How come the best things in life are things you can’t tell other people, because you’d get in big trouble?
So we move from Pearl being…well, not mature, but immature in a very grown-up manner, to Amethyst and Pearl being immature together!
Amethyst: What is she doing with a Rose Quartz bubble?
This is a very good question that never actually receives a proper answer.
Pearl: I…just wanted to see how the shards are reacting to Rose’s bubble.
That’s the only answer we get, as the exchange quickly devolves into a fight, resulting in a popped bubble.
Said bubble contains a bunch of Gem shards, which take the forms of severed Gem limbs and crawl away.
Steven: We gotta get Garnet.
Pearl: No! No way! We just freed a bunch of mindless Gem shards, okay?
Amethyst: They’re gonna crawl who knows where all over the Temple! When Garnet finds out, we’re dead!
Pearl: She’s not going to find out. We’re going to catch them, all of them.
Amethyst: You’re right. Every single one! Back in a bubble, and back in the basement!
Pearl: Like nothing ever happened.
Steven still wants to tell Garnet, but he’s finally persuaded once he realizes this means forming a secret club, which he dubs…Secret Team.
Steven: And the Secret Team needs membership cards so we can show off to other people!
So he produces three rewards cards for Fish Stew Pizza and hands them out to Pearl and Amethyst, because he really is just in it for the fun of it.
It’s really a perfect little mission for Steven to help out on, since the shards themselves aren’t all that dangerous – the most dangerous thing they do is climb and jump around the Temple to reach them.
Pearl: Are you sure we didn’t miss any?
Amethyst: No way! We totally nailed this.
Pearl: If you’re sure this is all of them, then we just need to seal it in a Rose Quartz bubble.
Amethyst: Steven, this is all you.
And that’s why they needed Steven to be part of the team. At least he’s getting practice bubbling.
Pearl: Mission accomplished. Congratulations us!
Amethyst: Aw, yes! We’re off the hook.
Steven: Alright! So what’s next?
Amethyst: Nothing’s “next”. The mission is over.
Pearl: Now everything goes back to normal and we never speak of this again.
Steven: But what about Secret Team?
Amethyst and Pearl were just in it to save their own hides, and any fun they might have had along the way was only a bonus, but Steven was just enjoying the camaraderie that comes of sharing a (relatively benign) secret mission. So naturally, he attempts to bring the gang back together.
Amethyst: Steven, Secret Team is over.
Pearl: Secret Team? What’s that?
Steven: Aw, c’mon! We had so much fun together! Gettin’ along, sneaking around-
Pearl: Steven! That was not about fun! That was about fixing our terrible mistake!
Amethyst: Uh, YOUR terrible mistake. You shouldn’t have had that bubble in the first place!
Pearl skirts around the issue of what she was doing with the bubble so much that it’s totally suspicious, even if it does make sense that she would try to blame Amethyst as much as possible. At any rate, bringing up the whole fiasco just makes the two of them angrier than ever, possibly in part because they’d love to just tell Garnet about what the other did, but can’t because that would mean outing themselves.
Fortunately, there is a third option!
Steven: I need to come clean. Pearl and Amethyst popped a bubble. We made a secret team to cover it up, cause they didn’t want you to know.
Garnet: And now you’re trying to do the right thing.
Steven: Not really, I just want Secret Team again.
Garnet: I see…I know how to handle things from here. We’ll have to form our own Secret Team to do it.
Steven: You mean, like, a Super Secret Team?
So Garnet orchestrates a confrontation with him, Pearl, and Amethyst where Steven claims responsibility (rather unconvincingly) for the popped bubble…and the other two actually seem like they’re ready to throw him under the bus (or at least Pearl does). Then a bunch of arms pop out of the water and seemingly overpower all three of the Gems (though they curiously leave Steven alone).
Pearl: This is all my fault! I never should’ve had that bubble!
Amethyst: It wouldn’t have popped if it wasn’t for me!
Steven: We shoulda told Garnet! We shoulda told Garnet right away! I knew Secret Team was wrong, I just…I wanted to see you guys acting like friends!
I have to say, I totally relate to Steven in this respect. I hate conflict and wish my friends and family could all just get along with each other, and as a kid I totally did stuff I knew was wrong if it meant having fun with my siblings (and in turn, them cooperating), like playing games on the internet when we were supposed to keep the landline available…
But it turns out the arms were all just Garnet.
Garnet: So you two can’t get along unless you think I’m going to kill you. Steven, I know you wanted to help. You wanted to protect them, even from me. They made you feel like you had to take their side. But there are no sides, because we’re all on the same team. The Crystal Gems!
It wasn’t actually the “secret” that made it appealing – it was the way they were all working toward a common goal, and as such set aside their disagreements. If they could all work together like that on regular missions, things would go a lot smoother.
Until next time…