It was all fun and odd games until things took a turn. Much like “Steven the Sword Fighter,” this episode was a bit dark. The room created a freaky world where Beach City was in an altered state: Sadie and Lars were robotic, the Gems were nowhere to be found, Onion remained pretty much the same little mute, and Greg was actually better than usual – more on that later on. It was as if Steven had fallen through the rabbit’s hole and landed in a place that was no place like home…at all. Luckily, he wished to be back with the Gems and all was well again, especially since he finally got that round of mini golf.
There were three things that caught my eye this week: the idea of alone time, the idea of father figures in Steven’s life (both dad and Garnet), and the idea behind Rose’s room.
Here’s my problem with the alone time, other than it not being a symbol about the obvious need to be alone when a young boy is transitioning into a man…Steven was so against being alone at the start. He freaked out because the Gems were too busy, but as soon as they had free time, he freaked out again because they’d interrupted a game. That was a pretty quick change of heart. He went from needing companionship to not wanting it at all, and then back to where he started. I just wish he’d wanted that time to himself from the start. I think that would’ve made the idea of wanting the Gems around a lot stronger in the end BUT then they would’ve had to rewrite that whole mini-golf beginning.
Then there was Greg. I’m not a fan of that guy because we haven’t really gotten to know him. He’s either a great dad who’s letting his son live out his destiny in a better environment, or he’s a lazy dad who only comes around when completely necessary. In any case, Greg was the only character in the bizarro-Beach City that made actual sense when Steven approached. At first his words were filled with insight, but then he started spitting out clichés about honesty and even his son called him out on it. What’s that say that in a made-up world where everything is opposite, and you’re suddenly this great father figure? Maybe that you suck in reality? Even at almost 20 episodes into the series, not a fan of Greg.
Speaking of father figures, did anyone catch when Steven said that Garnett could fit into Greg’s old golf pants? Like I’ve said for weeks, she’s the dad of their modern family and they really drove that home with her actually wearing them when they finally made it to the course.
And then, Rose’s room. Of course Steven’s gem would be the one to unlock it, that was no surprise, but did the Gems really know what was beyond those doors? A place where dreams come true, but are often nightmares–a lesson in be careful what you wish for. Was that always the case for Rose’s quarters or was this some type of lesson that an absent mother was sending her son? I want to lean toward the Gems not knowing what was in that room, and their fear of Steven going in was based on the fact that they didn’t know what to expect or the harm he could’ve faced.
The idea that Rose’s room was this place where things appear perfect but aren’t says something about her character. Look at the Gems’ rooms from “Together Breakfast,” they each represented the Gem perfectly. Pearl’s was clean and sharp, Amethyst’s was chaotic, and Garnet’s a mystery. This makes me think there’s a big secret waiting in the wings about Steven’s mom. She’s always painted as this great Gem, but could the reality be that she isn’t?