Steven Universe Rewind: Maximum Capacity / Marble Madness

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.

Maximum Capacity

Official Description: A garage sale reunites Greg and Amethyst with their favorite cheesy sitcom.

That description is a little off because there’s no garage sale in this episode, but okay.

Steven and Greg are carrying a promotional standee of Greg from the car wash, intending to put it in the storage unit for the winter. There’s a cute father / son moment where Steven is talking about what fireworks he likes best and Greg says he just likes watching them with Steven.

We last saw Greg’s storage unit in Laser Light Cannon, and it’s become even more full since then. Greg comments that he hasn’t really cleaned it out “since your mom…”

This is the first, unsubtle nod to the fact that this episode deals with the fact that Greg and the Gems haven’t really fully dealt with their feelings around Rose’s death. The fact that Greg hasn’t cleaned out the storage unit after all those years and can’t even finish his sentence are good indicators that he still has unresolved issues.

There’s no room for the standee, and things are starting to spill outwards, so Greg thinks it might be a good time to finally do some cleaning. Steven offers to get him one of the Gems to help.

Here’s Amethyst!

Greg understandably thought that he was going to fetch Pearl. Steven points out that Pearl shouldn’t see this, and that Amethyst knows how to handle a room full of junk. (Granted, she “handles” it by piling it in big heaps and leaping off of it.)

Greg protests having Amethyst help with cleaning out the unit. Amethyst comments that she’s “seen Greg’s junk before,” which…. wow. This episode is full of hints that Amethyst and Greg may have had some kind of previous romantic relationship (or perhaps a one-sided one) in the past, starting with this one.

Amethyst comments that Greg needs a system, which is potentially a callback to Together Breakfast where she tells Pearl she has a system for her room. Steven comes up with the sensible solution of dividing everything into piles marked Keep, Sell, Burn. Amethyst proceeds to ruin this system by dumping lots of obvious trash into the Keep pile.

Steven is excited about a box of books he finds. Greg asks when books became cool again, and Steven comments that he’s been reading more since they grounded him from TV for a thousand years. This happened in Fusion Cuisine, when Greg and the Gems were angry with him for running away with Connie. Greg, predictably, does not remember this.

Greg checks the books to make sure they’re appropriate, and removes the one in the picture above, Passions of Xanxor. Of course, it features a large alien woman embracing a swooning human man. Can’t imagine why Greg would like this book.

Amethyst turns into Purple Puma and horses around with Steven as Greg finds this picture of him and Rose. Steven accidentally broke the picture frame in Laser Light Cannon. Amethyst glances at the photo and looks rather ambivalent.

Amethyst shouts that she found something that isn’t junk. Greg asks if it’s the deed to his uncle’s mansion.

Future Vision

Later, we’ll learn that Greg’s aunt and uncle were the ones who owned the barn, and we’ll meet their son, Andy.

[collapse]

Amethyst has actually found old videotapes of cheesy sitcom Lil Butler. Greg is thrilled, and comments that they used to watch those tapes all the time when Steven was little.

Lil Butler is a sitcom about an extremely rich family finding a baby dropped off at their doorstep. That baby actually turns out to be a diminutive butler who solves their problems. His catchphrase is “You people have too much money!”

Steven refuses to watch the show because he’s the only one interested in enforcing his grounding from TV. Greg and Amethyst immediately become absorbed in it, Greg telling Steven they can finish cleaning out the storage unit tomorrow.

The next day, Steven orders two breakfast specials from our season’s allotment of Peedee. These two kids’ winter looks are so cute. Steven talks about cleaning out the storage unit, and Peedee compliments him on being so practical. He’s been helping his dad clean up the fry shack, including washing out the condiment bottles — three times, because odd numbers feel cleaner. Steven’s reaction to this is about what people’s reactions are when I tell them things like that.

They talk about the New Year’s Festival that night and how they’re both excited about fireworks. You can see the poster, featuring Mayor Dewey’s face, in the picture above.

Back in the storage unit, Greg and Amethyst are watching and laughing along with Lil Butler. Amethyst seems wistful about how “everything’s always great with [Lil Butler],” and encourages Greg to watch another episode. Steven arrives, surprised that they stayed up all night watching TV. He tries to get them interested in cleaning out the storage unit, but they’re both too absorbed in the show. Steven says he’ll meet them at the fireworks.

At the fireworks, Pearl is wearing a sweater Steven pulled out of the storage unit, and Garnet is wearing this amazing Cool Dad! jacket. If you ask me, Garnet should always be wearing a Cool Dad jacket.

Steven says that he hopes that Greg and Amethyst show up soon, and Pearl asks why they would be coming together: “Are they hanging out again?”

Pearl and Garnet seem surprised and mildly displeased to learn that those two have been sitting around watching Lil Butler together. Apparently, they used to hang out a lot, disappearing for days to watch those tapes, until one day they just mysteriously stopped.

The fireworks are set off at midnight, and everyone cheers and makes noise. Pearl adorably clinks a wooden spoon against this glass dish, asking how her volume is. “It’s low,” says Garnet, standing up and slamming two pans together hard enough to make everyone vibrate. Steven’s upset that his father didn’t show, and doesn’t join in.

At the storage unit, Greg and Amethyst are still watching the show. Greg hears the fireworks and stands up, realizing he missed seeing the fireworks with Steven. “How did I get so sucked into this show again? It’s like everything else disappears!”

Here, we have a hint as to why Greg and Amethyst used to get so absorbed in the show. This binge watching apparently happened when Steven was little: in other words, right after Rose’s death. It seems highly likely that Greg and Amethyst used escapist TV as a coping mechanism for their grief.

Amethyst dismisses Greg’s concern about missing the fireworks. “He’ll be fine, he’s Steven, he’s tough.”

Future Vision

This attitude towards Steven’s feelings is going to get all the Crystal Gems in a lot of trouble eventually when they ignore the warning signs of Steven’s deteriorating mental health…

[collapse]

Amethyst teases Greg by shapeshifting into Steven and imitating how excited he would be about the fireworks. Greg says, “Amethyst, you know how I feel about shapeshifting.” This is a callback to Cat Fingers when Greg was deeply uncomfortable about a shapeshifted Amethyst. We’re about to see why.

Amethyst continues to taunt Greg by shapeshifting into him.

Greg: I know you like making me uncomfortable, but it’s not funny. I can’t stay here and humor you. I have to be there for my son.

Amethyst: Well, what about me, huh? I had someone who was always there for me until she started hanging out with you!

And oh boy, is there a lot to unpack here. We’ve had hints at Greg’s sometimes rocky relationship with the Crystal Gems mostly through Pearl obviously disliking him and Greg’s discomfort with “Gem stuff,” but I believe this is the first time they’ve overtly addressed Greg’s relationship with Rose and how it eventually led to Rose choosing to give up her own life for Steven.

On the Run told us about how Amethyst was found in the abandoned kindergarten and taken in by the Crystal Gems. It seems extremely likely that Amethyst saw Rose as a mother figure. Her resentment of Greg here is very much like a child might have towards a new person their parent begins dating. Greg took Rose’s attention away from Amethyst, and then she was gone. This was made even worse by the fact that Greg then had Steven to raise, which meant less time for Amethyst once again.

Throughout this episode (and in other episodes touching on Amethyst and Greg), it’s unclear what exactly their relationship was in the past. Some lines indicate that they were just friends, but others point towards a potential romance (likely one-sided on Amethyst’s part). The above line almost makes it seem like Amethyst would like to have a parental figure back. I think the muddling is intentional because Amethyst herself does not know what she wants from Greg.

Amethyst: I bet you’d stay for her.

Greg: You wouldn’t.

Amethyst: What? Do this?

Well, now we know why Greg is uncomfortable with shapeshifting, and the likely reason why they stopped hanging out together.

So yeah, Amethyst shapeshifting into Greg’s dead girlfriend to torment him certainly is something, isn’t it? This is very reminiscent of the end of On the Run where Amethyst lashed out at Pearl by fighting here. Here, upset that Greg is going to leave to go to the fireworks with Steven, a hurt Amethyst lashes out with this.

The dialogue seems to indicate that Amethyst did this before mostly to bother Greg, but it doesn’t entirely rule out that she may have done this in sincerity to see if she could get Greg’s attention in another way.

Steven screams at Amethyst to stop, and the TV shuts off automatically.

List of Steven’s Trauma: Watching Amethyst shapeshift into his dead mom and taunt his dad.

What makes this even worse is that Steven heard this entire conversation, so he now knows that Amethyst holds some resentment for Greg for taking Rose away. The way she reacts to Greg needing to go be with Steven indicates that she also has some resentment for Steven for similar reasons. The idea that the Gems resent him for not being Rose has been pretty deeply planted in Steven at this point.

Future Vision

The TV shutting off when Steven gets mad is foreshadowing for other times when his emotion-based powers interact with technology. For example, in In Dreams when he begins involuntarily projecting his dreams to the TV.

[collapse]

Steven delivers the unsubtle moral of the episode:

“I get it. It’s hard to deal with stuff from the past. You want to put it off because there’s tons of it and it’s really heavy and it means a lot to you, so it’s hard to let anything go. But you got to. Because this thing is full!”

Times Steven Has Defused Conflict with a Heartfelt Speech: 4

So, obviously, this relates to Greg and Amethyst avoiding their feelings, particularly about Rose, and burying themselves in TV instead. It also more or less applies to a number of other characters who are having difficulty letting go of their past, particularly Pearl. Steven himself isn’t always all that great about taking this advice himself.

Amethyst runs out, upset, as Steven comforts Greg.

The next day, Steven and Greg head to the storage unit to finally finish cleaning it, only to find Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl have already finished. Pearl reveals that this was Amethyst’s idea. She volunteered to let Greg store all his excess things in her room so he doesn’t have to get rid of them.

A blushing Amethyst hands Greg the picture of him and Rose in a new frame as a way of making up to him.

I like how Amethyst realizes how badly she screwed up and hurt Greg and puts significant effort into making amends for it. This is the first glimpse of the maturity that she’s going to develop over the course of the show.

This episode is really interesting for developing Amethyst and Greg’s relationship, and for giving a hint at what the Gems were like pre-Steven. It also has some excessively cute bits like Pearl at the fireworks show.

Marble Madness

Official Description: Steven and the Gems encounter another droid from space.

…and Peridot. Peridot is in this one.

Connie is telling Steven about her favorite book series, The Spirit Morph Saga, which begins with this book, The Unfamiliar Familiar. It’s about a girl named Lisa who is a witch but doesn’t know it, and goes on an adventure with her familiar, a talking falcon named Archimicarus. “She goes on this quest to find her father after he’s been kidnapped the mysterious one-eyed man.”

Future Vision

At the time, there was speculation that this was going to be foreshadowing, but having watched the series… eh. Greg does end up getting kidnapped at one point, but by Blue Diamond, not a one-eyed character. That plotline happens much later, so it’s possible that plans changed between here and there.

Or I’m totally missing the obvious foreshadowing here and you’ll remind me of it in the comments.

[collapse]

Steven’s excitement about books returns from the last episode. We also see that Connie is deeply into fantasy novels where she very obviously wants to be the main character, a personality trait that will inform her relationship with Steven for a good chunk of the show.

Future Vision

Sworn to the Sword, in particular, shows how Connie sees herself as the companion of the protagonist, Steven, who has a magical destiny. This has a dark side to it when Pearl is able to convince her that she should be willing to sacrifice herself to protect Steven, if it should come to that — just as a companion in a fantasy novel might.

[collapse]

Connie begins reading the book to Steven, but they’re interrupted when this enormous Robonoid crashes into the ocean near them. These are called Plug Robonoids, and they’re a larger version of the Flask Robonoids Peridot was using to repair the warp pad in Warp Tour.

Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl run from the beach house and attack the Robonoid, which explodes into shards and goo. Steven puts a bubble around himself and Connie just in time. It’s notable how far he’s come here — the first time he bubbled Connie to protect her, he wasn’t able to drop it for a long time, and in previous episodes like The Test, he’s failed to summon his bubble in time. Here, he summons his bubble with perfect timing and drops it just as effortlessly.

“I love hanging out at your place,” says Connie, which is adorable, but also hints that she’s a little bit into the adrenaline.

Steven asks if it’s one of Peridot’s robots, and Pearl confirms that she thinks it is. Amethyst is covered in goop and threatens to hug Pearl, who protests that they don’t even know what the goop is or if it’s dangerous.

Connie recognizes Peridot’s name, since Steven apparently told her about the events of Warp Tour. (This is good, because Steven really isn’t always good about filling in the side characters on important things.) “We stopped her before, but I guess she can still shoot stuff here from space,” says Steven, which was pretty obvious given that’s how she repaired the warp pad in the first place.

Let’s take a minute to appreciate Connie’s adorable outfit, though. She’s not wearing her glasses, because her eyes were healed back in An Indirect Kiss.

Steven: So what do you think it was here to do?

Garnet: We destroyed it. That’s all that matters.

Steven accepts this answer — for now. This is a good example of how Garnet can be kind of stubbornly short-sighted. It’s obvious by now that Peridot has far more advanced technology than the Crystal Gems and can keep shooting things from space, so “continuously destroy Peridot’s stuff” is not a sustainable solution.

Amethyst, still covered in goop, hugs Garnet, who pulls Pearl into the hug as well. Her facial expression is neutral as always, but the way she pulls in the CGs hint at how nervous she is about this situation.

At Connie’s house, Dr. Maheswaran calls her to the phone to speak to “the Steven Universe boy.” “I swear that’s not his real name.”

Future Vision

It isn’t! Later we learn that Greg changed his last name from DeMayo to Universe for his stage career. Additionally, Steven’s middle name of Quartz is also a lie, since that was the disguise Pink Diamond took on, and neither he nor she is actually a quartz.

[collapse]

Connie is incredibly excited that Steven has read more Unfamiliar Familiar. Steven’s been enjoying it, but he’s confused: “They keep talking about this Plinkman guy who died… am I supposed to know who he is?”

Connie is also confused: “That’s Lisa’s dad. You’re reading them in order, right?”

“There’s an order? Oh man, I just started with the one with the coolest cover!”

I don’t know if I’ve ever related to Connie so hard over the course of the series.

Connie’s frustration at trying to introduce Steven to this media she loves so much when he isn’t quite getting it seems laser-targeted at the nerds watching the show. In fact, it almost counts as meta-commentary. I’m sure some of you have had the experience of trying to get someone to watch Steven Universe and having them complain during some of the less consequential 1A episodes and trying to explain, “No, no, Mirror Gem / Ocean Gem is when it gets really good!”

The comment about reading the books in order also comes as Steven Universe gradually shifts from being mostly episodic to mostly serial. This very episode is significant to the shift, since it directly addresses the ongoing storyline of Peridot coming to Earth.

Future Vision

Lisa’s dad dying in The Unfamiliar Familiar was taken by some as foreshadowing that Greg might die, but of course that never happened. Thank goodness, because that would have been absolutely heartbreaking. It does make me wonder if that was a potential storyline floated at some point.

[collapse]

Their conversation is interrupted by another Robonoid crashing to Earth. Garnet uses her future vision to see that it’s on Mask Island, the previously unnamed island where Steven, Lars, and Sadie were stranded in Island Adventure.

Pearl wonders if it’s looking for a warp, but Garnet rushes to destroy it. Steven asks again what it’s trying to do, and Pearl is uncertain. “It’s not trying to do anything now,” says Garnet. Steven looks uncomfortable with this answer.

The next time Steven talks to Connie on the phone, he’s read through the first three books in order. Connie excitedly asks him if he likes them. Steven says that they’re awesome, but he’s confused about just one thing: “What’s a familiar?”

I can feel Connie’s despair through the screen. Have I ever been there, Connie. I’m immediately transported back to a memory of watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy with someone who doesn’t understand what elves and dwarves are.

This side plot of Steven reading the books, cute as it is, seems kind of unconnected to the main plot about Peridot, so I was trying to think about what the throughline is intended to be. One thing that occurs to me is that Steven, reading the books, is rushing things and doing them out of order, and at the end of the episode, Steven rushes things by confronting Peridot and ends up massively accelerating the plot.

They’re interrupted by another crash. The Gems come running from the Temple, and Garnet declares that they’ll find it in the desert.

Steven follows along, finding the increasingly desperate and irritated Gems fighting the latest Robonoid. Pearl in particular seems close to losing it, as she slams her spear into the Robonoid, yelling “Stop! Coming! Here! You! Stupid! Balls!”

Steven yells at them to stop and asks how many more they’re going to have to fight. “I don’t know!” Pearl screams. “They just keep coming and coming and we don’t even know what they are! We don’t know anything!”

This is a great continuation of the Gems’ panic at Peridot’s appearance in Warp Tour. Gem tech has obviously moved on without them while they were on Earth, and they have no idea what’s going on or what Peridot is trying to accomplish.

Steven tries to comfort them: “That’s okay. I don’t know anything all the time, it’s like my whole life.” (This is a good sign that the Gems should be telling Steven more things, but they really don’t take it to heart.) He observes that the only thing that knows what the Robonoid is trying to do is the Robonoid itself, and proposes that they let it free and follow it to see what it’s up to.

Amethyst and Pearl think this solution is way too risky, but Garnet relents: “We can’t keep fighting these things forever! Well, we can, but I don’t want to.” It’s very rare for Garnet to sound so beaten down. It’s likely that she sees in her future vision that if they don’t do anything, the Robonoids really will keep appearing indefinitely. It’s also a good example of how Garnet generally has the most faith in Steven. The Gems untie the Robonoid and begin riding on top of it.

The Robonoid beelines to the warp pad and ends up here in the kindergarten, which we first saw in On the Run. “Why here? This site has been damaged enough by the Gems that were incubated here six thousand years ago!” As the show becomes more serialized, we’re going to occasionally get instances of clunky dialogue like this that fills viewers in if they missed previous key episodes. It also gives an approximate age to the kindergarten and to Amethyst.

Pearl panics and summons her spear to destroy the Robonoid, but Steven stops her. Garnet thinks for a minute and decides they’ll keep doing things Steven’s way. Apparently, at this point her future vision still shows things going fine.

Future Vision

One thing that becomes clear as the show progresses is that Garnet has a difficult time predicting what Steven might do, so he often defies her future vision. This is one likely example. If she saw that Steven was going to reveal himself to Peridot, she probably wouldn’t have agreed to his plan. (Or maybe not. More on this later.)

[collapse]

Steven speculates that the Robonoid might just want to see where Amethyst was made. Amethyst says it should mind its own business. While Amethyst’s views on her origins improved as of On the Run, she’s still going to remain touchy about the subject for a good chunk of the series.

Pearl and Amethyst are really freaking out about the situation, Pearl in particular.

The Robonoid stops, forms into a pyramid, and inserts itself into the ground, forming a square hole. Steven is thrilled. He doesn’t seem to realize the potential danger here. He excitedly slides down the slope into the hole without a second thought, landing on the platform made by the Robonoid.

The Gems follow after him. Steven finally notices how deeply disturbed they all are, and asks them if they’re okay. Pearl asks, “What is all this?”

There’s some really cool, dissonant music in this part that really suits the ominous mood.

Future Vision

Pearl, in her role as Pink Diamond’s assistant, was clearly familiar with kindergartens. However, what she’s seeing here is likely an extremely non-standard part of a kindergarten: the site of the Cluster experiment.

The music theme playing here is later expanded on as the theme for the Cluster experiments, one of the creepiest pieces of music in the series.

[collapse]

At the bottom of the elevator shaft, they reach a control room, where a hand pedestal emerges from the ground. The bottom of the elevator forms into a small Robonoid that activates the pedestal.

Oh, look, it’s a disgruntled engineer irritated that she has to teleconference, just like your author.

Peridot talks about how she’s activated the control room in the “Prime Kindergarten” and is performing a status check.

Future Vision

Much later we’ll learn that the Prime Kindergarten was a properly created kindergarten before the Rebellion began. There is also a Beta Kindergarten, where Jasper originated, where most of the Gems came out flawed.

[collapse]

The Gems hide.

Pearl: Is she trying to re-activate the kindergarten? Doesn’t she know it’ll destroy all life on Earth?

On the Run had lots of discussion about the kindergarten being a mistake that needed to be shut down, but I believe this is the first time explicitly stated that it would destroy all life.

Future Vision

To answer Pearl’s questions:

No, she’s not trying to re-activate the kindergarten. She’s checking on the Cluster, which is far worse.

Yes, she absolutely knows that the kindergarten will destroy all (organic) life on Earth, and like pretty much all Homeworld Gems, she does not care. Thankfully, she’s going to eventually make friends with all of you, regret her role in decimating organic life, and take up farming.

[collapse]

In line with Steven’s plan for following the Robonoid, he proposes just asking Peridot what she’s up to.

Garnet: Steven, we’re facing an enemy we don’t know with technology we don’t understand. This isn’t the time to be asking questions.

Steven: Sure sounds like it is…

Steven’s plan to directly question Peridot isn’t great, but he does have a point here. Garnet starts proposing a plan to destroy the power source to the control room as soon as Peridot isn’t looking, but then notices Steven is missing.

Steven climbs into the control room as Peridot uses these robot hands to activate controls on the wall, commenting that the technology is archaic — another signifier that Gem technology has made massive advancements while the Crystal Gems were on Earth. These cylinders emerge from the ceiling.

Future Vision

In Keeping It Together, we learn that the cylinders Peridot is checking on harbor small forced fusion experiments. The purpose seems to be that they’ll start emerging shortly before the Cluster is ready, giving an indication as to when the Cluster will activate.

[collapse]

Steven cheerfully introduces himself.

Future Vision

Steven and Peridot’s friendship is one of my very favorite relationships on the show. I’m so glad we’ve reached their meeting. It’s fun to think about how far they progress from Peridot being so cold and frazzled here to In Dreams, where she comforts Steven over his nightmares of his friends abandoning him and they hate-watch terrible TV together.

[collapse]

Steven’s blithe cheerfulness here is almost certainly a direct through-line from his success with Lapis. After all, being her friend and showing her empathy worked well to solve the problem, so you can understand why he might take a similar approach here.

Future Vision

It does work, of course, it just takes much longer. It’s amusing that Steven treats Peridot like they’re already friends in basically every one of her appearances from here on out, even when she’s trying to kill the Crystal Gems.

[collapse]

Peridot comments on an infestation of “Stevens” in the kindergarten, and Steven says that he’s not so bad once you get to know him. She asks if “Stevens” have replaced humans as the dominant species on Earth. Steven says there’s lots of humans, and lists off some: “my dad, Connie, Lars and Sadie, the mailman, Onion… I think…”

Future Vision

Much later, in I Am My Mom, we learn that Aquamarine is capturing humans for the human zoo based on this very list. There’s even a flashback to this moment. Unfortunately, Peridot is not there to react.

[collapse]

Steven asks Peridot what she’s doing, and she responds, “Picking up where we left off,” turning one of the disembodied robot hands to smash Steven. Steven stands there like a deer in headlights, not even summoning his shield, and is saved by Garnet.

This is the exact moment when Peridot’s life becomes exponentially more complicated, as she loses her calm demeanor.

Peridot is shocked to see them: “But the Red Eye didn’t report the presence of any Gems on this planet!” She’s referring to the Red Eye the Gems destroyed in Laser Light Cannon, which was apparently meant to check the Earth for Gems (even though that doesn’t really gel with the fact that it was slowly crashing into Beach City, but whatever.) Considering Garnet threw Amethyst at it many times, it apparently was not able to transmit that data to Peridot before it was destroyed.

Peridot says that “the records say Gems were wiped out on Earth,” which is our first indication of what really happened to leave our group as the only Gems, apart from the corruptions.

Future Vision

Later we learn that the Diamonds unleashed a corruption wave on Earth that turned all remaining Gems into monsters, whether they were aligned with Homeworld or the Rebellion. The only Gems spared were Rose Quartz, Garnet and Pearl, since her shield was able to block the corruption. Amethyst had not yet emerged and Lapis was trapped in the mirror, so they were also effectively spared.

[collapse]

Peridot asks them if they’re the reason the Homeworld Warp is down and if the Crying Waffle sticker she took with her in Warp Tour is their “bizarre icon.” “Why do you keep destroying my things?!”

I already liked Peridot from her first appearance, but this was the moment that permanently cemented her as my favorite Gem. In contemporaneous commentary on Warp Tour, people speculated that Peridot might be an extremely powerful enemy or even the main antagonist. This episode makes it much more clear that she’s more of a maintenance worker than anything else. As a perpetually frustrated engineer who, at this very moment, has a whole plateload of escalated tickets, I immediately recognize the sheer irritation at the Crystal Gems making her job more difficult. I think about her delivery on “Why do you keep destroying my things?” every time I see that the testing environments are down again for some reason.

The Crystal Gems pose as a team because shit just got real.

Pearl: Because we are the Crystal Gems! We’re still alive, and we’re still the guardians of this planet and all its living creatures!

Peridot has no clue whatsoever who they are or what they’re talking about. I really like the revelation that Homeworld has effectively washed its hands of the Crystal Gems once they were subdued and isolated, and that a random new Gem like Peridot has no idea who they even were. Additionally, the fact that Lapis knew exactly who they were indicates her age relative to Peridot.

Future Vision

Of course, the Diamonds know that any Gems that managed to somehow escape the corruption wave are doomed to destruction in the emergence of the Cluster, so it makes perfect sense that they’d memory hole anything Earth-related.

[collapse]

The Crystal Gems start destroying everything in the control room as Peridot loses any last vestige of calm. “How dare you! I’m doing this one way or another! You’re just making it really difficult!”

Future Vision

Honestly, she’s not wrong. As of Keeping It Together she actually does succeed in doing what she was attempting to do here. It just took getting stranded on Earth first. One of Peridot’s key character traits is being incredibly determined, for better or for worse.

[collapse]

Just before they cut the power, Peridot’s last words are “I’m reporting this!” This is another clear indication that Peridot herself is just a pawn for a larger power.

Future Vision

Yellow Diamond comments on Peridot’s manager in Message Received, so that’s probably who she reports this to. The result of this report is, of course, that she gains Jasper as a bodyguard and Lapis as an unwilling informant. We’ll see them all on Earth in The Return.

[collapse]

In the darkened control room, the Gems glare at Steven, who admits he may have gone too far.

Garnet: Well, Steven, you weren’t completely wrong. We learned something new because of your decisions. But yeah, this was a pretty bad idea.

Was it, though?

Future Vision

They don’t know it yet, but basically any timeline where Steven does not befriend Peridot ends in the entire Earth being smashed to shards by the emergence of the Cluster. Given that, Steven confronting Peridot here may actually have been the best possible outcome.

[collapse]

In case it isn’t obvious, I love this episode. It starts out with Connie’s adorable frustration over Steven reading her favorite book series, and ends with us learning so much more about Peridot. Not only that, but she’s finally met Steven and has begun to display her true personality. Shelby Rabara’s line delivery here is hilarious, and Estelle gets in some good lines too, as usual.

Next Time on Steven Universe Rewind! We get more adorable Steven and Connie in Open Book. Also, prepare yourself for Lore and Crying because we’re covering Rose’s Scabbard.