Well? It’s us!
This episode begins a (very brief) spat of fillery episodes that really don’t add much characterization, let alone plot. This also happens to be a Lamar Abrams episode, but to be very fair to him, this is easily my least favorite of his episodes for Future, and maybe that’s more because it’s filler than anything else. Speaking of which, I do actually love how they made this series a showcase for up-and-coming talent who had been working on the show in other capacities before.
Anyhow, Steven’s filming an ad for Little Homeschool when he starts to suspect someone is trying to prank him…as in, someone seemingly wants to prank him but can’t seem to figure out what a prank is. Like neatly stacking toilet paper on top of his car, or replacing the juice that he likes with a box of tomato soup (which he also likes, even if it is unexpected). Then he discovers the culprit.
Bluebird: Well, well, well! If it ain’t the old Gem savior himself, Steven Universe!
She introduces herself as Bluebird Azurite, and in case her face wasn’t a dead giveaway that she’s a villainous fusion, azurite just so happens to be a type of rock closely associated with malachite…
Steven: Don’t panic. I think Bluebird is a fusion of Aquamarine and Eyeball!
Garnet: It’s pretty obvious.
Steven: What? How come you’re all so calm about this? Did you forget that Aquamarine kidnapped me? How about the fact that Eyeball tried to stab me and ratted me out when I was on trial? They must have fused because they both hate me!
Garnet: That was then. This is Bluebird
I mean, that’s a pretty fair assumption on Steven’s part (that turns out to be right on the money), and while one could argue that Garnet knows they could handle it if Bluebird does turn out to have bad intentions, it’s still frustrating that they refuse to acknowledge that Steven has a right to be concerned. And dismiss the pranks on him as harmless jokes that he’s just being paranoid about.
Steven: Isn’t it convenient that Bluebird just showed up at my house?
Pearl: Steven, you’ve literally invited all problematic Gems from across the universe to come here and learn a better way of living.
Of course Steven caves in the end, since Bluebird still hasn’t done anything explicitly villainous yet. But she continues to taunt him with ominous-looking actions that inevitably have perfectly innocent explanations.
Greg: What’s up, Stuball? Just showing Bluebird some of my old classic scifi horror movies.
Bluebird: Yeah! They’re hilarious!
Larimar talking about enjoying peoples’ screams managed to be cute and funny. Bluebird finding horror movies funny is still pretty suspect. So naturally, this is exactly when Steven finally relents and decides to give Bluebird a chance.
Steven: Are those screams of fun?
Because I guess Garnet didn’t foresee Bluebird trying to take her revenge on “my dad”.
Bluebird: A year ago, there were two Gems, celebrated for taking down Homeworld’s greatest traitor. But then they were cast out, forgotten, when the traitor duped all of Homeworld into loving him instead! Now they’ve come to Earth for their revenge! And forever shall he rue the names-
Eyeball: And Ruby! […] It’s always been us! You never knew!
Steven: I always knew. Everyone knew.
Good joke, but still not worth all that buildup.
So they threaten to torture Greg unless Steven does a bunch of ridiculous things like demolishing Little Homeworld and poofing his friends (which honestly might still be beyond his abilities, even if he really wanted to). But Greg has finally gotten to the point where he’s not about to be used as collateral anymore, so he literally takes his life in his hands by grabbing Eyeball’s knife and cutting off his bountiful rockstar locks by which they are holding him.
Once Greg is safely hidden away, Steven naturally turns to fight the two of them with renewed vigor…but they can’t seem to refuse properly.
Steven: You guys fused just because you hate me, didn’t you?
Aquamarine & Eyeball: Yes!
Steven: If that’s the only reason, then it’s no wonder you can’t keep it together.
Aquamarine: What are you talking about?
Steven: There are so many other reasons to fuse, like friendship, responsibility, and love. Imagine how much better it would feel to support each other instead of tearing someone down! Your life would fill with warmth, and friendship, and joy, and love, and-
Eyeball: Wowie-wow! He is so annoying!
Aquamarine: I hate him so much.
Both: I know! Me too!
Okay, that IS almost worth it. Almost. And it is also pleasing when the other Crystal Gems finally notice what’s going on, transform into Alexandrite, and unceremoniously crush Bluebird with one hand.
Aquamarine: You may have gotten us this time, but we’ll be out there.
Eyeball: Hating you-
It’s more or less the same ground they already covered with Kevin, because these are all the sorts of people you don’t need in your life and you really shouldn’t waste time worrying about. Like, it might have been something if Steven had spent the episode wanting Bluebird to be good, then learning to accept that they won’t and that’s okay (which…well, okay they will actually do that one later…). I guess the lesson is supposed to be that evil people gonna evil, so don’t worry too much?
Steven: I’m really sorry, Dad. I never should’ve given Bluebird a chance.
Greg: I love how you believe in everyone. You stuck to your principles, and I’m proud of you. Everyone can change, but not everyone wants to.
Until next time…