Steven Universe Vlogs: Episode 50 – Political Power

The mayor is a liar (big shock) but is this a good thing or a bad thing for everyone? Check out today’s Vlog on Episode 50 of Steven Universe – Political Power.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

24 comments

  1. Well, this episode serves to prepare us for the next two. Did you notice that there wasn’t even music on the ending credits? Shit is about to go down 😮
    I really hope that you don’t take another week break, you’re almost at the end of the season! D:

  2. dont really know how I feel about this episode.

  3. I also wonder if they are going to do the next two episodes as one vlog since they feel like one big episode.

  4. The fact that the Gems are suddenly keeping things secret makes sense to me. In the past missions that they took Steven on, they were fairly confident in what they were doing. But now, though, they have no idea what they’re up against, and they’re all legitimately worried that it’ll end with all of them being annihilated — THAT’S what they want to shelter Steven from. They don’t want him thinking about the fact that there’s a good chance that all of them could wind up dead.

    • Yeah while listening to this whole vlog one argument against their complaint about Steven being lied to kept nagging at me. Simple answer the Gems think Steven isn’t ready for a potential war against other Gems. That pretty much explains everything. Taking him to other missing against all those wierd monsters? Chill he can handle it. If not, we can. But now other Gems like them or stronger are coming. The crystal Gems know how it was in that War with Rose on their side so they would have some idea if Steven is ready for that… Seriously why didn’t either of them have this simple “he’s not ready” idea ?

  5. In British and American society there exists the (totally bullshit) concept of the “white lie” wich is a lie that works for the benefit of everyone involved (this was also the basis for the ATLA episode “The Great Divide”). My assumption has always been that this episode is about lying, even with the best intentions in mind, being a really bad idea that will fuck up everything in the long run and that being honest about a situation is always the favourable option no matter what kind of immidiate consequences arise from that. We see that with Mayor Dewey whose lying almost got him lynched and the citizens only freaked out when they learned that they where lied to not when they learned the truth about the situation wich seems to confirm my interpretation.

    I’d like to point out that the phrase “ignorance is bliss” is bullshit. I personaly HAVE to know everything thats going on or else I can’t find any peace.

    The logic of the story wasn’t bend to get the message across. In the beginning the Gems tried to assure Steven that they have everything under control and why should he not believe them? He knows them as resourceful and skilled fighters who always find some way to deal with a problem. Why should it be different now? Steven has no reason to distrust them at this point because he never experienced them in such a dire situation before. It’s simply how many kids view their parents, believing them to know all the answers to all the problems. And Steven is still at the age where this way of thinking applies.

    Robs point is pretty much invalid since the Gems didn’t know that they would ever have to deal with their homeworld again so they saw no problem in bringing Steven along. And in “On the Run” Pearl scolds Amethyst that Steven isn’t ready for the whole Gem war stuff meaning that they would’ve told him later down the line when he’s older. But since Peridot invades Earth he learns about them much earlier than the Gems intendet.

    Also, you’re not gonna talk about how Joel from MST3K obviously wants to hump the androgynous alien mineral ballerina samurai lesbian? Come to think of it that would be just the kind of movie that they would feature on MST3K.

    • Since I’m one of those people who thinks there’s almost always an exception to the rules of ethics, I do have to ask you a question about your opposition to the concept of a “white lie”. And yes, I will be bringing Nazis with me.

      So, say you’re living with your family in Germany WWII time and you’ve taken in a couple local Jewish families into hiding in your house. One day the Nazis come knocking on your door and ask point blank, “Are there any Jews in this house?”

      What do you do?

      If you tell the truth, a number of innocent Jewish families as well as you and your own family will be taken off to the concentration camps.

      If you lie, they may conduct a brief search, but assuming they come up with nothing, the Nazis will leave. The families you were protecting and your own family will be safe, but you will still have lied.

      I know this is an obviously extreme case that most won’t find themselves in during their lives, but I’m still curious to know what people will do when they’re put into a situation where two ethical principles are in conflict and one has to supersede the other.

  6. was kinda hoping for more shit talking of joel being thirsty for “the hot one”. was kind hoping they’d do a riff of this episode just cuz of how central dewey is in this ep. ahwell, thats what youtubepoops are for.
    Also i remember there was a Red dwarf episode in season 3 of lister trying to teach kryten how to lie as a way to break his programming, which now thinking about it is kinda the only legitimate use of white lies as a trope for an episode cuz other than that, i disliked most of the serious moments with dewey in this episode, especially the weak ending with boardies cheering him in the end.
    On the other hand i think it makes perfect sense for the gems to be secretive about their plans with steven.
    Like Potatooni said, they didn’t want him to think about how screwed they are if their completely outmatched by homeworlds new weapons. Steven needed to be the one to tell them he’s ok knowing the situation. Like rose said. “Take care of them steven”.
    He tells them they’ll figure out a way and gives them confidence again.
    Not the best episode but good filler that’s taken advantage of in future episodes.
    Also love onion and nanafua in the riot bit (best side characters imo)

  7. I feel like this episode was less about lying and more about hammering home that the gems don’t have all the answers so, even though Steven has tried to follow and believe them completely from the beginning (except for freeing Lapis which was probably a bad move) he had to eventually figure out that point and start asking questions. And seeing the most powerful man in the city be blatantly wrong about some stuff kind-of opened his eyes and made Steven realize “The gems might not know what they’re doing….” and then they pretty much openly admit that to him. That they don’t know what they’re up against and that everything might not be alright for once. It’s a big character moment that also hammers home the sense of impending dread that SOMETHING is going to happen and it probably won’t be a good thing.

  8. If I recall, the thing they wanted to keep a secret was the fact that they were screwed? Like, the Gems already know at this point that they are not going to stand a chance against the incoming Homeworld Gems. They know they are gonna lose.

  9. My brother actually likes the great divide episode. He will argue through his teeth as to how its good!

  10. Okay, hang on. I have issues with this.

    1) Steven knew what was coming. He saw the video and he was there when the Crystal Gems were trying to prepare for the invasion. The thing the Gems were hiding from Steven was not what was going to happen, but how horrifically unprepared and royally screwed they were likely going to be. It’s like, a kid can know that a hurricane is coming because it’s on the news, but maybe the adults don’t openly have conversations about how they might all die in the hurricane around the kid, and what exactly their odds of survival are. I’m not really sure why this was so difficult to grasp.

    2) Steven had been a part of their “Gem activities” for a while now, but it was always done with baby steps. They wouldn’t bring him on most of their missions at first, and then they wouldn’t always take him seriously (and not without good reason). If he ever was directly put into a situation by them, it was always one where they seemingly had control or a firm grasp of how they were going to handle it. THIS situation was different because they did not have a handle on anything. They were, in all likeliness, going to just be wiped out, and they were trying to protect Steven from having to confront that fear and despair.

  11. “Steven, the truth is: we’re scared.”

    Others in the comment section have done a better job explaining why the stuff with the Gems works better than I could. Dewey’s story-line was alright; the more memorable were Onion preparing to break his kneecaps, and Ocean Town. I loved how, after becoming increasingly distorted during The Message, the music during the credits for this episode was nothing but white noise.

  12. I really hope you guys read these, because I’ve noticed you’ve been confusing a few things throughout your Vlogs; the Amethyst-Greg relationship is one of many things that have stood out to me.

    As for this episode:
    -The people were concerned with when they would get power back, not why it went out. Mayor Dewey had no answer for that, and blaming the Gems wouldn’t have averted crisis.

    -And for Dewey himself, he definitely is trying to worm his way out- but we also see that he legitimately cares. I really appreciate his line about how politicians can’t change how things are only how people feel. He didn’t make them ignorant, but gave them a false sense of hope- to make them feel more at ease.

    -Most importantly, the Gems weren’t hiding the arrival of Peridot from Steven, rather the implications of said arrival. The Gems are terrified, it’s been evident since their PTSD freak-out over Peridot’s first appearance. The Gems don’t want Steven to feel that fear, or face the associated dangers. Up until now, the Gems knew they could handle things, so they could train Steven. But they can’t save him here, they don’t think they can save anyone- even themselves. They want to keep Steven happy and safe, but Steven wants to help.

    I hope you don’t take this as rude, really I only want to help clarify a few things to better your experience of the show. Oh, and it’s great to hear your take on things (even when some points are technically inaccurate and therefore irritating), I think you two have very interesting perspectives and opinions. Keep up the good work.

  13. I think the episode left the message intentionally ambiguous. People can draw their own conclusions about who is right or wrong and for what reasons.

    It’s not illogical for Steven to be unaware of the danger. He has no concept of how dangerous the potential threat is, and if the Gems have been assuring him that they have the situation under control there’s no reason for him to think otherwise. He knows Peridot’s coming, but he doesn’t understand what it means.

    Also, the Gems are training him to fight. He’s still a rookie. It makes sense for them to bring him on missions that they feel he is ready for but still shelter him from greater dangers.

  14. They took him along on the adventures because they thought they were done with Homeward forever, thus then there was nothing to protect him FROM.

  15. I think Doug and Rob don’t realize (yet) just how fucking terrifying the enemy is. There is a planet with thousands of gems with thousands of years of technological development the Crystals don’t have coming after them in force. That’s why Steven isn’t scared- he doesn’t get how fucked they are right now.

    But hey, that’s gonna change because we’re at Happening-Con 2.

  16. If the lie and deceit would not be in the beginning started then there would not be this problem
    The Gems are not obligated to do small stuff
    I am surprise that you don’t talk about The Mayor finds Pearl hot
    They didn’t wanted to scare Steven by showing that they are worried and scared because they seems so strong and they inspire Steven

  17. I don’t care about politics and I never will… unless there’s some bill closing down all shopping malls. LOL. Follow up comment to come since I’m nearly a season behind now. 🙁

  18. Pearl is the Hot One,
    We don’t go to Ocean Town.
    We are scared, Steven.

    As noted above, the Gems were less hiding the fact that Homeworld was sending an invasion force and more hiding just how outmatched the Gems felt in regards to their technological and numerical disadvantage. It’s a parent’s responsibility to not succumb to panic, even if they legitimately have no idea what to do in a situation. I really like this episode because of how it pays off the notion of Steven maturing and growing into his role as a full-fledged member of the team, an arc that started way back in “The Test”. He sounded almost like an adult when he told the Gems he understood why they were keeping things from him, but insisted he was strong enough to help them share the burden of knowing exactly how grave the situation is. It’s a great penultimate episode to the season finale two-parter.

  19. It’s definitely a pretty weak episode story wise but i agree with doug that the message is actually very strong, its surprisingly mature especial for a show that until now has had pretty standard kid Aesops.

    I did actually like the mayor character, he’s kind of an ass but I do feel like he genuinely cares about the people of beach city, which considering the fact those people are all Clearly suicidal for living next door to a bunch of alien warriors that constantly attract monsters, does show that he’s not a bad person.

    Next up: Things go out of hand.

  20. Major Dewey’s crush on Pearl made me laugh. 😀 Also, the sudden piece of plot towards the end of the episode was unexpected for me. Oh, and you could tell that Onion really wanted to beat up Mayor Dewey… disturbing. LOL. One last thing: I noticed how there was NO ending music. That really makes me think that something is coming.

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