Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Steven Universe S4E12 "Gem Heist"

Go To
Steven and the Gems try to pull off a heist.


  • Acting Unnatural: By Homeworld standards, the Crystal Gems are somewhat unconvincing. Holly Blue Agate doesn't catch on, just assuming them to be undisciplined.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played with. Like all other Gems, Holly Blue Agate speaks perfect English, but she’s apparently so snobbish she brushes off Steven's occasional outcries as animal babbling.
  • Beautiful Slave Girl: Pearl has to pretend to be this.
  • Beneath Suspicion: Holly Blue blames the Zoo's Amethysts for the damage to the door, since the others are the party of a Sapphire (and a human).
  • Brutal Honesty: When Pearl asks if their plan to infiltrate the Zoo is really going to work, Sapphire's initial reply is a blunt "no". But she half-heartedly assures them there's a small chance they can change the future.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When discussing sneaking into the Zoo, Steven whips up an alias for himself. Pearl wearily tells him that what his name is doesn't make any difference toward how conspicuous they are.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A Red Eye is watching the station.
    • The assimilation bay uses disembodied, finger-like cylinders, like the kind on Peridot's limb enhancers and the Flask Robonoids from "Warp Tour".
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Gems are all about crystal structures, and Steven gets to fulfill the toga part when he's forced into a gender-neutral loincloth/vest ensemble.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Sapphire admits from the start that the plan to infiltrate the Zoo won't work, but regardless declares "Stick together. Play it straight. Let's... change the future!"
  • Dean Bitterman: Agate acts as one, such as when telling two Amethyst soldiers not to run in the hallways. The episode's High School A.U. title card has her angrily berating Blue Pearl in front of a terrified/indifferent class while Steven tries to calm her down.
  • Decontamination Chamber: While being dumped into the Zoo, Steven goes through an "assimilation bay": a conveyor belt where he is examined, stripped, sprayed with what's presumably decontaminate, put in a new set of clothes, then flushed out of the room into the Zoo proper by a rush of water.
  • Advertisement:
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: "We won't stand out if we look the parts we were made for." Perhaps the single most on-the-nose metaphor for cis-heteronormativity this show has made so far. And if it wasn't obvious enough, Saphire tells them all to "play it straight."
  • Dressing as the Enemy: In a sense. In order to infiltrate the station, the Gems have to pretend they are Homeworld Gems by acting as Gems normally would. This causes some problems, but luckily nothing that Holly Blue Agate sees as particularly abnormal.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Despite having spent the entirety of Era 2 in charge of the Earth Quartzes Holly Blue Agate fails to notice that the Crystal Gem Amethyst is a newcomer and is wearing a uniform that displays allegiance to Yellow Diamond and not Blue.
  • Fantastic Honorifics: Apparently, the correct way to address a Sapphire is "Your Clarity" or "Your Grand Clarity".
  • Fantastic Racism: In addition to the usual Homeworld Gem class-based attitudes towards Rubies and Pearls and disdain for humans, Holly Blue also shows contempt for the Earth-created Gems, such as the Quartzes. This works to the benefit of the Crystal Gems, as she keeps assuming evidence of their ill intention to be simple incompetence from the Amethysts.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When stepping out of the ship, Sapphire's shoe can be seen for a frame.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: After taking Steven's clothes, the assimilation bay puts him in a strange, unisex vest/waistcloth combination (instantly), and then sticks large, glowing earrings on both ears.
    Steven: Ugh... loincloths.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Steven goes by the alias "Esteban Universidad" (meant to be a Spanish translation of his name, but actually means "Steven University"), and mutters "Pobrecito Esteban..." ("Poor little Steven") as he gets "into character".
  • Heist Episode: Steven and the Gems try to infiltrate the human zoo to rescue Greg.
  • High School A.U.: The title card, which has Holly Blue berating Blue Pearl who just passively takes it, with Steven trying to calm the former down while Ruby and Pearl are trying to sneak out the door to Amethyst and Sapphire. The rest of the class are either terrified by Holly Blue, or look indifferent to what's going on behind them.
  • Hive Caste System: We are reminded of the Gems' structural society, with Pearl being reduced to a lowly servant, Ruby and Amethyst being treated as dumb muscle, and Sapphire being an aristocrat.
  • Hypocritical Humour: When some Amethysts run up and report to Holly Blue Agate loudly, she tells them that they do not run or shout in the hall... by yelling. And when the two try speaking more quietly, she berates them for mumbling, while still shouting herself.
  • Impossible Mission: This episode (and the next few) is the Gems breaking into a highly secure Gem facility, frequented by one of the Diamonds, to rescue Greg and then escape, all without getting caught. Sapphire even outright says their chance of success is extremely slim.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While the rest of Holly Blue’s prejudices are clearly wrong, she's right that the Rubies sent to Earth were too incompetent to be trusted by themselves with their mission.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: After having his shirt and shoes taken by force, Steven decides to take off his pants voluntarily to save himself some humiliation. The finger things taking them off wait patiently as he does so.
  • Mean Boss: Holly Blue Agate orders her subordinates around constantly and has zero respect for them; for example, alternately scolding them for talking too loud and then for talking too quietly. She also automatically blames them for any problems, like the marks on the door to the human enclosure, even though it's irrational.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Everyone's reaction when Ruby yells "Explosion!"
    • Everyone starts to freak out when the news that Blue Diamond is returning to the Zoo is revealed.
    • Ruby, Sapphire and Pearl's reaction when Holly Blue Agate orders her Amethysts to toss Steven into the Zoo.
  • Professional Butt-Kisser: Holly Blue Agate, the administrator at the Zoo, endlessly belittles her subordinates and kisses up to her superiors (including Sapphire and the Diamonds).
  • Reality Ensues: As Pearl lampshades upon seeing the Amethyst guards, it was foolish that the group could think that they'd just be able to walk into the Zoo unopposed.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Holly Blue Agate views her assignment to the Zoo as this, as despite its importance to Blue Diamond, it's extremely remote and also where all the Quartzes produced on Earth were filed away to and forgotten (which is in and of itself an example).
  • Shout-Out: Holly Blue apologizing on behalf of her Amethysts by saying "You'll have to forgive them. They're from earth" is one to Fawlty Towers' Running Gag of "You'll have to forgive him. He's from Barcelona."
  • Stab the Salad: Steven fails to run back a Conveyor Belt of Doom leading him to a giant press... that just puts a new set of clothes on him.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Sapphire's attitude towards infiltrating the Zoo. She bluntly answers "no" when Pearl asks if their plan is going to work and then gives a forced smile as she half-heartedly assures the group that the future can be changed.
  • This Is My Name on Foreign: As part of the Crystal Gems' disguise, Steven calls himself "Esteban Universidad". Sapphire goes along with it.
  • War Memorial: The Zoo has shades of this, as it's meant to hold kidnapped humans and Earth remnants like Gems produced there. Considering that Earth was once Pink Diamond's planet, it's fitting.
  • We Need a Distraction: Ruby's idea of a distraction to get Holly Blue Agate away from the Zoo's entrance is to yell "Explosion!"


Example of: