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Recap / Steven Universe S3E8 "Mr. Greg"

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A familiar tune is heard, it's Greg's song, "Comet", except it's been repurposed as a restaurant jingle, featuring Marty singing and chomping into a burger.

It turns out that Greg's new money comes from the royalties after Marty sold the song. Greg reminisces warmly that "Comet" was what he played at his concert the night he met Rose, then elaborates to Pearl that the version Rose heard wasn't about burgers.

He cheerfully suggests Rose would've enjoyed the commercial. Pearl grudgingly admits:

She would have loved it.

Pearl lingers for a little while, then goes into the house, and Greg and Steven musically ruminate on what to do with their newfound money. Greg doesn't care all that much about the money because he has Steven, and everything else he enjoys in life "don't cost nothin'". Steven suggests a vacation, someplace new for them to spend some time.

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Greg becomes excited at the idea and picks Empire City, and they sing enthusiastically while packing. Steven suddenly suggests taking Pearl along. Greg and Pearl are hesitant, since Pearl has never been kindly disposed to Greg for pursuing a relationship with Rose. Steven insists.

Off they go to the big city. They gaze in awe at the sights before stopping at a fancy hotel. The concierge is unimpressed with Greg's beach bum appearance until Greg and Steven demonstrate they can afford the hotel's services. The concierge's attitude once money makes an appearance is predictable and instantaneous.

Ricky: (enthusiastically) ♫ Hey shake a leg! It's Mr. Greg! ♫

Thus begins a big show tune-style number. A bunch of hotel staff show up to make their guests feel welcome. Greg and Steven enjoy themselves, and Pearl begins to get into the spirit of things until Greg tries to get her dance with him. She refuses and walks away, looking uncomfortable.

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It is night, and Steven and Greg have dozed off on the king-sized bed. In a vase beside the bed is an arrangement of roses. Pearl takes one, reminded of Rose. She smiles wistfully, then steps out on the balcony. She sings of how she continues to struggle with Rose's absence and that Rose chose Greg over her.

You won and she chose you and she loved you and she's gone. It's over, isn't it? Why can't I move on?

After the song has ended, Pearl realizes Steven and Greg are awake and had overheard her. Greg is clearly upset by what he's heard, and the reminder of how they competed for Rose's affections. Convinced there's no chance to reconcile with Pearl, Greg murmurs an apology and leaves.

While Greg drowns his sorrows with a glass of cherries, Steven appears, holding Pearl's hand. He encourages the two of them to talk to each other.

Steven:You might not believe it, but you've got a lot in common. You really do. You both love me, and I love both of you.

After an awkward moment, Greg and Pearl do try to talk. Out of their mutual love for Rose, they share tearful laughter and agree that Rose always did whatever she wanted. Before long, they're dancing together, and it ends with both smiling.

Then, the concierge shows up with the hotel bill. Greg winces at how much they spent, but Pearl points out that on the bright side, dancing, singing, and hanging out "don't cost nothin'".

As they head home, Steven is happy to see that his father and Pearl are finally on the path to becoming close friends and drowsily sings the refrain to Pearl's earlier song with a more uplifting lilt.

Iris Out on the van as it disappears on the horizon.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: Garnet and Amethyst do not appear in this episode.
  • Alternate History: New York City is Empire City in Steven's universe. New York as a whole is likewise simply Empire State.
  • Animation Bump: Multiple song-and-dance numbers with tight choreography and a 360 degree spinning pan around Pearl on the balcony.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Pearl is at the pool's edge, nervously dipping her finger in the water while Greg and Steven swim around. They spot her and swim up to her while wearing mischievous expressions. Instead of being pulled into the water, Pearl finds herself wearing a tux.
  • Batman Gambit: Steven invited Pearl along in the express hope that she and Greg can work things out.
  • Bifauxnen: Pearl in a tux.
  • Big Applesauce: Empire City is canonically where New York is in the real world, and is a combination of this and Las Vegas.
  • Blue Orange Contrast: When Steven asks Greg and Pearl to talk to each other about, the two take on a yellow and blue tint, respectively.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Pearl and Greg shudder when Steven suggests the three of them "and don't forget Mom" go on a road trip while pointing to his gem.
  • Brick Joke: Greg sings about how singing a song and hanging out cost nothing. At the end of their vacation, when he receives the bill? "That costs something."
  • Call-Back:
    • Greg's song "Comet" from "Story for Steven" returns, adapted into a jingle for a television advert for a burger place. Marty sings this version and is part of the ad.
    • Empire City was one of the stops during Lapis and Steven's cross-country trip in "Same Old World".
    • Steven remembers that in "Keystone Motel" Ruby and Sapphire worked out their issues while away from home; this is why he wants Pearl to come along on a road trip with him.
    • Greg wanting the Gems' respect and friendship, even though they tend to look down on him and consider him useless, is revisited here, when it was last shown in "The Message".
    • Greg and Pearl's heart-to-heart and dance, and their subsequently deeper understanding and better relationship with each other during "Both of You" calls back to Greg and Rose's heart-to-heart, dance and better relationship at the end of "We Need To Talk". It also harkens back to Garnet and Peridot's near-fusion and subsequent better understanding of each other.
  • Captain Obvious: The slogan for Pepe's Burgers is "We sell burgers".
  • Complexity Addiction: Pearl says that going to Empire City was unnecessary to work out their issues, which they could have done at at home. It's debatable if she's right.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Greg references paying for damaged furniture the way he did in "Keystone Motel", and Pearl lifts her plate in the air the same way Steven and Greg did when the table broke.
    • Greg calls himself a cherry man, which he first said in "Winter Forecast" when talking about the cherry pattern on his shirt.
    • Pearl saying "I've learned from past experience that three's a crowd" references the whole debacle with Garnet/Ruby and Sapphire and Sardonyx back in "Cry for Help".
      • Or it's just a direct reference to the Love Triangle between Greg, Rose and Pearl.
    • Steven packs his belongings in his hot dog duffel bag, which made its first appearance in the short of the same name.
    • Pearl looks mildly disgusted when the waiters try to serve her fancy meals. It's been established that Gems can but do not need to eat, and that Pearl finds the sensations involved unpleasant.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Pearl says that she and Greg could have worked out their issues at home, but Steven seems to think that scenario was implausible.
  • Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Pearl walks past Steven and Greg onto a balcony to sing a heartfelt song about her feelings about Rose. The Musical Episode format of this episode might make it reasonable for her to do this without them noticing, but they DO hear her song after all. Greg is obviously quite upset by this, since it basically lays out why Pearl refuses to accept him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Greg does a G-Rated version of this with cherries after overhearing Pearl's song.
  • Ear Worm: In-universe, Pearl admits she remembers words to "Don't Cost Nothin'" is because it's a catchy song.
  • Eleventy Zillion: Greg's business card reads, "Mr. Greg, Bazzzillionaire" (yes, with three Zs).
  • El Spanish "-o": The fancy hotel is called Le Hotel.
  • Empathic Environment: While Pearl is singing, she causes the clouds to form into her, Rose, and Greg.
  • Erotic Eating: Downplayed; in the Pepe's Burgers commercial, Marty slowly takes a bite of a burger, then smiles and winks at the viewers.
  • Every Man Has His Price: Greg and Steven are able to get the hotel staff to do whatever they want by paying them off.
  • Fanservice: Pearl in a tuxedo counts; her slim figure is combined with such dapper clothing.
  • Food Songs Are Funny: Marty turned "Comet" into a burger jingle. Marty sings it just as passionately as the original version, showing just how much of a shill he is.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Pearl is singing, the camera focuses on Steven and Greg. Steven looks down for a moment towards Greg - specifically his face. His face isn't visible from the angle, but Steven's look foreshadows that he's awake by this point.
  • G-Rated Drug: Greg goes down to the bar to drown his sorrows... with maraschino cherries.
  • Inexplicably Identical Individuals: All the hotel staff we see, save for the man at the front desk, look exactly alike.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Steven seems to be so when he brings the awkwardness Up to Eleven by mentioning his mom, but it turns out that he purposely invited Pearl to make both her and Greg to work out their issues by forcing them to interact with each other.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: There's a Match Cut to Pearl in a tuxedo that makes it look as if she didn't know what she was wearing until that instant.
  • Jingle: The burger ad at the beginning is the reason Greg received $10 million: Marty adapted "Comet" into a jingle for a restaurant, and Greg eventually got royalties.
    From the moment the meat hits the flame
    My stomach is growling without any shame
    And I know in my gut it's been worth the $5.95
    Would you like a burger
    From Pepe's Burgers?
  • Leitmotif: Empire City's distinctive riff from "Same Old World" returns as Greg, Steven, and Pearl drive in.
  • Make a Wish: Unintentional on Pearl's part, but near the end of "It's Over" she cries as to why she can't move on, a shooting star flashes across the sky. An undisclosed amount of time later, Pearl meets a woman very similar to Rose.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Greg doesn't know what to do with $10 million at first because everything he already has "don't cost nothin'". He winces when he sees the hotel bill, says that "that costs somethin'", but Pearl reminds him that dancing, singing, and palling around "don't cost nothin'".
    • Pearl sings "It's over, isn't it?" as a reflection on her relationship with Rose. Steven thinks "It's over, isn't it?" as he sees Pearl and Greg getting along after having finally talked out their issues.
  • Metaphorically True: When Steven insists on bringing Pearl along to Empire City, he mentions the trip will be "Just [Greg], me, Pearl, and don't forget Mom!", which seems to make Pearl and Greg uncomfortable. However, considering Steven planned for this trip to be a way for Pearl and Greg to discuss their feelings for each other and Rose and work that out, it's true. Rose doesn't literally appear, but the episode still revolves around her.
  • Mood Whiplash:
  • Musicalis Interruptus: The eponymous song "Mr. Greg" suddenly ends when Pearl loudly rejects Greg's offer to dance with him.
  • Musical Episode
  • Musical World Hypothesis: All of the songs seem to follow the Alternate Universe Hypothesis. For instance, at the end of "Mr. Greg" (the song sung when Greg, Steven, and Pearl check into the hotel and enjoy the opulence), when Pearl breaks the rhyming scheme and walks away, one of the hotel employees gripes that she ruined the song.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: We're shown that, despite their rivalry, Greg really does feel guilty that he hurt Pearl by getting together with Rose.
  • New York Is Only Manhattan: Steven, his dad Greg, and Pearl visit Empire City (their universe's name for NYC). They specifically visit Manhattan.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Greg tips the hotel staff generously.
  • Not So Different: Steven points out that Greg and Pearl are more alike than they think.
  • Our Slogan Is Terrible: "Pepe's Burgers: We Sell Burgers".
  • Paying for the Action Scene: Greg sings about having the money to pay for breaking a table as he dances on top of it and it breaks. He tells them to bill it to his bank, and also gives Ricky $100, apparently just as an apology.
  • Plagiarism in Fiction: Marty is young in the Pepe's Burgers commercial, implying he made it years ago but denied Greg credit until recently, hence Greg's belated royalties.
  • Rags to Riches: Greg, who spent years living out of a van while running a car wash, gets a $10 million windfall thanks to some song royalties.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Greg doesn't consider putting the money into his car wash business or into emergency funds for Steven. He does mention college, but Steven shoots that suggestion down.
  • Rotoscoping: The layouts for the dance sequences are copied from Shelby Rabara's choreography.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Steven and Greg don black tuxes and top hats. Pearl's hesitant to join them, but she eventually follows suit.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: Greg is shocked when he gets the hotel bill. We don't see how much it is compared to the $10 million check, but it's clear that Greg realizes he can't do this kind of thing regularly.
  • Something About a Rose: Pearl sings about how she can't move on from Rose while holding a rose she took from a vase.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Greg suggests putting some of the royalties into a college fund for Steven, but Steven mentions that he spends all his time with the Gems, thus college wouldn't be practical. Greg splits the difference by planning to pay for online courses.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:
    Greg: You're having fun!
    Pearl: More or less.
    Greg: (takes her arm) So dance with me, just say-
    Pearl: (pulls away) NO!
  • Torch Song: "It's Over, Isn't It" fits the template of a classic torch song exactly.
  • The Tragic Rose: Pearl uses a rose as a prop during her sad musical number about Rose.
  • Wingding Eyes: Steven has eyes with little hamburgers after watching the burger commercial and later has stars in his eyes while looking at the streets of Empire City in awe.
  • Wham Line:
    Pearl: I shouldn't have come along.
    Steven: No. This is exactly why I brought you.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Pearl is incredulous that Rose would have been wooed by a burger jingle. Greg sheepishly explains that the original had a different theme, and wonders if Rose would have liked this version. Pearl grudgingly admits that she would have loved it.

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