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Once in a while, we get stories like this and it’s appropriate givent the holiday season. During a blizzard, Greg and the Gems tell Steven about a story when Steven was a baby. Vidaila had let Greg use her house to take care of Steven. The Gems come by and give Steven presents he’s clearly too young for.

Steven’s gem glows and each of the Gems get an idea about what it could mean. Amethyst thinks is Rose shapeshifting, Garnet thinks Steven is a fusion trying to unfuse, and Pearl thinks it’s Rose trying to communicate. In other words, they all think it’s Rose. They take Steven and find out that Steven is Steven and not Rose and they and Greg agree to figure out things together.

It is established that changing and growing does not come naturally to Gems, though Amethyst has been depicted as younger in previous episodes. This was simply a nice story during the holiday season before yet another hiatus.

GRADE:  A

StatManDan

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409 – “Three Gems and a Baby”

Written by: Lamar Abrams, Katie Mitroff
Greg tells Steven about their first winter together.

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We went to a gem harvest and a Thanksgiving episode broke out. Steven has his autumn visit to Peridot and Lapis where they are raising a farm. The vegetables don’t come to life, though, until Steven creates a pet pumpkin for the pair. All of sudden, a crusty pilot arrives and claims the barn. Greg and the Crystal Gems arrive on the scene and it turns out to be Greg’s cousin Andy and they used to be part of a flying team called the Flying DeMayo’s.

Andy, or “Uncle Andy” to Steven, eventually calms down and comes around to what’s going on by throwing a party. It turns out to be a pseudo-Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, the vegetables (that aren’t like Veggie Head), and cake. However, Andy then goes away again giving Peridot and Lapis the barn after feeling out of place. Steven follow him and asks him to come back. It turns out that the rest of Andy’s family all went their separate ways leaving just him to carry on the act—when he could’ve used his plane to visit the rest of his family. He does come back for the party and we’ll see if he becomes a recurring character.

This was a surprising episode. We get a family member on Greg’s side this time and at first he’s like the “conservative relative” that seems to always bring up something political as evidenced by calling Peridot and Lapis hippies at first. However, as Steven is ever the peacemaker, Andy shows a lighter side and goes with the flow. It is relatable for people to get bitter when everything around them changes and it’s not to their liking. That’s what we got with Andy as he only focused on the act and hasn’t seen Greg in over 20 years. Overall, though, he makes for an interesting character and likely one we’ll see again.

Again, there was no clue that this was actually going to be a holiday episode, but that is what we have there and it’s actually quite a heartwarming one. If there’s anything to take issue with, it’s that the dialogue at the table was very corny and awkward amongst the Gems. Outside of that, everyone was likable in this episode and surprises everyone by being more slice-of-life than the adventure that “Bismuth” became. Steven Universe is back and for that, we are very thankful.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • + Peridot and Lapis farming
  • + A new addition to the family
  • + A surprise (if accidental?) Thanksgiving episode
  • – Dialogue at the table

GRADE:  A

StatManDan

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408 – “Gem Harvest”

Written by: Raven M. Molisee, Paul Villeco, Hilary Florido, Lauren Zuke
Steven’s autumn visit to the barn brings a new stranger into his life.

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SU Review: “Onion Gang”

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Steven and Onion were hanging out on a Summer’s Day—one of the last before the Fall, apparently. Then, Onion takes Steven into the woods to see that Onion has a secret set of friends. One of them, Garbanzo, speaks like a Pokemon and has a baby named Pinto. There is also Squash and Soup. They have some really dark humor like faking a death from a soap box accident and sneaking up on people to take photos.

Things get out of hand though when they have a bug race. Steven’s bug wins, but they apparently want him to kill it. Steven refuses and goes back. However, it turns out he is lonely and not Onion because Connie, Petey, and others are off doing other things right now. Then, it turns out Onion’s friends only come by in Summer and since Summer is ending, they are going away. But Onion still has Steven for the whole year in Beach City.

Frankly, I’m not sure what this episode accomplishes other than Onion has friends similar to him. They have as dark a sense of humor as he does. Onion can be creepy at times, but people do like him. Steven is trying to be his friend when he isn’t creeped out by him. It is a sweet episode for Onion if only to show that he does have friends besides Steven.

GRADE:  B

StatManDan

Steven Universe 407 – Onion Gang Episode Guide

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407 – “Onion Gang”

Written by: Lamar Abrams and Katie Mitroff
Steven finds out about Onion’s secret friends.

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SU Preview: Onion Gang

Preview for this week’s Steven Universe, Onion Gang.