Your base is taken, your armies are ruined, you have failed!


"The Return" is the 48th episode of the first season in Steven Universe, and the 48th episode overall.


A new threat arrives in Beach City


After getting his usual fry bits by Peedee, Steven talks to his dad, Greg, about the Crystal Gems countering against Peridot's robonoids on Earth. 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 light cannons against the ship. However, they have no effect against 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 the people, being the voice for them and protect them like his mother did.

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 blurts out that he saw other Gems invade earth the first time. Unable to hold in the truth any longer, he tells 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, and, because of her shield, she was only able to save a handful of her closest friends and drive the rest of the invaders from Earth. Steven begs his dad to turn around so he can help the others, but accidentally triggers an air bag system in the van and launches himself out while in 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, he leaves a voice message to Connie's house.

They both meet up with the Crystal Gems, with Amethyst and Pearl fused as Opal in a futile attempt to shoot down the ship. As it finally lands, they see three other Gems emerge: Peridot, Lapis Lazuli, who had been dragged with them, and a large Gem named Jasper, who has a grudge against Rose. Jasper is not impressed with what she sees and orders Peridot to destroy them using lasers from the ship. The Crystal Gems beg Steven to leave, but he refuses, saying he is a Crystal Gem, too. He then jumps in front of them and shields them from the blast.

Jasper is shocked to find Steven bearing the same Gem power as Rose, but mistakes him for his mother. Shortly afterward Steven collapses from exhaustion of creating such a large shield. She decides to take him to Yellow Diamond before she sees Garnet rushing in to attack. Garnet is countered by Jasper's helmet before being seemingly destroyed 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 as the screen blacks out due to Steven being knocked unconscious.



Cameos & Mentions





Production Notes




  • This marks Peridot's third appearance, and the first time she meets the Crystal Gems in person.
  • Garnet "dies" in this episode, after being hit with a Gem Destabilizer.
    • When her gemstones hit the ground, they're red and blue, showing that she is made of two different Gems (which are Ruby and Sapphire, respectively).
  • This is the second time Steven activates a Laser Light Cannon.
  • This episode continues in Jail Break.
  • This is the third time Steven uses his shield and the second time where he controlled it.
    • Because Steven used his shield in front of Jasper, she believed that Steven was Rose and that she had just shape shifted into a human form.
    • Steven's summoning of a larger version of his shield cost him a lot of energy, causing him to collapse on the ground shortly after releasing it.
  • Right before Steven accidentally sent himself flying out of his dad's van, you can see Mayor Dewey in a car instead of his political van.


  • The Laser Light Cannon from the episode of the same name as well as the Quartzine 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 were using the same telescope to view the Gem Warship close up as they did with the Red Eye in "Laser Light Cannon."
  • The fourth cannon that made its debut in "Laser Light Cannon" was moved via the red wagon again.
  • Amethyst and Pearl fuse into Opal to try and take down the Gem Warship.
    • This is the second time Opal was seen on the series, the first being in "Giant Woman".
    • Opal's outfit changed since her last appearance, due to Pearl's outfit change.
      • Changes included a sash around the waist, and the top part of the outfit has wide sleeveless straps now instead of being completely strapless.
  • Steven mentioned that it was time for some "political favors," and then called the mayor. This referenced the episode "Cat Fingers" when Greg and Steven were washing Mayor Dewey's van and Greg stated that they could get "political favors" when the job was done.
  • The "now leaving beach city" sign is seen again, it was first seen in "On the Run" when Jenny, Buck and Sour Cream picked up Steven and Amethyst to drop them off at said sign.
  • This episode marks the fourth time Garnet's eyes are seen; the first, second, and third being in Arcade Mania, Mirror Gem, and Future Vision, respectively.


  • When Jasper calls Amethyst "a puny overcooked runt", the star-shaped hand guard on her whip appears to have four points instead of five.
  • When Garnet got hit by Jasper's Gem Destabilizer and her gems touched the ground, Her gems became the opposite color of each other, Ruby's gem appeared blue, while Sapphire's was red.
  • When Jasper walked onto the beach after using a Gem Destabilizer on Garnet, she leaves no visible footprints and her feet do not sink into the sand.
  • When Jasper picks Steven up, she uses her right hand. In the next shot, she is seen grasping him with her left hand.
  • When Garnet falls backwards after being hit with the Gem Destabilizer, most of her facial features do not appear to be present for a few seconds. They then re-appear in the final shot before her 'Death' shot when she looks back at Steven.
  • After Garnet was hit by the Gem Destabilizer, her glasses crack. In the next shot, her glasses aren't there. But we could assume that as they aren't part of Garnet's actual body, that they have already been destroyed.


View the episode's transcript here.


New Gallery

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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



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