Steven Universe’s message of love is emphatically queer
“There’s an awful lot of awful things we could be thinking of, but for just one day let’s only think about love,” croons Steven Universe, the protagonist of the Cartoon Network show of the same name, as he and his family gear up for the much anticipated nuptials of his aunts, Ruby and Sapphire.
Over the course of the show’s latest five-episode arc, titled “Heart of the Crystal Gems,” viewers saw Ruby and Sapphire split up and consider life apart from one another, then reunite with a dramatic proposal involving Ruby riding in on horseback. In the arc’s final episode, “Reunited,” the two commemorated their millenia-old relationship with a wedding.
Steven Universe has long been hailed as one of the queerest shows — and certainly the queerest animated show — on American television. Given that the show is aimed towards a young audience, it’s a pleasant surprise to see how visibly queer the show is, forefronting its non-traditional characters rather than relegating them to the sidelines or to “very special episodes.” And while moment’s like Ruby and Sapphire’s wedding earn Steven Universe the loudest applause, the show’s queer sensibilities extend far beyond its willingness to build an episode around a queer wedding, or to let women wear tuxedos while men don makeup and dresses. Steven Universe’s queerness isn’t just about the show’s superficial trappings, it’s baked into a core message: fight for love against all odds.
Science fiction has long been a way for writers and artists to create queer characters and explore queer themes, even in eras when the open discussion of queerness was considered far too taboo. Sometimes this representation comes in the form of alien cultures where our version of “queer” is the “normal” default. The men of Athos, a planet featured in Lois McMaster Bujold’s Ethan of Athos, see same-sex couples as natural because women are banned from their planet; similarly, the women of Wonder Woman’s Themyscira live and love and couple off quite happily without men.
In other works, queerness is explored more symbolically, through an exploration of a forbidden love that may not explicitly resemble a relationship we think of as queer. In Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 1992 episode, “The Outcast,” the crew of the Enterprise encounter the J’naii, an agender race who’ve criminalized binary gender. A J’naii named Soren comes out as female and pursues a relationship with Commander Riker, an affair that ultimately leads to Soren being put on trial and forced to undergo a form of conversion therapy.
Steven Universe makes use of both of these strategies in its celebration of queerness. Ruby and Sapphire — the couple whose five thousand, seven hundred, and fifty year (and eight month!) old love was the inspiration for the show’s wedding episode “Reunion” — readily read as a lesbian couple. They both present as women, they both use she/her pronouns, and they even embody a butch/femme dynamic, with Ruby’s aggressive, masculine aesthetic serving as a contrast to Sapphire’s gown-clad femme. (Although the couple switched things up during the wedding, with Ruby wearing a white gown while Sapphire donned a blue suit.)
Like the women of Themyscira or Ethan of Athos, this same-gender attraction comes naturally to Ruby and Sapphire. They’re both Gems, a genderless alien race whose members all present as women. Two Gems who fall in love are not necessarily two women in love; within the context of Gem society, there are no other options.
Yet even as the gender dynamic of Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship is fairly unremarkable within the social context of their home planet, the two Gems struggle against societal taboos in their quest to be with one another.
On the Gem Homeworld, Gems are created to serve a group of leaders known as the Diamond Authority, and each Gem is designed for a specific purpose. Some Gems are fighters, some are handmaids, others terraform conquered planets or work in construction or use a specialized sense to predict the future. Fusion — a process by which Gems are able to blend their bodies and minds together to form a larger, joint being — is exclusively used by Gems of the same type, who join together to more efficiently serve their leaders. Two Ruby guards might fuse together to become a bigger Ruby, but other forms of fusion are strictly forbidden.
Ruby and Sapphire — designed to be a bodyguard and a soothsayer, respectively — use fusion for a wholly different purpose, joining together to form Garnet, a third Gem who is the personification of their love. Ruby and Sapphire’s choice to almost exclusively exist as Garnet, abandoning the roles they were designed for in the pursuit of love, is a criminal act within Gem culture. Their status as rebels of the law, forced them to seek sanctuary on Earth.
It’s not that much of a stretch to see fusion as a metaphor for sex, and the sort of fusion without purpose that Ruby and Sapphire engage in as a stand-in for the non-procreative sex that queer couples have been derided and criminalized for engaging in for thousands of years. Ruby and Sapphire’s decision to fuse for love alone makes them an abomination within Gem culture — a word, it should be noted, that has been hurled at many queer couples for as long as the LGBTQ community has fought for its rights.
This dual strategy of queer representation makes Steven Universe a show that offers audiences many ways to engage with its message — and many opportunities to see themselves within its episodes. The explicit representation that comes from seeing Ruby and Sapphire holding one another, or pledging their devotion to each other at a wedding altar, is an incredibly important act of queer visibility, particularly for the show’s younger viewers, who may not have many opportunities to see queer relationships lovingly celebrated and normalized.
But the underlying message imbued in Ruby and Sapphire’s relationship, the argument that love is a thing worth fighting for, even when your culture ostracizes you for pursuing it, offers a rallying cry that queers from all backgrounds can unite behind. Not every queer relationship looks like Ruby and Sapphire’s, and we’re not all readily represented by their union, but we can all see ourselves in their fight for love.
And while Ruby and Sapphire may be the most visibly queer relationship on the show, they’re not the only way that Steven Universe stands up for non-traditional love. Steven, the show’s teenage protagonist, is co-parented by three Gems and his human father, a complicated blended family that’s held together by everyone’s love for one another. Peridot, a fusion-averse Gem who reads as asexual, still forms a close, loving relationship with her roommate Lapis Lazuli. During a visit to the Gem Homeworld, Steven encounters Fluorite, a renegade fusion of six Gems who the show’s creator has confirmed is a representation of a polyamorous relationship. All of these loves — along with the many different human relationships and families we see in the show’s beach town — are treated as valid, beautiful, and worthy of celebration.
Every queer person knows what it’s like to exist in a society that discriminates against you, that raises you to believe that you were made wrong, or that your loving relationship is somehow an affront to polite society. And Steven Universe’s commitment to the message that all of us, and all of our loves, are beautiful and worth fighting for is what makes it so undeniably and powerfully queer.
Lux Alptraum is a writer whose work has been featured in a variety of outlets including The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and Hustler. Her first book, Faking It: The Lies Women Tell About Sex — And the Truths They Reveal, comes out from Seal Press on Nov. 6, 2018. Follow her on Twitter at @luxalptraum.
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the 2021 china international service trade fair (service trade fair) will be held in beijing from september 2nd to 7th. meanwhile, the global service trade summit will be held on september 2. president xi jinping will deliver a speech at the global service trade summit via video.
as one of the three major exhibition platforms for china's opening to the outside world, the service trade fair has become a leading event in the field of global service trade, and is a close link between china and the world. people from many countries and the media expressed that they look forward to the 2021 service trade fair that will continue to provide opportunities for all parties to deepen cooperation, build consensus, and promote global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era.
"service trade fair has become an important global platform"
this year, the service trade fair will host 5 summit forums, 193 forum meetings and promotion and negotiation activities, as well as 8 side events. more than 10,000 companies from 153 countries and regions have registered to participate in the exhibition, and the world's top 500 and industry-leading companies accounted for 18%, an increase of 9 percentage points from the previous time. the heads of exhibitors and enterprises said that the increase in the attractiveness of the service trade fair stems from china's open cooperation environment and broad development prospects.
tang zhimin, director of the china-asean studies center of the chia university school of management in thailand, said that this year's service trade fair will cover all major areas of service trade, build a platform and provide opportunities for international service trade cooperation, and will inject impetus into the development of global service trade.
"during the service trade fair in 2020, we participated in the winter sports special exhibition, and the response was very good." thomas tajuman, general manager of the czech ski brand alpine china market, said that many european brands have gained more cooperation opportunities through the service trade fair. . "as the beijing winter olympics approach, china's ice and snow sports market will usher in rapid growth. this is a good development opportunity for us."
zvi schiller, chairman of the israel robotics association, said that many professionals and investors are expected to participate in this service trade fair. china has a huge market and strong manufacturing capabilities, and the association is considering establishing a joint r&d center with china.
the panamanian "star" published an article that panama regards the service trade fair as an important boost to the global economic recovery in the post-epidemic era. mark garcia, senior regional consultant of lixin certified public accountants in panama business consulting company, believes that the trade in service is an excellent opportunity to promote cooperation between panama and china in the field of digital economy services. "the service trade fair can allow foreign investors to better understand china, as well as the service trade support and facilitation measures china provides, which will further enhance investors' confidence in long-term investment in china."
"china has become a major trading partner of many countries. the holding of the service trade fair not only conveys to the world china's confidence in opening up to the outside world, but also promotes trade exchanges between china and other economies and builds an important platform for exchanges and cooperation. "brazil business leaders organization china chairman everton monezi said.
wesley douglas, director of the african carbon exchange, is very pleased to see that this year's service trade will include carbon peaking and carbon neutrality as a key issue. “the service trade fair has become an important global platform, and this platform is helpful for solving global problems.” he said that china has provided an important reference for developing countries to practice green development, and african countries have a strong desire for green economic development. , there is an urgent need for related investment and technology introduction. africa and china have great potential for cooperation in these areas.
"digital technology brings hope to the future"
in his speech at the 2020 service trade conference global service trade summit, president xi jinping emphasized that it is necessary to comply with the development trend of digitalization, networking, and intelligence, and work together to eliminate the "digital divide" and promote the digitalization of service trade. the theme of this year's service trade fair is "digital opens up the future, service promotes development". visitors will experience various innovative service products and the latest technologies provided by domestic and foreign enterprises through the service trade fair. in particular, new services centered on the digital economy have received widespread attention from the international community.
yukio kajida, a professor at chuo university in japan, said that in the post-epidemic era, the importance of the digital economy has become more and more prominent. governments and enterprises of various countries are actively promoting the development of the digital economy, and china is at the forefront of this field. this year's service trade fair uses "digitalization" as a key word, which will help promote cooperation and exchanges between global companies in the new situation, and further contribute to global technological innovation, economic development and improvement of people's lives. trade in services will become an important force to promote the recovery of the world economy.
everton monezi said that china’s experience in promoting the application of electronic payment technology is worth learning from latin america. latin american countries are starting to revitalize their economies in order to achieve long-term sustainable development. the service trade fair provides a high-level platform for cooperation between latin america and china, allowing more high-quality latin american companies to enter the chinese market and contribute to the recovery of the world economy.
"digital technology brings hope to the future." susanna gutkovska, acting chief representative of the beijing office of the polish national tourism administration, said that this year's "cloud showroom" at the service trade fair provided them with the opportunity to contact and communicate with their chinese partners. an opportunity for chinese tourists to issue invitations. poland's primorsky province and warsaw tourism organization set up booths in the yunshang exhibition hall to attract visitors. the holding of the service trade fair will help the recovery of the global tourism industry.
karl fei, a professor at the business school of aalto university in finland, believes that china has accumulated a lot of experience in the development of the digital economy. for example, the government provides policy support for enterprises, revitalizes the domestic market for digital services, and supports and encourages innovative companies in this field. share and discuss these experiences with all parties at the service trade conference.
"it is of great significance to the recovery of the world economy"
according to data from the ministry of commerce of china, despite the impact of the epidemic, china's total service imports and exports in 2020 will still exceed rmb 4.5 trillion. in the first half of this year, the added value of china's service industry reached 29.6 trillion yuan, accounting for 55.7% of gdp, providing strong support for the high-quality development of service trade. international sources said that under the background of economic globalization, china's economy is open and inclusive, opening its doors to embrace companies from all over the world, and will contribute wisdom and strength to the deepening of global service trade and investment cooperation.
With maintenance warranty Steven Universe Ruby And Sapphire Wedding Hand-Made Custom Cake Toppers deals discount saleas the guest country of this year's service and trade fair, ireland has not only set up exhibition areas for investment, food, health, education, etc., it will also show the unique charm of ireland through ethnic dance performances and movies. four institutions including the irish food board, the trade and technology board, the investment development board, and the tourism board will appear together on the stage of the service trade fair for the first time. fenbar cleary, vice president of the irish-china science and technology exchange association, said that china's total service trade imports may reach us$10 trillion in the next 15 years, which contains huge market opportunities.
mohamed farahart, director of the egyptian pyramid politics and strategic research center, said that the service and trade will build a sound framework for international cooperation, create a healthier business and investment environment, help establish a new operating structure and trade network, and promote service trade. , investment and capital flow.
lu yaoqun, director of the institute of governance and sustainable development of the national university of singapore business school, said that the service trade association is an excellent platform to promote the development of free trade and common prosperity between china, asia and the rest of the world. the service trade association once again confirmed china's long-term commitment to the idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
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tang zhimin said that open and inclusive service trade is also an important part of the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement. china has used practical actions to create an open and inclusive environment for cooperation through the holding of service trade fairs and china international import expo. "under the current economic situation, china insists on expanding its opening up to the outside world and leading global cooperation. these measures are of great significance to the recovery of the world economy."
hanat besek, president of the china association for the promotion of trade in kazakhstan, said that china’s opening to the outside world has evolved from the initial policy preferences to the current institutional opening, which not only benefits the chinese people, but also contributes to the economic development of neighboring countries. significant driving effect.
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Steven Universe helps Ruby find herself and ask "The Question"
Part of the difficulty with Ruby-Sapphire stories is that, of necessity, they both feel a little smaller than the rest of the Gems—after all, we mostly relate to them as half of Garnet. That means that it’s easy for their characterization to feel reductive, like they both need to be slotted into roles that explain which parts of Garnet’s personality come from them. And that makes writing for Ruby especially tough: Most of the Rubies we’ve met—the ones who operated the Roving Eye—are kind of dumb and a little one-note. What makes our Ruby different? That’s one of the things storyboard artists Miki Brewster and Jeff Liu explore in “The Question,” which puts us on the road back to Garnet but more importantly focuses on Ruby, living by herself.
When Steven and Amethyst show up at Brooding Hill, Ruby is shockingly fine. she’s having a great time eating pizza and reading comics with names like Digital Limit, basically living the Gem equivalent of the single life. Greg, notably, has been helping her through the split rather than working through his own feelings, though Steven does briefly ask Greg how he feels about Rose’s true identity. (I’m glad someone asked; Greg isn’t one of the Crystal Gems, but he might have been closer to Rose than anyone except maybe Pearl.) Like most things, he takes it in stride: “She never told me she used to be Pink Diamond, but I never told her I used to be Gregory DeMayo.” I guess, dude! Feels like it’d make sense to talk about your past and open up at some point in the relationship—Gregory DeMayo is part of who Greg became, the same way Pink Diamond is part of who Rose became.
Eventually, Ruby decides she wants to do something romantic—but not with Sapphire. Instead, using a comic called Lonesome Lasso as inspiration, Ruby decides to be a cowboy. (Sapphire’s prediction was right!) The myth of the cowboy is basically exactly what Ruby is looking for from single life: exploration into the great unknown, a rugged sense of self-reliance and figuratively and also literally finding herself. (Cue Ruby: “I already am lost. That’s why I came out here... to find myself.”) Greg, Steven, and Amethyst head out to an open plain to spend some time with Cowboy Ruby, and it manages to make total emotional sense in addition to being very funny.
The centerpiece of the episode is “Ruby Rider,” a pastiche cowboy anthem written by Jeff Liu with music by Jeff Liu and Stemage. Charlyne Yi is fantastic here, giving Ruby’s singing voice a sort of faux-masculine, twangy spin in a way that doesn’t feel like it’s making fun of her, and actually does have a lot of cowboy energy. At one point, Steven and Greg harmonize with Ruby, only to be joined by Amethyst in the shape of a horse. The Universe men remark on how much Ruby has enjoyed their cowboy activities, including Greg’s shock at how proficient Ruby is with a guitar when he only taught her how to play “like, ten minutes ago.”
Earlier in the episode, Steven briefly freaks out about the possibility that Ruby wouldn’t want to get back together with Sapphire. He’s standing in for the audience—we love Garnet, of course we want her to show up again! But, as Greg points out, if Ruby didn’t want to fuse again, then it wouldn’t be what Garnet wanted. Sometimes couples we really like, ones we root for, break up, and it’s the best thing for both people. In that light, Ruby’s eventual admission that she really does miss Sapphire and wants to form Garnet feels like a bit of a cop-out. Obviously they’re made for each other, but their inevitable reunion feels a bit like it’s papering over the possibility that people who are made for each other sometimes just don’t work in relationships, at least not at specific moments in time. Still, as Ruby puts it, she misses just having Sapphire present when they do activities together, even theoretically lonesome ones like traversing the plains. The world is scary without other people or, as Ruby puts it, “I’m no good at not needing nobody.”
Maybe that’s just a way of saying that the episode—and, specifically, the “Ruby Rider” sequence—does really good, convincing job of arguing that Ruby might need some time to herself. (I don’t usually do intensive head canon stuff, but I’d like to think that once Ruby and Sapphire reform, Ruby will take a day to herself every few hundred years or so.) It’s a nuanced romantic and emotional situation, and it’s nice to see Steven Universe handle it so effectively. And besides, I’m not heartless. The end of the episode, when Ruby stages a dramatic scene on horseback to ask Sapphire to marry her, is sweet and thrilling. It’s an opportunity for them to choose to be together as Garnet, rather than taking Rose’s word for it. Looks like we’re getting a Gem wedding!
- There are lots of fun little visual gags in this one, like the Dolphin Tail comic that Ruby initially compares himself too or Steven taking the XS tag off of Ruby’s cowboy getup.
- When Amethyst said “I’m always down for a little horsin’ around,” I really thought for a second there might be a Bojack Horseman joke on this show.
- See you tomorrow, when we find out which of the Gems is “Made Of Honor.”
Ruby is a character from Steven Universe. She is a lesbian because she and her lover Sapphire were currently fused into Garnet.
Ruby has bright scarlet skin, burgundy irises and dark burgundy hair. She is slightly taller than Steven and has a thick build. She wears a maroon tank top and a matching colored headband around her thick and fluffy, outgrown hair cropped at the neck. Her ensemble includes mid-thigh burgundy shorts, and short, pointed maroon boots similar to Amethyst's. Her gemstone is located in the palm of her left hand and has a square facet.
Approximately 5,750 years ago, Ruby lived on Homeworld as a common foot soldier.
Homeworld was attempting to create a new colony on Earth, which was overseen by Blue Diamond. She was part of the diplomatic team sent to stop Rose's Rebellion on Earth, as one of the three Rubies assigned to guard Sapphire, an aristocratic Gem with prophetic vision, adamant for destroying the uprising in its crib. When the rebels attacked, the three Rubies fought back, attempting to fulfill their jobs, only for two of them to be poofed by Rose Quartz and Pearl before turning to Sapphire.
Before her imminent poofing, Sapphire thanked Ruby for her service, at which point Ruby realized Sapphire had already predicted this and that she knew her physical form would be destroyed. Unable to accept that she had failed her mission of protecting her, Ruby tackled Sapphire to defend her from Pearl and caused them to accidentally form Garnet, changing the prophecy foretold by Sapphire. They immediately defused and were surrounded by an angry crowd. Furious that Ruby interfered with the outcome of the battle (and participating in an unsanctioned fusion with a member of her court), Blue Diamond ordered that she be shattered. However, Sapphire grabbed Ruby and jumped out of the Cloud Arena towards the Earth below, landing them softly with her levitation.
Ruby was distraught that she was unable to protect Sapphire. When it began to rain, she carried Sapphire to a cave for shelter, where she saw Sapphire's single eye for the first time. The two talked about their experience and feelings being fused as Garnet.
Ruby and Sapphire grew closer and eventually decided to fuse again. Garnet was found by Pearl and Rose shortly after forming. Upon being met with acceptance and not revulsion, she began to bombard Rose with questions about the events and circumstances that allowed her to become Garnet, as well as her own feelings about existing as a fusion. Rose told her to "never question this", and said that she was already the answer to all her questions—love. This would be the beginning of Ruby's existence as part of Garnet for the next few millennia, fighting the Gem Homeworld with the Crystal Gems to protect Earth.
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Member of the Crystal Gems
Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond (Inactive)
Blue Diamond (Formerly)
|“||That's what you think! I'm an eternal flame, baby!||„|
|~ Ruby to Sapphire.|
|“||It's never like that! Whenever I've fused, it's always just been me, but bigger, I... I've never had a third eye before.||„|
|“||I used to feel like I wasn't much good, just one of me on my own, but when we're together, it feels like it's okay to just be me. So I wanna be me, with you, an-and not even the Diamonds will come between us. And if they try, we'll beat em up!||„|
|~ Ruby's wedding vows.|
Ruby is a Crystal Gem that appears in Steven Universe. She is one of the Gems that fuse into Garnet along with her love interest Sapphire.
She is voiced by Charlyne Yi. In the Japanese dub from the movie, she is voiced by Mariko Higashiuchi.
Ruby has bright scarlet skin, burgundy irises, and dark burgundy, square-shaped hair. She is slightly taller than Steven and has a thick build. She wears a maroon and brown tank top and a matching maroon headband tied around her hair. Her ensemble includes mid-thigh burgundy shorts, and short, pointed maroon boots similar to Amethyst's. Her gemstone is located in the palm of her left hand and has a square facet.
Before her and Sapphire's regenerations in "Jailbreak", Ruby's top was black and maroon, and she still had had her maroon headband and boots and brown shorts, as seen in "Three Gems and a Baby".
After her regeneration in "Change Your Mind", Ruby keeps the same tank top from her previous form, but now wears brown long pants and her headband is reddish-orange.
Approximately 5,750 years ago, Ruby lived on Homeworld as a common footsoldier.
Homeworld was attempting to create a new colony on Earth, which was overseen by Blue Diamond. She was part of the diplomatic team sent to stop Rose's Rebellion on Earth, as one of the three Rubies assigned to guard Sapphire, a Gem with prophetic vision, who was valuable for the dismantling of the rebels. When these attacked, the three Rubies fought back, attempting to fulfill their jobs, only for two of them to be poofed by Rose Quartz and Pearl before targeting Sapphire.
Before her imminent poofing, Sapphire thanked Ruby for her service, at which point Ruby realized Sapphire had already predicted this and that she knew she would be destroyed. Unable to accept that she had failed her mission, Ruby tackled Sapphire to protect her from Pearl and caused them to accidentally form Garnet, changing the prophecy foretold by Sapphire. They immediately defused and were surrounded by an angry crowd. Furious that Ruby interfered with the outcome of the battle (and participating in an unsanctioned fusion with a member of her court), Blue Diamond ordered that she be shattered. However, Sapphire grabbed Ruby and jumped out of the Cloud Arena towards the Earth below, landing them softly with her levitation.
Ruby was distraught that she was unable to protect Sapphire. When it began to rain, she carried Sapphire to a cave for shelter, where she saw Sapphire's single eye for the first time. The two talked about their experience and feelings being fused as Garnet.
Ruby and Sapphire grew closer and eventually decided to fuse again. Garnet was found by Pearl and Rose shortly after forming. Upon being met with acceptance and not revulsion, she began to bombard Rose with questions about the events and circumstances that allowed her to become Garnet, as well as her own feelings about existing as a fusion. Rose told her to "never question this", and said that she was already the answer to all her questions—love. This would be the beginning of Ruby's existence as part of Garnet for the next few millennia, fighting Homeworld with the Crystal Gems to protect Earth.
Ruby has a red stone in her left palm. It has a square aspect, the front and back are symmetrical, and it has a light pink ring around it, which is usually hidden inside her body, except when she is regenerating. It is a decahedron, specifically a truncated tetragonal dipyramid.
Steven Universe The Question Cartoon Network
Steven Universe Ruby Rider Song Cartoon Network
- Ruby resembles a smaller version of Garnet.
- Ruby and Sapphire's shapes make a cameo appearance unfusing from Alexandrite in "Fusion Cuisine".
- She, Sapphire and Peridot are the only Crystal Gems who don't have stars on their outfits.
- Ruby has can thermoregulate her body to boiling temperatures. It may be a reference to how she is "hot-headed".
- Ruby is the second shortest Gem, the first being Steven.
- Although, she is the shortest pure Gem, while Steven is half-human.
- Ruby is the birthstone of Rebecca Sugar.
- Although Ruby's gemstone is in her left palm, she is shown summoning her gauntlet on her right hand.
- Ruby's gauntlet greatly resemble's the anti-hero Hellboy's "Right Hand of Doom".
- "Together Forever" is the last episode where Ruby has a speaking role.
- "I Am My Monster" is the last episode to feature Ruby.
Recap / Steven Universe S4E19 "Room for Ruby"
As sunset falls on Beach City, Garnet spots a falling star and is about to make a wish on it. Steven is disappointed he didn't get the chance to wish on it, so Garnet spends her wish to request another star for Steven to wish on. Lo and behold, another shooting star falls from the sky. Only this one is ... screaming all the way down.
Despite it being a crash landing, the falling star lands on the beach in front of the temple. When the smoke clears, it is discovered to be one of the Ruby Squad.
The Ruby shakes off the disorientation of fiery re-entry and crashing hard enough to make a crater. She immediately seems delighted to see Steven and Garnet. Garnet is a little weirded out since Steven told the story that one of the Ruby Squad thinks he is Rose and tried to kill him. Steven clarifies that was a different Ruby, the one he called Eyeball. The one with them now is the one Steven calls "Navy" because she has her gem in the same place he has his.
Steven is happy to see her as well, but asks her with concern if she doesn't hold a grudge against them. Navy asks why she would, and Steven reminds her that the Gems tricked the Rubies into a game of baseball. Steven wonders that Navy doesn't seem upset that Amethyst pretended to be the Jasper they admired so much, but Navy rationalizes that it made sense for them to do at the time. Steven asks if Navy isn't upset that he blasted them out the airlock and into space. Navy contends again that they were fighting. Three times asked, three times answered, Steven considers it good enough and welcomes her to Earth.
Since she's a Homeworld Gem, Steven takes her out to the barn that Lapis Lazuli and Peridot share. Peridot is enthusiastic about welcoming Navy. Lapis is dubious and suspicious about the new Gem's presence, especially when she greets every Earth experience as a delightful opportunity to learn something new and exciting. Lapis grows more and more distrustful as everything they show Ruby, she takes to and excels at pretty much instantly. Finally Lapis gets frustrated and explains that she thinks it's weird and troubling to her that Navy has caught on to Earth and made herself at home so quickly.
Navy finally decides that she's ready to join the earthbound former Homeworld Gems, but laments that their Roaming Eye spaceship isn't around since it's her Security Blanket. Steven points out that it's there, and says how cool it will be to have a pilot. Navy invites them all aboard to see the ship go through its paces.
Once they're pretty high in the air and over the sea, Navy asks Steven to press a button for her so she can show him something cool. He does, only to have a forcefield descend around Navy and the pilot seat, and the ship's airlock to open up, blowing Steven, Lapis, Peridot and Pumpkin to dangle outside the ship.
Surprised and confused, Steven calls out to Navy, asking if there's something wrong.
Navy: The only thing that's wrong is that you're...still...holding...on!
The ruse is revealed. Navy never truly wanted to come to Earth and stay, becoming another Crystal Gem. She simply wanted her ship back and revenge on Steven for blasting her and her squad into space. She executes a maneuver that drops the hangers-on into the sea, and puts the ship in hyperdrive. It immediately vanishes from the sky as it speeds away.
In the water below, Lapis Lazuli is laughing with relief that Navy wasn't such an Earth assimilation prodigy after all, but rather a liar who wanted her property back.
As they return to shore, Garnet pops the "Welcome to the Party!" balloon she had been waiting to give to Navy, and instead presents Steven with the "Sorry for your loss" one.
The group glances skyward, envisioning the smiling Navy.
- Absentee Actor: Amethyst and Pearl don't appear in this episode.
- Acoustic License: When Steven and Lapis are hanging off the ship's door while being sucked out, they have no problem conversing with Navy. Per the Rule of Funny, Peridot can't hear them at all and thinks Navy is just trying to show them the ocean.
- Always Someone Better: Navy gets used to Earth pretty quickly, which Lapis finds unbelievable given how long it took — and is still taking — her. It turns out to be an act, and Lapis gloats about being right.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's uncertain just when Navy decided to betray the group and whether or not she was completely against joining them. The main reason for this is that Garnet brings two balloons, one positive and congratulating and the other negative and consoling, implying there was indeed a probable future where Navy made a HeelFace Turn.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Navy successfully tricks the Crystal Gems to get her ship back, and she presumably flies off to rescue her squad and/or head back to Homeworld.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Garnet wishes for another shooting star for Steven. One appears, but it turns out to be Navy.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Navy has always come across as rather sweet and clueless in past appearances. Steven even notes in this episode that she always seemed to be quite nice. But she's a Homeworld Gem and part of the Ruby Squad sent to Earth for a reason and this episode shows why.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Navy turns out to have been deceiving Steven the entire time, lying about forgiving the Crystal Gems and pretending to like Earth so she could get her ship back.
- Comically Missing the Point: When Navy betrays the others and tries throwing them out of the ship, Peridot can't hear anything she's saying and thinks that she's just trying to show them a view of the ocean.
- Continuity Nod:
- Steven mentions their past events with the Rubies.
- Garnet mentions how one of the Rubies tried to stab Steven.
- Steven says a Ruby falling from the sky to discover Earth reminds him of the story Garnet told him in "The Answer".
- Peridot and Lapis end up watching the sun rise, an activity Peridot suggested in "Barn Mates".
- Peridot lifts herself up by levitating a trashcan lid she's standing on, something mentioned in her Twitter posts. (Given Animation Lead Time, the post was probably written after the scene in this episode was scripted.)
- Peridot explains to Navy that plants are sessile and nonsentient, specifically saying not to bother talking to the corn, something she and Lapis did not know in "Gem Harvest".
- Cute and Psycho: Navy keeps her happy and soft-spoken demeanor even while describing her glee at Steven's expression when he was betrayed and dumping him, Peridot, Lapis, and Pumpkin into the ocean.
- A Day in the Limelight: For Navy, Lapis, and Peridot.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Subverted. Navy takes advantage of Steven's belief that she would join the Crystal Gems after her defeat in order to betray him and reclaim her ship.
- Didn't See That Coming: Averted. Going by her balloons, a red one saying "Welcome to the Party!" and a blue one saying "Sorry for your Loss", Garnet did see Navy possibly betraying Steven, and also saw a future where Navy really was sincere about wanting to live on Earth.
- Dislikes the New Guy: Lapis is very distrustful of Navy for seemingly adapting to Earth extremely rapidly and being so forgiving. Those feelings are not without merit.
- Dissonant Laughter: After the initial shock of Navy's betrayal, Lapis starts laughing uncontrollably as she realizes she was right about her.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: Lapis is jealous that Navy loves everything unconditionally the second she sees it while she, herself, continues struggling to let go of her misery, going as far as to take her frustration out on Navy. This is a common attitude of people with depression, who are often angry with how easily happiness comes to those without it. And like Lapis, most are willing to admit that, in the end, it's their problem.
- Downer Ending: Steven is betrayed by Navy, who now has the Roaming Eye back and is possibly going back to Homeworld to inform them of the Crystal Gems. None of the appearing Crystal Gems really take it that badly though.
- Easily Forgiven: Navy is very forgiving of Steven and Garnet for their previous encounters: she says the baseball game was actually fun, Amethyst pretending to be Jasper was pretty clever, and that getting launched into space was understandable as a result of a battle. Subverted, as it turns out Navy was lying to get her ship back.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: Averted. Pumpkin doesn't sense anything wrong with Navy, and even licks her face.
- Fantastic Racism: We get the impression that Gems have difficulty mentally separating Gems of the same type. Despite being part Ruby, Garnet is concerned about Navy's trustworthiness as a result of Eyeball's behavior.
- The Farmer and the Viper: Steven spends the entire episode helping Navy get used to life on Earth and welcomes her with open arms, with Peridot and eventually Lapis joining in... at which point Navy stabs them in the back.
- Just before Navy jumps at Steven and Garnet, in a blink and you'll miss it moment, she gives them a very angry look.
- Back in "Adventures in Light Distortion", right before she hits the ship, Navy looks directly at it with an angry expression, showing that she knows the Crystal Gems have taken their ship.
- Navy says she wants to join the Crystal Gems because her teammates were mean to her. Based on Navy's previous screentime showing her getting along with them just fine, it hints that this was just a lie.
- Garnet confuses Navy for Eyeball as the Ruby who betrayed Steven's trust and tried to stab him while they were in space. By the end of the episode, Navy betrays Steven's trust and arguably gets back at Steven by throwing him out of the ship.
- When Steven takes Navy to the barn, there is a shot of the ship nearby, which becomes important later in the episode.
- When Lapis demonstrates rain to Navy, she gleefully compares it to the sky crying.
- Forgot About Her Powers: Lapis hangs off the ship long enough for Steven and Navy to have a short conversation, but she doesn't even try to fly back in until she's flung off the ship and it's too far away to catch up to.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: Yes, Navy's betrayal is portrayed as a cruel act towards the Crystal Gems, and she's probably going to rescue her crew and report everything that happened to Homeworld, but the Crystal Gems have not only lied to her and her crew three times, but also threw them out into space (albeit in self-defense) and stole her ship, and never made a move to rescue them afterward.
- Hope Spot: Steven eagerly exclaims the Crystal Gems got a new pilot in Navy. She then tricks him into pushing himself, Lapis, Peridot, and Pumpkin out of the ship to escape with it.
- I Lied: Navy lied about her changing sides to get her ship back. Whether she wants to use it to get back to Homeworld or find the other Rubies is currently unknown.
- In-Series Nickname: Steven continues to use the names he gave the Rubies to differentiate them, and he has to point out to Garnet that Navy's nickname is based on her gem placement.
- Inventional Wisdom: A single, prominent button in the Roaming Eye opens the doors mid-flight and projects a force field to protect the pilot—but not the one who presses the button. Either the ship has some bizarre design functions, or Navy reprogrammed the controls to mess with Steven.
- It Amused Me: Navy admits to spending the entire time gaining Steven's trust just so she could watch his face after she revealed her true intentions.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- Though the Crystal Gems deceived the Rubies and threw them in space to protect themselves, their inaction towards rescuing them and their gullibility not only costs the Crystal Gems a working ship, but potentially compromises their existence to Homeworld.
- In "Back to the Moon", Steven got rid of the Rubies by throwing them out of the airlock. In this episode, Navy tricks Steven into pressing a button that opens the ship's door, throwing him, Lapis, Peridot, and Pumpkin out.
- Late to the Punchline: Garnet only just got the reason for Navy's nickname.
- Like a Duck Takes to Water: Navy appears to adapt to Earth far more quickly than Lapis did, leading the latter to resent her.
- Mistaken Identity: Before Steven clarifies, Garnet briefly thinks Navy was the one who tried to stab Steven in space instead of Eyeball.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The episode's description was "Steven's Gem family continues to grow," implying that Navy would join the Crystal Gems. This makes her betrayal even more surprising.
- Not So Different: Steven convinces Garnet to give Navy a chance by reminding her of another Ruby that wanted to escape from the cruelty of Homeworld to freedom on Earth.
- Off-Model: Halfway through the episode, Peridot's hair suddenly becomes huge.
- Precision Crash: Navy randomly falls from space right in front of the Beach House.
- Reality Ensues:
- Steven and the Crystal Gems have tricked the Rubies, sent them into the empty void of space, and stolen their ship, so of course Navy wouldn't want to become friends with the rebels who caused her misery and separated her from her crew.
- It doesn't matter if it was part of the plan or not, falling from orbit without a spaceship is not the kind of thing people do silently and stoically. You can hear Navy screaming in terror the whole way down.
- Really Fond of Sleeping: Lapis is revealed by Peridot to love sleeping.
- Rocketless Reentry: Navy returns to Earth by crashing into the ground in front of the Temple.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Peridot imitates Lapis' snoring by literally saying the word "Snore!" out loud, causing the latter to blush angrily.
- Security Blanket: Once Navy is trusted by everyone, including Lapis, she claims she needs her ship to feel secure. Subverted in that it was a ruse, and she was planning on reclaiming her ship the whole time.
- Selfless Wish: Garnet's shooting star wish was for another so Steven could make a wish.
- Shout-Out: The way Navy is found lying down on her small crater disturbingly resembles the same position of a dead Yamcha.
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: Steven gets Navy to join Lapis and Peridot at the barn, but she was just playing them to steal back her ship and take revenge on them.
- Skewed Priorities: Instead of flying towards the ship to catch Navy, Lapis breaks into a mad laugh about being right about her suspicions towards her.
- Sky Face: Navy appears in the sky at the end of the episode, and the Iris Out focuses on her.
- The Sleepless: Sleep is specified as not only unnecessary for Gems, but also a foreign concept, with Lapis mentioning it was hard to figure out. Of course, Navy falls asleep immediately after her explanation.
- Smarter Than You Look: After all her previous appearances as a ditzyMinion with an F in Evil, Navy reveals she can be quite clever, playing on Steven's good nature to get her ship back.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Even after revealing her true nature, Navy speaks in the same airy, hushed tone.
- Subverted Suspicion Aesop: Lapis' suspicions towards Navy easily forgiving them for all the mess they put her and the Rubies through turn out to be right.
- Sugary Malice: Navy still maintains her sweet personality, even after it's revealed that she's still on Homeworld's side.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: Lapis resents Navy (seemingly) adjusting to life on Earth much faster than she has.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Navy, claiming she's going to show Steven a trick in piloting the Roaming Eye, tells him to press a yellow button on another console. This causes a barrier to surround Navy, followed by a hatch on the back opening to suck the others out. She does this while they're still in the atmosphere, though, so it just results in them being flung into the ocean.
- Too Good to Be True: And the reasons why were actually laid out from the get-go, just not taken seriously at the time. Steven couldn't see Navy wanting to join the Crystal Gems and live on Earth after their past encounters, but it was Played for Laughs. Lapis doubted that Navy could immediately adjust to life on Earth with no problems, especially when Lapis still getting used to Earth is a major theme of the story. Both Steven and Lapis are shown to be right. Navy's betrayal wasn't a Foregone Conclusion, though: Garnet allowed Steven, Peridot, and Lapis to try befriending her, and based on the two balloons Garnet had, her future vision showed her a solid possibility that Navy would change sides for real.
- Villain Has a Point: While Navy's betrayal of Steven is heartbreaking and involved her acting needlessly cruel, she can't reasonably be expected to forgive the Crystal Gems for doing the same thing by repeatedly lying to her and getting her team stuck in space.
- Wham Line:
Navy: The only thing wrong, is that. You're. Still holding on. (Dissonant laughter)
- Wham Shot: After Steven presses a button Navy told him to press, the Roaming Eye's room goes red, a tube suddenly drops around Navy, and the ship's door opens, throwing everyone but her out.
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Leaning on the body of the unhappy with all his mass, putting his palms on the wet girl's face, Cyril felt his penis poke into Anya's labia. You will like it. - the man whispered lasciviously, turning the girl's head to one side, running his tongue over Anya's cheek.