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‘Steven Universe’ Recap: ‘Giant Woman’

“Giant Woman”
Written and storyboard by Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu.

Last week Steven put Garnet on a pedestal and quickly learned she has flaws. This week in “Giant Woman,” he was fixated on the idea of what Amethyst and Pearl could be if they fused and became the “ultra powerful being” known as Opal.

In the opening scenes, it’s obvious Steven’s never heard of this character Opal. She’s as new to him as she is to us. All we know thanks to a sand animation that Pearl draws is that she and Amethyst have to do a little dance routine to create Opal, who apparently stands very tall and is only used as a last resort.

Meanwhile Garnet has been on a solo mission and returns home to tell the others to retrieve a heaven beetle. We learned last week it’s common for Garnet to do her own thing as she’s the strongest of the gang. She tells Steven to keep the harmony between Amethyst and Pearl who bicker continuously.

It seems like Steven could care less about keeping the peace between the two Gems or the beetle. He’s obsessed with seeing Opal, so much so that he sings a song about her. He may not have kept the harmony between his mission partners, but he definitely had it going on in his voice. Before and after the song comes a cascade of pestering questions that he calls “extremely important.” They’re all variations on “Who is Opal?” such as “Who controls what side?,” “Do you share a stomach?” and so on.

What is it with Steven’s need to see Opal? Was the fascination a symbol for a growing boy going through some changes? It was like when a boy first discovers his sexual awakening. Whatever they’re into is all of a sudden the most interesting thing on earth and they feel like they have to set eyes upon this talked about, but somehow forbidden fruit.

Back to the action, the Gems meet a mountain goat that Steven quickly dubs Steven Jr. Before approaching their final destination they’re met with a predicament: a line of strategically placed floating rocks similar to the ones you’d face in a Super Mario Bros. game. Pearl and Amethyst take to fighting and end up almost killing Steven.

They eventually come upon a mini-beetle temple. It’s literally like a dollhouse but for a beetle—too cute. The heaven beetle’s nowhere to be found, but a giant faceless bird with a jagged beak appears instead. Usually Steven Universe doesn’t make me laugh out loud, but when the bird swallows Steven Jr. leaving teardrop-pupilled Steven to say, “My son!”–well, that was the moment of the week.

Earlier Pearl and Amethyst didn’t think Steven almost falling to his death was reason enough to transform into Opal, but with the bird on a rampage and both Steven and Steven Jr. inside, they have no choice. After Opal saves the Stevens, she is revealed in all her glory: a lengthy four-armed blonde warrior, Hindu deity-like, wielding a bow and arrow with a raspy yet comforting voice.

Once home Garnet isn’t impressed and doesn’t care that Opal’s standing in front of her; all she cares about is if they retrieved the heaven beetle. The realization they failed their mission undoes Opal, and Amethyst and Pearl are back. Thankfully Steven and Steven Jr. wasn’t the only thing that big bird swallowed. While inside the belly of the beast, Steven grabbed the beetle. Garnet is not only impressed with Steven’s catch, but that he helped Amethyst and Pearl fuse.

Just when you think that’s it, Garnet dropped a bomb. She mentioned Steven will be able to fuse one day, too, like Amethyst and Pearl. Yet another Gem gift Steven has that he really doesn’t know all that much about.