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Recap / Steven Universe S1E27 "House Guest"

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At "It's A Wash," Greg's car wash, the Gems have returned his van, busted after their fight with Lapis Lazuli. Pearl inspects the van, convinced that since it's just a simple Earth machine, she can fix it. Greg, whose leg was also broken in the fight, rolls up in a wheeled office chair and extols the virtue of duct tape to fix any and everything. In lieu of going to the hospital, Greg has even duct taped a ruler and a twig to his leg as a splint.
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The discussion turns to Greg's injury. Steven suggests his father live with them until he's better — which alarms Pearl, who enthusiastically agrees with Greg that his presence might interfere with Steven's training. Amethyst reminds Steven of his healing powers; Pearl suggests he try that. Steven licks his hand then puts the sparkling spit on his father's leg. Greg tries to stand, but flops back into his seat in pain; the healing didn't work! Steven is upset since he thought he was finally getting the hang of using his powers at will. Garnet offers him reassurance, and they bring Greg home.

Steven, who clearly feels guilty that Greg got hurt for going on a mission, and guilty that his healing power didn't fix Greg's leg, goes all out to make Greg comfortable. He cooks for Greg, and they sing together on the beach.

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Garnet announces a mission: a geode has cracked and the Gems must go to repair it. Steven is willing to stay behind with his father, but Garnet says he's needed. Greg voices worry about what he will do if he needs something.

Greg: Don't worry about your old man. My leg's not going to get any more broken. If I need something, I guess I'll just ... crawl. My arms aren't broken.

Pearl produces a magical item to set Greg and Steven's minds at ease: the warp whistle. All Greg needs to do is blow it, and it will activate their warp pad, letting them know he needs something. With that, they leave. Pearl begins to explain the problem but the whistle sounds. Steven returns to find his dad just wanted to make sure it worked. Steven gets back to the mission but before Pearl can complete her explanation, Greg blows the whistle again so Steven can find the remote. Steven returns to the mission again. Garnet suggests that he uses his healing powers to fix the crack in the geode, but to his dismay, his healing spit doesn't work on it! The Gems offer him more reassurance, even as Greg blows the whistle again.

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Steven rushes home to find Greg sprawled upstairs, with his eyes closed and the whistle dangling from his mouth. Steven tries desperately to wake his father. Greg wakes, apparently from a little doze, and tells Steven he missed a funny commercial. Steven becomes frustrated and reminds Greg he's only supposed to use the whistle if it's important. Greg apologizes and asks Steven to get him a snack from Big Donut. The other Gems have returned for the moment, while they seek alternative ways to repair the geode. Amethyst tells Steven to bring her a croissant before the Gems go into the temple. Steven realizes he forgot to ask Greg what he wanted, and returns to the house... to find Greg standing up just fine on both feet, dancing in the kitchen as he fixes himself a snack! Greg tries to dodge by talking about how he can still dance, then tries to distract by pointing out he was too hungry to wait for the snack. Then he gives up and falls over, as if his leg was suddenly paining him again.

Greg admits that the healing spit worked, but that he hadn't wanted to miss an opportunity to live with and spend time with his son. Steven, on the other hand, is very upset. His father's little lie damaged Steven's self-confidence, and now Steven's afraid that his powers don't work at all. Greg tells his son not to beat himself up, and says it's his fault. Steven agrees that it's Greg's fault and storms out of the house. It's only seeing his ukulele next to Greg's guitar that helps Steven calm down and consider his father's admission.

When he gets back this time, Greg has picked up his tool box and the warp whistle, determined to take responsibility for the mission having failed earlier. Steven comes along, hearing Greg describe that he has to do his part to fix the problem he made worse by lying. Steven tries again after a pep talk from Greg to heal the geode, but it still doesn't work. However, Greg's duct tape manages to do the trick, sealing the geode so the storm dissipates — at least for a while.

Later, Pearl gives a detailed list of all the repairs she has done on the van, and a grateful Greg parks it close enough to the house that he and Steven can call goodnight to each other.

And we Iris Out with two hearts over the temple house and Greg's van!


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: The idea that, by merely wanting to spend some time with your child and justifying it with a little lie, you've hurt them in a deep and unconscionable way.
  • Annoying Patient: Greg abuses the warp whistle to call Steven back from his mission with the Gems.
  • Blatant Lies: Greg is caught not only standing up but dancing, and still pretends it's broken until Steven wonders if it was even broken at all.
  • Breather Episode: This episode is way less intense and dramatic than the previous two.
  • Bumbling Dad: Greg is personifying the trope here.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Pearl mentions the water clones from "Ocean Gem".
    • One of the meals Steven makes Greg is a less elaborate version of the "Together Breakfast".
  • Dramatic Drop: Greg drops all his snacks when Steven catches him standing up and dancing in front of the fridge.
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Greg shows high respect for duct tape and uses it to patch up his leg a bit. He also uses it to seal the barrier to an everlasting magical storm.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe. Garnet calls Amethyst out for making a mean joke at Greg's expense.
    Amethyst: Did Greg fall down and break his butt?
    Garnet: That's not funny.
    Amethyst: [chastened] ... I know.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At the end of the episode, when Steven is getting into bed, there's a book that looks like it could be Sailor Moon.
  • The Glomp: Greg is so overjoyed that his van is fixed, that he bear-hugs Pearl off her feet.
  • Hates Being Touched: Pearl's reaction to the above-mentioned Glomp is a mild freak-out.
  • Iris Out: Two hearts (instead of the normal star) over the temple house and Greg's van.
  • Just Whistle: The Gems give Greg a warp whistle which can be heard through the portal, allowing him to call them in an emergency. He proceeds to use it for a number of petty reasons. Later on, he uses it to activate the portal so he can fix his mistake.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Greg gives big sad eyes to the fourth wall rather than his son when he's laying it on thick about how he'll manage while Steven's away on a mission.
  • Mundane Solution: Using duct tape to fix a crack in a massive geode that's radiating energy.
  • Never Say "Die": The Gems describe death by vaporization in so many words, should the geode go unrepaired. Steven is the one who actually speaks the word "dead".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Greg pretends that Steven's healing spit doesn't work so he can spend time with his son, leading Steven to believe that it doesn't work at all. Since Steven's powers are mentally-based, this becomes a problem, even after Greg revealed the truth.
  • Obfuscating Disability: Just to spend time with Steven.
  • Off-Model: The animation is notably a bit off in parts of this episode, with Steven having strangely-proportioned arms and hands in several shots.
  • Playing Sick: Greg's leg has been injured and Steven tries to use his healing spit to fix it, but it doesn't seem to work. Turns out that it did work and Greg was faking it in order to spend more time with his son.
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: Steven believes his healing spit is no longer working when it fails to heal Greg and then the barrier to the magic storm. It still fails to work after Greg admits to lying, which is either an ongoing problem or just indicates that the barrier cannot be repaired in that fashion.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Greg uses them when he tries to guilt trip Steven into staying with him rather than going on the mission.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After the healing supposedly didn't work and Greg says this means he and Steven can spend more time together, Garnet goes "Hmm...", hinting she knew Greg was faking all along.
  • Rule of Three:
    • The "Dear Old Dad/Son of Mine" song has three couplets for Steven and Greg.
    • Greg uses the warp whistle 3 times while he's still "convalescing"; and it's the third usage that gets him caught.
  • Sequel Episode: Takes place after the events of "Ocean Gem" with Greg nursing the wound he got in that episode.
  • Shout-Out: The Warp Whistle comes from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: After Greg is injured he stays with Steven in order to get better. Initially, things are fine, but Greg proves to be kind of clingy when Steven and the Gems go on a mission as Greg constantly calls them back for asinine things.
  • Wrench Wench: Pearl is a surprisingly good mechanic.

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