When the Off Colors graduate Little Homeschool, it’s only the first of many changes that Steven is incredibly uncomfortable with and his emotions accidentally trigger his powers in a new and dangerous way.
It’s kind of funny how this new epilogue series has shown that Steven, who spent the last few episode of the first series finally gaining control of his powers and learning who he is, now finds Steven not only questioning who he is and will be, but also losing control of his powers thanks to his own lack of emotional control.
To be honest, it’s a very real reaction to a changing world. What happens when a character hits their climax, but their resolution finds everyone else continuing to grow and change while the protagonist seems to get stuck in the utopia of his own making?
Steven’s emotions have always been his greatest strength, but now they seem to be his greatest weakness. He’s kind of like Rain Man now in how he can’t stand changes to his world whether its his two best friends not ending up together, one leaving the planet for space, and even something as simple as his favorite band breaking up.
It’s a bittersweet note, but it’s an interesting and important question for the series: Where does Steven go from here now that there is nothing to fear and no one to fight?
Unexpectedly, but quite welcome, the next episode takes that concept and runs with it. Steven has quit running the school and is trying to find solitude in caring for plants, not unlike his mother used to do. However, thanks to the accidentally use of his powers, he brings a cactus to life which he shares his most intimate and toxic thoughts with… only for the cactus to repeat them openly.
Again, this episode is asking some very important questions about Steven and his future. The kid is trapped, unsure of where to go, and scared to vocalize his fears to his friends because he doesn’t want to unnecessarily burden them: His greatest strength, his compassion, is now his greatest liability.
What I like about this episode and the episode before is that there really is no easy answer. It’s not solved in 15 minutes and you really don’t get the hope that it will be. There has been a solid lack of resolution to many of the Steven Universe Future episodes and that seems to be an ongoing theme to this series: Nothing resolves, everything changes, you can’t get used to it.
“Prickly Pear” was topped off with some terrific comedic action — I can see the cactus pain faces the characters were making could become a terrific meme.
Steven Universe Future is an interesting show. Way more melancholy than I was expecting it to be and far more mature with the questions it poses.