Attention! This post has spoilers.
Steven Universe is back with season 5! After a relatively slow season 4, the first four episodes of the fifth season are a great start to a new era of Steven’s life. And that’s exactly what it feels like: a new era. The four episodes, Stuck Together, The Trial, Off Colours, and Lar’s Head, all take place on Homeworld. Finally! After four years of suspense and hinting we get to see where Steven came from. And, after many years, Steven gets to return to his roots. Unfortunately, it’s to go on trail for his mother’s alleged murder crimes. Just another day in the life of a 14-year old child, right?
Sorry to get off on a negative note, but Stuck Together, the first episode of the season, was sadly dull. Nine out of eleven minutes consisted of pure dialogue between Lars and Steven, with little to no action in between. Although it was funny watching Aquamarine be a pain in the butt to everyone around her, it didn’t make up for the overall “meh” vibe of the episode. It doesn’t seem believable that this episode would sustain a child’s attention. The episode ends with an abrupt arrival on HomeWorld- something that should have happened within the first 5 or 6 minutes. The pacing of this episode was off, and felt like it should have run as a 22-minute episode rather than an 11-minute one.
The Trial was a huge turning point for the series. Steven pleads guilty on behalf of Rose Quartz in hopes that the Diamonds will spare the Earth and leave the human race alone. He’s come a long way since the days when he didn’t even know how to use his shield! When it’s revealed that there have been some significant holes in the story of Pink Diamond’s death, the question then becomes: Who killed Pink Diamond? Yellow Diamond’s explosive tantrum leads us to believe that she is the prime suspect, but is she? Wouldn’t that be too easy? It looks like season 5 is shaping up to be a murder-mystery.
Off Colors introduces us to a few new gems that hopefully stick around. It’s heartbreaking to see that HomeWorld has it’s own version of “misfit toys,“ but not at all surprising. The episode provides some comic relief in the midst of such emotional intensity. The funniest line coming from Fluorite, a 6-gem fusion who “Could be 7, if we find the right gem.” The episode quickly turns serious, as gem-shattering Robonoids have followed Steven and Lars and attempt to destroy everyone. Although it was a strange choice to have Lars be the one kidnapped with Steven, it’s a great payoff when Lars ends up smashing the Robonoids and saving the day. Lars has a great character arc from selfish to selfless when he risks his life to save a bunch of individuals he’s just met, and when he actually dies for them… Well! I never thought I’d see the day where Lars was a good Samaritan.
The mystery continues in Lar’s Head. After Steven saves Lars’ life with his healing tears, Lars is a whole new person or is he a person? Lars is now completely pink and has the same powers as Lion. Steven can literally get into Lars’ head and be in Rose’s personal dimension, thus allowing Steven to access Earth via Lars. This is something that I doubt anyone saw coming, but it’s a great twist nonetheless. So the mystery of Lion is… somewhat clearer? The most heartwarming part of this episode is that Lars wants to stay behind with the new gems and is okay with Steven going back to Earth without him. He doesn’t have a choice, but he isn’t being complain-y and rude like the old Lars would have been. This also means that Lars is now likely immortal. If Lion has been around for hundreds of years, I guess Beach City has to deal with an eternal Lars.
Season 5 has been off to a great start, and it’s looking up from here. Making any season predictions seems useless at this point, the SU team has done a great job of keeping things surprising and unpredictable thus far. Unfortunately the new episode dates are still TBA but will hopefully be announced soon.