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.