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Recap / Steven Universe S5E12 "Jungle Moon"

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Stevonnie finds themself trapped on the life-bearing moon of a planet harvested for its resources long ago. They find the Diamond Moon Base and set up camp there, trying to survive in the abandoned structure.

And then they go to sleep, and have a bizarre dream. They're in Connie's house, only everything is gigantic, including Priyanka, who rises up from the floor and has a phone conversation about ... invading a planet? The dream shifts to a scene in the past of the very building Stevonnie is currently asleep in, with Priyanka in full Yellow Diamond cosplay acting out Yellow Diamond's role in directing the planet's invasion.

Stevonnie is surprisingly enthusiastic about the invasion, and bothers Yellow Diamond about getting to command a dropship. Yellow Diamond brushes them off, saying that they'll get command once they're given their own colony. This doesn't stop Stevonnie, who switches to complaining that that they don't even have one colony when Yellow has so many, and throws a hissy fit about wanting their own planet and army. A line from Yellow Diamond and a reflection in a panel reveal the person the memory belonged to, whose role Stevonnie has been acting out the whole time- Pink Diamond.

After waking up, Stevonnie uses a code that Yellow Diamond used in the Diamond Dream to contact Lars, who rescues them.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: For the first time in the show, Steven doesn't (technically) appear, as Steven and Connie are fused as Stevonnie for the whole episode.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Connie has Anxiety Dreams about her mother not listening to her.
    • While you're working, your little 'sister' wants your attention. She expresses it in a bratty manner, and so you dismiss her. Years later, while doing work similar to yours, she gets killed.
  • After the End: The moon Stevonnie lands on is a monitoring station for Yellow Diamond, who attacked the planet above and stripped the major continents down to the crust. Since Pink Diamond was around for that, this would place the disaster 6,000 years in the past at the least.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Yellow Diamond is shown acting coldly to Pink Diamond, treating her as a distraction from her work as leader.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Pink Diamond is shown climbing all over Yellow Diamond and demanding attention. Yellow's response is to shut down her questions and carry about her business.
  • Anxiety Dreams: Connie's half of the dream is about being small and her mother not paying attention to her.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Pink Diamond tells Yellow Diamond that they're both just as important, she's caught off guard when asked why she doesn't act like it.
  • Big Sister Worship: Pink Diamond greatly admired Yellow Diamond leading her army.
  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: The giant bird blob that attacks Stevonnie rolls around like a wheel and can float through a Parachute Petticoat method.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Yellow Diamond talks so casually about performing a planetary genocide, it's almost like she's bored.
    Yellow Diamond: (on the phone) The dullness of this exchange tires me. Just land the dropships and do your pathetic job for once.
  • Call-Back:
    • Stevonnie notes that the Diamond tower is similar to the Moon Base orbiting Earth, complete with a sphere of indeterminate purpose like the one Steven called attention to on his first visit.
    • The Homeworld drop ships seen in "Friend Ship" and "Monster Reunion" appear in the background of the dream. When still functional, they were apparently their diamonds' color instead of gray and stone-like.
    • One of the green frog mugs from "Gem Hunt" is used by Stevonnie.
  • Call-Forward: Pink Diamond shattering a mirror showing her reflection in a fit of rage makes a reference to her own literal shattering.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang:
    • Steven's bubble protects Stevonnie from the impact of the crashing ship.
    • Connie's survival training she used in "Gem Hunt" comes in handy on the desert planet.
    • Steven's ability to dream Diamond thoughts also returns, to help Stevonnie send a distress signal.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The musical code that Yellow Diamond types into the Diamond screen in the dream allows Stevonnie to contact Lars.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Along with Rose's sword, Connie's backpack contains a grappling hook, a tarpaulin, and a hammock.
  • Cub Cues Protective Parent: A tiny bird blob that Stevonnie was conflicted to eat happened to be near its much larger parent.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Stevonnie (or more precisely, Steven) is unwilling to eat an adorable bird blob even though they need the protein. The arrival of its far larger parent ends that dilemma.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: Yellow completely misses that Pink Diamond wants to spend time with her. Instead she's utterly focused on her work, chides Pink for messing with the communication display, and tells her off for acting like a Royal Brat.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Stevonnie has a dream of what turns out to be Pink Diamond's memories.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though we don't hear their end of the conversation, the Nephrite that Yellow Diamond is talking to is having issues with going through with the purge of organic life on the planet that Yellow is overseeing.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Stevonnie while arguing whether or not to eat the tiny bird blob doesn't realize it has a parent until the latter roars.
  • Fantastic Racism: Yellow Diamond has no problem exterminating the organic life on the planet, even pre-Pink Diamond shattering, and yells at a subordinate who wasn't as enthusiastic.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Stevonnie wonders to themself if they had been in the tower before. Soon after they find out that it is a carbon-copy of the Earth's Moon base, albeit a bit more vine-infested.
    • There's a lot of foreshadowing on the true nature of Stevonnie's dream:
      • The carpet at the beginning is colored pink and yellow, the colors of Pink and Yellow Diamond.
      • Even while Priyanka still looks entirely like herself, she still speaks Yellow Diamond's words.
      • Stevonnie is rather uncharacteristically casual about the whole situation, and speaks familiarly to Yellow Diamond. We later find out that they are Pink Diamond, who is familiar with Yellow Diamond.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The caller ID lists the voice on the other end of the conversation as Nephrite XJCUT763, with a silhouette like an uncorrupted Centipeetle.
    • The family photos in Connie's house show Stevonnie with Connie's parents instead.
  • Freudian Excuse: It appears Pink's attachment to Earth as a colony was to help prove herself worthy to her "big sis" Yellow, and her lack of respect for humanity and other organic life likely came from watching her order the extermination of organic life.
  • Gunship Rescue: Lars uses the Sun Incinerator to drive off the giant bird blob.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Stevonnie cuts an alien crab in half. The upper half sprouts new legs and runs off.
  • Healing Factor: The alien crab Stevonnie slices in half regrows new legs from its severed head, though its lower half stays dead.
  • Hidden Eyes: Pink Diamond has one right before she snaps and smashes the window with her fist.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: In a way, since technically none of the main characters are shown and mainly focuses on secondary ones like Stevonnie and Yellow Diamond.
  • Mama Bear: The bird blob doesn't appreciate that Stevonnie was threatening its baby.
  • Mental Fusion: Steven and Connie sleeping while fused together gives Stevonnie a dream combining Connie's home memories with ones tied to the location they were sleeping in.
  • The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body: During their dream, Stevonnie suddenly starts acting like a spoiled child when talking to Dr. Maheswaran/Yellow Diamond. It's because they are reliving a memory and involuntarily acting out Pink Diamond's role in it.
  • Minimalist Cast: The episode has only three voice actors, none of them part of the show's main cast. Stretching this out further, two of them portray more than two characters (AJ Michalka voices Stevonnie, themselves a fusion of two characters, and Pink Diamond; Priyanka's actress lends her voice to Yellow Diamond too).
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The glass at the end of the dream shows who the memories Stevonnie is experiencing belonged to... Pink Diamond.
  • Morality Pet: Downplayed. Yellow Diamond is condescending to Pink Diamond, and tells her off for being a Spoiled Brat, but we've seen her lose her temper over far less.
  • Mundane Utility: Stevonnie uses Rose's sword to shave.
  • The Nth Doctor: A temporary and pre-emptive variant: the dream merger lets the show portray what is effectively a scene of Yellow Diamond and Pink Diamond, but with Dr. Maheswaran and Stevonnie's voice actors (Yellow Diamond's voice actress being potentially difficult to schedule, and Pink Diamond not having made a voiced appearance previously).
  • New Superpower: Stevonnie turns out to have dream-based Psychometry.
  • Not So Different: Stevonnie realizes that Pink Diamond demanding attention from Yellow Diamond is like Connie trying to get her mother to listen to her.
  • Oh, Crap!: Lars's reaction when Stevonnie tells them the fighter ship is crashing.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • The fact that Steven through Stevonnie doesn't react with regret when they're forced to slice the alien crab in defense speaks volumes of how dire the situation is, though it's more likely that Connie's personality is acting on instinct and reassuring him with the fact that its head can just sprout legs and escape.
    • Yellow Diamond being physically gentle with Pink Diamond, by her standards, shows how much she loved Pink.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Stevonnie suddenly acts different when Yellow Diamond appears, because they're reliving Pink Diamond's memories.
  • Parachute Petticoat: The bird-like alien jumps off the base, morphs the flesh on its lower body into a skirt-like shape, and flaps it to float around.
  • Parental Neglect: While not her parent (they seem more like sisters, with Yellow being far older), Yellow Diamond clearly views babysitting Pink Diamond as a tiresome bother and ignores her as much as possible. This causes Pink to act out, mostly in displays of foot-stamping entitlement.
  • Parental Substitute: Considering that Stevonnie saw Dr. Maheswaran as a stand-in for Yellow Diamond, and Gems don't have parents, Yellow Diamond treats Pink Diamond like a daughter.
  • Pet the Dog: Yellow Diamond didn't harm the organic life on the moon base. She also is much kinder to Pink, relatively speaking, than to anyone else who would be that insubordinate.
  • Planet Looters: Unlike they planned to do on Earth, Homeworld didn't set up any permanent colonies on the planet the jungle moon orbits, they just stripped it bare and abandoned it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Yellow Diamond only wanted to extract the resources from the planet, not its moon, so she didn't waste any time or resources in removing the latter's organic biosphere.
  • Pronoun Trouble: Stevonnie switches between "I" and "we" frequently.
  • Psychometry: Stevonnie appears to have their own version of Steven's dream-based powers—ones that let them experience past events in the location where they sleep, from the perspective of one person involved. However, the one we see is distorted by/merged with Connie's memories.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Pink Diamond smashes her reflection at the end of the "Diamond Dream".
  • Royal Brat: Pink Diamond in her memories demands an army and a colony simply because Yellow already has them and she wants one herself.
  • Seriously Scruffy: Stevonnie grows stubble after a while. Rather than inexplicable Perma-Stubble, it seems to stay that length from using Rose's Sword as an imperfect shaving razor.
  • Skewed Priorities: Stevonnie is more focused on Priyanka ignoring them than Priyanka organizing planetary genocide. It turns out that this is because Stevonnie is playing the role of Pink Diamond, for whom these would be sensible priorities.
  • Something Completely Different: This is the first time we see aliens that are not gem-related, and one even acts as the main antagonist for the episode, taking on a role similar to the gem monsters. This is also the first episode that Steven doesn't technically appear.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: While the "predator" part is questionable, the bird blob goes to great lengths to kill Stevonnie long after they left its baby alone. It chases them into the moon base, and some hours later, it climbs onto the dome and starts pecking at the glass. It only leaves after Lars shoots at it.
  • Talking to Themself: At various points, Stevonnie's component personalities talk to each other. Stevonnie even tells themselves goodnight for both Steven and Connie.
  • Tempting Fate: Stevonnie is glad that the ship's monitoring system still works, only for it to shut down immediately after.
  • Theme Song Reveal: The musically inclined will notice that the shots of Stevonnie arguing with Yellow are underscored with the fourth "Diamond chord", hinting that they are actually dreaming as Pink Diamond.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The buttons Stevonnie presses to active the communicator play the Diamond leitmotif.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Stevonnie is not actually themselves in the dream, but Pink Diamond.
  • Towering Flower: The trees from the titular moon all look more like giant flowers.
  • Wham Episode: We get our first glimpse of Pink Diamond.
    • In a much more minor way, we get confirmation that life exists elsewhere in the universe that is not based on Earth or the Gems.
    • We also see the end result of a Gem invasion on a planet... and what fate could be waiting for the earth.
  • Wham Line:
    • There's a brief vocal cue where the voice of Connie's mother dissolves into an impression of Yellow Diamond's.
    • Stevonnie protests that it's not fair that they don't have their own colony and that they deserve one. Yellow's response?
      "Then why don't you act like it, Pink?"
  • Wham Shot:
    • During Stevonnie's dream, a few Homeworld ships appear in the distance, and Connie's mother is shown to possess Yellow Diamond's eyes before gaining her whole attire.
    • The dream ends when Stevonnie punches one of the moon base's windows in anger, but it's not their reflection in the window. It's Pink Diamond's.
  • Wingding Eyes: Stevonnie gets diamonds in their eyes when they see Yellow Diamond operate the musical code on her screen. Though this is similar to how Connie's eyes often look, the shape is different (the edges are straight instead of concave), hinting at them actually being Pink Diamond.
  • Woman Child: Pink Diamond is shown trying to get attention from someone in a childish manner and throwing a tantrum when she doesn't get what she wants.

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