Before Cartoon Network exit the synopsis because that “Last One out Of coast City,” the episode seemed like a stone cold lock to feature some type of evacuation crisis. We’ve checked out it before, and with the Diamond Authority an excellent and pissed turn off at Earth, we’ll more than likely see the again. But as is regularly the situation on Steven Universe, titles can be misleading. Rather of a gut-wrenching disaster, we got the show’s many fun episode of 2016, maybe ever—even more fun 보다 Lapis and her bat flips in “Hit the Diamond,” and seeing together that’s still my Twitter sheathe photo, it is saying a lot.

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offered the Summer the Steven’s large narrative emphasis on Amethyst and also Steven arcs, it’s to be awhile due to the fact that we’ve had a Pearl feature. Last us saw, she was belting out “It’s Over, no It” to an unresponsive empire City sky and also overcoming both her unrequited love because that Rose and also her animosity towards Greg. The was yes, really deep and also really beautiful; ns still think “Mr. Greg” is the finest eleven minute Steven world has ever before aired. Yet we already knew the side that Pearl existed, couched in the neurotic, control-freak behavior that consists the Rose-sized feet in she soul. What we observed last night seemed like pretty lot the the contrary of the Pearl us know. She was, in Amethyst’s (unfinished) words, a complete badass. (Nice one, Crewniverse.)

But was this new Pearl v no setup really a complete departure from she character? I’d suggest not. At the begin of the episode, Pearl’s an inspiration to go to the display seems nice straightforward: it’s part of the change we experienced at the end of “Mr. Greg.” In an effort to redefine she life and purpose on her own terms, instead of in relation to Rose, she feel the have to leave behind the aspects of her personality the burdened she in the past. She’ll drink a juice (another quite one, Crewniverse) and also pop her collar because that’s what she thinks the cool youngsters do, and also Pearl hasn’t to be cool due to the fact that she to be rebelling versus Homeworld number of millennia ago. We’ve heard she wax poetic around those days before, however here that seems favor she’s just trying come prove a point. She doesn’t favor juice—she’s posturing. It’s an initiative to to convince not only Steven Amethyst but additionally herself of her fresh start. And it’s tough to blame her…it’s not basic thing to develop a new self-concept, and also most attempts to carry out so are bound to be fraught v a trial-and-error period. Just about the only thing Pearl knows about herself after ~ the occasions of “Mr. Greg” is that she demands to be there for Steven. Every little thing else, if she’s truly concerned terms with Rose’s passing and with she anti-Greg sentiments, is a empty slate.

It’s not till Rose’s doppelganger walks through the door the the big Donut the Pearl find the yes, really rebel within, the rebel that’s constantly been there however has lain dormant for a couple of thousand years." data-sizes="<>" alt="Rose doppelganger.gif" class="mt-image-none lazyload" style="" />

We know that Steven universe is, at its core, a show around love and also the crazy, stupid, life-affirming things it makes people do. In this case, it provides Pearl operation a red light and also reenact need For rate on the countryside Delmarva road. It’s abundantly clear the Pearl is law these points for the secret Girl, and also that this isn’t the faked rebelliousness of she Nirvana-cum-James Dean jacket. This is more like the recklessness that thrust Pearl come sacrifice she physical body for rose over and over in battle, or the recklessness that nearly got her and Steven blown increase in she makeshift spaceship. With her feel for increased reactivated, she loses all sense of inhibition and also acts the method she did once the love of she life fought by her side, pursuing love—or, in this case, the opportunity of love—to the detriment of just about everything else. In the past, we’ve seen this come throughout as alarming, yet in the paper definition of “Last One the end Of coast City,” with Mike Krol’s raw garage absent blaring in the background and also Amethyst egging she on, Pearl’s renegade streak is freaking awesome.

Of course, not every one of Pearl is down for this, and also her inner dispute returns as soon as she strips off the high-waisted jeans and the cool, collar-popped jacket. However the root of this conflict isn’t what Steven and Amethyst awareness to it is in Pearl’s doubt in her badassery; that a struggle between her desire to relocate on indigenous Rose and also the uncontrollable passion that returned once she came to be physically attractive to someone because that the an initial time in 14+ years. Component of she knows this is stupid, especially since the an enig Girl is a human and not a gem, but she additionally can’t deny just how alive she felt during the corridor escape from the cops in the surname of follow her brand-new crush. That nice to watch that the latter force wins that battle." data-sizes="<>" alt="pearl auto chase.gif" class="mt-image-none lazyload" style="" />

In the end, it turns out, Pearl to be punk all along. Punk music, like every rock change since Elvis first gyrated his hips in the ‘50s, has actually its love in rebellion versus a boring status quo. It started as a democratization that the guitar, a reaction to the flowery Yeses and also technically masterful Led Zeppelins that the world that sought to return rock music to ordinary, not-so-talented musicians who flourished on enthusiasm alone. In the intervening years, punk has come to be a basic banner because that so countless subgenres, most of which look for to amplify marginalized voices and disrupt culture in some way—riot grrrl for feminism, queercore because that LGBTQ people, anarcho-punk for adversaries of capitalism. And although the music itself is angry, it comes from a deep-seated expect for an individual freedom. In the respect, the decision Gem Rebellion was absolutely a punk movement, a violent reaction come Homeworld’s rigidity on instead of of complimentary life and complimentary love, and also a Pearl that would dare fuse v a increased Quartz soldier had actually to be considered one that the alpha punks that the whole gem species. It is Pearl’s authentic self—a love-drunk punk, no the no-fun stickler she had become since the fighting stopped—and the shines v in “Last One out Of coast City.”

speaking OF LOVE…

" data-sizes="<>" alt="STEVEN-UNIVERSE-LGBTQ.jpg" class="mt-image-none lazyload" style="" /> Steven Universe has earned its fair share of prayer for its do not be afraid depiction the LGBTQ characters, however until now, every those characters were technically genderless an are rocks. Secret Girl is the first human lesbian we’ve seen. It’s not out that the concern that we’ll watch her share the strange person ritual the “kissing” v Pearl in the future…in fact, I’d mean that come happen. The end of every the potential ‘ships this display has conjured up in its fans’ minds, this is the just one that’s based upon clear shared attraction, and I nothing think the Crewniverse will let it hang as a loosened end. Pearl entering a romantic connection with a person would be a significant step front for her development, not just as a method for her to relocate past climbed but additionally as a means for she to come into a greater, more humble appreciation because that humanity. To this point, she regard for people seems to loss somewhere between outright disgust and haughty condescension (to the point where she flirts through claiming responsibility for conserving the secret Girl’s planet and species). It’s reasonably obvious the Pearl combated for Earth because it was a ar where she’d be cost-free to love climbed Quartz openly—rescuing the humans was a secondary concern. Now, 5000 years later, she has actually a possibility to ultimately understand what Greg taught Rose around humans’ genuine potential.

Aside indigenous the permanent plot implications, seeing a depiction of an out-and-proud human being lesbian is large for kids’ tv and, really, television in general. LGBT characters, if still far from commonplace across the entertain landscape, have become an ext prevalent since Steven world premiered in 2013; The Legend of Korra even had its key character to walk off right into the series finale sunset with an additional woman. Still, though, many lesbian television personalities who’ve played far-ranging enough roles to knife a place in the renowned memory have actually endure a coming-out process as a plot point. Lock rarely enter the stage currently comfortable in their sexual identity (not nearly as typically as gay masculine TV characters, at any type of rate), and also they even an ext rarely look at like secret Girl does. The fact that Steven world is normalizing she appearance and also immediately apparent sexuality—it just is, there is no any huge deal—has the potential to bring untold positive adjust to LGBT representation on the tiny screen.

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A couple of TASTY tiny RIFFS

as awesome as this show’s original songs are, the was really cool to see them lug the really real Mike Krol and his music right into the episode. The 2 songs featured, by the way, are “Like A Star” and also “Fifteen Minutes,” both from his 2011 album I dislike Jazz.Amethyst to know a lot around human society processes.Strawberry sugar Shock Shutdown is literal meaning diabetes in a can.I’m walk to use “my appearance is a mindful manifestation of light” the next time ns at the bar and also see where that it s okay me.Was ns the only one obtaining some major Scott Pilgrim vibes native this episode?

Zach Blumenfeld is probably drinking a juice right now. Follow him ~ above Twitter.