What we learned from Joy Ride

We’re no strangers to squeezing lore out of character-centric episodes, so even though Joy Ride focused mostly on showing us some of Steven’s feelings and giving us a better look at the cool kids you shouldn’t be surprised that we were able to get some lore out of this. Come on, didn’t you see the [REDACTED]?

The escape pod

The location of Peridot’s escape pod was definitely the high point of the night (after the pizza rain, of course). It displayed the high level of performance we’ve come to expect from Gem technology, surviving mostly intact despite leaving an enormous crater. If Gems weren’t so hardy we’d also note that Peridot was able to flee from the crash, presumably without releasing her physical form (though we suppose we’ll see later), except as we’ve noted Gems are incredibly resilient to damage.

Damage to the escape pod caused it to steer off-course, but Steven was able to correct for the problem. It was able to run, on protruding legs giving it an appearance similar to a plug robonoid, about as fast as a car could drive. It could also maneuver quite well, allowing Steven to spell a message out in the corn field. All in all, even damaged and simply running it was a high-performance vehicle.

It’s hard to tell what happened when Steven activated the flight mode: the weapons weren’t that impressive in power, but nor were they being actually targeted at anything. Either it activated some kind of a test mode, or the cool kids are lucky to be alive.

Does Steven need to breathe?

This comes up from time to time, and Joy Ride brought it up again. Though he’s been shown needing to breathe in the past, other times we’ve received indications that he might not actually need to:

  • In Ocean Gem he would have had to hold his breath for quite a long time to reach the top
  • Also in Ocean Gem, he had no trouble conversing with Lapis Lazuli despite being so far up in the atmosphere that the air pressure would be incredibly low
  • When exposed to extreme altitudes in Space Race he again shows no difficulties or discomfort

A final piece of evidence is somewhat paradoxical: in Island Adventure Pearl points out that Steven needs to breathe. Considering the existence of some evidence to the contrary, it’s possible that this was only included in the script because it’s not true: to set up a false expectation. Time will tell.

Again, there have been noteworthy times where Steven has reacted negatively to lack of oxygen. Joy Ride still provides another possible example of Steven not being hampered by there being no air to breathe.

When Peridot’s escape pod filled up with liquid, Steven was able to inhale it without any problems. We have no idea what this liquid was so it’s possible that it was life-sustaining in some way, perhaps including liquid oxygen that Steven could breathe. Gems don’t require oxygen, or any other chemical, to survive though—if its presence was why Steven was able to survive the escape pod then he was even luckier than the cool kids were.

The jury’s still out on this one, but if an episode finally shows conclusive proof that Steven can get along just fine without oxygen then know that it’s been foreshadowed a bit on the show.


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    • Lena on March 28, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Hi guys,

    I know that this is off topic, but you mentioned in one of your podcast episodes that there is a Seven Universe comic in which Steven travels inside another gemstone. I couldn’t find anything about that on the internet. Which comic issue has that plot?

    Thanks for your help and keep up the good work!
    I love your podcast and your website!


      • gc13 on March 28, 2015 at 9:35 pm

      Issues #5 and #6 involve what it’s like in Pearl’s gem. It’s mostly #6, but you get some of it in #5.

    • Kylr Avery on March 28, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I think Steven has a much higher tolerance for oxygen depravation, but we know from Lion 3: Straight to video that even if he doesn’t have to breath he at least feels the compulsion to do so to the same degree that normal humans do. When on Lapis’ tower he probably didn’t notice because of his high tolerance, but when put into the complete vaccum of Lion’s mane he reacts like anyone would when they are not able to breathe.

    The goo in the escape pod is still pretty mysterious, though. It could be that it’s functionality isn’t supposed to be for supporting organic life, but that it’s a byproduct of it’s design. The aerated/oxygenated nature of the goo might be important to repairing Gems/Gem structures, or just the nature of how it is produced.

    Basically, I’m not convinced he doesn’t need to breathe just based on the escape-pod goo. There’s too much evidence that he does need to breathe, but at the very least he appears to not need as much as a regular human. He’s also significantly stronger than normal humans his age, so it could just be a minor power afforded by his half-gem nature.

    • Bearmonify on March 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I’m pretty sure the goo in the escape pod was a nod toward Evangellion. This series is rich with Anime references, so I wouldn’t put it past them.

    The story goes that in Evangellion there’s these things called Angels. To fight them, you gotta be in a Suit called an Evangellion, or Eva (Ay-vah). The pod fills up with liquid stuff that you can breathe to help connect your nervous system to the machine better (it’s Angel blood) and it’s called LCL.

    I think that was just a nod toward that anime, nothing majorly lore-related aside from a mechanic to better link driver’s physical form with pod.

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