Steven Universe 4×14 Review: The Zoo
The penultimate episode of this Stevenbomb begins with Steven and Greg reuniting after he was kidnapped in “Steven’s Dream“. While much of “The Zoo” seems pleasant enough, there’s an underlying creepy tone to everything that’s going on.
To be honest, the first thing I noticed – and questioned – about the people in “The Zoo” was the fact that they were all still very diverse. Greg tells Steven that they were descendants of the people who were brought to the zoo from Earth thousands of years ago, which begs the question – how many and how diverse were the original prisoners?
Now, while Greg told Steven that he originally tried to escape, he also settled in pretty quickly despite that. While Steven attempted to fight the announcements (pronouncements?) from the earrings, Greg was already following their instructions – including feeling tired when it was time for sleep, despite his promises to Steven that they would look for the door and try to escape.
The timeline is a bit questionable, but Greg definitely wasn’t there very long – and yet he already understood that the people there had never known anything else, and almost seemed okay with the pleasant life he was meant to lead – until “The Choosening”, that is.
Steven and Greg had just enough time to find the door before they were sidetracked by some of the Zoo People, and even though one of them said that “walls don’t open, they are walls”, the other knew what doors were, because she’d heard stories about the door opening when someone got “hurt”. But she didn’t know what “hurt” was, and she was surprised that Steven did.
Unfortunately, she didn’t learn the meaning just then, even after Steve punched Greg in hopes of the gems opening the door. Instead they all got called to the aforementioned “Choosening”, which gave at least some insight into why the Zoo People were so diverse – the gems had a hand in all of their relationships. The fact that this was explained was something of a relief, but to be honest I’m still questioning how many people were there in the first place and how that led to the diversity of the current population.
Only when one of the Zoomans gets “choosened” for Greg do they understand the meaning of hurt – because when Greg refused the first choosening and Steven explained how things happen on Earth (by telling them the story of how his mom and dad spent time getting to know each other, fell in love, and then “choosened” each other) they all – men and women both – “choosened” Greg.
And in a very telling clip, these people who are used to having everything they want – a very pleasant lifestyle in which everyone does what they are told and no one questions anything, least of all the ‘mythical’ Choosening – threw something of a tantrum when Greg insisted that he didn’t want to be told who to be ‘Choosened’ with.
I mean wow, it almost feels like an analogy for arranged marriages. Or perhaps it could even be one for the idea that some people feel that they have a “right” to have relationships with others.
Knowing this amazing show, it’s probably both.
So no, the Zoo People didn’t take rejection well, but in the end Steven was able to pull Greg into hiding…that is until the [fully-grown!] Amethysts showed up! However, what was interesting about this scene was the fact that the Amethysts were actually *kind* to the humans – for instance, one of them had climbed up a tree, and the Amethyst sent after them was trying to talk them down, saying “we’ll talk about it”; another person was insisting that they would “never Choosen again” while an Amethyst wrapped her arms around their shoulders and promised, “Sure you will.”
But then “The Zoo” ended with Greg and Steven finally trying to escape through the now-open door, only to get caught by an Amethyst Guard! Thankfully there’s one more episode left in this Steven Bomb, so they still have a chance to make a clean[-ish] escape…we hope!
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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