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Recap / Steven Universe: Future S1E2 "Guidance"

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The episode begins with Amethyst and Steven at Fish Stew Pizza. Steven notices Bixbite working behind the counter by chopping toppings and cutting a pizza into equal slices. Amethyst reveals that she has been pairing Gems from Little Homeschool with Beach City jobs, including some Rubies that enter with Mayor Nanefua acting as her bodyguards.

Steven and Amethyst go to Beach City Funland, where he sees that many of the Quartzes are now working there. Amethyst shows him that Nephrite is skywriting with Andy's plane and that Larimar and Snowflake Obsidian have found ice-related jobs on the boardwalk. Steven gets concerned because many of the jobs now held by the Gems are very similar to the jobs they originally held on Homeworld. Amethyst reassures him that this is not the case, only for Nanefua's Ruby guards to walk by and exclaim happily that their jobs are just like what they used to do on Homeworld. Despite Amethyst explaining that these are the jobs the Gems wanted, Steven says that the Gems only think they want to do the jobs and that he must get them out of their comfort zones. He speaks with Larimar and Snowflake Obsidian, who are running a snow-cone stand together. When asked, Snowflake and Larimar both reveal they had ice-related jobs on Homeworld. To "fix" this, Steven tries to get Snowflake to fly with Andy in his airplane, though she is clearly unsure. He then places Larimar in charge of The Appalachian, which she is excited about, as she claims that human screams are her "favorite of the Earth's delights".

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After randomly pairing up Gems with different jobs, Steven goes to relax at Fish Stew Pizza. The star iris begins to close in on Steven as he exclaims that he's excited to see how everyone is going to learn and grow outside of their comfort zones, only for it to stop and reverse once Steven gets hit in the face with pizza thrown by Zebra Jasper. More pizzas are delivered violently, knocking over bystanders. Steven goes outside to find Beach City in chaos. After seeing the disaster caused by Gems with unfitting jobs, he finds Amethyst at the Funland Arcade and apologizes to her for not trusting her Gem-mentorship program, asking for her help to "unhelp" everyone he "helped". She accepts his apology and leaves the arcade to assist him.

They fuse into Smoky Quartz to stop Snowflake Obsidian, who is about to crash the airplane she is flying. They are able to set her and Andy down on the ground, apologizing and asking if they are okay. The two nod their heads, still traumatized. Smoky then heads to Funland, where Larimar has lost control of the Appalachian. Steven and Amethyst argue through Smoky Quartz, distressed that they won't make it in time, until Smoky turns pink, giving them the ability of super speed while also slowing down time. With this, they easily save the roller coaster passengers. Just as they prepare to stop the roller coaster from crashing, their powers go back to normal and it flies off the track and into the ocean. Smoky then accepts that while saving people from crashing on a roller coaster, the roller coaster's still gonna crash in the end.

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Later on, they are talking at the beach, and Amethyst says she feels like she has finally found her place in the world in helping other Gems do the same for themselves. She then asks Steven what he wants to do for his future. Steven explains he still desires to help others but feels he's losing his touch. Larimar then walks up, holding a stuffed bear behind her back, and gives it to Steven as thanks for giving her a job at Funland. She tells him that she discovered she is not great at operating a roller coaster, but that she is good at handing out prizes to children. She states that she loves their laughter, which is "just like screaming" (to which Steven is visibly disturbed). They then see the crashed roller coaster floating by, with Onion still in one of the cars. Steven is at first worried but then calms down, knowing that Onion will be fine.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Garnet and Pearl do not appear.
  • An Aesop:
    • While getting out of your comfort zone and trying new things is fine and all, sometimes playing to your strengths is the better option.
    • People need to discover their likes and dislikes on their own; you can't just assign them a bunch of different jobs randomly and expect things to work out.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After Bixbite finishes cutting and putting the toppings on a pizza, she raises her claw up at the next pizza in front of her... and pulls out a pizza cutter with her regular hand.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: While Amethyst was right that it's necessary to talk to the people she's helping instead of just saying "do this job" and "Stop Being Stereotypical", Larimar did demonstrate that Steven had at least a bit of a good idea in throwing the Gems into new situations, as Larimar takes to working at Funland better than they were at their old job.
  • Bullet Time: Steven's powers activate and increase Smoky Quartz's Super Speed so time seems to slow down for them. Everything's shown in slow motion while Smoky moves around in what they perceive to be normal speed.
  • Call-Back: Mr. Smiley, who in prior episodes is shown as the only one working at Funland and losing sleep because of it, finally catches a break when Amethyst fills each position with Gems.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The whole Aesop about how it's fine to like what you were "made to do" could very easily translate into the real world, as long as it's not the standard that anyone should go by and it's what you like. For example there's third wave feminists reclaiming femininity and (generally) why western Muslims practice their religion.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: After the roller coaster goes flying into the ocean, it explodes a couple of seconds later.
  • Facepalm: In the promotional artwork, Amethyst has a hand to her face in exasperation.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: The traditional star Iris Out begins to happen over Steven when he thinks that his work is done, then it immediately disappears upon Steven getting splattered by wayward pizza.
  • From Bad to Worse: When Steven matches the Gems with incompatible jobs, the Quartzes splattering pizza everywhere is just the start of the destruction that happens in Beach City.
  • I Don't Think That's Such a Good Idea: Amethyst can see Steven's idea of switching the Gems' jobs as dead on arrival from a mile away, and does everything to tell him this. While satisfied in pointing this out to him when it all goes wrong, she still helps Steven after he apologizes.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: When Steven points out that the new jobs the Gems have are exactly what they were already doing on Homeworld, Amethyst denies it, and then Mayor Nanefua and her two Ruby bodyguards pass by and one of them states that it's exactly like they did on Homeworld before the other thanks Amethyst.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Larimar seems to be a little too fond of humans screaming, even though she's talking about them screaming in delight, not fear.
    Larimar: Human screams are my favorite of the Earth's delights. I want to hear the human screams forever.
    Steven: Okay, that's a little troubling, but your heart's in the right place.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Amethyst helps various Gems find new jobs, many of which involve putting their powers to more mundane tasks. For example, Snowflake Obsidian used to dig ice trenches for the armies during the war and chooses to sell snow cones at Funland.
    • Amethyst shapeshifts her hand into a ruler and then a protractor to measure the slices of a pizza Bixbite cut.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Smoky taps into Steven's Diamond powers to develop Super Speed in a nick-of-time rescue situation.
  • New Superpower: Just when it seems that Smoky Quartz can't possibly get to the roller coaster in time to rescue the people on board, no matter how fast they run, Steven's sudden pink power burst from the previous episode resurfaces and speeds up Smoky's movement and reflexes enough that the rest of the world appears to be moving at a fraction of their regular speed. Smoky is able to save all the civilians but then the power-up wears off, leaving the roller coaster to fly off into the ocean. It's currently unknown if Steven could manifest this particular power on his own or only as part of Smoky Quartz.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Steven gives the Little Homeschool Gems jobs outside their comfort zone so they can try new things, but ends up causing disasters around town since the Gems don't know what they are doing.
  • One-Word Title: "Guidance".
  • Power Incontinence: With the incompatibility of their jobs, many of the Gems' powers react at awkward times. Snowflake Obsidian freezes the steering wheel of the plane in a moment of panic, Bixbite cuts all the balloons free, the flower-girl Ruby sets fire to the money she collects, etc.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: Played straight with the Gems and their new jobs, until Steven tries to avert this by pairing them with randomly chosen different ones, which turn out to be incompatible.
  • Reality Ensues: Smoky Quartz attempts to lasso the airplane Snowflake and Andy are on, but only ends up tearing off the rear of the plane due to how fast it's going.
  • Skewed Priorities: During Smoky Quartz's Super Speed power-up, they stop to take a selfie using Sour Cream's phone before resuming saving the roller coaster riders.
  • Something We Forgot: The ending scene shows Onion was in the crashed roller coaster (or crawled into it after it went into the ocean), and is still in it as it floats away since Steven and Amethyst forgot about him. Steven decides not to help since he is fine.
  • Spoof Aesop: After rescuing the passengers but failing to stop the roller coaster train from derailing and flying into the ocean, Smoky Quartz says to themself "Well, sometimes you save all the people, but the roller coaster still crashes into the ocean... and that's okay."
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Steven doesn't really like how all the Gems work at jobs that basically look similar to the jobs they used to do on Homeworld, so he goes out of his way to give them different jobs. Chaos ensues. Admittedly, this is a point that is born from a good place: he and the Crystal Gems fought a war so that Gems didn't have to go and do the same things that Homeworld created them for, so seeing them fall back into those roles seems like a step backwards.
  • Super Speed: In the midst of rescuing the people on the roller coaster, Steven taps into his new powers to speed up Smoky Quartz fast enough that time seems to slow down for them.
  • Super Strength: Biggs Jasper, one of the Quartzes shown working at Funland, operates the Ferris wheel by casually spinning the whole thing herself.
  • Talking to Themself: While rushing to save the people on the roller coaster, Smoky Quartz argues to themselves over what they can possibly do to make it in time... cue Pink Steven re-emerging and giving Smoky a speed boost.
  • Tempting Fate: When Snowflake Obsidian is about to fly the airplane and says they don't snow about this, Steven reassures them that they'll do great. It doesn't end well.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Mr. Smiley has been a Triple Shifter for some time because Funland is ridiculously understaffed, to the point that he seems to be the only employee. Amethyst gets the Little Homeschool Quartzes jobs there so he can finally get the help that he needs.


 
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Pink Smokey Quartz

In a desperate situation, Steven's hidden powers, carry over to Smokey Quartz, drastically increasing their speed, so it seems that everyone's going in slow motion. Using this new ability, they manage to save all the people, though not the roller coaster.

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