- Peridot: Then everything started glowing and well, yeah...wait. I'm sure Steven can fill you in on the rest, since he's the one who saved us. Right, Steven? Tell 'em what happened in there!
But Steven's attention isn't really on the story. He's too concerned about the still-unconscious Lapis Lazuli and runs to check on her. She's in the barn, sleeping fitfully. Garnet follows and acknowledges Steven's worry. Steven recalls from his dream with her that she was fighting so hard to keep Malachite from escaping.
Garnet acknowledges how hard that must have been for her on mental, emotional and physical levels. She informs Steven that Lapis will need a lot of time to recover from the ordeal. Steven accepts that, and goes back with Garnet when she says that she wants to hear more about what happened underground.
Several hours later, it is night and Steven wakes from sleeping in his cozy caterpillar sleeping bag. He gets up to check on Lapis who is up and around again. He's delighted to see it, for the second it takes him to realize she's already got her water wings up and is planning to leave again.
Lapis informs him she has to go. She doesn't belong on earth with the Crystal Gems and never has. Steven assures her he understands, but that he wishes they could hang out more.
- Steven: I feel like I only get to see you when there's something horrible going on.
Lapis is charmed by Steven's gentle wish to spend time with her, but she thanks him and wishes him goodbye, taking off into the night.
A day or so later, Steven and the Gems are preparing to return home to the temple. Peridot has chosen to remain at the barn, rather than returning to live in the bathroom. She admits she's accustomed to the barn and really should fix the hole she made with her giant robot. Steven accepts that and gets ready to get in his dad's van with the Crystal Gems. Greg is relieved as the van is so packed that Peridot probably wouldn't have fit. Steven tells them he'll be along later, choosing to travel via Lion.
He walks around the barn calling for Lion, but the cat is nowhere to be found. But Steven reaches the silo and finds Lapis sitting thoughtfully atop it. He climbs to the precarious dome and greets her. She explains the only reason she's here again is that she left only to realize she has nowhere to go. She can't go back to Homeworld after what she did to Jasper, and she can't stay on Earth.
Steven tells her of course she can stay on Earth. He explains that she can live anywhere on the planet. He begins naming all the places he knows off the top of his head and offers to help her find a new place to live, using the GPS on his phone. She takes him piggyback and flies off.
They look at the countryside and forest. He teaches her what leaves are and explains to her about the change of seasons. Lapis is unsure and Steven points her in another direction.
They reach Empire City. Steven describes a sitcom lifestyle to her. They go on to Jersey, where Steven informs her the people there don't seem to like the Earth any more than Lapis does.
They fly above the clouds and Lapis, becoming a little more lighthearted as she does tricks for Steven. Steven realizes how far out they are and sees the Galaxy Warp. Lapis is stunned by the sight and nearly drops Steven, apologizes, and lands. She explains why the sight evoked such a reaction from her; it is the place where she was abandoned.
As Lapis describes what happened to her, the water from the ocean floods in and becomes a place for her to project her memories. She got caught in a fight between Homeworld and the rebels. A gem with long dreadlocks hit her hard enough to reduce her back to gem form. The Homeworld gems, mistaking her for a Crystal Gem rebel, embedded her in a mirror and tried to use her to obtain information about the rebellion. Since Lapis wasn't a rebel, she had no information to give. Trapped in mirror form, she had no way to speak up and let them know they were mistaken. Thus it went, with them demanding answers of her she couldn't give until the tide against Homeworld was turned. The Homeworld gems fled, dropping the useless mirror. Someone stepped on her and cracked her gem, leaving her within sight of the Galaxy Warp but unable to reach it. There she stayed, for millennia until Pearl found her.
After telling her tale, Steven asks if Lapis doesn't need a moment, but she insists that she just wants to get away from the place that holds such a bad memory for her. As they return to the barn, she confesses that she still feels trapped.
Steven assures her that she's not. She's not underwater or in a mirror anymore. Lapis insists she's still on Earth. Steven counters that nothing is still on Earth; things are always changing.
- Steven: The leaves. The city. Even Jersey changes. My dad says the rest stops used to be pretty gross. But now they have sushi!
Steven goes on to tell her it's not the same world that held her prisoner, but that maybe someday Earth can feel like home. He lets her know that this time she'll be making a choice.
Lapis realizes that for all the time she has spent on Earth, she has not really seen much of it. As such, she decides she will stay at the barn.
Steven excitedly asks if she really means here-here. When she confirms that she does, Peridot joins the conversation.
- Peridot: Yes, hear-hear everybody. What are we talking about? Lazuli. Nice to see you up and about.
Lapis is less than thrilled to see Peridot and demands to know what she's doing there. Peridot explains the barn is her home away from Homeworld.
- Lapis: No it's not! It's mine! Right, Steven?
Iris Out on a suddenly awkward Steven who hadn't thought this far ahead.
- Adorkable: Peridot and Lapis when they argue over whose "here here/home home" the barn is. After Lapis being a Broken Bird, her Not So Above It All moment is sweet.
- And I Must Scream: Lapis was trapped in the mirror within sight of the Homeworld Warp for who knows how long, but was unable to reach it and escape.
- Big Applesauce: Lapis and Steven travel to Empire City.
- Breather Episode: Even with all the drama with Lapis and the reveal of her past, this episode is much less intense than "Super Watermelon Island" or "Gem Drill".
- Empire City makes its first appearance here after being mentioned in "Story for Steven".
- Peridot stays at the barn, both to avoid staying in Steven's bathroom again, and to repair the hole her robot made in the wall in "Message Received".
- Lapis reveals how Pearl found her in the mirror, and how she got trapped in there.
- A small one to "Mirror Gem" as when someone throws a projectile at Steven and Lapis for flying, they both respond by making a farting noise in response - similar to how Steven and Mirror-Lapis did during that episode. They both still find it hilarious.
- Cliffhanger: Lapis asks Steven who the barn really belongs to...and we Iris Out on his Oh, Crap! face.
- Coffee Shop AU Fic: Teased when Lapis and Steven are flying above Empire City. Steven says Lapis could be trying to make it in the big city, working at a local coffee shop and going home to a wacky roommate, pretty much the basis of any given Coffee Shop AU. Lapis has no idea what he's on about.
- Comically Missing the Point:Lapis: It's funny, for all the time I spent on Earth, I barely saw any of it.
Steven: That's not funny. That's super sad.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: Despite the fact that it was Homeworld Gems who imprisoned Lapis, and she wasn't able to convince them she wasn't a Crystal Rebel, she nevertheless wanted to return home and ostensibly face similar execution. Her hatred of the real Crystal Gems stems mainly from how they never cared that she was trapped in the mirror or bothered to find out what she was while prioritizing the Earth. Her reaction to Steven's comment about how he only seems to see her when something bad is going to happen is a prime example.
- Continuity Nod:
- A Day in the Limelight: This episode focuses on Lapis.
- Didn't Think This Through: Lapis returns to the barn after her reflexive fleeing when she realizes she has nowhere else to go.
- Dreadlock Warrior: The Gem that poofed Lapis was large and well-built, with long dreadlocks in numerous different colors. She's later revealed to be a Crystal Gem named Bismuth.
- Easily Forgiven: Lapis revealing that it was Homeworld Gems who imprisoned her, yet the minute she was free she just wanted to go home in "Ocean Gem," despite what Homeworld natives did to her.
- Exposition Beam: Lapis is able to reflect her memories using water as a mirror, possibly a remnant of being stuck in the mirror since her eyes take on the mirror form that they had when she was first freed.
- Facepalm: Along with his Oh, Crap! reaction, Steven does this when Peridot and Lapis both wants to stay at the barn.
- Friend or Foe: Lapis was put in the mirror because she was mistaken for a Crystal Gem by Homeworld, who tried to interrogate her with questions she couldn't answer.
- Freudian Excuse: Turns out Lapis hates the Crystal Gems so much because Homeworld mistook her for a Crystal Gem and stuck her on that mirror to get intel out of her. Not to mention the real Crystal Gems also kept her in the mirror for a long time without knowing what she was or even bothering to find out, as she put it in "Mirror Gem".
- Hypocritical Humor: During her retelling of how the Cluster was sealed, Peridot pokes fun at Steven talking about his feelings.
- I Choose to Stay:
- Peridot chooses to stay at the barn, partly to avoid staying in the bathroom again, partly to help fix the hole she made.
- Lapis eventually chooses to stay too... only to meet Peridot.
- Immediate Sequel: Takes place right after "Gem Drill", and the episode opens with Peridot describing the journey to the Cluster, and the battle with the Gem mutants/clusterlings.
- Internal Reveal: Lapis was not previously aware that Peridot had befriended Steven and the Crystal Gems, and was shocked to see her.
- Lapis was mistaken for a Crystal Gem and imprisoned by her own people, who interrogated her and asked her questions she couldn't answer until she was dropped, cracked, and left within sight of the Homeworld Warp until she was found by Pearl.
- Later, she realized the sad fact that she'd never really seen much of Earth despite being trapped on it for so long.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Although Steven wants Lapis to stay on Earth, close to him because they're friends, he nevertheless tries to help her find a new home even if it's far from his home. It's why he's delighted when she says she wants to stay.
- Joisey: Lapis and Steven fly over Jersey (this isn't a shortening of "New Jersey", as it's just called "Jersey" in this world). The place itself is complete with smog, traffic in the Turnpike, and people with a stereotypical Jersey accent.Steven: You'd like it in Jersey. The people here seem to hate the Earth too!
- Locked Out of the Loop: Just like Peridot being unaware of Malachite's existence , Lapis was unaware of both Peridot staying on Earth and her HeelFace Turn.
- Mental Picture Projector: Lapis has this ability with reflective surfaces, a possible side effect of her time in the mirror.
- Miscarriage of Justice: Lapis is the victim of one, being imprisoned because she was mistaken for a Crystal Gem and was unable to tell her Homeworld captors the truth.
- Misplaced Retribution: Lapis seems to blame the Crystal Gems for finding and keeping the mirror more than she blames the Homeworld forces for imprisoning her in the mirror in the first place, though the Friend or Foe thing may be part of it as well. Of course, the fact that it was Bismuth, who is a Crystal Gem who poofed her to begin with may not have helped.
- Mixed Metaphor: When describing Empire City to Lapis, Steven mixes up "what happens in x stays in x" (a phrase associated with Las Vegas) and "the city that never sleeps" (a nickname for New York City) sayings that "what happens in Empire City never sleeps". Given the show is in the Different States of America, that may be its actual official slogan, not a mix-up.
- Moment Killer: Peridot right after Lapis says I Choose to Stay on Earth with hope, barging into the conversation cheerfully without any context.
- Mood Whiplash:
- When Lapis sees the Galaxy Warp, the happy mood vanishes as she nearly drops Steven.
- Lapis is hopeful at the end about making a new home on Earth... until Peridot bursts into the conversation.
- Oh, Crap!: Steven gets a cute one at the end when Peridot and Lapis ask him whose "home home" the barn is.
- Off-Model: Peridot's and Lapis' hairs and heights are larger than usual in this episode, as shown in this post.
- One of the artists jokingly admits he "wrongfully drew the hair too small" and promises to draw them even bigger.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Steven is so busy convincing Lapis that Earth isn't so bad that he forgets to let her know one of her former jailers is now working with the team... and already living where Lapis decides to settle down.
- Also, the nature of the mirror prison meant that Lapis couldn't just tell her captors that she wasn't a Crystal Gem.
- The Reveal: We finally find out how Lapis ended up in that mirror. She was on Earth for a short visit and had the misfortune to end up in a battle between Homeworld and the Rebellion. She got poofed by Bismuth and was mistaken by Homeworld for a Crystal Gem who placed her gem on a mirror so they could tell her who the leader was and where the base was - stuff she didn't know. When Homeworld abandoned the planet she was dropped at the Galaxy Warp (and stepped on which is why her gem was broken) and was stuck there before being found by Pearl.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Peridot peppers her story at the beginning with a few, including "wa-bam-o, ka-powie!" for when the Drill was attacked, as well as noises for her photon blast cannon.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Homeworld forces fled when they realized that the Crystal Gems and their Rebellion weren't falling, with Lapis being dropped right before the final ships and Warps left and a bright flash appeared in the sky.
- Self-Deprecation: All the stuff about Jersey was written by an actual New Jersey native.
- Sequel Hook: The Cliffhanger with Lapis and Peridot leads directly to the plot of Barn Mates.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Lapis about the war, being a prisoner of everyone including her fellow Homeworld gems and the Crystal Gems, and Jasper. Steven tries to help her by finding her a new home.
- Shoe Slap: A man in Jersey attempts to throw a shoe at Lapis and Steven while they're hundreds of feet in the air. They easily dodge it, but it amazingly manages to reach them.
- Take That!: Steven says that Lapis will like Jersey, because people there hate the Earth, too.
- This Is Gonna Suck: Steven's reaction when Lapis finds Peridot is living at the barn as well, and the two begin arguing.
- This Is My Name on Foreign: A variation; when Steven is trying to find Lion, he starts calling out "Lion", repeatedly, and ends it with a drawn out "Leon". Leon is a first name of Greek origin that means "Lion" in several other languages.
- Toilet Humour: Peridot's reason for staying at the barn is because she knows what happens in a bathroom.
- Trauma Button: Seeing the Galaxy Warp is this for Lapis, causing her to zone out and nearly drop Steven.
- Travel Montage: Steven and Lapis travel to various places.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: At least one citizen in Jersey didn't see anything odd about a blue woman with wings made of water flying a child on her back through the sky, except that they were flying around Jersey's sky.Jersey man: (throws shoe at them from off-screen) Quit flying' in our sky, ya mooks!
- Wham Shot:
- Right before we see how Lapis was trapped in the mirror, her eyes become mirror-like again, just like when her gem was cracked.
- Near the end of Lapis' flashback, there's a bright flash of light immediately after the last of the Homeworld Gems flee. Said flash is shaped like a four-pointed star (not unlike an exaggerated diamond) and has a yellow, blue and white halo. The tiniest snippet of the Diamonds' Drone of Dread Leitmotif accompanies the Fade to White...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Before Steven could leave the barn, he was looking for where Lion went but gets distracted when he sees Lapis returned back to the barn. By the end of the episode, Lion never came back or was found.
- Witch Hunt: The Homeworld believed Lapis was a Crystal Gem and put her into the mirror in an attempt to get information out of her, not knowing or caring they were wrong.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Steven as he and Lapis travel back to the barn points out how the Earth is constantly changing, from the leaves on the trees, to the cities, and to the people. Lapis on seeing these hundreds of feet above the ground admits that she had never experienced such wonders despite being on Earth for thousands of years.
- You Can't Go Home Again: The main issue of the episode is Steven helping Lapis cope with this and find a new home.