Fusion episode = Fusion facts! Finally we know a bit more about what we’ve seen going on inside Stevonnie’s head, and we’ve seen a bit of what’s going on in the deeper portions of Steven’s head (his Vault, if you’ll permit the reference to Adventure Time).
When we see Stevonnie, usually there will be a hallucination; in Alone Together it was Connie’s anxiety that made the walls appear to be closing in; in Beach City Drift it was apparently Steven’s rage at being beaten by Kevin; finally, in Mindful Education we got to see both Connie’s anxiety and Steven’s anxiety causing problems in the same episode.
According to Garnet, these hallucinations are a typical experience for when a member of the fusion is out of balance. That meshes perfectly with what we’ve seen in past episodes, as in each instance the responsible fusion component was under a lot of stress regarding what triggered the hallucination.
We saw, through Stevonnie’s experience, that fusions are able to fight back against these episodes. Fusion is used as a metaphor for a relationship, where one member can help the other accept their stress.
You’re gonna carry that weight
The Centipeetle may be carrying some very literal damage from the Diamonds, but Steven showed that he’s carrying some indirect damage from them as well. The three Gems he’s hurt – Bismuth, Jasper, and the eye-gemmed Ruby – all forced Steven’s hand because of the Diamonds; both Jasper and Ruby wanted to serve them by hurting Steven, and Bismuth was so dedicated to destroying the Diamonds that she wouldn’t let Steven’s or Rose’s morality get in the way.
Steven also told us his coping strategy: he suppresses the thoughts because they’re too painful to deal with. While this may allow him to be genuinely bright and cheerful most of the time, as we’ve seen it also keeps him from dealing with the source of the pain—it’s still there, and can come back at an inopportune time when something unexpectedly triggers the memory.
Thankfully Steven remembered Bismuth during training. Had Stevonnie been facing down a few quartzes in a real fight, things wouldn’t have turned out so well. Now that Steven is moving on from this, he should be fit for battle.