Steven and Connie explore the world through a book, because of course.
Connie: I still can’t believe this’ll be your first time inside of a library!
Connie: Because, libraries are full of your favorite thing.
I mean, to be fair, he really didn’t start getting into books until he was grounded from TV, and it’s not like he ever had schoolwork (which is the excuse Connie has for her visit).
And Steven being Steven, even a trip to the library can’t be completely ordinary, as he discovers the journal of Buddy Budwick, aka the first mate of the crew that discovered/founded Beach City.
With Captain Duey’s legacy cemented – well, bronzed – I wondered what my legacy would be. Would anyone remember my name, or will it be washed away by the ocean of time?
Steven: I’m picturing Buddy as Jamie being all sad.
Connie: Oh yeah, drama zone!
So Buddy resolves to make a name for himself as an explorer/adventurer…and the first spot he tries just happens to be one of our Gem battlefields.
And so began a new chapter of my life: To explore the previously unexplored, and to make my mark on the world! I traveled for many days and nights until finally, I found myself in a field of sorts – or should I say, a field of swords! Intermingled with giant, sweet-smelling strawberries as big as one’s head. Who could’ve wielded such a weapon? I pondered. What sort of battle could this have been used for? I contemplated.
And naturally he runs into the Crystal Gems (again – they helped out his crew when they were sailing to Beach City, if you’ll recall).
I feel like Garnet’s “just walked out of a Beetles music video” vibe is intentional – these are Strawberry Fields, you know.
Anyway, when Pearl hears that Buddy wants to explore the world, she warns him that this place is dangerous for humans and kindly marks off other “dangerous” spots on his map…
Garnet: Only the bravest, most courageous, most memorable explorers would dare to visit these fascinating places.
So naturally he goes off and explores them, which brings us to what appears to be the main purpose of this episode: Revisiting all of the (admittedly beautiful) Gem sites. His names for them (and the resident creatures/items) are also interesting, like how he aptly dubs the Communications Hub the “Steeple of Hubris”.
Then there’s this one, which neither the audience nor Steven has seen yet. For the record, a palanquin is a kind of covered litter, a mode of transportation traditionally used by nobility as it would be carried by their servants…
I found myself at the most amazing locations, though I could not shake the feeling that something about this journey felt a bit off.
Then he runs into Amethyst at the Kindergarten, because apparently the Crystal Gems are all taking a break from each other or something.
Amethyst: Hold on, did you make this map?
Buddy: It was drawn up for me by your compatriots.
Amethyst: So…what have you discovered on it?
Buddy: Well I, uh…that is…oh dear. I haven’t discovered a single thing on this map!
Amethyst: Yeah, man. You’re just following someone else’s footsteps.
Buddy: And here I was, claiming to be a great explorer and adventurer, when all I really am is a tourist! This is why my journey hasn’t felt right!
So to cheer him up, Amethyst tells him about a place that’s not marked on the map (because it moves around frequently), a sand castle.
So he nearly gets himself killed by wandering the desert in search of it.
I guess Rose just felt like living with lions sounded fun. And I think it’s safe to assume that Lion was somehow a result of this period (especially considering that Steven discovered Lion while they were apprehending the very same sand castle Gem).
Buddy: Why am I looking for a sand castle that probably doesn’t even exist?
Rose: Sand castle?
Buddy: Yes. I’ve combed these deserts for weeks and there’s been no sign of one.
Rose: Would that be a sign of one?
Buddy: That’s it! I’ve gotta record this! I’ve got to- wait. You saw it first. This doesn’t count at all! I’m a terrible explorer! Eat me. That’s all I’m good for.
But Rose being Rose, of course she manages to turn his life around by focusing his passion in a more productive direction.
Rose: Now now, that’s not true at all! Sure, all these places have been explored before, but they haven’t been recorded so intimately as they have been in this journal. It makes them new and special all over again for any reader to experience. Have you ever considered becoming an author?
So he becomes a prolific author, so prolific that he decides to start his own library – the very same one Connie and Steven are currently enjoying.
Connie: He really did leave a mark on this town.
Until next time…