I don’t know why I was crying. My dream wasn’t really sad…

SU 112-1

Steven’s psychic powers are acting up again, causing him to clash with Garnet and Pearl in what I’d like to call “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix but good (and short)”.

SU 112-3

Steven: Did Mom ever talk to you about Pink Diamond?

Greg: There were some things your mom didn’t like to talk about; I never pressed her for details.

Steven: Why not?

Greg: Rose and I talked about tons of important stuff. Music, comic books, getting sand between your toes – you know, feelings. We both made a lot of mistakes when we were young. I thought disco was coming back, she started a war…I think she felt like she had to confess everything to me, but I told her, the past is the past. All that matters to me is who you are now. And who she was was an incredible, loving being.

SU 112-2

Then as soon as he falls asleep, he starts dreaming (and crying) again.

The next morning, he describes the place he saw to Connie, who subsequently identifies it as the Palanquin from Buddy’s journal.

He naturally asks the other Gems about it, but Amethyst (unsurprisingly) knows nothing about it, while Pearl is strangely reticent to divulge anything…

Garnet: You can’t go there!

Steven: Why not?

Amethyst: Yeah, why not?

Steven: I thought you were going to tell me everything from now on.

SU 112-5

Steven: Does this have something to do with Pink Diamond? I already know Mom shattered her, so what is it about this that you can’t tell me?

Garnet: You’re making Pearl very upset.

Steven: No! I’m very upset!

Garnet: You’re not going. Rose never wanted you to see this place.

Steven: Rose wanted? What about what I want? I’m sick of everyone lying to me! Rose is my mom! Out of anyone, don’t I deserve to know the truth?

Garnet: This isn’t the time.

Steven: I don’t care! I want to go there now!

Garnet: Steven!

Connie: I’m sorry, I-I shouldn’t have brought the book…

Steven: Yes you should’ve brought it! It’s lucky something has some information that I don’t have to get out of them!

SU 112-6

Is Steven being reckless and immature? Yep.  But it’s also very understandable that he’d be frustrated with those two upon discovering that there’s yet another thing about Rose they’re trying to hide from him.  It makes sense that he would want to learn these things for himself if he can’t learn it from them, and especially when they don’t give him a very good reason not to pursue it.

SU 112-7

Garnet: Steven, don’t go! You have to trust me.

Steven: I don’t understand, Garnet. At least you’re usually honest with me.

Garnet: I really want to be. But if I tell you why you shouldn’t go, you’ll only want to go more.

Steven: What? Well now I really want to go!

Turns out Garnet is pretty terrible at keeping secrets.  Over the course of the conversation, she lets slip that there’s someone (presumably a Gem) there whom Garnet can’t risk running into, so she can’t go with Steven.

Garnet: Please, just stay here. For me.

Steven: I won’t.

Garnet: I know.

And that’s the problem with future vision: If you see a future you’re desperate to avoid, your desperation is likely to show, leading to suspicion.  But she’s not wrong, and if she hadn’t tried to shut Steven down so vehemently initially, he might have actually listened to her and waited for a time when she could go with him.

But since the Gems refuse to take him, he enlists the help of his human family.

Steven: There’s this place I saw in a dream, and it’s real. But the Gems won’t tell me anything about it! It has something to do with Pink Diamond. I know you didn’t want to get involved with Mom’s past, but I want to know the truth. Doesn’t that matter at all?

Greg: Of course it does!

Honestly, it’s a much different thing to help your child unearth some “family history” than to pry into your partner’s obviously painful past, even when it might involve the same events.

So they get a hold of Uncle Andy, who’s able to fly them across the Pacific (?) to Korea, where the Palanquin is supposed to be.  Greg and Steven faff around Korea for a bit (because even when he’s on a serious mission, Steven is always game for faffing around) before they finally approach the mountain Steven saw in his dreams.

SU 112-8

Greg: Woah! You okay? It’s happening again.

Steven: I’m fine. Let’s keep going.

Greg: Come on, let’s take a break. I think this mountain is really messing you up.

Steven: No, Dad! This can only mean we’re getting closer!

And then they discover a fence with a warning sign identical to the one Greg encountered around the Temple (but in Korean)…

SU 112-9

Steven: Dad, look! This is it! It’s…different? In my dream it was all broken down, and pink. It’s in perfect condition.

It’s not like the one in his dream, but it might still look familiar to the attentive viewer…

Blue Diamond: Oh, Pink. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should’ve done more. Yellow says it’ll all be over soon. I wonder what you would think. This is your planet after all. I still think it is.

SU 112-11

Steven: My dreams…I’ve been seeing through her eyes! I’ve been crying her tears.

Blue Diamond: What are you doing over there?

Blue Pearl: I thought I heard someone.

Greg: Don’t worry, I’ll handle this.

SU 112-12

It’s not entirely clear why Steven shouldn’t meet Blue Diamond, except for the chance that she might recognize “Rose”, which could very well land Steven in a fight by himself against a Diamond; at least with Greg, she doesn’t perceive him as a threat (because, y’know, he isn’t).

Blue Diamond: How curious. I’m impressed by humanity’s ability to survive in the wild. What a strange planet. Where else would a being as fragile as a human live, while a being as powerful as a Diamond perished…this is where it happened. Where she was broken.

Greg: Were you close?

Blue Diamond: Very.

Greg: Ah, I’m awfully sorry. I know how hard it is to move on when you’ve lost someone.

Blue Diamond: You do?

Greg: I lost someone very important to me, too. I miss her every single day, and I think about her all the time. But, she’s never coming back. That feeling can be so hard to be okay with.

Blue Diamond: I’m surprised that a human being is capable of understanding how I feel. It’s a shame. There’s a geoweapon incubating in your planet that will destroy everything shortly. But, you don’t deserve that, do you? […] You know, I really shouldn’t be here. But I’m glad I came back one last time. I can save one last piece of her legacy.

It’s ironic because they’re mourning two people who were mortal enemies! (but it’ll be far more ironic later)

Blue Diamond is obviously under the impression that the Cluster is going to destroy the planet any day now, so she’s really taking a big risk by visiting and paying her respects…and this certainly places Yellow Diamond’s hatred for the planet in a more understandable context (even if genocide is unforgivable in ANY context).

SU 112-13

Anyhow, Blue Diamond just picks up Greg and abducts him, as aliens are wont to do.  Steven attempts to give chase, but (fortunately?) she escapes in a ship before she can notice him.

SU 112-15

Garnet: Steven, I’m so-I’m sorry! […] I saw you come here, I saw Blue Diamond on Earth, I saw her see me and find all of us, I couldn’t be here with you!

Steven: She took my dad! It’s all my fault, I should’ve listened to you! What are we gonna do, Garnet?

Garnet: We’re going to space. We’re going to get him back.

I’m pretty sure the Harry Potter parallels here are intentional – the plot kicks off when our hero has a dream from the perspective of a villain, the main conflict centers around his frustration about the adults in his life keeping secrets from him, and it ends with his guardian getting hurt because of his reckless behavior.

Personally, I’ve always read Steven Universe as a sort of response to the ideas and ideals presented in Harry Potter – and since I was never really a fan of that franchise to begin with, suffice it to say I was receptive to this show’s rebuttal.  They’re both ostensibly about the power of love, but the love in Harry Potter doesn’t seem all that powerful.  It only extends to Harry’s friends and allies; the story has little compassion for those it deems “evil” (which seems to include 99% of Slytherin House, yes I went there).  Steven Universe (the character and the show) rejects that sort of duality, that “us vs. them” mentality.  He always tries to show compassion to his enemies (although occasionally he fails or they simply reject it), because they’re all people, and they deserve a chance to be happy.

Anyhow, Steven sets out to undo his mistakes…

…next time.

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