Steven, Universally Hi all, I"m Jay. I"m a children"s librarian that thinks Steven world is the most crucial cartoon that the 2010s, and also I create episode-by-episode reviews that analyze why. Together they"re written through hindsight and also take the full story into account (including the movie and also Steven world Future), all reviews are inserted within context of future events, for this reason I"d only suggest reading if you"ve perfect the collection unless friend love constant casual spoilers! Click the Archive to find particular episodes or simply the reviews to role to your heart"s content, and check the end Going end the Garden wall surface for my miniblog top top the standard miniseries.

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Episode 146: A single Pale Rose


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The ominous piano accompanying her shadow native Can’t Go back returns as Pearl answers Steven’s simple accusation through not simply clamping up, but frantically attempting to speak through her palm, do the efforts in vain come rip her arm away with clenched eyes. Where her quiet was as soon as suspicious, it currently evokes an action of violence. She isn’t just reticent, she’s smothering herself.

Steven’s reaction is the just thing about the scene, and honestly the episode, the doesn’t work for me: I gain that he’s likewise going with a lot, yet he seems much more frustrated than concerned that Pearl is plainly in pain. This is a son that puts others first to a self-detrimental degree, and also he’s not thick enough this so late in the operation to not sense that this is unexplained behavior, yet he responds as if this is usual Pearl. I don’t think it’s unrealistic because that a personality to it is in so wrapped up in their own comes to that they don’t notification the apparent suffering going on, but I execute think it’s unrealistic because that Steven come be that character.

In any type of case, Amethyst’s arrival alters the subject sufficient for Pearl the speak again, and the topic is dropped when she skedaddles. It’s simply moments top top our end until the plot continues, however Steven has actually time come go out for tots and dwell ~ above the subject prior to getting the Speak No angry emoji that launches the plot proper, adding to his very own sense of dread that describes his initial reaction at the very least a little bit, even if ns don’t purchase the execution. His urgency is palpable before he asks the question, wait on Amethyst and also Pearl to complete their conversation around phone cases, and that at an early stage tension provides an already massive disclose that much more satisfying within the episode itself.

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Each class of Pearl mirrors a different means in i beg your pardon the influence of her main point decision lingers in she psyche, with boosting clarity but increasing quiet at every action until we reach the decision itself. In this case, we get an exaggerated variation of yes, really Pearl, the part of her the blabbers with nerves and also thrives ~ above order yet can it is in cold come others once they interrupt she rflow. Surface ar Pearl never median to Steven, yet is i heard with company to the point where she prioritizes sorting him over listening come him.

In the previous I’ve had many a disclaimer around diagnosing alien cartoon characters with literal mental disorders, as these disorders rely on organic mind chemistry and also (as this episode makes really clear) Gems room wired differently; it functions in a metaphorical sense, however that’s as far as I often tend to go with it. The said, i don’t actually have to make the disclaimer this time, because Surface Pearl straight-up boasts around her skill at compartmentalizing, a psych term because that the defense device that helps stop cognitive dissonance by separating conflict thoughts. For instance, gift in love through someone who forced you come lie to her friends.

Organization additionally gives a sense of control, which can be comforting when you feel powerless. If Steven responds to cases out of his regulate by artificially assuming control via self-blame, surface ar Pearl takes care of every her package by nicely sorting it and also keeping the in the place. Still, we understand from actual Pearl the this isn’t constantly effective, and also Surface Pearl is conveniently flummoxed as soon as made to think about her actions, highlighting how unhealthy this approach can be. The ideal solution is talking around it, which compounds the tragedy of her curse.

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The visual fear recedes in our penultimate layer, but we’re met with distant wailing as Steven lastly sees the step of the crime, a moment in time that has consumed him since he very first learned about it nearly fifty episodes ago. Pieces of Pink Diamond are currently on the ground, and he watch the pink smoke clean as rose stands alone.

Steven is substantial coherent, stating right away how confusing the is to watch his mommy when these room Pearl’s memories. The big reveal of the episode might come a little bit later, yet it’s straightforward to forget that this was a one-two beat for him: first confirming that Pearl was the shatterer, climate realizing Rose’s actual function in all of this. And I love so much that we learn that it’s Pearl no from she gem, however her eyes.

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Steven emerges one critical time, sit on his mother’s throne in the final moments the his life once he doesn’t understand it’s his mother’s throne. Listening voices, he jumps under to uncover the genuine Rose Quartz speaking v her beloved scabbard, loyally moving her sword.

At this point, enough hints and also theories had been in the air because that the last reveal to feel inevitable—Pearl never shapeshifts, Blue Zircon raised suspicions, Steven dreams around Pink—and we obtain one critical string the subtext before the fact is made canon. Us haven’t heard Susan Egan since Storm in the Room, and also haven’t seen the really Rose because Buddy’s Book, but have seen enough of Pink Diamond since then to acknowledge her casual recommendations to “Blue” and “Yellow,” and her immaturity together she rolls she eyes at the notion that planet is “Pink Diamond’s colony.” however then the old increased (by which I average the brand-new Rose, chronologically speaking) come out, giddy as can be around the possibility of change. By the time she calls earth her world and also says she can’t shatter herself, the nail’s already in the coffin. Because that us. However not because that Steven.

In an episode complete of an excellent choices, its ideal is providing us a quiet tone because that this conversation, equivalent it with superior music that begins with piano and also strings prior to the signature Diamond harmonette seeps in to accompany climbed transforming right into Pink, but pulling the rug out from under us by interspersing this wondrous mood with Steven looking confused, then horrified. This is a satisfying expose for the fans, but to ours hero, it’s a minute of pure existential terror, the second an essential shift in the foundation of his identity in much less than a year of his life. His mommy didn’t killing a Diamond, she to be a Diamond. She even had his hair.

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Just one illustration ago, we witnessed Blue Diamond command Pink to it is in silent, and also while Pink longs to it is in rid the the culture that retained her in her place, she can’t check out that she’s simply as guilty of putting others in their place using the exact same authoritarian impulse together her sisters. Pearl is she staunchest ally, and shows throughout this scene the she’s brimming through a love for her leader that seems at the very least a tiny bit reciprocated, but that connection is poisoned by Pink’s final act being one of subjugation. An order with “please” is tho an order, and also Pearl needs to live through the curse because that the next few thousand years; the raises the concern of whether Pearl’s decision come go along with the charade would have actually become an additional command had actually she refused.

But keeping a an enig is additionally an intimate act, so of course Pearl look at their connection as special, even an ext than she did before. That isn’t till Rose’s Scabbard the she learns rose wasn’t as open with her as she thought, and it practically destroys her. It’s the many insidious kind of abuse, an abuse that neither party realizes they’re engaging in in ~ the time, that both regulate to justify for periods afterwards, however still leaves all the damages in means that are harder to see. Pink’s love is in the best place, v the admirable score of saving Earth’s biology and allowing Gems come live the stays they choose, but she’s beholden come a heritage that gets outcomes by restricting choice, and she keeps increase the family tradition also as she takes a enormous step towards freeing herself from it.

And climate Pearl, bless she heart, apologizes come Steven. She’s seen him in every her various other memories, so that tracks the she watch him below as well, especially due to the fact that she’s the one who sent out him the text. She can not have known the effects of Rose’s order back then, but in whatever way, the memory that has looped in the deep recesses that her mind can check out the must tell her reality at last. She returns the phone, which permits a quick, somber bit of comedy together we check out Amethyst’s take self in the background, reminding us of happier times in the real people now that Steven’s universe has actually shattered. Climate she transforms into a pale Rose and walks away, leaving she flower behind.

We zoom ago out, recapping every the great in bursts of brand-new light. We check out the “shattering” from one more perspective. We watch Pearl struggle in combat as the Corruption appears in the sky. We watch her emotion Rose’s pregnant belly, and also being comforted by Amethyst and Garnet. And we see her together she is now, lastly uncovering she mouth come speak.

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Like Amethyst’s selfie, her huge reaction come the reality is a measure gag, one the reminds us right away that Steven isn’t the only person whose life is redirected by the truth. So i don’t quite count the in the same classification as the “tag a dramatic finishing with a joke to lighten the mood” little bit I complained about earlier in the review, especially due to the fact that of where it leads. In classic Steven style, we’ll soon focus not on him, yet on Garnet, in a way that Amethyst will thankfully call out. It’s clear sufficient from his reaction to both the truth and also the consequences that he’s no okay, yet even despite he simply saw the perils of maintaining the negative stuff driven deep down, that’s precisely how he handle the affect of this reveal.

A solitary Pale increased completes Rose’s Scabbard in a method that’s perhaps much less overt 보다 how ago to the Kindergarten completes ~ above the road or pool Hopping completes Future Vision, but thanks to its subject issue it access time the hardest of all. Rose’s Scabbard was currently a masterpiece, yet it becomes every the more devastating when we understand why Pearl reaction so viscerally come Rose’s secrets; seriously, it’s practically mandatory viewing after ~ A single Pale Rose, acting together both a prequel and a sequel many thanks to the nature the flashbacks. Expertise Pearl’s background better doesn’t excuse her more toxic behavior, but it absolutely explains it. And now it’s time for Pink to get the exact same treatment.

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I’ve never been to this…how perform you say…school?

Danny Cragg’s stunning promo arts for A solitary Pale climbed is my pure favorite piece of promo art for any episode the the series, yet the Floridoverse will not it is in denied. Fantastic incorporation the Steven’s distance, Pearl’s phone, and Peridot, whom ns imagine is chilling in the bathroom while all of this is happening. It even maintains continuity through the promo art from Beta, this time switching Steven and also Pearl’s locations.

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We’re the one, we’re the ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!

My placement can seem “low” considering how great it is, however we’re nearing the finish of the collection and the competition has gotten out that hand. This episode is eternally attached to Rose’s Scabbard in mine mind, which puts A single Pale increased in the strange place of gift slightly outranked through Rose’s Scabbard because Rose’s Scabbard gets so much better thanks come A solitary Pale rose (my decision to italicize illustration names has compelled me to usage bold for emphasis here, ugh).

A masterpiece the fits in the agency of masterpieces. Masterpieces like, uh, Steven and also the Stevens and also Hit the Diamond. (The “uh” is for your benefit, i stand unflinchingly by my choices.)

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