- As heartbreaking as it was to watch seeing Connie call out Steven on wanting to end their friendship, stating that she'll honor his wishes and go back to being completely alone if he'll just tell her to her face took a LOT of guts. She's come a long way from that little girl crying about having no friends in a bubble under the sea.
- Steven realizing that once again, his poorly phrased wishes ended up with some trouble, and trying to fix it immediately.
- Connie leaping to fight the Fake Connie when she sees that Steven is in trouble.
- Jenny stepping in front of Garnet's punch in order to keep her from hitting the escape pod with Steven in it. Girl's got guts, especially once you remember "Beach Party" and realize she's seen what Garnet can do with her fists.
- The Cool Kids defending Steven from the Gems, and getting them to realize that they've been a bit hard on him.
- While seemingly a lesser example than most, you gotta hand it to Steven; figuring out how to pilot a Gem vehicle that he had not only never seen before, but is at least 5000 years more advanced than anything he may have run into before "The Return/Jail Break" is pretty amazing.
- Garnet's speech to what she THOUGHT was Peridot was pretty badass, even if she did almost punch Steven into orbit.
- First how about the fact that an Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe crossover even exists. Despite it being vehemently hated against by SU fans the moment it was announced, or that UG creators were trolled incessantly about its creation, the fact remains that it still got made. And because both UG and SU teams have such a respect for each others work, the episode seamlessly blended the two universe together for a hilarious non-canon enjoyment.
- Steven Universe leaping to save Uncle Grandpa from the Gems attack, activating his shield to do it.
- The fact that depending on whether you consider this episode canon, it is chronologically before the events of Jail Break, which means UNCLE GRANDPA HELPED SAVE THE DAY, if indirectly.
- Garnet deciding that she wants the episode over while the three Gems were in the 'plot hole' and smashes it, taking them back to their universe.
- The fact that, amongst all the other CN series on Uncle Grandpa's checklist, the SWAT Kats- a pair of kickass vigilante ex-cops / master mechanics made it on there- considering the show's fan-following and Rebecca Sugar herself having watched the show originally- and the fact that shortly after, the Tremblay brothers began a Kickstarter to bring SK back- it's even more awesome.
Story For Steven
- Greg deciding not to put up with his womanizing Jerkass of a manager anymore.Greg: Get out of my van.Marty: Sit down, Greg.Greg: I SAID GET OUT OF MY VAN!
- It's understated, but there's something awesome about just how graceful Rose Quartz is for her size. When Garnet drops Greg, she leaps into the air and just...floats down to him, landing gently on her feet like some Amazonian ballet dancer. It's little wonder why Greg fell for her.
- Steven's plan to get back at Buck is surprisingly devious considering he came up with it on his own. And not only is it effective, it prompts Buck into becoming Greg's first student.
Sworn to the Sword
- Steven and Connie show excellent teamwork in combat, effortlessly battling and defeating an entire army of Holo-Pearls together. Not only that, but the two of them are able to hold their own against Pearl herself, and though she beats them, by the end of it, Pearl is actually breathing hard, implying that Connie and Steven actually put up a good fight against her. One Youtuber described Steven and Connie's Back-to-Back Badasses moment as, "The most beautiful spin attack ever animated." Indeed, it's frequently regarded as the best shot in the episode and perhaps even one of the best in the series. It's even the image for this very page!
- Pearl herself gets props for absolutely effortlessly disarming both Steven and Connie simultaneously the moment she decides the fight is going to end. Whatever chance the viewers might have thought the two had of actually beating her get shut down immediately.
- Steven standing up to Pearl and countering her belief that he's unable to fight alongside Connie, let alone protect her.
- He also stands his ground against a Holo-Pearl before Connie takes it out. Going back to "Steven The Swordfighter", it seems that he permanently conquered his fear of her.
- Steven displays improved control over his weapon, summoning his shield several times and at one point switching effortlessly between his bubble and his shield.
- When Steven confides in Garnet and Amethyst with his concerns about Connie's training with Pearl, Garnet explains that Pearl would senselessly put herself in danger to ensure Rose's safety and survival. The problem with this is that while Pearl can regenerate, Connie obviously can't. Not only does Steven immediately realize the severity of this situation, he snaps Connie out of her fatuous, sacrificial mindset.
- The speed at which Connie is improving under Pearl's guidance is also worth a mention, especially since Connie never held a sword before.
Keeping it Together
- Peridot does better against the Crystal Gems this time, Wall Running, using a shock to escape Amethyst's whip and using her fingers as rotors to escape.
- Garnet pulling herself together and defeating the big Forced Gem Fusion.
- While it might not seem like much, Steven summoning his shield while fending off the melded Gems is actually a pretty big deal. After all, while the situation was bad, it was nowhere near as emotionally harrowing as "Sworn to the Sword", showing that Steven's gotten better at summoning the weapon at will, as opposed to when his emotions are right.
We Need to Talk
- Greg's music video with the Gems.
- Greg seriously trying to fuse with Rose. Even if it was obvious that he would fail, he still put in a good effort.
- Rose and Greg getting past their first big problem as a couple.
- Extra points on Greg's behalf for calling out Rose for treating him as a lesser being.
- Garnet honestly trying to help Greg and succeeding.
- Steven managing to contact Lapis in his dreams.
- Lapis is still in control of Malachite (at least for now).
- Even dealing with a Gem who can control the sea, pinning her with a whole ocean, Jasper is winning. You don't get a high rank in a galactic empire if you're not strong as all hell.
Cry for Help
- Sardonyx makes her debut, and it's impressive. She has the personality of a stage performer, and is able to dismantle the Communications Hub with finesse using a freaking war hammer. Just LOOK at all these people at the San Diego Comic-Con 2015 screaming with joy!
- Pearl managed to repair Peridot's escape pod. Considering how banged up it was the last time we saw it, that's an impressive feat. It's even more impressive Pearl had absolutely no clue just how technology had evolved since she'd last been home, and yet she still managed to repair the escape pod.
- Sugilite reappears and finishes the job of smashing the hub. And unlike in "Coach Steven", she's controlled and defused easily without any complaints.
- Ruby and Sapphire have Psychoactive Powers that correspond to their personalities and manifest when their emotions get out of hand. Ruby's able to make a whole pool evaporate within an hour just by pacing inside of it ranting, and Sapphire manages to freeze over the insides of the motel room. Now we all know why Garnet's that powerful in terms of personality and power.
- Greg was apparently close enough to the Gems in the past to know that Garnet's a Fusion, and took the whole incident in stride.
- Sour Cream's chiptune DJ setup consumes so much electricity that it manages to occasionally blackout his family's house.
- With a little help from Pearl, Jamie and Steven managed to put on a historically accurate and well-received play, despite Mayor Dewey writing the first version. Pearl somehow manages to rewrite Mayor Dewey's original terrible script into something that's not only decent, but earns the praise of the entire town (not that they know she was the one responsible) Heck, the response is so well-received, Dewey decides to make Jamie the lead director of Beach City's Community Theater. To top it off, since Steven (who played William) was the only person to audition, Jamie had to play every role besides William by himself, and made it work!
- Either some or all of the Gems Fused to defeat the Monster that terrorized William Dewey's boat, and killed his first mate (Who actually washed ashore later, perfectly fine). They also brought the boat ashore!
- A villainous example for Peridot, who, thanks to Steven, quickly deduced she was somehow being tracked and utilized the ancient Gem ship's internal defenses to entrap the Crystal Gems and nearly destroy them.
- Given she had previously been shown to have almost no combat skills, Peridot's ability to go toe to toe with all four Crystal Gems and survive twice has to be admired. She even gets some half decent shots at them.
- Steven really shows how far along he's come as a Crystal Gem in the battlefield, getting in a Shield Bash hit on Peridot, as well as providing cover for the entire group when Peridot activates the ancient Gem ship's internal weapons.
- Pearl and Garnet finally overcoming their problems and fusing into Sardonyx to escape Peridot's Death Trap.
- Sardonyx busts out with a giant drill.
- And let's not forget Amethyst and Steven, who bought these two enough time to make up and break free from the trap by holding onto the cogs with Amethyst's whip!
- Garnet telling Pearl something she desperately needed to hear: in that she needs to find strength in herself, not her, not Steven, not Rose.
- Also note that Pearl and Garnet were in a very small, enclosed space where they didn't even have enough room to stand up straight. Their heart-to-heart put them so in sync with each other that they didn't even need the dance to Fuse.
- They actually manage to grab Peridot until she detaches her foot and escapes. It shows they're getting her on the ropes.
- Dr. Maheswaran maintains a considerable amount of composure when the Gem Clusters have her, Connie, and Steven cornered. Of course, she was completely oblivious about Gems and the like, but even when fear struck her, she still remained calm. She even rammed a Cluster Gem out of the way with a stretcher, before shoving the stretcher down the hallway to distract it, allowing her and the children to escape. Bonus points for being strong enough to knock the Cluster back, considering that Gems are significantly stronger than humans.
- In the climax, Connie finally calls her mother out on her strict parenting and the fact that she truly doesn't know Connie.
- On the other side is Connie's mother calling Connie out, in a mature fashion of course, on the fact that Connie lied about everything regarding Steven and the Gems, preventing her from doing her job as a parent.
- Points to the writers as well for creating such a balanced argument between Connie and Priyanka in their respective call outs. Both sides are shown to have a legitimate weight to their argument without making one "the bad guy". Connie's right about how damaging her parents' strict rules and negligence are, while her mother brings up valid points on how Connie's secrecy undermines their ability to properly take care of her.
- Steven and Connie vs. the Gem mutants.
- As soon as that happens, Connie slashes down the first mutant in one stroke. Then Steven launches her at the second, which she takes down with a spinning slash. Those lessons really have been paying off.
- Steven and Connie's combination attack now in gif form.◊
- Steven taking down the bubble is done in a rather intelligent manner; He expands it to push away the Gem Mutants so Connie will have more room to maneuver. Steven, of all people, actually making efficient tactical decisions means that he has been learning more than just how to use his powers, but also how to fight.
- The entire fight? From dropping the bubble to the final blow? Takes 10 seconds.
- As soon as that happens, Connie slashes down the first mutant in one stroke. Then Steven launches her at the second, which she takes down with a spinning slash. Those lessons really have been paying off.
- Earlier on, Steven shows enough strength to pin the much larger shard Fusion up against the wall.
- Sadie's singing is pretty impressive, in spite of her performance anxiety. Given her voice actress's background, it's only fitting that Kate Micucci finally gets to sing.
- Sadie calling her mom and Steven out on how they're acting like a couple of stage moms and not even considering how she wants her act to be, especially since she didn't really want to do it in the first place.
- Steven taking Sadie's place complete with dress and makeup. And the crowd loves it.
Catch and Release
- Peridot managing to sneak into Steven's house, capture him, and escape to the Galaxy Warp before the Gems find her.
- As mentioned on the Nightmare Fuel page, but she managed to do all of this with no one noticing, meaning that she may very well have had to sneak past Lion. Her missing a foot is really just the cherry on the sundae.
- The real cherry is that Garnet somehow did not see it coming. note
- The Crystal Gems finally managing to capture Peridot! This time, they easily counter the tricks she had previously tried on them.
- As mentioned in the Nightmare Fuel page, Garnet is so unbelievably strong that she manages to crush Peridot with her hands.
- This gets even more awesome with the hindsight of "Kindergarten Kid", where Peridot is shown to be surprisingly tough, and was able to survive a huge onslaught of abuse, like getting crushed by rocks and various types of machinery.
- Steven's maturity throughout the whole episode: how efficiently he uses Rose's room, how perceptive he was about Peridot's worried nature, and his patience when dealing with Peridot's behavior.
When It Rains
- Steven managing to effortlessly rip off a panel Peridot couldn't budge.
- A small one, but when Peridot mistakenly believes Steven's knowledge of Earth alone will help her destroy the Cluster, Steven finds the humility to admit he doesn't know everything.
- The Gems effortlessly taking down the Gem mutants when they show up.
Back To The Barn
- This episode reveals some information that turns every single scene where Pearl's doing battle, doing crazy science and tech stuff, or mothering Steven, into a series-spanning CMOA. Fans have long theorized that Pearls were some type of mass-produced servile Gem techs, workers, or administrators, but it's even worse than that: Pearls are not just servants, they're decorative made-to-order servants, created specifically to use as status symbols to "stand around looking pretty and hold your stuff for you". This means that everything Pearl has been shown to have mastered over the course of the series—battle tactics, swordsmanship, building and fixing everything from vans to spaceships, mastering new Homeworld tech—she had to teach herself from scratch. No wonder she's simultaneously so proud and so insecure about her abilities: she's spent thousands of years fighting past the limits of her creation as a glorified designer handbag.
- Pearl (Do It For Her/Him): Deep down you know you weren't built for fighting, but that doesn't mean you're not prepared to try!
- Pearl manages to build a robot that averages out to the same as Peridot's in terms of points, only falling short in terms of direct combat with each other. Considering that Pearls are only meant to be servants and look pretty, it's an impressive feat (and makes her previous shows of workmanship even more so in hindsight). And just for extra points: she tied with a Gem who was designed to be a technician. A pretty vase tied with a professional computer scientist, if you so will.
- The last challenge is throwing a car to see how far it goes. Pearl and Peridot both throw their cars over the horizon. Steven declares it a tie.
- Then there's the fact that Peridot and Pearl both built viable and powerful robots out of random junk. Perhaps even more impressive for Peridot, given that she has little experience with the stuff she's working with.
- Pearl PUNCHES Peridot. IN THE FACE. Pearl had it in her to deck Peridot for continuing to presume that Pearl was just the same as the rest, even while her robot was being manhandled. Sure, Pearl still lost, but points for asserting herself. What makes even more better is that Pearl is a Lady of War mental powerhouse who fights with calculation while lacking in hand to hand combat capabilities, while her fellow Gems Garnet and Amethyst are the real bruisers of the team. To see her outright toss a right hook at Peridot for all of her trash talk is cathartic.
- Garnet' s response to Peridot's complaining that she won and should be in charge of building and be recognized by the others.
- Pearl's Shut Up, Hannibal! to Peridot is a huge CMOA when you look back at "Friend Ship" - she finally finds it within herself to believe in herself, and even when she loses, Steven steps in to put Peridot in her place and remind her how brilliant Pearl is.
- Pearl's absolute refusal to comply to the Homeworld mentality is itself great:Pearl: Now listen here, you tiny twerp! In case you've forgotten, you're on our turf now, and I didn't fight a thousand year war for this planet's independence, to take orders from the likes of you!
- Pearl's speech includes admitting that yes, she IS a Pearl, and proud of it and all she achieved. She's finally learning to love herself.
- Pearl's absolute refusal to comply to the Homeworld mentality is itself great:
- Peridot asks Garnet to Unfuse, because it's making her uncomfortable. Garnet stares at her for several seconds, and the next scene is her tying Peridot to a fence.Garnet: Her having free rein of this place was making me feel 'incredibly uncomfortable.'
"Woop!""Oh hell no girl!"
- Notably, this got one of the loudest crowd reactions when this episode premiered at a Con. During the several seconds Garnet was just staring, there was even an anticipatory "Wooooohhh!" as the entire crowd waited for her to do something awesome. They shouted things like:
- Peridot saving Amethyst from the runaway drill.
- Made all the more impressive, due to Peridot's exceptionally low strength. Despite having regularly been outdone physically by Steven, she managed to muster up the determination snap the tether that she'd been completely restrained by before. Peridot may soon realize that, like Pearl, she might be able to do far more than what she was made for, if it's for someone or something she cares about.
- Peridot actually apologizing to Amethyst for hurting her feelings (even if it's by tape recorder), something that was rather unexpected for her to do. It shows character development and also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Based on the description of what Amethyst (as a Quartz) is supposed to look like, and Peridot admitting that she has all the other qualities a Quartz does, Amethyst is pretty much the equivalent of a half-sized Jasper with none of the strength having been lost. The description of Quartzes as huge and intimidating warriors also serves as an extra one for Rose: Yes, she was an All-Loving Hero with healing powers, but she was a warrior too. Kinda explains Jasper's readily admitted respect and her leading the war, doesn't it?
- A clue to how big and powerful Amethyst could have been? Compare Sugilite's size with the other Crystal Gem Fusions. Notice how much bigger she is?
- A retroactive CMOA for both Pearl and Amethyst: with viewers having seen what Jasper is capable of, now we know Amethyst has the same strength and power potential, just compressed into a smaller container. Consider "Tiger Millionaire": while Amethyst does go a little rough on her human opponents, she still manages her Kayfabe very effectively and does no lasting harm to the other wrestlers; then contrast Jasper, whose cursory headbutt gave Steven, who as a fellow (half-)Quartz is notoriously tough and resistant to injury, a black eye, and knocked him unconscious for HOURS. Now consider the only time we've ever seen Amethyst in a prolonged fight against another Gem one-on-one: she takes on Pearl in "On The Run" and Pearl holds her own against her, despite Amethyst being an emotionally compromised Super Soldier and Pearl being a decorative made-to-order personal servant. Even when she's miserable, angry, and lashing out, Amethyst could have really hurt Pearl if she'd pushed harder, but she didn't, and Pearl was fast and smart enough to keep on top of the fight until Amethyst completely lost her cool!
- Coupled with this, the fight with Sugilite was even more awesome in light of this. Amethyst, a Quartz, being fused with Garnet, an especially strong Fusion herself, resulted in a total brute and juggernaut of a Gem, even more so than Jasper is. Pearl first takes a severe beating (with Sugilite even calling her "nothing"), but doesn't have to retract to her Gem to heal: she, a made-to-order servant/piece of decoration, outsmarts Sugilite and defeats her a mere two to five minutes after Sugilite reappears.
- Sapphire, accompanied by three Rubies and surrounded by other Gems, says that the rebels will attack them and destroy the bodies of several Gems. Then Rose and Pearl appear. Pearl promptly takes them out and would have taken out Sapphire if Ruby hadn't pushed her out of the way.
- The very first cross-Gem Fusion between Ruby and Sapphire. The other Gems are horrified, but the sequence is beautiful.
- This episode becomes awesome when you realize that Ruby basically forced Sapphire to expand her future vision power and understand it better. Ruby became so determined to prove Sapphire wrong about their inevitable defeat that she defied fate in the eyes of Sapphire.
- Same goes to Rose and Pearl since she was so sure they would be captured in their attempt ambush.
- You also got to give Sapphire props for choosing to save Ruby which meant defying Blue Diamond and possibly losing her high position in her "court". Especially after Blue Diamond was angry at her for failing to perceive the future that came to pass when Ruby intervened.
- While Rose Quartz is obviously extremely badass in this episode, it turns out that Pearl of all Gems, is The Dreaded to the hidebound Gems of Blue Diamond's court. Fussy, awkward, finicky Pearl cuts through four big warrior Gems, is clearly Rose's right-hand Gem and most feared follower, and is repeatedly described as terrifying
- Is it any wonder that Garnet says in "Friend Ship" that she looks to Pearl for strength? When they first met, Pearl was a vicious assassin who killed six of the most powerful Gems with little effort!
- Even though he briefly ended up as a baby, Steven showed an impressive amount of control over shapeshifting and aging powers.
- While they had no idea on how to help Steven when he reverts back to a baby, the Crystal Gems handle it a lot better than they did in "So Many Birthdays".
- Extra props to Garnet for trying to humor the baby and Amethyst for not only instantly picking him up, but also becoming a baby seat for him. Seeing that Greg mentions how he had to deal with Steven alone until he was old enough, it shows that the Gems now take their role as his parental figures much more seriously.
- A subtle moment that also doubles as a Heartwarming one — Connie's parents allowing her to stay over Steven's for the weekend shows that Dr. Maheswaran made good on her promise in "Nightmare Hospital" to allow her daughter more freedom.
It Could've Been Great
- A case of "Awesome in Hindsight", this episode proves that ALL of Ronaldo's theories regarding "the polymorphic sentient rocks that can take any form and are lead by the 'Great Diamond Authority' plan to hollow out the Earth" were correct.
- Despite being Nightmare Fuel, you gotta give Garnet credit for looking like she's about to totally destroy Peridot after the latter pushes a very personal Berserk Button for her insulting Rose's beliefs about Earth. Had Steven not interfered, things would've gotten really messy.
- Give props for Steven instantly and fearlessly defending Peridot against Garnet, considering that the last time he tried defying her, Garnet reached a level of pissed off we had never seen before.
- As horrifying as they were, Homeworld's plans for the colonization of Earth were undeniably impressive in their scale and scope.
- Peridot manages to match perfect pitch and harmony with Steven when she only heard the notes for the first time. Instant Expert indeed!
- Lion teleporting the Gems all the way to the moon, despite being visibly winded afterward.
- The drill that the Crystal Gems will use to destroy the Cluster is finally introduced in its full glory. And it is awesome.
- Amethyst shapeshifting into a helicopter to chase down Peridot.
- Yellow Diamond finally appears after such long anticipation for her first on screen appearance.
- In one of the most awesome moments of the entire show, Peridot after failing to convince Yellow Diamond of the Earth, and being insulted for daring to question her orders tells her off in anger and calls her a clod, before realizing what she just did. Peridot's insult was such an Armor-Piercing Response that Yellow Diamond eyes actually bulged out from shock.Yellow Diamond: You have failed at every stage of this mission! Your only chance to redeem yourself is to obey this simple order: You are to leave the Cluster to grow. It will tear apart the Earth, and I will take immense satisfaction in erasing that hideous rock off of our star maps! Is that clear?!
Peridot: I won't do it! I can tell you with certainty that there are things on this planet worth protecting!
Yellow Diamond: What do you know about the Earth?!
Peridot: Apparently, more than you! You... CLOD!!
- Extra awesome for Garnet: Soon after cutting Peridot off, Yellow Diamond immediately attempts to kill her by self-destructing Peridot's communicator. It's hot-potato'd for a moment until Garnet just says "screw it" and punches it into the sky, where it explodes.
- Points for Steven as well, for thinking to encase the device in his bubbleshield, even while Pearl and Amethyst are panicking. While not quite sufficient to save them, it was quick thinking on his part.
- The first time we see Yellow Diamond. Peridot is talking to Yellow!Pearl when a smooth voice begins to talk offscreen. And then a huge hand reaches down and lifts up the communicator. The Diamonds are as big as they are powerful.
- Steven's beliefs seem to have rubbed off on Peridot to the point that Peridot actually believed she could convince Yellow Diamond of the Earth's value. Believe in Steven, indeed.
- Even more amazing, as Peridot implied that she had given some thought to ways where both the Earth could be spared and Gemkind could still benefit. While doomed to fail due to Yellow Diamond's spiteful desire to see the Earth destroyed, she's the first one to put forward such a notion, as far as we know.
- Even if he was wrong about Peridot's intentions at the time, Steven shows a remarkable level of cunning when he takes the communicator from Peridot by trickery, locks her inside a truck, and makes it clear that he is pissed about her seemingly betraying the Crystal Gems.
Log Date 7-15-2
- After spending most of her "captivity" belittling Garnet for her nature of a Fusion and treating her with spitefulness or disgust, Peridot accepts her offer of a Fusion between them almost immediately. Considering she has spent barely more than a month with the Crystal Gems, this is an incredible amount of character growth on her part. She is allowing herself to open her mind to new ideas. And it makes sense that she'd get cold feet at the last minute. Deeply-held beliefs beaten into her for literally her entire life won't change so easily. But she's making small steps, and that will eventually take her very far.
- Also, Garnet's approach. Whereas Peridot's relationships with Pearl and Amethyst developed as the result of hot-button issues fundamental to their identities, Garnet shows remarkable restraint (even by her standards) dealing with Peridot's prejudices, playing the long game instead and counting on Peridot's scientific curiosity to provide a motivation to understand her better. She provides subtle positive feedback when Peridot attempts to better acclimate to living among the Gems on Earth, but firmly reprimands her when she acts inappropriately without losing her cool; they bond whilst stargazing and even attempt to fuse. Even though the Fusion doesn't succeed, Garnet expresses pride that Peridot was willing to try and is finally able to make Peridot understand her Permafusion state in terms she is able to comprehend. Yup, Square Mom is Best Mom.
- Amethyst and Pearl fusing into Opal. Unlike their last time in "Giant Woman", they aren't arguing about their different styles, instead they utilize their contrasting dancing styles to form Opal. And it only take a few seconds to fuse.