Please don’t leave…
Naturally, since this is an episode focused on Steven’s dreams, this is gonna be fairly image-heavy as we look at Steven’s feelings. Specifically, he’s having a nightmare where all his friends are having a party, but he can’t get in.
Cookie Cat: Steven, no one needs your help. So why are you still here?
Poor Steven is afraid that his friends will forget about him now that they’re doing more interesting stuff than him and this boy needs a hug. He doesn’t get one, but at least he gets to have a friend over!
On the one hand, Peridot is in no mood for a heart-to-heart at the moment. On the other hand, they have come together to indulge their fandom geekery.
Peridot: Did you tape it?
Steven: What are you talking about?
Peridot: You promised me!
Steven: Oh, are you talking about the reboot of the classic great northern teen drama, Camp Pining Hearts, that I recorded, on this tape?
Sadly, the CPH reboot doesn’t turn out as well as She-Ra.
Peridot: They’ve changed all the characters and I don’t care about any of them! How could you do this to me? Camp Pining Hearts helped me escape when everything around me was in chaos.
Steven: CPH brought us together!
Then we stumble upon the gimmick for this episode – apparently, Steven ended up broadcasting his dream to his TV last night…
Peridot: Steven, do you know what this means?
Steven: I have to start wearing a tin foil hat?
Peridot: No! It means that if we can put your dreams on the television, we can reboot the reboot!
Steven: Reboot the…Peridot, you’re a genius!
Because we can’t have a Peridot episode without a wacky PeriPlan!
Steven: You just can’t get into Rodrigo, can you?
Peridot: He’s so infuriatingly passive!
Steven: Hey, hey! I get that his social anxiety and poutine allergy aren’t really connected to the larger story, but maybe if he just had some kind of foil?
I have had similar debates about characters like Fanny Price in Mansfield Park, whom I and like one other person absolutely love and the rest of the world seems to hate.
Thus, Steven introduces a foil to Rodrigo – Stefan, an obvious idealized self-insert character.
So Steven dreams up their little reboot, and it’s all going just as they’d apparently plotted, with Stefan arranging for Rodrigo to “rescue” Jasmine on a remote island and generally being a swell guy.
At least until the Diamonds sneak in at the last minute and throw everything off.
Peridot: Steven, you did it! You just fell asleep, and then you started glowing pink, then the TV started going on the fritz, and then – I’ll just show you. Our script, our story! I watched the whole thing live! Not sure what you were going for at the end there, that was pretty bizarre…but for a first attempt – Steven?
Steven: Oh, sorry. Just feeling a little off. Guess maybe the chili was a bad idea.
Peridot: Ah, don’t worry about it. Our budget is nothing and our schedule is infinite.
Steven is initially encouraged at the thought that he can just do a “redream”…but each subsequent dream falls apart in increasingly obvious ways, with most of them ending in his friends flying away, “Stefan” losing control, or both.
So the next day, Peridot comes up with a new approach: Storyboards!
Steven: Hey Peridot, why’s Stefan kissing Jasmine?
Peridot: It’s perfect, right? Just as Rodrigo is about to swoop in and save his teenage dream, he stumbles upon Stefan, his good friend whom he trusts so much, kissing Jasmine! Thus stoking the fire of Rodrigo’s jealousy!
Steven: I can’t do Rodrigo dirty like that!
Peridot: Woah, Steven, hold on. You’re talking about them like they’re real people. It’s just a story. And a story needs conflict.
Kissing can be troublesome even when you’re just acting, but I imagine it would be particularly distasteful if you have to dream it. Especially when it seems Steven and Connie haven’t had a (proper) first kiss yet.
Peridot: There’s no point if you’re gonna get all worked up over it. I should probably be getting back to Little Homeworld anyway…
Steven: No, wait! I’ll do it.
This is not going to end well.
Rodrigo: Stefan, how could you?
But of course Steven feels guilty, so his subconscious starts making itself felt.
Because of course Connie would kick his butt if he ever tried to kiss another girl. Just maybe not as Obsidian.
But then he wakes up from one dream into another (as you’d notice when you see the old layout for his bedroom). He sees Peridot in front of the TV and pleads with her to stop, but of course the Dream Peridot doesn’t respond.
Steven: Peridot? Peridot, wait! Stop, don’t go in there! Please, I still really want to hang out with you.
Steven: Peridot, we always had something to fix together – the Cluster, the Diamonds, or Spinel! I don’t think I know how to be a friend without something to fix, but I-I just can’t do it anymore! I’m so tired. Now I’m even doing it in my dreams. I’m sorry, I can’t do this for you. Please don’t leave! Don’t…leave…
Thankfully, Peridot has become a much better friend since we first met her.
Peridot: Steven, I saw everything, it’s- it’s fine! We don’t need to do this anymore. I don’t care about the show, and I definitely don’t care about Rodrigo. I’m such a clod!
Steven: But I really wanted to spend time with you! I just wanted an excuse to hang out.
Peridot: We don’t need an excuse to hang out.
Thus, they resign themselves to the fact that the CPH reboot is terrible, and find much enjoyment in its badness, but mostly just in spending time with each other.
Until next time…