STEVEN UNIVERSE – EPISODE 4 “TOGETHER BREAKFAST”

Ep. #4
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Nov. 11th, 2013
SONG: No
SYNOPSIS: Steven makes the perfect breakfast, but he wants the Crystal Gems to celebrate with him, so he ventures deep into the Gems’ temple home.

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With everyone gone, it’s up to Steven to make breakfast. As he awaits for Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl to arrive, Steven creates a delectable waffle meal; even the out-of-placed popcorn looks scrumptious. Steven wants to share it with the Gems, so he dubs it the “Together Breakfast.”

Garnet arrives from the main warp pad just in time for Steven’s TB, but she can’t stay, she has a mission to get rid of a scroll with weird symbols on it. Steven takes a picture on his phone, prompting Garnet to swipe it, saying it’s now compromised since it contains a photo of it. Garnet enters the temple via the main door, activated by their respective gems. The entrance to the temple has a star on the door; an insignia that the Crystal Gems associate themselves with. You’ll see the star pattern plastered everywhere in the show, including the Gems and Steven. The star shape is in direct contrast to another important shape we’ll see as the show progresses. For now, bask in the minor foreshadowing.

After Garnet leaves, Steven tries to open the door to the temple himself, but his gem won’t activate. Amethyst barges in, shapeshifted as a police officer, and squirts Steven with a water gun. Amethyst’s fun is interrupted when she notices someone coming out of her room: Pearl. One of her swords were in Amethyst’s room, so Pearl merely went to retrieve it…and clean up the mess that is Amethyst’s junk. The latter angrily runs to her room, saying she has a system for her garbage. Pearl quickly leaves for her pad, forcing Steven to pick up his TB and squeeze his way in.

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The temple is not a straightforward house. There’s only one entrance right behind the warp pad located in Steven’s living room (Steven’s house is literally built around the Crystal Gem’s temple entrance) that they can activate to go into any of the areas of the temple. Alongside Amethyst’s shapeshifting abilities, this shows an immense physical flexibility to the Gems’ biological and architectural structure, further emphasizing the alien quality to them. They look and sound like human women, but they’re not. The beauty of Steven Universe is that they don’t attempt to explain this through extensive exposition; most of this is presented without context. The show is amazingly good at presenting an unexplained element through easy accessibility. Even if we don’t know why Amethyst can shapeshift or the full extent of their powers just yet, we can tell the Crystal Gems are different species from humans and that they have their own culture and style of living.

Pearl’s room is a gushing water fountain for example. She gracefully walks on the water to the very top of the fountain and elegantly dances as a row of swords surround her. She places the missing one back in its original sheath. Steven interrupts so he can convince her for to join for TB, wading through the water to reach her. Unfortunately he doesn’t react fast enough when he reaches the edge. The water pulls him down and he literally slides around in loops. On top of the temple’s Euclidean design, it defies all manners of physics. Then again, maybe those waffles also defies physics as the TB stays perfectly intact the whole way through.

He ends up in Amethyst’s room, the land of many, many, many useless junks (how did she get a telephone pole in there?!) Amethyst is peeved that Pearl organized her stuff, but perks up when she spots Steven’s breakfast. She hungrily demands the meal, but Steven refuses until he finds all three Crystal Gems. Amethyst isn’t taking “no” for an answer and chases Steven until they reach the chamber of the Crystal Heart, a literal heart-shaped structure that holds some of the dangerous parts of the temple together.

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Steven accidentally slides down a pole he’s been gripping onto, leading him down to the bottom parts of the temple where Garnet is. There she destroys Steven’s phone by chunking it into a small chamber of magma. Then she slowly lowers the scroll until it catches on fire, creating a smoke around it that Garnet bubbles up. If you look in the background, you’ll see a lot of gems bubbled up as well. Hmm. Steven interjects (as well as Pearl and Amethyst), breaking Garnet’s concentration and releasing the creature inside the scroll. The incorporeal form dodges the Crystal Gem’s attacks and possesses the Together Breakfast, transforming it into a delicious nightmare. Garnet’s restrained delivery of the line, “Now it has all the powers of a breakfast”” is one for the ages.

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Steven realizes the gravity of the situation and pushes the creature into the magma pit after the Gems fail to win the battle, defeating it for good. He apologizes for being impulsive afterwards. Later, Steven and the Crystal Gems create an even bigger batch of Together Breakfast, but the image of the monster is enough to ruin their appetite for waffles. They order pizza instead.

“Cheeseburger Backpack”” was an attempt to show Steven’s place among the Crystal Gems: a newbie who is only just beginning his training; a peron whose unique vision affords another solution to various problems. It was to show he was more than a tagalong kid and reveal the potential he has inside in. “Together Breakfast”” is the opposite of that. On top of showcasing the inner workings of the Crystal Gems’ temple, it’s plays the Kid Tagalong archetype straight. Steven is impulsive, goofs up, and doesn’t heed the warnings of those more experienced. He acts exactly how a child would: disappointed that the grown-ups refuses to pay attention to him despite being busy with their own things and acting instead of thinking or being patient. Naturally this causes a whole heap of trouble by end. Steven means well, but this marks one of the very few times where his childishness ends up irritating than endearing. But he makes one heck of a breakfast!

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