Wow, what a curious little rollercoaster Steven Universe’s “Jungle Moon” turned out to be.
It starts off right where “Lars of the Stars” ended, with Stevonnie having a horrific crash landing onto a strange new planet, their bubble power being the only thing that saves them. They try to contact Lars but the ship is too damaged to send any type of signal, and seconds later they’re attacked by one of the planet’s native creatures. This would be enough to put anyone into “lay in the fetal position and wait to die” mode, but it instead fills Stevonnie with hope; as they put it: if life can thrive on this planet, then so can they.
So begins a survival montage showing Stevonnie gathering food, water, creating a tent, and (what I was most curious about seeing) growing stubble. See there was a bit of controversy surrounding the promotional art around this latest Steven Bomb, specifically because the art featured Stevonnie with some obvious facial hair. A lot of people didn’t like it, but I think it’s another great example of the accurate representation that the show has gotten so good at. Stevonnie is obviously non-binary, and some non-binary people have facial hair. Hell, some cis-gender women have facial hair. It shouldn’t be a radical idea to portray them as such, but in this society, it sadly is, which is why Stevonnie looking at their stubble in a mirror with pride is so refreshing. Damn, I love this show.
Back to the episode — Stevonnie gets chased into a tower by a bird-like monster, and camps there for the evening. They fall asleep, and that’s where things start to get interesting. There’s a crazy dream sequence that starts off with Connie’s mom in their home back on Earth and evolves into an argument that occurred between Yellow Diamond and Pink Diamond, with Stevonnie taking Pink Diamond’s place. The “Steven” part of Stevonnie is apparently having Diamond dreams again, perhaps brought on by being on this planet.
Stevonnie is understandably shook and decides to explore the tower for some answers. Discovering the exact same room that was in their dream, and using the same code they saw Yellow Diamond use in said dream, they’re able to turn on the communicator and contact Lars, who’s finally able to rescue them.
But once again, Steven Universe has left me wanting more. This is the first time we’ve seen Pink Diamond on screen, and given a little taste of her dynamic with Yellow Diamond. It obviously wasn’t a pleasant relationship; does this mean Yellow might have had something to do with her death? I want some answers, damnit.
Stevonnie: “If life can thrive here, so can I. I just have to hold out until Lars can find me. Until then, we survive.”
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Archie Grimm also writes for Cracked (humorous yet introspective articles ranging from pop culture to human nature) and her own personal pleasure (smutty fanfiction that should never see the light of day). Catch her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NerdyMcHoodlum.