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Recap / Steven Universe S3E17 "Gem Hunt"

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Alternate promo

Original airdate: August 1st, 2016

Production code: 1031-096

Steven, Connie, and Pearl go to the Great North in search of a Corrupted Gem.


  • And Show It to You: Jasper rips one monster's gem right out of its chest, then show both gems to Steven. She then specifically calls attention to it:
    Jasper: Hey, Rose. Look what I got!
  • As You Know: Invoked by Pearl at the start of the episode. She tells Connie to recap the mission out loud.
  • Audible Sharpness: When Steven is trying to reason with one of the monsters, Connie panics and starts drawing her sword, with the sound causing the monster to attack first.
  • Bathos: In a very serious moment, Jasper shows the two Gems she poofed to Steven, and his reaction is to take a quick picture with his phone.
  • But I Read a Book About It: Connie shows Pearl a book about surviving the punishment of nature when trying to convince her that she and Steven can handle themselves.
  • Camera Fiend: At the request of Connie's parents, Steven takes a lot of phone pictures this episode.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Connie follows the Gem monster's tracks and dramatically affirms they're fresh, even though they saw them starting that same trail of footprints.
    • Pearl also feels the need to remind Steven and Connie that they're humans (or half-human in Steven's case) and thus they have to eat regularly.
  • Character Development: Pearl, who at one point was so unfamiliar with the concept of jokes that she couldn't even understand a simple Pie in the Face, is seen cracking jokes and making sarcastic comments all throughout the trio's trip. She also expects Connie and Steven to protect one another, showing that she no longer encourages the kind of suicidal self-sacrifice she tried to teach Connie in Sworn To The Sword.
  • Cliffhanger: Jasper takes the two Corrupted Gems and vanishes into the snow, leaving Pearl, Connie, and Steven to regroup. Steven then views the picture he took of Jasper with trepidation.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Connie's parents have approved of her going on missions, on the condition that Steven take lots of pictures.
    • Steven brings up how he and Connie fought the Gem Mutants in "Nightmare Hospital".
    • Steven explains to Connie what Gem monsters used to be and that the second set of tracks might be the corrupted Gem taking on a humanoid form.
    • Steven's walkie talkies are based on Cookie Cats.
    • Connie repeats "Keep my stance wide; keep my body lowered" to Pearl to demonstrate she remembers her teachings. After the group has split up, Pearl sings "Balance is the key". Both are lines from "Do It for Her".
  • Control Freak: Downplayed, since Connie's parents have started allowing their daughter more freedom, but Steven is instructed to take a bunch of pictures of the mission, and Connie later tells Pearl that her parents see all of her pictures.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Connie studied up like crazy on wilderness survival, and mentions she thinks they'll be necessary for some future disaster on Earth, with or without Homeworld's intervention. The advice she has is actually pretty good, not crazy - pine needle tea is a good source of vitamin C (just not a nice one), keeping up your intake of nutrients is important, and keeping contact with other travellers is vital. Contact with hostile alien light monsters is not covered in most reputable manuals, though.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Jasper beats down and poofs one of the Corrupted Gems with her bare hands.
  • Didn't See That Coming:
    • Pearl didn't expect two monsters.
    • Jasper showing up was similarly unexpected. It doesn't even cross Steven and Connie's minds that the humanoid footprints could be hers.
  • Deer in the Headlights: Connie believes she's ready for a mission, but it's one thing to face two small Gem humanoids in a civilized setting, and quite another to encounter two large ones in the wilderness. She freezes up for a bit until hearing the walkie talkie and remembering Pearl's orders.
  • Didn't Think This Through: While Steven's attempts to heal the corrupted Gem is noble, it was still reckless of him to endanger himself and Connie. While the corrupted Gem is in pain, she is still a danger.
  • The Dreaded: Jasper; both Pearl and Steven go Oh, Crap! upon seeing her, and even the two Gem Monsters run from her in fear.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Jasper vs. a pair of Corrupted Gems -if they can be considered Evil. Jasper quickly wins.
  • Foreshadowing: Connie describes Corrupted Gems as "just a bundle of fight-or-flight reflexes". The two monsters they encounter don't initially fight them because they're too busy fleeing from Jasper, and the one that does attack has clearly been cornered.
    • Pearl radios that she has had no luck tracking her monster. This despite her being more experienced than the children, the monsters leaving clear tracks in the snow, and Pearl not needing to stop and take shelter like Steven and Connie did. Turns out Jasper poofed that monster first, so it wasn't there to find.
  • Genre Blind:
    • Connie suggests Let's Split Up, Gang! to find the Corrupted Gems, which isn't a good idea with the monsters' element of surprise. This ironically guarantees that she and Steven are caught off-guard by the monsters.
    • It doesn't cross Pearl's mind that there might be a good reason why Steven and Connie aren't responding on the walkie-talkie.
  • Genre Savvy: Connie acts like she's in a survival film, which helps her and Steven survive the cold.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The camera cuts away right after Jasper grabs the Corrupted Gem's gemstone, only showing the smoke from it poofing. It's implied she ripped its gem right out of its body.
  • Hollywood CB: Pearl doesn't seem to fully understand how walkie talkies work. She says at one point "I'm just going to keep talking until somebody answers!", not realizing that the walkie can't send and receive at the same time like a phone. Since nobody answers her, it's uncertain whether this was her error or the writer's.
  • Hope Spot: Steven believes one of the Corrupted Gems may not be fully corrupted when he and Connie find human-like footprints intermixed with its footprints and wonders if he can actually heal this one. However, the footprints turn out to be Jasper hunting the Corrupted Gems for something.
  • Human-to-Werewolf Footprints: When Steven sees a set of humanoid footprints along with the gem monster footprints, he assumes it's one of the monsters trying to revert to its normal form. Subverted when the normal footprints turn out to be Jasper's.
  • If It Tastes Bad, It Must Be Good for You: Connie's logic for her pine needle brew is that is that the horrible taste doesn't matter next to nutrition. That would be true if it was an emergency. Which it isn't. (Connie brews the tea so that she and Steven don't get scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C; however, it would take the average human almost a full month without any Vitamin C to develop that ailment, so her efforts are pretty much pointless.)
  • Insult Backfire: Jasper taunts Steven with the two Gems she poofed, saying, "Hey Rose, look what I got". Rose may have recognized those Gems, but Steven certainly doesn't, so the taunt goes over his head.
  • In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves: Connie says that, even without Homeworld's threat to Earth, humanity will cause its own destruction thanks to oil crises. Steven doesn't look happy about that.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: What Steven and Connie suggest when there turns out to be two similar monsters instead of one. Pearl is initially against it, but when the two promise not to fight the monster without her, using a walkie talkie to contact her when they find it, she relents.
  • Make Way for the New Villains: Corrupted Gems serve as the antagonists of an episode for the first time in a long while... and then Jasper arrives to defeat both of them by herself.
  • Mama Bear: Pearl takes a defensive stance with her spear when she sees Jasper, putting herself between Jasper and Steven and Connie.
  • Moose and Maple Syrup: The snowy alpine region the mission takes place on is called "The Great North". Given the trend of names in this setting, they're likely in Canada, which is sometimes called "The Great White North".
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Pearl chimes in on the walkie talkie right when Steven and Connie find a monster, alerting it to their presence.
  • Not Worth Killing: Jasper leaves Pearl, Connie and Steven alone after getting the Corrupted Gems.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Corrupted Gems have this offscreen while encountering Jasper.
    • Steven has one when Jasper arrives and quickly puts himself and Connie in a bubble.
    • Pearl likewise has one when she sees Jasper.
  • Running Gag: Steven taking pictures for Connie's parents of her first mission, which takes a dark turn when he views the one he took of Jasper.
  • Sequel Hook: Jasper is hunting for Gem monsters, but the reason why is left unexplored.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slasher Smile: Jasper, as per usual.
  • So Proud of You: Pearl praises Connie for following her orders and calling for help, and she considers the mission a success because of that.
  • Speak in Unison: Steven and Connie when Pearl reviews them about what they need to do.
  • Spoofy-Doo: Promotional art for the episode has the Crystal Gems cosplaying as the Scooby gang, with leader of the group Garnet as Fred, the feminine Pearl as Daphne, Bookworm Connie as Velma, Steven as Shaggy and Amethyst shapeshifted into Scooby Doo.
  • So Much for Stealth: Connie and Steven try to sneak up on one of the Gem monsters, but didn't call Pearl first or have the foresight to turn off their walkie-talkie. An inconveniently-timed call from Pearl comes in and gives away their location.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: While the promo for this episode gives away nothing more than what the synopsis does, the promo for the next episode (which was released a good bit before either episode aired) mentions Jasper was attacking Corrupted Gems. That makes her appearance in this episode much less surprising.
  • Twisting the Words: A non-malicious one from Pearl as a joke. She even apologizes later when she thinks Steven and Connie are angry about it.
    Pearl: One more time: what are you looking for?
    Steven and Connie: A monster.
    Pearl: What do you do when you find it?
    Steven and Connie: Call you.
    Pearl: (haughty face) And who's your favorite Gem?
    Steven: (in disapproval) Peeeaarl.
    Pearl: (feigning pride) Why, thank you.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Connie and Steven convince Pearl to let them split up by handing out walkie-talkies and promising to call as soon as they see the monsters. Naturally, when they find the monster, a call from Pearl ends up giving away their position.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: Jasper chooses to leave rather than fight Pearl. It's not clear whether she has ulterior motivations, or simply didn't like the odds of fighting Pearl right after fighting two Corrupted Gems by herself. Or if she simply didn't think that Pearl was enough of a threat to merit her attention.
  • Villainous Rescue: Jasper arrives to poof the Corrupted Gem that was attacking Steven and Connie. Not for any benign reason, but because she desires to collect Corrupted Gems for her own purposes.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Connie references the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax trope where a man in a monster suit terrorizes people over a "property dispute" and mentions Let's Split Up, Gang!. This doesn't prepare her for an actual battle with real monsters, though.