Garnet is confused, so she tries out randomness.
Steven: Good old Beach City. But so much has changed lately! I guess after all those abductions, everything couldn’t just return to normal. With Sadie rocking out, and Lars in space, I can’t even enjoy my regular snack at the Big Donut!
This episode highlights the many ways in which the status quo has shifted in the past season or so, specifically by looking at how it’s impacting Garnet. It’s actually kind of nice to to see Garnet get some development as her own person for once, not just in how she relates to other people (or “herself”).
So Steven discovers her moonlighting at the Big Donut and is understandably confused.
Steven: I never thought I’d see you working here. Have we fallen on hard times?
Garnet: Oh Steven, this isn’t about making ends meet. This is about being random.
Steven: Are you serious?
Garnet: Oh yes!
Steven: I don’t understand.
Garnet: My future vision allows me to see down the rivers of possibility, granting insight into the possible realities our actions move us towards. But that doesn’t mean I can predict everything. What I’m interested in are these extremely unlikely realities so disconnected from the natural course of events that I can’t detect them. When we act in unnatural ways, we create new, unforeseen paths and arrive at these pools of improbability.
Steven: Oh, so you want to do stuff you usually don’t just to see what happens.
Garnet: I didn’t foresee you understanding that.
This is our first hint that part of Garnet’s problem might be that she’s underestimating Steven…
Steven: So are we gonna clean up that coffee?
Garnet: That’s what we’d normally do. Let’s see what happens to the world when we don’t.
Garnet: We are now dwelling in a totally new pool of improbability. My future vision is useless here.
Steven naturally tags along for Garnet’s adventures in randomness, and it’s fun seeing them just hang out (more or less).
She quits working at the Big Donut (seemingly just as abruptly as she started), and suggests they begin their experiment by ordering pizza.
Steven: I want to order a pizza…
Garnet: Ten pizzas!
Steven: No, twenty pizzas! Toppings? Um…surprise me!
Garnet: Now you’re getting it!
Steven: I guess deliver it to the Temple…no, that’s just what they’ll be expecting!
Garnet: Go weirder!
Steven: Deliver it to the ocean! No no no, to Kansas! No, to the Moon!
Kiki: I don’t think that’s within our delivery radius…
Garnet: Remember, improbable, not impossible.
Steven: Where’s the last place they’d expect to deliver a pizza? Oh, I know! Deliver it to…Fish Stew Pizza!
Kiki: So, like, this is for pick-up?
With their twenty pizzas in hand, Garnet resolves to do the opposite of what you’d normally do with pizza (eat it)…which is apparently giving it away. I mean, there’s not exactly a precise opposite of “eating pizza”, so I’m sure if she were in other company, there’d be some dispute on her interpretation, but Steven finds it perfectly logical randomness.
Garnet: One more pizza to deliver…
Steven: Hey, Vidalia’s house is around here. Let’s bring her the last pie.
Garnet: That would be nice. She must be upset that her son was taken into space by those Homeworld Gems.
Steven: You mean Onion? He’s not in space, he’s right over there.
Garnet: Sorry, I must be thinking of a different timeline…
Steven: Okay…well, I’m sure Vidalia would still like some pizza, even if her kid is still on Earth. Let’s go swing by!
Seems like this “experiment” might be a bit more urgent than Garnet lets on…
Garnet: Get excited for pizza!
Steven: We’ve got pepper flakes and we’re not afraid to use them!
Vidalia: Ah! Wait a minute – Steven? What are you guys doing here, trying to scare me to death?
Steven: Oh, sorry. We were just trying to bring you a pizza in the most unlikely way possible.
Vidalia’s a good sport about it, so when they discover she’s having a bit of an artist’s block, they volunteer to pose for her.
Garnet: Paint me like one of your Amethysts!
Because if the name of the game is randomness, why not?
But they can’t hold that pose forever (or at least Steven can’t), and then something much more important comes up. Something cute and fluffy and ever so slightly pathetic.
Steven: Is it possible if we chase that sweet cat?
Garnet: I-it’s up to you, Steven.
Garnet: Don’t ask me, tell me!
So they chase the cat into the woods, where they discover what appears to be a whole litter of hungry kittens.
Steven: I think we’ve gotta stop being random and figure out what we can do for these kittens. Garnet, can you use your future vision? What should we do next? Garnet?
Garnet: There’s so many cats. So many possibilities…
And now we finally get at the root of the problem. Beneath a pile of adorable kitties.
Steven: Are you okay?
Garnet: Steven, lately, I’ve felt so lost.
Steven: Don’t worry, I remember the way back to town.
Garnet: It’s not just that, it’s you. You’ve made so many decisions I didn’t expect. Giving yourself up to Homeworld, coming back through Lion’s mane – the future that you created was so improbable that I didn’t see it coming at all. And now I can’t understand where this timeline’s going. We’re on the outskirts of the possible, following trickles to who knows where. Everyone’s looking to me for answers – I can’t stand it! It’s so hard for me to just exist in the first place, Steven. I want to love being alive, I want to love that there are so many possibilities! But I’m the one with this ability, so I’ve got to be our guide. I thought, if I could use my future vision to jump into improbable futures, I could get out ahead of the next big, unexpected change. But I don’t know what I’m doing here! I can’t tell what’s probable anymore! Anything could happen! Anything could happen to these cats!
Steven: That’s true, but maybe instead of thinking of all the things that could happen, let’s just pick the thing we want to happen, and do that. So, what do you want to happen next?
Garnet: I want…to get these cats out of the rain.
Steven: And then what?
Garnet’s basically stuck in the same space as most people, not really knowing what the future holds. And when that gets to be overwhelming, the best thing to do is just stop worrying and start working to make whatever future you want for yourself (more) possible.
And with that, they take the kittens back to Vidalia’s and call the animal shelter (because they’re typically better equipped to find homes for a bunch of animals than a kid would be, even one like Steven who knows everyone in town). The animal shelter is there to help, not animal prison!
Garnet: I think I get it. Why my future vision’s been so off. I have to change the way I think about you.
Garnet: I’ve been looking into futures where you act like a child. I keep expecting you to run from responsibility and to turn to me for help. But you don’t do that anymore. Those futures aren’t probable at all. There’s nothing wrong with this timeline or my future vision. I just need to factor in that you’ve grown up.
Steven: I guess I have. But that’s only because I’m trying to be more like you. You always know what to do.
Garnet: Not always. Okay, most of the time. I want to adopt this one. There’s something about her.
Steven: Really? Is that a probable future?
Garnet: It is now. Besides, I’ve missed having someone cute and vulnerable to take care of.
While everyone has to grow up eventually, I still can’t help but feel a little sad that Steven’s had to grow up so fast. He still is a child, no matter how much responsibility he’s forced to take on. If there was any justice, he wouldn’t have to be constantly worrying about the fate of the world. Instead, at this point, he’s almost become the de facto leader of the Crystal Gems. He was always their motivation, but now he’s starting to realize his own power (in several ways), pushing them in new directions. For the longest time (even before Rose left them), they were just running in place, maintaining peace by capturing corrupted Gems and avoiding detection by Homeworld. Thanks to Steven, they’re now on a course to actually confront the Diamonds (for better or worse), because he’s smack dab in the center of that mess and there’s no way the Crystal Gems will let him face that alone (again).
Anyhow, here’s Big Floofball and Little Floofball.
Until next time…