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Recap / Steven Universe S4E8 "Gem Harvest"

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Steven's visit to the barn has him meeting one of his dad's relatives.


Tropes:

  • Ace Pilot: Andy has been flying around the world for years, and his skills show it.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: Lapis and Peridot have grown crops to feed at least a dozen people, on their first try, but they're sad about the fact that corn isn't sapient and thus can't talk to them the way soldiers on Homeworld can.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: In the interest of "combining several human celebrations", the Gems bring a wedding cake, a balloon for a baby shower, and a tombstone with Andy's name on it to the family dinner. Andy looks annoyed at all this before busting out laughing.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Greg looks guilty when Andy calls him out for drifting away to pursue his music career, and not telling Steven about the De Mayo family.
    • For Andy, the fear is finding out that Nothing Is the Same Anymore, and that he didn't even know he had a nephew.
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    • Andy freaks out when Lapis casually tosses Steven onto the plane, and Steven nearly dies when the plane's weight hasn't adjusted.
  • An Aesop: Don't try so hard to keep everything the same for fear of losing what you had, or you might be left behind and lose it anyway.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Pumpkin is a living, sentient pumpkin that acts and sounds just like a dog.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: The show's setting doesn't have the same holidays as the real world, but Andy describes a theoretical holiday exactly like Halloween ("But you go around giving away family property like candy on... some candy-giving-out holiday!?") and a family tradition much like Thanksgiving ("Once a year we'd all meet up here—catch up, eat a big meal, have a good time.").
  • Alone in a Crowd: Andy starts to feel left out at the dinner table when Greg, Steven, and the Gems start cracking in-jokes.
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  • Anger Born of Worry: Andy saves Steven from falling to his death, and while Steven gushes about Andy's flying skill, Andy is in tears and is angry at his recklessness.
  • Are You Pondering What I'm Pondering?: Andy takes one look at the weird structures Peridot and Lapis built on the barn, their strange appearance, and their "weird jewelry", and concludes... they're a pair of dirty hippies squatting in his family barn.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Peridot getting angry and demanded the ear of corn to respond, as she "created it in her image". Considering her green color scheme and yellow hair, she's quite spot-on there.
  • Attack Drone: Peridot has made several to defend the barn, and nearly unleashes them on Andy before Steven stops her.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: When Steven hears that Greg changed his last name from "DeMayo" to "Universe", he thinks the former is the cooler one.
  • Bait-and-Switch: From the way the episode starts, it at first seems that we're going to get another "sapient vegetable" episode with Steven giving life to Pumpkin and scaring him, with a dose of Homeworld angst for Lapis and Peridot. Then Andy shows up, which sends the episode in another direction entirely.
  • Bear Hug: Andy gives Steven one when he learns that Steven is Greg's son.
  • Behind the Black: Steven somehow wasn't able to notice a huge corn field in front of the barn until turning around after he had walked up and knocked on the door.
  • Berserk Button: Although he eventually calms down, Andy is furious when he sees what the Gems have done with the barn, and is even more angry when he sees the engine to the old family plane turned into an oven-cooktop combo. Before that, Greg can be seen getting legitimately angry when Andy is ranting about Greg getting involved with "immigrants".
  • Black Comedy: During dinner, the Gems start cracking in-jokes about their adventures. Peridot & Lapis' quickly go incredibly dark, with Peridot joking about how she now sees the value of corn after sitting at the table (an analogy for her changing attitude about organic life and being stranded on Earth), while Lapis says they should trap the corn in a mirror for millennia and then ask how it feels about the table (an analogy for her imprisonment and similar exile). That last one leaves her and Peridot in hysterics, while the others are more or less reduced to stunned silence.
  • Cake Toppers: To go with their "marry everyone" idea, the Gems liberally applied male and female cake toppers to the wedding cake they bought, heedless of proper location. When serving, Andy cuts off a piece with a single male figure, which gets passed around without anyone eating, and he realizes it's an apt visual metaphor for how he felt at the table.
  • Call-Back: Back in "Marble Madness", Connie's mother wondered if Universe was actually a real name. Here, it's revealed that the real last name is actually DeMayo.
  • Catch a Falling Star: Andy maneuvers his plane to catch a free-falling Steven after he slipped off while the plane was in the air.
  • Character Development:
    • Peridot, who started out as an Adorkable Anti-Villain that had a tendency to insult everyone even when attempting a compliment, manages to give a heartwarming thanks to Andy for appearing at the barn, giving the Gems a reason to come out here, and for inspiring the dinner. She lampshades how heartfelt it was after Andy leaves.
    • Andy during the episode appreciates the effort that the Gems make to restore the traditional meal. When he storms off, it's not because the Gems offended him intentionally, but because he realizes that the traditional family meal isn't so traditional.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Pearl misunderstands Andy when he expresses his anger at the re-purposed plane engine, thinking that he's confused about what it is, then suggests that they all get married after overhearing Andy's negative reaction to learning that Greg and Rose weren't technically married.
    • All the Gems miss the point of passing food down the table, eventually circling a piece of cake right back to Andy.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Steven creates a sentient vegetable.
    • With Gems being The Needless, Peridot doesn't understand "the point of corn".
    • Peridot mentions how they saved the world.
    • Lapis makes a joke about being getting trapped in a mirror for thousands of years.
    • Peridot yells, "Wow, thanks for the barn!" at Andy and seems to mean it.
    • Gems not realizing that "humans are fragile and soft" comes into play when Lapis casually tosses Steven towards Andy's plane when Steven asks her to do so, which naturally causes Andy to freak out.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: When Steven asks if anyone has something to thank Andy for, Peridot thanks him for showing up. She actually makes it a pretty heartfelt compliment, because he ended up bringing everyone together.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: Greg has to explain that he let "hippies" stay in the barn for free, changed his and Steven's surname from DeMayo to Universe, that the hippies are actually "alien refugees", and had a child with one of those aliens without marrying her. With each new revelation, Andy gets more outraged.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?:
    • Lapis and Peridot are upset that they can't create sapient life, much like a same-sex couple who want children. Steven, meanwhile, takes the place of the surrogate by using his healing spit to give one of the pumpkins sentience.
    • Andy's comments and behavior will resonate with anyone who has had to attend a Thanksgiving dinner with a right-wing uncle.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked and Zig-Zagged. Lapis and Peridot burst into hysterical laughter when Lapis cracks a joke about being trapped in a mirror. Meanwhile the Gems and Steven stare in awkward silence, and Andy is plain confused.
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: Peridot points out that the Crystal Gems saved the world and ultimately got nothing for it. Her complaint goes to the comical opposite extreme, saying they should just be able to take whatever they want without question.
  • Eating Optional: The Gems set up a family dinner, but don't actually eat anything. Not even Amethyst is eating anything because she filled up on cooking oil earlier.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: The stove has a spinning airplane propeller on it.
  • Extra-Long Episode: Like "Bismuth", the episode is double-length with no title cards separating the halves.
  • Extreme Omnivore: When explaining to Andy how Gems are The Needless, Steven mentions how Amethyst eats anyway, prompting her to mention that she's full from the three bottles of cooking oil she had. And then she burps fire.
  • Fascinating Eyebrow: When Andy's in one of his rants, Pearl raises an eyebrow as she and Peridot exchange glances.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner: Amethyst ate several bottles of cooking oil and burps flame.
  • Foil:
    • Andy to Greg. Andy sees himself as the responsible cousin who must keep the family together, but fails because he can't adapt to how family changes. He's also bitter and openly prejudiced against those who don't fit social norms. Greg in contrast was more irresponsible as a teenager and young adult, but he had a good heart underneath and became part of a new family because of his willingness to adapt to Gem weirdness. Greg also doesn't even let Steven use the word "hate" since it's a strong word, and is comfortable with the strange relationships that his family has.
    • In a sense, Andy is this to Bismuth. Bismuth was an old friend who had a falling out with Steven's mother, while Andy is a member of Greg's family who had a falling out with him. Both have have allowed themselves to become bitter and spiteful over said falling out, and ultimately lash out because of it. Whereas Bismuth was a warm, caring person on the outside and a brutal Knight Templar on the inside, Andy seems like a xenophobic jerk on the outside, but is actually a good hearted person on the inside. Both blame Steven's parent for the falling out despite having just as much if not more fault in the situation. The difference is that, unlike Bismuth, Andy is able to realize his folly and reconcile. Also, while Bismuth tried to kill Steven for refusing to use the Breaking Point and prefers to be "shattered" or at least poofed, Andy saves Steven's life and suffers a Jerkass Realization.
  • Gallows Humor: Lapis jokes about being trapped in a mirror for thousands of years and cracks up. Peridot laughs along while everyone else at the table looks uncomfortable.
  • Green Thumb: Steven once more creates a sentient vegetable, though only one this time instead of an army like in "Watermelon Steven".
  • Heroic Bastard: This episode confirms that Rose and Greg never married, making Steven one.
  • High School A.U.: The gang are in Home Economics; Amethyst is just eating the ingredients, Garnet is posing dramatically about to cut an onion that's in her hand, Pearl is failing to mix a bowl, and Andy is yelling at them. Greg is actually doing pretty well, but Peridot (who's holding a pumpkin) and Lapis are just staring at him while Steven walks by carrying something. Strangely, Andy looks like his present self while Greg looks like his past self.
  • Honorary Aunt: Discussed; after hearing the other gems were like family to Steven's mother, Andy starts calling them Steven's "aunts". Unlike when they were called his "sisters", Steven immediately understands and accepts Andy's terminology.
  • Hypocrite: Andy accuses Greg of never telling him anything about Steven or any of the other stuff that's happened, but Greg counters by pointing out Andy gave him no way to do that. Andy realizes that Greg was right, as he has a plane and could've visited his family whenever he wanted to and thus had no excuse not to.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Pearl, who has had a rocky relationship with Greg, declares that he is "far superior" to Andy, the "new Greg" as Amethyst puts it.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Andy's stated reason for coming back to the barn? He forgot there would be a lot of leftovers.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • Steven attempts to cheer up Lapis and Peridot from their disappointment over not being able to create sapient life, he uses his plant powers to do so. However, the new life, Pumpkin only like Steven, not the two Gems.
    • Following from the above moment, in an effort to cheer Lapis and Peridot up after they learn that Steven made Veggie Head (and that he likes him more as a result), Steven shows them how to carve a pumpkin... while Veggie Head is right next to him. He's understandably terrified, and rushes into Lapis' arms for comfort and protection.
    • Andy starts trying to guess which of the Gems is Steven's mother and jokes about it, not knowing that Rose is gone.
    • Andy tries to reply to Peridot's comment about saving the world, and Pearl cuts him off to make her own, which ends up steering the conversation in a direction that leaves Andy completely lost.
  • Iris Out: Over Andy's face as he's disturbed by Pumpkin chewing on an spitting out a plastic figurine.
  • Irony: Andy spouts a lot of prejudiced, anti-immigrant rhetoric. The thing? His surname is DeMayo, which is Italian. If you don't get the reference, Italian immigrants in the past were looked upon with massive suspicion from the Americans of Anglo Saxon descent as were many other European ethnic groups in the 1800s and early 1900s. As time passed, suspicion in America turned towards non white immigrants and Andy is suspicious towards "immigrants" that are literal aliens.
  • It Runs in the Family:
    • Apparently, hoarding for the sake of memories is a DeMayo family trait.
    • Steven in the previous episode was trying to adjust to Onion's strange group of friends, leaving when they were engaging in a game contrary to his values, and only coming back when Onion made a peace offering. Andy here tries to adjust to the Gem weirdness, before leaving in a huff on realizing he doesn't fit in to this new "family", and coming back when Steven flies after him.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Andy makes a lot of prejudiced comments and is unreasonable about Greg being unable to contact him, he is right that Greg should have told Steven about his DeMayo roots, especially since Steven didn't even know he had an uncle. Greg looks visibly guilty when Andy calls him out for that.
  • Jerkass Realization: Andy is bitter because once Greg left, everyone else in the family left too, leaving him alone... then he realizes that since he has a airplane, he could've visited everyone everywhere at any time.
    • In a more minor example, Andy immediately apologizes to Greg and the Gems when he learns that Rose died in childbirth, when he had been trying to break the ice and ask which one of said Gems was Steven's mother.
  • Knife Nut: Veggie Head seems to think that Steven is one after the jack-o-lantern, and runs away from him when he picks a knife up to cut the veggies.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the last half-hour special, very.
  • Logical Latecomer: Only Andy finds issue with a Gem tossing a human child towards his biplane while they're in the air, especially since the biplane is sensitive to sudden changes in weight. After Andy saves Steven, Steven is amazed at his flying maneuver, while he's angry at Steven for asking to be thrown on the plane, which put both in danger and nearly killed Steven.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Greg has been out of contact with his family for the last twenty years or so, leaving Andy clueless about the Gems, Rose, Steven, etc. Though part of that is Andy never bothering to give him any way to contact him, and neglecting his family while flying around the world.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Andy is shocked that the cute little kid is Greg's son and his nephew. Steven is likewise shocked that he has an uncle.
  • MacGyvering: Pearl and Peridot converted an old plane engine into a stove-cooktop combo.
  • Made Myself Sad: Steven asks Andy about being a pilot, which he ends up reminding him how lonely he's gotten estranged from his family.
    Steven: You've been all over the world?
    Andy: You better believe it. It's really something else, you know? Just you and the hum of your engine up in that thin air, no other people, no living things around to uh, keep you company... Buuut you know, it's not like there's much for me on the ground these days either, so.
  • Mistaken for Subculture: Andy thinks the gems are hippies.
    Andy: Wait a minute. Those mysterious constructions, your weird appearance, your strange jewels. I know what you are. You're hippies! I heard about you on AM radio. What are you doin', comin' in here, socializin' this fine, American barn?
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode starts with typical Steven Universe Black Comedy with Veggie Head being traumatized due to Steven making a jack o'lantern, as well as Lapis and Peridot sharing Homeworld angst. When Andy appears on his plane, however, the episode quickly segues into family drama.
  • Morality Pet: For all his bitterness, Andy never holds any grudge against Steven, his "cute" nephew. On hearing the meal will be vegetarian, he promises to get Steven pepperoni for his birthday. When Steven says he wants to get to know him and make him family, Andy has a Jerkass Realization and turns the plane around to go to the barn.
  • Mugging the Monster: While Andy is shouting at Peridot and Lapis to Get Out!, Lapis engulfs him in a fist of water, and Peridot nearly unleashes attack drones on him. Steven quickly calls his dad and stops the Gems from hurting Andy.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Lapis is shown putting her Making a Splash powers to good use irrigating the crops. Garnet and Lapis later use their Super Strength and Flight to harvest them.
    • Steven uses his shield as a wok.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Andy has one when he realizes that his obsession with not letting anything change ultimately caused him to neglect his family like he accused Greg of doing, as he has a plane and could go anywhere he wanted to with it, so he had no excuse for not visiting any of them.
  • Never Say "Die":
    • "Rose is no longer with us" probably sounds like a polite euphemism for "she died" to Andy, although the truth is more complicated than that.
    • Averted when Pearl suggests that they all try dying, even providing Andy with a personalized headstone.
  • Nice Hat: Andy wears an aviator helmet. It is among Steven's compliments when he tries to convince Andy to return to the barn.
  • Noodle Incident: Several, including previous DeMayo get-togethers and Andy's world travels.
  • Not Hyperbole: Peridot mentions the Crystal Gems saved the Earth. Andy's cut-off reply ("You guys think you're saving the Earth—") suggests he took it as the "hippies" overstating the effects of a socially-consciousness lifestyle.
  • Not So Different: Andy's obsession with keeping things the way they were, and outrage at the changes to the barn and items within, has parallels to Greg neglecting his storage unit because he doesn't want to lose the memories associated with the stuff in it.
  • Nurture over Nature: Double-subverted. At first, Veggie Head goes to Steven since Steven made him, but when Steven carves a jack o'lantern, Veggie Head goes to Lapis and Peridot for comfort, and growls at Steven.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Veggie Head has this reaction when Steven makes a jack o'lantern for Peridot and Lapis. He has another one later when he sees Steven with a knife.
    • Andy when Steven tells Lapis to toss him onto the plane.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Steven learns about relatives who learned how to fly a plane from when they were very young.
  • Oven Logic: Pearl and Peridot set the improvised cooktop at 2000 degrees, and Peridot thinks that's still "puny". Somehow this doesn't incinerate the things they cook.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Greg being unable to contact Andy about the barn and its new residents, and Andy being understandably mad when he finds out, is a big part of the plot.
  • Power Incontinence: Steven remembers how to float, but due to being too close to the ocean and full of conflicted feelings about family, he can't summon his happy thought floating powers in time.
  • Pun: After Garnet and Lapis gather the crops, Garnet comments that despite these being vegetables, they've had a fruitful harvest.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Two sided example: Steven's uncle Andy is understandably upset to see his family's barn given to some random people he didn't know, but Greg has a point in that Andy apparently didn't give him any way to contact him, so he logically couldn't have talked to him about it. Andy realizes that Greg's right and he had zero excuses, as he owns a plane and could've visited his family whenever he wanted to, but didn't.
    • Biplanes are lightweight and built for speed, not extreme stress. Steven nearly causes his uncle to crash into the ocean when he gets Lapis to toss him onto the plane.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Andy grumbles when he notices that the only food the Gems seem to have are vegetables.
  • Relative Error: Andy assumes one of the gems is Steven's mother, and guesses Garnet specifically.
  • The Reveal: Greg has extended family that he hasn't had any contact with for decades, and his original last name was "DeMayo".
  • Ship Tease:
    • Andy does this when he asks Greg if any of the Gems are Steven's mom. Cue Amethyst making the embarrassed face you make when you find out someone has a crush on you. Humorously, after being turned off by his attitude, Pearl remarks that "Our Greg is clearly the superior one." (Which is quite a far cry from the earlier episodes where she and the rest of the Gems tried to avoid Greg most of the time).
    • Peridot and Lapis continue to act Like an Old Married Couple.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Parodied when Andy finds Peridot and Lapis in the barn:
    Andy: You're hobettes? A hobo is a man's job.
  • Technicolor Fire: Amethyst's Fire-Breathing Diner flame is as purple as she is.
  • Thanksgiving Episode: Functions as this (since the SU world doesn't actually have Thanksgiving), complete with awkward political talk between family members at the dinner table.
  • Think Happy Thoughts: Steven does this when he's falling from the sky.
    Steven: Ahh!! Float, float, float! (shuts eyes) Apple pie, video games, fresh laundry!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Even when given a taste of Lapis's powers, Andy thinks initially that he and Greg can chase off the "hippies".
    This is perfect! Come on, help me chase off these freeloaders. They're usin' some kinda hippie mind tricks.
  • Tuckerization: We find out Greg's original name was "DeMayo", and Nick DeMayo is an animation director for the show and directed this episode.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Amethyst shapeshifts into a form like Veggie Head's to play with him.
  • Walking the Earth: Andy has been flying around the world for years.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Andy calls out Greg on, in no particular order:
    • Giving his farm over to someone else.
    • Not telling him that he had a nephew (though Greg points out that he had no way to contact them)
    • Changed his name.
    • Harboring people who are, by the strictest definition, illegal aliens.
    • Not telling his son about having family.
    • Not marrying the mother of his child.
    • He also calls the Gems out on squatting on his property, as well as taking his things and disassembling them.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Lapis and Peridot mention that it gets quiet out by the barn, and they miss how busy Homeworld was.

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