Poor Steven is in way over his head.
Zircon: Wait…are you Rose Quartz?
Steven: It’s a long story.
Zircon: Then I don’t have time for it! We only have this brief moment to prepare your case.
On the one hand, Steven is clearly surprised that he’s getting a trial at all. On the other hand, it’s pretty much exactly the sort of trial you’d expect.
Which is to say, these two are judge, jury, and (presumably) executioner, and they are the furthest thing from “impartial”.
Yellow Diamond: Is that Rose Quartz? Look at this hideous form she’s taken! Forget the trial – we should shatter her just for looking like that!
Blue Diamond: No. I want to hear her make her case. I want to know what she thinks we’re going to do with her. And I want to do something worse.
Yellow just wants to put the past behind them (and hence is eager to shatter “Rose” and be done with it), but Blue has been brooding on it for a long time and is determined to get some answers first. I get the feeling once she is satisfied, though, she’ll be far crueler in her retribution.
The prosecutor presents Lars as “evidence” against “Rose”, and to be fair, if you want to showcase the uglier aspects of the human race, he’s not a terrible example. But it’s mostly just to let us know that he’s okay (for now) and to put him in the same room as Steven.
Prosecutor: As we can see from this specimen, humans are loud, hideous creatures that serve no purpose whatsoever. What sort of Gem would turn on her own kind for this? I’ll tell you what kind. That kind.
Steven: Just let him go! He’s got nothing to do with this!
Prosecutor: There it is. The passion! The fury that caused the diabolical Rose Quartz to shatter her own Diamond!
Then she calls in Eyeball as a witness to establish that Steven is in fact the Gem they’re looking for (and Steven is a little happy to know she made it back home alright, despite the circumstances, because he is Steven).
Prosecutor: And there you have it. Rose Quartz did it, and that’s Rose Quartz. I rest my case.
Zircon: Oh, she’s good.
Yellow Diamond: Well, I’m convinced! Time to execute!
Blue Diamond: Not yet. The defense still has to speak.
Zircon is obviously looking for some sort of technicality she can use to claim “Rose” is innocent, but Steven steps in and relieves her of that burden.
Steven: I did it!
Zircon: Wait, stop!
Blue Diamond: No. I want to hear what she has to say.
Steven: I, um, I am Rose Quartz, and I’m guilty. […] Everything you guys said I did, I did. And I did it by myself. I’m sorry. I’ll accept any punishment you want to give me. Just let him go, and leave the Earth alone!
Steven, can you please stop being a martyr for two seconds and actually consider your own wellbeing? He’s convinced himself that Rose did something terrible, and I suppose he thinks that if he submits to death or whatever other horrible punishment the Diamonds can come up with, it’ll somehow undo that harm…but that’s just not how grief and loss work. The Diamonds might think it’s what they need to move on, but it’s not, so Steven is just giving up his life for nothing. Also he doesn’t consider the possibility that they might strike the Earth because he so clearly cares about it.
Just gonna mention that I love the shot composition in this scene.
Blue Diamond: How? How did you do it? How did you shatter Pink Diamond?
Steven: Uh, well, I did it on Earth, in front of Pink Diamond’s palanquin. I was probably like, stop! and she was all like, no! so we fought, I think. And she probably did some cool moves, I probably did some jump kicks and stuff, but I was most likely deeply conflicted about deciding to shatter her. Definitely crying. I probably had to use the Breaking Point to do it.
Blue Diamond: It was a sword! You shattered her with a sword.
Apparently the whole “crying her tears” thing isn’t unique to Steven – at one point, Blue loses it and all of the Gems start crying, from the Blue Pearl to Yellow Diamond.
But at least one good thing comes out of her breakdown – a recess, wherein Steven’s public defender can actually try to put together a case.
Zircon: What were you saying in there? Maybe this, probably that – what do you mean “probably”?
Steven: Look, I just…I don’t actually know how it happened, okay?
Zircon: You don’t know? Don’t tumble my rocks! Both our Gems are on the line! Did you do this or not?
Steven: It was me, alright? Rose Quartz did it, and I’ve got her Gem, so I’m the one who’s gotta pay for this.
Zircon: You don’t know how it happened. I get it. There’s a reason they want you to explain how you did it. It’s because it doesn’t make sense!
If Steven actually cared about proving “his” innocence, the sword is a great place to start – he knows that it’s specifically designed not to damage the gem. Rose couldn’t have shattered anyone with her regular sword. And as Zircon lays out the scenario, it only makes less sense.
Zircon: Now, as the records show, Pink Diamond was shattered just outside a palanquin much like this. Witnesses said Pink had stepped out and had taken only a few steps forward when Rose attacked her from the front. The question no one seems to be asking is, how?
Blue Diamond: I’ve been asking that question.
Zircon: And right you are to ask, my Diamond. Because at the time that Pink was shattered, Rose Quartz had been a recognized threat for several hundred years. There were no rose quartz soldiers in her entourage, and none in her guard! So how did a rose quartz with no business being anywhere near Pink Diamond get so close in the first place? Where were Pink Diamond’s attendants? Her agates? Her sapphires? And where was her pearl?
Yellow Diamond: They were with her, of course, they saw the whole thing!
Zircon: But none of them saw Rose Quartz approach? Wouldn’t her sapphires have seen Rose Quartz coming? Wouldn’t her agates have tried to fight her off?
Steven: That is strange…
Yellow Diamond: She must have slipped past them!
Zircon: Even if she did, wouldn’t her pearl have cried out in alarm? “Watch out, my Diamond!” No. Whoever did this was already close to Pink Diamond. Someone her guard would allow to get near her. Someone she would listen to when asked to stop her palanquin and step outside. And someone with the authority to cover it up afterward! Someone with supreme authority…someone like one of you! Ah, disregard that last statement! I might have gotten carried away.
So there’s clearly some bigger conspiracy going on..but Steven at least has the sense to try to escape with Lars when Yellow starts poofing her own Gems.
Lars: Hurry up and drive this thing! Those giant crazy chicks aren’t gonna be distracted forever!
So at least one good thing came out of Lars’ presence: Steven escaped. He probably wouldn’t have bothered if it had just been him (or even if he believed he could secure Lars’ release through more diplomatic means), but when someone else needs him, Steven is quick to act.
And thus we get our first glimpse of Homeworld.
Yellow Diamond: You think you can get away, Rose? You stood your ground on that little speck called Earth. But you’re on our world now.
Until next time…