Spoiler Policy: All spoilers up to and including the currently discussed episode will be unmarked. Spoilers for episodes beyond the current point will be enclosed in Fast Forward blocks, which will include spoilers for the entire series.
I’ve been excited about this one for a while!
But before we begin, there’s something I’d like to discuss…
The Master List of Steven’s Trauma
Inspired by a particular recent episode and the ensuing discussion, I thought it would be a good idea to keep a compiled list of all the traumatic events Steven experiences throughout the series.
Not to spoil anything, but there’s a lot. We’ve already seen many of them!
Here are the ones we have from the most recent episode (that we have already seen in previous Rewind articles):
- His favorite ice cream was discontinued and he was attacked by a corrupted Gem [Gem Glow]
- He was trapped in a bubble with Connie [Bubble Buddies]
- He turned into an uncontrollable mass of adorable kittens [Cat Fingers]
- He nearly died of old age [So Many Birthdays]
- Amethyst nearly died when her gem was cracked [An Indirect Kiss]
- Pearl was poofed by Holo-Pearl [Steven the Sword Fighter]
Here’s a few more that we’ve already seen:
- He was attacked by a mutated breakfast [Together Breakfast]
- Whatever the heck happened in Frybo [Frybo]
- He destroyed half of Funland by jumping off the teacups ride, then has to encounter an ancient Gem version of a teacups ride [Serious Steven]
- He was eaten by a giant monster bird [Giant Woman]
- He was almost suffocated by magic moss [Lars and the Cool Kids]
- He and Connie were attacked by some kind of training machine in Rose’s old armory [Lion 2: The Movie]
- He was trapped in a creepy, malfunctioning simulation version of Beach City [Rose’s Room]
- He had to watch as Pearl was beaten up by, and then fought, Sugilite [Coach Steven]
- He learned to stay true to himself by watching himself die [Steven and the Stevens]
- He watched the little monster buddy he trained sacrifice herself to save him [Monster Buddies]
- Lapis nearly drowned him [Ocean Gem]
- His father lied to him and destroyed his confidence [House Guest]
- Pearl nearly killed him by taking him on a ride in an untested spaceship and refusing to bail until it was almost too late [Space Race]
- He was stranded on a desert island for over a week [Island Adventure]
- He was kidnapped by Ronaldo [Keep Beach City Weird]
We’ve got at least one more to add to the list this week, so let’s get to it.
Lion 3: Straight to Video
Official Description: Lion won’t stop laying on Steven’s face while he sleeps.
Certain important SU episodes have descriptions that are technically correct but hilariously vague and missing the point of the episode, to avoid spoilers. This is one of our first good examples.
We open on Steven making a critically important life decision: picking a snack out of these, uh, “enticing” options. He’s trying to branch out from just eating donuts, because he wants to be “living life to the fullest and trying new things.”
Obviously, this is a not-so-subtle nod to the video Steven will watch later in the episode, where Rose enthuses about all the unique experiences humans can have.
Steven considers trying out spicy pretzels, but Lion bumps up against the Lion Lickers freezer. Steven protests that those are gross.
Steven spots a bunch of bags in the freezer marked with Sadie’s name. Sadie explains that they’re lunches her mom made her, and that she doesn’t usually eat them because she thinks it’s a little embarrassing that her mom still treats her like a kid.
We’ll get to see more of Sadie’s mom and her occasionally tense relationship with Sadie in Sadie’s Song.
Sadie lets Steven take home one of her lunches, and he unpacks it with Lion looking on, admiring the sandwich cut into a perfect diagonal and the star-shaped cookie for dessert.
He looks up at the painting of Rose Quartz. “I wonder what kind of lunch my mom would’ve made me. I just wish I knew a little more about her.”
The answer to the first question is probably not a great kind of lunch because your mom was a space alien who did not understand human food all that well.
While it’s understandable at this point that Steven really wants to know more about Rose, he’s eventually going to regret learning too much about her…
Back in Lion 2, Lion suddenly responded to Steven commenting that he wasn’t trained very well, bringing him to one of Rose’s training spots. We see that same dynamic here, as Steven wishing he knew more about Rose causes Lion to stare at and nuzzle him.
Steven: Blink if this means you love me! (blows into Lion’s eyes, forcing him to blink) He loves me!
Steven makes a bed for Lion on the couch downstairs at night, but in true cat form, he ignores it in favor of climbing into Steven’s bed. When Steven kicks him out, he continues to be a pain, grabbing Steven’s comforter and Sir Bearington.
Steven finally manages to kick Lion out of his bedroom and go to sleep. He wakes up here, in this strange pink location he doesn’t recognize.
I really love the lighting and color scheme in the Lion’s mane scenes, and the lovely gentle music that plays.
Before Steven can figure out where he is, he realizes he can’t breathe.
Back in Steven’s room, Steven is struggling and suffocating underneath Lion, who is laying across his face. Pearl frantically pulls him out and asks him why Lion is acting this way. Steven isn’t sure why Lion has become so clingy all of a sudden. He asks Pearl why she was in his room, and she confesses that she often likes to watch him sleep.
This is fascinating from a character standpoint. It’s been established that Gems don’t need to sleep, and while most of them are capable of it, it seems like most of them don’t.
In particular, Chille Tid reveals that Pearl has no idea how to sleep.
The concept of requiring sleep must be fascinating and terrifying to an alien species that doesn’t. In Pearl’s eyes, this fragile organic being she’s sworn to protect becomes unconscious and defenseless for hours on end for reasons she doesn’t fully understand. It’s really unsurprising that she would choose to watch Steven sleep, especially since she likely doesn’t realize how creepy that could be.
Steven chases both Lion and Pearl out of his room, then tries to go back to sleep. When he opens his eyes, Lion is there, so he shoos him off again. When he opens his eyes again, both Lion and Pearl are there, and he chases them away and finally goes to sleep.
Cut to Steven’s dream, where he’s playing checkers with Dogcopter. When Steven asks how he got to be so talented, Dogcopter offers this surprisingly erudite advice:
“Don’t focus so much on talent, Steven. Making art is all about communication. A piece of art is a conversation. Every choice you make is a statement. Don’t worry about labels or conforming to a standard. Just be true to yourself and people will appreciate your honesty.”
This is actually really good advice about creating art, especially coming from a dream version of a dog with a helicopter blade, and it’s almost certainly a philosophy the Steven Universe creators subscribe to themselves. The idea that you shouldn’t focus on talent and that art is about communication are things I try to keep in mind myself.
The idea that a piece of art is a conversation, of course, foreshadows the video that Steven will find, which is literally half of a conversation between him and his mother.
The statement that “a piece of art is a conversation” also reminds me of Stronger Than You, where Garnet declares herself to be a conversation. In fact, the importance of healthy communication is one of the biggest takeaways from SU as a whole, especially given what we’ve seen in Future so far.
Dogcopter tells Steven to take a deep breath, because he’s about to find himself…
Steven thinks to himself that it feels familiar — and as we’ll learn, it’s probably not just because he saw it a few minutes ago.
Steven wakes up and pulls himself out from under Lion, asking him what’s going on. Lion rolls over and exposes his belly. Steven should know that every time a cat rolls over for a belly rub, it’s a trap — and so is this. Lion grasps Steven with his paws and pushes his face into his mane, and when Steven tries to pull free, he even extends his claws.
Steven’s Trauma List: Repeatedly suffocated by Lion
An irritated Steven pushes Lion out the door, saying he’s on time out. When Steven shuts the door and stomps back upstairs, Lion makes pitiful noises and sad eyes. Steven, of course, is the world’s biggest softy and can’t resist, so he runs back downstairs and gives Lion a hug.
Lion pushes Steven into his mane with his paw, and Steven finds himself back on the pink plain from his “dream” again. Steven finally realizes that he’s been phasing into Lion’s mane this entire time. He takes a deep breath and goes in again, entering and exiting the portal until Lion gets annoyed. Finally, he takes another deep breath and enters the mane completely.
This is the first time we see the pocket dimension inside of Lion’s mane, and I’m reminded all over again why I love the color choices in this show. Steven looks around and spots a far-off tree in the distance.
This pocket dimension is going to be critically important multiple times in the series, but perhaps most notably in Lars’ Head. In that episode, Steven’s revival of Lars has caused Lars’ own hair to have a portal inside it, and this results in the pocket dimension containing two trees.
Beneath the tree there are several things that — as we’ll soon find out — Rose considered important to preserve. There’s Rose’s sword, which we saw Steven and Connie pull out of Lion in Lion 2. Beneath it is the videotape that features in this episode. Next to the video is a copy of the same picture of Greg and Rose that Greg keeps in his storage unit, as seen in Laser Light Cannon.
The battle flag will appear again in Rose’s Scabbard, which Pearl uses as a prop to tell Steven stories about the war. The Mr. Universe shirt will appear in Story for Steven — it was Greg’s first gift to Rose, and the fact that it has a place of pride here shows how much Rose cared for Greg.
The chest, of course, disappointed everyone by never being opened in the series proper. It appears open in the movie, just to troll fans. My theory? I think the chest was put there to give the Crewniverse a way to introduce more items in Rose’s dimension in case they ever needed that as a plot point. Since they didn’t end up using it, they just showed the chest open in the movie. Either that, or it contained the last of the Cookie Cats.
Oh yes, and one more thing…
This mysterious bubbled Gem!
I was talking last week about how this week’s episode introduces my favorite Gem, but I had forgotten that we actually see the first appearance of one of my other favorite Gems. I love Bismuth a lot, and I’m very excited to get to her official appearances in the series.
I’m very glad that she is now living her best life roller skating and awkwardly flirting with Pearl.
But, you know… Steven probably should have told the other Gems that he found a bubbled Gem in Lion’s mane. Granted, the situation with Bismuth would have probably gone much worse with a less experienced and mature Steven, but you’d think finding a Gem is something that Steven would have brought up. He isn’t very inquisitive, so maybe he assumes it’s just another corrupted Gem?
Steven picks up the videotape on the ground, and sees that it’s addressed to him. As he’s wondering who put it there, he runs out of breath. He can’t exit Lion’s mane from the hill, so he races down towards the grass, trips, and falls out of the mane.
In the house, Pearl is explaining to Amethyst and Garnet that Steven doesn’t want her to watch him sleep any more, so one of them will have to do it, clearly missing the point.
Steven runs to the Big Donut, where Sadie and Lars are opening up. He whispers in Sadie’s ear and she leads him back to the break room, where they have a TV / VCR combo — this was seen in Joking Victim, when Sadie made Steven watch a training video.
The video begins with a few shots of the ocean, followed by this view of the Crystal Temple without the house in front of it.
It cuts to a younger Greg doing a silly prance across the beach, followed by him sleeping with a seagull perched on him. “Greg made a friend,” says a woman’s voice.
Sadie seems to recognize the voice — considering she’s at least a few years older than Steven, it’s entirely possible that she met Rose when she was young.
The woman asks Greg to introduce himself, and he does so, but then backs up and wants to redo it. In the next shot, he’s posing dramatically with his guitar: “They call me Mr. Universe! Get ready, baby! You’re gonna have the coolest dad on this side of the cosmos!” He asks Rose to push the button for a transition (I remember when camcorders had these!) and she tries a few things. There’s a cute gag where Rose hits a button that makes it look like the episode is irising out.
Rose turns the camera back on herself, and we see her for the first time apart from a painting or photo.
Isn’t it remarkable, Steven? The world is full of so many possibilities. Each living thing has an entirely unique experience. The sights they see, the sounds they hear. The lives they live are so complicated, and so simple. I can’t wait for you to join them. Steven, we can’t both exist. I’m going to become half of you. And I need you to know that every moment you love being yourself, that’s me, loving you and loving being you. Because you’re going to be something extraordinary. You’re going to be a human being. Take care of them, Steven.
I transcribed this entire speech because it’s absolutely core to the entire series. Also, because it makes me cry.
The most crucial part of this is that we learn Rose’s motivation for giving up her life to give birth to Steven. In case it wasn’t clear before, we learn that she did this willingly, with full knowledge of what was going to happen, and that she did it because she admired humanity so much that she wanted (effectively) to join it.
Even though this is Rose’s speech to Steven, I think it also serves largely as the Crewniverse’s philosophy towards humanity in general: that life is beautiful, and precious, and full of possibility and opportunity. They’re trying to say that we should love ourselves and that all of us are extraordinary purely for living our complicated and simple lives. It’s something that I genuinely wish we could all take to heart.
One common observation of Rose’s arc is that we effectively see it in reverse. Her first major appearance on the show, in this episode, is Rose at the end of her journey, performing arguably her most selfless act in creating Steven. Later in the series, we learn about the many mistakes she made, some of which may be considered irredeemable.
Did Rose truly create Steven because she loved humanity and wanted to create a human/Gem hybrid that badly? Or was she simply running from taking responsibility for the problems she caused? It doesn’t necessarily have to be either/or; I think there’s evidence for both. Like many of SU’s characters, Rose/Pink does not fall simply into a bucket of good and evil: she did terrible things, and wonderful things, and neither of those cancel each other out, and they all exist in one person, just like many real life historical figures.
When Rose talks about each living thing having an entirely unique experience, this is foreshadowing for what Gem society is like: every Gem is designed to fulfill a role and meant to be as identical as possible to every other Gem of their type, and any significant deviations from the norm are harshly punished. By the end of the series, the Crystal Gems have finally created a society where Gems can live freely and choose what they want to do as well, thus fulfilling one of Rose’s dreams.
The last shot is Greg fondly patting Rose’s pregnant stomach, showing that Rose actually did carry Steven like a human would carry a child.
As the video ends, Lars opens the break room door to find Steven and Sadie crying. Steven walks out of the room, giving a high five to Lars’ chest (as he did in Lars and the Cool Kids). Sadie tearfully calls her mom to talk.
This is considered one of the greatest Steven Universe episodes of all, and for good reason. Rose’s video at the end is gut-wrenching and lays out almost everything you need to know about the series as a whole. The scenes in Lion’s mane are absolutely gorgeous. This episode also establishes a few mysteries (such as the Gem in Lion’s mane) and introduces some critical lore. This episode is unquestionably a highlight of Season 1B.
Official Description: Steven thinks he sees something creepy traversing the warp streams.
The Crystal Gems are walking through a lovely field of flowers, having just completed a mission and in obvious high spirits. Amethyst and Pearl are getting along surprisingly well and complimenting each other on their techniques while bringing down the corrupted Gem.
Steven’s the only one not having a good time, as he’s obviously allergic to flowers.
It’s warming up where I am and we’re starting to get pollen everywhere, and it’s only a matter of a week or two at most before I look exactly like this. I sympathize a lot with Steven here.
As they warp back home, Steven is about to sneeze. Amethyst urges him to “do it at Pearl!” despite how well they were getting along. Steven’s sneeze actually forces him partially out of the warp, where we get this great shot of what Warp Space actually looks like.
Steven spots another warp activating and this little round object inside of it.
Garnet pulls him back in, knocking the ice off his face. Pearl points out that it’s dangerous to go outside the stream, and Garnet says, “There’s not much air and it’s very cold.”
How do the warps work anyway? Is there actually air and heat inside of the warps? That’s kind of surprising given that the Gems (apart from Steven) don’t actually need it.
Steven tries to tell the Gems what he saw, but they dismiss it. Pearl thinks it’s because his vision is blurry from the pollen. Garnet says that there hasn’t been anything else in the warps for a long, long time.
Back at the house, Steven tries to sleep, but keeps getting jolted awake in terror. (Between this and the allergies, Steven is more relatable than usual in this episode.) He keeps glancing over at the warp pad in fear.
He gets startled by Amethyst raiding the fridge, looking for a late night snack of macaroni cheese (i.e. the packets from mac’n’cheese dinners.)
Steven tells Amethyst he can’t sleep, and she teases him about being “scared of the thing you saw warping right into the house and attacking you while you sleep” before heading back into her room.
Amethyst is particularly unhelpful this episode.
Steven decides he’s going to stay up all night guarding the warp pad with his water gun.
In the morning, Steven has fallen asleep in front of the screen door. Pearl taps on him to wake him up, and Steven, startled, squirts her in the face. Garnet produces a tray of cookies and says that now Steven’s not getting any.
Garnet baking cookies is kind of wild given that most of the Gems don’t seem to have a solid grasp on how food works. Also, she really doesn’t need to wear oven mitts.
Steven apologizes to Pearl and admits that he didn’t sleep much last night. Pearl thinks it’s ridiculous that he’s still worried about the thing in the warps, and tries to explain it to Steven: “Nothing on Earth can use the warps but us. Do you understand? Nod in agreement if you understand.”
Now, it becomes obvious as the episode is going on that Pearl is actually being driven by blind, screaming fear here, but I still find her condescension here a bit hard to watch. Considering they just had a rogue Gem on Earth and they don’t know for sure where’s she’s gone, it’s clearly not the case that they know for sure that nothing on Earth can use the warps.
Garnet takes a more sensible approach: she offers to to take the Gems to go check on the warp locations.
First, they arrive at the flower fields from earlier in the episode, where they find nothing.
Next, it’s the Geode from House Guest. Greg’s duct tape is still holding it together admirably.
Finally, they arrive at the Sky Spire from Giant Woman. The goat that Amethyst dubbed Steven Jr. has now had kids, and the Gems tease Steven about being a grandfather. Steven gets irritated that they’re getting off track, and Pearl points out that they’ve already looked everywhere.
Steven gets surprisingly angry and mutters, “You’re wrong.” Pearl is shocked.
This moment really makes me think of how Steven is growing from a child into a teenager, and the natural disagreements with parents that come with the territory.
Pearl once again points out that nothing on Earth can use the warps.
Steven: But what if it came from space?
Pearl: I don’t appreciate your tone.
Note that she doesn’t actually deny Steven’s point, because something coming from space is what Pearl has been fearing all along, particularly since Lapis made it off-world in Ocean Gem. Her denials have less to do with the impossibility of what Steven proposes and more to do with the fact that she really, really can’t deal with it if it is true.
They arrive at the Galaxy Warp, which contains the warps that once connected the Earth to other planets. Pearl condescendingly explains that the warp pad is broken, and that Steven checked that it was broken and marked it with a Crying Waffle sticker himself.
Amethyst concedes that Pearl is right, and Garnet puts a hand on Steven’s head and tells him he’s safe. He doesn’t seem comforted at all.
Amethyst: Finally! That took all day!
Garnet: It was important to make Steven feel secure.
Pearl: Yes, Steven feels much better now.
Steven: I’m a little tired of you guys telling me how I feel!
Steven turns on the Gems angrily, and I can’t blame him here. They have their reasons — primarily the fear that he might be right — but they really are treating him poorly. It’s also an example of how they’re still very much treating him as a child at times and not an actual member of the team, and how they sometimes fail to take Steven’s concerns seriously.
Steven and Pearl begin loudly squabbling about what Steven saw. Amethyst is entertained: “Uh, this is new. I kinda like it.” As the argument reaches a fever pitch, Garnet breaks them up and tells Steven to drop it.
That night, Steven stays up guarding the warp pad and eating “macaroni and nothing” (since Amethyst ate all the cheese packets the night before). Amethyst tells him, “We can hang out again when you stop being such a sad sack.” Even in these early episodes, Amethyst is usually a little more supportive than this, I think.
An irritated Steven declares that he’s given up, that everyone else was right and that he was wrong, and that nothing is going to come from the warp pad. Just as he says this, a round object crashes through the ceiling.
This little robot is called a Flask Robonoid and I LOVE THEM.
These little guys are so cute and I’m glad Peridot has them back — with little matching visors, too! — in the movie.
Steven laughs hysterically and declares that he was right. The Robonoid tries to get to the warp pad, but Steven blocks his path, causing it to tackle Steven. They roll around on the ground, and the Robonoid tries to spray greenish goop in Steven’s face.
Steven calls out for the Gems as he fights the Robonoid. As the Robonoid punches him in the gut with its legs, he grabs it and swings it around, knocking it into the warp pad and chipping it. The now damaged Robonoid gets up and sprays green goo at the crack in the warp pad, repairing it. It almost immediately begins to active the warp, and Steven jumps on it, causing them to warp together.
In the warp stream, Steven is surrounded by many other Robonoids, who cluster around him and shove him out of the stream, still clutching the Robonoid from the house.
Steven congratulates himself on being right, before resigning himself to his fate: “And now I’m gonna die, a tired, frozen little sad sack.”
Steven’s Trauma List: Nearly freezing to death in the cold of the warp space after the Gems all disbelieved what he saw.
Suddenly, a warp appears behind him, and Garnet’s hands pull him into the warp stream.
Garnet takes the Robonoid from Steven, and admits that she should have listened to him: “You’re a Crystal Gem too.” Steven looks so happy to hear her say that.
Amethyst and Pearl catch up to them.
Pearl: Amethyst heard the warp pad activate, and Garnet said you were floating outside the stream…
This is almost an outright mention of Garnet’s future vision, which still has not been revealed.
Neither Amethyst and Pearl recognize the Robonoid.
This is an early indication of something that becomes more clear as of The Message: Homeworld tech has moved on a lot since the Crystal Gems last saw it.
The Gems arrive at the Galaxy Warp, where the Homeworld warp — I think this is the first time it’s called that in the series — is being repaired by dozens of the Robonoids. In just a few seconds, they’ve fully fixed the warp. Steven asks what that means, and a terrified Pearl says, “I don’t know.”
I would like to take this moment to remind you that here at Steven Universe Rewind, I love all Gems and am dedicated to giving them all the analysis they deserve, regardless of which Gems happen to be my personal favorites.
On an unrelated note, the Gems quickly duck behind a pillar as the warp activates.
IT’S PERIDOT YOU GUYS I’M SO EXCITED
I FINALLY WROTE ENOUGH OF THESE ARTICLES THAT I MADE IT TO PERIDOT
…Anyway, this brand new Gem appears on the warp pad, stomping on it as if she’s testing it. She’s also accompanied by her very own theme music. Its slightly glitchy electronic sounds match her personality in these early episodes perfectly, and provides a good contrast to the other Crystal Gems who tend to have more traditional instruments in their backing music.
Garnet and Pearl have no idea who she is.
That’s pretty interesting, given that both would have been familiar with all the common Gem types when they lived on Homeworld (or in Garnet’s case, Sapphire likely would be). There are a couple of possibilities here. One is that Peridots did not exist back then — they were created to maintain tech, and tech became much more advanced in Era 2, so perhaps in Era 1, other types of Gems did maintenance and Peridot as a type is fairly new.
That seems unlikely, though, given that Peridot specifically describes herself as an “Era 2 Peridot.” Another possibility is that Era 1 Peridots looked very different, such that Garnet and Pearl don’t recognize what she is. This would make some sense, given that Era 2 Peridots are wearing limb enhancers, something that was almost certainly created for Era 2 amidst the resource shortage.
Peridot’s hands have floating fingers that can separate from her wrist and do things like form a holographic screen. “Log Date 3 1 2. This is Peridot, performing Earth hub maintenance check.”
Much later, Peridot will preface her tape recorded diary entries in the same way, leading to one of my favorite episodes of all time, Log Date 7 15 2.
At this moment, it’s unclear why Peridot is checking on the Earth hub now, as opposed to any of other time in the past. Later, we learn that it’s because the Cluster, the geoweapon in the center of the Earth, is close to hatching, and Yellow Diamond wants to check on its progression.
Looking at initial reactions to this episode, people speculated for a long time about whether Peridot’s hands and feet were a natural part of her body, if she were partially or entirely a robot, or if they were prosthetics. In Catch and Release we find out definitively that they’re called “limb enhancers” and are indeed a kind of prosthetic.
Peridot announces that she’s “preparing to manually relocate and activate the kindergarten.”
We won’t find out what the kindergarten is until On the Run, where we learn that kindergartens are the places where Gems are grown, and Peridot won’t make it there until Marble Madness. It isn’t until late Season 2 that we learn that Peridot was heading to the kindergarten to check on the progress of the Cluster.
The Robonoid Steven broke bumps up against Peridot’s legs. “Aww, they’re like her babies,” says Steven, head poking out over the warp pad. Peridot makes a face and crushes the broken Robonoid underfoot.
This is obvious foreshadowing to what Homeworld culture is like — a ruthless society where anything or anyone who isn’t useful or able to fulfill their prescribed role gets shattered or worse.
Also, they try really hard to make Peridot intimidating and it kind of works the first time around, but it sure doesn’t on a rewatch.
Peridot steps off the warp, but notices the Crying Waffle sticker that Steven had placed there in Space Race. “This site may have been compromised,” she says. She returns to the Homeworld warp, dropping an EMP charge that disables all the Flask Robonoids as she leaves.
Peridot will bring up the sticker in Marble Madness: “Is this your bizarre icon?!”
It’s unclear to me why she disables all the Robonoids. If she hadn’t done that, she could have probably made it off-world following the events of Jail Break, so I guess it’s a good thing she didn’t.
The Gems emerge from their hiding place and immediately lose it.
Pearl: They’re coming back. I can’t do this. Not again.
Amethyst: We’re dead! We’re so dead!
This episode makes explicit some information that was hinted at by previous episodes: that there was a major conflict between the Crystal Gems and other Gems in the past, and that the Crystal Gems have isolated themselves on purpose and don’t want to be found.
Pearl’s immediate meltdown gives context to her actions earlier: she was being so obnoxious and condescending towards Steven because she is desperately afraid of the implications of other Gems or Gem tech arriving on Earth. As we’ll see, she has very good reasons to be afraid.
Pearl, of course, is thinking of the Gem War. She knows very well that if Homeworld comes to Earth, with only a tiny handful of Gems left to defend it, humanity and the Crystal Gems are doomed.
It is a little comical to see them freaking out about impending doom in response to Peridot. Looking at initial reactions to this episode, there was speculation that Peridot might be some incredibly powerful Gem, maybe even the main villain of the series. Of course, it isn’t long before we learn that Peridot is an ordinary maintenance worker, and the Gems are not afraid of Peridot herself, but that her presence means that Homeworld is taking an interest in Earth once again.
Steven: Was that another Gem? Where did she come from? What was she trying to do?
Garnet: It doesn’t matter. She’s not coming back!
Garnet increases her gauntlets to an enormous size and smashes the Homeworld warp.
This is a good example of Steven asking relevant questions that the Gems really should be paying attention to, and Garnet kind of brushing them off because of her own fear and stubbornness.
I really wish Garnet could use her future vision to see that one day, this Gem they’re all flipping out about is going to wear a cute yellow dress and be the flower girl at her wedding.
Warp Tour holds a place near and dear to the void where my heart should be because it introduces my favorite Gem, Peridot. I loved her pretty much from the outset — initially, because of her design, her theme music, and the mysterious lore she hints at.
Later, I realized that she’s a frustrated tech worker and that knowledge cemented her as my favorite Gem forever. She only gets better from there.
It seems somewhat fitting that I’m writing this article on Warp Tour just a little over a week after Peridot’s sendoff episode, In Dreams. It’s so heartwarming to see how she went from the cold, emotionless worker we see here to a happy, creative, enthusiastic Gem who is always there for her friends.
Just as Ocean Gem was only the start of Lapis discussion, I’m going to have a lot more to say about Peridot in upcoming episodes. Probably too much. I’m not sorry.
Next Time on Steven Universe Rewind! We’re graced with another pair of excellent episodes. Alone Together is one of the all-time greats, and The Test provides us with a sweet insight into the relationship between Steven and the Crystal Gems.