I could show you how to be strong in the real way
And I know that we can be strong in the real way
And I want to inspire you, I want to be your rock
And when I talk it lights a fire in you.

SU 20-1

This episode is heavy on the comedy, but still manages to be heartfelt when it counts.

Pearl: Amethyst, we could be here all day taking out these pillars individually.

Amethyst: Ugh, I hate it when you’re right. You get this look on your face – yeah, that’s the one.

Pearl: What we need is a well-thought out plan-

Garnet: What we need is Sugilite. Amethyst, fuse with me.

SU 20-2

See also: This episode’s fantastic faces!

Pearl: Wait! Garnet, think about this. You and Amethyst can be a little…unstable when your personalities combine. We need to be careful. Fuse with me instead.

Garnet: No need to be careful – we just need to be huge.

It turns out Pearl has a legitimate concern, but unfortunately it mainly comes across as jealousy, since fusing with Garnet is clearly a great honor (and significantly easier than forming Opal, considering that Garnet and Amethyst actually look like they’re performing the same dance and are generally on the same page).

SU 20-3

Sugilite: I forgot how great it feels to be me!

That’s actually Nikki Minaj voicing Sugilite (under a different name), and while I’m not a fan of her music, I love the attitude she brings to the role.

But Pearl doesn’t care for Sugilite’s attitude, and as soon as she starts wrecking things Pearl realizes that Steven’s in danger from the debris and evacuates with him.

But that swagger is pretty hard to beat, and Steven starts to emulate Sugilite.

SU 20-4

Steven: We all need a workout! Let’s do it! Let’s work out together! You could beat up Lars, and you won’t have to starve to death if Sadie divorces you!

Lars: We’re not married!

Raven M. Molisee and Paul Villeco are the story people for this one, and one thing I can definitely say is that they love Lars and Sadie as a couple (or at least a duo).  They must enjoy the angsty teen vibe in general, considering that a lot of their (other) episodes tend to feature Amethyst.

Anyhow, Steven runs with the workout idea, much to Pearl’s chagrin.

Pearl: Steven, what on earth are you up to?

Steven: Starting a gym! Imma get super strong, like Sugilite!

Pearl: You know, maybe this isn’t a good idea…

Steven: What? I want to be strong, so I can be useful to the team!

Pearl: There are…different ways of being strong.

Steven: But I wanna be strong in the real way!

SU 20-5

I feel you, girl. Time for a song!

Why do you have to look up to her?

(except for in a literal sense)

Dontcha know that a power that big

comes at a bigger expense?

And can’t you see that she’s out of control and overzealous?

I’m telling you for your own good, and not because I’m…

I could show you how to be strong in the real way.

Steven is actually listening to her, even if he doesn’t immediately take in what she’s saying, as evidenced by his own reprise of the chorus which he uses to pump up the people at the “gym”.

SU 20-6

And they all look extremely eighties and I am here for it.

Also, Steven wakes up the next morning hurting all over like everyone who ever overexerted themselves when they’re not used to exercise.

Also, Amethyst and Garnet still aren’t back…and then a very angry Sugilite shows up.

SU 20-7

Pearl: You’re back!

Sugilite: You left me behind!

Pearl: We just thought you didn’t need any help. Now why don’t you separate and we can all sit down and relax? Listen to me, you’ve been fused for too long. You’re losing yourselves!

Sugilite: I am myself and I’m sick of being split up! So you better get used to me, baby, and get this junk off my beach!

Steven: Why is she wrecking Dad’s gym? Why is she attacking you?

Pearl: Steven, get out of here!

While I’m sure Pearl is kicking herself for leaving Sugilite alone so long (when she’s not being kicked by Sugilite), she honestly did as much as she could.  Her first priority was keeping Steven safe, and she did try to go back later, but Sugilite had smashed the warp pad.

But this is an interesting twist on the concept of Gem fusions – that staying fused for too long can get you “lost” in someone else.  Sugilite is obviously distinct from Amethyst and Garnet, but not totally new.  Garnet has shown violent tendencies before, and Amethyst has always been reckless and resentful – Sugilite might just happen to bring out their worst aspects, and magnify them because she’s so powerful.

Pearl: I’m sorry Steven…Garnet…Amethyst…I wasn’t strong enough to protect you. I’m not strong enough to do anything.

SU 20-8

Steven: Come on, Pearl, don’t give up! I know you can take her down!

Pearl: I can’t!

Steven: Yes you can! Come on, you always know what to do! You’ve gotta show her what you showed me – that you’re strong, Pearl. Strong in the real way!

SU 20-9

It’s cheesy as all get out, but weirdly heartwarming.

Sugilite: What? You want some more?

Pearl: Anytime! You’re no match for me. Not even close!

SU 20-10

More goofy faces!

Steven discovered for himself what I’m pretty sure Garnet figured out a while ago – that his strength is often in motivating others.  That can be a passive role, but it’s possible to motivate in an active way, too, as seen here.

SU 20-11

Enjoy some more great faces!

Until next time…

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