Steven Universe Vlogs: Episode 51 – The Return

An evil force returns to Earth, and our heroes look pretty doomedish. Check out today’s Vlog on Episode 51 of Steven Universe – The Return.

About Doug Walker

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


  1. The “Nothing happened” routine is getting old, guys… :/

    That big Gem is Jasper. Yellow Diamond is someone else. Steven didn’t see the Crystal Gems as evil aliens who invaded Earth, that’s why he’s so shocked. You MUST review the next episode tomorrow, you can’t take another break now! 😮

  2. (puts a song on). Which song? oh come on, everyone knows which song (grins)

  3. Alright. Again, not to be rude, but it needs to be said. Steven=/=Rose. Rose is gone- maybe not completely, but with at least some degree of permanence. It’s integral to understand this because it’s what justifies Steven’s experiences, and it justifies the Gems’ behavior. Jasper (who is a she by the way, as with all gems) doesn’t understand what happened. So when she sees the Rose Quartz Gem, she only thinks it’s Rose.

    And as for kicking Steven out, his powers are erratic, and it’s only due to the emotional moment that he could use them here. The CGs wanted him safe more than anything- and especially they didn’t want him to see them die. So they made the decision not to risk it all on the off chance that he might help.

    • There’s a theory going around that if Steven was ‘poofed’ back into his gem, Rose would come out again, not Steven. No real evidence either way, but its something to think about.

      • I think that was debunked by the writers if I’m not mistaken. But I don’t know for sure so don’t quote me.

        • Actually, what was said is that if Steven died, his gem wouldn’t regenerate back into Steven, since he is organic. It wasn’t said if the Gem would be destroyed if he is killed or if it would regenerate back into Rose (the original being generated by it), but we do know that unlike other Gems, Steven isn’t immortal.

          I myself actually subscribe to the theory that Stevens death would result in Rose regenerating from her gem, since it’s what seems to make the most sense, given the cosmology. I always saw Steven as sort of a “cheat fusion” of Rose with Greg’s DNA (with the obvious difference that none of Rose’s memories were retained, of course), so by that logic, the human half being destroyed would result in the gem half coming back as her own person, but that’s just my theory.

    • Actually, Doug is not wrong. Steven IS Rose – a reincarnation of sorts. Rebecca Sugar has stated several times that Rose is not actually dead, because she lives on as part of Steven. Likewise, it’s also been stated that Gems are, well, their Gems; the Rose Quartz Gem is part of Steven now, meaning that by gem logic, yes, he *is* Rose. He may not have her consciousness and memories, but that doesn’t mean that the universe doesn’t see him as sort of the same entity. It’s like how Reincarnation works in certain cultures: Every incarnation is their very own individual, with own experiences, feelings, memories and motivations, but in the grand scale of the cosmos, they’re seen as the same entity.

  4. The giant Gem’s name is Jasper. She is a minion of Yellow Diamond, who is clearly the higher u[.

  5. First off please stop with that hole bit about how nothing happened in the episode. We have watched the episodes before and you have done it over and over and over and over and over and over (are you getting it yet ) and over and over again so you are not fooling any one and the joke is now a dead horse so whether it is to be funny or to fool people for a second it won’t work so just stop. Second how do you get over 15 minutes of material from a weak episodes like political power which I think was just done to explain why Steven has the Mayors number on his phone but only 8 minutes on this episode. Third the Gem that took out Garnet is Jasper Yellow Diamond is her boss I don’t know why you thought they were the same person. Forth I took the flash back as Steven finally understanding the magnitude of all he has seen and learned. Kind of like in history we learn about all these wars and battles but but that knowledge never has any other impact on us than a grade but for him he is realizing what the Gems have seen and done and what can be done to them if they loose(namely the being destroyed part) also Greg told us why it was just the Four gems that was still fighting which was important. Finally maybe I misunderstood Doug but If you took the Gems having Steven leave as hostility you are dead wrong. I saw it as the Gems who had a major roll in raising Steven trying to protect him and also If they were to fall in the fight he would still be around as the last hope and protector of humanity. Also I am sure they didn’t want to see Steven die nor did they want him to see them die in the worse case scenarios.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks Jaspers helmet weapon looks dumb. I just cant get behind it. Japser looks like a threat,but once the helmet goes on I want to laugh and when jasper uses it to fight makes it look more silly.

  7. Is it just me or does Jasper sound severely mentally challenged?

  8. “I- I’m a Crystal Gem too!”

    That line and scene served as a great bookend to Steven’s season 1 character development. All the way back in Gem Glow, he was a mostly carefree kid who was unable to use any of his abilities, and wasn’t sure if he could even be considered a Crystal Gem. Here, with full certainty, he exclaims that he is, in fact, a Crystal, and successfully summons his shield to protect his family.

    I’ve noticed a pattern with this show; it usually will usually avoid exposition dumps until it has given enough hints to make the answers easy for the audience to guess, such as the Gem monsters, the war, and the twist from Jailbreak. This was a great start to the finale, though I admit I had hoped the initial Homeworld invasion force would consist of more than a technician, a bodyguard, and an informant of questionable loyalty.

    • I wouldn’t exactly call it an invasion force as much as an exploration team. Later on, it’s made fairly clear that the Homeworld Gems didn’t even care that much about using the planet, even during the war, for anything other than just one big test. If they wanted to take Earth, they could have sent a team of 10 gems of Jasper’s strength easily based on how many gems they got from the Kindergarten. But, for this encounter, it seems more like Peridot said there were 3 gems on the planet and Yellow Diamond didn’t quite believe her but sent Jasper and Lapis there just to be sure. And even then, one look at the group and Jasper was completely uninterested like they’re not even worth the Homeworld’s time.

  9. I personally find it appalling that the previous pointless episode was fifteen minutes, while this was only eight. Really guys? Was there nothing to talk about other than pointless “nothing happened” jokes?

    • Did you not catch on that they were very eager to watch the next episode, so didn’t want to spend 15 minutes delaying it? I’m sure they’ll talk for a long time on the next on.

      • Also, last episode dealt with a topic that warranted a lot of discussion. This was a purely plot episode, and they commented on what happened, but nothing more needed to be said.

  10. Okay, let’s get it out of the way:
    “I’m Jasper and this is Peridot. She was a prison…”
    “Shut it Jasper!”
    No, using that part is not far off since Jaspers role is pretty much identical to Nappa.

    Wait, did you skipped the Uncle Granpa crossover? I was certain that goes somewhere between Political Power and The Return.

    And again with Steven being Rose. It’s not about him being Rose but following in her foot steps. The whole thing is basicly a family friendly metaphor of a mother dying during birth and her child being raised to be her sucessor. And Jasper just can’t grasp the concept of a Gem/human hybrid so she simply assumed that they’re one and the same, wich is not the case. And the Gems don’t actually harbor hostility towards him but rather they, and especially Pearl, continue to so much of Rose in him that they sometimes have a hard time when dealing with him. They genuinly love him but they can’t help but oftentimes comparing him to her making things difficult.

    Steven did know that they are aliens that fought against their homeworld but he appearently didn’t knew the magnitude of the whole thing. I just chalk that up as a “the audience knows more than the characters” situation.

    Peridots probe was an eye and her ship was a hand. Makes you wonder what other bodyparts the Gems have for space ships. I’m alos very certain that Yellow Diamond will arrive in a giant butt. Guess where the phasers come from 😀

    And yeah, they manage to tell big stories in an 11 minute time frame. So, an Cartoon Network show about a fat kid has a better pacing and leaves a more lasting impression than any HBO show. What a surprise (not).

  11. when you’re a kid, or a particularly naive person, the weight of what’s been happening sometimes doesn’t hit you until after you go through the information. you might be thinking of yourself a few years back as a 6-year-old and suddenly break down as you realize you might have, for instance, accidentally molested your grandmother.

  12. I think the whole “why doesn’t Steven already know this stuff” mentality all has to be about how, even though the Gems know he’s becoming more and more capable of standing on his own and pulling his own, they still have this need to protect him and have yet to see him as an equal if to put it harshly. Even though they are his guardians and allow him to attend missions, they still fill the maternal role and similar mindsets on wanting to keep Steven away from the bigger danger.

    Also, I see that a few people have already said so in the comments, but it does need to be re-iterated that Steven IS NOT Rose. I want to clarify, before I go on, that this isn’t a spoiler. None of this has been brought up in episodes you both have yet to watch and has all been hinted at by creators and by episodes you two have already seen.

    Now, the reasons why Steven isn’t Rose was explained by some of the creators of the show, so it’s easy to understand why you’ve come to this misconception. The creators have said that Gems are capable of shapeshifting internal organ systems inside of themselves to experience certain aspects of biology, hence why Amethyst enjoys eating so much and why she was able to get stomach sickness at one point: she shapeshifted an entire digestive system within herself to experience eating.

    The same is said for Rose, except she shapeshifted herself a reproductive system so that she and Greg could…do the business and become pregnant with Steven. This is proven when you rewatch Lion 3: Straight to Video, when at the end of the video recording they left for Steven, Rose can be seen to have a very distinguished baby bump which both Rose and Greg look at before they kiss. And if you look at her figure in Story for Steven, she’s slightly slimmer to when she recorded that video. So, Steven is literally half human and half Gem.

    As for the whole “Steven is half of Rose” idea, I like to believe that it goes something like this. The gem, as in the gemstone on their bodies, IS the being; the consciousness, the feelings, the actual ALIVE part of them. The Gems have said that their bodies are just illusions and that it’s only if their gems are destroyed when they can actually die. My thought is that when Rose said that she will become half of Steven, that’s relating to the fact that Steven has Rose’s gem on his body (i.e. her ENTIRE BEING is now part of him) Steven is still very much human and never was or is Rose, but every aspect of his Gem abilities stems from Rose.

  13. Mr smith goes to Washington reference. very nice. I wonder who else would know what movie that it

  14. They still haven’t figured it out.

  15. Jailbreak tomorrow, I predict tears.

    Come on guys, let it out.

  16. So it’s finally time for these two episodes, I think a lot of people including me have really been looking forward to this.

    I think the main reason why this episode works so well is just the sheer aura of dread hanging over the whole thing, the homeworld has been build up very well at this point as a huge unstoppable treat, and in this episode they proof why as Jasper basically crushes the Crystal gems in what can barely be considered a fight.

    This episode also has maybe my favorite Steven lines, “Maybe when Peridot gets to Earth, she’ll see how nice all the people are and she won’t want to hurt anyone.”, that line just really shows both his naivety but also his immense kindness and willingness to forgive people.

    Next up: Stuff I don’t want to spoil.

  17. I don’t get Rob’s issue with Garnet’s line about Steven being the guiding voice for the people. It was both her way of convincing him to get out of harms way, and an honest admission of why he is so valuable and important.

    • i think rob’s a pearl fanboy

      • ^By which i mean he doesn’t give much thought to other characters reactions as he does to pearl just cuz of her relationship with rose, which despite as intriguing as it is, gets annoying when fanboys prioritise it over other characters points.
        Which after seeing their vlog to jailbreak, disappointed me so much when they spout b-s phrases like “overhyped”

        • I can see how it could have been over-hyped. I expected for a larger force to come, and while the characters and the direction of the show have been changed by this episode, it wasn’t the apocalyptic event some thought it would be. They also seem to have not fully realized what Garnet being a fusion means for her character. Pearl and Amethyst got a lot of character building before this, so it would make sense that they’d think the finale would either have something big relating to them, or introduce something big that hasn’t been explored much, like Garnet.

  18. This was a surprise it was cool
    We can see how important Steven is
    Garnet Nooooo the next episode will be so fun and have such a wonderful melody
    Lapis is a good person

  19. How two people as smart as Doug and Rob could misinterpret this show so badly again and again is unfathomable to me.

  20. Follow up comment to come. At this point, I just need to buy the show season by season. 🙁 You guys are banging through this show all of a sudden. I guess it’s because the plot is starting to kick in now.

  21. Green hand in the sky,
    Dewey hates pointing fingers,
    I am a Gem too!

    Discussing this episode is a little difficult without the second part of the two-parter, but there’s enough to talk about. I liked how the earliest part of the episode called all the way back to “Laser Light Cannon” with the fry bits. Between this and “Political Power” it pretty effectively revisited all of the townie characters we’ve gotten acquainted with over the course of the season and shows just how far the series has come in one season. That makes even the relatively tame action of all the windows in town shattering feel portentous. Steven jumping in the path of the ship’s cannon is one of my favorite jump up and cheer moments of the series, it feels like a real culmination of his character growth across the entire season. Jasper’s dialog is thick with subtext and references to be followed up on later, definitely worth multiple rewatches. As for Lapis, her dialog strongly implies that she deliberately withheld information about Steven from Homeworld in order to protect him. I like the Walking Dead well enough, but it’s consistently impressive to me how 11 minute episodes of Steven Universe and Adventure Time can deliver moments more emotional and more awesome than an hour long episode of other dramas.

  22. I though Jasper said “General Diamond needs to see this”. Apparently not, based on the other comments.

  23. Mayor Dewey’s lines was really funny in this episode. Also, that apparent Garnet death was in the words of Keanu Reeves, woah. And the way it ends… double woah.

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