Steven Universe 2×15 Review: “Keystone Motel”


Fury. Patience.

Garnet’s nearly flawless. If Pearl and Amethyst seem plagued with humanity, Garnet seems superhuman.

Ordinary Gems don’t ever seem superhuman, though, as we find out that Garnet is a fusion of Ruby and Sapphire in series highlight “Jailbreak!” She’s made of love, and it’s stronger than you.

“I am even more than the two of them. Everything they care about is what I am.”

Yeah, I’m never going to miss an opportunity to post that.

We heard Garnet’s inner Ruby and Sapphire in “Keeping It Together,” nearly splitting apart when upset by a gross misuse of the fusion techniques she holds sacred.

And last time, on “Cry For Help,” Pearl lied to get Garnet to fuse with her.

The Week of Sardonyx’s existence, with three episodes left after this, makes reconciliation and forgiveness seem predestined.

But Garnet is cold sometimes. Just last episode, she watched Crying Breakfast Friends! with Steven.

“Aw, Pear. I’d forgive her, wouldn’t you?”

Garnet shrugs.

Then Steven implores Amethyst to come watch: “It’s a really good one so far!”

Garnet passes judgment: “Not really.”

But Garnet sees the future as it unfolds, and she obviously sees, much as I do above, that eventual forgiveness is the only logical path while the Crystal Gems are dealing with Homeworld threats.

That’s when Garnet comes apart.

Ruby’s fury is driven by how she and Garnet hold fusion sacred, and Ruby wants someone to validate her anger. She stomps around and boils a motel swimming pool.

Sapphire’s patience is driven by how she knows Ruby will come around to the inevitability of forgiving Pearl. She doesn’t care what happens in the meantime and ices over the Universe motel room, waiting for the future on the horizon.

Their disagreement is best typified by the following exchange.

Sapphire: “You’re shaking the table.”

Ruby: “Oh! Huh, I’m kinda surprised you feel anything at all, to be honest!”

Sapphire: “I didn’t need to feel. I saw.”

And wow, Ruby’s rage at the mention of Garnet: “Garnet’s not here!” I wonder if Ruby and Sapphire ever feel concerned with just how unconfident and inadequate they are apart. In many ways, Garnet is both the perfect relationship and the ultimate symbol of interdependence.

This is a troubling development for Steven, who was really excited to get to hang out at a motel with a swimming pool and, get this, free ice.

And just like Sapphire told Greg, he was upset that the pizza was square.

Steven finally rushes out crying, wondering aloud if he, the embodiment of the absence of the Crystal Gems’ leader, is responsible.

And only through leaping to accept fault to absolve Steven do Ruby and Sapphire understand each other. It’s freaking cute.

And then there’s Garnet. Back together.

They return and Pearl tries to talk to her. Garnet needs to put resolution on the table while still giving herself time to feel angry and Pearl to learn from her shame.

“Not now.”

Fury. Patience.

A conversation.

Score: 9/10

Joey's a 23-year-old who graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris and now lives in Minnesota's Twin Cities. He enjoys art, activism, and politics, especially when he's looking at them through a lens of popular culture. First and foremost he's obsessed with popular music, but aside from what you'd expect, he's also into comic strips, graphic novels, cartoons, and indie games made for mobile phones (his highest tile in Threes is 3,072). He'll tell you that his favorite book of all time is Goodnight Moon. He needs more people in his life who understand the joys of Achewood.