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Recap / Steven Universe S3E6 "Steven Floats"

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Steven and Garnet play midair checkers.
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Steven is delighted to be finally back in Beach City and see his house, the beach, and the Big Donut. When Sadie tells him that if he comes back the next day at the opening of the store, he can enjoy the first fresh donut of the day. He is determined to be at there at seven o'clock sharp, but the emergence of a new power sends Steven very high in the sky...


Tropes

  • Alas, Poor Yorick: In Steven's Imagine Spot, Sadie takes his skull and says "Alas poor Steven. I knew him well".
  • Bait-and-Switch: At first we think that Steven fell for so long that he missed the Big Donut's opening, but it turns out that he forgot that it opens half an hour later on Sunday.
  • Big "NO!": Steven does one at the end of his crazy fantasy sequence about missing the opening of the Big Donut.
  • Black Comedy:
    • Steven imagining his presumed death.
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    • Earlier, Sadie mentions a worker safety lawsuit, presumably related to The Incident mentioned in "Joking Victim" that left a human-shaped outline on the wall.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: When Steven tries to figure out happy thoughts he can use to slow his descent, he personally pushes away a picture of Rose Quartz that appeared when he considered thinking about her.
  • Breather Episode: This is the first episode since "Sadie's Song" to have little to no impact on the overall plot of the show. Everything in-between was filled with Peridot's redemption, Malachite's defeat, the Cluster's near-emergence, etc.
  • "Cavemen vs. Astronauts" Debate: Amethyst and Pearl starting debating methods of getting Steven down with a jetpack like this.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Sadie mentions the earthquakes caused by the Cluster trying to form in "Gem Drill".
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    • Sadie mentions that they're making doughnuts on-site again, which according to "Joking Victim" they hadn't done since The Incident.
    • Rose controlling her falling speed explains her graceful landing in flashbacks, like in "Story for Steven".
    • Steven first floated in "Rose's Scabbard" though it was ambiguous as to whether he was exhibiting a supernatural power or if Slow-Motion Fall was in effect. This episode clarifies that incident.
    • In "It Could've Been Great", Peridot mentions that Gems auto-adjust to planetary gravities. Rose/Steven's ability seems to be a conscious manipulation of that power.
    • This isn't the first episode to suggest that Amethyst eats spoiled food.
  • Delayed Reaction: When Amethyst sees Steven falling slowly to the ground, she assumes that's normal for Steven and walks back into the house while wondering if Steven has done something like this before. A few seconds later, she realizes she was thinking of Lapis and this is something new for Steven and runs back outside.
  • Denser and Wackier: Considerably heavier on slapstick and self-aware humor than the rest of the series.
  • Emotional Powers: Steven discovers his flight power, inherited from his mother Rose, comes from his happiness; if he's feeling a particularly negative emotion, he falls faster. He then quickly lampshades how this is how it's been for all of his powers.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Amethyst identifies something as cake, which is so thoroughly spoiled that Steven reacts with incredulity. Later that evening Amethyst goes looking for Steven so that she can offer him his last chance for a piece.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Garnet knew what Steven needed to do to control his falling speed, but she saw that he could figure it out for himself, so she let him.
  • I Fell for Hours: The plot of the episode for Steven. All night specifically.
  • Imagine Spot: Steven has one where pretty much everyone gets a doughnut but him, his doughnut gets fed to a dog, and he dies and falls to the Earth as a skeleton, with Sadie lifting up his skull.
  • In a Single Bound: Steven finally realizes this power as well, jumping from the beach to the top of the lighthouse, then from there to airplane-cruising altitudes.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Garnet apparently breaks into Kofi's car off-screen and steals his phone to call Steven.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Steven, upon realizing that his floating powers are tied to his emotions, remarks how that's par for the course for his powers. And it's clear he's not happy about it.
  • Layman's Terms: When Garnet and Amethyst discuss Steven's levitation powers.
    Garnet: Rose could regulate the speed of her descent.
    Amethyst: Yeah, and she could control how fast she fell.
    Garnet: That's what I said.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Steven going on about how long it's been since he's seen his home and everyone in Beach City is likely a nod to the show's long run without going back there.
  • Made of Iron: Steven is largely unfazed by having a fishing boat put on his chest.
  • Match Cut: Steven's Imagine Spot ends with his skull shouting "Nooooooo!" as the scene cuts to Steven.
  • Mouthscreen: When Sadie tells Steven that he can have the very first fresh donut of the day, there's a detailed close-up on her mouth as she says "fresh".
  • Mundane Fantastic: Sadie takes it in stride that the explanation for the earthquakes was that Steven was off saving the world.
  • Noodle Incident: Sadie mentions the Big Donut having a worker safety lawsuit that got dropped. This may or may not be related to "the accident" which previously resulted in the Big Donut no longer making their own donuts, since the dropping means they do make their own donuts again.
  • Not Quite Flight: Steven's newest power, being able to leap great distances In a Single Bound and then control his descent to a manageable speed.
  • Pun:
    Amethyst: Yo Steven, are you still up?
    • And in the morning:
      Pearl: Steven's been up all night!
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Steven can't call out to the Gems because he's too high up to be heard.
    • Even once he figures out his levitation power, Steven still can't fully control said power; he lands a bit harder than intended, and jumping still poses some problems.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: While Steven is floating, Amethyst can jump and stay airborne for a few seconds to listen to him, so he decides he'll have to ask faster. Of course, his normally straightforward phrasing becomes long and complicated.
    Steven: I could really use your assistance dealing with the sudden appearance... (Amethyst falls) Ah, rats... (Amethyst returns) ...of a power previously unbeknownst to me which I can't control. (Amethyst falls) Umm... (Amethyst returns)
    Amethyst: (annoyed) Dude, summarize.
  • Shoe Slap: Steven tries to get Amethyst's attention by throwing a sandal at her. When that fails, he throws his other sandal, which lands on her head.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After hitting his head on the ceiling of the Big Donut, Steven mutters "Oh, bother..."
    • Steven discovers that his budding flight powers involve happy thoughts.
    • When Garnet gets an idea on how to contact Steven while he's in mid-air, an exclamation point appears above her head accompanied by a sting, just like in Metal Gear Solid.
  • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Garnet was pretty chill with Steven falling from a fatal height to learn how to control his emotion-powered flight ability. Justified, because she was acting out a scenario she saw with her future vision, a scenario that ended in success.
  • Stealth Mentor: Garnet, who saw Steven figuring out how to control his falling by himself, so she let him.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Steven imagines he'll die before he lands on the ground, with his bones and skull falling on the ground next to the Big Donut.
  • Sudden Anatomy: The closeup on Sadie's mouth as she says "fresh donut" is detailed enough that she suddenly has visible lips.
  • Take Our Word for It: Steven finds a cake in the fridge so rotten and disgusting that he couldn't even tell that it was a cake.
  • Think Happy Thoughts: Steven does this so he doesn't fall as fast. He has trouble, at first.
    Steven: Okay, what makes me happy? Donuts? No, I'm not going to get any. The beach? No, that's how I'm going to die! Mom? Oh geez, those feelings are complicated!
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The reaction of an airliner crew to seeing Steven flying is just to turn on the fasten seatbelts sign.
  • Way Past the Expiration Date: After being away from the house for a few weeks, all the food in Steven's refrigerator has gone bad.
    Amethyst: Uh oh, that cake go bad?
    Steven: That was a cake!?

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