An overworked and very grown up Steven is running an entire school and doesn’t have time for his old friends like he used to but, when a snow day comes along, the Crystal Gems hope to bring out the old, carefree Steven with an ultra-competitive game of tag.
As far as metaphor goes, this episode is fairly on the nose. The idea of Steven literally running and hiding from incarnations of his younger self is pretty hilarious in itself, especially how Garnett, Pearl, Amethyst, Sapphire, Ruby, and the other mega-fusions get into it in the most immature way. Here, Steven is running from his own immaturity made manifest by his friends who obviously can’t handle the fact that their son is growing up.
This isn’t a game they play out of meanness or spite, but out of a need to simply spend time with someone they care about. Sure, the plot is a little tried, but with this episode, they do it very well. The ending, while still light- hearted, manages to say something about how people just don’t stay the same and how you shouldn’t expect them to.
“Why so Blue?”
Steven and Lapis Lazuli journey to an alien world to look for a pair of Gems that are reportedly still destroying planets even though the Diamond Authority is no more. When they find the gems, another pair of Lapises, they struggle to make the two understand why life is precious and shouldn’t be needlessly destroyed.
Lapis Lazuli has undergone a heck of a character arch. She’s been traumatized, tortured, and has gone from villain to fugitive to coward to hero… this episode shows her more collected than ever, but even then, still shows that her recovery is a work in progress.
The darkest part of the episode comes when Lapis lashes out against the renegade gems and realizes that she’s broken her own code… violence isn’t strength: It’s easy. Love, patience, understanding… those are strengths and they are hard and take time.
A lot like the Jasper episode, this one doesn’t end with a solid win, but it does offer home that things are headed in the right direction; a fitting metaphor for the evolution of Lapis Lazuli as a character.
I’m still holding out hope that we’ll eventually see a Lapis fusion, bringing her full circle to truly trust someone again. She really is a great character.