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- It seems like the room is back to its old nightmare-inducing simulations with Fake!Connie. But here's the thing: In order to escape the Logic Bomb of "I want you to stop doing what I want", the room had to accept that Steven had conflicting wants and interests. So, it analyzed Steven's recent interests without instantly trying to gratify them. Admittedly, this still comes off as more than a little creepy. (i.e., "I know you like her. I know you want her to like you too. That's why you can't tell her [that you like the ending]. But you want to tell her!") In short, the room not only was intelligent enough to think itself out of a Logic Bomb that concerned its prime objective, but it was able to Batman Gambit Steven into a situation where he had the largest probability of being satisfied.
- Steven and Connie's favorite characters of The Spirit Morph Saga go hand-in-hand with their personalities and how they relate to them. Steven likes Archemicarus the familiar falcon, a magical being devoted to his liege Lisa to the point of falling for her; Steven himself is part magical and holds feelings for Connie, who prefers Lisa because the character began as a normal girl and ended being The Chosen One badass, something she'd like to be. Also, Steven was able to see the subtle hints of the romantic plot between Archemicarus and Lisa because of his status as The Heart; he's is in more tune with his and others' feelings than Connie, who was just focused in the action/adventure plot.
- There's a subtle hint that something is off when "Connie" exits the costume shop. Just a few moments before, Connie noticed that Steven imagined one of Lisa's tunics as red, while she had imagined it as black. When Steven says he wants to see Connie, "she" exits the costume shop wearing a red cloak, hinting that it's not really Connie, but Rose's Room attempting to manifest Steven's desires. Sure enough, when the real Connie reappears later on, she's wearing a black cloak.
- It's also subtly hinted that something's off in Connie's dialogue or rather, her lack of it. In the following scenes, she's rather passive, with her dialogue limited to either pointing out stuff from the books (like the wing-lizard) or asking Steven to continue the story. She's the one who wants to rewrite the ending in the first place, so why does all the work fall on Steven? Because she's a construct of the room, and she thus can't think for herself!
- When the cool kids invite Steven to come "freak out some squares" with them, he declines on the grounds that he's "fond of all basic shapes." Literal-Minded as his thought process was here, it does fit metaphorically well with his All-Loving Hero nature. Steven will gladly befriend, or at least try to, people of all types, including those folks generally referred to as "squares".
- A square/four-point diamond also seems to be a symbol for the Gem Homeworld (Peridot and Jasper both wear one on their clothing, and Peridot's hair/headgear is in the same general shape). Steven tried to make friends with Peridot.
- While Steven may believe the Gems as a whole blame him for the loss of Rose, Amethyst is probably the one who'd blame him the least. She would, after all, know better than anybody how it feels to be seen as "a byproduct of" what's generally been seen as "a big mistake". And she'd know Steven, like her, "never asked to be made".
- Most likely, Garnet would be the one that blames Steven the least for Rose being gone. Garnet is the fusion of two Gems who are very much in love with each other so they/she have the most emotional support to overcome the sadness of Rose's loss. She also has said and demonstrated how much she loves and believes in Steven over Pearl's neurotic overprotection and condescension, and Amethyst's playful teasing. Garnet misses Rose, yeah, but she misses her more as a dear friend and leader instead of as a parental figure (Amethyst) or a heroine/lover (Pearl).
- In addition, Garnet is a fusion of two Gems who love each other unconditionally, and both Ruby and Sapphire would probably sacrifice themselves for the other if it came to that. Garnet understands giving yourself up for someone you love, as Rose did.
- "Keeping It Together" also sheds more light on the fusion and how Garnet views herself. Not as just the combination and love of Ruby and Sapphire, but also a separate entity and life. In a lot of ways while Garnet is the embodiment of their love, she is also the product of their love, like their child. So not only would Garnet understand the love and have a more healthy relationship with Rose, she would also have a firmer grasp in understanding why Rose would want to/be willing to give up her own life for Steven's.
- This, in turn, means that the one that probably blames Steven the most is Pearl, who was not only thought she was closest to Rose, but has no frame of reference for what Steven's situation is regarding Rose. However, she still respects Rose's choices even if she cannot understand the emotional aspect of it, and tries her best to not come off as a bigot towards Steven. This causes her to overcompensate when taking care of Steven, which is why she seems to take far more interest in his physical wellbeing than any other Gem.
- This isn't the first time the Crystal Gems immediately attacked someone/thing for Steven's safety, despite his protests, or because they simply didn't understand its function.
- On this same vein, Amethyst is the one shown to be more accepting of Uncle Grampa, but still attacking him anyway. She knows what it feels to be different (she was created in Kindergarten) but still follows on UG's beating out of social pressure.
- Pearl's character exaggeration makes sense when you consider that, despite being an intergalactic rock creature, she's firmly grounded within the confines of reality. Her meeting Uncle Grandpa is not much different from a lifelong atheist meeting God in person and watching everything they thought they knew go flying out the window.
- There was a Wild Mass Guessing about "Say Uncle" that said it would be non-canon or an April's Fool episode. Uncle Grampa confirm it while launching his head out of a cannon, with smoke writing "April's Fool" in the sky. A headcanon confirmed both WMG.
- Despite Uncle Grandpa saying the episode isn't canon, Steven is able to summon his shield without problems in future episodes. Why? Uncle Grandpa spelled out April Fool's immediately afterwards, meaning his previous statement is a joke, and that the episode (as well as Lars and Sadie's ship) is official.
- At the end of the episode, the Kids Next Door are conspicuously absent from Uncle Grandpa's list. Why? They hate adults!
- As pointed out here, in "Laser Light Cannon", Steven speculated that Rose's cannon was "a cave dungeon or a cloud fortress, or in a clam at the bottom of the ocean". We later found out that cave had both a cave dungeon (her armory) and a cloud fortress (Rose's Room). And in this episode, Uncle Grandpa appears to Steven dressed as Rose in a giant clam.
- Uncle Grandpa telling Steven to polish his Gemstone makes a lot more sense when we learn three seasons later that Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond. Quartzes don't need to be polished; diamonds do.
"Story for Steven"
- Greg's guitar (as seen in the sneak peek) is a Jader. Not only does it tie into the show's mineral motifs, but it has the headstock of a Jackson guitar and the body of a Fender. Put the names together and what do you get? Jader. The guitar is a fusion.
- The five-point star was a symbol Greg used in the height of his music career, which makes sense of his camera as seen in the video in "Lion 3" having the show's star-shaped Iris Out as an effect. It was probably an effect he programmed in for outros on his music videos.
- Fridge Heartwarming: Despite Greg telling the story of how he met Rose so many times before, it seems this is the first time Steven playfully teases him over his love for her. Well, now we know that Rose is half Steven, and she could hear the whole version of the story, so she now can tell how much Greg does love her and has all the right to tease. Awww!
- In the flashback, Amethyst's hair is short instead of the Rapunzel Hair we've come to see on her, and she also says that she likes Greg's long hair when they meet. Amethyst based her hair off of Greg's.
- While trying to let down Greg, Rose said that she would like to "play" with him. For someone so loving and caring, it was quite a derogative term, until it came to me. To Rose, Greg's feelings and, overall, lifespan are just like those of a stray puppy that took a liking for her, or even a normal human. Dogs grow older faster than humans and die in just 18 years at maximum. To Rose, a relationship between herself and Greg would be like that and (as those who had pets and had seen them die would know) just as heartbreaking.
- Or she could have just meant it as in "play music"...
- Or both...
- In "Lars and the Cool Kids", Steven states he has no idea where his clothes come from and it is shown many times he has many of the same shirt. In "Story for Steven", Greg had a box of shirts in his van exactly like Steven's, implying that Steven's shirts are leftover Mr. Universe merchandise.
- Seeing young Greg provides another reason why Steven hasn't aged much. He could merely be a late bloomer (Greg heavily resembles Steven despite Greg presumably being a late teenager at the time) and considering how Steven got a good deal of genetics from Greg, it's merely another thing that runs in the family.
- Garnet isn't interested in forming a relationship with Jamie because she already IS a relationship between two lovers. You could even say she is love. Jamie literally fell in love with love.
- Amethyst's final form has less Fashionable Asymmetry than her usual one, which makes Pearl very happy; this could just be coincidental, but since the two are closer with Steven's influence, especially after "On the Run", it could be that the original element stemmed from her irritation with Pearl, and with that reduced, she doesn't need to wear it as proudly on her sleeve.
- Why can Amethyst regenerate in a few hours, or even in a few minutes if she rushes it, while Pearl took two weeks to regenerate? Amethyst is a Quartz soldier. She's far more likely to get poofed, and when she does get poofed it's probably going to be in the middle of battle, when she'll need to be able to regenerate in a hurry. Pearl, on the other hand, is basically a living art piece. She's never supposed to be in a situation where she could get poofed, and if she does get poofed by falling off a ledge or something, there's no particular need for her to be able to regenerate in a hurry. Quartzes are probably built to be able to regenerate fast, while Pearls are not.
"Sworn to the Sword"
- Steven and Connie singing about jam together. They're jamming.
- Why was Connie so easily convinced of Pearl's speech of her being a sacrifice for Steven? Because Connie has self-esteem issues and a case of I Just Want to Be Special. What better way, in her and Pearl's minds, to boost the former and be the latter then to die protecting someone who is considered to be on the level of a messiah? Also counts as Nightmare Fuel and a bit of Fridge Horror.
- Pearl has holo-Pearl set to actually hurt her enough to cause her to poof if she makes a mistake because, as we see in "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl doesn't place enough value on herself and probably think she deserves to get hurt if she makes a mistake fighting because she's been on the battlefield where even just one mistake can have serious consequences and end up with people you care about getting hurt.
- Pearl not valuing her own life can also be seen in the hologram scene during the song "Do It for Her/Him". We see Pearl running to defend Rose, but the recording stops right when she's about to get a hit. This most surely means she had just died there.
- The age gap between Pearl and Connie adds additional subtext to Pearl's harshness: having been thousands of years old when she started training, she had emotional resilience and autonomy that a kid like Connie does not. She held Connie to the standards of an adult, not a child.
- Though given how Gems age, or more accurately how they don't age, Pearl could have been the Gem equivalent of Connie's age at the time. Which adds another whole layer of Fridge Horror as that would make Pearl a Child Soldier...
- Why didn't Connie's parents notice the bruises or calluses on her hands? Steven probably healed them after each training session.
- Pearl's description of a knight, while fitting the Lady and Knight concept, doesn't bear much resemblance to the actual medieval code of chivalry. It sounds more like a Samurai than anything else. But consider that A) Pearl doesn't really understand or care for human culture so she could have gotten the two mixed up and B) she's romanticizing it anyway. It makes sense for her to be inaccurate.
- The Quartz in the flashback seems to be twice Rose's size when Jasper is normally only a little taller than Rose at best and was able to crush Pearl. This is despite the fact we later see that Pearl was capable of defeating multiple Quartz Gems at the same time. At first, it seems like this is simply for dramatic purposes, but we learn later in "The Answer" that Gems of the same type fusing together during battle wasn't uncommon. The Quartz in the flashback was likely a fused Quartz Gem, explaining her size and power.
- Notice the fighting style when Steven and Connie fight together. Steven is the defensive fighter whose sole job is to protect Connie, with Connie doing all the real damage. Connie was being trained as Steven's knight and explicitly told to sacrifice herself for Steven, yet Steven is the one defending Connie and rushing to save her life, while the best way to support Steven involves leaving Steven to attack rather then standing beside him to defend him; in short their combat style is in a sense a reverse of the typical styles expected of a Knight defending a higher value individual. Even their genders are reversed from the "standard" male attacker and White Magician Girl were used to. This makes sense in multiple levels:
- It shows one of the key flaws in Pearl's training of Connie, she was so focused on setting up Connie as a sacrificial knight she failed to see that Connie could better "serve" Steven as a complement to Steven's powers rather then a subservient knight. Basically, the two must break the inferiority complex that Pearl projects onto Connie and instead of fighting as invincible messiah and lowly knight, instead fight together as equals', so as to complementing Steven's lack of offense and Connie's pathetic defense (all humans are squishy compared to a Gem) to make a single powerful unit.
- This is in keeping with a sort of subtle meta-theme of all of Steven Universe, one about gender roles and stereotypes. The show is well-known for breaking gender/stereotype roles by having a boys' show with a primarily female cast, the male being the Non-Action Guy (or closest to it), and being more in touch with his feminine side then typical boys in such cartoons. Their team up similarly breaks a lot of the expected tropes for Lady and Knight. Here the person defended is arguably 'stronger' and yet the knight has far more raw power; the knight is the female and the protected individual, male; the magic individual(Steven) breaks the Squishy Wizard trope by being a Stone Wall and the melee fighter is the Glass Cannon; and the one doing "support" does it by adding offense and the one being "protected" offers the defense.
- Their fighting as a single unit, two sides complimenting each other to make one fighting force, has some obvious parallels to Stevonnie fusion. Maybe the fact that they have already fused helps to explain why they manage to work together to support each other so naturally now with little training.
- Another thing about "Do It For Her/Him": Steven is partially his mother, so when Connie fights for him, she is indeed doing it for her.
- Why is Pearl so willing to take on a "mere" human as a student, given that she usually doesn't seem to think highly of them and knows Connie would be at a severe disadvantage against gems? Because Pearl, herself, was once a "mere" Pearl who followed the same path.
- Pearl training Connie to think of herself as Steven's knight rather than his equal echoes the scenes in "We Need to Talk" where she tells Greg that he is just an amusing pet to Rose, not her equal. While Pearl probably wasn't consciously trying to get Connie killed, she may very well have been consciously trying to inculcate Connie into a role as Steven's inferior.
- The true reason Pearl kept sacrificing herself to protect Rose? Because if Rose ever got poofed, they would see she was really a Diamond.
"Rising Tides, Crashing Skies"
- Jenny makes Garnet almost hitting her back in "Joy Ride" a lot more malicious than it actually was. During that episode, Steven revealed some of his issues regarding the Crystal Gems to the Cool Kids and given that they actually like him, in addition to the fact that Garnet was at least guaranteed to harm Steven before they interfered, she may have done so out of indignation towards the Crystal Gems for how they have treated Steven.
"Keeping It Together"
- The title has two meanings: One, The Reveal that Homeworld have used the shards of Crystal Gems as experiments by keeping them forced together. Two, how Garnet nearly defused into Ruby and Sapphire upon witnessing what happened to her fallen comrades, but managed to keep it together.
- The song that plays when the fused gem shards appear sounds like a lot of different songs stuck together randomly. Just like the gem shards.
- The piles of clothing each of them that represents their personality.
- Garnet has two piles reminder that she's a fusion.
- Amethyst folds the shirts messily and just piles them on indicating her slobbish, wild nature.
- Pearl's pile is perfect and neat something that matches with perfectionist qualities.
- Steven's pile emulates Pearl's probably because he learned how to do it from her he's a student of hers, along with Garnet and Amethyst. Plus, he thinks of Pearl as the closest thing to a mother figure in the absence of Rose, his actual mother.
- The Injectors look very similar to bacteriophages, viruses that kill bacteria by injecting their DNA into them and turning the bacteria into a virus-making factory. Similarly, the Injector turns the Earth into a Gem-making factory, destroying it in the process.
"We Need to Talk"
- After watching the episode, I realized that the ending's song could be seen from Rose Quartz's perspective on her relationship with Greg. I mean, I'm sure that Rose at some moment ever thought "If I could began to be half of what you [Greg] think of me, I could do about everything... I could even learn how to love like you".
- Rainbow Quartz is an incredibly positive fusion, if your subscribe to the theory that better relationships produce more human-like fusions. Her only glaring oddity is the separation of eyes and seemingly a degree of maintained individuality. This ties in nicely with how their relationship is: Both have deep, genuine care for the other, but neither has really "seen" a complete picture of the other. Pearl has a distorted view of what she was to Rose and what Rose needed/wanted from her (Rose's Scabbard/Sworn to the Sword), and Rose seemed unaware of Pearl's nastier side, not realizing she was trying to break her up from Greg.
- The reason behind Greg's shiver after Rose calls him by his first name.
- It might be surprising for Garnet to be supportive of Greg and giving him advice with Rose, but there are a few points to consider:
- Rose was clearly interested in him too, so the feeling was mutual.
- He was trying so hard to make her happy. He wrote her songs and made her laugh and showed her the human way of expressing love, which seemed to excite her. Garnet saw how happy they were together and tried to help, because she knows what it's like to be just starting a relationship and you're maybe nervous and shy, maybe even scared, but really want to make it work.
- Being from a world that seems to frown on committed love, and then living in a world where it's normal and encouraged, Garnet would naturally have studied how human relationships work.
- Another factor to consider is that, in just the previous episode, we saw that Garnet takes the concept of fusion incredibly seriously. Greg wasn't just trying to make Rose happy, he was making an effort to understand something he was unfamiliar with but was clearly important to her. He was doing his best to fuse with Rose, and Garnet saw the respect he was treating the idea with even though he's just a human - why wouldn't she want to help someone out in that case?
- Garnet's sheer glee over Stevonnie also has an extra dimension thanks to this episode although Greg never was able to do it, Steven was able to fuse with Connie, validating Garnet's belief that humans could be capable of fusion.
- The Gems' clothing back when Rose was still early in her relationship with Greg is more obviously Earth-like, implying Rose encouraged them to try and fit in more and since her departure they've withdrawn from humanity slightly and are only now starting to engage with it again, thanks to Steven.
- Rule of Symbolism for both Greg's flashbacks about the beginnings of his relationship with Rose (the other one being in "Story for Steven"). Both flashbacks are set at nighttime, reflecting how Greg and Rose are in the dark about the real implications of being in a Interspecies Romance, and especially about the real nature of their significant other (both are unable to see each other beyond their initial fascination). Interesting, Rose's video in "Lion 3" was recorded during daytime; they had around ten years to get to know each other as individuals instead of concepts and their relationship morphed into something meaningful and deep, to the point of awaiting a child.
- Garnet insists that Greg's attempt to fuse with Rose worked, even though they were still two separate entities from everyone's view. Fast forward about 20 years, and one realizes that she wasn't directly referring to that particular moment she was referring to Steven being born.
- Rainbow Quartz has a somewhat skinny body type despite the fact one of her components is the heavyset Rose Quartz, however now that we know that her real identity is Pink Diamond who has a rather lean build, her shape make more sense.
- Steven's dream in "Chille Tid" shows how he views each of the Crystal Gems.
- Garnet getting a lot of cheers also makes sense on a meta-level; due to being voiced by Estelle, she's a Celebrity Star on a sitcom!
- Pearl's dream is interesting. She's overjoyed to be surfing with Rose Quartz on a pizza slice, and asks Rose to run away with her to space. Rose shifts into Greg, who thanks her for fixing his van, and another pizza slice comes out of his mouth. We know Pearl is grossed out about eating. Why all the pizza? Maybe it's ambivalence towards being locked in an Earth-style family. The Pizzas are one of the most stable, content families Pearl knows.
- Pearl and Amethyst's quick acceptance of Steven's dream telepathy is both a sign of their character growth and trust in his maturity, and a realization that Pearl's prophecy in "Monster Buddies" is coming true. After all, Steven is the only known Gem in the universe who has to sleep, so his discovering this new power makes sense!
"Cry for Help"
- Garnet's anger over Pearl wanting to fuse with her just experience the rush of fusion is justified, but seemed a little out of place at first, considering how casual she was about fusing with Amethyst in "Coach Steven" ("We don't need a plan, we just need to be huge."). But consider what's happened to Garnet since then Sugilite proved to be a huge, dangerous mistake, Ruby and Sapphire were separated, and possibly worst of all, Garnet found out about the Cluster, and just what Homeworld thinks of Gems like her. After all that, Garnet has probably gotten really protective of the lifestyle she leads, and would get especially angry over attitudes like Amethyst and Pearl's, who essentially have taken a more benevolent view on Jasper's posturing about fusing being only to make weak Gems stronger. To have your enemy call a relationship built on incredible love, trust, and loyalty reduced to an insulting battle tactic by your enemy is bad enough, but to have your friends and teammates do the same? It makes Garnet's anger even more justified and painful to watch.
- Pearl's intense desire to fuse might be a holdover from her status on Homeworld. As a member of the lowest servant class on the planet, Pearl would never have gotten the chance or permission to fuse with anyone else. As seen in later episodes, the only fusions allowed by Homeworld were A) in combat situations, and B) all of the same kind of Gem.
- This goes a long way in explaining Garnet's reaction to Amethyst trying to stand up for Pearl. Amethyst basically said the same thing as Jasper did, but in kinder and tamer words. No wonder Garnet was having none of it.
- Pearl using Garnet for fusion like that is bound to make her even more upset because fusing with her for her own self-interest and power like that is making an mockery of Garnet's entire being. Garnet sees fusion as something built out of love and trust, and while Pearl's motivations are far more complex than simply enjoying the power high of being fused with Garnet, it's an incredible betrayal of trust for her.
- This crosses over into Fridge Horror when you see at the end of the episode Garnet demands Amethyst fuse with her to destroy the tower. Sugilite does have better control now, but only because Amethyst is intimidated at Garnet. The fusion gem doesn't have Amethyst's wild nature that drives Sugilite back at "Coach Steven". After withstanding such an insult from one of her closest friends, she is forced to fuse with Amethyst, who is obviously uncomfortable at the moment, which basically goes against what Garnet believes about fusion.
- The last time Sugilite appeared, her personality was wildly out of control because Amethyst, in her wild ways, upset the balance between the normally hot-headed Ruby and calm Sapphire. This time however, Sugilite just silently and violently destroyed the tower without so much as a word. This is because Amethyst is too terrified of Garnet to do her normal hijinks, while Ruby and Sapphire are the ones in rage; Sapphire's calmness instead turned it into tranquil rage.
- This is another title with more than one meaning: Peridot's message to Yellow Diamond is an actual cry for help a distress signal. Sardonyx maintains that she is a response to a cry for help, and that she'll be there whenever she's needed. Finally, Pearl and Amethyst "cry for help" in the more psychological sense acting out in a destructive way in a desperate bid to get someone to assist them with their issues. Amethyst's gloominess and dejection elicit a response from Steven, who moves to make her feel useful and empowered again... but Pearl's cry for help (her increasingly reckless and selfish behavior) is destructive to the people around her, so Garnet is in no mood to provide the reassurance and validation that Pearl's so desperate for. The title hints that this might be a flashpoint for Pearl's ongoing issues.
- The first time Sardonyx was formed was some kind of foreshadowing Pearl had the idea to rebuild the Communication Hub while she and Garnet were Sardonyx the first time. Think about it: when Garnet and Amethyst form Sugilite at the end, Sugilite pretty much obliterates the Communication Hub there's probably no way we'll be seeing it in future episodes. Meanwhile, earlier on in the episode, Sardonyx is able to use her weapon more efficiently to aim at specific structures of the Communication Hub rather than just cause more collateral damage than necessary. This could very well be because Pearl's personality was dominant (graceful movements and perfect precision Sardonyx was probably enthusiastic because Pearl and Garnet basically Sapphire and especially Ruby were excited). Pearl could have kept Sardonyx from simply destroying the Communication Hub by making her remove the pillars instead of simply smashing them, thus having Pearl frequently rebuilding the Communication Hub.
- Sardonyx being Fun Personified seems like an odd choice. Given that she's a merge of The Stoic Garnet and the generally finicky Pearl, her showy personality seems more akin to Amethyst's than her actual component gems. However, after Pearl and Garnet's heart-to-heart in "Friend Ship" it makes a lot more sense. Pearl derives a lot of her usual personality quirks from her insecurity, and fusing with Garnet gives her not just a Power High but a much needed boost in self-confidence. On the topic of her aforementioned stoicism, Garnet's input in personality could be pretty minimal since Ruby and Sapphire form a near-perfect balance that a third gem tips, hence why Sugilite was so much like an exaggerated Amethyst, so Pearl could very well be the dominant mind in Sardonyx. In short, Sardonyx is what Pearl would be like without her own perceived weaknesses.
- Why does Sardonyx have a pink diamond on her shoes? Because Pearl herself has a pink diamond hidden as well, on her pilot outfit seen in "Space Race" (and later in "Back to the Barn"). And Pearl being the only one to have a memento of her allegiances in her wardrobe makes sense as well: she has stated after all that she rebelled for/because of Rose as a person (whose colour is also pink).
- During "Tower of Mistakes", Amethyst picks up a triangular piece of rubble while singing, "Is there something I can do/Is there something I can do/Can I make it up to you?" It resembles both Sardonyx's head/hair and Peridot's gem, foreshadowing Pearl's obsession with catching Peridot to "make it up to" Garnet.
- Pearl and Amethyst both have serious issues with feeling abandoned or alone. No wonder they both want to fuse to Garnet so badly: She's the living incarnation of Ruby and Sapphire's love for each other, and when they're fused into Sugilite/Sardonyx, Amethyst/Pearl can experience that same sense of connection.
- This episode establishes that one of the Gems in a fusion can keep secrets from the others. This will be hugely important later on, because it explains how Pink Diamond or Pearl could fuse with other Crystal Gems without them finding out about Rose Quartz's true identity.
- Ruby's Playing with Fire abilities neatly explain why Garnet can swim through molten lava without a problem while neither Pearl nor Amethyst can.
- Greg makes a comment that Garnet "likes to eat sometimes", which fits perfectly into the Freudian Trio dynamic that the Crystal Gems have. Pearl (the superego) never feels the compulsion to eat, Amethyst (the id) gives into desire and eats constantly, and Garnet (the ego) finds a happy medium between these two extremes.
- Sapphire's hair somewhat resembles a cloud in shape. With the reveal that Garnet gets her precognitive powers from her, as well as Sapphire's focus on what happens in the unknown future (such as her fixation on Garnet forgiving Pearl), Sapphire's a literal representation of the saying "head in the clouds" (which is to refer to a person who has unrealistic ideas and doesn't pay attention to his/her current surroundings).
- While she may have been acting dramatically (and out of anger) at the time, Ruby referring to herself as an "eternal flame" takes on another meaning when you realize that rubies are used to amplify emotions and are usually associated with courage, love, and passion. So she may be referring to herself as the "eternal flame" of love and passion for Sapphire, but also the eternal flame of rage and fury towards her enemies (the latter considering what happened between Garnet and Pearl in "Cry for Help").
- With The Reveal that Sapphire only has a single eye instead of two like Ruby, it could be a reference to Greek mythology, where the Cyclopes traded their normal eyes for a special "third eye" that allowed them to look into the future. It could also be a literal way of saying "She has eyes only for [Ruby]".
- Why does Garnet have electrical powers? Because when hot (Ruby) and cold (Sapphire) fronts meet, electricity is created.
- Garnet confirms this in the "Guide to the Crystal Gems" companion book.
- You could say that when Sapphire and Ruby get together, "sparks fly".
- In "Beach Party", Garnet stayed in the air a little longer that gravity would allow during both times she "spiked" the beach: in this episode, Sapphire is clearly seen floating in the air.
- In this episode, we see that Ruby has Playing with Fire abilities, and Sapphire has An Ice Person abilities. Normally, characters with these abilities would be emotional or stoic and usually shown as incompatible, but here it only shows how well they go together emotionally, especially when they reconcile and reform into Garnet. Ruby warms Sapphire up, making her feel despite her normal stoic demeanor, while Sapphire cools Ruby down by showing she actually is hurt by Pearl using them.
- Sapphire was probably focusing even more intently than usual upon the future, because she really didn't want to deal with her feelings in the present.
- Onion's mouse being alive in the end, rather than being fed to the snake, is actually foreshadowed; feeder mice are typically sold already dead, so as not to put up a fight and potentially kill the snake. The fact that it was alive in the first place indicates it may just be another of Onion's pets.
- The entire play of Captain Dewey takes on a whole new meaning when you consider that it's been entirely rewritten by Pearl. The key phrase is said by the first mate just before he's taken away by the squid tentacle cutout: "I still think you're great even if you screw up often because you keep trying." In "Friend Ship", Pearl is seen failing precisely because she keeps trying too hard to capture Peridot. This entire play is Pearl begging Garnet for forgiveness the only way she knows!
- The play also calls back to "Rose's Scabbard". In that episode Pearl had difficulty explaining herself until she used a visual aid, which was the hologram of her and Rose talking. She's using the play as another aid. Also in "Rose's Scabbard", despite Pearl's Freak Out! nearly hurting Steven, he still forgave her, saying "I think you're pretty great". Echoing that line shows that Pearl knows she's in a really bad place with Garnet.
- "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" showed the Gems as rather dismissive of the trouble that the humans living near them go through because of their presence, basically saying "we were here first so deal with it." The play shows that the town founder settled there while being very aware of the dangers that could crop up so the Gems attitude becomes less "suck it up" and more "we warned you so don't complain".
- Peridot's increasingly crazy (yet extremely hilarious) behavior as compared to the cold and calculating gem that was introduced in "Warp Tour" has some merit: in real life, peridot is based on olivine, an Earth-based material that is very abundant, yet due to its properties, it's also chemically unstable and has weathering tendencies. Perhaps this was the reason Peridot displayed more emotion and developed Evil Is Hammy tendencies while on Earth she was slowly being driven insane the longer she stayed there!
- Why is the Gem ship functional at all, despite its advanced age and state of disrepair? Gems are The Ageless, so they would use technology that can last for a long time with minimal maintenance.
- The way Peridot's fingers are positioned when firing a laser here looks hilariously reminiscent of a person giving someone "the middle finger".
- Comparing to the previous episode: it's interesting to see the contrast between Connie and Sadie's moms because they are both control freaks, just in different ways. Whereas Connie's mother is very strict in forcing her daughter to follow her rules, Sadie's mother tries to support her daughter's interests but always goes overboard and forces her into a position where she has to be the best and gets angry at anyone who she thinks is getting in Sadie's way. It seem a lot like she's trying to live vicariously through her daughter. The moms are both trying to do what they think is right for their kids, but they don't listen to their girls and put what they want over what their daughters want and it ends up alienating them. Barb at least thinks she's listening to what Sadie wants, but she really doesn't, and it ends up just as unhealthy as Connie's mom's strictness.
- Lars stops paying attention to the concert when Steven appears onstage, despite everyone else cheering for him. It's possible that Lars suspected that Sadie would be performing and lost interest when it was Steven instead.
"Catch and Release"
- Why is Peridot so small? Peridot crystals are pretty tiny.
- Unprotected peridot (as in the real life, non-sentient gem) tends to decay quite rapidly on Earth. Similarly, Peridot is completely defenseless without her armour/limbs or robots, to the point where she doesn't even quite get the idea of being able to attack unarmed.
- If the Cluster really is a Doomsday Device of some sort, that would explain why Homeworld waited so long to come back to Earth, they were waiting for it to finish incubating.
- Peridot's most notable traits have been a lack of empathy, and a pouty attitude towards things not going her way. Overall, she's profoundly immature. Naturally, it's revealed she's physically a child underneath her armor. As far as Gem aging goes, she probably is one!
- The title of the episode becomes meaningful with what happened to Peridot: She was finally caught by the Crystal Gems (Catch); then set free from her bubble and her true form is revealed (Release).
- With The Reveal that Peridot's "limbs" are actually artificial prosthetic limbs to cover up the fact that she's actually quite tiny in size, it becomes apparent that she was... ahem, Compensating for Something...
- Peridot's confusion over what a shirt is makes sense when you remember that Gems' bodies are just projections created by their gemstones, which likely includes their clothing.
- How did the Crystal Gems manage to find Steven so quickly after Peridot kidnapped him? Because Pearl is still set up to track Peridot through her escape pod.
- Why was Peridot angry when Steven called her "cute"? She probably doesn't even know what the word means, and naturally given the circumstances assumes it's a pejorative term.
- That doesn't explain why she blushes when bringing this up in her list of offenses.
- Cute is still a somewhat diminutive term, one that might remind her that she's basically powerless without her limb enhancers. She might even have some history with being disrespected by other gems over her appearance, particularly if Jasper was indicative of what gems are like on Homeworld. If personal strength and prowess are held in high-esteem among gems, she might have dealt with quite a bit of mockery, potentially explaining her being so maladjusted and paranoid.
- Peridot knows what citrus fruits are, but not shirts likely because Homeworld's records of Earth predate the invention of shirts.
- With the revelation that Peridot's limbs are artificial, it's clear now why she randomly had powers pop up on earth that she never had before; she upgraded her Limb Enhancers when she was at Kindergarten and later on at the Old Ship. This also explains why in this episode she didn't have any new powers; she'd run out of raw materials to upgrade with.
- Another explanation is that she'd simply never been in actual combat before (given her apparent role as a technician), and that she was simply unaware of and/or lacking practice with everything her limbs, which seem to have been built to compensate for her lack of offensive ability, could do, explaining why her first blaster shot in "Friend Ship" knocked her back and seemingly took her by surprise with its power.
- Peridot was likely asking if everything was a weapon in the hopes that it would provide her a tool to help her escape; it was hardly an innocent gesture.
- At first it seems weird that Peridot looks unchanged after regenerating, but since Homeworld forbids any kind of individualism, it's very possible that Homeworld Gems aren't allowed to make changes to their physical form.
"When It Rains"
- Peridot says she has read centuries of reports about Earth. This might explain her low opinion of humans, as she only knows about the early humans who were not as smart or capable as modern humans.
- Why doesn't Peridot know what rain is? The Gem Homeworld must either lack Earthly weather or have some kind of climate control.
- The Gem Homeworld lacking the amount of water that the Earth does would certainly explain why Lapis isn't higher up on the chain of command, despite being so powerful on Earth.
- Peridot mentioned that she got all her info on Earth from old reports she had stored in her limb screen, which explains why she's such a Fish out of Water, she can't look stuff up now, even assuming she has information on a lot of Earth stuff.
- Peridot assuming that Steven came from the Kindergarten because he's a type of Quartz makes some sense when you think about it. Quartz and its variations, like Amethyst, are very common on Earth, so it's not unreasonable that the Kindergarten would produce a lot of Quartz-type Gems.
- Not to mention that Rose Quartz is the most human-looking Gem seen in the show.
- Peridot's implication that the Kindergarten made mostly Quartz Gems, along with her assumption that "mom" and "dad" are either some kind of rocks or other planets and the wording of the info in "How Are Gems Made" short released the same day as this episode implies that other methods of Gem production exist, or maybe Kindergartens on other worlds without native life, which is where Ruby, Sapphire, and Pearl came from.
- The longer Peridot's been spending on Earth and the more her appearance deteriorates, the less triangular her hair gets. What are triangles associated with in this show, again?
- While mostly unintentional, the Crystal Gems were using the Good Cop Bad Cop interrogation to get information out of Peridot. The Crystal Gems were the bad cops, scaring Peridot to the point she refused to leave the bathroom, while Steven was unknowingly playing the good cop, being genuinely nice to the frightened Peridot. Peridot was unwilling to give information to the other Crystal Gems because of how dangerous they were to her, but she opened up to Steven, who treated her with kindness.
"Back to the Barn"
- Peridot reveals that Pearls are mass-produced luxury gems while being second-class citizens that are made to order back on Homeworld. This is rather appropriate, since A) pearls, unlike other gemstones, are organic in nature, giving credence to a class system and B) can be manufactured en-mass in Real Life by way of cultured pearls.
- In addition, since pearls need to be warmed up for maximum beauty, they were often worn by servants during the day so they'd be at their best when the lady of the house wore them in the evening.
- Pearls are designed to "stand around and look pretty". The tall one, the purple one, and the hot one?
- Given what we've seen, Pearl was so devoted to Rose because she gave Pearl a choice. In "Rose's Scabbard", we see that Rose gave Pearl a chance to back out of the Rebellion, and what else we've seen indicates she treated Pearl as a friend. Pearl fell in love with Rose because (if Peridot's attitude is the Homeworld norm) Rose was the first Gem to treat her as a person instead of just a servant.
- Which makes it all the more appropriate that Steven has been able to bridge the gap between the Crystal Gems and Peridot by showing her some concern and kindness. Homeworld is starting to slip into a bit of a pattern with its people.
- The implication that Peridot's attitude is the Homeworld norm certainly explains why Pearl wasn't exactly sad about leaving it behind to stay with Rose on Earth.
- But Pearl was sad to leave Homeworld. Both her and Rose refer to it as "home". Pearl desperately wanted to see what had changed on Homeworld in "Space Race" but wasn't that happy that they wouldn't be able to land or they'd be killed. Pearl's devotion and love for Rose outweighed how much she would miss her home. Pearl wishes Pearls had been treated better and Homeworld caused her a lot of pain, but it doesn't mean she can't miss the place.
- There's also the implication that Peridots are meant to be engineers and technicians. Not only does this explain why Peridot's pride was so easily wounded when Pearl suggested that she could engineer just as well as Peridot, it also explains why she was so quick to lord over Pearl. She seemingly lacks experience around them, implying that she isn't much higher on Homeworld's social ladder, and she wishes to be in charge of somebody for once.
- She also seems to be jealous of higher-ranking Gems, who apparently have Pearl servants as a status symbol.
- Pearl being a created servant explains why she takes such delight in domestic tasks (like when she took over the chore wheel in "Keeping It Together").
- Pearl's Super OCD makes perfect sense now, of course a created servant would have a natural dislike of uncleanliness and disorder. In addition to this, Peridot's dialogue in "Log Date 7 15 2" specifically shows that one of a Pearl's duties is to clean. After so many years on Homeworld, she's probably better at cleaning than either Garnet or Amethyst would be note .
- This episode explains why Pearl has so many diverse talents, besides the fact that a servant would be expected to be able to do a lot of things, she's deliberately tried to improve her skillset and show she's not just another servant Pearl.
- Why doesn't Peridot know what a wheel is? She was probably made after it became obsolete on Homeworld.
- Rose keeping the knowledge of Lion's existence from Pearl makes a lot more sense now. In the "Guide to the Crystal Gems" book, Steven mentions that he thinks his mom used Lion's pocket dimension to carry stuff around for her like a living bag. Given that Pearl can store stuff inside her Gemstone (she is shown to have a similar pocket dimension to Lion's in her Gemstone, albeit with air, in the comics), and that, according to Peridot, Pearls are meant to hold your stuff for you, implies that she kept Lion a secret from Pearl so that Pearl wouldn't know she needed help and wouldn't worry about her.
- Peridot erodes easily on Earth. In this episode Peridot gets some character development and seems to be starting to move past her preconceived notions on Pearl.
- The confirmation of a Homeworld caste system provides another possible reason that Fusion is frowned upon it gives lower-class Gems the potential to become one of higher status.
- This actually has some Truth in Television in real life, those of the working class who manage to become wealthy through hard work and dedication are called "nouveau riche". They tend to be looked down upon by the more "older" wealthy families who earn their wealth through inheritance, because they are seen as upstarts who threaten the traditional social class hierarchy that has been established for centuries.
- In the very first episode, Pearl teaches Steven that one way to summon a weapon is with hard work, determination, and focus, and this episode reveals why she taught him that: She was made to "stand around and look pretty", and wasn't intended for fighting. So, of course she had to summon her weapon with hard work, determination, and focus.
- Why does Peridot try to make Amethyst laugh so much? She's probably subconsciously associating Amethyst with the Quartz Gems on Homeworld, and who wouldn't want to impress their superiors?
- That, or the highly militaristic Homeworld has no time for such things, and Peridot's just realizing how much she enjoys it.
- Why are Quartz Gems warriors in the Gem Fantastic Caste System? Quartz has a 7 hardness on the Mohs Scale, meaning that they're tougher than most minerals. Of course it makes sense for them to be soldiers, especially since Quartz is a very common mineral, and thus much more suited to forming an army than other Gems that are harder, but less common.
- And it makes a lot sense why the Gems chose Earth to colonize. Quartz is extremely abundant in the Earth's crust.
- As mentioned under "The Return", amethysts and jaspers are the same stone, just under slightly different circumstances while forming, namely amethysts being buried deeper. No wonder why it took Amethyst longer to dig herself out and why Peridot's description of what Amethyst is SUPPOSED to look like is a dead ringer for Jasper: she is supposed to be exactly like her!
- Fridge Heartwarming: Amethyst had no clue that upon Homeworld she would have been considered defective. For that to have happened, Garnet and Pearl must have never looked down upon her for it, nor even mention it.
- It turns out that Quartzes are high-ranked in Homeworld's hierarchy, implying that every kind of Gem has its set place. No wonder they would abhor and discourage fusion, it can potentially change the type of Gem drastically! Remember how Pearls are a Servant Race or Slave Race back on Homeworld? Two of our Pearl's fusions (Sardonyx and Rainbow Quartz) are Quartzes too!
- Ruby and Sapphire's places in the Gem caste system. Ruby is literally a Red Shirt while Sapphire is literally a Blue Blood!
- If this is true, then it adds more reasons for Ruby and Sapphire to rebel against Homeworld and defend Earth. Homeworld not only seems to hold prejudice against fusions but it will likely frown upon a romantic relationship between two Gems of different social caste. So Ruby and Sapphire practically eloped!
- Given what little we've seen and figured out so far, Gems on Homeworld seem to be ranked by their hardness, sort of like a social Mohs scale. Rubies and sapphires are two of the hardest gemstones second only to diamonds, which would put Ruby and Sapphire very high in Homeworld's hierarchy. Ruby's incredible strength, durability, and her ability to control heat would make her roughly Homeworld's equivalent to a Super Soldier, while Sapphire, with her precognitive powers, would make her an excellent battlefield tactician and commander because she can predict the enemy's moves before they happen. This would probably add another reason to why Homeworld would frown on their relationship Ruby, while an extremely valuable warrior, would still be seen as a military grunt compared to Sapphire due to one being more useful to society than the other, and a romantic relationship between the two would be like a front line soldier having an affair with his commanding officer.
- Sapphire defecting Homeworld seems a little out of character. She was a respected and loyal aristocrat and diplomat with useful powers and even, it seems that Sapphires are a rare class of Gems in Homeworld, so why giving up everything for a low-class Ruby, already condemned to die? But remember, Ruby saved Sapphire from being poofed, something that Sapphire already saw and accepted, but also she fused with her in seemly the first different-Gems fusion in all recorded history. Ruby demonstrated to Sapphire that future is not set in stone, she proved to her that she has autonomy and can choose; she literally shocked Sapphire's whole ground of beliefs, no wonder she got fascinated with Ruby.
- In the other side, Ruby most probably fell for Sapphire not only because with her she felt different while fusing, but because Sapphire saved her from from being broken despite being one of many other Rubies; Sapphire recognized her as an individual with a meaningful existence.
- Why are Rubies ranked so far down on the caste system? Ruby is actually more common than most people think, but rubies of large size and high enough quality to be considered real gemstones are rarer, explaining why they're "common" soldiers and child-sized.
- The fact that Sapphire Gems, despite sapphire having a chemical composition almost identical to ruby, are much rarer than the latter, heavily implies that the Diamonds control how many Gems of a type come into being to support the Fantastic Caste System.
- Sapphire foresaw Rose and Pearl's capture and the end of the rebellion. However, Ruby's act of selflessness and love didn't register in Sapphire's premonitions. Meaning Sapphire can't predict love, unseen and uncontrollable force of attraction that it is. In other words, love saved earth.
- While on the Sky Arena, all the Gems are shown in monochrome (the rubies are all shades of red, sapphire is all shades of blue). They're uniform. Singular. This palette even affects Rose and Pearl, who have since defected from Homeworld. In fact, the first show of any character displaying more than one shade of any color is Garnet. The fusion. The abomination in the eyes of Homeworld society. Garnet breaks the monochrome, the conformity, of Homeworld. As a mix of two different gems, she is literally the first fusion of her kind, and an anomaly. As soon as Ruby and Sapphire fall to Earth, they break the monochrome as well. While they're still shades of their respective colors, they're no longer the uniform slate of red and blue they have darks and lights mixed in with their pallets. They no longer fit the uniform. The same goes for Pearl and Rose when they are on Earth. Homeworld represents unity, and conformity. Every Gem serves Homeworld as a whole, and there is virtually no distinction between Gems of the same kind. Earth represents individualism and rebellion, and breaking free of the societal norms.
- Related to the example above, the color palette of Garnet's first fusion incorporates both red and blue in contrast to Garnet's later forms which are mostly purple with a few different color highlights. In addition to representing Ruby and Sapphire's break from Homeworld, their individual colors bleeding through represents their newness as a coupled entity. Garnet's later forms are mostly monotone in color because Ruby and Sapphire have been together for far longer and it shows the strength of their comfort level and identity as a cohesive being. In their earlier days, Ruby and Sapphire's bond hasn't matured to that level yet, thus Garnet's first form has more red and blue instead of the mixed purple.
- When seeing Garnet for the second time, Pearl is surprised, even shocked, and doesn't move to attack. Then when she hears Garnet talk about her feelings, she is seen smiling as broadly as Rose. Garnet saying she feels much more at ease with herself now than she ever was and would do whatever she will do now much sooner than what she was meant to do must have resonated with Pearl, who, probably inspired by Rose Quartz, grew beyond her intended role of silent servitude into a dreaded and badass warrior of a case which, before Garnet, only had 2 sympathizers as far as we know.
- Garnet (Sapphire, especially) would have been inspired by CG Pearl as well. (cf. her speech in "Friend Ship") After all, our Pearl broke out of the path of servitude destined for her in just about the most spectacular way possible.
- When Garnet said in "Love Letters" that love takes time and work, considering she sees herself as a being made of love itself she must have included herself in that sentence. Look what a mess Garnet is when she first was born; Ruby and Sapphire surely encountered many impasses in their relationship that ended up splitting them, and when they made up and re-fused, Garnet came more balanced and better clothed to represent the increasing harmony.
- The episode actually almost seems like a visual episode-long Call-Back to "Love Letters", not just a mere hint on what Garnet had said. We get to see how Ruby and Sapphire fell in love and that it took time and effort. While Ruby appears to feel some sort of attraction to Sapphire when she bumps into her, she doesn't act on it. It takes her until at least an hour later when she sees Sapphire's eye to actually really notice that she is probably attracted to the other Gem, same with Sapphire who "took her first good look" at Ruby (and they don't say it or push their feelings on the other, instead Sapphire starts a conversation). We then see at least one day pass (if not more) which they spend enjoying their time and getting to know each other before they start their love song. The love song itself is all about trying to know more about the other with only the last line feeling like a Love Confession. And when starting their Fusion Dance, they still start out very shy and awkward until they apparently finally accept their love and start properly dancing which leads them to fuse again. Just like Garnet had said, love takes time and love can't happen on first sight.
- Even MORE parallels between Garnet and Stevonnie: both of them were the first of their kind, the former being the first fusion between two different Gems, and the latter being the fusion of a Gem (well, half-Gem) and an actual human being, and both of them first fused by accident. After seeing Stevonnie, Garnet probably relived a lot of sweet memories.
- It turns out that Gems refer to their leading Diamond as "My Diamond". When Rose referred to Pearl as "My Pearl" all those thousands of years ago, Rose was basically saying that Pearl was practically royalty herself.
- Not necessarily. "Diamond" is as much a title as it is a name, and "my Diamond" is used similarly to an address like "my liege". Calling her "my Pearl" implies ownership rather than allegiance, but this was happening a long, long time ago, even by Gem standards. That was the moment that Rose actually decided to stay and lead the rebellion she started, and Pearl was almost certainly recently liberated; Rose taking informal ownership of Pearl would have been the best thing she could have done for her at that point. Even Garnet refers to her as "Rose Quartz's Renegade Pearl".
- Given that Sapphire was fatalistic to the point of accepting death and Ruby changed what Sapphire thought to be inevitable, the two of them and Garnet are a living embodiment of the well-known prayer called the serenity prayer: "May God grant me the strength to change what I can [Ruby], the serenity to accept what I cannot [Sapphire], and the wisdom to tell what is which [Garnet]."
- Fridge Brilliance and Heartwarming in Hindsight: Garnet was the first fusion of different Gems. Which means all the Crystal Gem fusions we saw before, Opal, Sugilite, Rainbow Quartz, Sardonix and Alexandrite, all that the Crystal Gems know about fusion and all the times they spoke of how beautiful it is (like Pearl saying it's much more than just combining as water is much more than just oxygen and hydrogen), is only possible because they know and have listened to and learnt from Garnet.
- Sapphire tells Blue Diamond she looks forward to speaking with her again, "once I reform back on Homeworld." This implies she had complete faith someone (maybe our Ruby, the guard she didn't see being poofed) would pick up her Gem and take it back to safety. We have no reason to think they wouldn't do that if the prediction was correct, and if the one to pick up and take back Sapphire's Gem was Ruby (which is possible as she was assigned to Sapphire as a bodyguard), there is a chance Garnet still would have happened eventually. Sapphire didn't know this (or that Ruby would save her and prove her prediction to be incorrect) because she believed her future vision to be absolute and unchangeable. It took Ruby's diving save to give her faith in the power of actions, both her own and those of others.
- While Blue Diamond's desire to crush Ruby may seem like a way to show she's a villain, when one thinks about it, her anger against her makes perfect sense. Fusion between different Gems aside, there's already a lot of evidence of fusion being linked with intimacy. The fact that Ruby fused with Sapphire without her consent (granted, accidentally) could be considered something along the lines of sexual assault, and against a gem of higher standing as well (note that Blue Diamond only wants to crush Ruby, not Sapphire). Also, Ruby's actions also cost Homeworld a major victory, one that could never recover from. Ruby cost them the entire war!
- Pushing this further is that Sapphire only said the Gems' physical forms would be destroyed, not their gems. Indeed we see Pearl only poofing her opponents, not shattering them. And as we know gems can regenerate, Sapphire wasn't in any real danger. In other words, Ruby's heroic act not only cost Homeworld the war, but was completely unnecessary. No wonder Blue Diamond wanted her crushed.
- Sapphire's comment about how it is nice to have more than one eye might have seemed a bit random liking, but actually, that was a whole new experience to her: with one eye, she has no in-built depth perception. She liked it, though someone else might have had a Freak Out! on this new-found ability.
- Additionally, later in the episode after they re-fuse, Garnet spends a while staring at every branch and tree in the forest. Part of the reason for this is because Sapphire is literally seeing the world in a whole different way.
- Garnet's almost completely red color scheme from Season 1 is due to Ruby's guilt and frustration over her perceived failure as Sapphire's bodyguard, so she becomes the dominant Gem to protect Sapphire from everything that comes their way, which naturally caused Sapphire to take a backseat. Being separated in "The Return" must have made Ruby realize that in trying to protect her from everything, she forgot that being Garnet actually required both Gems to work together as equals. So when they reunited in "Jail Break", Ruby's appreciation of being fused with Sapphire resulted in Garnet's current unified appearance with a (mostly) purple color scheme from Season 2 onward.
- This episode establishes that fusions between gems of different types are considered absolutely forbidden on Homeworld... and that such fusions are much more powerful than usual. Given that the modern-day Crystal Gems use cross-type fusion freely as their ultimate technique, it seems likely that they adopted it after Garnet showed both that it was possible and powerful, and that this is part of the reason the rebels ultimately won.
- Garnet's description of Pearl as Rose's "terrifying renegade Pearl" implies that Pearl was The Dreaded to Homeworld's loyalist forces. In addition to Pearl honing her grace and skill with a sword into nearly a Charles Atlas Superpower, a big part of the reason why a renegade Pearl would be so terrifying is because Pearls are normally treated as slaves, with many of them in key positions as retainers to powerful Gems. The idea of one of them defying their supposed place in the natural order of things is a direct challenge to Homeworld's entire culture and raises the specter of a broader Pearl rebellion that could destabilize everything. (Most real-world cultures that relied heavily on slaves lived in constant fear of slave rebellions.)
- Why is it that shapeshifting is shown as being very stressful to maintain, when extended periods of shapeshifting have been shown before in previous episodes without such strain? Except in "Reformed", where Amethyst strained herself trying to assume a form substantially bigger and stronger than her usual one. So it's not that shapeshifting in and of itself is dangerous to maintain for too long, so much as that using it to become bigger than usual is.
- Why did Steven revert back to being a baby after abusing his shapeshifting powers for the entire day? Well, with what we've seen of this before, Gems who do this will be forced to revert to their gem in order to recharge. Since Steven is part human though, and thus can't revert to his gem, it went with the next best form that'd be easiest to maintain while his energy recharged, that being a baby.
- Garnet becoming more gentle and affectionate with Steven. In "So Many Birthdays", Garnet tries to turn old!Steven back to normal by shaking him violently. Here, she tries to cheer baby!Steven up by making funny faces.
- Steven grows a hair at the end of the episode, showing he's (physically) finally growing up. But Steven's physiological level of maturity (physical age) is based on how old he perceives himself to be. Steven never aged while he was living with the Gems because a) they're ageless themselves, b) to them, he was always little Steven, and they were always his older guardians to him that fact didn't change no matter how much time passed, leaving him in limbo age-wise.
- Brilliance: While Steven couldn't force himself to age, his body subconsciously reacted to his desire and aged him to match how he sees Connie in terms of "age". Connie, and their love for one another, is responsible for Steven finally growing up, and will most likely cause Steven to keep aging throughout his life to match Connie.
- Brilliance: This may also explain why Stevonnie appears to be older than Steven or Connie: their fusion is a comparatively more mature version of their relationship.
- Horror: On the flip side, had Steven never met Connie, he more than likely would have remained at relatively the same mental and physiological age forever, since life with the Gems and isolation from peers likely would have caused him to effectively "freeze" in time.
- Horror: When you remember that Steven's physical age is directly tied to his mental age, the horror sets in that once Connie dies, Steven might very well die as well due to a combination of grief and thinking his own life should come to an end. It could even trigger when Greg dies, since Steven will almost certainly outlive Greg.
- It was somewhat confusing when the Crystal Gems were confused over the concept of birthdays back in "So Many Birthdays". However, this episode reveals via Greg's baby book of Steven that none of the Crystal Gems were present in Steven's past birthdays.
- One reason Steven hasn't hit puberty yet? Truthin Television, as boys go through puberty later than girls, so it's not uncommon to see a female start to go through changes in sixth grade and a boy to still look like a six-year-old until freshmen year.
"It Could've Been Great"
- Why isn't Peridot was horrified about what the Earth would have become once it was colonized? Well, just because she's working for the Crystal Gems doesn't mean she agrees with their views. While she has grown fond of them for only several weeks, that won't immediately stomp a thousand years of having Homeworld's beliefs drilled into her. Like Garnet stated in "Love Letters", "Love takes time", and that can be love between two people or the feeling of love or empathy towards others.
- This whole episode could also be indicative of the massive disconnect between Homeworld Gem culture and that which the Crystal Gems have adopted. It seems most of the Crystal Gems were rather caught off-guard by Peridot's continued support of Homeworld ideas and efforts, despite the fact that they seemed to be getting along with Peridot. Which is rather surprising, given that Peridot has said in explicit terms that she doesn't actually support the Crystal Gem cause. But, Peridot comes from what is apparently a hyper-conformist, caste-based system where Gems are explicitly expected to put their goals ahead of themselves. As abhorrent of an ideology as it may be, it might have actually instilled one surprisingly virtuous quality into its people, and that's how to work with others that you disagree with. On Homeworld, it may be that personal disputes are expected to take a backseat to completing your job; Peridot might not have seen her improved rapport with the Crystal Gems as her coming around to their ideas, but of her being a good team player. It might be that, to her, getting along with someone for the sake of the 'mission' isn't the same as agreeing with them, something that may have been lost on the Crystal Gems.
- Additionally, Peridot is a Kindergartener, whose job is literally to incubate Gems in the crust of a planet and suck the life out in order to come to life. As a result, Peridot is likely desensitized to it the same way you and I are desensitized to shooting a man in Call of Duty, treating it like no big deal, just a fact of life.
- The double meaning of the title not only refers to what Peridot said about the Earth colony plans, but also refers to how Peridot's relationship with the Crystal Gems "could've been great" if she hadn't insulted Rose Quartz so callously and essentially erased all the trust and goodwill the Crystal Gems were starting to feel towards her.
- Peridot seemed to pick up very quickly on music, when Steven decided to introduce it to her, despite the implication that Peridot had effectively no prior experience with musical theory. This actually makes a certain amount of sense, given that music is fairly heavily tied-in to mathematics. If Peridots are meant to serve as engineers and technicians, it would make sense for them to have a certain amount of inherent affinity for math, and by extension, things like rhythm and tempo. One could also expect that as technicians, they would have good use for finely-honed senses for the diagnosis of mechanical problems, giving Peridot a certain degree of insight into tone.
- The song even points out the precise moment Peridot gains insight into music: she recognizes it as some sort of a pattern, and patterns of various kind are what all technicians, scientists and engineers work with. Having recognized it as a pattern, it was indeed almost discouragingly easy for her to follow it and sing in tune.
- At the beginning, it almost seems as if Peridot is starting to come around on Earth and grasp why it is that the Crystal Gems seek to protect it. She quickly gets caught up in the song and even starts contributing her own lines much to their approval. This contributes to a quite a bit of the shock when it becomes apparent that Peridot's views hadn't changed nearly as much as they thought, nearly invalidating their earlier activities in the episode. But, if one pays attention while Steven is trying to explain music to her, Peridot explicitly refers to it as hypothetical and without substance. While she quickly picks up on singing it, she seems almost to be parroting Steven and mastering it as a mechanical exercise without ever connecting with the experience emotionally. Her song didn't mean anything to her and it may have been the approval she received that she truly enjoyed.
- Why does Peridot so callously insult Rose even thought the Crystal Gems are giving her a Death Glare? Well, using some lines from "Marble Madness" about her being unaware of any Gems on Earth, it's most likely that Peridot doesn't have any information about Rose. Aside from that the only mentioning of Rose she has heard were from Jasper ("Jail Break") and Steven ("When It Rains"), both of whom didn't give a full explanation on who she was. Had Peridot learned how important Rose was to the others, she may have toned down on her Brutal Honesty.
- If the recent episodes are anything to go by, most Era 2 Gems only know of Pink via rumors the same way most kids only know about JFK through rumors about his death. So Peridot probably knew Rose existed, but was of no value until she came to Earth.
- The Cluster's position near California could be an in-universe reason for the area's massive earthquake records.
- Peridot freaks out when Garnet gives her an appreciative pat on her back. The last time that Garnet had her hands near Peridot's back was when she poofed her in "Catch and Release".
- The difference in values between Peridot and the Crystal Gems seems simple enough, but it's easy to forget that Peridot only knows Rose Quartz as a historical figure, not a person. To her, Rose Quartz is essentially a cult leader, and when Pearl reminds her that Rose believed that all life is precious, it was just the cult leader's pretty servant parroting her late mistress' words. The magnitude of what "all life" means can't hold much meaning for someone who only started thinking of non-mineral life forms as life forms a few weeks ago at most. She thinks nothing of a hollowed-out planet because Gems don't need food or water or sleep or a breathable atmosphere or even consistent gravity, so she has no real reason to know what an ecosystem is, let alone why one would matter.
- Also, as we find out in "Too Short to Ride", Homeworld is experiencing a massive resource shortage, one with direct and serious consequences to Peridot personally (resulting in her intentionally stunted development and lack of powers, something she's extremely self-conscious about). Her musing that it could have been great if Earth were strip-mined for resources isn't just idle detachment; she can't help but consider how her own life could have been better if Homeworld had had Earth's resources at its disposal and used it to create full-fledged Gems like the Era 1 ones.
- Why is the chair on the Moon Base so small that Peridot and Steven can comfortably fit, despite the fact that the Diamonds are effectively giants? As "Jungle Moon" shows us, Pink was much shorter, not much taller than Stevonnie is.
- Peridot turning on Yellow Diamond makes sense when one realizes something: Yellow Diamond likely has ALWAYS acted that way and treated the other Gems as expendable... but Peridot never had a contrast before now. After being treated as a person and actually shown compassion and how it feels, she could finally compare Yellow Diamond's mistreatment to something enough to recognize how horrible it is.
- Peridot very specifically describes Yellow Diamond as being the (literal) Paragon of rationality and objectivity. She had no doubts that such an intelligent and practical Gem could put aside their personal feelings and spare the Earth, if Peridot could offer up reasonable, sensible reasons for why it would be a waste not to. But what Peridot found was that the being she idolized was nothing more than a stubborn, petty, and utterly unreasonable being who wanted the Earth destroyed more for personal satisfaction than anything. Peridot holds notions of intelligence, efficiency, and practicality as being high virtues and is visibly taking aback when Yellow Diamond falls short. Peridot was dedicated and loyal to this idea of what she thought Yellow Diamond was truly like, so it's no wonder she was so upset to the point of Heroic BSoD at finding out that she was basically worshiping a lie.
- Feeding into the above, it's heavily implied that Peridot knows nothing about the rebellion on Earth, so from her perspective the Gem she worshiped was completely willing to destroy the planet not out of spite but of pointless cruelty.
- Why were the Crystal Gems so happy that Peridot is a part of them now, even though in the last episode she made callous remarks against Rose's rebellion? Because Peridot is doing the very thing Rose did: Seeing the value of Earth and trying to protect it.
- Yellow Diamond's Pearl might explain why Peridot was so unwilling to see Pearl as an equal in "Back to the Barn". Considering Peridot has likely dealt with this Pearl before and as such made to kowtow to what is technically a lower class Gem as though it were a higher class one it makes sense she would have difficulty acknowledging the CG Pearl, who is lower in her eyes for being a traitor to Homeworld.
- In "Back to the Barn", Peridot implies that Pearls have no function other than being the Homeworld equivalent of trophy wives/designer handbags, just standing around doing nothing. Here, we see Yellow Pearl have the role of a secretary, and "The Trial" shows that Yellow has so much trust in her she is given other jobs and treated more like a handmaid/lady-in-waiting. So why did Peridot get it wrong? She's a lower class Gem whose probably only interacted with Pearls when she had to interact with her masters, who likely just let them stand around and do nothing, or just observed them from a distance the same way you and I probably assume all servants stand around houses waiting for messes to clean up. Of course she wouldn't know they might be given more freedom!
- In the case of Yellow Diamond's Pearl, even if a Pearl is treated like a trophy wife, her being given more freedom might be precisely due to the fact that she serves one of the three most powerful Gems on Homeworld, which would entail more responsibility on her end. Yellow is also seen as a logician, so it'd be more logical to put her Pearl to more use than just simply standing around, as she woudln't have to waste the resources making another Gem or croney to. She likely is a social step above other Pearls for this reason and given more freedoms.
- Peridot trying to reason with Yellow Diamond is in direct parallel to when she and Steven first officially met in "Marble Madness": They (Steven and Peridot) try to convince another Gem (Peridot and Yellow Diamond, respectively) to talk about why they're on Earth (Steven to Peridot) or the reason why Earth should be spared (Peridot to Yellow Diamond), basically they have a discussion revolving around the planet. But for some reason the Gem won't listen (Peridot's apathy and Yellow Diamond's pettiness) and attempt to kill them for a very stupid reason (Peridot tried to kill Steven simply because he was there, Yellow Diamond attempted to kill Peridot because the latter called her a "clod").
- This ties into previous episodes, but the fact that we don't see much of Peridot interacting with the Crystal Gems between "Too Far" and "It Could've Been Great". Had there been more episodes between those events, or had Peridot gotten more screen-time during the given episodes, the audience would have quickly picked up how Peridot analyzes her environment and how she thinks. This would have easily led to the tension of this episode being lost, as most of the audience would have understood Peridot's explanation on the first viewing and would have known that she was never planning to betray Steven or the Gems, and that she came to appreciate Earth from a logical rather than emotional standpoint. By limiting her appearances even in the background, the writing team successfully managed to produce a Poor Communication Kills episode where even the audience misunderstood the character's intentions.
- Yellow Diamond's exaggerated reaction to Peridot telling her off may be due to the fact that, as someone who has a reputation for being very logical, she grew used to having her plans go as she expected them to. So when something went wrong with one of her plans, it completely took her by surprise and threw her off her game, which was why she became absolutely furious at Peridot's refusal to obey. Now imagine what would her reaction be if she learns that the Cluster had stopped growing and failed to destroy Earth...
- The last straw for Peridot is when Yellow Diamond says that she doesn't care about Earth's resources. As we later see in "Too Short to Ride", Peridot is an Era 2 gem, with significantly reduced abilities due to the resource crisis facing Homeworld (and it's reasonably clear she's extremely self-conscious about it); to her, this crisis is an extremely personal issue. When Yellow Diamond is so dismissive of it, she's effectively dismissing the problems that have defined Peridot's entire life. Peridot was fine with being an Era 2 Gem as long as she thought the sacrifice had some meaning (and was willing to fight for the Gem Homeworld as long as she believed they were trying to solve it). Yellow Diamond's response showed completely clearly that this wasn't the case.
- Yellow Diamond wanting the Earth destroyed out of a grudge makes sense when you remember that Pink Diamond was shattered there, and Yellow wants to destroy all reminders of her fallen sister to move on. In addition, it is a spot of embarrassment for Homeworld, which prides itself on conquering, so it'd show to other races that the Gems aren't as feared as one may think. Towards her Homeworld, we discover in "Lars' Head", most of the Homeworld Gems think that Earth was decimated, or rendered inhospitable for life, so it'd be a great way to cover up evidence of shame on the part of the Diamonds. And if "The Trial" is anything to go by, Yellow might want the Earth destroyed to cover up evidence of Pink Diamond's shattering.
- In addition, the Homeworld seems to at least suspect that Rose Quartz might have survived the Corrupting Light (Jasper mentions that she was hoping to fight Rose when she came to Earth), and even if they think she's Corrupted they at least believe she's alive. Yellow wants the Earth destroyed in order to finally shatter the Gem who shattered Pink Diamond.
- During her interaction with Yellow, Peridot mentions that the Cluster will emerge shortly. But despite the fact that by Season 5 a couple of months have flown by, Homeworld doesn't seem that concerned with sending Gems to check on it. Why? Because Peridot was being vague and never gave an exact answer. While we the audience know the Cluster will likely start to hatch a few episodes from now due to the narrative standpoint, Yellow Diamond doesn't. To Gems, a "short time" can be anywhere from a day to a century. Heck, even to Pearl, she acts like taking Steven away for 50 years is no different than taking him to Disney World for a weekend, or that it taking 200 years to get to Pink Diamond's Zoo and back would be no different than a 4-hour drive from Washington DC to New York City. To a being whose probably existed for hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of years, a "short time" can mean anytime. So in a sense, Peridot pretty much saved the Earth, if even in the short term.
- When asked if she knows Yellow Pearl, CG Pearl says that "not all Pearls know each other", but she doesn't actually ever say that she doesn't know Yellow Pearl. As Pink Diamond's personal Pearl, she almost certainly did know Yellow Pearl, but she didn't want to explain to the others how she knew her. Another possibility is that Yellow Pearl frequently made fun of her, and so Pearl didn't want to talk about her.
- The StevenBomb this episode was part of centered around both Steven's birthday and Peridot's redemption. Given that Steven's birthday is August 15, and peridot gems are the August birthstone, that makes it somewhat symbolic that Peridot's Heel Faceturn would happen around Steven's birthday.
"Log Date 7 15 2"
- Peridot is quite right about Steven being the source of madness. If "madness" is emotivity and compassion going against Homeworld's logic and practicality, Steven was the first one to treat her with true compassion and respect. Steven is also a human-Gem hybrid, making his own existence illogical and proving that inorganic and organic life can come to an union and co-exist. Steven is also able to fuse with humans, the mere idea is crazy. And if Peridot believes the idea of rebelling against Homeworld is the madness, well Steven is Rose Quartz's son and reincarnation; she was the first one in getting the idea and she spread it to other Gems, the same thing Steven did with her.
- Peridot's Eureka Moment in regards to Garnet's status as a fusion actually makes quite a bit of sense. Peridot very much treats her obsessive shipping of Percy/Pierre as an exercise in optimization, with her being concerned not so much with emotional compatibility, but with finding the best combination of individuals for dealing with challenges. This is perfectly in-line with her clinical and objective approach to most things and Garnet actually seemed to pick up on that. So when Garnet described herself as Percy/Pierre, Peridot was finally able to grasp that Ruby and Sapphire are, from her point-of-view, the most effective and ideal pairing. She still doesn't quite get the romantic element, but she's finally found a way to place the Crystal Gems' views on fusion into terms that she can understand.
- Even better, Ruby and Sapphire are indeed a perfect match from a practical standpoint as well, being a trained soldier with determination and sometimes a bit of a temper and a Gem with future vision that not only is able to give out vital tactical advice but possesses the maturity and yes, patience, needed to keep Ruby from attacking recklessly to the point of tragedy.
- Peridot shipping Percy and Pierre because they are the optimal pair makes perfect sense: she still thinks humans can fuse and that those two would create the most powerful fusion form.
- Peridot's Yaoi Fangirl moment in regard to Percy/Pierre from Camp Pining Hearts makes sense. All Gems seem to be female, and the only humans she knows are male (Steven and Greg), so she likely assumes humans are also a monogendered species. Since she doesn't understand the concept of sexuality, she's Shipping them purely based on potential fusion strength.
- She obviously doesn't get romance and sexuality, seeing that when Paulette and Percy kiss, she calls it a "strange ritual" and when Steven later tries to explain that they like each other, Peridot simply dismisses it. Which may give even more layers to "The Answer", seeing that Ruby and Sapphire were not only pioneers regarding fusions, but maybe also the first Gems that openly engaged in a romantic relationship.
- To add onto this, note that Peridot never says she supports Pierre/Percy as a romantic couple. She speaks adjectives to the likes of "they make the superior pair" and that they destroy the camp, which could be applied platonically. As noted above, she makes calculations based on which characters' components would make the best fusion in combat. Since she was created in not only Homeworld, but Era 2, she must have no concept of romance or marriage. Why would she then suddenly ship two characters who are not only human but part of a "meaningless distraction" in the form of entertainment? Simple; she doesn't.
- Garnet's relative silence over the course of "Message Received" makes a whole lot of sense once you realize that the entry for date 7 14 2 was recorded before the trip to the Moon. Opal was formed to place the drill on the sawhorses, Garnet and Peridot attempted a fusion, Garnet makes a log entry in Peridot's diary telling Steven to give the tape recorder back, and only after that does Peridot steal the communicator and subsequently become a member of the Crystal Gems. Garnet knew all along what would happen and why Peridot would lose the diary. She foresaw having to talk to Peridot about where to put her star before her allegiance ever came into question. Over the last three episodes, Garnet had not only foreseen that this was a likely path that Peridot would choose, but trusted that it would be a path she would choose. Heartwarming in Hindsight indeed.
- Think back to the first time Amethyst and Pearl fused to form Opal in the series, and how much difficulty they had doing so. Compare it to how effortlessly they did so in this episode's flashback, and it's a subtle nod to how far the two have come in their relationship with one another. On a smaller note, given that the fusion dance requires dancing, in addition to compatibility they need to be able to synchronize their movements while doing so, something they couldn't do in "Giant Woman" without tripping up over themselves. This was lightly foreshadowed by the two of them dancing together in "Steven's Birthday".
- Peridot says most Gems don't shapeshift as often as Amethyst because of the energy expenditure. Since we now know she was originally supposed to be bigger, maybe Amethyst's energy is super-concentrated so that she's better suited to transforming than most Gems.
- Also, she eats a lot, which probably gives her more energy than she would otherwise have.
- Since Peridot mentions in "Too Far" that Steven must have a high energy consumption since he has to eat (indicating that Gems with no familarity of having to eat know what it is and does), it may actually be true that Amethyst's habit of eating allows her to do more straining things.
- A bit of Meta Fridge Funny; back when it was still unclear exactly where Peridot's escape pod landed, fans were pointing out Canada as a possibility given the trajectory shown in the episode (presumably somewhere in Quebec). Fast forward to now, and what show does she fall in love with? One set in Canada, and judging by Percy holding a container of poutine, it was probably set in Quebec to boot. The writers probably had a field day with that one.
- Garnet being the only Gem other than Steven to comfort Peridot in this episode is understandable, when you remember Garnet basically already been through the same situation as Peridot. Ruby was initially depressed and questioning of her value when she realized she was an outlaw and wanted dead by Blue Diamond, just like how Peridot is by going crazy in this episode, while Sapphire, like Peridot, betrayed her Diamond when she realized how horrible she was by attempting to kill Ruby for "changing" the future she predicted, just like Yellow Diamond's refusal to spare the Earth out of clear spite.
- The 2 at the end of the log date probably refers to the fact that the Gem empire is in its 2nd era.