Cross stitch pattern of Defense Zircon and Prosecution Zircon from Steven Universe episode The Trial. Check out my full review of the episode below. Get this pattern by pledging to my Patreon.
Grid Size: 97W x 118H
Design Area: 6.79″ x 8.29″ (95 x 116 stitches)
Do you know how significantly harder it is to make a review of a good episode than it is for a bad episode? It’s easy to see where things went wrong, but when everything is right, you can’t always pinpoint why. Take The Trial for instance. There really is nothing wrong with it. I would have liked to have seen more of Zircon and Zircon’s rivalry, but it isn’t distractingly missing.
We start out with Steven alone in his cell. It’s nice to notice that this cell is significantly different from the ones in Jail Break because this is Homeworld where everything should be at the highest level of technology. This short scene gives us some anticipation and insight into how Steven feels about his capture. I feel like if it was skipped the episode wouldn’t be noticeably different, but I’m glad it’s there.
Next we meet Defense Zircon, and I love how she talks to herself. All of her musings are important, either as exposition or as insights into her character. even this small amount of dialogue is enough to give us a lot of information before the trial starts. I have a small gripe here because the courtroom is basically a void. There’s no architecture that could give us hints at the cultural significance of Homeworld’s justice system. This leads me to believe that trials are a rare occurrence in a room not purpose built for them, but then why have Zircons? No, I’m probably wrong about this. Defense Zircon says that she was assigned to Steven’s case so that means there’s a possibility that she could have not been assigned. That implies that there are other Zircons who could have taken her place. There must be other trials, but you just can’t glean much from the environment since it doesn’t imply a presence or absence of a jury or audience.
Anyway, Prosecuting Zircon makes her case brilliantly. I love how she brings in Lars just to bubble his head. It shows us that Lars is okay and that Zircons have similar abilities to other gems. She turns Steven’s words against him skillfully and the return of Eyeball is a nice touch. I’m glad I’m not the only one who get’s a real Ace Attorney vibe from this episode and I hope that’s intentional.
Steven decides to confess, but only when it’s his turn. He could have interrupted the prosecution, but he didn’t, which is adorable. And the other gems’ reactions to his testimony are priceless, the perfect way to break up what is a pretty awkward monologue. The drawings that Blue Diamond’s Pearl is making are great and I love seeing Defense Zircon slamming her head against a wall in frustration.
There’s an interesting tidbit here. When Blue Diamond uses her ability to manipulate emotions, it works on everyone but Lars. I expected it not to work on Steven too, but he’s crying also.
On a side note “Don’t tumble my rocks” is the best saying, and I need to find ways of using it. Defense Zircon has every reason to be frustrated with Steven. He’s not helping his case at all, but even though she yells at him, she doesn’t just write him off as a lost cause. She has a duty to the law and stresses over how to make her case even when no one would fault her for just going through the motions. She cares and the writing and voice acting bring that across beautifully.
I like the interactions between the Diamonds here. They are very different people and it’s nice to see Blue Diamond asserting herself. She needs closure and this trial is more important to her than to Yellow who really just wants this to be over with. At the end Defense Zircon accuses the Diamonds of shattering Pink Diamond. The obvious culprit would be Yellow, but Steven Universe has been known to subvert expectations, and we still don’t know what happened to White Diamond. Yellow Diamond gets a little trigger happy poofing the Zircons. While they’re distracted, Lars and Steven make an escape and we get our first real shot of Homeworld, which is well… kind of lackluster, but it’s fine.
All in all, The Trial was a solid episode and one of my favorites. I love how we cut to the Pearls whenever they’re mentioned as if they know something about Pink Diamond’s Pearl that we don’t. I love how expressive the Zircon’s are and how Blue’s ability effects everyone differently. I love how none of the dialogue is wasted and how clean the editing is. I wish every episode of Steven Universe was this polished.