and Amethyst’s past point to the Gems original terrifying plans for Earth.
Episode 43, Maximum Capacity
This one got weird. What is the past relationship of Amethyst and Greg? Especially because Amethyst has shapeshifted into Rose before? This is all very disturbing.
Episode 45, Rose’s Scabbard
Oh poor Pearl. It’s very affecting to see how much Pearl idolizes Rose and misses her. Feels, yo.
Episode 46, Open Book
DON’T GO INTO ROSE’S ROOM. More sentient beings created and cavalierly destroyed. More nightmare fuel.
Episode 49, The Message
It’s nice to see Greg as more than a sad sack. Also, shit, meet fan.
Episodes 51/52, The Return/Jail Break
Holy crap this show got so real so fast. Ruby/Sapphire are great, especially Ruby’s frustration that she “Can’t see” alluding to her lack of future vision when unfused. Garnet’s song was very moving, the ship design (with escape pod) was awesome. Lapis is again shown to be an insanely powerful Gem who can remain fused with someone she is actively taking prisoner, while Pearl/Amethyst can barely keep fused when a disagreement breaks out.
This show had a slow start on the trail from lighthearted kids show to engaging narrative. The pace is actually fine for a show that exists in 10 minute chunks, and it deals with complicated issues (especially related to my jam, existential dread) in heavy, emotional ways. For example, contrast the death of alternate timeline Stevens to anything time-travel-related in Rick and Morty. Being able to mix that with the overall ‘fun’ness of the show is very impressive. I’m looking forward to Season 2.