The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 160: ‘Steven Universe Season 1 Finale’

The Arkham Sessions, hosted by Dr. Andrea Letamendi and Brian Ward, is a weekly podcast dedicated to the psychological analysis of pop culture, including Batman: The Animated Series, Steven Universe, the MCU, and Doom Patrol. Nostalgic, humorous, and even a little educational, each episode promises to lend some insight into the heroes, villains, and classic stories of the Dark Knight and more!

The Arkham Sessions, Ep. 160 - Steven Universe: Season 1 Finale

We wrap up our coverage of Steven Universe's inaugural season and notice that, compared to earlier episodes, the storytelling is more arc-forming and that the stakes are higher--disasters, losses, and crises have very clear consequences. A theme found among this batch of episodes is post-traumatic grief.

Steven's father, Greg Universe, has not recovered from the loss of Steven's mother, Rose Quartz. As he, Steven, and Amethyst are cleaning out his storage unit, he is overcome with emotion and somewhat unwilling to part with items he possibly associates with Rose. In this episode, Drea outlines the features of hoarding disorder: a mental health condition characterized by excessive acquisition of possessions (often seeming to have little to no value), feelings of distress when the items are discarded, and the resulting clutter and congestion of the person's living areas that inevitably interferes with their quality of life. We also discuss the clinically appropriate methods of treating hoarding disorder and explain why grief is often intertwined with this condition.

Additionally, we discover that each character is dealing with the loss of Rose Quartz in different ways, whether through perfectionistic exaggerated self-control (Pearl), displacing anguish by violating other people's comfort and boundaries (Amethyst), or attempting to please others (Steven).

Overall, season one of Steven Universe appears to end with a crescendo of emotional meaning and payoff.

 

 


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