- Greg still trying to be a good supportive father to Steven despite pretty much having a panic attack after Steven tells him what happened after they parted ways in "The Return." Dude's having a damn meltdown over his son nearly dying in a spaceship crash, and he still takes the time to say he loves and supports him before immediately digging for the relaxing music and driving away.
- Garnet's insistence on "no fences" on the grounds of Steven needing to stay in touch with his father and Connie is a quiet one, but it's a subtle reinforcement of what we've learned about her last episode: Garnet knows love and strong relationships are a source of strength (both emotional and literal, at least for her) and doesn't want Steven to lose that, especially after his Fusion with Connie.
- Steven briefly considers telling Connie that his frantic phone message was All Just a Dream, but discards the idea because "she's too smart for that." It's a funny moment, but the matter-of-fact way he says it also makes it clear that he has a lot of respect for Connie.
- As heart breaking as it was to see, Steven deciding to break off his friendship with Connie solely because he doesn't want her getting hurt on his account is one of the most selfless things he's ever done, and this is Steven we're talking about! "Selfless" may as well be his middle name and this is still the most heartwarming act he could have done for her.
- The fact that Steven values their relationship enough to not only rescind his request that they not see each other again, but also spill his guts to her about all that he's feeling in light of the revelations from "Jailbreak" and Lapis' sacrifice. She then promises to always be there for him, even if she's just there to listen or be a shoulder to lean on. If there was any doubt about how powerful their friendship is, it's in this episode. She's essentially telling him that he doesn't need to act like a lone wolf, and that he should never be afraid to share his feelings with her, because he was kind enough to befriend her.Steven: Are you ok?
Connie: Are you okay? You're the one who's been through everything. The least I could do is just listen.
Steven: I can't ask you to do that.
Connie: I want to, Steven, I want to be a part of your universe!
- Connie cares so deeply for Steven that whenever he's in trouble, she gets worried for his safety:Connie: Steven, your eye! What happened to you?
Steven: I didn't want you to worry about it.
Connie: I've been worried sick all day, what do you think I'm doing here?
Steven: I just wanted to protect you.
Connie: Stop. Just tell me everything.
- At the end of the episode, Greg (having recovered from his Heroic BSoD) finds Steven and Connie talking and asks if Connie needs a ride home. As they drive through Beach City, Steven sees all the townspeople working to fix the buildings that had been wrecked during the invasion. It's a great way to show Steven that while things looked grim at first, Greg and the other townspeople are pretty good at bouncing back.
- Steven's song in this episode. It's all about how much he cares about Connie and doesn't want to see her get hurt accompanied with images of them having fun and fooling around.
- Connie being alright with Steven loving the ending of the book, considering how passionate she was about hating it.
- Connie realizing that she was basically forcing her interpretation of the book on Steven without really asking how he enjoyed it, and then backing off after the confession was forced out of him by Room!ConnieConnie: Oh, of course you liked the wedding. You're Steven, you love schmaltz.
- Connie listening to Steven's interpretation of the ending and why it would work out. They discussed about it and went a bit back and forth, but it was polite and both sides acknowledged that it was their individual interpretation which is quite mature, seeing that both are big fans of the series.
- Steven using a piece of ancient Gem tech that he doesn't fully understand and had already run afoul of once before just so he could give Connie the ending to the book that she wanted was a really sweet gesture, even if it didn't quite work out.
- And when Room!Connie just passively goes along with whatever Steven wants to do, he actually gets upset because he wanted Connie to be able to explore the ending to the series that she wanted.
- Jenny, Buck, and Sour Cream notice that Steven isn't his usual fun-loving self, so they decide to show him a good time.
Buck: But you always look so upbeat. (Takes off glasses) You're a real champ, Steven Universe.
- When he tells them his many major life problems and ends it with his worries that the Gems blame him for his mother dying, they treat it with all the somberness and seriousness such a thing deserves. Buck also praises him for still smiling despite all the problems he has.
- What makes this especially heartwarming is that the Cool Kids at first talk about their individual issues and argue a bit about who got it worst. When Steven talks about his own, they don't even try to act like it's nothing and instead all acknowledge that he has serious troubles and react understanding.
- Jenny, Buck, and Sour Cream all standing up for Steven when the Gems get upset at him for playing with Peridot's escape pod instead of bringing it straight to them, even though they admit they don't understand a lot of what's going on in Steven's life.
- The teens, when calling the Gems out on not giving Steven much of a break so soon after the events of the season one finale, take the time to acknowledge that the stuff that he and his caretakers do is really important for the safety of the planet. Which shows that they are able to put themselves in other's shoes, a skill that doesn't usually show up in teenagers in cartoons.
- Before that, Jenny steps in the way of one of Garnet's punches to keep her from punching the escape pod with Steven still inside.
- Garnet ungrounding Steven from his 1000 year ban from watching TV after Jenny, Buck, and Sour Cream talk them into cutting Steven some slack was really touching.
- The Gems actually joining on selfies with them, although the concept seems to confuse the hell out of Pearl.
- The Cool Kids wanting to hang out with Steven in general. When you consider that they're young adults old enough to drive, have jobs, and have their own social lives, yet they choose to spend that time with a kid several years younger than them, it's a very rare yet incredibly awesome sight. They just find him that much of a blast to be around.
- Likewise, consider that when they're discussing the various issues they have with their parents and family, not once do they question or deride Steven for his own outstanding and unconventional issues. They acknowledge the gravity of his problems, especially for his age and work to show him a good time to help him relax in response. They don't treat him as just a kid; they treat him as an equal and accept his word at face value, no matter how unusual it sounds.
- In a strange way, the fact that Yellowtail wants Sour Cream to follow in his footsteps as a fisherman can be seen as evidence that Yellowtail doesn't care that Sour Cream is not his biological son.
- The premise of the episode is that Uncle Grandpa crossed dimensions to help Steven with his problem, and the end shows that he's done it before to help others and is going to do it at least once more.
- Not only that, but the people he's helped before are all characters of other Cartoon Network series. Billy and Mandy, Mac, Finn, etc.
- Hell, he's even helped out the SWAT Kats! And that's the first time the series has been acknowledged by CN or anyone in more than a decade, especially given the series' online following.
- Not only that, but the people he's helped before are all characters of other Cartoon Network series. Billy and Mandy, Mac, Finn, etc.
- While the episode as a whole is a Funny Moment, when Pearl sees Pizza Steve dressed up as Steven, her immediate reaction is to scream "That's not my baby!" while clinging to Garnet's leg.
- Steven quickly bonds with Uncle Grandpa, and he ultimately manages to summon his shield and not his bubble protecting the man from the Gems.
- Lion and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger briefly bonding, and Lion being sad when she has to go.
- After Pizza Steve defaced Mr. Gus' picture, Uncle Grandpa called in a favor from Rebecca Sugar herself and got her to draw Mr. Gusite fanart in order to cheer Mr. Gus up.
Story For Steven
- A younger, shorter-haired Amethyst running around Greg like an excitable child.
- Bonus points: She says she really likes his hair. Next we see her (chronologically at least) she has almost the exact same hairdo. She based her new 'do off of his! And still does, even after their apparent falling out in "Maximum Capacity".
- Amethyst taking an immediate liking to Greg as if he's some potential new pal for her.
- Amethyst holding onto Rose's dress, she is like a child clinging to her mother.
- The full set of the Crystal Gems are adorable together, laughing with each other like best friends.
- Greg calling out his manager about being a womanizing prick is a nice touch.
- Greg putting the moves on Rose at the end:Rose: *sigh* You're awfully cute, and I really want to play with you, but your life is short and you have dreams. I won't let you give up on everything you want.
Greg: Well, that's gonna be a problem.
Greg: You're everything that I want!
* Rose's pupils become star-shaped just like Steven's.*
- Bonus points for her coming out of the temple wearing the T-shirt from his show that he gave her.
- Steven teasing Greg about Rose.Steven: ♫You loved her~♫
- Steven having the same laugh as Rose.
- The revelation that Greg's music career wasn't just a dream that never got off the ground. He had a decent shot at making it big, gave it up to be with Rose, and doesn't appear to have a single regret about this (of course, it helps that his manager Marty was a total jerk).
- In the scene where Greg meets the Crystal Gems for the first time, you can notice none had the five-pointed star on their outfits, but Greg did. And now in present time, all Crystal Gems have it, and it's their symbol.
- Despite being a consistent source of embarrassment for his son Buck, and his frequent requests for Buck to get into politics, Mayor Dewey does seem to genuinely support his artistic pursuits, and cherishes the campaign flyer that Buck drew for him as a little boy.
- Although it made things worse, Steven and Connie tried to let Jamie down gently.
- Garnet's surprisingly gentle advice to Jamie. Made all the more touching when you realize it's coming courtesy of Ruby and Sapphire.Garnet: Love at first sight doesn't exist. Love takes time and love takes work.
- Steven, Pearl and Garnet giving Amethyst a hug after her final regeneration. She likes it, even if she pretends she doesn't.
- Her smile is just precious.
- Considering their history, and the general assumption that Pearl would dislike Greg, Pearl and Greg fixing Greg's van together and shared confusion about Crying Breakfast Friends counts. They seem to get along well.
- As Amethyst starts to come back the final time, Steven urges Pearl and Garnet to be supportive no matter what, fully understanding what her issues really were the whole time.
Garnet: It's perfect.
- Garnet's reaction to Amethyst's new form.
Amethyst: Eh, whatev. It's just what feels right.
Garnet: That's why it's perfect.
- Pearl also congratulates her. In her usual way, but it's obvious that she's very proud.
Sworn to the Sword
- Steven and Connie having a "jam" session at the beginning is just precious.
- Pearl's wibbling, teary-eyed joy and pride at Connie's resolve to fight alongside Steven to protect the planet is extremely sweet considering she probably saw herself in Connie at that moment.
- It's a bit sad and entirely adorable that Steven's reaction to Pearl summoning a Holo-Pearl is to reflexively form a bubble around Connie.
- Steven's insistence that he'll always be there to fight alongside Connie.
- Pearl, at the end. It's clear that while she was almost insanely devoted to Rose, Rose tried to get her to throttle it back and spare some care for herself - the argument she has with Steven is pretty clearly a reprise of one she had with Rose at some point.Connie: Did Rose make you feel like you were nothing?
Pearl: (smiling through the tears) Rose made me feel like I was everything.
- Steven and Connie instantly going to sit next to Pearl and talk it out with her after her outburst.
- It's also nice to see that, unlike the last time Pearl had to confront her feelings for Rose and Steven, she gets over her turmoil very quickly this time.
- Pearl is actually a very good teacher when she has a genuinely interested student. While it showed something really lovely that she never got angry at Steven for her being stabbed, her lessons with Connie really showcase what a good teacher she is. She's speaks gently when correcting technique, telling what to do and not simply what not to do, she's not shy with the praise, and she recognizes Connie's limitations while also expecting her to do her best. While it's obviously not good, even the "sacrifice yourself" message doesn't seem to be malicious - Pearl has been shown to have a tendency to get a little carried away in other episodes when she's passionate about something, like Space Race.
- Just a few episodes ago in "Full Disclosure," Steven nearly breaks off his friendship with Connie to protect her from the monsters and Homeworld Gems that want to hurt him. In this episode, Connie enthusiastically and determinedly throws herself into training to stab anything that even looks at Steven funny. Knowing how much she cares for her best friend, it's not hard to see that Connie's determination is at least partially her response to what Steven tells her in "Full Disclosure."
Rising Tides, Crashing Skies
- The group picture of the Crystal Gems together. Here's a transparent version of it.
- Garnet lifting Steven so he can sit on her head. Here's the cute moment.
- It's kind of touching that Mayor Dewey's desk has a "#1 Rad Dad" mug on it.
- Even after everything Ronaldo did, just to make his crappy video, Steven decides to click the like button when he sees that he and the Gems were the only ones to see it.
- Hell, Steven is adorable throughout the whole episode. Whilst most of the citizens Ronaldo interviews are annoyed or apathetic, Steven always remains his normal, cheery, friendly self. Plus, bear in mind that Ronaldo once kidnapped Steven, believing him to be an evil snake person.
- In the lower thirds on his interview with Steven, he calls Steven "gracious host."
- Ronaldo thanking Peedee and complimenting him.
Keeping It Together
- The Gems all folding laundry together at the start of the episode.
- The look on Steven when Garnet asked him to come along with the mission.
- He later compliments Garnet for being a Genius Bruiser when she observes the area for what Peridot was really looking for after Peridot flees from Pearl and Amethyst.
- Steven showing concern for Peridot when Pearl knocks an Injector on her. It's classic Steven.
- The implication that the Crystal Gems did their best to find all the shattered pieces of their fallen comrades.
- Steven and Garnet talking about Fusion at the end of the episode.
- The "wouldn't want to split up a pair" scene with the red and blue socks.
We Need To Talk
- Steven and Connie dancing and fusing Stevonnie again.
- Also, the fact that fusing, an act that usually requires great care and effort, comes so easily and naturally to them that they can do it by accident. It really shows just how close these two are.
- It actually calls to mind how Ruby and Sapphire simply did a Twirl of Love to Fuse again in "Jail Break".
- Even just the two of them dancing before fusing. Both blushing while staring at each other and laughing. They have so much fun and joy just being together, it's absolutely adorable.
- Greg being supportive of Steven and Connie fusing once he gets past the initial surprise.
- Greg, Rose, Garnet, and Amethyst doing a homemade music video together, also counts as an Awesome Music moment too.
- Although Pearl's doing it for all the wrong reasons, the effortlessness with which she Fuses with Rose (even while trying to stick it to Greg) and the way Rose immediately trusts her and goes along with it is (mostly) heartwarming.
- Greg attempting to Fuse with Rose.
Pearl: Why are they still dancing, it didn't work?!Garnet: Yes, it did. It worked.
- Garnet's advice to Greg about his attempts to Fuse with Rose - he shouldn't dance like Pearl he should dance like himself. And while they don't Fuse, they do get closer together as a result.
- There's something very cute about Garnet giving Greg this advice, even going as far as to admit she believes Greg and Rose can work it out. Given two months ago, she was willing to, essentially, beat him up if he didn't play good enough music. And it's not at all sarcastic or anything - Garnet genuinely wants to help Greg.
- Greg and Rose dance and not only are both having fun, but by the end, Rose is visibly absolutely amazed by her human boyfriend. Though the scene soon turns to Mood Whiplash for her making fun of him and not understanding his problems, it is very apparent that she is deeply attracted to him.
- And it becomes even more heartwarming when they just start to dance again once they had their first good talk.
- Garnet's advice to Greg about his attempts to Fuse with Rose - he shouldn't dance like Pearl he should dance like himself. And while they don't Fuse, they do get closer together as a result.
- Greg and Rose coming to terms with just how many problems their relationship has, how quickly they rushed into things, and how vastly different they both are. It's a tearjerker, but after talking it out, they realize that being lost and confused about the whole business is the one thing they have in common. They laugh and dance together, relieved and happy as can be. Also of note is that at around this point Rose moves from calling him "Mr. Universe" to just "Greg".
- Rose tells Greg that she is glad he doesn't know much about her, implying to her background of having fought a horrific war. Greg mentions in "The Return" what had happened during the war. He doesn't know a lot of details, but he knows quite a lot for a human, possibly hinting that Rose in the end trusted him enough to actually tell him about herself, including the bad things.
- Greg promising Connie that if she ever feels overwhelmed with all the magic stuff, she can talk to him about it.
- Amethyst in general is adorable in this episode as it once again shows how much more childlike she used to be both in appearance and personality. She also acts the most familiar around Greg and by the end calls him her "favorite".
- Steven's determination to find and help Lapis.
- Though it's a bit of a tearjerker too, especially with the similarities to "Sworn to The Sword", Lapis's desire to protect Steven is pretty heartening. Lapis was trapped in the mirror for ages, finally got free only to discover her home was as good as gone, got shoved right back into being a prisoner, willingly condemned herself to something that would be a living nightmare for herself and still chooses to give up the only things she has left, her freedom and her very identity, all so she can keep the first person in a very long time to show her any kindness safe. Lapis is a Crystal Gem in all but name by this point for the sacrifices she has chosen to make.
- When scared, Steven immediately running to Pearl and Garnet for cuddles.
- In Steven's sitcom dream, he's taking Connie to the School Dance and Pearl is fussing over his suit like a typical mom.
- The WHOLE dream is pure delight (well, until Lapis shows up). It shows that Steven always thinks of the Crystal Gems as his family.
- In the dream, the Crystal Gems are all human. It shows that Steven just thinks of them as people and doesn't really think about them as being different.
- Garnet supporting Steven's sleepover idea. On top of that, instead of telling Pearl to look after the others, she gives the command to Steven.Garnet: Steven, put these Gems to bed.
Cry for Help
- Amethyst and Garnet watching Crying Breakfast Friends with Steven, even if they don't like/understand the show.
- Garnet sharing the blame of the Sugulite incident with Amethyst, saying how "I can be rash, you can be reckless, and we can both get carried away." While you can see a lot more of Amethyst's personality in Sugulite, Garnet knows that she had as much of a hand in it as Amethyst did. It takes two gems to Fuse, after all.
- The fact that Pearl's initial reaction to Garnet deciding to Fuse with her is her bursting into tears.
- After The Reveal that Pearl had been fixing the hub in order to keep fusing as Sardonyx, despite their usual animosity, Amethyst goes to her defense and tries to explain why she acted the way she did. It doesn't work, but it helps mitigate the Tear Jerker nature of the ending just a bit.
- It's worth emphasizing this. Until the halfway point, it looked like the episode would explore Amethyst's jealousy over Pearl and Garnet Fusing, and given their prior interaction one would expect Amethyst to be hostile towards her. But when it turns out that Pearl is lying to them all, Amethyst is devastated, tries to clue Pearl in without telling Garnet the truth, and leaps to her defense when Garnet figures it out. She doesn't even take a moment of satisfaction, even though she gets what she wanted at the beginning of the episode.
- It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but in Steven's room, you can see he has a picture of Connie.
- While waiting outside the communication hub hoping that they can catch Peridot repairing it, Steven and Amethyst pass time by playing with their fingers to make optical illusions. It's the happiest they've been for the entirety of the episode, especially Amethyst.
- When Steven realizes that Amethyst is feeling down because of Pearl and Garnet fusing, he decides to plan a stakeout for Peridot for them so she'll feel better.
- The Fusion dance between Pearl and Garnet, and especially when they Unfuse. They're so happy that Garnet twirls Pearl around, laughing the entire time, in a manner rather reminiscent of Ruby and Sapphires' reunion in Jailbreak. And they looked about as ecstatic to have shared that experience together as Ruby and Sapphire did to find each other. It also strengthens Garnet's beliefs on Fusion as opposed of her distressful reaction in "Keeping it Together". Which makes the later half of the episode even more of a Tear Jerker.
- Sardonyx playfully teasing and entertaining Steven while he's completely amazed by her, and showing genuine excitement and joy at meeting him for the first time.
- Lion being Lion and doing cute cat things, like trying to eat Sardonyx's dragonflies.
- After an entire episode spent arguing, Ruby and Sapphire make up.Ruby: You know what's nice about being split up?Sapphire: What?Ruby: I get to look at you.
- Though Garnet is still mad at Pearl by the end, she's at least speaking to her again.
- The Oh, Crap! look shared between Ruby and Sapphire when Steven storms off. Argument or no argument, Garnet and her two components would never consider intentionally hurting Steven.
- While their argument gets much more focus, we get quick insights into Ruby and Sapphire's individual connections to Steven — appropriately, they're Garnet's reactions split down the middle. In short, Sapphire apparently provides Garnet's parental side, while Ruby confers the respect and belief Garnet has in him.
- Sapphire tries to be both reassuring and practical, assuring him that the conflict won't last and downplaying the drama, as many parents would. Basically, she tries to avoid involving him in the fight. However, when Steven's upset, she immediately realizes why he's upset... and the part she and Ruby have played in upsetting him.
- Ruby speaks to Steven as an equal, being honest with him and expecting him to understand why she's so angry. If anything, she overestimates his maturity and is horrified when he blames himself for the situation — why would it even occur to him that he was somehow at fault? If you hear Garnet telling everyone have faith in Steven and never mess his funky flow, it's Ruby that speaks for us.
- Steven's reaction to seeing Garnet, Fused and whole, again.
- When the gang gets back to the Temple, Amethyst is apparently trying to comfort Pearl. Blink and you miss it, but she even had a reassuring hand on Pearl's knee.
- Despite the fact that they're too incensed with each other to pay much heed to Steven, both Ruby and Sapphire do make their separate attempts to humor him. Ruby does end up entering the pool at Steven's request, although her anger and continuing rant about Sapphire causes her to forget that he's in the pool (and as a result almost boil him to death). Sapphire likewise agrees to Steven's request for her to watch TV with him and suggests the channel he'll enjoy the most, but also is too absorbed in her anger to notice that she's freezing the whole room (and him by extension). The other half of it borders on Tear Jerker though due to their being busy being angry.
- The fight itself, ironically, has some sweetness to it. Ruby and Sapphire never resort to petty insults to one another, nor does the argument ever escalate into a physical fight; even after Ruby apologizes to Sapphire and calls herself "stupid", Sapphire quickly responds that Ruby isn't.
- Greg's unwavering patience with Ruby and Sapphire's antics, and his repeated attempts at distracting Steven from their bickering in the diner. Throughout the whole episode, he tries desperately to downplay the tension because he knows how sensitive Steven is and make the best of the bad trip. He shows disappointment when Steven finally reaches his limit and leaves the restaurant in extreme frustration. Despite Steven's outburst ultimately being Ruby and Sapphire's fault (along with the two of them costing him a lot of money in property damage), he doesn't get angry at them, possibly realizing more anger will only make the situation worse. He doesn't even ask to know what was going on; he realizes something is up and they need to be given their space. Greg definitely won the MVP award for this episode.
- Amethyst and Vidalia's friendship. They presumably haven't talked since Steven was a baby, but they don't hold any animosity towards each other. If anything, they're delighted to finally talk to each other again.
- We see a couple of adorable pictures of Amethyst and Vidalia at one point, two friends just goofing off together.
- After getting fed up with Onion's antics, Steven's ready to leave Onion behind and head for the hills... only to spot Amethyst pouring her heart out to Vidalia. Realizing how much Amethyst needs to get away from the drama at home, he turns around and plays with Onion some more.
- Onion showing Steven his private collection of toys, and then giving one to him. As creepy as he may be, Onion really seems to like having Steven around.
- In Onion's secret room, there's a picture of him as an infant in starchild-like pose, and likely painted by his mother when he was a baby.
- Amethyst inviting Vidalia over to the Temple sometime at the end.
- Runs into Nightmare Fuel, but the mouse that came out of Onion's mouth might have been the one he was going to feed to his snake; if so, he kept it alive for Steven!
- It's a quick moment, but it's shown here that Vidalia, Onion, and Sour Cream have a list of dates of when Yellowtail will come back.
- Sour Cream giving Steven the peace sign after the little guy greets him.
- Its very subtlety implied, but the whole episode could be seen as Onion getting Steven to chase him so he'd discover his mother's paintings of Amethyst and reconnect them. No matter how creepy or insidious he can act, he clearly loves his mother and wanted her to be happy.
- And for as... interesting as Onion is, Vidalia clearly adores her youngest child.
- When Steven learns about their relation, Onion clings to Vidalia like a completely normal, shy little boy, nothing like the Creepy Child we're used to.
- It's implied that Onion wanted to make a genuine connection with Steven.
- Vidalia being completely supportive of Sour Cream's dream of being a DJ, even when his equipment uses up all the electricity in the house.
- When Steven starts talking with Pearl about William Dewey's Her Codename Was Mary Sue depiction in the play, his talk about how Perfection Is Impossible (as well as the play itself) seems to help get Pearl out of her funk a bit and feel better about her mistakes, asking Steven when he became so smart.Steven: Yeah, but nobody's like that. Everybody gets stuff wrong. And then you have to keep going, and it's hard, which is why it's great when you never stop trying!
Pearl: When did you get so smart?
- Pearl going into full on mom mode during the play, loudly calling out to Steven and gushing over how talented he is. Moreover, her encouragement visibly helps Steven get over his nervousness. Team Mom at her finest.
- Indeed, you'd expect this to be an Amazingly Embarrassing Parents moment, but instead of getting embarrassed or trying not to break character, Steven smiles cheerfully and even waves back to Pearl!
- Buck Dewey praises his dad for choosing to portray William Dewey as a troubled figure, rather than a perfect role model. The praise seems to be the final clincher for Mayor Dewey's decision to promote Jamie rather than destroy his career.
- This caps off a running theme of the Sardonyx arc of Steven being emotionally supportive of all the Gems equally. It would be so easy for him to take sides in the conflict, but he chooses to remain a neutral party and focuses all his energy on simply making them happy: he tries to play peacemaker between Ruby and Sapphire during their argument, he bears with Onion's creepy tendencies so Amethyst can receive emotional support from Vidalia, and he gives Pearl much-needed validation and encouragement with his Perfection Is Impossible speech and needing her assistance with fixing the play. Despite his emotions getting the better of him in the first third, he ultimately succeeds three-for-three in lifting their spirits independently of one another. It shows just how much he loves them all, and how much they love him to be that genuinely receptive to his efforts.
- After the events of last episodes, Garnet and Pearl finally have a talk, somewhat cooling down the tension between them.
- Not only somewhat cooling down the tension, either: Sardonyx makes a reappearance, which many thought would be impossible after what happened in Cry For Help. With Sardonyx representing Garnet and Pearl's friendship and trust, and that being what made her reappearance possible in this episode, reconciliation could finally take place between the two Gems.
- Garnet is finally able to speak of her true feelings to someone rather than hiding them behind a stoic face for the sake of leading the team. She also assures Pearl, who has cripplingly low self-esteem, that her actions have an impact and that she is her own Gem, who decides her own fate.
- Garnet admits that sometimes, she looks toward Pearl for strength, which visibly surprises her. Cue "The Answer" where it's revealed the first impression Pearl makes on Garnet's components is that of a rebellious, merciless assassin. That might have solidified Garnet's view of Pearl as someone with strength and conviction.
- Between this episode and "Keystone Motel," it's become clear that Steven is very good at keeping highly personal information to himself. In "Keystone Motel", Greg was unaware of the infighting between the Gems, and even when Steven can't keep a lid on the fact that something's wrong (evident from the two very angry small Gems running around, with the one who dried out an entire pool and the other one who made their room a big meat locker), he doesn't tell his dad why they're fighting. Greg notes that something serious must have happened, but Steven doesn't provide details. Here, we learn that Amethyst and Pearl were completely unaware of what happened between Ruby and Sapphire: Garnet has to explain what happened to Pearl, and an eavesdropping Amethyst is clearly stunned, turning to Steven for confirmation. Given how open Steven usually is, and that anyone living under the horrible atmosphere he'd been stuck in would want to vent to someone, the fact that Steven kept his mouth shut says a lot about his respect and empathy for others: apparently, he decided that it wasn't his place to comment.
- He might not interfere directly because he knows that he can't solve their problems overnight just by talking sense to them and lashing at them (or to unfortunate ones) because it would just aggravate the problem even more but because he believes that his friends will do the right thing in the end. Because he respects them and tries to understand why his friends act and think that way. Counts as a Moment of Awesome too, since normally people will snap at the dysfunction they'd face. But Steven, being Steven, works hard to keep himself and Crystal Gems together.
- Even after everything she's pulled, Steven greets Peridot with a cheery "Good morning!"
- Amethyst, though she acts annoyed by the other Gems joking around at the end, is glad that Garnet and Pearl have finally made up.
- When Connie laments that she isn't able to practice her swordsmanship as much as she would like at home, Steven immediately takes out the Rose Quartz sword and offers it to her so she can. And with adorable exaggerated "eth"s.
- When they enter the hospital, Connie does her best to reasure Steven that the hospital isn't that scary, it's just how it looks when the lights are turned down. But the second they both are frightened by strange noises they instinctively start to hold hands for comfort.
- Steven protecting Connie from a Cluster Gem. Especially his statement when fighting.Steven: Keep your hands off my Connie!
- As overprotective as she is, Connie's mother still shows she loves her daughter when she clears a path from the Cluster Gems.
- After one-and-a-half seasons of secrecy, Connie reaches an understanding with her mother about her magical adventures, which draws many parallels to anyone who's ever had to deal with keeping secrets from their parents out of fear of their reaction.
- Not only that, but the realization of just how bad their relationship had become. Connie's mother's behavior was either toeing the line of emotional abuse or well past it, and Connie had come to both resent and fear her. In real life, scenarios like that can't always be expected to end happily, nor should they — which makes it all the more heartening to know that in this particular instance, it's not too late.
- Steven hugs Rose's sword tightly and warmly after seeing Connie reconcile with her mother.
- Sadie adorably singing "I'm Too Famous" while Steven watches, eventually breaking out into applause.
- Barb apologizing for being a Stage Mom and reconciling with Sadie; and Steven also apologizes for pushing Sadie into performing.
- Steven taking Sadie's place complete with dress and makeup, and the town loving it, showing in turn how well they all know and love Steven.
- The ending with Sadie singing in the backroom of the Big Donut with Steven accompanying on his ukulele.
- Kiki and Nanefua doing a ventriloquist act together.
- Smiley giving some advice to Sadie on how to lose stage fright, telling her that a smile never hurt anyone.
Catch and Release
- Despite being enemies and just being kidnapped, Steven is legitimately concerned when he sees just how scared Peridot is. His response is to ignore her past transgressions and try and talk with her about what she is afraid of. It seemed to be working until the other Gems arrived.
- Pearl goes straight to hugging Steven after she, Garnet, and Amethyst come to save him.
- Though Amethyst scares and teases Steven once he's back in bed, she also hugs him and says with genuine honesty that she's glad to have him back. Cool Big Sis indeed.
- Steven and Peridot's interactions in the Burning Room are quite Adorkable, especially when he sees her mini-form.
- Peridot making adorable faces in the mirror. It's the happiest we've seen her the entire episode.
- Her reaction to discovering the mirror would also indicate that this is the first time she's seen her reflection.
- Steven helpfully shouting to Peridot through the bathroom door about how to use the shower without burning herself.
- Steven giving Peridot her foot back. It's probably the first time since she got to Earth that someone did something nice for her. The way she clings to it afterwards shows it means a lot to her.
- Also, Peridot locks the door again after receiving her foot, but after a few seconds decides to open it again so Steven can come inside the bathroom.
- While clutching her foot, Peridot snaps at Steven that it's a "great souvenir of that other time you assaulted me." Rather than pointing out that he and Peridot were enemies at the time or that Peridot had attacked him too, Steven genuinely apologizes to her.
- Even if she believes he can't do anything, Peridot expresses actual gratitude towards Steven for offering her help.
- The Gems don't get angry at Steven for releasing Peridot. Instead they are only shocked, but they let him explain why he did it and they calm down when he does.
When it Rains
- It's been made obvious before, but for the first time since "Jail Break", Garnet tells Steven that she loves him! The look on her face is absolutely precious.
- She's also holding her hands in a heart shape and doesn't stop until she disappears into the Warp Pad.
- Possibly even better, Peridot calls Steven by his name.
- Well, that is if she's realised it refers to him specifically and not his species. (As one might otherwise hear in "Come back human!" or "There is an infestation of Stevens")
- Steven running around in the rain, whooping and cheering. And the reason Peridot is calling Steven's name is because she's worried for him, and she's scared and wants him back inside so he will be close to her.
- While being a possibly Tear Jerker, seeing Peridot run to Steven when she hears the thunder, believing the world to end is very heartwarming. As much as she acted like she didn't like him, when she thought it was over, she instantly went to the one person that had been nice to her and seeks comfort in at least not dying alone.
- Peridot's first experience with rain. She slowly opens her hand to it before stepping out into it, bit by bit. For the first time, Peridot is experiencing something on Earth that not only is she not bothered by, but is implied to like. Or perhaps...the first time she has ever felt anything.Steven: See Peridot, isn't this cool?
Peridot: (softly, with rainwater flowing down her face like tears) ... Cool.
- Also, when she trusts Steven and takes a step out in the rain, Steven instantly praises her proudly with a big grin.
- Peridot actually thanking Steven for helping to show her rain is nothing to be afraid of.
- Steven and Peridot holding hands while they explore the Kindergarten.
- Even after they both fall a long way, the first thing he does is to regain hand contact.
- Steven mentions that Greg taught him about how rain works.
- It's pretty sweet, if misguided, that Peridot would place enough trust in Steven's knowledge about the Earth to think they had a chance at stopping the Cluster because of him alone. Considering how freaked out she was by just about everything on Earth, Steven calming her down by explaining some of the basics must have given her a lot of faith in him.
- At the end of the episode, Peridot seems to finally put trust in the Crystal Gems, at least enough to tell them about the Cluster.
- Or, at the very least Peridot trusts Steven enough to share what she knows with the Crystal Gems.
- Also, Peridot standing up for Steven and taking the blame for them going to the Kindergarten.
- Plus, while it likely may have just been for Steven's sake, which is heartwarming in itself, she corrects herself when calling the Gems "Crystal Clods," backing up and properly calling them "Crystal Gems" for once.
Back to the Barn
- Pearl compliments Steven's lovely drawing, and gently lets him know that the drill likely won't look like his drawing.
- When Pearl and Peridot both show their robots, Pearl announces cheerily that her's is bigger. Seeing that Peridot had not only been a source of fear and anger for almost an entire season, but also hurt Pearl's pride and self-worth, it is quite adorable that she seems to have fun.
- When the competition between Pearl and Peridot winds up as a tie, Pearl graciously accepts it and tries to cool things off with Peridot. Peridot, however, doesn't listen.
- The general support Pearl gets from the Crystal Gems, cheering her on during the competition, making sure she's alright after Peridot's eventually wins by way of direct combat and complimenting her on her efforts.
- Notably, it's Amethyst who is the first one to start cheering on Pearl when she fights Peridot. Afterwards, she gives Pearl a big hug and even asks to come wrestling with her. Despite usually being at odds with each other, it's nice to see Amethyst showing complete adoration towards Pearl and openly acknowledging her fighting skills.
- Garnet likewise shows Pearl nothing but support, and it appears she's more or less completely put the Sardonyx incident behind her. Pearl herself looks particularly bashful when Garnet comes to congratulate her.
- Steven defending Pearl from Peridot's attitude at the end.
- this◊ is Pearl's face as he does so.
- Also, Garnet and Amethyst have the broadest of grins as Steven speaks.
- Though not exactly apologizing for her earlier behavior, Peridot compliments Pearl's skills by the end of the episode, and Pearl has the good graces not to force an apology out.
- If one considers the short time frame and that Peridot is having to give up on a fairly ingrained world view, her finding it in herself to be conciliatory towards Pearl so quickly is actually quite amazing. Peridot's seeing that another Gem has the potential to become more than they were meant to be, and given the Fantastic Caste System that Homeworld seems to enforce, that idea might be completely foreign to her. More than that, given her shown bitterness about her own physical weakness and limited abilities, Peridot might actually like what Pearl represents.
- In fact, the short time period in which Peridot shows the development is most probably the reason why Pearl accepts the compliment at the end with a smile and doesn't force an apology.
- Garnet proudly telling Pearl that she (Garnet) was right. A callback to "Friendship" where she told Pearl to find her own strength and motivations.
- The Reveal about Pearl's origins gives us a whole new perspective on why she loved Rose so much. In particular, the line "Rose made me feel like I was everything" carries a lot more weight when you consider that Pearl likely spent a good portion of her life being told she was little more than a servant.
- It also brings up the possibility that Pearl actually was Rose's servant, and that Rose established a relationship with her as equals instead of a master-slave relationship. Despite the glaring evidence that Pearl latched onto this in an unhealthy way, it was still important to both of them from a development standpoint that this be established; for Rose, it would reinforce her All-Loving Hero status, and for Pearl, it would be the catalyst for her eventually developing into the competent warrior and engineer we've seen so far.
- Steven giving Peridot a tape recorder as an apology for breaking her limb enhancers.
- Just how much Peridot seemed to enjoy joking around with Amethyst, makes it almost seem as if she's rarely even had an opportunity to enjoy being 'funny' around someone else. While the implications aren't necessarily pleasant, the amount of happiness Peridot showed while hanging out with one of her enemies was strikingly sweet.
- Peridot's apology to Amethyst for certain.Peridot: ... I have concluded that they are all defective. But I am no better. I failed my mission and I'm now working with the enemy. And I can't even get that right. I have apparently "hurt" Amethyst's "feelings", which was not my intent. If I damaged my standing with the best Gem here, then I've made a serious mistake. I'm still learning. I hope you understand. I want to understand. I'm sorry.
- Even more importantly, Amethyst accepting the apology with a smile.Steven: Oh Peridot!
- Even more importantly, Amethyst accepting the apology with a smile.
- Peridot snapping the child leash and intentionally putting herself in harm's way to save Amethyst from the runaway injector drill head is sweet. Especially how she cries Amethyst's name in concern when she sees the drill head going toward the unaware Gem.
- When Peridot ends up sitting on Amethyst after rescuing her from the drill she instantly apologizes. Steven misunderstands the reason and congratulates her on being polite. Peridot then apologizes for that as well.
- The final line of the episode, after Peridot makes up with Amethyst.Steven: How do you feel?Peridot: Big.
- While Peridot might have chosen her words terribly, she clearly voiced she, even after such a short time, has respect for Amethyst and tells her that despite staying underground for too long, she still has all the qualities that make a Quartz, fitting to be a leader and warrior, and that Pearl and Garnet are supposed to be taking orders from her. Considering all the insecurity Amethyst has shown before, it really is a shame Peridot worded this the way she did, because phrased more carefully it might have been as much a balm on Amethyst's wounds as Garnet's "YOU decide your fate. Not me. Not Rose. Not Steven." speech was to Pearl.
- A subtle one, but the fact that while Steve was visibly uncomfortable with Peridot's assessment of him, he still set aside his own feelings in favor of Amethyst's, who was visibly seething at the implication of being defective. Steven spends the rest of the episode trying to get Peridot to understand what she did wrong, and at no point does he demand or even imply that he himself wants an apology.
- Amethyst also manages this in the same scene. The last time someone (Pearl) pissed her off in the Kindergarten by striking that particular nerve, she went into a Berserker Rage that damn near killed Pearl and extremely upset Steven. This time, she is far more calm and collected, not even raising her voice (sans a short battle cry) as she shears the drill head off. Notably, she takes out her frustration on the drill head instead of physically attacking Peridot. She is also much more gentle with Steven this time around; the first time, she roughly shoved him aside or tied him up to get him out of the way, then ran away in shame after realizing that she'd made him cry. This time, she simply touches his shoulder to get him to stop intervening. At the end of Peridot's assessment, Steven timidly asks if Amethyst is okay. Amethyst morosely tells him not to worry about it. All in one go, she's displaying enough faith in Steven to not use Peridot's words to ostracize her, and she's showing more self-control by behaving in ways that won't upset Steven.
- The episode's premise is that we finally get to see how Ruby and Sapphire met.
- The circumstances of said meeting: Ruby, with 2 other Rubies, was supposed to act as a bodyguard to Sapphire, who was high-ranked because of her Future Vision. The two other Rubies fighting cause our Ruby to bump into Sapphire, who gracefully accepts the awkward apology. A while later, Sapphire is resigned to her fate at the hands of Pearl, but Ruby will have none of that and saves Sapphire, accidentally fusing with her in the process. When Blue Diamond threatens to smash Ruby's gem for that, Sapphire returns the favor by saving Ruby and running away with her, abandoning her place in the Homeworld hierarchy. Extra points for Ruby's rage at a blameless Gem like Sapphire just walking into her death seeping into Garnet's voice as she talked about Sapphire having accepted her fate but Ruby not being able to.
- Garnet wishing Steven a happy birthday as early as possible; at midnight.
- It makes "Jailbreak" more heartwarming as well: Garnet wanted to introduce Ruby and Sapphire to Steven on his birthday. In a certain way, she does.
- Steven squishing Garnet's face. Just, adorable.
- The adorably awkward little song Ruby and Sapphire sing just before they decide to Fuse for good.
Ruby: And now you're here [on Earth] forever!
- The way they start humming "Stronger Than You" while dancing/purposely fusing for the first time.
- The last sentences of the song mark the end of their "after-glow" into what's practically a Love Confession.
Sapphire: What about you?
Ruby: What about me?
Sapphire: Well, you're here too. We're here together. (Holds Ruby's hand)
- The connotation of Fusion being something very intimate similar to sex is made once more clear during their love song. Not only did Ruby instantly apologize once they had Unfused back in court, but during the love song, it shows just how intimate it is. And that while not consensual then, that both don't hold a grudge. It really feels like two teenagers that had their first time, possibly felt awkward, accidentally hurt each other and then try to reassure each other afterwards that they still appreciate the experience.Ruby: And you haven't before...
Sapphire: Of course not! When would I have ever?
Ruby: I'm so sorry!
Sapphire: No no! Don't be!
- Baby pastel-coloured Garnet, so confused in herself and so dramatically different from the cool, collected badass we know and love, but so adorable.
- The Title Drop, when the newly formed Garnet meets Rose and Pearl. Kind of sappy, but it's hard not to smile.Rose: Don't ever question this. You ARE the answer.
(cut to the present)
Steven: So? What was it? The answer?
Garnet: (softly) Love.
Steven: (excitedly) Wooow! I knew it!
Garnet: So did I.
- A retroactive CMOH for "Jailbreak": Sapphire wasn't just singing the chorus line to what would eventually become "Stronger Than You" to alert Ruby to her whereabouts: she was singing their song to call to her partner and let her know she was okay!
- The episode ends with the usual star outro... followed by hearts.
- We get another glimpse of Rose's empathy and kindness, and her first conversation with Garnet:Garnet: I don't... upset you?
Rose: Who cares about how I feel? How you feel is bound to be much more interesting.
Garnet: I feel... lost... and scared... and- and happy. W-why am I so sure I'd rather be this than everything I was supposed to be? And that I'd rather do this than everything I was supposed to do?Rose: [grins along with Pearl] Welcome to Earth!
- Garnet's answer, describing her feelings, is not just a perfect encapsulation of her situation, but the feelings of anyone who has ever been persecuted for being who they want to be. Rose's response is just as heartwarming.
- Sapphire worrying over Ruby and always considering her feelings despite there being tons of her is heartwarming in "Jailbreak's" retrospective; who cares about Ruby? Sapphire does.
- In a sweet little moment, while hiding from the rain in a cave, Ruby turns to see Sapphire brushing the Blinding Bangs from in front of her eye. The sight was enough to get Ruby so hot under the collar she causes the twigs and branches under her feet to catch on fire.
- During this episode's montage, we see Ruby and Sapphire fascinated by a butterfly, until it's almost eaten by a frog... and then the pair proceed to find the frog equally fun. These two are aliens on a completely new planet, probably down there for the first time considering Sapphire's attitude at the beginning of the episode, and their first reaction is to be delighted by every part of it, together. No wonder Garnet makes for such a good Crystal Gem.
- If you pay close attention to Sapphire you'll notice she's shedding Tears of Joy after Unfusing. Fusion must have really woken up some strong emotions in Sapphire and Ruby.
- Garnet's speech when asked about how she feels encapsulates the feelings of anyone who has ever been persecuted for being who they want to be.
- When Garnet falls down the hill and finds a sword pointed at her face, the first thing she does is scramble back and shout "Don't hurt her!" Not "Don't hurt me" or "Don't hurt Ruby/Sapphire", but "Don't hurt her." Given how new Garnet was, both Ruby and Sapphire probably would have instinctively thought that the sword was being pointed at them, and for both of them the first thing that came to their mind when confronted with an apparent enemy was ensuring that the other one was safe.
- Steven worries about not looking his age for Connie, complaining that "When she's president, what will that make me? First boy?" Which is sweeter: him naturally assuming he's going to marry Connie, or him thinking it's equally obvious that she'll be president?
- Amethyst and Pearl dancing together. If one were to look closely, one can notice that both are incorporating each other's type of dance.
- Pearl complimenting Connie's skills during their game against Steven and Amethyst in racquetball.
- A small one, but the fact that Connie's parents are letting her stay over at Steven's for the weekend. While they did send her every piece of medical equipment possible, they are making progress in letting their daughter have her independence.
- Greg showing Connie pictures of Steven's previous birthdays.
- The Crystal Gems deciding to take a break from working on the drill in order to celebrate Steven's birthday.
- Garnet and Pearl telling Steven how much he has grown over the past year.
- Steven's and Connie's Convenient Slow Dance is absolutely precious.
- Greg holding a small piñata for Amethyst to try and hit. It seems they've made great strides in repairing their friendship.
- In general the Gems getting in on the birthday fun by actually participating, even when Steven isn't watching. Seeing that they were not really interested in "Too many birthdays", it shows they at least slightly understand the traditions and that they're just meant for fun now.
- Likewise, despite Peridot not being interested in the proceedings, Amethyst still made a point of trying to invite her to join the party.
- Connie crying Tears of Joy and hugging Steven (who gives out a Crush Blush) when he returns to normal.
- In a subtle bit, Connie gives Steven a new pink shirt, which he wears even though it's more like a vest on his larger body. When he returns to normal, he puts on the shirt properly.
- The Crystal Gems baking a Cookie Cat cake for Steven's birthday.
- Garnet making goofy faces and sticking out her tongue to placate baby Steven is absolutely adorable, not only because it's Garnet, but also because she uses her third eye as part of her repertoire.
- Amethyst transforming into a baby seat for Steven was a sweet gesture on her part.
- Amethyst is really chill and on top of things about taking care of Baby Steven, considering she's the wild one. She's even the first one to reach for Baby Steven.
- Hell, Amethyst proves to be a better mother than Pearl, who immediately freaks out at the thought of taking care of baby Steven.
- Same with Garnet who asks for Steven the moment Pearl backs away, just to try and humour him in an attempt to stop him from crying. She even looks disappointed when it doesn't work. Seeing that she is the one that actually bothers to continously tell him that she loves him and is always very affectionate to him, it is lovely to see her extend this even to Baby!Steven (though making it a Tear Jerker that it doesn't work out).
- Greg confirms that he was the one who looked after Steven as a baby, because the Gems really had no idea what to do with a human infant. That's how awesome Greg is, even after losing his wife in a very painful way, he still took care of their son from the getgo.
- The one thing that manages to finally calm down a crying Baby Steven is Connie's reassurance that she'll be there to watch over him whenever the Crystal Gems do "Gem stuff" and his dad is busy with his job.
- A small one, but the next day when Connie wakes to find only Steven's shirt and mistakenly thinks he's gotten even smaller. Why is this sweet? Because it implies that Connie and Baby!Steven slept in the same tent together.
It Could've Been Great
- Peridot begins to open up to Steven and the Gems, even joining in SINGING with them around a campfire as well as clearly enjoying herself during a Hard-Work Montage. It makes the latter part of the episode more of a Shocking Swerve.
Peridot: Do-mi-so-do. Devoid of substance or purpose, a hypothetical pattern... Do-mi-so-ti. For the satisfaction of bringing it to completion.
- The contents of the song are made of heartwarming too, as they talk about the planet Earth and how it's precious and worthy of protection. Keep in mind, the song was made up by Steven on the fly, proving yet again that Steven takes after his mother.
- Peridot's song that Steven urges her to write is full of subtle sweetness. Just the fact she's performing it in front of a campfire with everyone sitting down to listen shows they've all come very far together. No one is offended when she calls them 'insane' in the lyrics, she adds that she is too, and that "anyone would be if stuck on the earth with you," basically admitting the Gems have rubbed off on her. Steven's reaction to the song is to laugh and cheer her on, just happy she made a thing for the sheer enjoyment of making it. It's really quite amazing.
- Also the fact that instead of just stepping outside of her self-declared role as The Spock to enjoy the music, Peridot actually comes up with a reason to appreciate it from a technician's perspective.
- Garnet giving Peridot an appreciative pat on the back for creating the drill and adding "nice work".
- Steven thanking Lion for his hard work of getting them to the moon, combined with snuggles.
- The Crystal Gems' anger at Peridot's flippant disregard for all the lives that would have been lost if Earth had been colonized. Even if they are somewhat prejudiced against humans, they still see them as valuable and worth protecting.
- As much of a Tear Jerker as it was, Steven's disappointment in Peridot after it seemed that she was coming around on Earth is pretty heartwarming; even after she denigrated his planet and his mother's life mission that she ultimately gave her life for, he can't muster up the hatred to be truly angry with her like the Crystal Gems are.
- Added to this, the fact that Steven begged a visibly incensed Garnet not to beat Peridot's face in for what she said is this and a CMOA. He's seen what Garnet can do with those fists and he had every reason to be just as pissed at Peridot as Garnet and the others were, but he didn't want to see her get hurt. It's highly doubtful Garnet was going to, for several reasons, but Steven's concern is still touching.
- And on the flipside, as angry as Garnet was, she immediately listened and backed down when Steven asked her to stop.
- Steven's faith in Peridot being rewarded by her HeelFace Turn.
Peridot: I won't do it! I can tell you with certainty that there are things on this planet worth protecting!
- And her reason for the HeelFace Turn? She wanted the Earth to be spared. Though her reasoning is more logical than emotional, the fact she wishes NOT to destroy the Earth is still a big change. And that she threw away a chance to get off the planet to do so.
- When Steven locks her into the car, she is instantly terrified, starts begging and crying and even calls Steven her friend. She may have difficulty in understanding herself and even more problems with telling others what she actually thinks, but in that moment it was clear that she really likes Steven.
- Even though her reason for this does seem mostly out of losing respect for Yellow Diamond, the way she intentionally takes the blame for her ship crashing over the Gems after seeing Steven's desperate expression and some of the crushed faces she has when talking to Yellow Diamond, along with the delivery of some of her lines, make the fact she truly does care about the Gems and Earth abundantly clear.
- Just the fact that Peridot was never going to betray the Crystal Gems. She only wanted to do what they were doing: Protect Earth. And she thought she could reason with Yellow Diamond on how to do it. It may have not worked, but kudos for her for trying. If it weren't for her Poor Communication Kills, she may even have gotten the approval and trust of at least Steven to do it.
- Heck, she even took the blame for them destroying the ship back in "Jailbreak". She really has come to think of them as friends.
- In a way, Peridot's faith in Yellow Diamond is this. She wasn't planning to sell Earth out behind the Gems' backs; she just thought their way of going about things—armed rebellion, destroying the Cluster—was stupid and fueled by "emotion over reason," hating the Authority too much to negotiate with them. In her own words, they're just delaying the inevitable. Clearly, the best way to save Earth for real is to make the Diamonds not want to destroy it. She tried to explain her plan to Steven; she just did so very badly.
- Peridot genuinely believed, up to the very end, that her Diamond was OBVIOUSLY a wise, objective, reasonable person who would of course want a mutually-beneficial solution, and that a simple conversation would be enough.
- It's easy to miss since Peridot is talking a mile a minute, but she starts trying to propose a way that Homeworld could use Earth's resources without disturbing the planet's structure or ecosystem. If her ideas worked, Peridot could single-handedly put an end to any animosity any other sentient beings could have for Gems looking to harvest their home planet.
- Despite their previous disputes all of the Crystal Gems are visibly happy to have been proven wrong about Peridot and are quite willing to welcome her into their ranks.Steven: Do you know what this means?Peridot: I'm a traitor to my Homeworld.Steven: You're a Crystal Gem!Garnet: Whether you like it or not.
- Seeing Steven smile after he hears Peridot say there are things on Earth worth protecting. Hearing Peridot's words really restored his faith in her.
- In a way, Amethyst's reactions to Peridot's supposed betrayal. She was just as upset as Steven. The point? It shows that she really treasured her friendship with Peridot.
- This comment from a reviewer makes it even more heartwarming.Smalley:...Amethyst seemed to be the Crystal Gem most personally hurt and outraged by Peridot's betrayal at the beginning of the episode. I think that because of her parallels to Amethyst, Peridot's become Amethyst's friend and counterpart in a way that the older Gems and Steven and the humans can't quite equal. It's definitely of interest to me to see what their relationship looks like in the future.
- This comment from a reviewer makes it even more heartwarming.
- Garnet's response to Peridot's attempting to convince Yellow Diamond of Earth's worth is quite sweet. She sounds somewhat amused, but also impressed at Peridot's genuine willingness to go out on a limb and argue the case.
- While it's brief and subtle, Yellow Diamond's treatment of her Pearl has some heartwarming aspects of it. Instead of being made to "stand around and look pretty", she is Yellow Diamond's secretary. And when Yellow Diamond asks her Pearl who is using the private diamond communication line, she doesn't ask it in a rude manner and gently takes it from her Pearl to handle it. Despite her being a jerkass, these are some real Pet the Dog moments.
- Although YMMV on that, as Yellow Diamond's Pearl starts flinching and placing the blame on Peridot as soon as Yellow Diamond starts getting annoyed, suggesting her diamond may not be all that kind to her.
Log Date 7-15-2
- While it is somewhat disturbing to see Peridot go almost insane from having insulted Yellow Diamond, it is also quite adorable to see that one of her emotions is great pleasure in having had the courage to do it.
- Upon once more realizing that she is now a Crystal Gem, apparently one of her biggest issues is to decide where on her body she should put the star. Seeing that she was wailing during the ending of the last episode when being told she now joined the team, this shows just how much she has already accepted being a CG now.
- Garnet places a comforting hand on Peridot's shoulder while she's going through her emotional breakdown and suggests she calms down, which immediately works.
- The flashbacks show that Garnet, whose very existence has been repeatedly insulted by Peridot, has started to act friendly and encouraging towards her and even offered to Fuse with her to help her understand it better. Equally nice is that Peridot admits she has a better understanding of Garnet now.
- Not only does Garnet offer to Fuse with Peridot, the latter takes her up on the offer. However, despite it all, they begin, but Peridot isn't ready for such a big change so quickly. The fact that she at least tried shows tremendous growth on Peridot's part, and the aftermath of the failed Fusion, where she and Garnet both accept each other for who they are, is one of the series' most heartwarming moments.
- The handling of Garnet's offer and Peridot ultimately declining is a meta-example. Most shows don't go the extra mile in, even in a roundabout way, discussing consent and visibly showing how it should work between people, regardless of what the consent is for. Steven Universe: teaching kids that saying no is okay, and that it's not unreasonable to expect people to respect that - even if you change your mind.
- Especially because it isn't even discussed or argued by Garnet at all. The moment Peridot says "No", Garnet lets her go and allows Peridot to back off and gain some distance until she feels comfortable again. If we take the situation as two people about to have sex, most media have the dominant person show displeasure at having to stop, complain or try to change the other's mind gently. Garnet does no such thing, she instantly breaks body contact and acts supportive of Peridot at least having tried to go along, making clear that she will wait for however long Peridot needs and has not taken personal offense in Peridot quitting in the middle.
- It actually goes even deeper than that. Garnet makes the offer which visibly freaks Peridot out and Garnet says that she can understand, if Peridot is not ready for it yet. Peridot gives it a try after feeling ashamed of having freaked out, just to quit last minute. Most shows, no matter if for kids or adults, only show someone saying no to the offer, but once they agree to it, they go through with it, even if they get doubts. Peridot and Garnet show that it doesn't matter, if it is when casually sitting around or already being more or less in the middle of it, the moment you feel uncomfortable, it is okay to quit and the other should respect this. For this being a kids show, it is really impressive.
- In general, Garnet's interactions with Peridot in this episode feel just as motherly/big sisterly as a lot of her interactions with Steven, and it really is heartwarming to see.
- The way Garnet is able to explain her status as a "Permafusion" to Peridot in terms she can understand, is pretty nice. It really drives it home that Garnet was actively working on trying to gain an understanding of Peridot, rather than expecting Peridot to do everything from her end. Especially notable is that - once again - Garnet proves that she actually listens to those around her. It first seems as a Funny Background Event that Garnet suddenly sits with Steven and Peridot in front of the TV. But when Peridot voices confusion about why she is a Permafusion, Garnet quotes the very thing that Peridot loved about the TV show and Peridot understands it instantly.
- It's also very nice to see how Peridot immediately understands Garnet's existence when she tells her "I'm Percy and Pierre." While Peridot may not understand Garnet entirely, she does realize that Garnet exists because of Ruby and Sapphire's love for each other.
- Peridot reading a book on jokes, because, as the subtitle of the book says, she is trying to learn 'How to make people laugh around you instead of feel bad'.
- We get to see Pearl and Amethyst Fuse with no problems at all.
- Pearl struggling to contain her laughter at Amethyst's joke, showing that's grown fond of Amethyst's sense of humor.
- Followed not long after by Peridot faking a laugh for Pearl's similar joke, privately noting "Pearl tries really hard for some reason and I appreciate that." Judging from Pearl's prideful grin, she appreciates the compliment.
- The fact alone that Pearl is making a joke is heartwarming. She is usually the more serious one, often only laughing when nervous or victorious after a battle. She has probably noticed that Peridot gets along very well with Amethyst and in an attempt to befriend Peridot, she copied her. She is awkward, but the very thing that she tries to approach Peridot in a way that Peridot seems comfortable with is really great, especially since Peridot had spend a lot of time insulting Pearl.
- Garnet showing approval for all of Peridot's attempts at learning more about Earth/The Gems (minus pushing Greg off the roof of the barn to see if he can fly), whether it's trying on Goofy Print Underwear, getting enthusiastic about an Earth TV show, or laughing and enjoying time with Pearl and Amethyst. And she doesn't do it loudly to draw attention to Peridot's attempts and potentially embarrass her, she just gives her a small smile and a thumbs up.
- And with Garnet always showing up at the right place at the right time, it is very likely she had been using Future Vision to keep track of Peridot and prevent her from doing too much damage and acknowledging her development.
- At the end, Peridot even mimics the thumbs up Garnet has been giving with a small blush.
- And with Garnet always showing up at the right place at the right time, it is very likely she had been using Future Vision to keep track of Peridot and prevent her from doing too much damage and acknowledging her development.
- Peridot is very visibly pleased when Amethyst pays her a compliment, blushing and smiling awkwardly shortly afterwards.
- Greg shows his sweet side once more by immediately forgiving Peridot for almost killing him by shoving him off the roof to see if he could fly. And even before that: Peridot was sitting quietly in front of him glaring which made him visibly uncomfortable, but he simply greets her and awkwardly waits for a reaction instead of being rude or leaving the threatening Gem.
- Points also to Garnet for saving him.
- Garnet's small smile when Peridot shouts she does understand Earth, with Garnet responding with an accurate, "No, you don't". It's almost reminiscent of a mother gently scolding her child.
- Points also to Garnet for saving him.
- Amethyst transforming into a chicken. Why? Because Peridot asked her to.
- Even better: Amethyst specifically asked Peridot if she had a request.
- But wait! There's more! Peridot wanted to know what a chicken was so she could understand a joke. This was one of her attempts at learning about Earth.
- Also Amethyst having turned into Peridot before this, complete with mimicking her. Peridot is first weirded out by it, but when Amethyst shows that she has observed Peridot (proving that she is interested), but still acknowledges that only Peridot can truly be her (which is a compliment for Gems that are assigned a number and otherwise have no feeling of individuality in Homeworld), Peridot is visibly flattered by it.
- Peridot including Garnet in one of her tape recordings.
- Garnet telling Peridot of how proud she is of her because Peridot made an effort to try and understand why Garnet chooses to stay as a Fusion.
- Despite becoming somewhat annoyed and even falling asleep, Steven (at some point joined by Garnet) listens to Peridot's entire rant on why she thinks Pierre and Percy make the best couple. At the end of the rant, Garnet again gives Peridot a thumbs up.
- Garnet's recording on Peridot's diary tells us something really quite amazing: she knew all along that Peridot would become a Crystal Gem. This log entry occurred before the trip to the moon, and Garnet already knew that Peridot would give Steven back the recorder and why, but she didn't say anything because she didn't want to interfere. Garnet saw a future in which Peridot joined their ranks and chose to take the steps to ensure its fruition. If there was any doubt that Peridot was wanted on the team, it was erased right there.
- It also gives another reason why, in her Tranquil Fury moment in "It Could Have Been Great", Garnet restrained herself from attacking Peridot and merely said "You are speaking of things which you do not understand".
- The way Garnet picks Peridot up near the beginning of the episode is heartwarming in retrospect— note that the first time she touched Peridot's back it was to squeeze her to death to protect Pearl, in Catch and Release, and the second time, patting her on the back in congratulations in It Could've Been Great, Peridot panicked. This time? She picks her up by the arms first so she isn't startled, and then wraps her arms gently around her. Not only is Garnet being careful to respect Peridot's boundaries, Peridot trusts her enough that it works.