Dreams being intertwined with reality has been a subject of Adventure Time for a while, and Steven floating through dreams reeks of influence from the show Rebecca Sugar left to create Steven Universe.
But dreams seem to be a new power for Steven, because he has not only agency but the power to communicate with others while he’s asleep, even if he doesn’t know where they are.
There are three Gems on earth that aren’t part of the team. One of them, Peridot, is plotting something horrifying, while Lapis and Jasper were last seen being pulled into the ocean after fusing into Malachite.
Peridot might have more to do with the show’s overarching conflict with the Homeworld, but Lapis and Jasper’s situation has more urgency and is a bit more mysterious. We don’t know if they’re still fused, and, unlike with Peridot, we haven’t seen any trace of them.
Steven’s first dream is a twist in old sitcoms, complete with a Fonzie-like Garnet (catchphrase: “Chille tid!”) and studio audience.
Steven, describing an old dream of his where Lion is driving, puts himself to sleep again, only to confirm that he’s been talking to Lapis in his dreams, and she’s sad and worried.
He goes back in. We have a dark look into the nature of their fusion inside Malachite’s head, where Lapis and Jasper are attached by chains, but only one of them can be above water at a time.
Lapis yells that she doesn’t want Steven’s help, holding herself captive to the burden of keeping Jasper under control. This is especially heartbreaking, considering she was only recently released from a mirror after thousands of years.
It takes some fun detours along the way, but like “Keeping It Together,” “Chille Tid” focuses mainly on its horrifying climactic revelation, more an inciting incident in something larger than a complete whole.
But it succeeds in changing the tone of the show. I get the feeling that, as on “Keeping It Together,” we’re seeing new and upsetting truths about fusion that even Garnet didn’t know about.