If you caught the July 4 episode of Steven Universe, then you witnessed a tearjerker of a moment as Ruby took a page from the old-west playbook to dismount her horse, get down on one knee and pop the ol’ question to a surprised (and accepting) Sapphire.
The same-sex proposal, the latest milestone in a string of groundbreaking LGBTQ moments for creator Rebecca Sugar’s five-season (and counting) Cartoon Network animated series, came at the outset of “The Question” — part of the show's current five-installment “Heart of the Crystal Gems” storyline.
Talking with Steven just before she makes the big proposal, Ruby admits she’s not complete without Sapphire — all while Garnet waits for something to come along to resolve the rift between her two constituent warrior gems, something that’ll piece things back together.
That something came Wednesday, when Ruby returned from her contemplative alone time with new resolve to give Sapphire the place of permanence in her life that she’s really occupied all along:
The overarching plot centers around the outing of Rose Quartz’ true identity — and her plot to invade Earth — as Pink Diamond, even as Garnet, the powered-up entity Ruby and Sapphire comprise, languishes to oppose her while the two warrior gems figure their relationship out.
Sugar told the show’s Twitter followers ahead of time that Wednesday’s episode had been “years in the making,” urging fans to tune in for the surprise. It’s not the first time Sugar’s brought similar themes forward in Steven Universe — but Wednesday’s episode marks the first time a family-themed animated show has featured two same-sex characters talking openly about their wedding plans.
There’re still two more episodes to go in the “Heart of the Crystal Gems” arc, and they’re airing on back-to-back days. The first, “Made of Honor,” lands July 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed at the same timeslot on July 6 with “Reunited.”