Gee, who would have thought? The party Steven suggested at the end of “Familiar” went terribly, terribly wrong! Oh, Steven Universe, never stop yanking my heart guts. I’ll admit, I’m tempted to spend this entire review calling out a lot of people who for some reason assumed SU had fully redeemed the Diamonds and glossed over their crimes. But I’ll forgo that for now. We have too much to talk about. I mean, new fusion. NEW FUSION. So let’s talk “Together Alone.”
What better way to start an episode then with pure terror? Well, it starts off innocently enough, with Steven having a dream/flashback of having fun with his Pearl. Yes, that’s obviously White Pearl shaded pink. Yes, I’m considering this confirmation that White Pearl used to be Pink Diamond’s Pearl. Yellow Diamond even shows up, all neck, and cracks a smile.
Then Steven starts throwing up Rose Quartz hair. Always count on Steven Universe for the sudden, horrifying body horror.
Steven wakes up and finds the Crystal Gems making themselves at home. Then he approaches Blue and Yellow Diamond about his party idea. They actually like it and consider it a chance to kick off Era 3 for Homeworld. They even offer their Pearls to help, though they stress that the party needs to adhere to Homeworld customs. Uh oh.
All of Steven’s ideas are quickly dismissed by the Pearls as forbidden. Turns out Homeworld parties consist of the Diamonds sitting on their thrones and approving of the gems in their courts. Steven can’t even talk to White Diamond, which is the whole motivation behind the party. He says he’ll talk to her on the dance floor, which leads to a conversation about dancing and fun, which reveals that Blue Pearl likes to draw and Yellow Pearl likes to pose. I love them so much.
Blue Diamond shows up to squash the fun again, insulting Steven’s appearance and his friends. Garnet can’t come to the party unless she unfuses. Amethyst has to wear limb enhancers. Connie can stay with Steven since she is his “pet.” After a bit of an argument between Blue and Steven, Garnet relents and says she won’t attend the party. She gives Steven her confidence that he can change White Diamond’s mind.
Uh, such a supportive square mom.
The party starts and Steven approves of a bunch of gems approaching him, including Amethyst wearing limb enhancers. Ruby and Sapphire even show up with the other Rubies and Sapphires. The Diamonds make their entrances, but White sends White Pearl in her place. WP kicks off the ball and calls it the beginning of era 3.
Connie asks Steven to dance despite the unseemliness of it. You see where this is going. They accidentally fuse while dancing, the Diamonds throw a huge fit, and the others rush to their defense. Ruby and Sapphire form Garnet, Pearl and Amethyst form Opal, and then two onlooking gems form a Jade. New fusion!
Then Yellow Diamond poofs them all before throwing Stevonnie into a pitch-black room to think about what “Pink” did. Ouch. Justice for Jade!
Delightful Little Gems
- Did anyone else notice the parallel between Steven asking Connie to dance in “Alone Together” and Connie here?
- I desperately want to see a non-fusion Garnet. I love our Garnet and validate her existence entirely, but I want to see other non-fusion Garnets.
- The Diamonds posed the same as their murals on the Moon base.
- Look at how excited the other gems were for White Diamond to arrive. It’s so sad.
- The dancing gems were literally shaped like cogs. My goodness.
- For those keeping count, we’re down to just Steven, Connie, Bismuth, and Lion for the Crystal Gems. Everyone else has been poofed.
- I love how quickly the Crystal Gems tossed aside their placating of Steven’s pacifism and were ready to throw down against the Diamonds.
- So, is anyone else questioning that White Pearl used to be Pink Pearl? I’m wondering if anyone still thinks that won’t happen.
- I don’t believe that White Diamond chose not to go. I firmly believe she cannot move from the chamber where Steven saw her. Which begs the question of why she can’t leave. (For you subscribers out there, Gretchen and I have a theory we discuss on the Fandomentals+ subscriber podcast, Fireside Fandomentals.)
- I know Steven is the king of optimism, but does he seriously not understand that the Diamonds still don’t understand he is an entirely different person from Pink Diamond? He needs to adjust his expectations, and now.
- Why are those gems shaped like machinery? What purpose do they serve on Homeworld?
- Will White Pearl be the key to everything? Was the opening dream sequence hinting that Steven might still have some connection to her? After all, he would have no real reason to “dream” of her as Pink Pearl.
This is it. This is how the revolution starts. When the history books look back on the Homeworld revolution, it will begin with this ball and the adorable Jade who proudly announced her existence in front of the supreme authority of an intergalactic dictatorship. There’s no taking back what she did. Not for her or those who saw it. Jade is Garnet come again, but with an even bigger audience.
I’m so excited. It finally started.
Yet again, Steven Universe did something absolutely wonderful and did so without apology, with the full intent of validating the oppressed and underrepresented. It’s not a coincidence that Jade said, “I knew it, I knew I wasn’t the only one!” Seeing Stevonnie, Garnet, and Opal was a life-changing moment, an instance of validation giving her the bold confidence to announce her existence. Bless her courageous heart.
It can’t be overstated how important it is for someone to know there are others just like them out in the world. This goes for all walks of life. We all feel validated when people like the same things we like and feel the same way we feel. That feeling of validation is even more important for someone who grows up thinking that their feelings are wrong. How many children and young teens grow up feeling attracted to the same gender, or don’t feel like they don’t conform to the gender assigned to them, and repress the person they truly are because of society around them? The importance of knowing those feelings are not wrong, that there are others like you, well, it’s the most important thing in the world.
Who knows how many gems saw Jade during that ball and gained a rush of courage? Who knows how many will hear about what happened and feel the same? The one thing we know for sure is that some will be inspired by this, and there’s no putting the cork back in the bottle for Homeworld. More Jades will emerge from this.
We already knew that Homeworld was a society of rigid societal standards regarding the uniformity and purpose of its citizens. They are expected to look a certain way and act a certain way. Any dissent from these expectations leads to punishment even so extreme as death. You fill your role or Homeworld sees no purpose in your existence.
“Together Alone” showed us how the Homeworld gems do maintain these sparks of individuality, no matter the effort the Diamonds put forth in squashing it. Blue Pearl showed off her drawing and received encouragement. Yellow Pearl discovered modeling. We’ve seen the Off-Colors already. These pockets of individuality simmer beneath the surface of Homeworld culture at all times. The Crystal Gem rebellion existed purely because of this.
Now Steven’s on the verge of leading another rebellion, this one on Homeworld itself.
The Crewniverse never ceases to amaze me with how effortlessly they include important moments like these in an episode. “Together Alone” was especially rewarding in the face of all the recent criticism claiming Steven Universe is somehow glossing over the evil of the Diamonds. I’ve thought no such thing, and you need only read my reviews to see it. I fully expected this party to blow up in Steven’s face. I fully expected the Diamonds to show their cruel side yet again. It was the only natural direction for the story to go.
So many people seemed to think otherwise. They seemed to think that the Diamonds were redeemed and everything was good on Homeworld and that all their crimes and beliefs would somehow vanish or be dismissed as unimportant. Well, hopefully those people will be satisfied now. The revolution is about to hit.
I hope moving forward that people will give Steven Universe the benefit of the doubt, for once.
And yet again, the Crewniverse managed all this in an episode packed with lore. It’s really quite remarkable at this point. I know our first look at Homeworld should naturally come with a lot to talk about, but these episodes have delivered and then some. “Together Alone” wasn’t quite as packed with revelations as “Familiar,” but there was still plenty revealed. Why did so many gems look like literal clogs? How about gems having to close their eyes and not look at the Diamonds as they enter? Or how apparently Garnets exist that are not fusions?
At its core, though, Steven Universe remains a show dedicated to promoting tolerance and acceptance for those who have typically not received either. This episode was yet another milestone for a show trying its hardest to let kids know that they’re okay to feel how they feel. They are not alone, and they should never stop fighting to be who they are.
It’s actually quite remarkable that Jade is relatively uneventful in the grand scheme of things. This was just one entirely normal line in a show that long ago established itself as an important one willing to go to great lengths for the right messages. Does that make me love Jade any less? Most certainly not. Her one appearance and line set her up as one of the most important and inspirational fusions in SU history. I can’t wait to see her join the fight on Homeworld, and I can’t wait to see her happy and self-assured of her beauty and self-worth. Add another adorable, wonderful character to the Crystal Gems roster.