Lapis gets her time to shine.

Lapis: You know, I never used to notice creatures like this. Before Earth and you, I used to terraform planets without thinking twice. I wonder what I destroyed. Life like this is so precious.

While she may have gotten a big hero moment in the last season, this is the first time we really get to see how much Lapis has grown as a person…by directly comparing her to a couple of other lapis lazulis who are causing trouble.

Lapis: You think they didn’t get your message that we’re not destroying planets anymore?

Steven: I’m sure they did. Everyone did. But I’ll get them to stop.

Lapis: This might be harder than you think.

Lapis Lazuli: He must have heard about our exemplary work. That’s why you’re here, I presume.

Steven: Yes! Well, no. The empire is over!

Lapis Lazuli: We know!

Steven: The Diamonds don’t control you anymore.

Lapis Lazuli: That’s right.

Steven: So, you don’t have to terraform planets for them anymore! You’re free to do whatever you like. Why don’t you come on down to Little Homeschool, where you can-

Lapis Lazuli: Oh, I see. This is just a misunderstanding.

Lapis Lazuli: Terraforming is what we like.

This is basically the only acknowledgement of the fundamental flaw in the show’s ideology of “just let everybody do whatever they like”: Some people like to do things that harm other people, directly or indirectly.

Steven: Okay, look. You’re free to do whatever you like. As long as it’s not destroying a world.

Lapis Lazuli: That’s not what you just said a second ago.

Lapis Lazuli: Why would we stop?

Lapis: Because it’s wrong!

Lapis Lazuli: Wait wait wait wait wait! How can the thing we’ve always done just suddenly be wrong? At the very least we’ve gotta finish this world – we’re almost done!

Unfortunately, as obvious as it is that destroying whole planetary ecosystems is a bad thing, suddenly confronting these two with the idea that the thing they’ve done all their lives is wrong actually is not a great way to start a conversation.

Lapis: We’ve just got to force them to stop. This is going to be a fight. They’re not nice like me.

Steven: Um…

Lapis: Exactly.

Steven: They just don’t understand that they’re doing harm. You get it – what made it click for you?

Lapis: A cycle of horrible torture…But other than that, living in nature, getting creative.

Steven: Yeah, we can do that for them!

Lapis: Okay! Just a little torture.

Steven: No, just the other stuff.

Lapis: Fine. We’ll try it your way.

Unfortunately, without the trauma/torture, these Gems really don’t have much incentive to change their ways.  They agree to “half listen” to the half Diamond, but they make no promises about changing their ways.

One of them at least seems open to learning about a new way of life, but peer pressure prevents her from openly admitting that she wouldn’t mind living peacefully.

So when demonstrations of meepmorp and dance fail to convince them of the error of their ways, naturally Lapis sings a song!

Oo, why so blue?
 So many shades of sorrow got mixed into my hue
 And each new moment just astounds me, so much I wanna do
 I finally feel my color shining through
 I'm tired of the fighting
 I'm tired of the blame
 That mirror was a prison
 And fusion was the same
 What's with these new sensations that suddenly appear?
 Deep as the roaring ocean, free as the atmosphere
 Oo, why so blue?
 So many different reasons, but are they really true?
 I want to keep on going, wanna be right here with you
 I love to see your color shining through
 I'd love to see your color shining through

It’s got nothing on “That Distant Shore”, but it’s not supposed to be.  It’s an expression of contentment with the life she has now, and as such it’s naturally a bit Steveny in tone.

But the other lazulis have no such appreciation for music.

Lapis Lazuli: You really expect us to dance and sing like pearls?

Lapis Lazuli: Forget it, Steven Universe. You already have a lapis doing what you want. Look at how dull it’s made her! Or was she always this pitiful?

While Steven naturally snaps at them for picking on Lapis, Lapis herself is still quite protective of Steven and has kind of been itching for a fight.

Lapis: That’s it! I’ve had enough of you two!

Steven: Wait! We agreed we wouldn’t fight!

Lapis: If we’d done this my way, we would’ve been done from the start!

Steven sits out the fight (technically he could join in by floating, but Lapis is determined to do it by herself and Steven’s busy protecting the cute critters), but Lapis initially has an advantage from all the tricks she’s learned despite being outnumbered…at least until they start copying those tricks.

Lapis Lazuli: We really have to thank you for all the wonderful things you taught us today.

Lapis Lazuli: Turns out you’re not totally useless.

But it turns out she’s actually really powerful even by lazuli standards.

Lapis: Who’s dull now? Who’s pitiful now?

Of course the reproachful look of Steven and the scared little critters are enough to get her to simmer down, but she still proved her physical superiority, for better or for worse.

Lapis: Hey. We’re done. No more fighting.

Lapis Lazuli: Sure!

Lapis Lazuli: Fine by me!

Lapis: And no more terraforming! You’ll leave this planet alone?

Lapis Lazuli: […] After that ridiculous show of strength, we’ll do anything you say!

Lapis: That wasn’t strength, that was weakness! Restraint takes strength, patience takes strength! Ugh. I don’t have the strength to deal with you…

Lapis is so much stronger than when we first met her…

Lapis: I wish I hadn’t done that. It’s just, they reminded me so much of myself. It’s infuriating.

Steven: Give yourself a break. You’ve grown a lot! It’s not your fault they’re stuck in their ways.

Honestly, dealing with people a lot like yourself can be way harder than people who are nothing alike.  When you’re so similar, it’s a lot easier to see the flaws in their thinking and criticize them for the small errors you blame yourself for all the time.

But at least that “show of strength” convinced one of them to check out Little Homeschool!

Until next time…

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