Steven Universe: Unwinding Season 4—Episode 16: The New Crystal Gems

Connie asking the real questions in here. Did the zoo machines pierce Steven’s ears, or are those some kind of magnetic clip-on?

Also, this is Connie’s best shirt. It’s the same one she wears back in “Love Letters,” and probably some other places. I’ve always loved teal and turquoise—that whole range. Connie’s outfits, though they change frequently, usually incorporate some version of the color.

Dialogue thing: apparently despite there being, like, a few dozen people in Beach City, never mind wherever Connie lives (which isn’t Beach City), apparently it’s enough for a bus system, with a fairly regular schedule. One that connects neighboring towns, even.

Judging by the sound outside her house—in the daytime, compared to last time I had headphones on for this location—her house must be near a freeway. The sound is muffled, insulated, to the point nearby bird chirps are more prominent, but it’s persistent. Those cars sound fast.

I need to go back and pinpoint when Pumpkin’s pronouns changed.

Also, the bathroom scene: it’s interesting, as the dialogue bounces around, how the soundtrack mirrors, zorping back and forth between Lapis’ celesta and Peri’s… eerie… synth-celesta (?) thing, that she’s had since her first appearance on the warp pad, way back.

This is all especially curious as one of Connie’s key instruments (she has a couple) is celesta. Normally the show differentiates pretty well, but putting the three in a room together… I guess aivi and surasshu had fun with what that meant on their end.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

How is Connie seeing all this? The magic of artistic license, I guess.

This episode, it kinda… I understand its role as a cool-down after an intense multi-part plot arc, but I feel disappointed it doesn’t do more with the premise. It kinda just takes the idea of a B-team and shrugs it away. The best thing here is Lapis’ usual horrible attitude.

Seriously, this is some prime Lapis in here.

It’s just, you know. Three of the best characters in the show, teamed up for the first time as a backup for the Crystal Gems. You’d think this episode would write itself. … And as it happens, it kind of feels like it did?

It’s not awful by any means. It’s just weirdly slight. Like, really, argue over a car wash? That’s where we’re going to spend these eleven minutes? And not just that. The character points the episode hits, they’re not, um. It doesn’t cut very deeply, shall we say. Rather obvious.

It’s also curious, in that it’s Molisee and Villeco, who tend to be pretty solid. But as I mused before, they’re better with the slowly boiling tension. Their comedy, it’s… it works great as asides amidst awful happenings, yet feels directionless and without purpose on its own.

I’m assuming this is the first time Connie’s slept in Steven’s bed? She seems to have gone right for it.

Not sure what GameCube (er, that is, Dolphin) game is on the end there, but I’m sure it’s something. I like the one randomly upside-down, because, Steven.

The mystery of who knows whom on this show and why or why not is always a big head-scratcher, given, again, how few people live in the area. Like, nobody seems to know who anyone else in town is until we see them meet on-screen. But it makes sense Connie wouldn’t know Yellowtail.

Got to say this is a bit of a mood as well.

Lapis looks curiously like Jamie Lee Curtis there.

Just me? Okay.

Yellowtail doesn’t have the best experiences at Greg’s car wash, does he.

It’s also, I’m…

Okay, these two, their art style works when there’s a ton going on and their sketchy off-model boards make for constant expressive cutaways, conveying extra emotional information on top of the story beats. For flat sitcom staging? It doesn’t work so well.

Connie ranting about the two “super-powered children.”

“We’re both thousands of years older than you,” Lapis Darias back.

“Then act like it!”

Man, why wouldn’t you get the 10 x SUPER?

See, there’s always some kind of teal going on.

How many pairs of red shoes did Connie bring on this trip?

I’m struggling to grasp what larger role the episode serves in terms of anchoring or presaging or supplementing the larger concepts going on around it. Maybe I’ll have an epiphany somewhere down the line. Right now, it’s just… yeah, it’s there. It pads us out before “Storm in the Room.”

Author: Azure

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