This is a fairly straightforward plot-focused episode, wherein Steven considers serious Gem matters with the same sort of care as Connie’s favorite book series.
So Connie shows up to be cute and introduce Steven to her favorite book series (and I don’t doubt the conspicuous placement of her glasses is meant as an allusion to Harry Potter).
Then a giant version of those droid things crashes into the ocean, and the Gems come out to destroy it.
Connie: I love hanging out at your place.
So while Steven starts reading the books, the robots get to be frequent intruders.
Steven: Yeesh. What are these things trying to do?
Pearl: We’re not really that sure…
Garnet: It’s not trying to do anything now.
Garnet’s whole “fight first, ask questions later” ethos certainly has its limits…
Meanwhile, we really need to see how Steven is getting along with those books!
Connie: Steven, you’re reading them in order, right?
Steven: There’s an order? Aw, man, I just started the one with the coolest cover!
Agreed, Connie. I mean, I’ve known someone who started reading Lord of the Rings at The Two Towers, but 1) that was the only book in the series she had access to, and 2) the numbering in those books are pretty low-key and occasionally confusing to begin with. Connie gave him the whole series, and the numbering seemed pretty conspicuous, not to mention that she literally started reading the first chapter of the first book to him. The only way I could see him making that mistake is if he were just used to big series (a la The Hardy Boys or Boxcar Children) where the order doesn’t always matter, but you still pay attention to the numbers! Or at least I did. Maybe not everyone would start those kinds of series with Book 1, but I did!
Anyhow, back to the robots!
Steven: How many more of these things are you gonna have to fight?
Pearl: We don’t know! They just keep coming and coming, and we don’t even know what they are, we don’t know anything!
Steven: That’s okay. I don’t know anything all the time. It’s like my whole life! But I’ve got you guys to tell me about Gem stuff, Connie can explain what familiars are, and Dad tells me weird Dad stuff.
Pearl: But nobody knows what these things are here to do!
Steven: Well…it probably does.
That’s the thing that adults tend to forget: If you don’t know something, sometimes all you need to do is figure out who to ask.
Garnet: We can’t fight these things forever. Well, we can, but I don’t want to. Let’s do it Steven’s way.
So they hop aboard the gembot and let it go where it wants to…which turns out to be the Kindergarten.
Steven: Maybe it just wants to see where Amethyst was made.
Amethyst: Maybe it should mind its own business.
Pearl: I don’t like this at all…
Amethyst: I’m kinda with Pearl on this one.
If there’s a robot on a mission, even if you’re trying to figure out what that mission is, you only want to let it go so far, lest it actually accomplish said mission.
And it seems that the robot’s mission is to help Peridot remotely reactivate the Kindergarten.
Pearl: Doesn’t she know it’ll destroy all life on Earth?
Steven: Why don’t we ask her?
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: It really sounds like it is…
I mean, he’s not wrong, but he could’ve at least tried to be stealthy about it.
Peridot: There appears to be an infestation of Stevens in the Kindergarten.
Steven: Aw, I’m not so bad once you get to know me!
Peridot: And how many more Stevens are present in this area?
Steven: Oh, just me.
It’s a good thing Peridot asked after “Stevens” instead of “people” or “others”, otherwise we might have had a Burrahobbit situation on our hands.
Steven: Oh, no, there’s lots of humans! There’s my dad, Connie, Lars and Sadie, the mailman, Onion…I think. Lots of people! Now I get to ask a question: What are you doing?
Peridot: Just picking up where we left off.
Then she tries to smash him with her giant robo-hand, but the Gems conveniently rush in to save him before he can reveal his Gem powers…
Peridot: But the records say that Gems were wiped out on Earth…wait a minute. You’re the ones that have been destroying my robonoids! Are you the reason the Homeworld warp is down again? […] Argh! Why do you keep destroying my things?
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: The Crystal Gems? Stop! How dare you! I’m doing this one way or another – you’re just making it really difficult!
It’s interesting how Pearl turns out to be the spokesperson, although it does make sense considering that Garnet and Amethyst are generally more inclined to fight than to talk. They destroy the console, but now Peridot knows they’re there, so it seems like only a matter of time before something more lethal comes their way, especially considering the implication that killing all of Earth’s inhabitants might not be a bug in the plan so much as a feature.
Garnet: Well, Steven, you weren’t completely wrong. We learned something new because of your decisions.
Garnet: But yeah, this was a pretty bad idea.
Until next time…