It's only moments after the events of "Jail Break". Steven and the Gems are still standing at the water's edge. It would appear that Lapis Lazuli has made good on her threat of holding Jasper prisoner beneath the sea forever, for neither Malachite, nor the two gems de-fused have returned.
Steven stammers as Connie demands on the phone to know what's going on. Amethyst pretty much lets on by screaming "WE WON!" and beginning a victory dance, much to Pearl's dismay. Greg's van pulls up and Steven promises to call Connie back. He greets his father, who explains he came back to see the ship leaving, then saw it come back, and was happy to see the Crystal Gems were once again victorious. Steven corrects Greg that it really wasn't anything like that. Big, beefy Jasper pretty much curbstomped them and took them all prisoner, especially Steven, whom Jasper had mistaken for Rose.
Steven goes on to describe that even after Garnet's comeback and subsequent beatdown of Jasper and crash of the ship, Jasper was still spoiling for a fight. To Greg's mounting horror, Steven explains that the ship crashed, and Steven almost died. Steven goes on to describe how Jasper survived and fused with Lapis — and they were outmatched and out of luck, until Lapis Lazuli's sacrifice turned the tide. As Greg hears each detail worse than the last, his terrified expression worsens comedically.
- Greg: Steven, I'm ... supportive ... and very proud of you ... and I'll be right back!
Overcome with fear and anxiety at what his only child has gone through, Greg excuses himself to go to his van and listen to his relaxation music CD. Only poor Greg is so shaken up that he can't tell which one is which and the first CD he plays is heavy metal rage music, serving to make things worse. As Steven watches his father desperately try to get ahold of his feelings and calm down, his phone begins to ring again. It's Connie. By his expression, Steven has, as a result of his narrative — and Greg's reaction to it — realized that he did come close to dying — multiple times. Moreover, he's also come to the conclusion that knowing the danger he's in is terrible for his loved ones; not just his father, but also Connie.
Steven doesn't answer the phone, but begins walking and talking to himself, trying to come up with what to tell his best friend, fusion buddy, and crush. He tries the truth. He tries a "funny story..." angle. He tries "it was all just a dream!" but gives up that last one because he knows Connie's too smart to fall for that. After some time, Steven finds himself on an overcropping that overlooks Beach City. Behind him, Ronaldo Fryman approaches, and tells Steven that Mayor Dewey has told the citizens they can return.
Ronaldo commends Steven on his choice of place to come brood, and tells Steven that they are two of a kind — nobly sacrificing friendship and companionship for the greater good — to protect those around them from the dangers of the weird world. After Ronaldo runs away to the beach to try to get footage of the wreckage for his blog, though, the phone begins to ring again. It's Connie. Again. And she is clearly methodically calling and letting it ring until the phone goes to voicemail, then trying again, hoping Steven will pick up, since she's determined to wait him out.
Steven ruminates — in song — how he hadn't really taken seriously his life as a Crystal Gem, and how dangerous it is. But now he must. Steven visibly agonizes over what to do, because he doesn't want Connie to be in the line of fire from the obvious dangers of his life he now has to face. But now he sees for himself, and he doesn't want anyone he loves to be hurt.
- Steven: ♫ What do I do? I don't want that for you.♫
He takes another look at Beach City below and resolutely turns to the phone. He swipes IGNORE against Connie's call. He goes home, and finds the other Gems beginning to clean up the house. Steven says they have to keep the Beach City townies off the beach for their own safety. Pearl eagerly suggests building a fence. Amethyst volunteers to be a crocodile if they build a moat. Garnet shuts it all down, saying that Steven needs to be around his friends. As his phone begins to ring again, Steven refuses to answer it, even when Pearl points it out. Steven explains that he can't expose Connie to danger even if that means ignoring her forever, and that it's the responsible thing to do.
Amethyst points out it will be hard to do so since Connie is coming up the steps. As Connie asks Pearl if Steven's home, he sneaks out the window. Pearl awkwardly says she doesn't understand human relationships and says goodbye, shutting the door. Connie turns to walk away and spots Steven running away from her. She races down to the beach and runs pell-mell through the wreckage only barely glancing at the ship around her, calling for him. When he doesn't answer, she calls his phone.
Steven, hiding, and clearly pained by the idea of never seeing Connie again even if it will keep her safe, refuses to answer the phone, growing more despondent the longer it goes on. Finally, though, he responds, sending Connie a text that reads:
- I don't want to be friends anymore.
Connie, stricken and hurt, but able to hear her own ringtone in the distance, calls Steven on the phone. He tells her he can't be with her anymore because he has a destiny. Connie calls out to Steven and calls Steven out: if he really wants to terminate their friendship, she will only accept and believe him if he says it to her face.
Steven appears at the top of the broken off thumb of the ship, silhouetted in the sun, and leaps down to Connie, his head hanging. But after a second he raises his head to face Connie and reveal he's literally a snotty, sobbing mess.
- Steven: I still want to be friends!
Connie is surprised when she sees his black eye. She asks him what happened, and he explains. Before long they're sitting at the water's edge, discussing Lapis' sacrifice. Connie insists the least she can do as his friend is listen.
- Connie: I want to be part of your universe.
Greg rolls up in his van, much calmer. Steven asks how his dad is doing. Greg assures Steven he's okay and back to being his cool dad again. He offers Connie a ride home. As the Universe van makes its way from the Beach and through Beach City, the residents of the town (except for slackering slacker Lars) are all doing their part to clean up and get back to normal.
The episode ends with an Iris Out over the back of Greg's van as it drives through town.
- Adult Fear: Played for Laughs with Greg's reaction to hearing the events. Played for Drama when Steven doesn't want Connie to react the same way, or worse (and more importantly), get hurt if she sticks around him.
- An Aesop: When something serious happens in your life, don't shut your loved ones out of your life. They're your loved ones for a reason, and whatever you need to talk about, they'll listen no matter what.
- Awful Truth: Steven tries to hide this from Connie.
- Bait-and-Switch: Amethyst suggests building a moat and acting as the crocodile, but is rejected by Garnet. Pearl agrees with Garnet... because they've tried that before and Amethyst wouldn't commit.
- Blatant Lies: When Connie asks the Gems where Steven is, Pearl claims not to understand human relationships.
- Break Her Heart to Save Her: Steven tries to break up his friendship with Connie so that she can stay safe. She confronts him about this, saying that she'll honor it if that's what he really wants, but only if he says it right to her face. He loses his nerve and admits everything.
- Breather Episode: While not exactly sunshine and rainbows in its own right, this episode is a much needed one after the intense events of "The Return" and "Jail Break".
- Character Development: This marks the start of Steven seeing his Gem job as something more dangerous and stressful, than as "fun adventures".
- Continuity Nod:
- Steven recaps the events of the previous two-parter to Greg and Connie.
- The passenger door is still missing from the Universe van, as Steven knocked it off when he accidentally launched himself from the van via the airbag in "The Return".
- While the "Steven Bomb" event of 2015 that ended season 1 and began season 2 slightly messed up the timing, Pearl's line about how they used to have a fence is a Call-Back to Story for Steven.
- Dénouement Episode: This episode takes place immediately after the season one finale and deals with its emotional aftermath. While this episode is technically part of season two, it was aired the day after the season one finale.
- Ding-Dong-Ditch Distraction: Inverted when Steven sneaks out of the window when Pearl is talking to Connie at his front door.
- Failed a Spot Check:
- Peridot's enormous ship is visible for miles, but Ronaldo somehow doesn't notice it until he points at the town while talking to Steven.
- Connie doesn't notice Steven sneaking out the window beside the front door as she interrogates Pearl. Nor does she hear Steven sneaking past behind her less than a foot away, and going down the steps to get away from her.
- Freak Out: As Steven cheerfully recounts how he and the Gems nearly died, Greg has a severe panic attack. He tries to calm down by playing music but accidentally plays loud, harsh heavy metal. By the end, he's hyper-ventilating, has blood-shot eyes, and is clutching his chest as if suffering from a Hollywood Heart Attack.
- Funny Background Event: After Pearl closes the glass door in Connie's face and just stands there, Garnet can be seen pulling Pearl away from the door as Connie is leaving, apparently not wanting her watching Steven and Connie.
- Hell Is That Noise: For Steven, the ringtone he has set for Connie, made worse by her constantly calling to see if he's okay because he's realized how dangerous his life really is and doesn't want her endangered. Even after he decides to ignore her forever for her own protection, the ringtone agonizes him until Connie demands he end the friendship to her face.
- Heroic Safe Mode: A chat with Ronaldo made Steven realize how much danger there is for both him and normal people with the inevitable return of the Homeworld Gems and future confrontations. He says he needs to get serious now but it's clearly a way for him to cope with the issue.
- Immediate Sequel: This episode opens with Connie's phone call, exactly where "Jail Break" ended, and deals with Steven and possibly the whole of Beach City mentally dealing with the aftermath.
- Inelegant Blubbering: Connie tells Steven that, if he really doesn't want to be friends anymore, he'll have to tell her that to her face and only then will she leave him alone. Steven responds by slowly walking up to her with his head down and at first it looks like he's going to go through with it, only for him to show his face and reveal a huge mess of mucus and tears. He can't go through with it.
- Innocence Lost: Steven is forced to see the real danger of Gemkind's business after realizing, thanks to his dad's Freak Out, that he nearly was abducted and might possibly have been killed.Steven: Everybody tells me Gem stuff's dangerous. I guess I didn't believe it until now.
- Iris Out: The episode begins exactly where "Jail Break" finishes, and so it begins with the iris re-opening.
- Irony: Not three episodes ago, Steven was the one being kept out of the loop for his own good. Now he's the one trying to do that to Connie.
- It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Steven's reasoning for wanting to isolate himself from Connie, and humanity in general, is that they'll be safer and happier that way. The episode portrays this trope in a rather negative light, as they both feel worse off as he tries to keep her away and, contrary to Ronaldo's advice, she's able to cope with the truth.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Steven tries to keep the Crystal Gems' most recent activities secret from Connie, but can only manage to avoid telling her by refusing to talk to her at all. When she forces him to talk to her face to face, he breaks down instantly.
- Love Is a Weakness: Steven coming to believe this is what drives the episode's conflict.
- Machiavelli Was Wrong: Despite what Ronaldo said, Steven doesn't have to be a secret keeper, and Connie indeed can handle the truth. Heck, even Greg recovers from his Freak Out once he gets it out of his system.
- Mood Dissonance: Greg's face becomes more and more horror-stricken as Steven's cheerfully excited voice narrates the harrowing and deadly events of the invasion, the fight, the escape and the crash.
- Mood Whiplash: Connie's worried call is interrupted by Amethyst celebrating their victory, just minutes after Lapis' Heroic Sacrifice.
- Notable Original Music: "Full Disclosure"
- Noodle Incident: Apparently, there have been multiple instances of the Crystal Gems building a moat with Amethyst acting as the crocodile, only to get bored of it. Pearl also mentioned they used to have a fence around the beach.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: As Steven is running from Connie, she shouts out asking if something is wrong and if it's her fault, and Steven sinks lower with each word.
- Reality Ensues: Steven proves he can't find it in his heart to cut ties from his friends, family or Connie. The more he shuts out Connie, the more it emotionally hurts him, until he changes his mind and tells her he does want to stay friends with her.
- Scenery Gorn: As Steven is about to send a message to Connie telling her everything is alright, he notices the Big Donut has all its windows broken and is surrounded by the wreckage of Peridot's ship, some of which is on fire, and passes by many other buildings in a similar state. Steven then looks at the town with Ronaldo from a hill, where the ship can be seen still smoking. Later, he's at the beach, running from Connie, and they pass through an even more dense patch of debris.
- Sequel Hook: Steven says the beach should be fenced off, because humans might hurt themselves if they got a hold of Gem technology. During the ending scene, Ronaldo can be seen hauling off a piece of Peridot's ship, which he previously mentioned wanting to put on his blog.
- Special Edition Title: The laundry title screen and piano riff are back from the space/wind combo of "Jail Break", but chunks of Peridot's ship are visible on the beach in the background.
- Short-Distance Phone Call: One of the calls Connie makes to Steven was made while she was walking up to steps to his door. Connie later does this on purpose when chasing Steven through the wreckage of the Homeworld ship, realizing that she's not catching him anytime soon and that she'll have to force him to confront her.
- Status Quo Is God: Played with. Although Greg is initially overwhelmed by Steven's story of what happens in "Jailbreak", by the end of the episode, Greg resumes his usual care-free demeanor. In the end, we see Beach City resuming its routine, despite the mess.
- Telephone Song: "Full Disclosure" is a song about Steven not answering Connie's persisting phone calls because he feels he needs to push her away for her own safety. Steven's custom ringtone for Connie is the refrain.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Steven initially doesn't see the big deal in his experience with the Homeworld Gems until his story causes Greg to have a panic attack. As he mulls over Greg's reaction, Ronaldo shows up and has a talk with Steven about being the one who knows the Awful Truth, further giving Steven pause about sharing it with Connie.
- Wisdom from the Gutter: Ronaldo believes Steven is a kindred spirit in being the sole keeper of hard truths, and advises him to accept how this will isolate you from other people. Ronaldo clearly does not follow this advice and it's not really applicable to his life, but it's highly relevant to Steven's life and he decides to take it. However, it becomes clear that it really is not good advice: the idea of leaving all of his friends behind mentally destroys Steven, and proves unnecessary because they really can handle the truth. Ultimately, what Ronaldo says was just a product of his self-indulgent desire to be special.