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Recap / Steven Universe S3E15 "Alone at Sea"

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Steven leads Lapis down a pier with her water wings over her eyes. She tells him that she thinks she's starting to guess the surprise. Steven replies that he told her to close her eyes. Lapis does so, and opens them to... Greg and a boat.

Steven: Surprise! We bought a boat!

Greg hastily corrects him: They rented a boat, as even with his new royalties, buying a boat would be going a bit... overboard. Lapis asks who this new human is:

Greg: Uh, Greg Universe. You broke my leg trying to use the ocean to fly back to your Homeworld?
Lapis: Lapis Lazuli. Nice to meet you.

Lapis is understandably hesitant about the whole idea, but Steven encourages her to give it a try: She may have had a horrible experience under the ocean with Jasper, but Lapis isn't Malachite any more, and water is a part of who she is. The boat trip will be loads of fun. They even named it 'Lil Lappy'!

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Cut to the side of the boat, with Greg hastily re-sticking a piece of paper reading 'Lil Lappy' over the name S. S. Misery. Lapis laughs, and agrees to give the plan a chance...but only one. She picks up Steven and flies him onto the boat.

The trip get off to a rocky beginning when Greg forgets to un-moor the boat, accidentally taking off part of the pier, and offers his captain's hat to Lapis. Lapis doesn't think that's a good idea; they shouldn't trust her with the boat. Steven suggests that they can all be First Mates instead, so there's no pressure! The mood soon turns light-hearted, with the three dramatically drinking orange juice (or levitating it, in Lapis' case), and Lapis and Steven having fun with the boat's horn.

After getting tired of the horn, Lapis and Steven run down to meet Greg, who's fishing over the side of the boat. Lapis cheerfully says she can help, closes her eyes, and levitates a huge ball of water full of fish. Steven is excited by this, but Greg carefully suggests that they might want to stick to the old-fashioned method. Lapis releases the ball of water, and Greg explains how fishing with a rod works. He casts a line into the water and the three of them wait... and wait...

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Lapis: So, when does the fish part happen?

Greg begins to explain that sometimes it's about the company, not the fish, when there's a tug on the line! He hands the rod to Lapis, who begins to reel it in — but there's a harder tug, and Steven and Greg have to grab onto Lapis to keep her on board. An ominous shadow appears under the water, and something pulls on the line hard enough to snap the rod in half, sending the trio sprawling to the deck.

Lapis jumps back to the railing, peering over the side at the now-clear ocean. Steven tries to reassure her about the fish getting away, but it's clear Lapis' mood has taken a downturn.

Greg muses that his pole rental has turned into a pole purchase, and heads back to the cabin. Steven turns to ask Lapis what she wants to do, and finds her sitting hunched over on one of the deck chairs. He tries to cheer he up, complimenting her fishing and suggesting a new game to cheer her up. ("Shuffleboard!")

At this point a huge jolt rocks the boat. It's quickly followed by another, and Steven hurries to the cabin to find Greg consulting the Owner's Manual, which apparently isn't much help. Something's the matter with the boat: Greg heard a noise (which Steven didn't), and now the rudder isn't working. There's a series of loud clanks, and then a crash which shakes the boat. Greg opens the door to the engine room, releasing a cloud of smoke.

Greg: (Coughing) Crud, the engine! I don't know how to fix an engine! This trip might be a little longer than we thought, little buddy.

Steven goes to bring Lapis the bad news, and finds her standing at the rail, under an overcast sky. He tries to apologise: He just wanted Lapis to have fun, but everything's a mess. Lapis contradicts him. She thinks it's her fault: She's trying to have fun, but she can't stop thinking about being Malachite, battling against Jasper and using all her will to hold them down.

Steven: But it's not like that any more. You don't have to be with Jasper.
Lapis: That's not it, I...I miss her.

Steven reacts in shock. Lapis tells him that they were fused for so long... Steven says that Jasper's terrible, and Lapis bursts out that she's terrible, listing the things she's done and yelling at Steven to tell her she's wrong.

The boat shakes again...and a hand comes out of the sea and grabs the anchor chain.

A familiar orange figure scales the anchor chain and leaps over the railing.

Jasper: Finally. (Lightning flashes)

Jasper looks a little more unhinged than she did in Jailbreak. She reveals that she's been following them — specifically, she's been following Lapis. She starts towards Lapis, and Steven steps in between them, summoning his shield. Jasper stops, and starts laughing. Still laughing, she tells Steven he's pointing his shield the wrong way; Lapis is the one he should be afraid of. Lapis objects, and Jasper responds that Lapis can't lie to her — she's seen what Lapis is capable of.

Jasper: I thought I was a brute, but you? You're a monster.

Lapis can't reply.

Steven does it for her: He yells that Lapis doesn't want anything to do with Jasper. Jasper growls that "This is between us!", and knocks him flying across the deck. Lapis hurries toward him, only for Jasper to grab her arm and drag her back —

—and gets down on her knees, clasping Lapis' hand with both of her own.

Jasper: Let's be Malachite again!

Apparently after all that time fused together, Jasper started loving the power and Flight that Malachite brought her. Lapis is confused; she took out all her anger on Jasper — it was bad! Jasper desperately insists that it'll be better this time.

Jasper: I've changed! You've changed me!

Lapis refuses. What she and Jasper had wasn't healthy, and she never wants to feel that way again. She tells Jasper to just go. Jasper starts to argue, and Steven backs Lapis up — she said she didn't want to fuse, and Jasper should go. Jasper rounds on him, furious, and yells that this is all his fault. She charges, intending to shatter his gem.

Lapis throws her hand up, and a massive water hand punches through the boat and flings Jasper away.

As the boat sinks, Lapis flies Greg and Steven to safety. Greg sadly muses that he bought a boat after all.

Steven: The ocean's really beautiful from up here.
Lapis: Yeah. It is.

Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Amethyst, Garnet, and Pearl do not appear in this episode.
  • Addictive Magic: Jasper is completely addicted to the Power High of being fused into Malachite. Lapis had some of this, due to being able to take her rage out on Jasper, but unlike Jasper is able to acknowledge that was unhealthy. Jasper, on the other hand, comes across as a drug addict desperate to get her fix.
  • Adult Fear: The Gems are nowhere in sight when Jasper reappears, more unhinged and psychotic than ever, but Greg and Steven are, and they're at sea on an impulse trip.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When Jasper finds Lapis, she grabs her hand, kneels, and begs Lapis to fuse with her again.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Jasper points out that Lapis's treatment of her was quite inhumane, though since Jasper only appreciated strength, she actually admires it.
    Jasper: (to Lapis) I thought I was a brute, but you... you're a monster.
  • Banana in the Tailpipe: Jasper clinging to the boat causes the engine to conk out and gives her an opportunity to climb aboard.
  • Became Their Own Antithesis: Jasper is obsessed with the Power High that fusion brings, while in her first appearance, she derided it as a cheap tactic.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Steven gives one when Lapis says she misses Jasper.
  • Body Language: Jasper is all smiles when she sees Lapis again, but her body language as she walks up to Lapis is all looming, dominant and threatening until the sudden moment she drops abruptly to her knees.
  • Brick Joke: Greg clarifies that he only rented the boat in the beginning. When Lapis sinks it punching Jasper away, he sadly muses that he guesses he really did buy a boat.
  • Bubble Pipe: Greg blows into one when he and Steven surprise Lapis with a boat.
  • Call-Back:
    • Lapis uses her water wings to cover her eyes like she did back in "Barn Mates", and remembering last time, Steven has to remind her to actually close her eyes since the water is see-through.
    • Jasper still doesn't seem to grasp what Steven exactly is. She's moved on from thinking he's Rose in another form, and now seems to think he's just an inferior-built version of her, the same way Peridot admitted to being a purposely-flawed cut of the Peridot line in "Too Short To Ride."
  • Cliffhanger: Lapis punches Jasper into the sea when Jasper threatens Steven, meaning she has to save Greg and Steven from the sinking boat. So there is an obsessed, mentally unstable, Blood Knight Gem on the loose who wants to fuse with Lapis again, can track down her partner, and will hurt Steven if he interferes. Steven for good reason has an Oh, Crap! expression as Lapis flies away.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Greg becomes nervous when Lapis uses her powers to bring fish up in giant orbs of water, remembering the last time she had done that, Earth had nearly lost the ocean, Steven and Connie nearly drowned, and he broke his leg.
    • Steven anticipates Lapis being nervous about confronting her trauma, given what happened in "Barn Mates".
    • Greg also references that he was able to rent the boat due to his ten million dollar royalties. He's sad that he has to buy it.
    • Jasper laughs when seeing Steven try to protect Lapis, the way Malachite did when the Watermelon Stevens attacked.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Steven tries to shield Lapis from Jasper, but Jasper just tosses him aside.
    • When Jasper threatens to shatter Steven, Lapis causes a giant water fist to smash through the boat and punch Jasper into the horizon.
  • Destructive Romance: Malachite was essentially a metaphor for this, with Jasper and Lapis both suffering in the fusion and yet both missing being in it at the same time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Jasper and Lapis's fusion is very obviously treated as an abusive relationship, including Jasper's pathetic desire to form the relationship again in spite of how she was treated and Lapis missing her even though she also suffered from the fusion. While Lapis understands it was unhealthy, Jasper can't move on.
    Jasper: I can change! You've changed me!
    • On the metaphor-for-drugs side of things, we have Lapis acting reminiscent of a former or recovering addict, with her admitting that, while it was unhealthy and dangerous, it's difficult not to miss the Power High.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Lightning flashes at various moments.
  • Empathic Environment: Like in "Barn Mates", Lapis seems to affect the weather with her emotional state, things getting more dreary when she becomes depressed, and raining when Jasper appears.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Subverted. Steven hopes that by giving Lapis a boat ride on the ocean that he can help her confront her trauma. While it does come to light and Lapis receives some closure, she's far from recovered, and in fact the boat trip allows Jasper to find her.
  • Flight: When gushing about being Malachite, Jasper puts particular emphasis on the ability to fly, apparently having enjoyed being able to do that.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • According to those who know nautical lore, it is extremely bad luck to rename a boat without eradicating every trace of the vessel's original name, otherwise you invite the wrath of the ocean to strike back at the boat and its crew.
    • Greg explaining that a fish will harm itself by biting a hook so long as the hook has something it wants on it. It later turns out Jasper is hooked on fusion to a self destructive degree because the fusion offered her something SHE wanted: power.
    • Whatever was clutching to the line, possibly Jasper, breaks the fishing rod that Greg rented. He lampshades that now he has to buy it. When Lapis accidentally breaks the boat, he says the same thing.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Greg says that sailors have a surprisingly clean sense of humor, in reference to the phrase "curse like a sailor."
    • In addition to the abusive relationship metaphor, Jasper's obsession with fusion has more or less made her come off as a drug addict.
  • Heroes Gone Fishing: Steven, Greg and Lapis rent a boat to go fishing.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Lapis falls into this again, despite Steven's attempts to cheer her up. She all but freaks at the thought of being in a position of authority.
  • Hidden Eyes: When Lapis is standing near the rail during the cloudy skies, she has these.
  • High School A.U.: The title card depicts Greg, Steven, Rose, Amethyst, Pearl, and Lapis at the school's pool. Rose, Amethyst, and Pearl have typical swimming team uniforms on.
  • I'll Kill You!: The gem version, as Jasper roars "I'll shatter you!" at Steven after blaming him for Lapis refusing her offer of fusing into Malachite again.
  • Implacable Man: Jasper has apparently been marching across the sea floor ever since "Super Watermelon Island", relentlessly searching for Lapis. This includes following a moving ship along the ocean floor on foot until she can finally climb aboard. Even Lapis punching her into the horizon wasn't enough to poof.
  • It's All My Fault: It's revealed that Lapis feels responsible for everything's she done to Steven from Season 1.
  • Lame Pun Reaction: When Greg makes a boat pun ("I may be rich, but buying a boat would be going a bit... overboard"), he and Steven grin and go "ay", while Lapis stares confusedly at them.
    • And again when Greg is reading the boat owner manual to attempt to learn how to fix the busted engine.
    Greg: Aw geez, something's throwing off the rudder! I don't know what's going on and this owner's manual is no help; it's just advice on suntanning and what crackers go with caviar!
    Steven: What crackers go with caviar?
    Greg: Water crackers!
    Both Steven and Greg: Ayyyy!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jasper mocked Garnet for being a fusion, claiming she was a "pathetic display", and fusion was a "cheap tactic to make weak Gems stronger". Now she's become utterly addicted to fusion because of that, but unlike Garnet, her other half has no desire to fuse again.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Lapis apparently used Jasper as an emotional outlet for her anger.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Jasper is unaware that Lapis is no longer associated with Homeworld.
  • Mama Bear: Lapis punches Jasper into the ocean when the latter threatens Steven.
  • Megaton Punch: How Lapis gets rid of Jasper. She forms a water fist that goes through the ship and sends Jasper flying into the horizon.
  • Motive Decay: Jasper no longer cares about her original mission, to wipe out the remains of Rose's army, or her changed one, to show Steven to Yellow Diamond. She has decided that fusing with Lapis is more important. Justified, as the months of captivity didn't do her sanity any favors.
  • Mundane Utility: While Greg is fishing, Lapis uses her hydrokinesis to bring up a huge orb of water with fish in it.
  • Never My Fault: True to the abuse metaphors in Lapis and Jasper's relationship, Jasper completely rejects any notion that Lapis rejecting her fusion offer has to do with her, and instead pins all the blame on Steven of all people.
  • Never Say "Die": A justified one; Jasper threatens to "shatter" Steven, thinking he is Rose in a weaker form.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Lapis ends up breaking the boat by tossing away Jasper, to Greg's chagrin.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Greg using his royalties to help Lapis have a good time ends up costing him a chunk of money.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: Greg holds out his hand to Lapis, expecting a handshake. She has no idea what the gesture means and keeps smiling, so eventually, Greg awkwardly retracts his hand.
  • Not So Different: Both Jasper and Lapis turn out to have enjoyed some aspect of Malachite, the general Power High (and apparently Flight) for Jasper and using Jasper as a release for her pent-up frustration and anger for Lapis. While Lapis has come to realize how unhealthy it was, Jasper is completely obsessed with regaining it.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Lapis at first when she sees the boat, given she's spent a while under the ocean.
    • Lapis and Steven when Jasper climbs on board.
    • Steven and Greg at the end as Lapis flies them away from the sinking ship.
  • One-Hit KO: Lapis uses her hydrokinesis to punch Jasper over the horizon in one hit.
  • Power High: Jasper's enjoyment of the sheer power she and Lapis had as Malachite has pretty much turned her into a fusion addict.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Spending months in hellish captivity is not something you can just brush off, and neither Lapis nor Jasper came out of it unscathed. While Lapis is still mostly sane, she's still suffering trauma from it, and Jasper appears to have suffered a psychotic break as a result.
    • As a domestic abuse metaphor, Lapis tells Steven that she was just as cruel to Jasper as Jasper was to her when they were fused, demonstrating that abusive relationships are often more complicated than one abuser and one victim.
    • On that same note, Lapis and Jasper also show signs of wanting to get back together (with the former actually dreading the idea). One would believe it would be more likely to want to leave it behind without ever looking back. But sometimes, members of an abusive relationship do look back. And it takes one of them coming to the conclusion that such a relationship was unhealthy to break it for good.
  • Right Behind Me: Lapis and Steven begin discussing Jasper and her fusion with Lapis. Guess who chooses that moment to pull themselves up the anchor and onto the ship?
  • Running Gag: Steven and Greg saying "Eyyyy!"
  • Sanity Slippage: Jasper has pretty much gone further off the deep end from last time we saw her, coming off as a completely unhinged addict. She even verbally tells Steven to back off twice, rather than pummeling him the way she had wanted to in "Chille Tid".
  • Secretly Selfish: In the past, Lapis forcing Malachite came across as a Heroic Sacrifice to protect Steven from Jasper, with Lapis even saying "Just let me do this for you!", the nearly exact same words said by Pearl. Here it's revealed Lapis doesn't believe she did it for Steven at all, but rather for her own emotional self-harm and to use Jasper as a target of her anger and frustration.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the promos for this episode mirrors the famous poster for Brokeback Mountain.
    • The "ayyyy" Greg and Steven say to each other is a reference to the Fonz' famous catchphrase from Happy Days.
    • A very subtle one to Gilligan's Island: Greg is the Skipper, and refers to Steven as his "little buddy".
    • Jasper getting punched so hard she flies off into the distance until she's just a speck on the horizon is reminiscent of the "looks like Team Rocket's blasting off agaaaaaiiiinnnnn...!" Running Gag from Pokémon.
  • Slasher Smile: Jasper sports some very disturbing looking grins when she finally finds Lapis again.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Jasper comes off as one, having been tracking Lapis since they de-fused because she's desperate for the Power High being Malachite gave her.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • In "Hit The Diamond" Steven told the Ruby Squad that Jasper was on Neptune. Neptune is the mythological god of the sea.
    • With the sinking of the S.S. Misery/Li'l Lappy, Greg is now down a boatload of money.
    • Greg, Steven, and Lapis go out to sea on a renamed S.S. Misery. Lapis and Jasper make a miserable "ship". In the end, both ships sink.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Jasper was kept prisoner by Lapis for months at the ocean floor. During that time, she came to admire Lapis for her power and become absolutely obsessed with the Power High of being Malachite to the point that now that she's free, she's desperate to become her again.
  • Super Not-Drowning Skills: Jasper has apparently been marching along the sea floor ever since she was defused from Malachite. Justified, as Gems do not need oxygen to breathe.
  • The Un-Reveal: We don't find out how Jasper got out of the crevice on Mask Island.
  • Thunder Shock: When Lapis is reeling in what she thinks is a fish and sees a large shadow in the water (presumably Jasper herself), reminding her of Jasper and her time fighting her as Malachite.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In previous interactions between Steven and Jasper, the former was terrified of the latter. This time Steven defends Lapis from Jasper and tells her to leave.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Steven attempting to assist Lapis with her trauma leads to Jasper being able to track Lapis through the ocean.
  • We Can Rule Together: Jasper, suffering a Power High, begs Lapis to fuse with her again in order to be Malachite.
    Jasper: I was wrong about fusion. You made me understand! Malachite was bigger and stronger than both of us! We could fly!
    Lapis: I was terrible to you. I liked taking everything out on you. I needed to. I-I hated you. It was bad!
    Jasper: It'll be better this time. I've changed. You've changed me. I'm the only one who can handle your kind of power. Together, we'll be unstoppable!
  • Wham Episode: Jasper returns, revealing she's become addicted to the Power High of fusion to the point of tracking Lapis across the entire ocean until she found her again. While Jasper is defeated by Lapis, she isn't poofed or captured.
  • Wham Line:
    • When Lapis mentions her time fused with Jasper, we get this:
      Lapis: I... miss her...
    • And later, showing just how far Jasper's gone off the deep end:
      Jasper: Let's be Malachite again!
  • Wham Shot: Jasper grabbing the chain for the ship's anchor.
  • When She Smiles:
    • Seeing Lapis giggle from pulling a boat horn is adorable.
    • Jasper also genuinely smiles while begging to fuse with Lapis.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jasper unsurprisingly threatens to shatter Steven when blaming him for Lapis's refusal to become Malachite again.
  • You Monster!: What Jasper tells Lapis, though she uses it as a compliment.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Lapis is shocked when Jasper tells her that she's more of a brutal monster than she could ever be, and is horrified when she says that it's a good thing.

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