Why is this so familiar?

This episode does more to flesh out Rose’s character than all of the flashbacks involving her combined, and she doesn’t so much as show up for a dream sequence.  It’s just about Steven suddenly finding himself asked to play the role of “Pink Diamond”…and discovering that he actually has a lot in common with her.

Also he discovers these little guys in the walls/floor of Pink’s room, and they adorably recognize him as Pink when he thanks them for their service.

Steven: Alright, who are you guys?

Pebble: Very funny, Pink.

Pebble: Always playing her games…pretending she doesn’t know us pebbles!

Pearl arrives shortly with his luggage, but of course he doesn’t have much to report on the White Diamond front, good or bad.

Pearl: I’m only here because I’m bringing your things…and they consider me one of your things.

Steven: Yeesh.

And before they have a chance to make any plans, Yellow Diamond asks to see him.

Steven: Swimtrunks don’t seem very formal.

Pearl: Trust me, this will be more comfortable than jeans.

Because Yellow elected to debrief him in some sort of sauna.

Yellow Diamond: So you met with White. How was it?

Steven: All I got to say was “Hi” and “Um” and “I”.

Yellow Diamond: Two and a half words, that’s a record!

Steven: Two and a half words isn’t enough! I still need to talk to White about healing all the corrupted Gems.

Yellow Diamond: Good luck. White never leaves her own head these days, and she never lets anyone in – except you, I guess. It’s so unfair. I have hundreds of successful crystal system colonies, but you get to see her because your one colony is a failure!

Steven: Maybe you should just…fail.

Yellow Diamond: Oh, Pink! You always did have quite a knack for making me laugh. You’re almost worth the trouble.

On the one hand, he’s clearly making a serious suggestion from his own experience and it’s so annoying when someone laughs at a sincere idea, but on the other hand, he doesn’t quite know where he stands with White Diamond yet, let alone Blue or Yellow.

Shortly thereafter, Yellow is called to her next appointment, and he’s summoned by Blue Diamond.

Steven: We barely talked about White at all! She had to rush to do a report and I couldn’t go with her. I get that they’re, like, busy, cause they’re dictators and everything, but I need more time!

And this is about as far as Steven goes in expressing dissatisfaction with the Diamonds’ imperialism within the series proper.  I mean, he clearly doesn’t hold with it, but he’s still trying to get to know them as people, and it wouldn’t be helpful for anyone if he started by critiquing essentially their whole way of life.

Blue Diamond is interesting because she seems to have a soft spot for Pink (she’s actually the first person on Homeworld to call Steven by his name, as opposed to Pink), but she still doesn’t take him very seriously.  Pink Diamond represents happier times for her.

Blue Diamond: Oh, do you remember the game we used to play here? We had such fun together. You and I and Yellow and White…

Steven: We were all together here?

Blue Diamond: You would stand underwater, all the way at the bottom, and sing, and we would be above the surface trying to guess the song.

Steven: Can we do that right now? Maybe after we can talk White into coming back to Earth with us…

Blue Diamond: No. We stopped coming here together after you left. That was the start of Era 2. No one wanted to be here, not with your empty spot. It was so quiet…

Steven: I know you guys have colony stuff to do, but we should spend more time together.

But all too soon, she’s summoned to her own business.

And he’s got a lovely view of White Diamond to haunt his dreams!

Steven: This is so weird. Was it some sort of spa day or something? And what about Pink? Did she have a job here, or did she just sit in her room while they were off doing whatever?

Pearl: Before her colony, Pink used to throw massive balls.

Steven: She was a juggler?

Pearl: No- well, yes, but she would also throw parties for the other Diamonds to mark their accomplishments. Every member of every court would show up to bask in the presence of all four Diamonds!

Steven: Even White would come?

Pearl: Oh, yes! Huh, I wonder what’s even become of Pink’s court…that reminds me! Hang tight, I’ll be back.

And with that, Steven is left alone with his thoughts in Pink’s room.

Steven: Hey, pebbles, can you help me? Who was she? What did she do? And why does this feel so… familiar?

Why is this so familiar?
Familiar, like something I used to know
Familiar, staring up at the ceiling
Familiar, I swear that I know this feeling
Where everybody wants me to be Mom
And everything I do I do it wrong
I'll sway them with a joke or with a song
And maybe that'll help us get along

I’ve just gotta say: Pink Diamond actually had space crayons and there’s something so precious about that.  On a more somber note, Steven discovers what the pebbles are when he sheds a tear on the little rock garden and makes one of his own.  The Pebbles literally represent the tears Pink Diamond shed and I can’t.

Familiar, why is this so familiar?
Familiar, like something I used to do
Familiar, that she used to throw a tantrum
Insisting that hey, I'm a Diamond, too
I bet she drove them crazy all the time
They love her, but they're leaving her behind
With more important places they should be
Than hanging out with someone just like me

Familiar! That's why it's so familiar
Familiar, like someone I used to be
Familiar, but this time I've had some practice
At helping a struggling family
Oh, I'll get them all together in one place
And once we're all together face to face
I'll show them all the error of their ways
And stop their spread of terror across space!

I mean, he can pull it off, but he can’t make it threatening.  I also love how the Pebbles just casually repurposed the drapes to make that.

Seriously, though, this is why I relate to Rose so much.  I have a theory that the third child in a dysfunctional family (they often end up divorcing) will always turn out to be a “clown”.  I know of several families like this, and whether the third child is the youngest or not, they’re always trying to put a smile on the faces of the people around them.  All the ones I know are boys, except for me.  So while the boys seem like more typical “class clowns”, I learned to contribute by laughing loudly and often, but bottling up my own frustrations.  So yeah.  I relate to both Rose and to Steven on that level.

Steven: Guys! I figured it out. Remember when I was little and maybe kind of annoying and I couldn’t come on adventures? You guys would still drop everything to hang out with me. That’s Pink Diamond! I know I can do this, just watch! I’m gonna throw a huge ball, and I’m gonna invite everyone!

As much as I’m rooting for him, I still can’t help but feel he’s in over his head with his new dysfunctional family.  They have practice dealing with Pink – he doesn’t really know how to handle the Diamonds.

Until next time…

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