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Recap / Steven Universe S4E24 "I Am My Mom"

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Steven comes to terms with his choices.


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Imagine your dear friends (one of which is your main love interest), are kidnapped by dangerous people because of your actions.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's rather unclear whether Steven, as he was being taken away, was saying "I love you" to Connie or to everyone.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Amethyst tells Steven that she's going to kick his butt if he doesn't get off the ship.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Zig-Zagged - It's Connie who's screaming at Steven when the ship is leaving and he says "I love you," and while it's definitely anguished, it's a quiet anguish. It's also unclear as to whether he's saying it specifically to Connie, to the Gems plus Connie, or to everyone in general.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The Homeworld ship is small enough to rest on top of a carousel but is much wider on the inside, with an attic platform Aquamarine is stationed at. It also has a downstairs level that extends past the flat outer dimension of the ship's entrance.
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  • Break the Cutie: Steven finds out his friends have been kidnapped because he listed them offhand. He then tries to save them, only to find they are used as hostages, and he's too emotionally compromised to Fuse with Connie to fight against Topaz. Then to save everyone, including his family, he decides to out himself as "Rose Quartz" and surrender to Aquamarine. Steven does this knowing that the Diamonds want revenge and will probably kill him, but he believes it's his responsibility.
  • Call-Back:
    • Back in "Marble Madness", Steven rattled off a list of humans to Peridot. Yellow Diamond used that list to determine whom Aquamarine should kidnap because Peridot assumed the names he gave were types of human (just as she assumed he was "a Steven").
    • Jasper on seeing Steven's gem wanted to take him alive to Yellow Diamond. Steven remembers this and offers himself to Aquamarine, so that she can hand him in to the Diamonds and leave his friends alone.
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    • Last episode, Connie tells Aquamarine she'll help find "your dad." Aquamarine replies she doesn't care about "your dad," just "my dad," indicating that the exact phrase is more important than it would seem.
  • Captured on Purpose: Steven claims to be "my dad" so he'll be put into Topaz's body where he can free the humans without hurting them. Aquamarine isn't really convinced, as he'd already claimed to be "the Steven", but goes along because it's a convenient way to finish a mission she doesn't really care about. Steven manages to free them from Topaz, but the full escape is halted by Aquamarine's wand.
  • Cerebus Call Back: Steven listing off his friends to Peridot in "Marble Madness" seemed like just the setup to a punchline where Steven's not sure Onion is human. It turns out giving away their names made them the target of Alien Abductions.
  • Cliffhanger: Steven and Lars are taken away by Homeworld, with no way for the Gems and Connie to reach them, and Aquamarine knows Steven has Rose Quartz's gem.
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Garnet tries to punch Topaz, the latter uses Jamie as a Human Shield. Before Garnet pulls away, Jamie thinks she's trying to punch him because he hasn't moved on from his crush on her.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Compound Title: With the previous episode, "Are You My Dad?"
  • Cower Power: When Sadie gets grabbed by Topaz again, Lars starts moving to help her, but backs off in a panic and hides in a stairway.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: With the previous episode, "Are You My Dad?"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Aquamarine's powerful wand and the Topazes' fusion, along with their Human Shield tactics, proved to be too much for the Crystal Gems to fight, and they effortlessly stop their rescue attempt.
  • Damsel out of Distress: After Lars fails to help Sadie escape Topaz, she gets out of Topaz's grip by biting her thumb.
  • Darkest Hour: The episode ends with Steven and Lars being taken off to Homeworld by Gems who believe Steven to be Rose Quartz, while the rest of the Crystal Gems are stuck on Earth with no apparent way to reach them.
  • Deer in the Headlights: When Lars is released from Topaz's body, he's trembling on the floor and remains there even as Topaz comes back after him and Sadie tries to get him to run.
  • Disappointed in You: When Lars abandons Sadie to hide, she doesn't look betrayed so much as very let down.
  • The Dreaded: Aquamarines and Topazes are evidently very highly placed in the Homeworld hierarchy. Pearl reacts with fear when Steven identifies their names and implies that they take orders straight from the Diamonds.
  • Eat Me: Steven lets himself be trapped inside the Fusion Topaz's chest so he can form his bubble, forcibly break their Fusion, and free her captives. He manages to do it, but unfortunately not until they're already on the ship and pretty high in the air.
  • Facepalm Of Doom: When Aquamarine claims they don't need the humans alive, Topaz grabs Jamie by the back of the head. She's so huge that his entire head fits easily in her hand.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When Alexandrite defuses, you can once again see Ruby and Sapphire's silhouettes right before they form back into Garnet and fall into the ocean.
  • Fusion Dance: Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst Fuse into Alexandrite to stop the ship from taking off.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Steven reveals that he is Rose Quartz, offers himself up as a replacement to the humans Aquamarine came to abduct, hoping he can settle things.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Aquamarine's ship is disguised as the roof of a carousel.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Connie urges Steven to fuse so they can fight together. Steven's too emotionally distraught, and they don't get many opportunities.
  • Hope Spot:
    • After Sadie is captured by one of the Topazes, she calls out to Lars for help. Lars initially cowers but then rises and looks determined... only to run down the spaceship's stairs and hide instead.
    • Everyone but Lars and Steven manages to jump off Aquamarine's ship... only for Aquamarine to create stasis fields around them and Alexandrite.
  • Hostage Situation: Aquamarine threatens to kill the humans Topaz has captured unless the Crystal Gems back off, reasoning that "alive" was never part of the retrieval order.
  • Human Shield: Topaz uses the humans she's holding to prevent the Crystal Gems from attacking her.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: It turns out when Peridot talked to Steven back in "Marble Madness", she didn't just assume he was "a Steven", but that all the other people he mentioned were types of humans because gems don't have the same concept of names. Since she didn't know what a dad is, she assumed "My dad" was another type and parsed "Onion, I think" as all part of one name.
  • It's a Small World After All: When Aquamarine and Topaz came to Earth, they conveniently started in Beach City, and not somewhere else they could run into another Lars, Sadie, Connie, Onion, or anyone who'd answer to being called a "mailman".
  • It's All My Fault: Steven blames himself for his friends being kidnapped because they were the ones he mentioned to Peridot while talking about humans still being alive.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: Parodied; Jamie tells Steven to save himself, but only after saving everyone else first.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lars hides in a corner instead of trying to save Sadie, which directly leads to him getting stuck on the ship when everyone else but Steven makes it off.
  • Loophole Abuse: Aquamarine threatens to kill the humans, claiming she wasn't specifically told to bring them back alive.
  • Lured into a Trap: Steven gets a picture from Connie's phone that he realizes is of Funland. The Crystal Gems rush there, only for Aquamarine to reveal she wanted them to come, implicitly having tricked Connie into sending the picture or sent it herself.
  • Messianic Archetype: Played with. Steven is a half-human, half-supernatural being who sacrifices himself to save humanity in this episode—but it's not the sins of humanity that he's accepting punishment for, but rather the sins of his divine parent.
  • No-Harm Requirement: As if their new foes weren't threatening enough on their own, the fight against Aquamarine and Topaz is made all the more difficult by the Gems not being able to attack Topaz efficiently due holding all all their friends inside her. Pearl tries to nail Topaz without harming any of their pals by using her spear...only for Aquamarine to effortlessly intercept her with her Tractor Beam.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Pearl freaks out when she hears that Aquamarine and Topaz have been sent to Earth, reasoning that Blue and Yellow Diamond must have personally sent them.
    • Steven has a freak out moment when he realizes that the list of names he innocently rattled off to Peridot back in "Marble Madness" is the reason they've been kidnapped in the present.
    • Topaz gets a brief moment of this by sweating right before Steven blows her up with a bubble.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    Uh... S-Steven?
    • Aquamarine drops her usual condescending attitude and appears genuinely shocked when Steven reveals his gem.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Steven deliberately allows himself to be absorbed into Topaz, then summons his bubble to break their Fusion. It takes him a while since he's never had to summon it in such cramped quarters, by which point they're already on the ship and the rescue is that much more complicated.
  • Reality Ensues: Listing off his friends to a powerful enemy (in an attempt to inform them) bites Steven hard.
  • Red Herring: In the previous episode, Connie and Steven came up with theories as to why a child-like Gem (being that Gems don't have parents) would be asking humans "Are you my dad?". They wonder if there's another hybrid, but Steven can see she's not. Then they wonder if she was adopted by a human. In this episode, Aquamarine reveals she's looking for someone named "My Dad", and the fact that she looks like a child is just a coincidence.
  • Say My Name: As Steven is taken off-world by the Homeworld ship, most of the cast shout his name with various forms of concern, and the episode cuts to black after Connie's especially pained wail.
  • Something We Forgot: After Lars hides himself in a corner of the ship, everyone forgets about him while trying to escape.
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: A justified example; although Lapis and Peridot could have brought more firepower to aid the Crystal Gems, there wasn't time to get them and notify them of the emergency. It's likely that the Gems would have stood a better chance with Lapis' water powers and Peridot's droids.
  • Take Me Instead: When Aquamarine immobilizes Alexandrite and the humans, Steven offers himself as a superior replacement since he has Rose's gem, making them believe he's Rose Quartz.
  • Talk to the Fist: After Topaz brings the humans onto the ship, Aquamarine gloats to the Crystal Gems, and Pearl tries to stab her. Aquamarine dodges and flies up to the ship.
  • Taught by Experience: Remembering how the Topaz soldiers abducted her, Connie is careful to aim her sword at their weapons and keep the soldier bodies at a distance so they don't absorb her or Steven again.
  • Title Drop: During Steven's Heroic Sacrifice.
    Steven: I am my mom! I'm Rose Quartz!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Of course when Lars runs, he doesn't head for the exit, but rather for the stairs to hide there. It's no surprise that he gets stranded on the ship.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: While it didn't give away the cliffhanger outright, between the shot of Steven giving a thumbs up as Topaz captures him, the tearful reactions of the Crystal Gems and the line "she wouldn't want this, but I do", Cartoon Network's first trailer for this arc made Steven's sacrifice in the last few minutes very clear.
  • Trail Of Breadcrumbs: Connie makes use of this trope by sending Steven a photograph from her phone of their location at Funland, then dropping the phone itself so Steven can call it and hear the ringtone. It is also possible that Aquamarine tricked Connie into doing so or did it herself since she wanted to lure Steven and company.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: Pearl turns into a twinkle when Aquamarine tosses her off into the sky.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It turns out the Beach City citizens Steven named all the way back in "Marble Madness" are now being targeted by Homeworld.
  • Wham Episode: One without The Reveal in it. Steven agrees to go to Homeworld with three Gems who know that he's (technically) Rose Quartz.
  • Wham Line: "Six human variations specified in a report by Peridot 5XG."
  • Where It All Began: Back in "Doug Out", the first kidnapping took place at Funland. The Crystal Gems find Aquamarine, Topaz, and the humans at Funland again, which turns out to be where the the ship was parked.
  • Who's on First?: Aquamarine isn't asking for her dad, she's looking for someone named "My Dad".
  • The Worf Effect: Even Alexandrite is helpless against Aquamarine's wand.

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