What STEVEN UNIVERSE Teaches Us About Relationships – Cartoon Therapy | Thomas Sanders


[Steven Universe Intro Plays]
Thomas: The following video is not an accurate representation of an actual therapy session. Warning: Steven Universe spoilers ahead, I talk too fast. Dot: Larry, stop fidgeting. Larry: [stern] I’m sorry, I can’t put it down. Dot: I confiscate that thing from a student because he can’t put it down, Now my own husband can’t put it down. Jee-muh-nattie! It’s like I’m married to a child. [Corbin looks confused] Corbin: Where did you even hear about this dude? Sloane: Uh, Internet? [Elliott shuffles in] Larry: First you make me come here, now you’re trying to control how I cope with my therapy thression?! Dot: Thression? Larry: Yes, it’s a term I just coined. It refers, to the time just before a couple’s therapy appointment. The anticipation of this session has got me stressing! Therapy thression. Corbin: Are you sure this guy isn’t like a children’s therapist or something? Sloane: Pretty sure. Corbin: Okay, because if he’s not then it seems like he might be a little, immature. Don’t you think? Sloane: Okay, so now you’re psychoanalyzing our therapist, that we haven’t even met yet. Just let the man live his life. [Tap taps] Dot: Give it a chance Larry! This could be our relationship’s renaissance. Larry: Our relationship is not in the dark ages, And I am NOT gonna have some random quack shrink, pick my brain like it’s HIS nose. Uh, EWWWW!!! [slap slaps] Dot: Larry! Corbin: Look, I still don’t understand why we’re here… Our relationship is fine. Sloane: Couple’s therapy isn’t just for critically endangered relationships. Corbin: What are we even going to talk about? Sloane: It’s whatever you want. It’s your time. You can say whatever is on your mind Corbin: You’re being so weird. [Sent to voicemail] Dot: Listen Shelly told me this guy is a great therapist! His practices are a little unique, but he gets great results! Larry: Unique? Thomas/Dr.Picani: It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Dum, da da da da da da dum, Da da da da da da de da de de da de de da [various da’s and de’s] Daaa! Dr. Picani: [sigh] New patients, do you how do? Larry: What? Sloane: I am so good. Dr. Picani: Wonderful to hear. My name is Dr. Picani and you are? Sloane: I’m Sloane! Corbin: I’m Corbin. Dot: Hello Doctor, my name is Dot and this is my husband Larry. Da dedede- Dr. Picani: Oh it’s just you. Elliott: Yeah, It’s just me. Dr. Picani: Aw, tartar sauce! Well it is lovely to see you again Elliott! Elliott: Likewise. Dr. Picani: Mitchell couldn’t make it today? Elliott: Looks that way. Dr. Picani: Well you know that we can’t do a couple’s therapy session without both halves of the couple present. Elliott: No please! This would be the third consecutive week that we cancel the session And there’s a lot of stuff I really need to talk through. Dr. Picani: [hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm] Well then I think it might be time to deem you one of my individual session clients from here on out. Is that alright with you? Elliott: I guess. Dr. Picani: Great! Well then you shall be my client. And your boyfriend shall be not unlike those faceless adult figures from older cartoons. Elliott: Does that make me Charlie Brown? Dr. Picani: Huh, I think that it’s telling that out of all the older cartoon characters, You chose to be Charlie Brown. Interesting pick. All right now one thing you have to understand, In couples therapy is that my client is not the individual, It’s not Larry, or Dot it’s the relationship itself so in order to set the relationship apart, I like to establish a “ship name” during the first session, or as I like to call it, a fusion name. Okay. All right, so Sloane and Corbin makes… Slorbin. Yeah, let’s uh… Let’s try again. Dot and Larry makes Dorry. *gasps* Like everyone’s favorite forgetful fish. Well that is just A-Dory-ble and I stand by what I just said, I don’t take it back, no regrets. Corbin and Sloane makes Corne. I love it. Sloane: Cool!
Corbin: I hate it Dr. Picani: Ah character differences shining through already. Makes for a very fascinating story. *Points at the poster* Alright Elliott, first things first. Do you how do? Elliott: Great! Not. Dr. Picani: What’s wrong? Elliott: Everything. Dr. Picani: Well what’s going on? Elliott: Nothing good. Dr. Picani: Okay let’s go back, back to the past, Samurai Jack, have you ever been to therapy before? I hope you have a better memory than that other Dory! That one I do regret. Dot: No, not that I can think of. However, my brother Morty is pretty good at giving exceptional advice. He’s not certified- Larry: I’ve never been and neither has this one Dot: I wasn’t done Larry! Larry: Your brother doesn’t qualify as a therapist otherwise we wouldn’t be here with our problems. [giggles] Dr. Picani: You guys give me classic Fred and Wilma vibes! Larry: Which one of us is Wilma? Sloan: I have, parents got divorced in middle school. Corbin: This is a first for me. Elliott: Um, yeah, I went to therapy early in high school. Dr. Picani: Mmm. What for? Elliott: I wasn’t feeling good. Dr. Picani: Mhm. Any particular reasons? Elliott: I don’t know. I was- I don’t know it was a long time ago. Dr. Picani: And what brings you here today? Corbin: Okay you know those people who build bomb shelters in their backyard, Forever preparing for the apocalypse, Even when there’s nothing significant going on? That’s basically my theory about why Sloane brought us here. Sloane: Debunked! I just noticed he had trouble opening up to people, And thought this would be good practice for all the relationships in his life! Corbin: What? Sloane: What? Corbin: You made that judgment about me? Who are you to do that, when our relationship basically just started. Dr. Picani: Oh Sloane, that is… Classic Steven Quartz Universe in episode 25 of season 4: “I Am My Mom” when he turns himself over to the Gem Homeworld, without consulting the Crystal Gems, even though he and Connie have been practicing for months on how to tackle issues as a duo. “Steven: I am my mom! I am Rose Quartz!” “Connie: Steven-” “Pearl: No, don’t. STEVEN!!” Dr. Picani: But Corbin he has a point, Therapy isn’t just where people go when something needs to be fixed. Corbin: If nothing needs fixing and this seems like a waste of money. You don’t call the plumber to have them look at your pipes if your waters running fine! Unless you’re like, Hey! You know what I feel like doing today? I feel like throwing my money in a trash can! Dr. Picani: Alright, okay, settle down Mr. Krabs. [snorts] Dot: Well, it’s just… [sigh] Do you mind me saying? Larry: No of course not? I don’t mind. Why would I mind? You’re your own person. You explain why we’re here. Dr. Picani: Yes, tell us. [Imitates Bugs Bunny] What’s up, Dot? [OMG] [laughs] Dr. Picani: I’m such a dad… [laughs] Dot: Oh… so I’ve been sensing a disconnect that started a few months ago. [shook] Dr. Picani: Mmm. So the fusion doesn’t seem to be as strong as of late. Dot: Yes… I suppose… Elliott: So I have a friend that I always go to when I have a problem, And basically every conversation with her ends with, “I think you should see a therapist.”, Or uh “You two should see a therapist.”, So, uh this is me taking her advice… Dr. Picani: I see, um, what do you usually talk about with your friend? Elliott: Oh, uh, we talk about everything together. Dr. Picani: What topics of conversation usually lead to your friend recommending that you see a therapist? Elliott: Anything can lead there, to be honest. Dr. Picani: Why don’t you rattle a few off the old noggin? Elliott: My state of mind, the state of my relationship… Dr. Picani: The state of your relationship? Elliott: Yeah… Dr. Picani: Okay, that’s important. Let’s put a crimson pin in that one. Can you tell me about your childhood? Elliott: Uh, okay, I mean, not much to say, pretty normal. Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother. I’m the baby! Dr. Picani: Oh, you’re the Jack-Jack in your family of Incredibles Elliott: No, I was nowhere near that incredible. Dr. Picani: Okay, so you’re the Stewie Griffin in the family. Elliott: Or Jack-Jack’s fine… we can stick with Jack-Jack. Dr. Picani: Sure, although I’d like to know why you think that you’re less than incredible. Elliott: I mean if anyone was it was my brother. Dr. Picani: Oh am I sensing a sibling rivalry there? Elliott: Nothing I ever wanted to participate in. My parents just sort of compared me to him. My sister’s the only one I ever had a normal relationship with. Dr. Picani: Mmm. Sound very much like Amethyst. Elliott: I don’t know if I should respond with a who, how, or what question. Dr. Picani: Oh! Amethyst, from Steven Universe. Oh what a spitfire, you know, powerful in her own right, But sometimes feels like an outcast in the Crystal Gems. Elliott: You said a lot of words. Many of them confused me, but the word outcast sure sounded right to me. Dr. Picani: Gary the s-nailed it! And Mitchell, your boyfriend, did he feel the same way? Is that what drew you to him? Elliott: Hardly. I mean, Yes, he did have parents that didn’t accept him But he never let that stop him from being himself and doing what he wanted to do. You know, I wish I could have stood up to my parents the way he did. That was always something that captivated me about him. Dr. Picani: So you admired his strength, how he was able to assess the situation. Understand that it wasn’t good for him and say “that’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more”. Elliott: The lady from Monsters Inc. Dr. Picani: No. That was Popeye. Elliott: Sure. Dr. Picani: Now, uh, when did you two first fuse? Corbin: Hey hang on a second. You keep throwing around the words fusion and fuse. Larry: What are you saying to us? What is this fusion twaddle you’re going on about? Elliott: I, uh… I don’t know what you’re asking me. Dr. Picani: Oh, my apologies. Some context would be nice, Picani! Fusions like in the Cartoon Network animated series Steven Universe. Corbin: Right. *whispers* Sloane, he is obsessed with cartoons. Sloane: I know, I am living for it. Dr. Picani: So when did you first fuse with Mitchell? Yeah, I don’t know Steven Universe. Dr. Picani: You haven’t seen Steven Universe?! Corbin: No. Sloane: I love it. Dot: We haven’t. Larry: I can speak for myself. Thank you. I haven’t. Dr. Picani: Seriously? Have you been living under a hunk of pegmatite? No, that can’t be, because then you might have actually been exposed to a crystal gem! Ohhh! Elliott: I’m sorry? Dr. Picani: no. I’m sorry. I probably should explain, here we go. Let’s do this. Steven Universe is a show about powerful intergalactic space gems that take on the form of pastel women. There’s a young boy Steven who’s half gem half-human and he saves the earth alongside his Super Friends. Dot: Oh Super Friends I know them. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman. Dr. Picani: No. Larry: Yeah, don’t be ridiculous Dot, we’re the Super Friends. Dot: [Giggles] Oh look at you being cute. Goodness! You’re just so darn cute! Larry: Stop attacking me! Dot: Sorry I just got exited ’cause you’re so cute! Sorry go ahead with your fusions, Doctor. Dr. Picani: Oh, no worries. The show has this device called fusions, basically two gems fused together to become a new and more powerful gem. I like to talk about Steven Universe with my couples, because fusions demonstrate the importance of relationships and working together. It’s reiterated time and time again the fusions can make gems stronger and they highlight the aspects of each individual gem, just like in relationships Hopefully that clears things up for you. All: I guess? Excellent so when did ‘Corne’ first come into being? Corbin: I’m sorry is this a therapy session or a botany class? Dr. Picani: Oh [Laughs] With that quick wait you probably never leave an audience feeling blue, Corbin? Corbin Bleu okay, so now. When did you two first fuse? Elliott: about a year and a half ago. Dr. Picani: Would you say Mitchell’s a busy guy just because he seems to forget about these appointments a lot. Elliott: No, he doesn’t forget. He just… He wasn’t really on board with this whole therapy thing. I mean right. I’m not really either I’m just doing this on my friend will get off my back. Dr. Picani: Excellent. Well I’ll try not to let that hurt my feelings. Elliott: No, it’s just I don’t really know what I want to get out of these sessions and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Dr. Picani: There’s no time wasted and just talking through some things. Elliott: Oh Mitchell would beg to differ, but… Dr. Picanti: Well Mitchell didn’t show up for these past three weeks This is you here, and this is your session. Elliott: Okay. Yeah, you’re right. I’m sorry. Dr. Picani: Nothing to apologize for, now let’s try to act like a rich duck and dive into these problems you got going on! Elliott: What? Picani: Serious Picani Activate!! Eliott: All right. Picani: So Dot you were explaining your feelings. Dot: Oh right well I guess it sort of feels like we’ve gotten a little off track Pocani: In this conversation? I get that a lot. Dot: no in the relationship, and I’m just wondering how we might be able to Get this train back on the tracks. Larry: Oh, please Dot, we’ve been together for 15 years I think this train is on the only track it’s going to follow. Dr. Picani: ‘Dorry’ is 15 years old, the rebellious teenage years right, like probably sneaking out to parties. You know, hanging out with friends, getting their ears pierced. Or me, you know, maybe Dory’s like me when I was 15, staying indoors all day watching television alone with my pet rock. Because mommy would never let me get a puppy… All that aside, Dot I think you got good instincts for coming in today. Dot: It’s just he insists everything’s okay, but if everything’s okay. Why am I feeling this way? Larry: Doc her worrying is leading her to just? Getting all up in my business and frankly It’s not helping I feel suffocated I know. I’m sorry Dot but it’s true Dot: No! Larry: Yes! Dot: It isn’t so! Larry: It is! Dot: Larry! Dr. Picani: Hey, hey, hey, hey, no worries For the rest of your days Seriously though uh when did you two first start dating? Sloane: About nine months ago. Picani: So there’s still much about ‘Corne’ you don’t know? What are his strengths his weaknesses? Corbin: What are we even talking about? Picani: Young love. Sloane: Well, I know Corbin brings a lot to the table. I mean like look at him. There’s so much He’s taught me and there’s so much. I’ve learned in the short time. We’ve been together that all just makes me want to know more. He’s amazing Corbin: Well I mean same goes for you of course. Picani: Care to elaborate? Sloane: Well Corbin’s just the most practical human being, he keeps me grounded, and he’s helped me take on new responsibilities. Corbin: Well that’s my nature. I had to be responsible to survive really. I mean Picani: How do you mean? Corbin: Well I was an only child raised by a single mom. She never really coddled me. She probably confided in me more than she should have, so yeah. I had to grow up and hurry. Picani: And what about Sloane made you decide to let him into your own personal bubble? Corbin: Well He’s not as grounded, but his spontaneity is refreshing um He makes me see the world in new and different ways. He opens me up to new experiences, and I didn’t decide to let him into my personal bubble. He just sort of marched on in, but uhm, you know I didn’t really mind. Sloane: Do you, like, have a crush on me? Corbin: Oh my god, shit this is what I have to do with though. Picani: Oh my gosh. You totally have a crush on him! Picani and Sloane: Oooooo! Picani: Alright now you mentioned that one of the things that made your friend recommend therapy was your relationship. Lets ‘Dora the Explor’ that. Elliott: Sure well I can say that Therapy isn’t the only thing he skips out on. Picani: Is he absent a lot of the time? Elliott: Not when it’s just the two of us. Picani: More public settings? Elliott: Like events, dinners, family gatherings. I’m sorry. This is all just Making him sound really bad. There’s a really sweet side to him that I wish he was here to show you. Picani: All right so let’s focus on how he makes you feel most of the time. Does he make you feel heard? Elliott: Sometimes. Picani: Okay less-than-ideal, it’s important for you to feel heard at all times Elliott: I feel horrible explaining it this way. Picani: Now, that’s a load of barnacles. You’re answering these questions as honestly as you can and that’s totally fair don’t stress. Any fusions take time to strike a balance. I mean just take a look at Opal. Elliott: Yeah, sure sure. Keep in mind I don’t know what you’re talking about. Picani: From Steven- Elliott: Steven Universe. Yeah, I figured All right. I’ll explain some more. Opal is the fusion between Pearl and Amethyst. Both are incredibly different gems, But when they finally strike a balance, dropped their egos, and worked together toward a common goal -saving Steven- Opal was the brilliant and amazing result. She’s awesome, I love her. Elliott: so we could be Opal? Picani: Sure but it doesn’t sound like you’re quite there yet. Which is not a reason to stress, developing an ideal fusion takes time and many mistakes are made. As Steven and his dad always saying: “If every pork chop were perfect…” “We woudn’t have hotdogs!” Elliott: I’m vegan. Picani: Well if we were to take some liberties with Greg Universe’s adage The next logical step would be “without hotdogs we wouldn’t have vegetarian hotdogs.” Elliott: Makes sense to me. Picani: Now, let’s move on and work through this all right? So Larry You’re feeling like Dot isn’t giving you any personal space. Larry: Yeah. Picani: You feel like sometimes she can be a little overbearing. Larry: Right. Picani: Sometimes you just want to scream: “Dot Dot get out of my laboratory!” Dot dot dot. Larry: We don’t have a laboratory? Dot: He doesn’t have a German accent? Picani: You might not be the right generation to get that reference. Don’t worry, most kids watching at home won’t get it either. Dot: What? Picani: What? Now this may be a little early to call it, but you two seem like a classic Stevonnie. Sloane: Oh? Corbin: What, what is that? Is that like some Italian psychological term or something? Picani: No, Corbin? Stevonnie is the gem fusion that resulted when Steven Universe fused with his best friend Connie Mahesh Warren. Corbin: I’m sorry I still don’t Sloane: It’s a good thing. Picani: Sloane, you strike me as a little bit like Steven: impulsive, open-minded, childlike, and maybe a little weak on boundaries. Sloane: Maybe. Picani: Corbin you got that spark of Connie. Cautious thoughtful and dealing with a bit of an adjustment in your life like she was after moving everywhere due to her dad’s job. “I’m gonna disappear without ever making a single friend.” Oh my gosh! Even your names! They start with the same letters Steven – Sloane Connie – Corbin That’s so cool!! Corbin: Is there a point or- Picani: A point other than Pearl’s nose- Wacka Wacka. He got it The alliterative names isn’t the reason why I’m relating you to Stevonnie -although That is a cool reason- in the show Stevonnie is a great representation of a budding relationship of any kind: new, exciting, unexpected- each of you provide characteristics that help to balance each other out. But it takes time to find your legs, learning how to fuse, how to fight and how to communicate was all part of their journey, and they’re still learning how to get it right. Corbin: We’re not a cartoon though I don’t see why it’s necessary to relate our situation to this. It just seems like it complicates things. Picani: Well of course this isn’t a clean comparison; however, I found that it’s easier for many people to discuss their issues when they’re talking about a fictional situation that parallels their own. It takes the pressure off. Sometimes it just helps to put it into perspective. Look, when Stevonnie first formed there was a lot of confusion about who they now were. “Why is? your sandal too small for my-
your feet?” “Look at you now!” But the thing they had to realize was they were a single entity. As close as a team could get and communication was the only way they could make it work. “Are you okay? We can stop if you-no no don’t worry.” Corbin: They were scared too, huh? Sloane: You’re scared? Corbin: Oh no. No I didn’t I didn’t mean it like that. Picani: It’s okay to express yourself. Sloane: Yes. That’s what we’re here to do Corbin: Well I yeah? Yeah, yeah, I’m a little scared, but I mean who wouldn’t be? Sloane: You don’t have to be I’m here to support you. Picani: Yes be the shield to Corbin’s sword!! Corbin: Relax. Look. I know you are. It’s just that and my life filled with constants. You’re a huge variable, I’m still trying to get used to but that’s not a bad thing at all. Scary can be good. Sloane: Look, You may be scared, but I’m scared too. I may not always seem like it, but that’s just because being with you makes me want to take that leap of faith. Do you know how hard it was for me? The Catholic-school-kid to finally accept who I was, that was a leap of faith as well. Picani: Oh, you were like Ruby and Sapphire! Corbin: Wait, I thought we were- Picani: Confused as to why you felt this way about someone society didn’t deem appropriate But embracing it all the same to make up perfect- Sloane: No spoilers! I want to watch it with him. Picani: Oh, my goodness of course, um sorry. I I wish I had more cartoon references to make in regards to the sexuality. Hopefully soon there’ll be more to choose from. Dot why do you feel this distance, and why do you think Larry? won’t go it? Dot: Larry’s always been a great source of support for me And I don’t know if lately it’s me or Larry, but I just feel like we’re not on the same level. Larry: And I don’t know why she’s feeling that way. Picani: Well there could be many factors coming into play here. Dot have there been other times you felt insecure. Dot: Oh! Sure. I mean, I was the only girl in our family, three brothers raised by our father They’re the ones who taught me how to be a woman. They raised me to be passive, modest, dependent. If I was ever having guy trouble they’d be: “Who is he? We’ll take care of him. We’ll rough him up.” growing up having everyone tell you what you are, what you’re gonna be, no questions asked. It’s a great way to fog up the mirror. Makes it really tough to get a good look at yourself. Picani: Sounds very much like you had the same kind of experiences Pearl did Dot: Pearl? Larry: Our next door neighbor is also a patient of yours? Picani: What? No don’t be silly I mean if she was patient-doctor confidentiality would have been broken just now. What do you take me for? Dot: Oh sure, sure. Larry: I don’t know your rules Picani: Pearl is a gem from Steven universe. Larry: I’m leaving Dot: Larry. No. sit. Elliott: I don’t know. As much as I’d like to think I could be a an Opal. I don’t think Mitchell could drop his ego. I mean I’m not perfect by any means but- Picani: I mean you talk things out with your friend, and now you’re here. You’re doing as much as you can so give yourself credit, where credit is due. Now you make a strong point that you can only work on the relationship so much without Mitchell agreeing to make changes too. Elliott: It’s just I try so hard to make things feel like they did when we first started. We were so happy then, I know I was. It feels stupid coming out but It really felt like love at first sight. Picani: Well I think it’s good to keep in mind that a relationship typically has that initial “honeymoon” phase, where everything is seemingly perfect. Many couples going through issues often romanticize that period of their relationships and try to recreate it But heed the words of another Crystal Gem, Garnet: “Love at first sight doesn’t exist. Love takes time and love takes work.” I know I’m willing to put in the work, but if I’m being honest, and I’m really trying to I don’t think that Mitchell is. Sorry, I need a minute. Picani: It’s okay grab some tissues. Let’s work out some issues. Elliott: Thank you. What the heck we’re talking about cartoons. Picani: Allow me to explain, Dot, Pearl is a product of her upbringing very much like yourself. In the show she plays a much more traditional maternal role toward Steven, the main character, because she’s a natural caretaker, but she struggles with her identity. Growing up on Homeworld, the planet she derived from, she was part of a social class that was born and bred to play one role. A Caretaker for others. Larry: Dot is not my caretaker. Picani: I definitely see that Larry. Here’s where I draw the parallel: even though Pearl is now part of a new and liberated group, which is the Crystal Gems, she still has difficulty finding herself. Very much like how Dot’s struggles to get a handle on her identity, even though she is now part of a partnership where she has more liberty to be herself. Would that be fair to say Dot? Dot: I think I understand. Who my dad and brothers raised me to be conflicts with who I am with Larry. Larry: Is that a bad thing? Dot: No, no, not at all. I think it’s just sometimes I get insecure about my own worth in this relationship. Picani: Aha! I see now, you two are Sardonyx. Larry: No I’m the only sardonic one here. Picani: No-I mean yes you are- But I was referring to Sardonix, the gem fusion between Pearl and Garnet. Dot: Who is Garnet? Picani: Garnet is another crystal gem who-without going into too many specifics- represents- among other things- balance and this balance results in her being especially powerful and when Pearl fuses with Garnet to create Sardonyx, Pearl definitely contributes her own individual strengths. “Intelligent! Accurate! Elegant.” But it’s later revealed that Pearl feels more worthy more whole when she’s part of a fusion. Especially with someone so seemingly well put together like Garnet. Larry: Wait a minute am I supposed to be Garnet in this cartoon? I hardly represent balance. Dot: It’s true. He loses his balance all the time. There’s still a huge stain on our carpet from a certain spilled baked beans incident. Larry: Dot! You just spilled the beans on me. Dr.Picani: Wow, You two are a couple of gems yourselves. Yeah, because we’re talking about the crystal gems and you know there’s that compliment. A person can be a gem, but I’m gonna need you to stay with me Okay, focus up, all right. So this feeling of wholeness coupled with her continued search for identity and placing it solely on Sardonyx led Pearl to having a falling out with Garnet because she used Sardonyx- or the relationship- for the sole purpose of satisfying her own self- worth Larry: Well we haven’t gotten to that point. Dot: I hope not. Picani: It’s a very loose metaphor, but Larry, would you say you have a handle on your identity? Larry: Oh! Absolutely! Growing up it was only grandfather and I He was always terrified that I would grow up to be a gay man, well lucky for him, I didn’t. Unfortunately for him, I’m bisexual!! -maniacal laughter- Eat it pop pop! Dot: Don’t get him started. Larry: Life was rough. Okay? When I was eight years old my only toys were a paddle ball missing the ball and pop pop’s old oven mitts. Dot: I’d like to get back to that Pearl and Garnet business. What you said really hit a nerve or two. I feel more whole when I’m with you, Larry Like Garnet does with Pearl. Sometimes you’re so independent. Larry: What? Do you think I don’t feel the same way you do? That’s nonsense love. You and I? We are two sides of the same Barbara Streisand’s Deluxe – Greaters Hits Album. D: Awwwn Larry! It’s unique expressions like that that converted me into a woman in love. Elliott: It’s just that we constantly fight now, and he’s never there when we need him. A few months ago even we had a breakup, and a week later, he came back to me begging to get back together. For a little while it seemed fine, but not too long after he was back to his old ways again. Picani: Okay, now I don’t want to assume or label your fusion as anything that it’s not But there is another fusion in Steven Universe that might be worth mentioning. Elliot: What’s that? Picani: Malachite. Elliot: Sounds pretty. Picani: Pretty darn powerful. That’s for sure, but also… pretty unstable. E: Oh. Picani: She is the result of the fusion between two other gems: Lapis Lazuli and Jasper. Lapis was imprisoned for centuries in a mirror and thus exhibits trust issues with anyone she comes across. Jasper was a powerful warrior who originally thought fusions were for the weak. When Malachite formed there was an immediate power struggle between the two of them. Unlike any other fusions in the series Malachite wasn’t even given a new voice actor. It was just a combination of the two individual voices so as to demonstrate a lack of unity. Elliot: Wow Picani: Even though Lapis is incredibly strong, there are many times when we see her visually fatigued from trying to hold the fusion together. This is a great representation of how much energy can go into trying maintain toxic relationships and how much it can take out of us. At one point Lapis wouldn’t even go by her own name signifying how unhealthy it was for both gems involved. Elliot: What happened? Picani: Well even after unfusing with Jasper, Lapis guiltily admits she misses Jasper. Many people don’t like how it feels to be alone. It can be scary and make us feel weaker than we like. Therefore, we sometimes go back into unhealthy relationships to shove all those feelings down in order to feel stronger and not alone. In the episode “Alone at Sea”, Jasper returns to Lapis begging to refuse, form Malachite again all that Jasper claiming “It’ll be better this time. I’ve changed You’ve changed me” Elliott: Really. Uh what did Lapis say? Picani: Well, it took a lot of strength, but she said no. “What we had wasn’t healthy. I never wanted to feel like I felt with you. Never again.” Elliott: That’s not such an easy… cut-and-dry thing to do. Picani: I don’t think that the show necessarily portrayed it as easy. But in the end, it is all just cartoons, and this isn’t a perfect parallel to your situation. Anyway! Back to ‘Corne’. This fusion could learn a lot from Stevonnie. Take time to appreciate your differences – your strengths and your weaknesses. This fusion gets stronger with more emotional intimacy and trust and all this can be achieved through good communication. Sloane: Did you hear that? Corbin: Yes, did you? Picani: Very true. Sloane? It’s good that you try to get Corbin out of his comfort zone, but you also need to listen to him and try not to steamroll him in decision-making. From here on out, remember these words. You are not two people, you are not one person. You are an experience. Make sure you’re a good experience Now go have fun. That was also from Steven Universe. Corbin: Er, thank you. Picani: Dot, like Pearl, you are an incredibly capable self-made and worthy individual all on your own You don’t derive your personal worth and identity from anyone, but yourself But when you two combine your personal strengths and work to build each other up you will be a very powerful fusion indeed. Larry: Wow. I never thought I’d be getting emotional over what sounds like an incredibly silly children’s cartoon. Dr. Picani: Believe me, no one did before they watched it. Lots of tears. Dot: Thank you for your help today Doctor. Dr. Picani: My absolute pleasure. As the late great Miss Frizzle once said, “We’re here to take chances, make mistakes and get messy.” Dot: From The Mystics Schoolbus? Larry: She’s canonically dead? Dr. Picani: No. She’s just late to a lot of events. Dot: We’re gonna messy? Larry: She’s canonically late to events? Dr. Picani: I hope your fusion isn’t a Malachite, but if any of this hits home for you remember that you do have a say in this relationship. Like Lapis and Amethyst your individual strength is one to be reckoned with. Don’t underestimate your value. Well, I suppose. We’ll see how things go, but um… This does give me a lot to chew on. Dr. Picani: Along with some tofu dogs right, because that’s a vegetarian uh… thing. Yeah! Thanks doc. Dr. Picani: No prob Bob. It’s Elliott. Dr. Picani: Yeah. Anyway, that’s our time for the day. Sloane: Okay was that so bad? Corbin: No, no. Still too expensive, though. Sloane: Okay, we can cook this weekend. No eating out. Corbin: You’re listening Dot: I really am sorry I get so insecure Larry. Larry: Love I’m sorry if I ever gave you reason to be insecure. You mean so much to me. Dot: Oh Larry. I stole it! -gasps- Dot: Oh LARRY. Larry: Gogogo. Elliot: Hey, I finally saw him today. Yeah. It was alright. Yes!! Thomas: Before we get to the end card. I just want to let you know that for this video We had the help of Kati Morton. Kati: Hi, everybody. I am a licensed therapist and I have a mental health channel on YouTube, Where I talk about all things mental health! T: Yes! Links for her channel are in the description. They’re awesome. We did a video on her channel as well, so thank you Katie. K: Of course, happy to help! T: Absolutely! Dr. Picani: Larry and Dot. Larry and Dot. Larrydot. Peridot. Peridot! Larrydot? How did I not see that?? GUYS! OH MY G- oh… They left like five hours ago.

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