Amethyst takes the spotlight as Steven joins in her rebellious pastime: WWE!
I’ll be honest, I know next to nothing about wrestling, nor do I care. But that doesn’t mean I can’t recognize how brilliantly and succinctly this episode develops Amethyst as a character.
Pearl: You’re always putting us in danger with your little outbursts! You are just so childish!
Amethyst: Yeah, yeah. Don’t forget reckless, vulgar, loudmouth – and that’s just what makes me so awesome! Right, Garnet?
Garnet: Amethyst. You are a Crystal Gem. You need to act like it.
She really does want to act more mature, but doesn’t know how, so she just pretends that she doesn’t care about Pearl and Garnet’s condemnation. And sneaks out at night to take out her frustrations at the local underground wrestling tournament (as you do).
Steven: Are you a secret wrestler?
Steven: But how? But when? But why?
Amethyst: Come here. Let me explain something to you. In the ring, nobody can tell me what to do! And if they try, I hit ’em in the face with a chair!
Steven: People…like that?
Amethyst: Like it? They love it! Well, they hate it, but it’s all part of the fun, y’know? Everyone here gets that. Ugh! You don’t know what it’s like having Pearl and Garnet on your back all the time!
Steven: Are you kidding me? ‘Oh, Steven! I told you before not to take peanut butter on missions!’ ‘I’m not going to say anything, but I expect you to understand that was wrong.’ Let me be a wrestler with you! I’m so stifled!
Obviously Steven doesn’t actually have it that bad (not many parents/guardians would approve of the dangerous adventures he gets mixed up in), but I think part of it is him trying to empathize with Amethyst and another part is that he just wants to do something fun with his “big sister”.
Amethyst initially agrees just because she wants to take a shot at the two-person tag team title, but Steven quickly proves his worth as a partner by taking various cheap shots at their opponents, and thus Purple Puma and Tiger Millionaire make a name for themselves as vicious heels in the ring.
Sadie: From here, he kinda looks like Steven…
I haven’t gotten a chance to talk about Sadie yet, even though she’s been around since the first episode. She’s basically a nice girl with the ill fortune of being “crazy about” Lars. Yes, that Lars.
And Lars happens to be Tiger’s only genuine fan, but even he turns on him when Steven gets caught up in his “villain” act and legitimately hurts his feelings. Needless to say, this spurs a serious crisis for Steven.
Steven: Amethyst, am I…’the cruelest creature on the planet’?
Amethyst: Oh, Steven! Those are just words people use to describe how they feel about you! Listen, Steven. You can’t let anyone make you feel like garbage.
Steven: Is that how you feel?
Amethyst: I only feel how I wanna feel.
It’s all well and good to say you won’t let other people determine how you feel about yourself, but the first step to working through your feelings is just acknowledging how you really feel. Amethyst wants to “act like a Crystal Gem”, and the others constantly berating her is taking a toll.
On the other hand, there’s only so much good you can get out of venting your frustrations and indulging your lower impulses, and Steven definitely seems like the sort of sensitive person who would hate himself for hurting others; he mostly seems to suffer because he hates being hated, even when it’s only “play-acting”.
Then Garnet and Pearl show up at the championship match.
Pearl: I can’t believe you’ve been sneaking off to this circus of violence! And you! Using your Gem powers on humans!
Amethyst: It’s not enough that you’re on my case all the time, you have to ruin this for me too?
This is the first time we’ve seen two of the Gems seriously fight each other, and one thing that’s very clear is that Amethyst has been holding back a lot, even against her strongest opponents.
Before Garnet can destroy the building, Steven steps in to try to defuse the situation.
Steven: Guys, stop! Wait! I want to tell you…Purple Puma’s backstory. He was the wildest cat in the jungle, so wild the other cats couldn’t take him. So she- I mean he- went to look for somewhere he fit in. Somewhere with other people who felt misunderstood. That’s why we’re all here! To be wild and free, and bodyslam each other! And wear cool costumes! And, and, so- can’t we just have this? Can’t we just wrestle?
Garnet: Cuz we are the notorious…order of wrestling haters.
I’m sure that panel is a reference to something (possibly a wrestling anime?), but I just don’t care enough to look it up.
Anyhow, Garnet and Pearl join the play-acting so Purple Puma and Tiger Millionaire can save wrestling and win the championship, tacitly endorsing their pastime before officially (covertly) apologizing.
Until next time…