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Recap / Steven Universe S3E14 "Monster Reunion"

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Steven teaches Centipeetle to draw.
When Steven regains his healing powers, he uses it on Centipeetle, and learns more about her past.

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  • Adult Fear:
    • When Steven breaks a plate to show the Gems he has healing spit again, Pearl insists he not just mash his tongue or licked hand into a pile of broken ceramic, lest he cut himself.
    • Centipeetle's flashback story drives home how confused and scared most Gems were during the Gem War, Centipeetle particularly fearful for the crew of her ship during the last of the fighting and evacuation.
  • Aliens Speaking English: The verbal language barrier between humans and Gems remains non-existent, but the same doesn't go for the written one —Centi can only write in Gem language, which Steven cannot read.
  • Art Shift: Centipeetle's story is told through animated crayon drawings.
  • Band of Brothers: Centipeetle and her crew are apparently this, as they refused to leave Earth without each other even in the face of the attack the Diamonds were about to let loose.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Centipeetle reverts back to her corrupted form, but has at least recovered somewhat (enough to no longer be an animalistic monster lashing out at everything around her) and is reunited with most of her crew.
  • Body Horror: You know how Centipeetle's eye is in her mouth? It's not supposed to be. There's also when she starts reverting back into a monster, going through several in-between forms that highlight how her body is being twisted into its monstrous state.
  • The Bus Came Back: After spending many episodes stuck in a bubble, Centipeetle finally returns.
  • Call-Back:
    • Centipeetle was bubbled back in "Monster Buddies". Amethyst also grabs the bag of "Chaaaaps" Steven left in a bubble with her.
    • Steven's healing spit reappears after he lost it back in "House Guest".
    • Steven uses his In a Single Bound power, which he discovered in "Steven Floats", to grab Centipeetle's bubble.
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    • Centipeetle was one of the original Gems sent to colonize Earth, and she and Steven travel to her ship, the same one from "Friend Ship".
    • The light seen in Lapis' flashback is mentioned again, and confirmed to be from the Diamonds.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Steven writes his name in an attempt to communicate with Centipeetle, she writes apparent gibberish in response. After Centipeetle returns to her ship, Pearl reveals that it's actually Gem language, detailing her story alongside the drawings.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The last time the Centipeetle was involved, Garnet also couldn't say no to that face, either.
    • Steven starts to mention how he electrocuted Centipeetle back in "Gem Glow", then thinks better of it.
    • Steven tries to do the arm salute Peridot did in "Message Received", but he can't bend his arms enough to do it. Centipeetle is able to do it correctly once she realizes what Steven is getting at.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Garnet tries this with Steven when she asks Amethyst to poof Centipeetle. Steven backs away from Garnet and convinces the other Gems to let him try to help Centipeetle.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: With season 1 episode "Monster Buddies".
  • Cyclops: Centipeetle's gem apparently functioned as an eye, even uncorrupted.
  • Death Glare: Steven tries to heal Centipeetle again by slapping her gem (in her eye) with his spit-covered hand. It hurts, and Centipeetle gives him an angry look for it.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Referring to both Steven reuniting with Centipeetle and Centipeetle reuniting with her crew.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe example: neither Pearl nor Garnet are okay with Amethyst shapeshifting into a Centipeetle in order to join the other Centipeetles.
    Pearl: Amethyst, don't make fun!
  • Eye Scream: In the sweetest, but most unintended way as possible; when Steven tries again to heal Centipeetle's gem, which also functions as her eye, his kiss stings her eye.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: In her centipede form, Centipeetle has a single eye, which is her gem, inside her mouth. Once she takes on a more humanoid form, the gem moves to a more conventional place, so in a literal sense, her eye really didn't belong there.
  • Fantastic Nuke: The flash from the Diamonds that corrupted the remaining Gems.
  • Foreshadowing: Centipeetle frowns at Steven when he gives up on Talking with Signs in favor of pictograms. She's grumpy because — from her perspective — her writing is perfectly legible, but Steven is acting like he can't read it.
    • Pearl makes a comment about how a kiss can't heal 'damage from the Diamonds'. We later discover that it's the Diamonds who are responsible for the Corrupted Gem Monsters.
  • Gasp!: The Crystal Gems' collective reaction to Steven uncorrupting Centipeetle.
  • Gilligan Cut: Garnet refuses to let Steven heal Centipeetle, but Steven thinks he can get her to change her mind with Puppy-Dog Eyes. Cut to the Burning Room.
  • Healing Magic Is the Hardest: Subverted for dramatic effect. Rose, despite her best efforts, could never cure the Gem Monsters of their corruption, but Steven manages to do so, even while still having difficulty with his other abilities. And even though he can't fix her all the way, he gets further than Rose ever did, and seems to have partially restore her mind.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Centipeetle regains enough of her sanity and sense of self to cement hers. She's also implied to have been a Homeworld soldier during the war, but is now Steven's friend and nonaggressive towards the Crystal Gems. Given the snarl she lets out while revealing the Diamonds corrupted her, she seems rather upset at them.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Centipeetle's tears form and fall rather messily.
  • Irony: Whoever stuck Lapis' gem into that mirror may have unwittingly saved her from being corrupted.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: Centipeetle isn't quite healed by Steven's Super Spit, instead gaining human arms and legs while retaining her centipede head and abdomen.
  • The Nicknamer: Steven refers to Centipeetle as "Centi" a few times to try and distance her from a name she had no choice in and probably doesn't like.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Centipeetle's crew remained on Earth because they wouldn't abandon their captain.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We still know zilch about how the Diamonds corrupted the Gems on Earth, only that they did. All we see is that flash...
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: Steven is only able to partially uncorrupt Centipeetle, and her body eventually reverts back to its full monster form. Her mind, however, seems much improved.
  • Painful Transformation: Centipeetle reverting back into her monster form seems incredibly painful for her, though in her case the pain seems more psychological than physical, as it prevents her from reuniting with her crew (until Steven steps up).
  • The Promise: Steven fulfills the promise he made to Centipeetle in "Monster Buddies". Well, he tries to, anyway.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Requirements: Centipeetle's corruption prevents her from activating both the Warp Pad and the spaceship door hand key. Her hand reverting to an insect leg probably didn't help either.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: When Garnet preemptively refuses Steven's request to heal Centipeetle, Steven uses this trope to get her to change her mind. Gilligan Cut to the Burning Room, where Garnet explains to Pearl that she "lost a battle of will." Steven uses it again to convince them to leave Centipeetle unbubbled after his healing doesn't quite take. When he wants to leave Centipeetle with her crew on the ship, Garnet says he doesn't need to bother with the eyes, even naming the trope.
  • Rage Quit: Homeworld doing this is elaborated upon: the Diamonds let loose some kind of attack on Earth that resulted in the corruption of the Gems remaining left behind (including their own troops that couldn't make it), basically infesting the Earth with hostile, vicious Gem Monsters, each powerful enough to take a team of Gems to deal with, rather than just leave Earth to the Crystal Gems, and that's not even mentioning the whole Cluster situation.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Steven tries to heal Centipeetle again by kissing her gem, but since her gem also functions as her eye, his kiss instead stings her eyeball.
    • Rose Quartz tried for thousands of years to heal the Corrupted Gems and failed. Even though Steven is much better at it than she was and makes progress she never could, he's naturally unable to completely heal one on his first attempt.
  • The Reveal:
    • The Corrupted Gems are revealed to be a result of whatever weapon the Diamonds used while retreating from Earth. Unlike Lapis, who just had a damaged gem, their corruption is mental, and Steven's healing power can't repair that kind of damage.
    • It's revealed that Centipeetle is a Homeworld Gem and a captain of a crew that first came to Earth to colonize it and later fought in the war.
  • Salt the Earth: It is revealed that the Diamond Authority's Rage Quit has shades of this combined with a Fantastic Nuke and Death from Above.
  • Sequel Episode: To "Monster Buddies".
  • The Speechless: Centipeetle is unable to speak, so she communicates through drawings. And as it later turns out, writing.
  • Strange Salute: The Homeworld Gems' salute is Lampshaded by Steven, who can't quite pull it off.
  • Super Spit: Steven discovers his power has returned when he inadvertently repairs MC. Bear Bear's torn arm by kissing it. Centipeetle also retains her acid spit in her semi-corrupted form, but it seems less caustic since it was able to sit on the wood of Steven's floor for a short while without completely eating through it like it normally would.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Even if she doesn't remember, Centipeetle still loves Chaaaaps.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Cartoon Network Anything released a promotional clip of this episode, spoiling that Steven finally manages to uncorrupt Centipeetle. Well, sort of...
  • Undying Loyalty: Centipeetle and her crew. Neither would dare to leave the planet without the other despite direct orders to leave, and even in their corrupted state her crew stayed at the ship hoping she'd come back one day. Centipeetle desperately tries to reach them once her memories fully return, finally succeeding in doing so.
  • The Un-Reveal: Steven gives Centipeetle a piece of paper and a crayon hoping she would give some indication of her identity. He's excited when she begins to write...only to reveal that she only scribbled on the paper. Happens again at the end of the episode, Pearl reveals that Garnet, Amethyst, and herself knew where Centipeetle was going as her scribbles are actually an ancient Gem language, but her identity still isn't revealed.
  • Wham Episode: Steven's healing spit returns and he manages to partially heal Centipeetle's mind even if her body reverts back to its corrupted form. It's revealed that the Diamond insignia lost the pink diamond in ancient times, not in the modern day as was thought, and that the thing that corrupted the Gem Monsters was an attack of some sort by the Diamonds.
  • Wham Line: Pearl revealing just what corrupted the Gem Monsters.
    Pearl: I guess it'll take more than a kiss to heal damage from the Diamonds.
  • Wham Shot: Centipeetle drawing the three Diamond insignia, revealing that it's not as modern as previously believed. Even then, it's not exactly the modern symbol (three triangles within a bigger triangle) but a modified version of the past symbol (four diamonds making a bigger diamond), essentially confirming that something happened to Pink Diamond before the war was over.

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