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Stay here, if something happens, Dad will need a new son.

Steven to Lion

"The Return" is the 51st episode of the first season of Steven Universe, the 48th episode aired, the 51st episode overall, and the fourth episode in the first StevenBomb.

Official Synopsis

A new threat arrives in Beach City.[2]


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After getting his usual fry bits from Peedee, Steven talks to Greg about the Crystal Gems countering against Peridot's robonoids. Suddenly, they, as well as the rest of Beach City, see a strange object in the sky: a giant, green hand pointing directly at them. The Crystal Gems believe that Peridot has finally arrived and, with Steven, use the Quartizine Trio along with another light cannon, forming the Quartizine Quartet, against the ship. However, the light cannons have no effect on it. Anticipating an all-out battle, Steven calls Mayor Dewey to help evacuate the town. To his surprise, he is told by the Gems to join his dad and the rest of Beach City's citizens. Garnet states that it is his destiny to help and protect them, just as his mother did.

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Leaving the town, Steven hopes that Peridot will leave them alone once she sees what the Earthlings are like, but Greg has doubts. He then accidentally lets it slip that he knew other Gems had invaded Earth before. Unable to hold in the truth any longer, he blurts out that the gems were part of the invaders, telling Steven that his mother, Rose Quartz, rebelled because of "something awful" her kind was doing to the planet. He goes on to say that many lives were lost in the battle, Gems and people alike; Rose was able to drive the invading Gems from Earth but could only save a handful of her closest friends with her shield. Steven begs his dad to turn around so he can help the others and accidentally triggers the airbag system in the van, launching himself out with his bubble shield. He then asks Greg to keep the evacuees safe while he finds a way back to Beach City. Lion arrives to help him do just that. On his way, Steven leaves a voice message to Connie's house.

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Steven and Lion arrive at the beach where they find the Crystal Gems; Amethyst and Pearl have formed Opal in a futile attempt to shoot down the ship. As it finally lands, they see three other Gems emerge: Peridot, a large Gem named Jasper, who has a grudge against Rose, and Lapis Lazuli, who has been dragged with them. Jasper is not impressed with what she sees and orders Peridot to destroy them using lasers from the ship. The Crystal Gems order Steven to leave, but he refuses, stating he is a Crystal Gem, too. He then jumps in front of them and shields them from the ship's blast.

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After the smoke clears, Jasper is shocked to find Steven bearing the same Gem power as Rose Quartz, mistaking him for his mother. Shortly afterward, Steven collapses from the exhaustion of creating such a large shield. Jasper decides to take him to Yellow Diamond before she sees Garnet rushing in to attack. Garnet is countered by Jasper's helmet before being poofed by a Gem Destabilizer, leaving two dormant gems in the aftermath; one red and one blue. Jasper declares her victory as she subdues the rest of the team, starting with Steven. She headbutts Steven, knocking him unconscious as the screen blacks out.






Instrumental Songs


  • The frontal close up of Opal shooting the arrow is the same animation used in "Giant Woman".


  • The Laser Light Cannon and the Quartizine Trio make an appearance again. They are activated by the same method: Steven saying the phrase, "If every porkchop were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs."
  • The Crystal Gems use the same telescope to view the Gem Warship close up as they did with the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon" and later to check for Peridot in "Cry for Help".
  • The fourth cannon that made its debut in "Laser Light Cannon" is moved via the red wagon again.
  • Opal's outfit has changed since her last appearance due to Pearl's regeneration.
  • Steven mentions that it is time for some "political favors" before calling Bill Dewey. This references "Cat Fingers" when Greg and Steven were washing Bill Dewey's van and Greg stated that they could get "political favors" when the job is done.
  • The reason Jasper calls Amethyst an "overcooked runt" is later revealed in "Too Far". Amethyst should be twice her size as a normal Quartz, but she "stayed in the ground too long."
  • Jasper referring to Garnet as a "shameless display" is another hint at Garnet's true nature as a fusion as well as hinting toward Jasper's own initial views about fusion.


Note: Time is displayed in [mm: ss]; [00:00] refers to the point after the title card is displayed and before the episode's start.


  • [02:08] After the first sonic disturbance from the Gem Warship, the glass windows of the shops along the boardwalk are shattered, but when they are shown again later, the windows are unbroken.
  • [08:52] When Jasper first orders Peridot to fire with the ship, Peridot forms a screen that has a rectangular shape with the fingers from her Limb Enhancers on the corners. When a close-up of the screen is shown, it has an octagonal shape with the fingers on the sides.
  • [10:31] When Jasper picks Steven up, she uses her right hand. In the next shot, she is seen grasping him with her left hand.


  • [02:03] When Mayor Dewey's van is out signaling everyone to evacuate, the nose of the head on top of the van is not colored in, or is the same color as Mayor Dewey's skin, instead of red.
  • [02:48] When Garnet talks to Steven after giving him the megaphone, Ruby's gem appears on her right hand instead of Sapphire's.
  • [05:09] When Steven lifts up his hoodie while convincing his dad that he is the only one that can save the Gems, his shirt is not seen when in fact it should be visible underneath his hoodie.
  • [07:58] While atop the Gem Warship, the ribbon on Lapis' top is missing.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for The Return.



ve Episode List
Pilot Pilot
Season 1 A: Gem GlowLaser Light CannonCheeseburger BackpackTogether BreakfastFryboCat FingersBubble BuddiesSerious StevenTiger MillionaireSteven's LionArcade ManiaGiant WomanSo Many BirthdaysLars and the Cool KidsOnion TradeSteven the Sword FighterLion 2: The MovieBeach PartyRose's RoomCoach StevenJoking VictimSteven and the StevensMonster BuddiesAn Indirect KissMirror Gem/Ocean Gem

B: House GuestSpace RaceSecret TeamIsland AdventureKeep Beach City WeirdFusion CuisineGarnet's UniverseWatermelon StevenLion 3: Straight to VideoWarp TourAlone TogetherThe TestFuture VisionOn the RunHorror ClubWinter ForecastMaximum CapacityMarble MadnessRose's ScabbardOpen BookShirt ClubStory for StevenThe MessagePolitical PowerThe Return/Jail Break

Season 2 Full DisclosureJoy RideSay UncleLove LettersReformedSworn to the SwordRising Tides, Crashing SkiesKeeping It TogetherWe Need to TalkChille TidCry for HelpKeystone MotelOnion FriendHistorical FrictionFriend ShipNightmare HospitalSadie's SongCatch and ReleaseWhen It RainsBack to the BarnToo FarThe AnswerSteven's BirthdayIt Could've Been Great/Message ReceivedLog Date 7 15 2
Season 3 Super Watermelon Island/Gem DrillSame Old WorldBarn MatesHit the DiamondSteven FloatsDrop Beat DadMr. GregToo Short to RideThe New LarsBeach City DriftRestaurant WarsKiki's Pizza Delivery ServiceMonster ReunionAlone at SeaGreg the BabysitterGem HuntCrack the WhipSteven vs. AmethystBismuthBetaEarthlingsBack to the MoonBubbled
Season 4 Kindergarten KidKnow Your FusionBuddy's BookMindful EducationFuture Boy ZoltronLast One Out of Beach CityOnion GangGem HarvestThree Gems and a BabySteven's DreamAdventures in Light DistortionGem HeistThe ZooThat Will Be AllThe New Crystal GemsStorm in the RoomRocknaldoTiger PhilanthropistRoom for RubyLion 4: Alternate EndingDoug OutThe Good LarsAre You My Dad?I Am My Mom
Season 5 Stuck TogetherThe TrialOff ColorsLars' HeadDewey WinsGemcationRaising the BarnBack to the KindergartenSadie KillerKevin PartyLars of the StarsJungle MoonYour Mother and MineThe Big ShowPool HoppingLetters to LarsCan't Go BackA Single Pale RoseNow We're Only Falling ApartWhat's Your Problem?The QuestionMade of HonorReunitedLegs From Here to HomeworldFamiliarTogether AloneEscapismChange Your Mind
Film Steven Universe: The Movie
Steven Universe Future Little HomeschoolGuidanceRose BudsVolleyballBluebirdA Very Special EpisodeSnow DayWhy So Blue?Little GraduationPrickly PairIn DreamsBismuth CasualTogether ForeverGrowing PainsMr. UniverseFragmentsHomeworld BoundEverything's FineI Am My MonsterThe Future
Shorts Lion Loves to Fit in a BoxThe Classroom Gems: What Are Gems?We Are the Crystal GemsThe Classroom Gems: How Are Gems Made?UnboxingThe Classroom Gems: FusionCooking with LionGem KaraokeSteven ReactsVideo ChatSteven's Song Time