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Recap / Steven Universe S5E18 "A Single Pale Rose"

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WARNING: This is a major Wham Episode with a revelation about a major character that completely shatters the status quo of the series, and it cannot be discussed without spoiling its plot twist. As such, all spoilers are unmarked. If you have not watched this episode and all episodes before it, please, read at your own risk.

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Steven reminisces about what he knows so far about Pink Diamond just as Amethyst and Pearl enter the house; Amethyst is certainly puzzled about why Pearl only uses her phone to tell time. Steven, all the while, is stressfully bursting with questions.

Steven wants to ask Pearl about his vision of who really shattered Pink Diamond. Pearl is extremely reluctant to answer, but she later texts Steven that she would like to answer his question. The only problem is that she couldn't have texted Steven, as she hasn't used her phone all day. And while they are talking, Pearl apparently sends Steven another text.

Pearl had stored that phone within her gem, and realizes that some part of her psyche is using it. She asks him to travel within her gem to retrieve her phone while she holds onto his, and to text back once he finds it so she can pull him back out.

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First, Steven ends up in a compartmentalized area featuring another Pearl who organizes all of her stored possessions. Steven asks the whereabouts of the phone, and she responds that it may be with the "other Pearls", but advises him not to go to where they are because it's a "mess". Steven insists, and Pearl takes him inside her gemstone yet again.

Then, Steven sees a weeping Pearl, reacting badly to the news of Rose's pregnancy. Seeing that she's clearly not in the best state to give any important answers, Steven delves deeper into Pearl's mind.

The next memory is completely jarring, as Steven and another Pearl are right in the aftermath of the Gem War, and she blankly asks herself why she did "it". Without another word from her, he is taken through her gemstone once again.

Eventually, Steven reaches the scene where Rose Quartz has just shattered Pink Diamond, gem shards flying everywhere. However, this "Rose" is revealed to be a shapeshifted Pearl. Steven sadly takes this as confirmation that Pearl was the one who shattered Pink Diamond... until Pearl holds her hand out, revealing Pink Diamond's very much not-shattered gem. A confused Steven is promptly taken into Pearl's gemstone one final time.

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Inside Pink Diamond's palanquin, Steven overhears a conversation between Rose and Pearl, who is in a colorful dress, behind the throne. He walks over to listen more closely, but remains hidden from view.

Rose: ...And then you'll be done. It's going to be easy!
Pearl: There's got to be another way. I mean, maybe–
Rose: Blue and Yellow don't care. They never have. This is "Pink Diamond's colony". We can end it all right here, right now.
Pearl: You know this is crazy, right? [Rose nods] Your status, my purpose... None of it will matter anymore. [Rose nods more excitedly] This will change everything.
Rose: I know! Isn't it exciting?
Pearl: [sighs, then blushes] It is.
Rose: We can leave our old lives behind. If this is really my world, I want to give it to the Crystal Gems. I want to live here, with human beings. I want to live here with you. We'll both finally be free.

Pearl agrees to Rose's plan, and then they embrace in a loving hug.

Rose: I can't exactly shatter myself.

Immediately after saying that, Rose Quartz then shapeshifts into...

...Pink Diamond.

After stepping outside of the palanquin a bit, Pink shows Pearl a handful of dirt with the head of a single pink hibiscus, and gives Pearl the flower (which she gladly puts in her hair). Pink then crushes the dirt into fake diamond shards.

Pink Diamond: Convincing?
Pearl: Very much so, my Diamond.
Pink Diamond: Soon, it will be just... Rose.

Pink then swallows the fake gem shards. Before she leaves, Pink gives Pearl one last order as a Diamond:

Pink: No one can ever find out we did this. I never want to look back. So, for my last order to you as a Diamond... [covering Pearl's mouth with her — and both of Pearl's — own hands] Please, let's never speak of this again. No one can know.

After Pink leaves her palanquin, Pearl then turns to Steven, and holds out her cellphone, apologizing for making him come all this way. Steven speechlessly takes the phone as Pearl shapeshifts into "Rose" to stage the fake "shattering".

Steven: [texting] Found it.

After Steven texts Pearl that he found her phone, she pulls him out of her gemstone. He sees more of Pearl's memories, this time in rapid-fire flashes, as he's exiting.

Finally back outside, Pearl tearfully says that she wanted to tell Steven for a very long time. Steven somberly takes in the very shocking fact that his own mother was in fact Pink Diamond.

Standing right behind him, Amethyst and Garnet are in complete shock.

And the episode abruptly ends with no Iris Out whatsoever.


Tropes:

  • 555: Pearl has numerous scraps of paper with phone numbers on them inside her pearl, all of which have the area code 240 or 301 followed by 555.
  • Abdicate the Throne: Pink specifies that she wants to "give [Earth] to the Crystal Gems" instead of ruling it, and live with humans. The other Diamonds would never allow such a thing, so Pink Diamond fakes her death. It overlaps with Cincinnatus, as it sounds like Rose Quartz wasn't going to lead the army she expected to still be there when the war ended.
  • Adult Fear: Pink/Rose believing that the other Diamonds wouldn't care if she was assassinated due to their aloof nature echoes the situation of many teenagers who, due to being or feeling unloved, run away and/or commit suicide out of the belief that their loved ones would be better off without them.
  • Aloof Big Sister: Pink thought that the other Diamonds were so apathetic to her that they'd abandon Earth when she died. She was very wrong.
  • Are You Sure You Want to Do That?: Pearl repeatedly spells out the consequences for Rose's plan. The latter goes through with it anyway.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Rose and Pearl talking about assassinating Pink Diamond, with Rose coming off as being morbidly excited to kill her Diamond for humanity... and then it turns out she is Pink Diamond and they're talking about faking her death.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Given Steven's thoughts on his trial, and how he tells Pearl it's okay to tell him if she shattered Pink Diamond, he was obviously hoping for proof that his mother was innocent. Steven then finds out that Rose didn't murder Pink, but the truth is even more shocking: she was Pink Diamond, which means he is a Diamond.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Amethyst does this when Steven drops the revelation that Rose and Pink Diamond were the same person.
  • Black Comedy: Pearl's reaction to Pink Diamond showing her a set of fake gem shards that she intends to use to fake her death. She's essentially showing Pearl the gem equivalent to a realistic dead body, and Pearl is appropriately disturbed.
  • Call-Back:
    • Rose's sword couldn't shatter Gems, so Rose "shattering" Pink turned out to be Pearl disguised as Rose poofing her, leaving behind fake Gem shards that Pink had swallowed.
    • During "The Trial", Defense Zircon noted that the official account has numerous holes, and Pearl's story of what happened explained all of them:
      • Why didn't Pink Diamond's Sapphires foresee Rose coming to assassinate Pink Diamond? Because to see something in future vision, you have to be actively looking for it. Even if the Sapphires were on the lookout for rebels attempting a Decapitation Strike, a Frame-Up by the murder victim and her personal servant would have caught them by surprise.
      • Why did her Agates let Rose approach Pink Diamond without a fight? Because "Rose" was already there at the palanquin beforehand as Pearl.
      • Why did Pink Diamond just step out of her palanquin for Rose to shatter her? Because she was the mastermind of the "assassination attempt", and playing along with it.
      • Why didn't Pink Diamond's Pearl notice Rose and at least sound the alarm? Because she was the "Rose" witnesses saw.
      • Lastly, it's noted that only a Diamond would have the authority to pull such a plan in these circumstances, which happened to be true after all.
    • In the penultimate flashback, an anguished scream that sounds like it came from a Quartz soldier (credited as Michaela Dietz, who voices all the Amethysts and the Quartzes in a flashback in "Sworn to the Sword") can be heard.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: When Amethyst returns from her room from getting Pearl an actual phone case and walks into the kitchen to see Pearl looking like she's about to vomit, Pearl laughs nervously and runs back to her room in an odd manner, loudly saying that she's fine with her briefcase.
  • Cincinnatus: It's implied that in her original plan, "Rose" wouldn't be staying on Earth with the humans and Crystal Gems. Even in her final plan, she makes it clear she has no intention of ruling the Earth, as she wants it to belong to humanity and the Crystal Gems.
  • Cliffhanger: The episode ends with Steven, Amethyst, and Garnet learning that Rose Quartz was really Pink Diamond, without seeing the follow-up.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: As it turns out, Pearl has at least nine people's phone numbers stored inside of her gem. However, Pearl only uses her phone to tell time, so...
  • Comically Missing the Point: When Amethyst asks Pearl about her phone needing a "case", Pearl pulls out an actual briefcase from her gem.
  • Could Say It, But...: Pearl is unable to tell Steven directly about the big secret, so she gets around it by luring Steven into her mind in order for her to reveal said secret via her memories. After all, the vow only forbade her from speaking it.
  • Dark Secret: Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond are one and the same. Only she and Pearl knew.
  • Defector from Decadence: Both Pink Diamond and Pearl cut their ties with Homeworld to protect Earth from them.
    Pearl: Your status, my purpose... none of it will matter anymore.
  • Dissonant Serenity: When Pearl and "Rose Quartz" are talking about faking Pink's death, Pink is just a bit too eager to go through with the plan, while Pearl is a bit more worried:
    Past Pearl: This will change everything.
    Rose/Pink Diamond: I know. Isn't it exciting?!
  • Divine Parentage: Rose Quartz being Pink Diamond means that Steven was actually a Diamond all along and always has been.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: Implied; the post-corruption memory of Pearl mentions that the Crystal Gems had believed that the Homeworld forces were retreating because the war was over. Pearl likely saw all her friends celebrating before they were annihilated right before her eyes.
  • Drama Bomb: The biggest Wham Episode in the series, which answers many questions, solves series-long mysteries, and completely turns the show's status quo on its head.
  • Dramatic Drop: Pearl does this with her phone when Steven asks her if she shattered Pink Diamond.
  • Easily Forgiven: Steven doesn't hold anything against Pearl for keeping her big secret from him.
  • Evolving Credits: Appropriately enough, the end credits for this episode brings the song that's been building up for the last forty episodes to a crescendo.
  • Exact Words: Pink Diamond's last order to Pearl was "Let Us Never Speak of This Again". So instead of speaking to Steven about it, she sends him inside her gem in order to show him.
    Pearl: There are certain things I can't tell you, but I can tell you that I need my phone. Please. I can bring you back out once you find what you're looking for.
    Steven: "Your phone"?
    Pearl: Exactly!
  • Faking the Dead: Pink faked her own assassination, having Pearl disguise herself as Rose Quartz (Pink's own secret identity), while creating some fake pink shards to make the Diamonds think she was shattered instead of just poofed.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing:
    • Notice the crying "Rose"'s skin tone in the second-to-last flashback; it's unnaturally pale, a quick clue that it's actually a shapeshifted Pearl.
    • When Past Pearl starts to ask if there's another way out of this mess, "Rose" addresses the supposedly-uncaring Diamonds with simply "Blue" and "Yellow"; only other Diamonds have a First-Name Basis with each other.
    • Past Pearl tells Past Rose that if they go through with what they're planning, Rose's "status" and Pearl's "purpose" won't matter anymore.
    • Past Rose says "If this is really supposed to be my world, I want to give it to the Crystal Gems".
    • Each time Steven descends a level into Pearl's head, more and more pink is added to Past Pearl's design, building up that Pearl was in fact Pink Diamond's Pearl.
    • When Steven reaches the memory that reveals Pink's identity, he is sitting on Pink's palanquin throne.
    • Also, the very fact that "Rose" is inside Pink Diamond's palanquin, despite it being a plot point in "The Trial" that it would be nigh-impossible for her to do so without at least raising a huge ruckus. She's in the palanquin because it was her palanquin to begin with.
    • When "Rose" starts shapeshifting, the Diamond synth plays in the background.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact Rose and Pink Diamond were the same person was given with quite a bit of foreshadowing ("elaborate breadcrumb trails", as Joe Johnston calls it). So much so that this episode alone earned the series its own page.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • A sugar packet labelled "REA SUGAR" can be found among the objects in Pearl's head, referencing series creator Rebecca Sugar.
    • Some of the other objects in Pearl's head are callbacks to past episodes, including a Pearl Point and the number she got from Mystery Girl.
    • As Steven is pulled from Pearl's gem, there are a couple quick scenes of her memories. One is a shot of Pearl and a pregnant Rose, and the other is of Garnet and Amethyst comforting Pearl, presumably after Rose became Steven.
  • From Bad to Worse: The first time Pearl takes Steven into her gem, all he finds is a hyper-organized Pearl putting all her stored possessions in alphabetical order. She warns Steven that the other layers are "a mess", and she isn't kidding. The next layer down, Steven witnesses Pearl's memory of her crying over Rose's plan to give birth to him. Then, he witnesses a shell-shocked Pearl staring blankly after the events of the corruption. And then, he sees Pearl having shapeshifted as Rose "shattering" Pink Diamond. Finally, he sees Pearl's darkest secret: Rose Quartz is in fact Pink Diamond herself, and Pearl is under a powerful compulsion preventing her from telling anyone.
  • Geas: Pearl literally cannot talk about what happened to Pink Diamond, due to a command. Her putting her hands to her mouth is part of this. But only the Exact Words of the command.
  • Ghost in the Machine: Pearl's Mental World has a different copy of her at each layer, with each acting like an older phase of her life matching her surroundings. Surface Pearl looks like Pearl's current look, the second Pearl looks like 90's Pearl from the flashback episodes to Greg and Rose's romance, and she's crying over Rose's decision to get pregnant with Steven. The next Pearl is Pearl's rebellion look, representing Pearl just after she realizes what the Corruption Song has done. The Pearl after that is Pearl at the moment of "shattering" Pink Diamond, and she's shapeshifted to look like Rose. The final Pearl is Pearl as she appeared when she was Pink Diamond's servant.
  • Going Native: Pink decided she liked Earth too much to destroy it and faked her own death so she could live on the planet as Rose Quartz.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Pink thought the other diamonds wouldn't miss her, and would abandon the earth once she was shattered. Instead, they were so enraged by her apparent death that they corrupted every gem on Earth (and tried to destroy Earth itself with the Cluster) in retaliation.
  • Good All Along: Pink Diamond decided she didn't want Earth to be colonized in a way that would harm its inhabitants. She didn't want the Crystal Gems' rebellion defeated, as she started it in the first place after the other Diamonds refused to listen to her when she told them she didn't want to destroy Earth.
  • Good Running Evil: By the time the rebellion started, Pink Diamond had decided she wanted to save the Earth from the colonization she was put in charge of, though Yellow and Blue ended up taking control of it before the war ended.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Pink Diamond was never shattered; instead, she used her Rose Quartz alter ego to start a rebellion against herself and then faked her death as Pink Diamond to continue with her life on Earth, free of her duties as a Diamond; and the only ones who knew it were Pearl and Pink herself, for almost 6000 years.
  • History Repeats: It turns out Steven's birth was not the first time Rose decided to get a new life, a new form, and even a new name.
  • I Can't Hear You: When Steven comes running home and shouts to Pearl that she texted him, she's busy running the vacuum on the warp pad, and is unable to hear what he's saying the first time.
  • Identity Impersonator: Pearl disguised herself as Rose Quartz, who was actually Pink Diamond, and pretended to publicly kill Pink Diamond.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • One of the memories Steven visits involves Pearl breaking down after she was told that Rose was pregnant with Steven.
      Pearl: What was she thinking?! She can't have a baby!
      Steven: [uncomfortable] Well, this is awkward.
    • Subverted when Steven asks Pearl point-blank if she had shattered Pink. He quickly reassures her that it's okay to tell him, he's not mad and just wants answers.
    • Rose was too excited about faking her death to notice that Pearl was downright uncomfortable about the fake diamond shards and also even hurting her Diamond. When Steven comes across Pearl after the latter poofed Pink, she's crying from the trauma of it.
  • Irony:
    • Steven gets proof that his mother didn't shatter Pink Diamond because she was Pink Diamond, with her Pearl being an eyewitness to the conspiracy but then put under a binding Geas to never tell anyone. These facts might have helped him in "The Trial" a few episodes earlier to prove Rose's innocence and save his bacon.
    • At the end of the episode, Garnet of all people has apparently picked up on Pearl's mannerism of covering her mouth.
  • It Was with You All Along: Pink Diamond was never shattered, she chose to become Rose Quartz who would become Steven's gem.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Most of the episode takes place inside Pearl's mind, with Steven having been sent inside by her and traveling deeper and deeper into her memory.
  • Justified Title: The title refers to Rose the character (and possibly Pearl impersonating her), but before executing their plan, Pink Diamond gives Pearl a single flower (a hibiscus, sometimes known as a rose of Sharon).
  • Last Request: Pink/Rose's last order as a Diamond to Pearl was to never talk about the faked assassination again.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Pearl's line "This will change everything"; the revelations in this episode completely alter the show's status quo.
    • After Steven learns the truth, Pearl says "I wanted to tell you for so long." This pretty closely mirrored the sentiment of the show's crew, who've been waiting since the show's pre-production (over five years) to reveal Rose's biggest secret.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: Pink Diamond's exact last order to Pearl was to tell her that no-one aside from them can know what really happened.
  • Loophole Abuse: Pink ordered Pearl to never tell anyone the truth. So she showed Steven the truth.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Pink Diamond is revealed to be Rose Quartz and thus Steven's mother. As a result, the other Diamonds are revealed to be his "aunts". One could consider all the gems made on Earth (Amethyst, Jasper, the Famethyst, and the real rose quartzes) to be Rose/Pink's children, and thus Steven's "sisters" (moreso than she already was, in Amethyst's case), though by that definition they were already Steven's aunts.
  • Mental World: Pearl has several in her head, layered like Inception, with each successive layer going back to an earlier period in Pearl's life. Unusually, it all seems to be a Pocket Dimension that physically exists, at least as the same Hard Light a gem's body is made of, and it's implied a Ghost in the Machine of Pearl's typed a text message for Steven. It's like the inside of Lion's mane, only Steven can breathe in it.
  • Metaphorically True: A meta example. The official episode description is "Steven helps Pearl find her cell phone." Although literally true, it dramatically undersells what the episode is really about.
  • Mole in Charge: Turns out, Pink Diamond was actually Rose Quartz, leader of the Crystal Gems. Unusually for this trope, the side she was really loyal to was the side her Secret Identity was on, while 'Pink Diamond' was on the side she wanted gone.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • When he's making his way through the Gem Battlefield, Steven bitterly remarks, "It better not turn out that [Pearl's] phone was in her pocket. Or she left it on the dresser or dropped it in the toilet. Seems about as likely as putting it away in your repressed war memories."
    • Right after Steven quietly utters that Rose Quartz was Pink Diamond all along, the scene immediately cuts to Garnet and Amethyst standing right behind him with Amethyst giving out a Big "WHAT?!". It's an abruptly comical ending to such a dramatic bombshell episode.
  • Morphic Resonance:
    • Pearl is able to convincingly imitate Rose, but can't disguise her eye color. Her gem is hidden by her bangs, which Steven can only see because he's significantly shorter than her.
    • Pink, on the other hand, gets around the issue of her distinct gem by rotating it within her body so the top is the only part showing, making it look identical to those of her Rose Quartz soldiers. The only way to tell is by poofing her. And her body mass is shifted from height to width.
      • Pink's disguise as Rose Quartz, although it did change her color scheme somewhat and hid her gem shape, had a similar-looking nose, bangs, and lips as Pink's default form.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Pearl was aghast at the Diamonds corrupting all the gems on Earth, not just because of how horrible it was, but because of the way she and Rose accidentally provoked it.
    • Despite knowing the plan and knowing that she was the only one who could help Pink Diamond, Pearl is devastated by having to attack and poof Pink Diamond.
  • The Namesake: During the episode, Steven receives a message from Pearl's cell phone, consisting of only a single pale rose. When Pearl sees this, she decides to let Steven find her phone. It turns out that before Pink Diamond faked her shattering, she gave a single pale rose to Pearl.
  • Noodle Implements: Pearl has some very odd items stored in her gem, including a packet of sea monkeys, a sailboat, and a shotgun.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Rose Quartz and Pink were the same person, meaning nearly everything that was believed to be true about Pink was not, and Steven is actually half-Diamond. The show's entire narrative is cast in a completely different light by this reveal, and Steven, Garnet, and Amethyst are suitably shocked.
  • Origins Episode: For Rose Quartz and Pearl.
  • Past-Life Memories: Steven discovers he's had visions of Pink Diamond's life because his mother is Pink Diamond.
  • Pensieve Flashback: Pearl uses the Mental World inside her gem to show Steven what she knows about Pink Diamond. Not only does it convey more than speaking could, it lets her get around her inability to speak of it.
  • Powerful and Helpless: Rose is revealed to be Pink Diamond, one of the four most powerful Gems in existence... but she was powerless to actually get her fellow Diamonds to leave Earth alone with anything other than her 'death'.
  • Puppet King: The implication from the last episode that Yellow and Blue had more authority on Earth than Pink did is teased again here, Pink/Rose making a comment about if Earth is really her colony, she wants to give it to humanity and the Crystal Gems.
  • Recursive Reality: To get to the truth, Steven goes inside Pearl's gem, where he finds another Pearl. That Pearl takes Steven inside her gem, where he finds another Pearl who takes him inside her gem, and so on until he gets to Pearl's deepest, darkest secret.
  • Ret-Canon: Previous-published issues of the Steven Universe Comic-Book Adaptation showed people entering Pearl's gem, through it's portrayed here quite differently.
  • The Reveal:
    • Rose and Pink were one and the same, and Rose "shattering" Pink was really Pearl disguised as Rose poofing her, with fake gem shards that she had swallowed earlier coming out to make it appear that she had been broken. This reveal also reveals that Steven is half-Diamond, not half-Quartz.
    • Pearl's hands involuntarily covering her mouth whenever she wants to tell Steven the truth shows that a Pearl physically can't disobey an order from her owner.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The events of the entire show up to this point become this. Just a few specific examples:
    • Why does Pearl refuse to shapeshift? It isn't that Pearls can't, but she doesn't want to due to her trauma over staging Pink Diamond's death while disguised as Rose Quartz and the consequences that followed.
    • This conversation in "We Need to Talk":
      Greg: I barely know you.
      Rose: That's a good thing.
      • Before that, she also says "I'm...not...a real person."
    • The conversation in "Rose's Scabbard".
      Rose: I'm going to stay and fight for this planet. You don't have to do this with me.
      Pearl: But I want to!
      Rose: [groans] I know you do. Please, please understand if we lose, we'll be killed, and if we win, we can never go home.
      • Pearl's freakout in the same episode takes on so many new dimensions after this — it's easy to see that Pearl was talking about how she knew things that nobody else in the Crystal Gems knew, and her breakdown becomes even worse when you realize that even after Rose trusted her with all this, there were still some things Rose didn't tell her.
    • This conversation from "Sworn to the Sword":
      Connie: Did Rose make you feel like you were nothing?
      Pearl: Rose made me feel... Like I was everything.
    • In "The Answer", as Blue Diamond is supervising the colonization of Earth, Rose Quartz tells her "Blue Diamond, leave this planet! This colony will not be completed!". Did Pink Diamond just perform an attack on what was essentially a family member and her army?
      • Additionally, even if Ruby hadn't intervened, Sapphire's prediction likely wouldn't have come true, given that she didn't know that Rose was actually Pink Diamond when making the prediction.
    • Pearl holding her hands over her mouth has happened pretty consistently in the show, including the time when they were on the moonbase and Eyeball Ruby said she saw Rose Quartz shatter Pink Diamond.
    • Not to mention why none of the fusion forms that Rose has been shown to have particularly looked like her, but on closer inspection do resemble Pink Diamond.
    • Pearl has been repeatedly shown throwing herself in front of Rose in dangerous situations, despite Rose being a far more formidable Gem with greater powers. Rose being poofed would have revealed her true identity.
    • In "Your Mother and Mine", during Garnet's flashback, Rose wields her sword in her right hand instead of her left, and her shield does not appear. The real one to "shatter" Pink Diamond was Pearl, who is right-handed and did not have access to Rose's shield, as it was Rose's gem weapon.
    • Rose Quartz had to shapeshift a womb so Steven could be born. But even though it wasn't a whole-body shapeshift, holding a shift for long isn't something most gems can do, and even Amethyst couldn't last longer than a few hours. Not only does Rose being a Diamond give her stronger powers than most gems, but she had a lot of experience holding her shifted form for long periods of time, since she spent so much time shifted into Rose's form.
    • The Beta Kindergarten is a complete hack-job, as Peridot takes great pleasure in pointing out in "Beta". It's in the middle of a desert with poor local stone, the exit holes are pointed every which way, and the Quartzes from there are usually weak and/or defective (Jasper being a big exception). Knowing that Pink Diamond was actually a Mole in Charge makes it likely that it was this way on purpose, as Pink wanted Homeworld's forces to be defeated. Jasper's creation was a classic Springtime for Hitler.
    • Rewatching most of Jasper's interactions with Steven gets kinda awkward when you realize that she spent most of her time attempting to kill her beloved Diamond.
    • Jasper's final outburst that Pink Diamond was Steven's Diamond is a lot more on the mark than she thought.
    • "Bubbled":
      • Eyeball claims that Steven's gem is more of a pinkish-red than the reddish-pink of a Rose Quartz. Turns out she was right.
      • Eyeball probably wouldn't be getting the hero's welcome she expected if she somehow managed to reach Homeworld with Steven's gem, given that she'd be handing Pink Diamond's gem over to her grieving kin, though she possibly would have recognized that it was Pink Diamond's gem. At which point she'd be in a whole other bucketload of trouble, especially if a pissed-off Diamond regenerated near her.
    • Steven's condemnation of the Rose illusion in "Storm in the Room" sounds even harsher now. Rose/Pink Diamond was a liar who was hiding from her mistakes, even if she did so with noble goals in mind.
      Steven: I finally know the truth. I know what you are! You're a liar! I thought you'd never want to hurt anyone! You hurt everyone! How could you just leave Garnet, and Amethyst and Pearl, and Dad? They don't know what to do without you! Maybe they didn't matter to you as much as hiding the mess you made! And that's why I'm here, isn't it? Did you just make me so you just wouldn't have to deal with your mistakes?
    • In "Gemcation", Garnet's flashback doesn't have Rose fighting Pink Diamond. Here we find out why. Also, the Gem destabilizers would have been perfect to fight one's own teammates without accidentally shattering one of them — and if Rose/Pink had used her gem weapon (shield) or her Green Thumb powers, she ran the risk of exposing herself.
    • There's even one in this episode where we see that the Pearls inside Pearl's pearl all had pink hair instead of the peach color normally seen. Thus givings us subtle clue to the reveal of who Pearl was made for.
    • Steven was constantly noted to have Super Strength and Super Toughness that exceeded even Quartz Gem standards. Diamonds are extremely tough, and he turns out to be Half-Diamond.
    • Clues that Rose was Pink all along go back to the very first episode of the series. When Steven's gem glowed as he was rapping the Cookie Cat Jingle, the glow was Pink Diamond's essence resonating with the Cookie Cat character's backstory, a story of "a refugee from an interstellar war" who "left his family behind."
  • Right Behind Me: Steven quietly laments that "Mom was Pink Diamond"... unaware that Amethyst and Garnet were standing right behind him the whole time. He doesn't even look when Amethyst shouts out her surprise, suggesting he's too shocked to pay attention.
  • Rummage Fail: Pearl tries to retrieve her cell phone from her gem, but is unable to find it, instead pulling out a number of random things including a remote control, a violin, an avionics textbook, one of Steven's star shirts and a stack of dollar bills.
  • Running Both Sides: The ruler of the Gem colony on Earth and the Rebel Leader trying to liberate the planet were the same person. However, Pink/Rose definitely wasn't running the whole Gem Empire, making it an unusual example aimed specifically at misleading an even higher authority.
  • Secret Identity: Pink Diamond and her Pearl were Rose Quartz and the Crystal Gem Pearl the entire time.
  • Secret Identity Identity: Pink Diamond liked being Rose Quartz much more than she did being herself, so much so that she eventually faked her own death and permanently assumed the "Rose Quartz" identity.
  • Secret Keeper: Pearl was the only one that knew the truth about Rose and Pink being the same person, but was ordered not to tell anyone else. It seems she can't disobey that order, no matter how much she wants to.
  • Secret Legacy: Steven being Pink Diamond's son/reincarnation technically makes him one of the Diamonds.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: As Steven goes deeper into Pearl's gem, it becomes increasingly clear precisely how the many tragedies which shaped her life have taken their toll on her.
  • Short-Distance Phone Call: Steven gets a text from Pearl, saying she wants to tell him what she knows but that she can't. Jarring part of it is, Pearl allegedly can't retrieve her phone, and he's looking right at her clearly not sending those texts as he receives them. Turns out an aspect of Pearl is the one reaching out to him.
  • Squee!: Rose/Pink Diamond squeals "Pearrrlllllll...!" when Pearl agrees to her plan.
  • Starting a New Life: Pink Diamond and her Pearl were secretly Rose Quartz and the "renegade" Pearl. They planned to fake the deaths of their original identities, free the Earth, and make their assumed identities their only ones.
  • Stealth Pun: Pink Diamond and Rose were the same person, Pink being the original identity, but Rose expressing her actual beliefs. In other words, Pink Diamond was that which we call Rose, by any other name—she is indeed sweet.
  • Super OCD: Pearl has many objects in her gem listed in alphabetical order.
  • That Man Is Dead: As they are preparing to fake Pink Diamond's death, Pink Diamond and her Pearl servant embrace becoming the Crystal Gems Rose Quartz and Pearl as their new identities.
    Pink Diamond: Soon it will be just... Rose.
  • Theme Song Reveal: As Rose shapeshifts into her original form, the Diamonds' Leitmotif plays.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: The Pearl that represents Pearl right after the corruption stares around at the breadth of the destruction, only looking at Steven when she sends him to the moment of Pink's supposed shattering, and speaks in a flat, shellshocked monotone.
  • Time for Plan B: It's heavily implied that her Faking the Dead plan was a last resort plan for Pink/Rose.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Steven always knew he was a Gem hybrid, but he finds out to his shock that he's actually half-Diamond, namely Pink Diamond, not a Rose Quartz.
  • Tomato Surprise:
    • Steven has never been poofed (it's unclear if he could survive it), and Rose's gem has never been seen outside of her construct given her outfit was almost always the same and Pearl may have been the only one to see it. As a result, its position in Rose and Steven's stomach (and that of the replica in the temple door) concealed its true shape—not like the Rose Quartzes bubbled in the Zoo, but that of a Diamond.
    • Before this episode, we never heard Pink Diamond's actual voice, just Stevonnie portraying her in a dream and Garnet voicing her as narrator. We also never heard any other Rose Quartz either. Now we find out Pink Diamond has Rose's voice, calling into question if that's what real Rose Quartzes sound like.
  • Tongue-Tied: Rose/Pink's last command to Pearl as a Diamond was "Please, let's never speak of this again" while putting her hands over Pearl's mouth in the same position she keeps taking whenever she tries to talk about it.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Going in part from the flashback in the previous episode, it seems like Pink/Rose's original plan was to use the rebellion as an excuse for abandoning Earth to the Crystal Gems and humanity, only for Blue and Yellow to nix that plan.
  • Two Aliases, One Character:
    • Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond are the same person. Pink faked her death to assume the identity of Rose Quartz.
    • Pink Diamond's Pearl and Pearl are the same person, and is shown in a completely different form than the one she's been shown as in the war flashbacks while with Rose as Pink Diamond. Thus, like Pink Diamond, it seems she was using a Secret Identity.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Pink faked her death on the assumption her fellow Diamonds wouldn't care and would just leave Earth alone. She was wrong. So very wrong.
  • Wham Episode: The biggest on the series so far.
  • Wham Line:
    • Pearl's text: I want to tell you, but I can't. 🙊note 
    • Rose, to Pearl: I can't exactly shatter myself.
    • Steven: Mom was Pink Diamond.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Right after entering Shellshocked Pearl's memories, Steven is on the floor surrounded by roses and pink gem shards, foreshadowing this is Pearl's memory of Pink Diamond's shattering.
    • A crying Rose Quartz looking up at Steven, revealing Pearl's blue eyes and forehead Gem, immediately followed by her holding out her hand to Steven to reveal a very much non-shattered pink diamond.
    • After discussing her plan with Pearl, Rose shapeshifts and her gemstone reorients to show her actual form: Pink Diamond.
  • Wingding Eyes: "Rose" gets stars in her eyes when Pearl agrees to go through with her plan.
  • Your Size May Vary: Pink is about twice as tall as Pearl in the flashback scene, compared to the murals showing her equivalent to the other Diamonds and the implication that she was closer to Stevonnie's size in "Jungle Moon".

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