Connie, you are smarter than this.
Connie: You’re back and you’re okay! Did you get your ears pierced?
Steven: Oh man, you’re not gonna believe what happened! We went to a far-off space station! We made some new friends! We warped the space-time continuum!
And that little summation reminds me how very Wrinkle in Time this arc was! I mean, the protagonist goes out into space with three magical ladies in search of his dad, and ends up having to infiltrate an extraterrestrial (but human) society. Also he learns about an existential threat to the Earth. And the space-warping itself reminds me a lot of tessering (by the way, I first picked up on this connection because if you look closely, Connie’s holding a copy of A Wrinkle in Time in the first version of the opening).
Anyhow, back to the actual episode.
Steven: Did anything happen while we were gone?
Connie: Uh…Lion behaved himself. I restocked all the cereal and washed all the towels.
Steven: Sounds like everything went well.
Connie: Well, there was a little trouble…
Steven: Just, protect Beach City while we’re gone.
Connie: You can count on me!
It was a big job for one person, but I felt up to the challenge.
Then she runs into these two, whom Garnet had instructed to protect Beach City.
Connie: Lapis? Peridot? What are you doing here?
Peridot: Showing off my old room to- oh wait. Actually, that’s none of your business!
Lapis: Who’s this? And what’s she doing in Steven’s house?
Peridot: That’s Steven’s third best friend after me and you.
Connie: Lapis, you don’t remember me? You almost drowned me when you tried to steal the world’s water?
Lapis: I almost drowned a lot of people.
This is one thing I legitimately enjoyed about this episode: Seeing these three interact in a natural manner. But unfortunately, forced conflict raises its head.
Peridot: Garnet entrusted us with a mission.
Connie: Oh! Steven gave me one, too! I just hope I won’t let him down.
Peridot: You probably will. That’s why they put us in charge of protecting Beach City.
Connie: But Steven asked me to do that!
Lapis: You really think we need your help?
I mean, sure, if an actual threat arose, Lapis could probably take care of it single-handedly, but that hardly makes Connie useless. That’s not the direction they go with, though.
Peridot: Wait a minute! Maybe we do need your help. The Crystal Gems have been protecting this world with a specialized team! Three Gems, each with their own specialized role, and a human! Well, Steven’s only half-human, but close enough.
Peridot: To do the job of the Crystal Gems, we need to do the jobs of the Crystal Gems! We four-
Peridot: I’m counting Pumpkin. We each need to pick someone from the original team, and perform their role in the group! We can be exactly like them, but better!
Connie: That…sorta makes sense.
I’m sorry, I just can’t see how Connie would take this seriously for more than a minute. Steven might, but Connie would never get wrapped up in one of Peridot’s horrible plans. The only way I might’ve seen this making any sense is if Connie felt like this was the only way they would let her help (which isn’t the case).
Peridot: New Crystal Gems, congregate! That means, come over here and do a cool pose.
So Peridot’s supposed to be Garnet (because of course she’s the leader), Lapis is Amethyst, Connie is Steven, and Pumpkin is Pearl (because Connie is really the only one that might’ve taken Pearl, but she’s gotta be the human).
The only thing remotely troublesome they find is a customer at the car wash.
Connie: Oh, right! If Mr. Universe and Steven are in outer space, then we should run the car wash!
Connie: Uh…water we waiting for?
Peridot: Good one, Steven.
Lapis: Whatever you say, dudes.
I mean, this is quite possibly the coolest way to wash a car. So it’s not entirely surprising that Buck tells a bunch of people and everyone in town comes to get a car wash. But it doesn’t take too long for Peridot to ruin it with her brilliant plan.
Connie: Peridot! Put that guy down!
Peridot: No one bosses the Garnet!
Connie: Well, Garnet wouldn’t yell at people!
Lapis: I agree. Maybe you should let someone else play the Garnet.
Peridot: No! Amethyst, I have the glasses!
Connie: What are you guys doing?
Long story short, they crash a car into the roof (but conveniently without anyone in it). Also Connie tries and fails to give them a Steven speech, because inspiration really isn’t her forte.
Peridot: I’ve been thinking a lot about what’s going wrong with this team-up, and I think it’s obvious now that the problem is all of you! Connie, you completely lack Steven’s sentimentality. He would’ve had a much more inspiring speech yesterday. Lapis, your lack of humor has been hurting out morale. Maybe you should switch with Pumpkin.
Lapis: Let’s make Pumpkin the Garnet. You should be the Pearl.
Peridot: I’m nothing like Pearl! She’s so uptight and sensitive! How dare you I’m leaving!
Lapis: That’s so funny! You should be Amethyst.
Peridot: That’s so dumb! You should be a clod!
Connie: Will you two can it!
Thank you, Connie.
Lapis: That’s not a very Steven thing to say.
Connie: I don’t care! So I’m not Steven. Maybe he’s really great at helping people work out these arguments. Maybe he’s really patient and caring, even though it must be hard for him having to be the adult for a bunch of superpowered children!
Lapis: We’re both thousands of years older than you.
Connie: Then act like it! Be the Gems you’ve been for thousands of years instead of playing this silly game. It’s impossible trying to solve problems if we’re just trying to copy other people. What’s the point of this? We’ll never be the Crystal Gems, we’re just the Crystal Temps. But we have our own way of doing things. So let’s go back to that, to fix this mess we made.
Lapis: You do make a good Steven.
Connie: Watch it!
I honestly wish we could’ve seen them working together to clean up the mess they made, because like I said, seeing them interact NATURALLY is pretty fun, especially considering all the unique abilities they bring to the table.
So they clean up the car wash and make a new sign for it, because that’s just how they roll.
Connie: Well, it wasn’t much of a mission, but I guess we handled that alright.
Steven: I knew you would.
Peridot: Does that mean we can do a victory pose?
Go Crystal Temps!
Seriously, the Crystal Gems have nothing on their cuteness! Even if most of the poses are borrowed from Sailor Moon!
Until next time…