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An Old Friend Returns as the “Made of Honor”

When it comes to Ruby and Sapphire getting married, the guest list matters. Steven knows he needs to pull out all the stops to make the event as memorable as possible. What can he do? Let’s just get into “Made of Honor” because I really want to talk about it. “Heart of the Crystal Gems” continued a very strong streak of episodes for Steven Universe.

made of honor happy gems

Recap

Now that Ruby and Sapphire are engaged, it’s time to plan the wedding. Steven whips out his Dream Wedding book and immediately starts the process. Everyone has a good time (well, except grumpy old Peridot) until Sapphire realizes how many old friends won’t see the wedding. While writing seating cards, Steven has an idea.

It’s time to get down to Bismuth.

That’s right, she’s back! Steven frees Bismuth from her bubble and it goes as predictably bad as you’d fear. Well, at first. Bismuth sees all the bubbled gems and assumes Rose trapped them for the same reason she was. She frees a corrupted Biggs Jasper, who of course immediately attacks her and Steven. Bismuth poofs Biggs and Steven explains everything about Rose and Pink to her.

She handles it pretty well! A few seconds of dunking her head in lava to scream and she’s all good! She talks about how she thought shattering a Diamond would solve their problems, but seeing the result of Pink’s “death” proved her wrong. Steven’s impressed and mentions how Bismuth took the news better than Garnet. Which leads to the reason Steven unbubbled her; to come to the wedding!

Bismuth is hesitant to show up unannounced, and when Steven sets up her surprise introduction, she leaves. Steven eventually finds her making weapons at her forge. Bismuth worries the Crystal Gems won’t want her around since she tried to shatter Steven. He’s their leader (even if he doesn’t realize it) and he holds the Crystal Gems together. Steven says that since he wants her back, the others won’t have any problem. Like they’d have any problem before, they love Bismuth.

And so the two of them warp back to the temple and Bismuth makes her appearance. And of course Ruby, Sapphire, and Pearl freak out with joy. Amethyst is proud of Steven, and Peridot wonders who the hell Bismuth is. All is right in the world. She also forged their wedding rings!

It’s all so happy!

Delightful Little Gems

  • “If you want to drink the cow, you gotta put a ring on it.” – Ruby
  • So now we know why Ruby considered being a dolphin before the cowboy idea; Sapphire loves dolphins.
  • Elite Meat Beat Mania was in the wedding registry!
  • Peridot. Peridot is always a delightful little gem.
  • With Bismuth’s unbubbling, I think we can confirm that bubbling is a sort of stasis for gems. I know it’s always appeared as such, but I don’t know if it’s ever been confirmed.
  • Of course, Steven loved the wedding in Connie’s book. He’s apparently put together a wedding planning book over the course of his young life.

Lingering Questions

  • Does Bismuth’s accusation that Pink corrupted Biggs a confirmation that a single Diamond can corrupt a gem? And does this mean a single Diamond can undo the corruption caused on Earth?
  • With Lapis not likely to return any time soon, perhaps Peridot can move into the forge with Bismuth? Think of all the creativity possible by combining Peridot’s metal powers with Bismuth’s forging skill!
  • There’s been a conversation about whether Peridot knows about Steven and Pink Diamond, but isn’t it possible she has no idea who Pink Diamond is? She’s an Era 2 gem, made after Pink’s removal from the Diamond Authority logo.

Review

This episode drove home a feeling I had after “The Question” aired; “Heart of the Crystal Gems” is basically a Steven Universe movie. Each new episode picks up where the previous one left off. The plot progresses forward towards whatever goal the previous one left off at. As such, I’m going to start judging these episodes as slices of this movie because really, that’s how they should be judged. I can’t wait until it ends so I can watch them the way they were clearly meant to be watched.

“Made of Honor” stands just fine as an individual episode. As part of the greater “movie” being told, it was another strong chapter building up to the inevitable downfall of the coming Diamond attack. The Crystal Gems continue to consolidate friends and family ahead of Blue and Yellow’s arrival. The stakes will be immense when this attack happens.

Bismuth’s return had a lot of room to go wrong, especially since it went down in a single episode. Would her anger dissipate too quickly? Would previous conflicts be ignored? How and why would she return? I don’t know how the rest of the SU fandom feels about it, but I think her return went really well. Perhaps it went a bit quick. I won’t argue too strongly with that criticism. However, I would personally classify it as a minor complaint in the face of everything the episode did right.

What I most appreciated was the immediate acknowledgment (again) of how fresh the war remains in Bismuth’s mind. Rose initially bubbled her during the war. Her return lasted like a day or two before Steven bubbled her a second time. The rebellion remains fresh in her mind. Her reaction to reforming in the bubble room and seeing all her friends was absolutely perfect, as was her grief over having to poof and bubble the corrupted Biggs Jasper.

Despite her mindset, she also had a distinct awareness of how much time passed since the war and what it might mean that the other Crystal Gems didn’t unbubble her before Steven came to get her for the wedding. Her fight with Rose was a brutal betrayal in her mind, and she did not want to face a similar betrayal from Garnet and Pearl. Also, so much has changed. Bismuth naturally doubted whether she could fit in after so long. Had the Crystal Gems changed too much for her? Could she reacclimate herself to life outside the war?

Bismuth definitely stood out to me in her debut as a representation of a war veteran struggling with returning to society. This episode continued that vibe, albeit far more peacefully. What did she do when she left the temple house? She went back to her forge to make weapons. That’s the life she knows. She wonders what role she has in the Crystal Gems without the fight.

Everyone has seen this in some way, even if only in stories. Returning to society continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing military veterans today. The Crewniverse handled this pretty well. Bismuth’s character was defined by the war, and remained so in “Made of Honor”. Her life was loyalty and familial connection to her fellow Crystal Gems as they faced death together. By the way, the coming Diamond arrival won’t help much with that.

Really, this episode hit on everything it needed to. Rose, Steven, the Crystal Gems who survived and those who did not, the guilt they all felt over it…I know it moved fast. I know it could have spread out more. Just the fact the Crewniverse covered all this without it feeling ridiculous was impressive. At least I didn’t find it the least bit ridiculous. We’ll certainly see more of it in the future now that Bismuth will likely take a secondary role on the show.

As for the quickness of her acceptance of the Pink=Rose reveal, I get it. However, I think it was plausibly quick and not a huge deal. Despite the violent end when they last shared a room, Bismuth seemed to reach some form of acceptance over Steven not being Rose. She showed this same acceptance after Steven unbubbled her this time around. If she no longer views Steven as Rose, she won’t still hold her old grudge.

Also, it has to make a difference to know the truth about Rose. So much of Bismuth’s anger, at least to me, came from a place of confusion. She did not understand why Rose rejected the Breaking Point. It did not make sense to her why Rose so vehemently rejected harming Homeworld gems. As an audience, we can understand Rose’s viewpoint far beyond her being a Diamond protecting other Diamonds. For Bismuth, though, that explanation makes perfect sense.

The Biggs Jasper also had a significant effect on her. Like Bismuth said, she thought shattering Pink would solve their problems. Seeing what actually came out of it would naturally make her think twice. The corruption attack explicitly rejected her argument. I imagine she felt at least a little regret over her feud with Rose when Biggs symbolized how wrong Bismuth was. It also drove home just how much had changed, playing back on the war veteran stuff she represents.

And in the end, Bismuth is definitely the kind of loyal friend who would swallow her feelings for Ruby and Sapphire’s wedding. Does that mean her conflicting feelings no longer exist? I doubt it. I fully expect future episodes to deal with lingering issues Bismuth has over Rose. Steven Universe fans often rush to judgment over how quickly characters accept things, only to have future episode prove them wrong. It can be quite annoying. Remember when everyone criticized the Crewniverse over Lapis being okay living in the barn with Peridot, thinking all her issues vanished? Yeah, now they’re criticizing her for still having those issues.

Though that might just be an irrational dislike for Lapis.

For now, it was a real joy to have Bismuth back for the Rupphire wedding. We got her tooth-decayingly sweet reunion with her friends that helped bury Bismuth’s fears. The wedding’s on track. Peridot’s there, squashing the sudden fears that she would not be seen during this bomb. “Heart of the Crystal Gems” continued to be incredibly adorable and happy.

I probably won’t feel this happy after “Reunited” airs. Steven Universe has set up for a stunning finale to this latest bomb. I have no doubts it will be incredible.


Images Courtesy of Cartoon Network

Bo
Written By

Bo relaxes after long days of staring at computers by staring at computers some more, and continues drifting wearily through the slog of summer TV.

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