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Recap / Steven Universe S3E4 "Barn Mates"

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Peridot is bloviating into her handheld recorder, excitedly describing how excited she is to be sharing the barn with Lapis Lazuli, and how they'll be great friends now that she has also renounced Homeworld. The shot pulls back to reveal Steven and Lapis are standing right there watching this monologue.

Lapis is opposed to the idea, so Steven suggests the idea he saw in a sitcom once: drawing a line down the center. Lapis still balks, and Peridot points out she's gotten all the good stuff. Lapis says the problem isn't the living space but that it's Peridot.

Peridot tries to explain that although she brought Lapis back to earth, it wasn't her choice or fault because an informant was needed. Lapis reiterates that she thinks this won't work. Steven suggests a curtain. Lapis, done speaking on it, sprouts her water wings and flies off to brood on the roof of the silo.

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Peridot is genuinely frustrated that Lapis hasn't realized, despite her frantic explanations of how much she's changed, turned on Homeworld, and is probably targeted by Yellow Diamond's vengeance. She insists she wants to get through to Lazuli and Steven declares her determination to prove herself changed and worthy of friendship as sweet. Using that as his guide, he suggests that Peridot show this side off herself to Lapis.

Peridot: Show her my sweet?

Steven draws a friendship card with chibi versions of Peridot and Lapis holding hands in friendship for Peridot to write an apology in, and tells her to be sincere. They approach the silo. Peridot calls repeatedly for “Lazuli!” but Lapis ignores her, only coming down when Steven calls for her. She reads the card.

Lapis: [reading] “Sorry I interrogated you. You were just full of such useful information. That's a sincere compliment. Peridot.”
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Shortly, this approach has obviously failed. Peridot blames the noses —which Steven's drawing style omits— rather than her sincerity, since it took her over an hour to compose it. Steven suggests thinking of giving Lapis things she likes. Peridot is immediately able to iterate that Lapis Lazuli gems like water and flying. Steven suggests water is a good idea, and he leads Lapis to their next surprise, covering her eyes with her water wings. Peridot announces the surprise, floating on an inner tube.

Peridot: H...2...Oh my gosh! It's a smaller than average lake!

Steven explains that the hole made by the drill has been sealed and filled with water. Peridot is pleased with herself for making a place for Lapis to get her moisture fix. Lapis is not pleased with this gift either and explains why.

Lapis: Water? Seriously?
Peridot: Yeah!
Lapis: You do realize that I spent the last few months trapped under the ocean, right?
Peridot: Sure, but I thought...
Lapis: It was an endless, crushing darkness – wet and bleak and suffocating. Water was the tomb I lived in for those months.

She turns off her Death Glare, gives a sarcastic thanks for the lake, tells Steven it's not his fault, and flies off again.

Steven's next suggestion is that Peridot give her something she likes. They briefly discuss giving her Camp Pining Hearts but Peridot only wants to part with bad season five. Peridot collapses in frustration, dictating into her handheld recorder – when suddenly she lights up with an idea.

Peridot proudly presents Lapis with a gift, nicely wrapped in blue ribbon. When Lapis makes no move to accept it, Peridot unwraps it for her, revealing the hand held tape recorder. Peridot explains what it means to her, why it means so much to her, and that it was a gift from Steven. Lapis summarily crushes it, writing it off as garbage. This actually upsets Peridot enough that she explodes and asks what Lapis wants from her. Lapis immediately snaps back that she wants Peridot to leave. Peridot acknowledges this request, says “Okay,” and walks off on the spot.

Steven asks Lapis why she's so hard on Peridot, and why she won't even give Peridot a chance. Lapis, for her part wants to know why Steven trusts Peridot at all. Steven goes on to explain he's taken the time to get to know her, which Lapis refuses to do.

Steven: Now it's too late, and she's never coming back again. (Beat.) Oh look, she's coming back again.

Peridot is not only returning, she's running in fright, screaming as she flees from the red sphere pursuing her from above; she identifies it as a Roaming Eye, sent from Homeworld. Terrified and despairing, Peridot says Yellow Diamond is going to wipe her off the face of the earth. They try to avoid it but it pursues, even finding them in the barn thanks to the hole Peridot has yet to repair. Steven steps forward protectively, ready to call up his shield in defense of his friend. Lapis steps in front of him, using the pond they made her to form a giant water hand and bat the red eye ship to the ground with little effort.

The Crystal Gems rush to make sure Steven is all right. Steven assures them he is; Lapis protected them. Peridot turns to leave again. Lapis stops her, asking if she's all right. Peridot, seeing this first gesture, breaks into the brightest smile. Lapis, caught on the back foot by this reaction, stammers and blushes.

Before anyone can say anything to help or ruin the moment, the hatch of the eye opens, and from it emerges a Ruby wearing Yellow Diamond's livery with her gem where her left eye belongs. She turns to glower menacingly at the assembled gems.


Tropes:

  • And I Must Scream: Lapis did not have a fun time underwater fused with Jasper, to the point that she's avoiding water for a bit.
    "It was an endless, crushing darkness. Wet and bleak and suffocating. Water was the tomb... I lived in for those months."
  • Animesque: Steven draws Peridot and Lapis Lazuli with big, shiny eyes on the face of Peridot's apology card.
  • Apology Gift: The card, the pool, and the tape recorder.
  • Backhanded Apology: While Peridot's apology was sincere, the wording was bad enough that Lapis didn't seem to think it was.
  • Beat:
    • There's a pause after Lapis finishes reading the apology card that Peridot (and Steven, who drew the pictures) made for her before a cut to Peridot and Steven in the barn, with Peridot mad about their failure.
    • When Peridot presents her gift box, there is an uncomfortable silence.
    • And there is a pause between Steven glumly observing Peridot will never return ... and her doing just that because of the Roaming Eye pursuing her.
  • Black Comedy Burst: Lapis explaining her water-induced trauma is partly Played for Laughs, Creepy Monotone and all.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: On the one hand, Steven and Peridot are doing their best to get on Lapis's good side and not hold a grudge against Peridot, thus allowing the two of them to live together in the barn, but neglect the fact that Lapis has gone through an extremely long and traumatic incident which she is clearly not ready to put past her and has every reason to be mad at Peridot for imprisoning and interrogating her in the first place. On the other hand, Lapis is completely dismissive of what is ultimately a sincere attempt to befriend her, eventually destroying Peridot's beloved tape recorder (which Peridot gave her as a present), and only tells her that she just wants to be left alone when her patience has all but run out, but it makes sense that she'd only want to be left alone in her state of mind and be too emotionally conflicted to put it so bluntly. Plus, no one can get easily forgive someone who kept them against their will in the past, no matter how much Peridot has changed.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: This episode is the start of the "moody teenager" characterization for Lapis.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The Crystal Gems see the ship, but don't arrive until it's already landed.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Lapis seems to consider letting the Roaming Eye attack Peridot. In the face of Peridot's begging for her life and/or Steven's determination to protect her, Lapis saves her instead.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Peridot suggests again that Homeworld is coming to get her. The Roaming Eye shows up later in the episode.
    • Lapis uses the water from the swimming hole Peridot and Steven made to defeat the Roaming Eye.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with a Ruby climbing out of the Roaming Eye.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After the letter doesn't work, Peridot blames the artwork since obviously complimenting Lapis by calling her a useful source of information can't be the problem.
  • Compliment Backfire: Peridot's apology to Lapis includes a "compliment" that really just sounds like Peridot defending her actions.
    Sorry I interrogated you. You were just full of such useful information. That's a sincere compliment. —Peridot.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • It looks like Steven eventually did show Peridot more than one episode of "Camp Pining Hearts", as they discuss its lackluster 5th season.
    • Steven's suggestion in "Same Old World", straight from a sitcom, about Lapis moving to the big city and getting a wacky roommate comes back here, especially with this image.
    • The Roaming Eye isn't the first gem vessel to make a diamond pattern upon impact. Peridot's escape pod was shown to have done the same thing on its crash site back in Joy Ride.
    • Peridot tries to sell Lapis on the This Is My Side idea by pointing out that Lapis wound up with lots of cool things on her side, like a propeller and paint cans. Then she decides she wants the paint cans and tries to trade for them. Peridot used paint cans as stilts in Log Date 7152.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lapis literally smacks down the Roaming Eye with a giant watery hand in a single blow.
  • Death Glare: Lapis gives one after she reads Peridot's card. Lapis gives another (even worse) one when discussing how horrible it was underwater to Peridot. She gives several more later on in the episode.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Peridot (or at the least Steven) really should've known better about "gifting" a pond to someone who's been entombed underwater for months.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Steven and Peridot's attempt to make things up with Lapis just make her angrier.
  • Disproportionate Restitution: Peridot aided in Lapis' imprisonment, which she tries to make up for with an apology and minor gifts. Although Peridot sincerely wants to make things right, she clearly feels entitled to forgiveness and doesn't understand why Lapis would hold a grudge in the first place.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Steven defending his drawing's lack of noses as "his style" sounds like something an amateur artist, especially on DeviantArt, would say to defend their flaws.
  • Empathic Environment: Subtly, the skies get more cloudy as Lapis' mood worsens, and at the end, brightens, just as she sees Peridot's smiling face. Possibly justified by Lapis's water-controlling powers.
  • Fish out of Water: Peridot tries to make a connection with Lapis by pointing out that they're both stuck on Earth.
  • From Bad to Worse: Lapis becomes increasingly frustrated with Peridot as the episode progresses, and Peridot keeps getting more confused herself regarding Lapis' dismissive behavior. The last straw for Lapis is when she crunches up Peridot's tape recorder, a gift that Peridot tried to give to her.
  • Genre Blind: When Steven suggests trying This Is My Side based on something he saw in a sitcom, he says he didn't see to the end of the episode, but figures it turns out fine.
  • Get Out!: Lapis tells Peridot that what she really wants from her is to go away. Peridot does so without hesitating.
  • Gift-Giving Gaffe:
    • The "idea" to give Lapis her own personal swimming hole failed, since Steven apparently forgot that Lapis might not like being reminded of being 'entombed' underwater for months.
    • Peridot tries to give Lapis her tape recorder, on Steven's suggestion that she give her something personal. Lapis just crushes it, offended that Peridot would give her "garbage" as a gift.
  • Grey and Grey Morality: Lapis and Peridot both let their more negative personality traits show, but each has their reason and there's no decided right or wrong side.
  • Immediate Sequel: Begins exactly on the cliffhanger from "Same Old World".
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: Once Peridot storms off, Steven tells Lapis she's "never coming back again." Cue Peridot screaming in terror as she runs toward them, fleeing from the Roaming Eye.
    Steven: Oh. She's coming back again.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Peridot's apology in the card is so poorly worded it comes off as a Backhanded Apology.
    • Peridot assumes Lapis will appreciate a swimming hole because her kind usually love water, not considering she might be traumatized after being trapped underwater for months, though that one was Steven's idea.
    • While Steven and Peridot had nothing but good intentions, they should've respected Lapis's decision to not wanting to be friends with the latter.
  • Last-Name Basis: Peridot calls Lapis "Lazuli" during her first few attempts to get along with her.
  • Luminescent Blush: Lapis does this when Peridot smiles and giggles at her.
  • Mundane Utility: Steven has Lapis use her water wings as blindfolds.
    Steven: You can't see through those, right?
    Lapis: Actually, yes. But it's very blurry.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Peridot falls into this again when trying to apologize to Lapis with poor wording and a less than thought out gift (though Steven was the mastermind behind the pool idea), making the rift between them even worse.
  • Not So Different: Peridot points out to Lapis that they're both refugees trapped on Earth, unable to return to Homeworld.
  • Planet of Hats: Peridot seems only familiar Lapis Lazuli Gems in the general terms of them liking flying and water.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Peridot expected Lapis Lazuli to be immediate friends with her. Unfortunately for her, Lapis Lazuli didn't suddenly forget about all the things Peridot did to her in the past and was, in fact, genuinely upset, angry, and hostile with her. Peridot's efforts in making amends with her did not magically excuse Peridot of her actions enough for Lapis Lazuli to pleasantly smile for or be convinced that she changed at all until Steven called her out and give Peridot a chance and getting to know her better, that Lapis had finally realized the truth.
    • Lapis being trapped underwater for months while being fused with Jasper, and maintaining Malachite, deeply traumatized her and said trauma did not magically go away. She needed to take a break from the water for an unspecified amount of time.
    • When Steven tried to divide space for both Peridot and Lapis Lazuli to share in the barn, Lapis Lazuli outright does not want to, not because of materialistic reasons, or because of the amount of space, but because of Peridot herself, due to forcefully dragging Lapis back to Earth, amongst other things. She could neither stand seeing nor being near Peridot.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Despite Peridot's attempts to show Lapis that she's sorry for what she's done to her and wants to make amends, Lapis just gives her the cold shoulder and only scowls at her.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Seeing Peridot apparently chased down by a Homeworld ship makes Lapis think living with her wouldn't be so terrible after all.
  • Seasonal Rot: In-Universe, as Steven and Peridot think Season 5 of "Camp Pining Hearts" is trash.
  • Stylistic Suck: Steven's card.
    Peridot: Where are our noses?
    Steven: Oh, That's kind of my style lately.
    Peridot: Is not having fingers also your style?
    Steven: No, I'm just bad at drawing hands.
  • This Is My Side: Steven suggests that Lapis and Peridot divide the barn in half, based on something he saw in a sitcom. Peridot accepts the idea, but Lapis shoots it down immediately, because her problem wasn't having to share space, it was that she had to be anywhere near Peridot.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Peridot hands Lapis her most prized possession—her tape record. Lapis just smashes the gift with her hand.
  • Wham Shot: The episode ends with a hatch opening on the Roaming Eye, and a Ruby with Yellow Diamond's insignia climbing out.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Peridot gets mad at Lapis for destroying her tape recorder, after she gave it to her as a gift.
    • Steven is upset by her actions, and calls her out for both rejecting Peridot's attempts to befriend her and not even thinking of giving her a chance.
  • You Are Not Alone: When her second gift fails, Peridot tells Lapis that she's not the only one living as a refugee, but it doesn't take.
    Peridot: Look, I get it, you know. You're confused. You can never go back to Homeworld. This place doesn't exactly feel like home yet. You're alone. No one could possibly know what that feels like! Oh wait—I do! We're the same! Except... you don't have to be alone.

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