Steven Universe: Space Race
October 10, 2014 1:18 PM - Season 1, Episode 28 - Subscribe

When Steven finds out that Pearl misses exploring the cosmos, he builds a spaceship to cheer her up.
posted by Small Dollar (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I love how the Gems aren't perfect. Garnet is reckless. Amethyst is slovenly. Pearl is neurotic.

I'm so curious about the Gem homeworld and how — or, perhaps more importantly, why — the warp pad network was damaged. I do hope we get to keep learning more about it.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:20 AM on October 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love Steven's dad. He's goofy but still has real affection and a sense of responsibility.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Crystal Gems are increasingly unhinged and bananas though. Yikes.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:50 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pearl, in particular, is turning out to be a complete sociopath, if you think of her as a human, which she's not, so just very, very alien. Which is cool
posted by signal at 5:58 PM on October 19, 2014

"Sometimes you just gotta know when to bail"

"People did that. And we're people."

Gosh I love this show. I'm very intrigued with Garnet's very emphatic no when asked if the warp pads could be fixed. I'm pretty sure they can be fixed...
posted by sleeping bear at 5:12 PM on October 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think this episode is a real highlight, it's an excellent story for both Pearl and Greg, and it also highlights a major theme of Steven Universe, which is: the fantastic is great, but the ordinary is great too. I think many of the show's strongest stories juxtapose the two in interesting ways. Cat Fingers, another favorite episode for me, also does this very well. That's basically Steven's whole deal, isn't it, one leg in each?

It's nice to see that it's really Greg that saves Pearl in this one. Pearl is my favorite of the Gems, the most human, and the most motherly to Steven. Amethyst is too heedless, like a wild older sister, and in terms of personality Garnet is not much more than an occasional voice of warning or support. But what's more, Pearl is the only one on whom the impact of living thousands of years, and the toll of spending that time in exile on Earth, are evident. It stands to reason that she'd crack, once in a while.

But Greg is really the star in this one. The show introduced him by pointedly making him out to be a loser, but it's done a great job of turning that around, and showing hints of what Rose saw in him.
posted by JHarris at 4:07 AM on December 24, 2014

(Going back to the pilot, it's interesting that Pearl is the one that's the most changed, both in character design -- her head looked really weird, her nose was nowhere near as sharp, and her costume was very different -- and in relationship with Steven. I'm not sure the pilot is meant to be canon, though; they reused bits of its premise in Steven And The Stevens.)
posted by JHarris at 4:13 AM on December 24, 2014

Watching this one again, poor Pearl is so achingly excited to get back to space again. I think they set up pretty well how she could take such risks, when she's usually the most cautious.
posted by JHarris at 8:47 PM on January 5, 2015

I'm really late to the party, but there's a cool little musical detail in this episode that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere: when Steven makes his first launch attempt, the first few notes of the soundtrack ("Blast Off!") are taken from a motif that you can hear at the beginning of the launch scene from Apollo 13. Same key and everything.
posted by teraflop at 7:48 PM on March 25, 2015 [5 favorites]

Pearl is really... broken. I think her obession with Rose has led to some resentment of Greg, and somewhat of Steven. We see later that she projects her devotion to Rose onto Steven through Connie.

Pearl really isn't my favorite of the three CGs (that'd be Garnet), but she's the most interesting of them.
posted by Foosnark at 1:47 PM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

As a time-traveler from eyars later finally watching this show, this was an amazing Pearl episode, showing an unexpected side of her that completely tracks with what we've seen of her before.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:56 PM on June 25, 2019

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