Garnet has a little externalized internal debate – and poor Steven is caught in the crossfire.
Sometimes, this show just deals in raw emotions and I can’t. I mean, I don’t know if I can relate to Pearl in her attempts to make up with Garnet after abusing her trust in the last episode, but it’s still painful seeing her flailing desperately, searching for some way to mend their relationship and failing miserably. I can definitely relate to Steven, though, as I get similarly stressed out when people I care about have a conflict.
Then Greg barges in on the tense (non-)conversation between Pearl and Garnet, explaining that he’s going on a road trip to the state of Keystone (which is clearly Pennsylvania, but apparently in this universe the state’s nickname is its actual name) to pick up some equipment he bought on not-Craigslist.
Greg: Do you like motels?
Greg: Think you’d like to stay at a motel with your favorite dad?
Steven: I dunno if you’re my favorite…[…] I can’t wait to get room service!
Greg: You’re thinking of a hotel. We’re going to a motel! It’ll have a pool, and free ice, and it’s right next to the Best Diner in the World!
Although he extended a general invitation, Greg’s surprised (though hardly displeased) to see Garnet take him up on the offer.
Steven remains optimistic about their vacation prospects, but Garnet is silent for the entire trip; it seems she was mostly taking it as an excuse to get away from Pearl.
Greg: I’m off to see a man about a tunnel brush. An internet man. If I’m not back in an hour, call the police.
And as soon as she’s alone with Steven, Garnet promptly begins to fall apart.
Garnet: Calm down. I don’t feel like forgiving Pearl! I don’t understand- we must. If you’re not going to listen, then you can just go!
Ruby does have some great faces!
Sapphire: We must move past this, Ruby.
Ruby: She lied to us so we’d form Sardonyx! She tricked us – don’t you feel used? […]
Sapphire: You’re choosing to take it personally.
Ruby: It’s fusion, Sapphire! What’s more personal to us than fusion?
Sapphire: I know you’re still upset-
Ruby: Oh, so it’s just me?
Sapphire: Of course not. I’m completely engulfed with rage.
Ruby: Well it doesn’t feel like it.
Sapphire: The sooner we forgive Pearl, the better it will be for us all.
Ruby: You’re not as above this as you think you are!
Sapphire: Yes, I am. You can’t stay angry with her forever.
They both know that Sapphire really does know best, but she didn’t have to be quite so maddeningly condescending about it. And Steven is understandably torn between being happy to see Ruby and Sapphire again and being unhappy about the circumstances that led Garnet to split up.
Ruby: It’s fusion, Steven! It’s like Sapphire doesn’t even care! And we’re supposed to be the bigger Gem about this. We’re always the bigger Gem! Well not this time! Not about this!
Steven: Come on, why don’t you come cool down in the pool?
Unfortunately, the pool doesn’t cool her down. Instead, Ruby sets the pool to boiling (because apparently the two of them also have elemental powers).
Again, I really relate to Garnet in this scenario. I’m usually willing to put up with hardship for the sake of harmony, but once someone legitimately hurts me (or someone I care about), I struggle with resentment. You know that the only way to move forward is to forgive, but it’s hard to forget that anger and pain, particularly when you always feel the need to hide your negative emotions from others. I guess that is one positive about the scenario: At least Garnet can get her feelings out.
But it’s still mighty uncomfortable for Steven.
Steven: Hey, Sapphire?
Sapphire: Even if I do, Ruby won’t listen.
Sapphire: You’re going to say I should talk to Ruby, but it won’t help.
Steven: But she seems really upset.
Sapphire: That doesn’t matter. We can’t stay mad at Pearl forever, and she can’t stay mad at me forever, and then she’ll come back and see that I’m right.
Steven: Are you sure?
Sapphire: I can see the path of fate as it stretches toward the horizon. Ruby can’t avoid the inevitable. She’s just letting her emotions get out of hand.
Steven: Not you, though?
She’s clearly upset, too, judging by the literal ice she’s projecting, but she’s determined not to let it show…even to Ruby, because if once she cracks, she might not be able to maintain that facade of indifference. Of course it would actually help if they talked to each other, but only if they’re both really listening.
Greg: Something pretty serious must be going on if it made Garnet split up. But hey, we can still have a good time!
Steven: Square pizza? What’s wrong with this crazy state?
Greg: Son, there will come a time in your life when you learn to accept all pizza.
Steven: Why can’t Ruby and Sapphire just make up?
Greg: Sometimes people that love each other can hurt each other’s feelings without meaning to. Just give them some space.
Greg is a very good dad. Also I find it amusing when pizza is used as a shorthand for cultural differences (IRL, square pizza is traditionally associated with Detroit, although my family grew up making pizza in a rectangular pan, so I never thought it was particularly odd).
Unfortunately, Ruby and Sapphire don’t really appreciate The Best Diner in the World.
Sapphire: You’re shaking the table.
Ruby: Oh! I’m kinda surprised you felt anything at all, to be honest!
Sapphire: I didn’t need to feel. I saw.
Ruby: Everything’s just so crystal clear to you, isn’t it?
Sapphire: This will pass. She’ll eventually just burn herself out.
Ruby: That’s what you think! I’m an eternal flame, baby!
And then she breaks the table. And Steven is finally fed up with pretending everything’s alright.
Steven: I was so happy when Garnet said she was gonna come on this trip with me and Dad! Home’s been awful, here’s been awful – I thought you wanted to have a fun time, but everyone’s been acting awful, too! It just came with us. I don’t understand! Is it – is it me?
Ruby: No! Steven, it’s all us!
Sapphire: But we made him feel like it was his fault. I keep looking into the future, when all of this has already been solved, as if it doesn’t matter how you feel in the present. No wonder you think I don’t care!
Ruby: Sapphire…no, no no no no no! This is all my fault! I-I didn’t want to look for a solution, I just wanted to be mad! You’re right! You’re always right! I was being stupid!
Sapphire: I don’t think you’re stupid! […] You honestly think I’m not upset about what happened? I was just trying to do the right thing.
Ruby: I know…you know what’s nice about being split up?
Ruby: I get to look at you.
So now that they’ve both managed to express their feelings, they can finally get back together and Garnet can start trying to actually deal with her feelings toward Pearl.
Pearl: Garnet, how are you?
Garnet: Not now.
Pearl: She’s speaking to me again! Kind of.
I’ve had worse road trips.
Until next time…