It feels like it's been years since there were any new episodes of Steven Universe on the air. In anticipation of Steven and the Gems' inevitable return, a group of super enthusiastic fans have been working on the sort of project that all hardcore Steven Universe lovers have fantasised about at one point or another: A full-length, fan-made episode.
"The Smothering", written, story-boarded and directed by Robin McRae, is set in an alternate universe where Steven grows up with Lapis, Jasper and Peridot instead of Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. Set at a point in Steven's life when he's still learning how to control his powers, "The Smothering" heavily features the idea of the Gems' maternal instincts being a double-edged sword that both helps and harms Steven. The episode features a full voice cast of fans who all do a solid job capturing the characters' personalities in a way that rings true to the original show. And while the animation is limited mostly to key frames, "The Smothering" definitely looks and feels like one of the more impressive pieces of work to come out of the Steven Universe fandom.