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Recap / Steven Universe S4E10 "Steven's Dream"

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While watching a movie about aliens abducting cows with his father, Steven falls asleep and dreams of a beautiful flowery hill. He is suddenly awakened by Greg, who noticed that he was crying in his sleep. Strange, since Steven claims that the dream didn't make him feel sad.

As Steven is taken back home by his father, he asks him a question:

Steven: Did mom ever talk to you about... Pink Diamond?

Greg explains that he never pressed her for details, as she didn't like talking about it. After all, everyone makes mistakes, and to him, the present matters more than the past.

After getting into bed, Steven once again dreams about the same hill as before. This time, he takes a look around, and sees a broken-down palanquin before waking up, once again in tears. After hearing about this dream, Connie recognizes it from Buddy Budwick's journal. The two ask the Crystal Gems about it, but aside from Amethyst not knowing anything about it, the others refuse to explain and forbid Steven from investigating any further, leading to a brief shouting match and Steven exiting the house in anger.

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Outside, Garnet tries to calmly explain to Steven that he shouldn't go, but admits that she can't tell him why, or he'd only want to go more. This makes Steven even more curious. Further interrogation causes her to let slip why she can't go with him:

Garnet: ...I'm scared... I can't get near her...

Of course, knowing that an unknown character is involved only further increases Steven's interest. Steven asks Greg for help, and Cousin Andy uses his plane to take them to the palanquin's location: South Korea. After a bit of sightseeing and relaxation, the two finally reach the hill Steven saw in his dream, and as they get closer, Steven's tears get bigger. Behind a fenced-off area, they find a palanquin, but this one looks different. Whereas the palanquin Steven saw was broken down and pink, this one is in perfect condition and colored blue. They realize that they're looking at a different palanquin when they overhear a gigantic hooded figure, accompanied by a Pearl, talking to the pink palanquin: Blue Diamond.

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Blue Diamond: I'm sorry... I'm so sorry. I should have done more. Yellow says it'll all be over soon. I wonder what you would think. This is your planet after all. I still think it is.

As Steven's crying grows even stronger, he realizes that in his dreams, he'd been seeing through her eyes and crying her tears. They are overheard by the Pearl, and Greg reveals himself in an attempt to defuse the situation. Blue Diamond requests to see him, and praises humanity's tenacity as well as explaining that this location is the spot where Pink Diamond was shattered. As Greg offers his condolences, Blue Diamond is touched by his understanding, and, still mistakenly believing that the Cluster will destroy the Earth soon, grabs him and takes him onto her ship in order to save one last human. Steven uses his floating powers to try and catch the ship, but it warps away before he can. As he falls, Garnet jumps up and catches him. After both apologize to each other, Garnet tells Steven the plan:

Garnet: We're going to space; We're going to get him back.

Tropes:

  • Adult Fear:
    • Blue Diamond kidnaps Greg by deciding to take him with her as a memento for Pink Diamond after he shows compassion for her loss, with Steven too late to save his father.
    • Garnet likewise is panicking because she foresaw everything that had transpired. Given that Blue Diamond wanted to break Ruby, she has very good reasons to fear what would happen if she finds out about the Crystal Gems.
    • Even worse, Garnet knows that the more she tells Steven about the situation, the more he will want to go there. It doesn't matter what she does or says, Steven will go there, and she can't protect him because of Blue Diamond. By the end of the episode, she is desperately apologizing to Steven for just missing saving his father.
  • Affably Evil: In a noticeable contrast to Yellow Diamond, Blue Diamond doesn't seem to possess the same level of contempt or revulsion for humanity as her yellow counterpart, if her encounter with Greg is anything to judge by.
  • Alcubierre Drive: Blue Diamond's ship leaves Earth by distorting space and spaghettifying.
  • Aliens Steal Cattle: Greg and Steven watch a movie about aliens abducting cows. It turns out they needed milk for their cereal planet.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: It makes sense that Blue Diamond is colored blue, has droopy eyes, and wears a huge veil. She's in perpetual mourning.
  • Asymmetric Dilemma:
    Greg: [Rose and I] both made mistakes. I thought disco was coming back, she started a war.
  • Audience? What Audience?: Greg and Steven visit an animation studio and see an animator working on the current episode of Steven Universe. Greg get freaked out when he sees his own model sheet above their desk, while Steven has no idea and is quickly ushered out of the studio.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": When Blue Diamond's Pearl hears Greg and Steven making noise in the bushes and goes to investigate, Greg jumps out and (hilariously) pretends to be a local. He's totally unconvincing, but Blue Diamond and her Pearl buy it since they don't know much about humanity.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Blue Diamond kidnaps Greg, under the belief that she is saving him from the Cluster when it emerges and destroys the world, because he understands how she feels about the death of Pink Diamond and sympathizes with her.
  • Blessed with Suck: Steven's gem powers lead to him crying every time Blue Diamond cries.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: On a sightseeing tour of Korea on the way to the palanquin site, Greg and Steven cross through an animation studio for Steven Universe. Greg takes a quick look at the character model sheet for the clothes he's currently wearing and nervously ushers Steven out.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Connie remembers seeing the palanquin in Buddy's journal, allowing Steven to find its location when the Gems refuse to divulge anything.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Blue Diamond abducting Greg and Garnet announcing to Steven that they will save him, starting a Rescue Arc.
  • Colour-Coded Emotions: The appropriately named "Blue Diamond" is in a deep state of depression over Pink Diamond's death and has been mourning her for thousands of years.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • As the title indicates, Steven's dream powers come into play in this episode.
    • Connie uses Buddy's Book as a reference for Steven's dream to discover the location of the palanquin.
    • The whole Pink Diamond situation is still new to Amethyst, so she's as clueless about the palanquin as Steven.
    • Greg and Steven hitch a ride on Andy's biplane to Korea.
    • Greg notes the familiarity of a fenced off Gem site with a handwritten "Please" and that he's not as good at jumping fences as he used to be.
    • Blue Diamond mentions a "geoweapon" that was going to destroy Earth, likely referring to the Cluster.
    • Greg's tendency towards "big" women is disturbingly reversed, as another large woman becomes amazed with human empathy and decides to keep him.
  • Cool Starship: It's revealed the Diamonds' personal spaceships are Peridot's Gem Warship taken Up to Eleven. Blue Diamond's is a gigantic blue arm.
  • Costume-Test Montage: Greg and Steven try a number of outfits while sightseeing in Korea.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Something that Garnet laments at the end of the episode. If Pearl and Garnet had explained to Steven what the palanquin was and how it was related to Pink Diamond he wouldn't have been so mad and desperate for answers, and if Garnet did a better job explaining to Steven that he couldn't go because there was a chance that Blue Diamond would discover the Crystal Gems he might have listened. These mistakes cause the conflict of this episode and the next several.
  • Cry Cute:
    • Blue Diamond when she cries over Pink Diamond's death.
    • This is defied earlier when Steven is woken up: Greg thought Steven was cute when he fell asleep watching the movie, but he found Steven crying in his sleep to be troubling.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud:
    Steven: Garnet, why not?
    Garnet: I'm— I'm scared, I can't get near her.
    Steven: AH! Her! Her who!?
    Garnet: Ah, shoot! Now I just made it more interesting!
  • Didn't Think This Through: Greg going over to comfort Blue Diamond was nice, but poorly thought through.
  • Dont Do This Cool Thing: Garnet failing to convince Steven not to go investigate the Palanquin.
    Garnet: Ah, shoot. Now I just made it more interesting.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Blue Diamond bonds with Greg over their mutual feelings of loss. The irony is that Blue Diamond has no idea that the one Greg is talking about is the one who killed Pink Diamond.
    • Blue Diamond kidnaps Greg to spare him Earth's destruction via the Cluster, unaware that it's been neutralized since "Gem Drill" thanks to Steven and Peridot.
  • The Dreaded: You know Blue Diamond is this when Garnet is terrified of being near her again. Of course, it's justified more in her case as Blue Diamond used to be the superior of one of her components (and nearly had the other component killed).
  • Due to the Dead: Blue Diamond has been secretly visiting the site of Pink Diamond's shattering and talking to her memory for thousands of years since the war.
  • The Empath: Steven's dream shows him Blue Diamond's point of view, and he sheds her tears as he experiences her grief.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Blue Diamond, the same one who ordered Ruby's shattering for accidentally Fusing with Sapphire in "The Answer", is in deep, perpetual mourning of Pink Diamond and blames herself for not preventing her death. She decides to take Greg with her, because not only did he show compassion for her grief, but as a human from Earth, he represents Pink Diamond's lost legacy.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Greg and Steven's red t-shirts say "Red!"
  • Face-Revealing Turn: When she turns to really look at Greg, the viewers are treated to Blue Diamond's actual face, having only seen her in shadow from the nose down in "The Answer".
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Greg and Steven come upon a palanquin, but it's clean and in good shape while the one Buddy sketched is broken-down. Seconds later, Blue Diamond and her Pearl are shown next to the dilapidated palanquin, and it's revealed that it belonged to Pink Diamond.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Garnet knows that the more Steven learns about the Palanquin, no matter how dangerous it is, the more he'll want to investigate.
  • Forbidden Zone: The palanquin site is fenced off with a warning, and the bus wastes no time in leaving the stop there.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Greg and Steven begin the episode watching a movie about alien abduction, and at the end of the episode, Greg is abducted by aliens as Steven helplessly watches.
    • The music that plays during Steven's dreams is a distorted version of the Diamond theme.
    • All the way back in "Story for Steven", young Greg mentions to Marty in a flashback that he likes "larger" women. It seems to be Tempting Fate; not only does he end up getting together with the large Rose (and has Steven with her), but he also attracts the attentions of (and gets kidnapped by) the dozens of feet tall Blue Diamond!
  • For Want of a Nail: If not for Greg and Steven's quick thinking, Blue Diamond would have seen a crying Steven, who would have also been in trouble.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The sightseeing montage goes by very quickly, so viewers have to pause to catch all the details in each scene.
  • Glasses Pull: Garnet begs Steven not to seek out the palanquin and removes her shades to give him a pleading look. It doesn't work.
  • Good-Times Montage: Steven and Greg enjoy themselves touring various places in Korea and trying out different clothes before looking for the palanquin.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: Steven and Greg catch Blue Diamond visiting Pink Diamond's ruined palanquin, at the site where she was shattered by Rose thousands of years ago.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: After a montage of trying different outfits, Greg and Steven settle on bright red t-shirts. While not the typical flower-print shirts, the outfits still make them stand out as tourists. Greg also carries shopping bags around.
  • Heel Realization: Blue Diamond seems to have had a partial one: she acknowledges that humanity doesn't deserve to die as the Diamonds planned for them to and admits that humanity has impressed her. Unfortunately, she has resigned herself to Earth's fate, and takes Greg, a human, as one last memento of mankind.
  • Identical Stranger: The montage briefly shows Steven getting mixed up with an elderly Korean family who all look somewhat like Steven.
  • In a Single Bound: Steven makes a huge jump in an attempt to reach Blue Diamond's ship, but he fails to leap high enough to reach it before it leaves Earth.
  • It Can Think: Blue Diamond finds it odd that Greg understands how she feels while they talk, and warms up a lot to him as a result. It puts her at odds with many other members of her race.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: Blue Diamond briefly refers to Greg as "it" when ordering Blue Pearl to bring him to her.
  • It's All My Fault: Blue Diamond blames herself for not being able to prevent Rose from shattering Pink Diamond.
  • Just Plane Wrong: While flying from the east coast of the US to Korea in a biplane is technically possible, it's very dangerous and isn't something anyone would realistically do out of the blue with three people, especially not when Greg is a multi-millionaire easily capable of paying to travel by more conventional means. Depending on the route, doing it nonstop would be near the non-commercial flight distance world record.
  • Kid Has a Point: Steven chews Garnet and Pearl out for withholding information about Pink Diamond and continuing to believe he won't understand the truth, because he wants to know everything about Rose, good or bad, and as her son, he deserves to have answers.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: Garnet hated not helping Steven, but the alternative involved allowing Blue Diamond to discover the Crystal Gems.
  • The Lost Lenore: Greg discusses how he felt losing Rose and the difficulty in moving on.
  • Mathematician's Answer: Pearl, uncomfortable with giving Steven the truth, tries to brush off Buddy's drawing of the palanquin as "an illustration in some kind of journal."
  • Meaningful Background Event: After Steven resolves to leave for the palanquin, a tear forms in Garnet's blue eye. She knows what's going to happen.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: The montage of Greg and Steven touring Korea shows Steven getting mixed up with a group of short, elderly Koreans who bear some resemblance to him.
  • Morton's Fork: The Crystal Gems are reluctant to divulge information about the palanquin in Buddy's journal. If they do, Steven will seek it out, and Blue Diamond could discover that the Crystal Gems are still around. They warn Steven not to investigate, and he does so anyway, leading to Greg getting abducted.
  • The Mourning After: This is revealed to be the case for Blue Diamond. She comes to Earth after thousands of years (and has possibly done so before) to visit the site where Pink Diamond was shattered.
  • Nice Guy: Greg takes the time to empathize and talk with Blue Diamond over their shared experiences with loss.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: This entire story arc is kicked by 1) the Crystal Gems refusing to explain to Steven anything about the palanquin and 2) Steven running off on his own to do it anyway. His recklessness in doing so causes his father to be taken away, and Steven is all too aware of how much of the situation is his own fault.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Steven mispronounces palanquin (pa-lane-kwin) and Connie corrects him (pa-lan-keen).
  • Not So Different: Greg and Blue Diamond have a moment of this over the deaths of Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond, respectively. Blue Diamond acknowledges it, surprised a human could have emotions like a Gem.
  • Ocular Gushers: Steven cries an unending stream of tears as he gets closer to Blue Diamond, at one point to such a degree that it completely covers his eyes. Downplayed as it's not done for comedy.
  • Off-Model:
    • Steven discovers the palanquin left behind was Pink Diamond's, not Blue Diamond's... yet the (non-colored) details of Buddy's drawing (of the crest and the pattern in the ribbing) indicate the opposite.
    • Blue Diamond's ship turns into a right arm when the Palanquin floats up to it. In all other scenes, her ship is a lefty.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Garnet admits that she's scared of going near Blue Diamond.
    • Similarly, the number of times Steven's lost his temper can be counted on one hand.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: It's not explained how Garnet was just around the corner after Greg is abducted. There may have been another Warp Pad nearby.
  • Pass the Popcorn: While Steven is lashing out at Pearl and Garnet for keeping secrets from him, Amethyst munches on some popcorn. She offers some to Connie, who nervously refuses it.
  • Pet the Dog: While she abducts Greg, Blue Diamond only wanted to spare him from the Earth's destruction via the Cluster as an act of kindness.
  • Puny Earthlings: Reconstructed. While talking with Greg, Blue Diamond makes no attempt to hide that she thinks humans are fragile, though she also admits that humanity has impressed her and doesn't deserve to be wiped out by the Cluster.
  • Rage Breaking Point: At long last, Steven hits his when the Gems refuse to tell him a single thing about the palanquin and furiously lashes out at all their attempts to keep secrets from him.
  • Reality Ensues: Throughout the entire series, the Gems have been keeping secrets from Steven because they don't think he's ready to know them. Steven finally gets fed up with this — especially in light of learning that his mother shattered Pink Diamond — and chews them out for never telling him important things he deserves to know.
  • Recursive Canon: During a montage of Steven and Greg's time in Korea, they come across an animation studio with an animator working on Steven Universe — specifically the current episode, as indicated by a model sheet for Greg's current clothes and another for the same animator at her table. Steven is oblivious, but Greg immediately figures it out and rushes them both out of the studio to restore the fourth wall.
  • The Reveal: The palanquin in Buddy's journal is revealed to belong to the deceased Pink Diamond, and it's the location where Rose shattered her.
  • Saying Too Much: Garnet, multiple times while trying to convince Steven not to investigate the palanquin, first when she says that telling Steven why she wants him to stay away would just make him want to see it more (which also makes him more curious about it), and then when she mentions being afraid of somebody associated with the site (later revealed to be Blue Diamond).
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Steven's empathy allows him to see through Blue Diamond's eyes and experience her profound grief.
  • Scolding the Fourth Wall Breaker: Greg notices he and Steven have walked into their own show's animation studio, animating the episode they're in, then hurriedly pushes Steven and himself out.
  • Show Within a Show: Steven falls asleep while he and Greg watch a movie about aliens abducting cows.
  • Skewed Priorities: Greg and Steven fly to Korea to investigate Pink Diamond's palanquin and figure out why Steven's crying, but they first decide to go on a sightseeing tour.
  • Sleep Cute: Greg lets Steven sleep through the movie because he thought Steven looked cute. He's much less so once he begins crying in his sleep, and Greg wakes him up.
  • Story Arc: This episode starts the five-episode "Out of This World" event.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Both Steven and Greg feel sorry for Blue Diamond when they discover her crying over the death of Pink Diamond. Greg even tries to comfort her.
  • Talking to the Dead: Steven and Greg catch Blue Diamond talking to Pink Diamond's ruined palanquin as if she were still alive, even though she was shattered by Rose thousands of years before.
  • Tomato Surprise: It turns out the lack of color in Buddy's drawings hid that it was actually Pink Diamond's broken palanquin he came across, not Blue's.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Blue Diamond sees Greg as this, partly because Earth was formerly Pink Diamond's planet and is going to be destroyed shortly by the Cluster (or so she thinks), and also because she wants to keep him as a memento of her deceased fellow Diamond.
  • Vacation Episode: Steven and Greg go to Korea on gem business, and enjoy some time in a nearby city while there, but this is a rather minor part of the episode contained to a Good-Times Montage.
  • Visual Pun: Not only do we get to see a "Blue" Diamond for the first time, but she also happens to have a very "long" face.
  • Wham Line: When the Pearl reveals the identity of the other Gem at the palanquin.
    Blue Pearl: My Diamond, I've found a native.
  • Wham Shot: Blue Diamond and her Pearl, standing next to Pink Diamond's palanquin.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: So did anyone inform Andy that his cousin has essentially been abducted by aliens? Did he just decide to return home on his own or is he still waiting in Korea for Steven and Greg to meet up with him and fly back?
  • You Are Not Ready: Garnet and Pearl not telling Steven about Pink Diamond because of their assumptions that he's not emotionally mature enough to process the information eventually comes back to bite them in the gem; their refusal to talk about Pink Diamond causes Steven to snap and lash out at them for keeping secrets and go off to Korea with Greg to find out for himself, which leads to Greg getting kidnapped by Blue Diamond.
  • You Will Be Spared: After Greg is able to console Blue Diamond over her loss, she decides to take him off Earth to save him from the apocalypse she (wrongfully) assumes is imminent.

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