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Recap / Steven Universe S1E45 "Rose's Scabbard"

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"Everything I ever did, I did for her.
Now she's gone, but I'm still here."
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The Crystal Gems are on a trip back to the strawberry fields, reclaiming the giant weapons there left by gem warriors who fell in battle 5,000 years ago. As Garnet chooses an axe three times her size, Steven exclaims he'd like something like that. Pearl suggests he find something a bit more suitable for himself. When Steven asks Lion to help him find something, the big pink cat walks away. Pearl tells Steven he needs to train it better. Steven tries to prove that Lion listens sometimes, but is ultimately unsuccessful. But after a few moments, Lion returns with a pink scabbard. Pearl says that the scabbard belonged to Rose Quartz, and angrily removes it from Lion's mouth. Pearl goes on to describe the battle. Amethyst says she wishes she had been there. Garnet insists she wouldn't have, describing how many gems were broken and destroyed. Pearl pops up to remind them all that the Crystal Gems won.

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When they arrive back at the temple, Amethyst and Garnet get on the difficult task of getting the huge axe into the temple's door. Steven meanwhile can't help but ask Pearl what his mom was like. She explains to him about her bravery and beauty, gives him the scabbard... and then asks if he can keep a secret, even from Amethyst and Garnet. Steven promises, and they warp off.

Pearl: Now from here it's a three hour hike, and then a 1 hour climb ninety degrees. Think you can handle it?

During the ensuing three hour hike and climb, which Pearl climbs on her own with a well tied Steven on her back, she explains how, as leader, Rose was forced to keep secrets for the good of the team—with Pearl as her only confidant, telling her secrets she shared with no one else. One of these secrets was Rose's armory.

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...which is why Pearl is a bit stunned when it turns out that Steven has already been there, and knows how to operate it perfectly. However, the sword is still nowhere to be found, at least until Pearl produces a hologram, and Steven realizes he knows exactly where it is: Lion.

Steven demonstrates to the Gems how Lion has a pocket dimension in his mane, one which he currently uses to store his stuff in, as did his mother. While Garnet and Amethyst handle the news well—it's a bit obvious in retrospect, after all—Pearl goes into violent denial at the thought that there was apparently a secret which Rose never shared with her. Garnet tries to reassure her teammate, as does Steven, explaining that he's sure Rose just wanted to protect her.

Pearl: How would you know? YOU NEVER EVEN MET HER!

Pearl warps away in tears, leaving all three of her friends upset. Receiving no comfort from Garnet, Steven takes off on Lion's back to track Pearl down, and finds himself back at the strawberry fields. He calls out for the Gem, but she flees, screaming to keep Lion away from her. Steven complies, continuing on foot, even as Pearl takes a dangerous path across floating land masses. He struggles to keep up, calling after her, but she never turns back, not once.

Steven: PEARL! Did I- did I do something wrong?!

He makes the final jump, one that ultimately proves too far from him, and to Pearl's horror, begins to plummet. Luckily, he manages to grab onto some vines. However, seeing Steven dangling precariously from the roots at the bottom, Pearl makes no move to help him, forcing the boy to climb up on his own. When he reaches the top, he finds Pearl sobbing silently but heavily, clutching the pink scabbard to her chest.

As Steven approaches, Pearl remarks on how similar he is to Rose, how she wonders if he has any of her memories. Then she summons a hologram of Rose and reenacts the exact conversation she had with his mother thousands of years ago before the fateful battle. Rose offers to Pearl a last chance to walk out the battle, explained that they would likely die, and even if they succeeded, they would never be allowed to return home. The devoted Pearl rejected the offer to return to their home planet, saying that it would mean nothing if she were not at Rose's side.

...and now, five thousand years later, Pearl is still here on Earth, while Rose is gone.

Pearl: Everything I did, I did for her. Now she's gone, but I'm still here...

Still dejected, Pearl wonders what Rose would think if she saw her now. To her surprise, however, Steven simply wraps her in a fierce hug and says, "Well, I think you're pretty great," and Pearl bursts into tears.

The pair spend the rest of the night together, Steven at first entertaining her with magic tricks from Lion's mane, before producing Rose's flag, the sight of which causes Pearl to react with deep regard. Pearl regales Steven with stories of their battles and victories, and then, in silence, the two ride Lion back home, the screen fading to black.


Tropes:

  • An Axe to Grind: Garnet hefts a giant ax she finds on the battlefield (and by "giant" we mean as tall as a house).
    Garnet: You never know when you might need one of these.
    Steven: I need one of those all the time!
  • Break the Haughty: Pearl believed herself to be Rose's confidant whom she told things not even Garnet and Amethyst knew. When she finds out that Rose hid things from her as well, she really doesn't take it well at all.
  • Broken Pedestal: Pearl's pedestal of Rose breaks a little when she learns Rose kept some secrets even from her. This is illustrated beautifully when Rose's portrait fell from the wall after Pearl punch it in anger, while saying to Steven that he never met her, and it almost hit her on the head.
  • Buffy Speak: Steven says the strawberry-covered battlefield is even "more weapon-y than I remember" and identifies spiked balls hanging off a statue as "spiky chain lady and her metal dealies".
  • Call-Back:
    • The episode starts off in the same battlefield-turned-strawberry-field in "Serious Steven".
    • Amethyst mentions how she didn't join up with the other Crystal Gems immediately when she wishes she could have seen Rose in action.
    • Rose's training room shows up for the first time since "Lion 2: The Movie", and Steven still pokes himself to get certain things to appear. Pearl also reveals the names of some of the artifacts there.
    • Steven has not improved in his "jumping suspended platforms" skills any since "Giant Woman".
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Pearl does one when she and Steven reach Rose's armory.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Steven assumes the scabbard to be a club of some kind until Pearl corrects him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Steven mentions the events of "Lion 2: The Movie" and "Lion 3: Straight to Video", like how Rose's sword and other stuff is inside Lion's mane, and how he's been to the training room before.
    • In the end montage, Steven pulls out the tattered flag that was inside Lion's mane in "Lion 3: Straight to Video".
  • Death Glare: Pearl's expression when she turns to Steven seems to scream "I wish you weren't born!", even for a brief second.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Pearl's behavior towards Rose in this episode has a lot of romantic undertones, especially the scene with the hologram of her and Pearl grasping hands.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: After Pearl runs away with Rose's sword, Steven chases after her and she refuses to look back at him. When she turns back at him, the face she's making disturbs him so much he misses the jump he was in the middle of.
  • Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: When Steven rides a bike out of Lion's mane, he's wearing a helmet even though he was offscreen for about one second.
  • Floating Platforms: The battlefield has a number of floating chunks of earth hovering in place over it, much like the ones in "Giant Woman".
  • Funny Background Event: While Pearl talks with Steven about Rose once they warp back to the temple, Garnet and Amethyst can be heard in the background trying to fit the giant axe through the temple door.
  • Gilligan Cut: Pearl asks Steven if he can handle the hike to Rose's armory, and the next we see of him, he's tied up in Pearl's bow while she climbs.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Considering Pearl is willing to give Steven a weapon, even one obtained through graverobbing, she must think what's coming is pretty bad.
  • Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Steven attempts to reach Pearl by jumping off a floating rock. Given how far he had to jump, it doesn't take long for him to realize this.
  • Great Offscreen War: The strawberry field was the site of a great battle 5,000 years ago. It claimed many lives, because each weapon there once belonged to a Gem who died in the fight.
  • Heroic BSoD: Pearl gets increasingly upset over the course of the episode as she realizes that Rose kept things from her too, despite thinking of herself as The Confidant for Rose, even snapping at Steven.
  • I Choose to Stay: Rose decided to stay on Earth and defend it after the battle was over, and Pearl decided to stay with her. This can also be assumed for Garnet, though she hasn't been clear on her own motivations.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Steven is completely oblivious to Pearl's discomfort with someone else knowing about Rose's armory.
    Pearl: Now let me show you how you can access the artillery.
    Steven: That's OK. I can do it without you! WHAM!
  • Internal Reveal: Steven shows the other Gems Lion's Pocket Dimension.
  • Irony: Pearl insists that Steven needs to train Lion better. What neither of them realize is that Lion is doing exactly as asked. Steven asked for help finding a weapon, so Lion immediately dug up Rose's scabbard to go with her sword.
  • Kick the Dog: During Pearl's Heroic BSoD, she not only snaps at Steven for suggesting why she kept secrets, she even doesn't help him when he's dangling off a mountain.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Steven says jumping across a bunch of platforms is hard to do in sandals.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Pearl tells Steven that a good leader knows just how much information to give to those that follow them, but quickly becomes upset when she realizes that Rose kept things from her, too.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Pearl uses her bow to carry Steven up a cliff, bundling him up like a harness.
    • Steven reveals that he's been keeping his bike and other stuff in Lion's mane, and at the end of the episode he uses it to perform a magic trick, and takes out a drink.
  • Moment of Weakness: Following her discovery of Lion's connection to Rose, Pearl begins to have a freakout at the fact that Rose Quartz kept secrets even from her. When Steven tries to suggest that Rose was trying to protect her, Pearl blurts out that he couldn't possibly know that because he never met her. Pearl runs off immediately after.
  • Never Say "Die": Garnet starts by describes the Gems which fell in battle as being "broken" (this is actually proper terminology for Gems, as they aren't truly dead, shown back in Secret Team), but one sentence later calls the battle "a maelstrom of destruction and death". And in Pearl's holographic recreation of a scene from 5000 years ago, Rose says that if they lose the fight against the Homeworld, they'll be killed.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Steven insists he's been making progress in training Lion, claiming that Lion will pay attention if his name is called. Naturally, Lion doesn't deliver on that.
  • Overly Long Gag: Steven calling "Lion! Lion! Lion! Lion!" in an attempt to get Lion to respond to his name (Lion doesn't, by the way).
  • Pensieve Flashback: Pearl uses her Mental Picture Projector to make a hologram of Rose and reenacts when she told Rose she would fight for Earth, with Pearl speaking for Rose's part.
  • Pictorial Speech Bubble: Played with. As Pearl is using her hologram to show Steven Rose's sword, he cheerfully says he knows where it is. Her projection morphs into an exclamation point to mimic her surprise.
  • Punch a Wall: When Pearl claims Steven doesn't know anything about her and Rose's relationship she angrily smashes a wall, which causes the picture of Rose to fall. Thankfully Garnet catches it. Pearl runs off in tears afterwards.
  • Purple Is Powerful: The giant ax is purple.
  • The Reveal: While it has already been hinted before, this episode makes it clear (or at least as clear as it's possible to be in a kids' cartoon) that Pearl was in love with Rose.
  • Robbing the Dead: The group has come back to the battlefield to collect weapons.
  • Sequel Episode: Most of the episode's events are a result of Steven's trip to Rose's armory and finding her sword in "Lion 2: The Movie".
  • Smash to Black: The episode cuts to the credits without an Iris Out as Steven and Pearl ride Lion while carrying Rose's flag.
  • Silence Is Golden: About the last eighty seconds of the episode is Steven, Lion, and Pearl spending time together without any audible dialogue.
  • Stepford Smiler: Pearl smiles with Steven at the episode's end, but it quickly fades once his attention is elsewhere.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Been hinted at before with regards to Rose's death affecting the other gems, but here it's put right out in front.
    Pearl: Everything I ever did, I did for her. Now she's gone. But I'm still here.
  • The Un-Twist: In-universe, Amethyst and Garnet don't find Lion's connection to Rose very surprising, and Pearl only refuses to believe because she thinks she knows everything about Rose already.
    Pearl: Does Lion have something to do with Rose?
    Amethyst: Ohhh, of course! That's why he's pink!
    Garnet: It's a little obvious.
  • War Is Glorious: Pearl looks back fondly on the battle against the Homeworld Gems, being in awe of Rose's prowess.
  • War Is Hell: Garnet, on the other hand, sees it as a harrowing battle which cost the lives of many Gems. When Amethyst says she wishes she could have seen it, Garnet frankly replies, "No, you don't."
  • Weapon Tombstone: The Crystal Gems return to the Field of Blades from "Serious Steven", and each weapon is said to be left by a gem that died in the battle. They end up taking several of the weapons to use, because the situation has gotten that bad.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Rose knew that if they stayed, they could never return home.
  • Your Other Left: During the Funny Background Event, Amethyst can be heard telling Garnet "the other clockwise". She also uses the phrase "push backwards".
    Garnet: You mean "pull".
    Amethyst: Yeah, "pull", sure.

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