This is the tale of how your father met your mother…now including Marty.
The story begins when Steven discovers an old photo of Greg and one Marty, his old manager.
Greg: Yeah, he’s just an old amigo from way back when. He’s dead to me.
This whole episode is just precious…except for Marty.
This is our first flashback to Rose, and since it’s all from Greg’s perspective, there are a lot of thematic parallels to “Laser Light Cannon”
At the moment that I hit the stage
I hear the universe calling my name
And I know deep down in my heart I have nothing to fear
And as the solar wind blows through my hair
Knowing I have so much more left to share
A wandering spirit who’s tearing its way through the cold atmosphere
I fly like a comet
Soar like a comet
Crash like a comet
I’m just a comet
The first verse of this song is actually about being a rock star (and how HARD it is, guys!), but the second verse feels a lot more genuine.
Because, y’know, ROCK he may be, but the stardom just isn’t there.
Rose: “Spacetrain to the Cosmos”?
Greg: “One way ticket and I’m ready to ride!”
Rose: Oh, but how will you get back?
Rose: Back to Earth?
Greg: I’m never coming back.
Rose: That’s awful! This is your home.
He offers her a free CD and t-shirt, but she vanishes before he can retrieve the t-shirt. Enter Marty, the sleazy manager (in more ways than one).
Marty: Greg! You can’t give stuff away for free. What about my 75%? 75% of nothing is nothing. Are you worth nothing?
Marty: That’s right. I’m gonna make us both rich. And as far as these saltwater saps know, we already are. So let’s live it up before we hit the road, alright? Next stop: Empire City!
Why yes, he IS a scumbag! I get the impression that Marty’s the one who pushed for the rockstar image, because he clearly enjoys the rockstar lifestyle while Greg really is just in it for the music, it seems.
So Greg runs off to search for his mysterious pink lady and deliver the t-shirt.
Greg: Maybe she’s over there?
Greg: Oh, just some giant mysterious lady with enormous pink hair. You haven’t seen anyone like that around, have you?
Amethyst: Sure have, pal.
Amethyst: Well, uh, if I told you any more, I’d have to KILL YOU! Who, who!
So he climbs over the fence and meets the Crystal Gems of the 1980’s, and it is fantastic. Even if Pearl convinces Garnet to throw him back over the fence, because of course she does.
Pearl: Humans should stay on the other side of the fence like the sign says.
Rose: Wait! Mr. Universe? Are you alright?
Pearl: You know this human?
Rose: He was playing a concert on the beach, and I couldn’t help myself.
Greg: No one can ignore the universe.
Greg is just adorable and trying way too hard and I love it.
Greg: We’re supposed to hit the road – it’s a big show in a big city, and I didn’t drop out of community college for nothing! […]
Rose: Well, you’d better hurry. You don’t want to miss your spacetrain to the cosmos.
Greg: Okay! I’ll see you later…um, I hope the stars will align for us to meet again!
Rose: I’m sure they will.
Amethyst: Bye, music man!
Pearl: I can sing!
It’s kind of weird to see them all happy like that, and BABY AMETHYST IS SO PRECIOUS. I’d say I want to protect her smile, but unfortunately that’s a foregone conclusion at this point. Seeing them happy just reminds you of how much they all cared about Rose, and in turn how sad they’re going to be when she’s gone. You can really understand why they’d feel resentful of Greg, some kid who just happened to catch Rose’s fancy and would (however unintentionally) lead to her demise.
Greg starts playing an admittedly sentimental song as they’re leaving Beach City, which Marty promptly trashes.
Marty: Where’s this schlock coming from?
Greg: I just can’t stop thinking about that woman at the show…
Marty: Oh, here we go. How big was she?
Greg: Eight feet tall…massive hair…
Marty: See Greg, this is your problem: You want one huge woman when you could have multiple smaller ones.
Greg: Ugh, Marty – women are people.
I considered getting a shot of Marty’s creeper face, but ultimately I’d prefer not to curse the world with such an image. You’re welcome.
Marty: Just follow my lead. I’m gonna get you everything you want.
Greg: What if I want to go back? […] What if I want to go back and be with her?
Marty: No one cares about your feelings, Greg! They’re making you lose sight of what’s really important!
Greg: […] Why do you always decide what’s important?
Marty: Because I’m your manager and you’re just some spaced out kid! I’m taking you to the city, and you’re gonna play, and you’re gonna like it. Maybe you’ll even make me some money for once.
Greg: Get out of my van.
Then he proceeds to (figuratively) take back his life by finally (literally) taking the wheel away from Marty and kicking him out and bless him for it. Is it extremely impulsive and not-at-all thought out? Absolutely. But I get the feeling he did about as little thinking when he dropped out of college to take up with Marty in the first place, and falling in love is about as good a reason to choose your direction as any, I suppose.
Then he runs over the fence that was meant to keep people out of Rose’s life – one might even say he drove his van into her heart, if one was extremely sappy. This is what you call sweetness overload, because SERIOUSLY.
Do you believe in destiny?
Close your eyes and leave the rest to me
Do you believe in fantasy?
I have to when it’s right in front of me
Oh, what are you doing here, in the real world?
What are you doing here, so close I could touch you?
What are you doing here, and what are you doing to me?
THESE TWO ARE JUST TOO CUTE.
Rose: Please go away.
Greg: I’m sorry, did I…?
Rose: You’re awfully cute, and I really want to play with you, but your life is short and you have dreams. I won’t let you give up on everything you want.
Greg: Well that’s gonna be a problem.
Greg: You’re everything I want!
Steven: Oh man, Marty was the worst!
Greg: Oh, yeah, he was awful! But I guess I owe him a lot. He made it easy for me to stay.
And thus we return, as always, to hot dogs – that idea that even the bad parts of life (and even bad people that you’re better off without) serve a purpose. If he’d had a better manager (morally or otherwise), Greg might never have turned back – and who knows? Maybe Rose would’ve been his muse and he’d have found success as a musician, but even if he did ever reconnect with her, he probably wouldn’t have settled down with her and almost certainly wouldn’t have had Steven.
Until next time…