'Steven Universe' Episode 'Three Gems And A Baby' Recap: Flashback To Nobody Knowing What The Heck A Steven Is

  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Drama
Steven Universe, a Cartoon Network original show by Rebecca Sugar of Adventure Time. (c) Cartoon Network

The last time Steven Universe was on the air, we got to enjoy iconic episode, “ Mindful Education ” featuring gamechanger song “Here Comes A Thought.” We also got to enjoy some light-hearted Pearl shenanigans in “ Last One Out of Beach City ” and some citizenry backstory in “ Future Boy Zoltron.” And then it all stopped, except for some teasing at New York Comic-Con. Turns out the new song was from today’s episode “Three Gems and a Baby,” not last week’s “Gem Harvest.” So what did the three Gems do with the baby? Let’s find out in our “Three Gems and a Baby” Steven Universe episode recap.

“Three Gems and a Baby” starts off with Greg and the Gems relaxing inside the temple as a blizzard storms outside. They get on the subject of Steven and snow. Apparently when Steven was a baby, Vidalia allowed Greg and the Gems to stay at her home with Steven for one memorable day, when --

Steven interrupts the story to make Greg play a song for the story, which Greg has pre-prepared. You can listen to it below:

In the flashback, we see Greg returning home with groceries, heating the baby’s bottle and trundling around Vidalia’s home with baby Steven. Greg looks sadly at a photo of Vidalia with Onion’s father, presumably thinking of Rose’s recent passing. Then he falls asleep with Steven on the couch.

That’s when little Steven wakes up and breaks free of his blanket. His Gem seems to be the same size it is now, and it takes up his whole torso. He keeps opening up his onesie to reveal the Gem, so Greg buttons it back up with a little opening for the Gem to be exposed. That’s when the Crystal Gems knock on the door, bearing gifts for “little Rose” -- er, that is, Steven the human baby. Pearl is notably stiff and unhappy, while Garnet is warm and understanding, and Amethyst is not fully understanding but still on board.

Garnet gifts Steven a razor that he’ll need “in the future.” Amethyst gives Steven a box of diapers - adult diapers. And Pearl gives Steven a dictionary - “the best gift for a being that can’t yet communicate.” Greg thanks them, but explains that Steven is too young for these items and is currently in love with some keys on a chain, at which even Pearl smiles.

That’s when Steven’s Gem lights up. Everyone panics, and Amethyst’s explanation isn’t helpful: according to Amethyst, Rose is trying to shapeshift back to her own self, but as Pearl points out in a horrified corollary, she is trapped in a baby. Pearl leans forward to try to communicate with Rose - “glow twice for yes” - only for Steven to grab her nose. (“Baby, please.”) But Garnet posits that Steven is a fusion and Rose might be trying to unfuse. Greg panics and asks what he can do to help.

“Well, what do you do with a human baby when it glows?” Pearl asks. Greg grabs a baby book from the other room. When he returns, the Gems have taken Steven out of the home. “We straight up ‘napped you,” admits Amethyst in the future.

Back in the past, Amethyst tries to get Rose to “shapeshift back.” She shapeshifts into a baby herself to understand the appeal, admits that it rules, then wails in frustration that Rose has been a baby for months - even longer than that time Amethyst was a toilet. (Oh my god.)

Garnet offers her explanation that Steven is not the result of shapeshifting but of fusion. She tries to convince Steven that he can take a break in front of her. To demonstrate, Garnet unfuses into Ruby and Sapphire, causing baby Steven to burst into tears. Hurriedly they refuse, and Garnet slumps down in non-comprehension.

Cut to Greg, who is running through the blizzard after the van. He spots a dog and a sled, his hope for catching up to the Gems.

Back in the van, Pearl points to Steven’s Gem and says they can still see Rose. She reaches for Steven’s Gem in order to remove it and let Rose Quartz out… which appears to tickle Steven. Pearl can’t go through with this (horrifying) act because she knows how much Rose wanted this result. Pearl starts crying as she remembers how much Rose Quartz loved the idea of things growing and changing as humans naturally did - something that does not come naturally to Pearl. But Garnet says it will come naturally to Steven.

The Gems are quiet for a moment until Greg bursts into the back of the van and takes Steven, asking what they were thinking. Garnet apologizes - the Gems thought they knew what Steven was, but they don’t. Greg doesn’t either, but says they’ll all have a better shot if they try to figure this out together.

In the present day, Steven points out that they all have changed and grown since that day, and his mother would have been happy to see it. Pearl finishes making a cup of tea for Greg with a calmness that would have been unimaginable a few seasons ago, handing Amethyst the bag for her to eat. Greg and Pearl laugh about the time the Gems mistook a teenage babysitter taking Steven to the park for a kidnapper and Pearl threw a jungle gym at her. End of episode.

This episode should certainly sate the hunger fans have had for Gem trivia since the Thanksgiving special, which didn’t have enough Homeworld drama or Gem advancement for some. Watching the Gems try to understand what Steven is through their narrow Gem lens was both entertaining and heartbreaking, knowing that they’re dealing with a loss these long-lived and semi-immortal beings are not well-equipped to handle. Seeing Greg parent a human child that glows was equally painful - humans might grow and change more naturally than Gems, but coping with grief doesn’t come easy to us either.

The end of the episode is probably the most important bit, pointing out that despite the Gems’ conception of themselves as beings who don’t grow and change, they can change, they do change, and they have changed. There is hope for Gems changing and growing in understanding, even though they’ve never experienced what it’s like to grow from kid to adult. Comparing the Gems in the flashback to the Gems we see now, the difference is especially notable in Pearl, whom we’ve seen in almost all the stages of her rage and grief. Peridot and Lapis didn't appear in this episode, but their changes have been just as substantial. Might we have hope for some other lost Gems to find their way....? (Jasper and Bismuth, you are gone for now but not forgotten!)

Make sure to check back with iDigitalTimes for upcoming news, analysis and hot takes as they happen, with the new Steven Universe episode “Steven’s Dream,” when the episode’s airdate is finalized. Got any hot takes on “Three Gems and a Baby”? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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