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Recap / Steven Universe S5E19 "Now We're Only Falling Apart"

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Pearl explains her past with Pink Diamond.


Tropes:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In one shot of the montage where Pink Diamond tries to convince the other Diamonds to spare Earth, she is shown on her knees before Blue.
  • Arc Words: "Could you imagine?" Initially meant as an off-handed phrase by Pink Diamond that Pearl misinterprets as an order, it eventually propels the fact that much of Pink Diamond's Character Development was spurred by others, Pearl most of all.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Sapphire asks Pearl if Pink cared so much about the Earth, why didn't she use her authority to stop the Homeworld invasion without involving other Gems? Pearl responds that Pink did everything she could, but Yellow and Blue refused to listen to her (or misinterpreted her requests note ) to the point of usurping control from her. At that point, Pink got angry and decided if they wouldn't listen to Pink, then Blue and Yellow would have to listen to Rose Quartz.
  • Audience Surrogate: Sapphire is a stand-in for those who are questioning if Rose/Pink genuinely cared about Earth and the Crystal Gems. Pearl's story help both her and the audience realize that while Rose may have been foolish and maybe even selfish, she still truly cared about the Earth and the Crystal Gems.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Rose and Pearl seemingly fuse for the first time... only for them to fall over before they can achieve it.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Once given her own colony, Pink Diamond realizes running it alone in the moon base is boring and lonely. Her new wish was to be able to see the Earth for herself, but then she discovered that she was destroying life on Earth to make new gems, hurting all the organic species there.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: After Pink's last attempt to spare the Earth fails, she changes into Rose Quartz in a fury and decides to stop playing nice.
  • Bittersweet Ending: At the end of the episode, Steven and Pearl have managed to calm Sapphire down, only to return to find the Temple empty and a note addressed to Sapphire, presumably from Ruby, on the floor.
  • Break the Cutie: Pink Diamond suffers this when Blue and Yellow refuse to let her spare the Earth.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sapphire is not happy upon learning that Rose is Pink Diamond, fleeing upon learning it. Averted with Ruby, who definitely no longer sees Pink Diamond as a cruel, cowardly tyrant.
  • Call-Back:
    • Sapphire flees to Rose's fountain.
    • In "It Could've Been Great", it was noted the Diamond base on the moon was only open to the most elite Gems. Here we see Pink Diamond working in the base, disappointed that her only company is Pearl (whose she finds depressingly sycophantic).
  • Call-Forward:
    • The Amethysts in the flashback mention that 8XM was late, but the unit moves on and mentions that she will just have to "catch up". We learned back in "That Will Be All" that 8XM is our Amethyst's designation.
    • Rose's Heel Realization has her acknowledging the Kindergartens' true nature in almost the same words Peridot would in "Back to the Kindergarten".
  • Calling Your Attacks: Pearl says "Fusion activate!" when she tries to fuse with Pink Diamond by lifting Pink above her head. All that happens is Pearl losing her balance, and both falling over.
  • Character Development: Pearl acknowledges Rose's flaws in this episode, a stunning contrast to her treating Rose like she could do no wrong beforehand.
  • Curse Escape Clause: Now that Steven has finally seen what Pearl was literally unable to speak about and have nobody know about, the latter is free from Pink's last order to her as a Diamond.
  • Death Glare: After Pink's attempts to spare the Earth are pushed aside by Yellow and Blue too many times, she develops one when she turns into Rose.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Rose Quartz and her Renegade Pearl's initial attempts to rebel were not very well thought out. As we see, when they attacked Blue Diamond's palanquin, if not for Ruby then the two would have been caught and the rebellion ended before it begun. After Garnet joined their team, Rose's battle efforts improved since Ruby did know war combat, and Sapphire has Future Vision.
  • Did Not See That Coming: Sapphire had no idea that Rose was Pink Diamond, since, while she's a Seer, she trusted Rose and never questioned her or used her Future Vision to dig too deeply into Rose's actions.
  • "Down Here!" Shot: After Pearl suggests that Pink Diamond shapeshift into a Quartz to go to Earth, when she looks back at Pink, she is shocked to find that she has disappeared. Then Pink's arms enter the frame, and the camera tilts to show her transformed into Rose.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point:
    • Sapphire curses herself for ever deciding to trust Rose/Pink, thinking she manipulated her, Ruby, Pearl, and countless Gems into a fake rebellion to indulge in some grander, sadistic plot. As Steven had already figured out and helps Sapphire realize, however, Rose's desires to protect the planet were just as genuine as always — it was simply the identities of their leader (Pink instead of Rose) and enemies (Yellow and Blue instead of Pink) that were different.
    • Blue Diamond created the Human Zoo because she misinterpreted what Pink wanted when she said she wanted to preserve the native life on Earth.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Inverted. The fact that an emerging Amethyst practically runs Pink Diamond (now Rose Quartz) over without batting an eye almost makes her more excited, considering the sycophantic respect she is used too.
  • Easily Forgiven: In contrast to Sapphire, Ruby and Amethyst forgive Rose rather easily upon learning the truth. Or at least they handle the revelation better.
  • Empathic Environment: The weather turns overcast and stormy when Pink returns to the Kindergarten after seeing Earth.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Pink eventually realized that they weren't creating life/Gems from nothing, they were taking life from Earth.
  • Evil All Along: Sapphire seems to have this belief about Rose with the revelation that she is Pink Diamond, who she believes to be an Evil Overlord, until Pearl helped her realize Pink/Rose's true motives.
  • Exact Words:
    • When Pink tried to talk to Blue about not creating the colony, she said that she wanted to spare the native Earth life. So Blue Diamond decided to create the Human Zoo.
    • In "Message Received", Steven asked Pearl who Yellow Pearl was, and she responses that "not all Pearls know each other". This episode shows Pearl had met Yellow Diamond's Pearl before, making her statement only accurate in the literal sense.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The moment right before Garnet falls apart, tears already start to stream from Sapphire's eye.
    • Right before Rose and Pearl fall to the ground after their failed attempt at fusing, you can see that the former has starry eyes.
  • From a Certain Point of View: It turns out that the story Rose told Garnet about pleading with Pink Diamond to spare the Earth was half-true; Rose did come to Earth and come to appreciate its beauty and organic life. The difference is that she didn't plead with Pink Diamond, she pleaded with Yellow and Blue Diamond.
  • Funny Background Event: When the Amethysts and Topazes of Blue Diamond's court surround Rose and Pearl, the two quickly flee. The Topaz on the left whose face is visible goes from an angry expression to one of, seemingly, indifference.
  • Fusion Dance: Pearl reminisces about how Garnet, a fusion of two different Gems, inspired Rose to fight for Gems, not just Earth. In the flashback, Pearl unsuccessfully attempts to fuse with Rose by doing something similar to the Ruby guards. A few moments later they start to accidentally fuse into Rainbow Quartz without any actual attempt at a dance, only for it to fall apart at the last second, right before their form would change from pure light to something solid.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Pearl's purpose was to serve her Diamond and make her happy. Pink wanted a friend, however, and not a slave. Pearl in an attempt to help her Diamond suggested that she visit the Earth in disguise, so that she could find the companionship she sought. After that, Pearl certainly made Pink happy — because their newfound purpose became saving the Earth and defying the Diamond Authority.
  • Heel Realization: After exploring Earth in person, Pink saw its natural beauty and humanity, and realized that none of it would survive her invasion, amending her comment about making life from nothing to taking life and leaving nothing behind.
  • Hourglass Plot: To "Keystone Motel". In the former episode, Ruby was livid at a team member lying to her and forced Garnet to defuse while Sapphire remained calm. In this episode, Sapphire is the one who’s livid over a team member lying to her and forces Garnet to defuse while Ruby remains calm.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Type B. Pink Diamond's position makes her rather lonely. The other Diamonds see her as an Annoying Younger Sibling and every other gem falls under the category of Sycophantic Servant in one form or another. It is not until she takes on her Rose Quartz identity for the first time that she can actually socialize with people.
  • Irony:
    • It says a lot that Ruby, normally the hotheaded one about lies and betrayal, is the one who has to point out to Sapphire that no one could have known that Rose was Pink Diamond, because Rose made sure to cover all her tracks and tie up any loose ends.
    • It only took Pearl doing what she was made to do that inevitably led Pink Diamond to start the rebellion in the first place.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Pearl's purpose involved making her Diamond happy, even if she was uncomfortable with any orders and such. The problem was that Pink wanted Pearl to think for herself, and to be free and her friend, not her slave. So Pearl, on realizing her company isn't enough for her Diamond, suggests that Pink visit the Earth to mingle among the Quartzes. It ends up leading to their genuine bond, when Pink thanks Pearl for the idea, because it gives them a new purpose: to save the Earth.
  • Kick the Morality Pet: Blue and Yellow Diamond callously rebuffing Pink's request to spare the Earth, thinking she is being ungrateful.
  • King Incognito: Pink Diamond disguised herself as a Quartz soldier the first time, not to form the Crystal Gems, but just to mingle with her subjects without getting flack from the other Diamonds and so the other Gems wouldn't treat her differently.
    Steven: So it was all so she could get out and have some fun?
    Pearl: Well, that's how it started...
  • Last-Second Word Swap: While Pink is disguised as Rose in the Kindergarten, Pearl unconsciously calls her "my Diamond", prompting Pink to give her a warning shush. When Pearl apologizes, she says, "Sorry, my– Quartz".
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Amethyst opens this episode, which picks up right after "A Single Pale Rose", with one of these.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Before she decided to save the Earth, Pink was an immortal, bored teenager who wanted friends and not servants. The Diamonds could pick her up, and she doesn't seem to pose a threat. After begging to spare the Earth did no good in persuading her sisters, however, Pink Diamond changes into Rose Quartz, white dress and all, with a threatening Death Glare. After that, she and Pearl began to sabotage the colony.
  • Lonely at the Top: Pink Diamond wants to interact with her subjects, but knows the other diamonds will give her grief for it. She originally created her "Rose Quartz" persona at Pearl's suggestion simply to have fun with the Quartzes emerging from the Prime Kindergarten in secret. Pearl even notes that before that, she had tried for millennia to make her happy to no real success.
  • Love Confession: Pearl apparently has one to Pink Diamond after the attempted "fusion" between her and Pink:
    Pearl: Oh– I thought– if a Ruby and a Sapphire– but you're a Diamond– forgive me! What am I doing? I... I need to be replaced immediately!
    Rose: No!
    Pearl: [blushing madly] But I've been imagining things. Even when you haven't asked me to, I imagine that I ran away and met you here on Earth, a Rose Quartz. And I'm not yours, but I make you so happy anyway! Isn't that ridiculous? Tell me to stop!
    Rose: [grabs Pearl while blushing madly herself] Please don't ever stop!
  • Monster Progenitor: Garnet is the first fusion of different Gem types that Pink has ever seen, and before then, she thought it was unheard of.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Pink Diamond had this reaction to seeing she was killing all life on Earth, rather than making life from nothing as she originally believed.
    • Rose has a moment of this when it hits her that leaving Garnet with Blue could result in something horrible happening to her and seems ready to go back and save her when Garnet finds her and Pearl.
    • Once she's finally calmed down, Sapphire remembers the way she lashed out at Ruby and desperately tries to apologize, only to realize Ruby has already left.
  • Never Heard That One Before: Pink Diamond didn't even think that inter-gem fusion was even possible, saying that the only thing she ever heard of about it was that "it's unheard of."
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: If Blue and Yellow had just let Pink spare the Earth, and listened to her, it wouldn't have given her the incentive to mature, form the Crystal Gems, humiliate their armies, fake her shattering and cause them to grieve.
  • Obliviously Evil: It turns out Pink genuinely had no idea the damage she was doing to the Earth with her colonization at first.
  • Once More, with Clarity!:
    • Many scenes reflect Garnet's version of Rose's origin in "Your Mother and Mine", but accounting for her actual past as Pink Diamond — most notably a scene of Rose begging Pink Diamond to spare Earth is actually Pink Diamond doing the same to Blue Diamond. In a more literal sense, we're shown some parts of "The Answer" without the Art Shift, letting us see several recognizable gem types at the Sky Arena and showing that the flowers surrounding Garnet, Pearl, and Rose when they meet the second time are roses.
    • The "Diamond Dream" from "Can't Go Back" is also given more context, as we're shown Pink's side of things and what she was actually trying to tell her fellow Diamonds.
  • Only Friend: Pearl used to be Pink Diamond's.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Amethyst looks genuinely frazzled on realizing that the Gem she saw as a mother figure was Pink Diamond, the one who would have conquered Earth.
    • Sapphire, unlike Ruby, just explodes when she finds out that Rose lied to them for millennia.
      Sapphire: SHE LIED TO US!! SHE LIED ABOUT EVERYTHING!!
  • Origins Episode: This episode shows exactly how Pink became "Rose".
  • P.O.V. Sequel: Part of the episode is "The Answer" from Pearl and Rose's point of view.
  • Puppet King: This episode confirms that, despite Pink's status, Yellow and Blue were the ones calling the shots with the colony when she got cold feet.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After many attempts to convince her fellow Diamonds, instead of actually responding to her arguments, they simply turn and end the transmission. This results in Pink looking absolutely furious and give a chilling Death Glare, which was the point she decided to scare the Gems off the planet, not just leave peacefully as intended.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Rose and Pearl attempt to scare away the Homeworld Gems by ambushing an entire army, without any plan or military strategy. Even though it's a Curb-Stomp Battle initially in Rose's favor since she's a Diamond against a bunch of Rubies, she and her "Renegade Pearl" end up surrounded and would have been poofed if not for Garnet's formation distracting them.
    • Pearl holding Rose up in her hands like a formation ends badly because despite having Super Strength, the latter is much larger than the former, causing her to lose balance.
    • Trying to "become one" with somebody else in a spur-of-the-moment decision will almost never end well.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: At the end of the episode, Sapphire has managed to better understand Pink/Rose's motivations.
  • The Reveal: Pearl reveals a number of important truths in this episode:
    • Pearl was the one who suggested that Pink change into a Rose Quartz to visit Earth without being put on a pedestal, and to make friends among the Quartzes. Pink truly appreciating the Earth and its beauty was what motivated her to fight for it, which was obviously not Pearl's intent but a byproduct.
    • Pink tried her hardest to convince her sisters to let her spare the Earth. She became the rebel Rose Quartz, "Someone they couldn't ignore", because they wouldn't listen to Pink Diamond's sincere pleas, and if she kept pleading, they would seize control of the colony from her and destroy the planet.
    • Blue Diamond created the Human Zoo to placate Pink's concerns about wiping out the "organic life" on Earth. Pink wasn't able to free the inhabitants because it technically wasn't her zoo, it was her sister's.
    • "The Answer" actually took place at the beginning of the rebellion, when it was just Pink and her Pearl in disguise. Pink had not yet faked her death, and she had no military strategy yet.
    • Garnet's fusion was the first fusion Rose and Pearl had ever seen between different kinds of gems. It inspires Pearl to declare she wants to fuse with Rose, and Rose in turn decided she would fight to make the Earth a new home for Outcast gems like them. Sapphire realizes that Garnet wasn't following Rose; Rose was following her.
  • Rule of Three: Pink asks Pearl to imagine sonething three times. First, Pink asks if Pearl could imagine overseeing a colony being boring, and Pearl gives a sycophantic answer ("I can if you want me to, my Diamond") that makes Pink frown. In the Kindergarten, Pink tells Pearl to imagine her in the Kindergarten playing with the Quartz Gems, and Pearl obliges and imagines Pink being happy with them. Finally, after meeting Garnet, Rose offhandedly asks if Pearl could imagine what fusing could feel like. Pearl's response is to lift Rose over her head and try to fuse with her. Afterward, an embarrassed Pearl admits that she has been imagining scenarios with Rose without being asked to.
  • Scare 'em Straight: Pink's original plan was to scare Gemkind off of Earth entirely.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Sapphire runs away via the warp pad after finding out the truth about Rose.
    • By the time Sapphire comes back, only a note for her from Ruby remains.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Pink Diamond acts a lot like Steven when she first becomes Rose Quartz. She has his laugh, his smile, his poofy hair, a similar tone of voice when talking to the Amethysts, and a high empathy level.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: As a Diamond, Pink was expected to stay on the Moon Base instead of mingling with her subjects. As such she had no idea that Earth was already sustaining life. She assumed that Kindergartens were creating life out of nothing. When she learned the truth, she didn't take it well.
  • Shout-Out: The title of this episode is based off a line from the song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.
  • Space Base: Pearl's flashback begins with her and Pink Diamond on the Moon Base, checking various locations on Earth.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Thanks to her Pearl making the suggestion, Pink visited Earth in disguise, which in turn led to her newfound love for organic life, and her desire to protect it.
    • Pink's original plan was to scare all the Gems off of Earth with her "Rose" persona, but seeing Garnet and the feelings Pearl expressed afterward caused her to decide to form the Crystal Gems.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Sapphire angrily asks why Pink didn't save the Earth and avoid the Rose Quartz ruse entirely. Pearl revealed that Pink tried, but the other Diamonds wouldn't let her. Note that it wasn't that they were just verbally telling her "no"; if she kept resisting, they would seize the colony from her and finish it themselves while keeping her as a leader in name only.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: Pearl notes that she never managed to make Pink really happy before they came to Earth, and she expresses visible frustration with Pearl's more servile moments.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Pearl was just as obsessively subservient to Pink Diamond as any other Gem, much to Pink Diamond's disappointment. It is not until Pearl started developing beyond her assigned role as a maid with no will of her own does she become the friend Pink Diamond wanted.
    Pink Diamond: Could you imagine that running a colony would be this dull?
    Pearl: I could imagine it if you want me too, my Diamond. [Pink Diamond gives her an exasperated look]
  • Tranquil Fury: After numerous times to convince the Diamonds to call off the invasion of Earth fail, Pink Diamond decides to take matters into her own hands and shape-shifts into Rose Quartz in silent anger.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As it turns out, it was Pearl's idea, not Pink Diamond's, to create the latter's "Rose Quartz" persona and have them explore Earth in the first place. The rebellion that followed, however, was NOT.
  • Ur-Example: In-Universe, it appears that Garnet was the first cross-Gem fusion that Pink had ever heard about, stating that she'd only "heard that it was unheard of". It's also the reason why Pink decided that Earth should be a sanctuary for the outcast gems.
  • Was It All a Lie?: Sapphire is so distraught by the fact that Rose was actually their (supposed) mortal enemy that she starts questioning all the "lies" Rose spoon-fed her, even thinking her relationship with Ruby itself might be a lie.
  • Was Too Hard on Her: After learning more about the truth and calming down, Sapphire remembers the harsh things she said to Ruby and goes back to apologize. But by the time they come back, Ruby has already gone.
  • Wham Line: Sapphire asks why Pink didn't just try to spare the Earth herself. Pearl's response is chilling: "She tried."
  • Wingding Eyes: Pink Diamond/Rose at various points of the flashbacks, such as when she first expresses her joy at being in the Kindergarten with the Quartzes.
  • Your Little Dismissive Diminutive: Sapphire angrily refers to the Gem war as Pink Diamond's little war.


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