We've learned a lot in recent episodes, especially about Steven and Rose Quartz. But is there another impending doom besides the cluster, Jasper, or Yellow Diamond? Perhaps something even closer than anyone realizes.
So, I was a bit bothered by this scene in Mindful Education. We learned in the episode that when the members of a fusion are mentally unbalanced it can cause some pretty gnarly side-effects
Garnet: For fusion to work there needs to be balance. An imbalance can cause your fusion to lose touch with reality, see things that aren’t there, and eventually fall apart
But the thing was, Steven wasn’t fused in this scene… Or at least, he wasn’t any more fused than he normally is.
It’s never really stated outright, but since at least We Need To Talk it’s been pretty clear that Steven had more in common with a fusion than we initially anticipated. Fusions are new individuals born of the love and union of two others, at once a mix of both and yet greater than the sum of their parents parts. More than just a parallel, Steven’s birth concluded with Rose becoming a part of him the same way Ruby and Sapphire are a part of Garnet. Steven himself is a fusion, and the fact that his “fusion realm” is leaking into the real world is a very bad sign. Even worse, it’s not the first time this has happened.
Remember when this happened to Steven in Gem Drill? When Steven saw Peridot drilling into the cluster he freaked out and started hallucinating, causing his “fusion realm” to merge with that of The Cluster in the same way Stevonnie’s merged with Garnet’s. You can say all you want that it was dream walking, but Steven was awake when it hit him. He’s not narcoleptic, but he was in a very serious state of disharmony.
It’s no wonder he’s been unbalanced lately. Jasper, Bismuth, Eyeball. All of them were major threats to Steven who refused his help. He didn’t have any option but to defend himself. He did what he needed to do. Rose wouldn’t have lost sleep over this, she might not have even realized that what she was doing would feel wrong to someone else, because though it was unavoidable and the best thing anyone could have done in the situation.
Lately, Steven is being forced to cope with the fact that the part of him that’s really him doesn’t agree with Rose’s beliefs or actions. Conflicts are getting harsher and he’s being forced to make worse and worse choices as tests of character: choices that are driving a wedge between his quartz and human selves.
I don’t think Rose is coming back. Believe me I don’t. However, I do think that this is all going somewhere, and soon, sooner than you might think, Steven is going to face a very real threat from the inside, and his life may very well hang in the balance.