By Alex Mintz
Warning, this article contains spoilers from the Steven Universe titled “Change Your Mind” and other past episodes.
Steven Universe is a television series that has been on-and-off for years. It is about a team called the Crystal Gems who protect the Earth from enemies. The team consists of gems named Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, and Steven Universe. This series is not just any television series though. Steven Universe is very known for having LGBT characters and their original songs. This show was created by Cartoon Network’s first woman creator named Rebecca Sugar.
On January 21, 2019, Cartoon Network aired the Season 5 finale titled “Change Your Mind.” It was a 44-minute episode that was part of an event called “Battle of Heart and Mind.” In this episode, we get to see so many things such as action, fusions (fusion is where two gems or a gem/human and a human can become one being to be stronger.), and heart-warming scenes. Before the episode, The Crystal gems were on Homeworld because they need White Diamond to heal the corrupted gems. She didn’t listen when she was first revealed and only sent Steven to Pink’s room. Then, Steven planned a ball so he could talk to White Diamond, but her pearl only appeared saying she will take the place of White Diamond. Steven becomes bored since his plan didn’t work out, so Connie brings him on the dancefloor and they accidentally fuse. This makes White pearl angry and causes Steven and Connie to get locked up and the gems are “poofed.” (Gems do not have a physical form but have mass. They can regenerate when their physical form disappears and looks different the next time they form)
Since there is a lot of stuff to cover this episode, I will only explain the important parts in brief. Change Your Mind is about how Steven persuade Blue and Yellow, with the help of Connie, to let them go to go back to their planet. Blue and Yellow become convinced after fighting each other and try to bring Steven back to the ship they came. White Diamond finds out about this and takes the access of their ship. Steven accidentally drops the gems and goes after them. During this part, we get to see Steven fuse with some of the crystal gems. This shows the new fusions named Smoky Quartz (she has appeared in several previous episodes. She is a fusion of Amethyst and Steven), Rainbow Quartz 2.0 (Pearl and Steven), Sunstone (Garnet and Steven), and Obsidian (a Steven, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl fusion).
Then, Steven begins trying to persuade White Diamond, but she would not listen. This causes the Crystal Gems, Yellow, and Blue to be controlled by White, Connie trying to escape controlled Pearl’s grasp, and Steven’s gem taken out of his belly. What is interesting is that when his gem is regenerating, it becomes a pink Steven which surprises everyone. White Diamond tries to stop Pink Steven from getting close to his other self, but he only deflects it before finally reaching Steven.
Steven has always had trouble with who he was since everyone before expected him to be like his mom. He struggled to be like her, but he knew he couldn’t. This is the same case with the diamonds. He told Blue and Yellow that he was Pink Diamond, but they expected him to be like her and to turn things back to how they were. When Steven is looking at his other self, he begins to laugh and cry because he is so happy that he isn’t like his mother. He wasn’t anyone, but Steven Universe.
This heart-warming scene was animated by a Disney animator named James Baxter, which made this scene beautiful. After Steven fuses with his gem, he tells Connie, “Yeah I am me! I have always been me.” The gems, diamonds, and White’s pearl return to their normal state, and Steven finally was able to persuade White and fix all the problems that happened. This includes gems that were corrupted from the Gem War being returned to their normal state.
Change Your Mind was a beautiful episode that really touched me and others that love this series. It has so many lessons in the story and it can relate to many people. What this episode is saying is that you don’t have to be someone you aren’t. You can be whoever you want to be. No one can tell you that you can’t be yourself because you have expectations to live up to. You are who you are and no one can change that.