Steven Universe Vlogs: Episode 38 – The Test

Steven finds some of his missions are rigged, so he’s put to the real test…in a way. Check out this Steven Universe Vlog on episode 38: The Test.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Next 2 episodes are episodes where the crew will learn a little bit more about the gems. So, they should really enjoy that. But the 3rd episode…Don’t think they will enjoy that one.

  2. Wow first!

    I really liked this episode I was hopping you and Rob would have touched more on Steven’s decision at the end to, not really lie but hide the fact he figured everything out about the test to them. A lot of kids would probably have thrown a tantrum or somethng after learning but after hearing what the other Gems say about why they are doing what they are doing, it shows he is realling growing into a mature person. He is evoling ad becoming eotinally stronger even when the other Gems feel that he needs protection.

    Those same feelings will come into play mre in laer episodes, more from Pearl in my opinion when it regards Rose and her backstory, but even when relationships between the Gems become hostile in later episodes. (hint: between Pearl and Garnet)

  3. Them referencing something from NGE made me cringe so hard. Am I the only one who hates it when good shows reference garbage?

    Other than that I did liked this episode. It showed how helpless the Gems actually are when training and handling Stevens powers without it being bleak or dark.

    And you’re right with the figuring out. While the show has a thight continuity it is possible to watch the majority of the episodes on their own.

    • Hold your horses! The NGE was good until the last two episode…after that it’s shit.

      • And there I have to heavily disagree. NGE was pretty broken from the beginning and never went beyond some really interesting design and concepts. I get that Hideaki Anno was basicly channeling his preceeding depression through the story and characters but that’s the big arrow in the franchises knee. It is impossible (at least the way NGE did it) to make an actually engaging story with characters that stay like they are and don’t change at all. Presenting reasons for the characters behaviour doesn’t fix anything if the characters don’t at least try to better themselves. Doesn’t matter if they fail in the end. They should at least try.

        That’s also why I like SU so much. The characters are dynamic and not limited to insecurity and hostility but have way more layers.

        And personally, I really liked the original finale… in concept. Shinji sitting in the theater and contemplating everything fits well with him sitting in the train and contemplate things. It’s just that pretty much every conclusion he comes to is stupid as hell and makes no sense. It also comes of as Anno telling the audience that when they’re depressed they just have to really really want to not be depressed and everything will be fine. And isn’t that something Doug often raved about in his reviews?

    • Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean the show wasn’t hugely influential. And the characters do change in NGE. Just look at how Shinji acts after Asuka shows up and how Misato acts after Kaji shows up. And you say the characters don’t try to change? What about Shinji’s “I mustn’t run away.” If you don’t think the characters change, then you weren’t paying attention.

    • I tend to agree, like when GF references Slender or anything references Madoka Magica. But hey, if that inferior thing motivated them to make this superior thing, no harm done right?

  4. Steven used wall hax.
    A winner is you Steven,

    Another great episode, and one that really showcases how the series makes Steven’s all-loving nature work. He could have gone off on the Gems for tricking him like a kid would, even if it would be justified in this case. Instead he immediately recognizes that the Gems need his support as much as he needs theirs, swallows his own insecurities, and shows them that their efforts are appreciated. It’s acts like these that mark his progress towards being an equal member of the team, not necessarily in how hard he can punch or fast he can run.

  5. Yeah this is arguably my favourite episode. I really like the designs of the different rooms and the soundtrack, especially when he leaves the rooms. I hadn’t thought of it as being ‘behind the scenes’ but now that I think about it that’s probably part of the appeal.

    But what I love most about this episode is that it really highlights how far Steven has come. He was never a bratty kid but he did behave well, younger. He was slightly more self absorbed and obnoxious. Since then he’s really mellowed out and become more aware of the people around him and his own position and responsibility. And he’s done it without drastically changing or loosing his optimism. It’s a really great depiction of a kid maturing.

  6. It’s funny that they mention Marble Madness,seeing as they’re not too far away from an episode that’s named in homage to that game.

  7. “Everything’s rigged!”

    This is yet another really good episode. As others have stated, it’s a very good showcase of Steven’s character development up to this point. I actually took a break from the show after House Guest and Space Race, and at this point, I’d forgotten that Steven still couldn’t use his healing powers anymore.

    Considering that Rob is an Evangelion fan, it’s somewhat surprising that he didn’t bring the reference. It makes me wonder the Steven Universe version of End of Evangelion would look like.

    • I still don’t think he can use his healing powers. Which is a bit of a mixed bag for me…. On one hand, it’s such a BS ability that it should probably be saved for like the final arc or something. But, on the other hand, how long is it going to take the guy to get over one thing that happened to him around a year ago?! It’s just so weird that he figured out how to control his weapon summoning but he STILL hasn’t gotten back the ability he had that long ago.

  8. This one has the feels at the end, it’s very good 🙂

  9. Again, haven’t seen this episode yet. Follow up comment to come. I know what you meant by behind the scenes. I have a really odd story like that: In the Proud Family movie, there’s a part of the movie that I’ll always remember because when Penny gets that peanut weapon, it just goes quiet and you can hear seagulls and that was always my favorite part of that movie as a kid. It really is magical.

  10. Its funny though, Steven failed all the tests actually, and you see short glimpses of that where at the first test, the ball slows down to his tempo and normally would’ve crushed him, in the second test, he did hit an axe unknowingly of him… its just in the final test where it all becomes clear for him :-P…

  11. I actually made The Test in Super Mario Maker.


  12. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    *everythings too easy*!!!!!
    Yeah this was a decent one not that one I really like but a decent one and I like that Steven told them that it was a challenge in the end and it was really hard and it was great and he liked it even though he really thought it was too easy and he hated how hthey did it but it was for his protection. It’s a fine episode just something that I won’t probably watch anytime soon.

    Well next episode is interesting it’s called future vision an episode where Steven learns that garnet can see into THE FUTURE and thinks of what will happen on the future to him. I really liked it and will probably check it out again just for your guys vlog.

  13. Steven Universe is one of the few shows I’m okay with them not constantly advancing the plot. They do really well with character and world advancement as well, and this was one of the episodes that did just that. 🙂

  14. to be honest the thing that stood out for me in this episode was steve knew the truth behind it all and instead of going “Ah Ha I found it out” he just let it ride which was pretty cool and different.

  15. This episode shows how much they need him its wonderful

  16. this episode is the episode that i really fully realized that Steven is a /really/ smart kid,like he’s smarter than a lot of kids shows will sometimes do,and i really respect it a lot

  17. Personally the thing that felt the most video gamey about this episode to me was when he walked between all the tests, it just reminded me off the first time I used no clip in half-life 2, and how it felt like I just discovered the magician’s secret.

    I also really liked the ending, such a heartwarming moment, and a rather massive anime reference that even a casual anime fan like me picked on.

    But I do think my favorite scene of this episode is Steven listening to the gems talk, it really reveals a lot about each of the gems character, and it puts a lot of things the gem previously did into perspective.
    ext up: Steven becomes a paranoid shut in, it’s like that one spongebob episode.

  18. You guys should totally check out tmnt 2012 when you’re done the Steven Universe vlogs, it’s pretty good!

  19. I saw a kind of metaphor when Steven exits the ‘levels’. To me, it resembled when you break a game and somehow end up outside the level design/architecture, and can see the bare bones of the game laid out in front of you. In parallel, when he is outside the levels, he sees that although the Gems act tough and all-knowing, they are in fact fallible. However, they are doing their best to create an environment when he can be encouraged to reach his full capabilities, but also be nurtured. He sees through the facade on both counts.

    I think there is that time in every kid’s life when you come to realize that your parents/guardians are not perfect, omniscient beings (as you believe when you’re an infant). There comes a time when you, as a child, discover that you have also have a personal responsibility for their happiness and welfare (it’s love, yo). It’s an important part of a child’s development, like theory of mind, and a part of growing up. For Steven to to pretend that he was tricked by the test, just for the Gems well-being, shows a level of maturity that we haven’t seen before. It’s interesting to note that the very next episode starts with him clearing out some of his old toys (but not all, mustn’t grow up too fast now o_~)

  20. This was the first time that the Gems have showed any mourning in the show so far… that I can remember.

  21. I just got into the fandom and I’m working my way through episodes, but…

    Episodes like this one are making me blink, look back to the first eight or ten, and wonder: “…Am I still watching the same series?” When this started it was just an Adventure Time knockoff (er…early episodes of Adventure Time) to me…and now it’s getting far more mature. I honestly wondered what the appeal was of the show until it finally started to reveal the overarching story in “Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem”, but now I’m seeing it…not only in this episode but the ones leading up to it. Even Steven seems so much older now than he was in “Cheezeburger Backpack”…

    I’ve got to wonder if that was intentional all along or, after the first dozen or so episodes, they decided to take off with this newer direction.

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