It’s time once again for the post-climax decompression episode, this time featuring Lapis Lazuli!
Garnet: I see you’re worried about your friend.
Steven: Yeah. When I saw her in my dreams, it looked like she was fighting so hard to keep Malachite from escaping.
Garnet: Lapis spent an unbearable amount of time fused with Jasper. The emotional and physical strain of that type of fusion…I can’t imagine. She’s going to need a lot of time to recover.
In her case, the fusion essentially amounts to a toxic/abusive relationship – she wasn’t necessarily unwilling, but she really didn’t know what she was getting into and it was clearly bad for her.
She finally gets up in the middle of the night and chooses to take flight (literally).
Lapis: I have to, Steven. I don’t belong on Earth, not with the Crystal Gems. I never have.
Steven: It’s okay. I understand. I just wish we could’ve hung out more. I feel like I only get to see you when something horrible’s going on.
Lapis: That’s just how it is with me. Steven, thank you.
Steven: Goodbye, again.
The implication that horrible things always seem to follow her around is legitimately sad, not to mention that she still doesn’t feel welcome with the Crystal Gems even after they just rescued her.
But then she shows up again the next day.
Lapis: I was leaving, but then I realized, I’ve got nowhere to go. Who knows what they’d do to me back home, after what I did to Jasper. I can’t go back to Homeworld, and I can’t stay here.
Steven: Sure you can!
Steven: You can totally stay here! It doesn’t have to be here here, you can live anywhere. You don’t even have to stay in Beach City if you don’t want to. […] I can show you around!
Steven: Yeah! We can find you a new place to live.
Then she lets him fly on her back and it is adorable.
Also, more lovely backgrounds!
Steven: Lapis, look at this! This leaf turned orange! That means the seasons are changing from summer to fall. Soon, it’s going to happen to all the leaves on all the trees.
This episode is largely about Lapis getting to know the Earth a bit (but also Steven getting to know her a bit better).
They end up in Empire City, which is mostly a stand-in for NYC, but also apparently Vegas (but mostly New York). Unless Steven just got his slogans mixed up.
Steven: Well, let’s see. If you lived here, you could get a cool apartment, and be a single Gem taking on the big city! You’d have a fun job at the local coffee shop and come home to a wacky roommate…
Lapis: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
Now I’m really curious about the alternate timeline where Lapis crashes at some artist’s apartment and a zany sitcom ensues.
Lapis: Hey, what’s that shadowy place over there?
Steven: Oh, that’s Jersey.
Lapis: Is it populated by machines?
Steven: Nope, those are cars. They make a lot of smog, though. You’d like it in Jersey. The people here seem to hate the Earth, too!
Jersey resident: Quit flying in our sky, ya mooks!
Steven: Lapis, it’s so beautiful up here!
Lapis: Eh, it’s alright. I guess I can see why you like it.
Ironically, she has a somewhat dry sense of humor…
They fly all the way out to the Galaxy Warp, which brings Lapis back down to Earth (again, literally).
Lapis: This is where I was abandoned.
So she creates a water-mirror to show Steven her backstory.
Lapis: It was thousands of years ago. I was only meant to visit for a short time, but I got caught in the middle of the war. I tried to run, but…I was picked up by a Homeworld soldier and confused for a Crystal Gem. And used as a tool. They’d ask me, “Show us your base. Where is your leader?” I didn’t know, and I couldn’t say, “I’m not one of them!” It soon became clear that there was no hope in stopping the rebellion. All of the Homeworld Gems fled. In all the panic of escaping Earth, I was left behind. And there I stayed, freedom in my sight, but out of reach for ages. Until I was found.
Steven: Are you okay?
Lapis: I’ll…be fine. Let me take you back.
Steven: Are you sure you don’t want to take a minute?
Lapis: It’s fine. I just want to get out of here.
It’s small wonder Steven’s the only person she trusts – he was the first person in thousands of years to show her any kindness, let alone understanding. And I can definitely relate to her desire for emotional stability, losing her home and searching desperately for somewhere to belong. She wants to go back home, but she can’t – I suppose that’s really not an uncommon feeling for young adults, wishing things could go back to “the way they were”.
Lapis: For a moment, I really felt like things were different. But they’re not. No matter where I go, I’m trapped.
Steven: But you’re not! You’re not underwater, you’re not in a mirror. This time, you’re free!
Lapis: But I’m still on Earth.
Steven: Yeah, but nothing is still on Earth. Everything’s always changing. The leaves, the cities…even Jersey changes! My dad says the rest stops used to be pretty gross, but now they have sushi! This isn’t the same world that held you prisoner, not anymore. And I know it doesn’t feel like home, but maybe that can change, too. I know you can’t go back to Homeworld, but if you stay here, it’ll be your choice to stay here.
You can’t undo the choices that you made, but you can always choose how best to live with the results. If you can’t go back home, you can still try to make a new one.
Lapis: It’s funny. For all the time I spent on Earth, I barely saw any of it.
Steven: That’s not funny. That’s super sad.
Lapis: I…I want to see it.
Lapis: I want to stay here.
Steven: Here? Like, here here?
Lapis: Yeah, here here.
Peridot: Yes! Here here, everybody! What are we talking about?
Yeah, Steven kind of already said Peridot could stay at the barn (aka “here here”). But we’ll get into that…