Steven Universe: Three Gems and a Baby
December 1, 2016 6:40 PM - Season 4, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Greg tells Steven the story of their first winter together.
posted by Small Dollar (16 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Baby Steven, baby Steven. Baby Steven baby Steven, baby Steven baby Steven, baby Steven. Baby Steven. Baby Steven, baby Steven Baby Steven, baby Steven. Baby. Steven. Baby Steven? Baby Steven.

Ahem.

Now that that's out of my system, man, I feel for poor Greg. Like, he's basically a widower with a newborn and these three maniac aunts who he has to educate while he's trying to raise his kid, out of a damn van.

I'd always wondered if Pearl ever contemplated just bumping baby Steven off to try and get Rose back, but I guess even her obsession isn't that cruel.
posted by Jilder at 2:42 AM on December 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


It seems like Pearl contemplated bumping off Steven in this very episode, when she was thinking about pulling Rose's gem free from Steven's tiny baby tummy. It's not clear what that would do exactly, but presumably it'd be very bad for Steven. Luckily Rose was wise enough to make sure Pearl really understood this is what Rose wanted. In the end it was Pearl that stated they would be about Steven now.

Amusing how each of the Crystal Gems understood it in their own style, Amethyst assuming it was a new form, Garnet calling it a fusion, and even Pearl thinking of Steven like a gem trapped in a physical object (which is in some ways closest to the truth). Have to imagine if Bismuth was there she'd call it a new weapon against homeworld.

This episode drives home why Greg was tasked with taking care of young Steven. Greg has, at a minimum, some innate paternal instincts to go on. He clearly was overwhelmed with the task, but he was still a better choice than alien beings with extremely minimal experience with babies. This is all pre-Steven's house too, I imagine those early years were rough as hell for poor Greg.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:27 AM on December 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


This episode was HEARTBREAKING. The moment where Greg is feeding baby Steven and looks over and sees a picture of Vidalia, Yellowtail and little Sour Cream and his face just...falls. Ugh, so sad.

I did crack up at Amethyst saying, "WHY ARE YOU STILL A BABY, STEVEN? IS IT REALLY AWESOME OR SOMETHING?" ::turns self into a baby:: "GARNET, PICK ME UP. Yeah, okay, this rules." HA.

I'm so glad they managed to make themselves a little family. It looks like things were pretty bumpy there for awhile.

Pearl's barely concealed rage toward Greg and baby Steven was pretty tough to take as well.
posted by Aquifer at 6:26 AM on December 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Storywise: this was great! Animation wise: this felt weirdly inconsistent, and that kept drawing me out of the story. Like Amethyst's head kept changing sizes, and Greg just looked kinda... off.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:32 PM on December 2, 2016


I love how this episode really hammered on Greg and the Gems' total unpreparedness to deal with Steven in both explicit and subtextual ways. Like, it's a running gag that Greg is just this dude that runs a car wash and loves his van and stuff, but in this episode it's like oh shit, Greg is basically HOMELESS, there's a BLIZZARD, and he has a HYBRID ALIEN INFANT he has to try to keep alive.

And the alien side of the family is like—they do not understand this at all, and the only thing keeping e.g. Pearl from just slaughtering Steven is the fact that this is what Rose wanted.

Grieving Pearl is harrowing and terrifying in this episode and I loved it.

And in general I love how we've seen that the weird-but-good-and-loving family dynamic that Steven has around him has been HARD-WON.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:01 AM on December 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Interesting nativity parallels - the Three Wise Gems bringing gifts, and Greg was totally done up in blue like the Virgin Mary at the end.
posted by miratime at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2016 [10 favorites]


miratime, was going to say exactly that! It actually reminded me of the significantly-cruder Christmas episode of '90s sitcom Bottom.

So many great bits in this episode though. Baby Steven grabbing Pearl's nose! The ignition-revving cut to the Gems kidnapping Steven with the keys Greg left them. The Gems only understanding Steven at first through their own abilities/worldviews.

the only thing keeping e.g. Pearl from just slaughtering Steven is the fact that this is what Rose wanted
Yeah, it's played a touch lighter and glossed over, but that is exactly what (almost) happened. Bad Pearl! Or maybe "Good Bad Pearl, don't try it again!"

I liked Steven's jumper too. Too late in the season for knitting or merchandising though, d'oh!
posted by comealongpole at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Is this Greg's first flash-back with his sunburn?
He seemed concerned about lasers....
posted by FallowKing at 10:36 AM on December 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


No. The extended intro, showing him building Steven's house, has the perma-sunburn too. But it does add another datapoint for the "he got it when Steven was born" theory.
posted by traveler_ at 2:39 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well maybe it answers the question "Did Rose warn the Gems/Greg ahead of time," because Greg is not shocked and horrified, just sad. And she apparently told Pearl/Garnet/Amethyst something, even if they didn't understand it.

Still pretty fucked up though "Hey I'm gonna have a baby and you'll never see me again, though it's kinda me but not really, take care of it for me bye."

Pearl remains Most Anguished Gem and therefore, my favorite.

I may be alone here in finding Baby Steven kind of offputting, with his little dot eyes.
posted by emjaybee at 5:49 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's clear to me that Rose had a good heartfelt discussion with Pearl at least. That monologue about how much Rose wanted Steven has got to have come from that.

Poor Pearl. I do think once she processed it a bit she took to caring for Steven as she would have Rose, but I can't imagine it was easy for her.

I still think Greg should get Parent of the Year for not either socking someone or having hysterics at the Gems for kidnapping Steven. Frankly he should get Parent of the Year every year. The gems aren't great at thinking beyond their experiences, so all of Steven's empathy and gentleness come from him, and in turn on to the gems.
posted by Jilder at 10:29 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


Did we always know Steven is 14? He seems a lot younger.
posted by numaner at 10:56 PM on December 4, 2016


numaner we didn't know his age till the recent birthday episode where it was revealed. Apparently he stopped growing around age 10 and it's unclear how fast he will grow/how much more growth he will have.
posted by emjaybee at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2016


numaner: This episode
posted by Jilder at 7:08 PM on December 5, 2016


I still think Greg should get Parent of the Year

Greg is best the TV dad I've ever seen.
posted by INFJ at 10:25 AM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I even commented in that thread! I have a terrible memory.
posted by numaner at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2016


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