Steven Universe – Episode 61 “We Need To Talk”

Ep. #61
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Jun. 18Th, 2015
SONG: Yes, “What Can I Do (For You?)”
SYNOPSIS: After Greg witnesses Steven and Connie’s fusion, he tells them the story of his complicated relationship with Rose Quartz.

Steven and Connie lend Greg a hand in organizing his vinyl collection. The man may struggle with his car washing business, but his musical knowledge is second to none. Connie is unfamiliar with any of them, so Greg puts one in his record player so they can jam out. Steven and Connie are so into it that they fuse into Stevonnie right in front of Greg. Connie begs Greg not to tell her parents because they don’t know about her magical activities. Greg is taken back, but is supportive, being the only other human who can understand her perspective when it comes to the Crystal Gems. When Steven asks for clarification, Greg regales them with another story of his youthful days with those Magical Rock Ladies.

Sometime after the events of “Story for Steven”, Young Greg Universe has integrated himself nicely with the Crystal Gems. He’s since formed a band with them and if this is the first time the Gems picked up an instrument, they’re quick learners. Greg and Rose share several sensuous flirtations during the session, much to the jealously of non-participant Pearl. She quickly whispers an idea to Rose during the middle of the performance. Rose takes up Pearl’s offer and the two dance flawlessly until they transform into Rainbow Quartz. The fusion finishes out the song quite nicely. Pearl intended to show Greg that she and Rose are a perfect match for each other; Greg just thought the fusion was awesome.

After the band disbands for the night, Pearl bluntly informs Greg that he’s nothing but a plaything for Rose. He’s only a human after all, a novelty that she likes to mess around before he presumably dies and she moves on to the next thing. He can’t even fuse with her like Pearl just did and as we all know, fusion is the ultimate bond between Gems. Greg is a nice guy, so he’s not condescending like she is, but he knows a jerk when he sees one. He asks Pearl if a human has ever tried to fuse with a Gem and when Pearl admits no one has, Greg vows to be the first!

Greg practices the dance moves Rose and Pearl performed earlier, but gets nowhere fast. Garnet has a heart-to-heart with Greg, telling him to dance with honesty. I like this scene because it reiterates how much Garnet believes in the Power of Love. Ruby and Sapphire were brought together from impossible circumstances, why wouldn’t she think Rose and Greg can’t do the same?

Rose arrives to spend time with Greg afterwards. Greg dazzles her on a literal dance floor he’s set up on the beach. There’s shimmering lights and romantic music galore that even Rose is taken back by this wondrous display. Unfortunately they don’t fuse and when Greg confesses what he was trying to do, she laughs. Rose finds him so amusing, but in the way she finds all humans amusing. It’s just so quaint! Greg is wondering what the future of their relationship holds and it isn’t helping when Rose refuses to take this seriously. The entirely of the flashback so far had Rose speaking in a specific way: she’s condescending to Greg. Oh, she’s nice to him, enjoys his hobbies, and it’s hinted that they have a very amorous romance, but it’s shallow. “Story for Steven” teased this, among other things Rose wishing she could “play” with Greg, acting like he’s a brand new puppy she saw by the window.

Greg begs Rose to take this discussion seriously, prompting her to stop laughing. She’s stunned, unaware that she had been treating him like this. Greg suddenly realizes just how alien Rose is and starts sobbing, wondering how this could ever work. “Story for Steven” seem to indicate that Greg fell in love with Rose at first sight, enough to drop his fleeting chance to be a rock star, but “We Need to Talk” reveals it for what it is: a dumb, brash decision by a man who saw something extraordinary in Rose. It paid off, but it paid off because Greg made Rose realize the inequality in their relationship. He admits it just as much: they rushed into this and never really got to know each other. They hug as Greg asks Rose about her life, her hometown, and whether she’d actually been in love with a human. Rose answers to the best of her abilities, but her rocky past means there’s a trail of baggage to rummage through first. The other Crystal Gems spy from afar. Garnet can tell that these two lovebirds will be alright; Pearl is worried that the Gem she’s in love with may now fall for someone else.

Greg concludes his story and reassures Connie that if she needs another fellow human being to talk Gem stuff with, he’s available. The two bond, but that leaves poor Steven to ruminate over his half-human state.

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