Bismuth (Steven Universe) – Overly Animated Podcast #225

By: Dylan Hysen


Dylan Hysen, Delaney Stovall, and Justin Cummings discuss the special August 4th episode of Steven Universe, “Bismuth”!

Dylan is a software developer from the DC area who hosts the Overly Animated podcast discussing everything animation.



  1. Heyo! I’m commenting again.

    I’m not surprised you guys liked this episode, but I feel like I should throw in some two cents, since this is a controversial episode.

    I think it’s fantastic up until the conclusion, at which point it gets kind of horrible. Bismuth argues that the Breaking Point would be an excellent addition to their arsenal, whereupon Steven says using it would “make them just as bad as Homeworld.”

    Which is… pretty childish. Granted, Steven IS a child, but he’s also the POV character and it feels like the writers are standing behind him, when his rebuttal is absurd. The sins of the oppressed do not equal the sins of the oppressors.

    And then Steven is forced to bubble Bismuth, apparently indefinitely. I don’t really blame him for this, although I do blame the writers. Peridot and Lapis were just as dangerous (if not more so) than Bismuth, yet they were given the chance to find redemption, while she’s effectively put in a fridge to prop up Steven’s pain (and to add to Rose’s characterization).

    I’ll link to Mark Oshiro’s post on the episode, since he efficiently tackles why the episode could be interpreted as offensive, and why it upset him personally.

    In case anyone’s wondering, Mark makes his living writing about television shows (and books) he’s never experienced before. He just watched Bismuth a couple of weeks ago.

    It feels like I’m only commenting to bite at you guys, so let me stress: I love this podcast to pieces. I’m not interested in starting a flame war or anything like that. I’m just looking for opportunities to comment and open up some discussion.

    It just occurred to me you guys might address some of the points I (or Mark) made in the future — this was just your first impression, after all. So, uh, ignore me if that’s the case. I’ll catch up eventually.

    • Dylan Hysen says:

      Hey! I certainly understand where commentary like what you link to is coming from for this episode, I just don’t agree with it at all (I’ve certainly seen similar comments elsewhere). I really think it’s extrapolating beyond what the episode is presenting. Certainly you could disagree with the moral the end of the episode is presenting, but I don’t think the show is saying “you shouldn’t kill bad people” is objectively morally correct. I think Steven is saying it’s not right for him, and telling that story of someone coming to that decision is a great story to tell. I also think this line of thinking assumes there’s not more moral grey-ness to the homeworld-crystal gems conflict which remains to be seen, but this episode definitely hints at there being at least some. The conclusion to this ep is definitely fast but I think great for the story the episode is telling.

  2. Steve says:

    If Bismuth is Jet, does that does mean the Bisdemption has to end in death, like it did for Jet, or Hiroshi?

  3. gurrenprime says:

    First what I wanted to say before I even heard your podcast (which is basically just me being more clear about my ask):
    I was personally disappointed in this episode for two reasons: 1, I dislike the practice of hyping up a new character only to put them on a bus, and 2, I feel like they were wrong about what Rose’s mistake was. The episode treated Rose’s mistake as simply keeping a secret, while I feel like her mistake was sweeping her problems under a rug instead of confronting them, which Steven repeated. I think a better way to deal with Bismuth would’ve been to, after revealing everything to the others, unbubbling her, and trying to talk her down in a more controlled environment. If that’s not possible, then bubble her again, but at least make an effort at it instead of just “in the lion/bubble room you go.”
    Now comments I’ve thought of while listening to your podcast:
    Rose being made on earth: I never heard a theory about it (except maybe when Peridot asked if Steven was made in the Kindergarten), but I can see it making sense. That helps explain why Rose loved Earth so much.
    Dark Bismuth felt a little too cliched for me to be too shaken up by it. Also, every new gem gets put on a bus after being introduced (Peridot least so, but still somewhat), which further makes it less shocking.
    My favorite moment was probably seeing Bismuth’s weapon enhancements for the other gems, or her bonding with them all.
    I will admit that while I was disappointed in the ending, the rest of the episode was handled marvelously.
    Peridot and Lapis have tried killing Steven before, and now they’re part of the team, so I don’t see why that couldn’t have happened with Bismuth. Yes, bubble her while in the forge, but when surrounded by Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl, I can’t really see Bismuth being a threat anymore. The show of mercy and willingness to understand by letting her reform might’ve calmed her down, and if she didn’t calm down, she could be easily dispatched. It just seems hypocritical what’s considered redeemable and what isn’t. If there is a future Bismuth redemption arc, that would alleviate some of my problems, but with the way SU’s structured, I’m not sure we’ll get one for a couple more seasons.

  4. Steve says:

    This episode even though it was 30 minutes, felt like a movie, and the love anime influence eye scratches coming back from commercial break.

    I think this episode had to a full half hour to feel the full impact of the story it is trying to tell.

    I find it poetic that Bismuth is now staying with the other corrupted gems, because in her own way, Bismuth is corrupted.

    Interesting though where the you are better than Rose compliment goes from here. Perhaps Steven would want to learn more about Rose from someone’s else prospective that is not Greg or the Crystal Gems, people that love her, someone less bias. Perhaps that is something Steven and Jasper can talk about, a Steven / Jasper conservation has to happen, and Steven learning more about Rose from another prospective would be great.

    This is a great episode.

    If Lapis and Peridot fused, what if Jasper saw that, I don’t want to even think about, it is scary to think Jasper can be more crazy, more angry than she is.

  5. Roy says:

    Here’s a crackpot Rose= Pink Diamond theory. PD has the ability to possess others like Steven. She uses this ability to occasionally “walk amongst the common gems”. One day when she is possessing a Rose Quartz an accident or attack destroys PD’s actual gem leaving her trapped in Rose. Time goes by she comes to identify with lower class gems and even humans and eventually she kicks starts the rebellion .

    • Dylan Hysen says:

      This is just crazy enough for me to think is absolutely true and constantly espouse on the podcast!!! But yeah let’s make this a new thing, finding more and more convoluted ways for Rose to be PD. I’m about this.

    • gurrenprime says:

      While I’ve never liked PD theories, credit where credit is due: that would explain Steven’s powers really well, and possibly explain why the other Gems might’ve been caught off guard about him talking to the Cluster.

  6. Taylor says:

    Steven better than Rose confirmed.

    I really want Bismuthdemption now and Bismuth loving doing normal human bonding activities gives me hope.

    This episode is really good to rewatch. You can see all of Bismuth’s fears that Rose will come back and ruin everything.

  7. Steve says:

    Well I called it, I freaking called it, Bismuth is Jet pretty much.I am happy that this episode does break the Rose is a perfect narrative that this show has, Rose is a very flawed person, which the fandom doesn’t seem to see.

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