As the Diamonds gradually pigeonhole Steven into the same position as his mother, Connie proves her worth by reminding him of who he really is.
The episode kicks off with what is obviously another dream-memory of Pink Diamond (which makes sense, considering that those tend to occur in places of particular significance to her, and her room seems pretty significant). This one is about her relationship with her first Pearl – it seems they grew much closer than the other Diamonds deemed appropriate…
Pearl: Steven? Are you okay?
Steven: Yeah, just had a really weird nightmare…
Then Steven runs the ball idea by Yellow and Blue.
Yellow Diamond: A ball? We haven’t had a ball in six thousand years.
Blue Diamond: We haven’t had Pink in six thousand years!
Steven: Yeah! When White shows up, we can tell her why we need her help on Earth.
Blue Diamond: And, this could also mark the beginning of Era 3.
Yellow Diamond: You’re right. It’s brilliant.
Steven: Thank you Yellow! Thank you Blue!
Blue Diamond: If White is going to be there, everything has to be perfect. Pink, can you manage this on your own? Our pearls can help you get started. […]
Yellow Diamond: Make sure you go over all of our customs with Pink, since she has so much trouble recalling her past here on Homeworld. […]
Pearl: Era 3? Steven, you’re already changing the world!
But as soon as he actually starts trying to plan a party, Yellow Pearl starts shooting all his ideas down.
Yellow Pearl: These balloons you’re referring to are unprecedented and therefore out of the question.
Steven: So, what is precedented and therefore in the question?
Yellow Pearl: You are to sit on your elevated throne, while the members of your court indicate that they are present. […] From here, you can accept or reject the members of your court at your leisure. My Diamond will do the same, as will Blue Diamond, and if we are so lucky, all of us will enjoy the impeccable judgement of White Diamond.
Steven: So when she gets here, I’ll just hop up there and talk to her?
Yellow Pearl: Oh stars, no! I forgot how silly you can be. Everyone stays where they belong.
Steven: Oh, so, I’ll just wait til I get a chance to talk to her on the dancefloor.
Yellow Pearl: Pink Diamond! Your subjects will do the dancing for you! Why would a Diamond want to dance?
Steven: Cause dancing’s fun!
Yellow Pearl: What is…fun?
Connie: You know, when you do something you want to do, just because it feels good.
Yellow Pearl: I don’t think we do that here.
This leads Steven off on a tangent of figuring out what the Pearls might like to do for fun (Blue Pearl likes to draw, and Yellow Pearl seems to enjoy being her model), and Blue Diamond doesn’t like seeing them goofing off, even when Steven feels as ready as he’ll ever be for the ball.
Blue Diamond: Are you really going to look like this? Even at the ball?
Steven: I can’t really help it…
Blue Diamond: You aren’t thinking of inviting your Earth friends, are you?
Steven: Why wouldn’t I? They can’t come? Aren’t they my court or whatever?
Blue Diamond: Pink, quit fooling around! White Diamond is going to be there. We have to present her with our best possible selves, just like our Gems have to present us with their best possible selves! A ball is a chance to inspire everyone.
Steven: But my friends are super inspiring! They’ll inspire White, too. Together we can make a case for Earth!
Blue Diamond: Very well…you can bring your pearl, of course, and your pet.
Steven: My pet?
Connie: …I think she means me.
And this is when Blue starts to lose some of the goodwill she garnered over the past few episodes, as it gradually becomes clear that she doesn’t really want Steven – she wants Pink Diamond back, she wants things to go back to the way they were before, and she hasn’t bothered to question whether “the way things were” was ever all that great to begin with.
Blue Diamond: The sapphire will have to enter with the other sapphires, of course, and the ruby will need to enter with the guard.
Steven: Woah, woah, woah! Are you talking about Garnet?
Blue Diamond: Garnet? Does that call herself a garnet? What would you have her do, enter with the demantoids, the hessonites, the pyrobes? Pink, I’m being very generous, but you can’t expect me to-
Garnet: I won’t go. […]
Blue Diamond: At least the sapphire in there has some sense. Pink, are you going to ring in the ball?
Blue Diamond: Oh, I’ll take care of it. I’ll take care of everything.
Needless to say, Steven’s far too busy trying to talk to Garnet to be bothered with the ball at the moment.
Garnet: I’ll find you when it’s over.
Steven: I thought we were going to do this together!
Garnet: Steven, this is your chance to talk to White. She’s not going to listen to me, but she might listen to Pink.
Steven: Then, she’ll listen when I tell her about you. Once I talk to White Diamond, I’ll change everything! I promise.
Steven baby, I love you, but that’s too idealistic even for THIS show.
So in the end, Amethyst ends up putting on limb enhancers (which she takes with characteristic good humor), and Ruby and Sapphire end up attending separately after all.
Steven: When I told Garnet I still wanted her to come, I hope she didn’t think I meant I wanted her to split…
Connie: I’m sure she just wants to support you in any way she can.
That makes me wonder if Garnet’s anticipating a fight…which reminds me that she only foresaw Steven’s safety on this venture. It’s a token of her faith in him that she came on this trip at all, trusting that he’ll look out for her no matter what (since it’s very obvious Blue Diamond’s threat of shattering still stands, and it’s only “Pink’s” favor that’s kept her out of trouble).
White Pearl: To those in attendance of the Era 3 Ball…White Diamond has more important things to attend to.
White Pearl: Therefore, I will be here to observe in her place. Welcome to Era 3.
White Diamond seems to intend this as a message to “Pink Diamond” that “she” is still in disgrace, or at the very least on probation until further notice.
Steven: I made everyone do this and it’s so…miserable.
Steven: Don’t you mean Pink Diamond?
Connie: Of course I don’t! Come on. Do you wanna dance?
Steven: Yeah, but I’m not supposed to…
Connie: It’s your party.
Steven: But White expects me-
Connie: She’s not here!
Connie is just a fabulous lady knight and THESE TWO.
Connie: Steven, we’re gonna be okay. I’m here. Look at me. We’ll get through this together.
Then they start dancing.
Yellow Diamond: Pink, what are you doing?
Stevonnie: I was just dancing!
Blue Diamond: Pink! This is completely unacceptable! Unfuse, or I’ll make you.
Then the rest of the Crystal Gems fuse to protect their leader…but as cool as it is to see, they don’t actually stand a chance against an angry Yellow Diamond.
Yellow Diamond: Pink, you’ve gone too far, even for you! Stay in here and think about what you’ve done.
Next time: Escapism…