This episode is painfully awkward and also weirdly relatable and I am here for it.
We begin with Steven looking for a new spot to hang the painting of Rose, but he just can’t seem to find the right place for her.
Steven: After everything that’s happened, I don’t know if I still want her hanging over us, you know?
Then a pink space station comes around to loom over them!
Steven: How’d you get your space station all the way here?
Wy-six: We took our zoo’s ship, and turned it into a cruise ship!
I mean, that really doesn’t explain anything, but it does come out that the humans are now more or less in charge of the station. So Steven and Amethyst beam up for a visit (Greg is explicitly banned, not that he really minds).
Everyone’s pretty happy with the new arrangement, except Holly Blue (naturally).
Wy-six: Ste-van, I have some special friends that wish to meet you. Isn’t it wonderful?
Steven: They want to meet me?
Wy-six: Yes. It was they who wanted us to visit Earth.
Turns out all those rose quartzes we saw bubbled on the station were finally released at the beginning of Era 3, and some of them wanted to meet Steven, including this one which bears a striking resemblance to Steven’s mom. Unfortunately for him, Amethyst is too busy bonding with the Famethyst to bother helping extricate him from his predicament. And poor Steven just keeps digging the hole deeper, eventually inviting them to dinner at the Temple. Because some people default to not saying anything in awkward situations, while Steven feels the need to keep talking.
Greg: Any idea how long the Zoomans will be around? I haven’t had this many exes show up at once since-
Rose Quartz: Hi! How are you?
Greg: I can feel the rest of my hair falling out.
Steven tries to drag him into the awkward dinner party, but Greg quite sensibly nopes out. And Garnet and Pearl aren’t too far behind.
Steven: Come on, we can’t be like this! They were bubbled just because they looked like Mom, now we’re ditching them to whisper in the bathroom for the same reason?
Garnet: I know it’s wrong, but I’m overwhelmed.
Pearl: They don’t just look like her, they are like her! She made them. I thought I’d be more ready for this.
Steven: Okay, fine, stay here. But I’m going back out there to make sure they have a good time.
Steven, it’s great that you’re trying, but…honestly, I’m not sure what the right thing to do would be in a situation like this, or if there even IS a “right” thing to do. But it still hurts.
Rose Quartz: Maybe we should get back. We don’t want to wear out our welcome.
Rose Quartz: But we’re having so much fun!
Rose Quartz: Do you not want us here?
Steven: What? No, you’re totally welcome here! You should…stay over!
Keep digging that hole and you might wake up the Cluster!
The one good thing about turning it into a slumber party is that Steven actually has an excuse to stop talking when they finally go to bed…but of course they’re not used to sleeping, and whoever heard of a slumber party where you went to sleep at bedtime, anyway?
Rose Quartz: It’s a shame we’re leaving tomorrow.
Steven: Yeah, I wish you could just…stay here forever…
Rose Quartz: You mean it?
Rose Quartz: Of course he means it! Why would he say it if he didn’t mean it?
Rose Quartz: Then yes! The answer is yes! We’d love to live with you!
Steven: Ah! I mean, you could, but, but then…Lion might get mad? He can get very territorial and-
Rose Quartz: Can’t you guys take a hint? He doesn’t want us here. He doesn’t like us! […]
Steven: It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s just…
Rose Quartz: Wow. He really does hate us.
Rose Quartz: I’m going back to the ship. Sorry for bothering you, Steven.
But of course he can’t just let them leave like that.
Steven: Wait! Please, please don’t leave like this. I’m really sorry. It’s not like I don’t like you or don’t want you here, it’s just that…you look so much like her. Like my mom. I thought I was ready to move on and not have her hanging over me anymore, but I can barely be in a room with you because I still feel all twisted up about her. I’ve been pretending that I’m fine, because it’s not your fault, but I’m not fine.
Rose Quartz: We’ve been pretending, too. To be fine. […] Your mom created us, too. Then got us all bubbled, just for being rose quartzes.
Rose Quartz: But you know, it’s fine. It’s whatever.
Rose Quartz: It’s not whatever! I don’t expect you to understand. I swore I wouldn’t talk about this…
Steven: But I do understand! Aw, man, if anyone can understand how you feel, it’s me. I’ve been thinking about you guys like my mom times three, but we’re really more like siblings.
Rose Quartz: Siblings? What’s that?
Steven: Well, Mom created all of us, and we’ve all been living in her shadow – we’ll always be related to her, but that means we’ll always be related to each other.
It turns out they were saying a lot of things they didn’t really mean, either – maybe it runs in the family.
Steven: Well, feel free to visit if you want. No pressure.
Rose Quartz: Thanks, Steven.
Steven: Later, Rose Quartz.
Then, with a few more of his complicated feelings resolved, he thinks of a place to put the painting.
Until next time…