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Recap / Steven Universe S5E4 "Lars' Head"

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Moments after his revival, Lars is a little confused, especially as to why he is suddenly pink from head to toe.

Steven apologetically explains the last few minutes to him — that he was badly wounded in the fight against the robonoids, and that Steven brought Lars back to life.

Steven: It was an accident! Well, I probably would have done that on purpose if I knew I could do that, but I didn't really ask your permission, so I'm sorry.
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Steven asks if he's sore, hungry, thirsty or tired. Lars says he isn't, even though it has to have been days since he's eaten or drank anything. He's just sort of freaked out to be pink and to realize that he was ... away from life if Steven brought him back to life.

Lars parses out what this means and after a brief moment of worrying if he's now a zombie, realizes that he's in better shape than the obvious alternative. The Off Colors, having hurriedly blocked the entrance with Steven's help, wonder what to do. If they remain here in the Kindergarten, where the robonoids already found them, they're in danger. If they go out to the surface, they're in danger.

Rutile: So we stay here and get caught...or we leave and get caught.

Steven goes to take a closer look at the now-pink Lars. As he touches Lars' mohawk, it lights up and Steven's fingers vanish into it. Lars is very curious as to why his hair lights up now.

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Steven recognizes the effect, and asks Lars to bend down so Steven can check.

Steven: You may feel a slight foot in your head.

Steven takes a deep breath, sticks his whole head in and recognizes the space he's in now as the pocket dimension inside Lion's mane. He sees a tree near himself, but is momentarily dismayed. It's not the tree in Lion's mane in which Rose kept her mementos and Steven keeps his things, but a glance around proves that tree is only a brief walking distance from this one! Steven makes his way through the thick pink hair-grass, and emerges from the pocket dimension — via Lion, back on Earth! Lion doesn't seem terribly surprised or excited to see him. Steven looks around, but the house is dark. No one's home. He sees the faucet and rushes to have a couple glasses of water. He makes himself a quick sandwich, crying tears of joy as he takes a bite, then packs some food and drinks to bring back to Lars.

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Steven comes out and hurriedly explains what's going on with Lars' hair.

Lars: Is my head like a wormhole?

Steven excitedly explains that it's a direct route home to Earth! The Off Colors are briefly confused about food, so Steven sidetracks a little bit to explain that to them. They're amazed and incredulous to hear that Steven and Lars' homeworld is Earth, since Homeworld's history insists that it was annihilated by the Diamond Authority after the war.

They tell the Off Colors that they should come back to Earth with them — they can be themselves without fear of destruction, shattering, breaking or judgement. They think it sounds wonderful and are ready to go, until a problem presents itself: Lars can't go back to Earth because he can't access the dimension inside his own head.

Steven insists on at least trying and pulls Lars' arm into the dimension with him, but the rest of him won't go.

Lars: Stop! You're gonna break my elbow!

Steven is dismayed and feels guilty that Lars can't travel back to Earth. Lars insists the Off Colors and Steven should all go; he tells the Off Colors that Earth is beautiful and they'll love it there, but they refuse: Lars sacrificed his life to save them, and as far as they're concerned, he's one of them now. An Off Color. And Off Colors stick together. They won't leave him if he can't go, so they'll just have to find another way off Homeworld.

Lars insists that Steven return anyway — he's the one the Diamonds are after, and he'll be safer if he's back on Earth. Steven protests, but Lars isn't having it.

Lars: Don't argue with me! You're always trying to help me! You brought me back to life! Just let me be someone who deserved it.

Steven isn't completely happy with this idea, but he goes with it anyway. He goes to touch Lars' chest in their usual way, but Lars bats Steven's hand away and gives him an actual hug. Then he bends down on one knee so Steven can get back into Lars' hair. Steven comes out of Lion's mane back at home again. A second or two later, the Warp Pad activates. The Crystal Gems plus Greg and Connie are back, worried and deeply crestfallen that they can't get the one ship they can access in working order.

Pearl is all flustered and upset. She paces the kitchen tearfully and greets Steven even as she worries aloud about what Homeworld might be doing to him.

Steven: I'm back!

Amethyst and Connie look astonished. Pearl looks dumbfounded. But Greg and Garnet look completely overjoyed. Greg rushes to embrace his son with tears in his eyes. They hug, both smiling happily at having been reunited. Steven laughs from the joy of being home with his family.


Tropes:

  • Bittersweet Ending: Steven manages to return home and reunites with the Crystal Gems plus Greg, though Lars and the Off Colors stay on Homeworld for the time being: Lars because he can't enter his own hair, and the Off Colors because they don't want to leave Lars behind. Lars isn't too broken up about it, as he sympathizes with the Off Colors' plight and looks forward to a chance to prove himself.
  • Call-Back: When Steven says he needs to get inside Lars's head, Lars asks in horror if he's going to possess him, like he did in "The New Lars".
  • Came Back Strong: Implied to be the case with Lars, who appears to have some of Lion's powers and may no longer need to eat.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Lars realizes he's not hungry anymore, Steven wonders if Lars now has to eat the crystal lizards that Lion was shown eating in "Lion 2: The Movie" and "Lion 4: Alternate Ending".
    • Pearl mentions the group was trying to fix Centipeetle's dropship from "Monster Reunion" to head to Homeworld. They weren't having much luck.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The story focuses on Lars a great deal.
  • Double Take: Pearl does this while panicking over Steven... after the latter has already returned home. She even says hi to him before realizing it.
  • Eating Optional: Lars apparently no longer needs to eat or drink after his transformation.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: Lars' resurrection and gaining a link to Lion's Pocket Dimension has upgraded it to one of these: going from one entrance to the other is more or less just a short walk. As Lars is currently on Homeworld, this allows Steven to literally just walk between Earth and Homeworld despite them being in different galaxies.
  • Familiar: Lars shares some similarities to one in his new state of being, the same way Lion does.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: A nonlethal one; Lars decides to stay stranded on Homeworld so Steven can go home. Similarly, the Off-Colors refuse to go to Earth via the way Steven goes back, even though they think it sounds like a wonderful place, because they refuse to leave Lars by himself and want to help him find another way home.
  • Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: Possibly one of the mildest examples ever. "Hyperspace," in this instance, is accessed by jumping into someone's hair, walking through grasslands to another tree, and popping out. It is scary, though, since there is absolutely no atmosphere for humans (the fact that sound travels, as Bismuth showed, and that there's some sort of wind to move the grass implies an atmosphere of some kind) and it requires someone to die and be brought back to life to create a point to access it.
  • I Owe You My Life: Lars lets Steven go home while he's stranded on Homeworld because Steven brought him back to life, and he wants to be someone who deserved it.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Lars initially guesses the portal in his hair is a wormhole, but Steven claims it's less complicated than that. Then Steven rapidly explains what he knows about Lion and his newfound connection to Lars, making it sound as bizarre and complicated as possible.
  • Iris Out: Over Greg and Steven's faces as the former sheds Tears of Joy.
  • Locked into Strangeness: Being brought back from the brink of death by Steven's healing powers has tinted Lars's hair and skin pink. He also has an extremely slow heartbeat and does not experience hunger.
  • Mistaken for Undead: Lars freaks out that he came Back from the Dead with a different skin color, asking if and then insisting that it means he's a zombie. Steven says he must not be because he can still talk and has a (very slow) heartbeat.
  • Morton's Fork: The Off Colors can't remain where they are, but if they leave, they'll be shattered. Thankfully, the rock they put in front of the entrance diverts the Robonoids for the time being.
  • Motor Mouth: Steven when explaining Lars' portal, and about the things that came from Earth to the Off-Colors.
    Lars: You went back to Earth? What the heck? Is my head like a wormhole?
    Steven: No, it's way simpler than that. You see, I have a pink pet lion who belonged to my mom when she was still here, and it turns out I can go into his mane, and it transports me to a magical dimension where my mom kept a bunch of artifacts on a hill with a tree, and for some reason, I can't breathe in there. But anyway, when I went into Lars' head, I got transported to the same magical dimension, but it was a new part of it, but since the two are connected, I could reach the portal that leads out of Lion's mane, which is back on Earth!
  • Never Say "Die": When Steven tells Lars that he came back to life, Lars rhetorically asks if he was "away from life". Steven similarly dances around the word "dead" when discussing what must have happened to Lion.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Lars being brought back to life allows him to live without eating or drinking and gives Steven a portal back to Earth. Had the Shattering Robonoids not attacked them and the Off Colors, the pair would've almost certainly have died of thirst.
  • Nobody Poops: Steven doesn't feel the need to dash to the bathroom once he arrives home on top of immediately reaching for food and water. Particularly odd because the show hasn't been shy about referencing the fact that Steven is the only Gem with such a necessity.
  • Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying over You: Only Pearl is the one actively panicking before finally noticing Steven, but it still counts.
  • Pocket Dimension: Lars's hair becomes a portal to the one inside Lion's mane, with a tree marking the connection point in it, like how Lion's entrance is marked by the old tree.
  • Reality Ensues: Steven, after being stuck on Homeworld for over a day with no food or water, is extremely hungry and thirsty, and the only reason Lars isn't is because he's basically part-gem/magical at this point.
  • The Reveal: The episode implies, but doesn't state, that Lion was once a regular lion who died and was resurrected by Rose with her tears — and by doing so, his fur turned pink and his mane became a Pocket Dimension. The same happens to Lars, as Steven brought him back with his tears.
  • Sequel Hook: Lars is stranded on Homeworld, but Steven will come back for him and the other Off Colors eventually.
  • Super-Strong Child: Rhodonite and the conjoined Rutile struggle to push a large rock that Steven can move with only mild effort. They even take note of his strength.
  • Suppressed History: The off-colors are shocked to learn Steven and Lars come from Earth because Homeworld believes Earth was already annihilated by the Diamonds.
  • Tears of Joy:
    • Steven cries when he eats a sandwich after being stuck without food for so long.
    • Pearl and Greg both cry when they see Steven is back.
  • Touched by Vorlons: Thanks to being revived by Steven's healing powers, Lars has a portal in his hair to the same Pocket Dimension in Lion's mane, and he seems to no longer require food or drink.
  • Transhuman: After he gets resurrected by Steven, Lars goes through quite a few different biological changes. His skin and hair are now pink, his heartbeat has slowed to a crawl, his hair is now a portal to Rose's pocket Dimension, and he no longer seems to require food for sustenance.
  • Two-Faced Aside: When Steven says he's sure Lars isn't a zombie, one Rutile thanks the stars, but the other asks what a "zombie" is.
  • Unwanted Revival: Discussed; Steven needlessly apologizes to Lars for not asking permission before bringing him to life, when it context he would obviously prefer it.
    I brought you back to life! It was an accident. I mean, I probably would've done that on purpose if I had known I could do that, but I didn't really ask your permission, so I'm sorry.
  • Wham Episode: Lion is implied to have been a regular lion Rose resurrected with her tears. Steven has done the same with Lars, which links the two via Pocket Dimension, giving the Crystal Gems a permanent passage only they know about between Earth and Homeworld. However, as he can't go through his own Pocket Dimension, Lars is now stranded on Homeworld with no present way home.

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