|—The Crystal Gems|
It's been days since the events of "Dewey Wins". Steven has made numerous attempts to contact Connie on his cell phone, but has yet to receive a single response from her. The situation is causing him to become very depressed and anxious, to the point that he is losing touch with his surroundings.
A few feet away, Greg accidentally tangles himself in some hoses, and it takes Greg several attempts to get Steven's attention. When Steven finally notices, he panics, quickly concludes his latest text to Connie, and rushes to his father's aid, immediately going to the extreme of gnawing through the hose to untangle him. Immediately afterward, Steven is wracked with anxiety over his slow response time and his overreaction to the perceived threat; Greg attempts to assure his son, but to little avail. Steven's attention is suddenly drawn to his buzzing phone; he tentatively answers, expecting a response from Connie, but it turns out to be an irrelevant message from Ronaldo. Greg notices his son's dour mood and attempts to console him, but Steven remains withdrawn and dismisses the issue.
Back at the beach house, Steven is so out of it that he's attempting to wash dishes with an unopened bottle of soap. When he receives another text, his hopes of reaching out to Connie are raised, and promptly dashed as he discovers another junk message. At that moment, Greg and the Crystal Gems arrive to tell him that they're going to a vacation house for the weekend. Steven fails to pick up that he's being invited to go on vacation with them and dismisses them, but his father and guardians urge him to come along, in a transparently rehearsed way. After hearing their pleas (and receiving yet another junk text), Steven decides to take them up on their offer.
Steven, Greg and the Gems pull up to the "Cool Ranch", with Steven remaining glued to his phone. Greg states he wants Steven to feel as comfortable as possible, even bringing Steven's bed with him. He talks up the house to Steven, overselling its rather underwhelming features (which is then undercut by a note from the owner forbidding them from using said features). To make matters worse, Amethyst reports an unexpected guest, describing it as being three feet long, hissing, and reptilitian. As the snake attacks Pearl off-screen, Steven's promised "great time" is looking doubtful.
That evening, Greg barbecues up some dinner, while Pearl recovers from the snake bite (claiming that the surprise is worse than the physical pain). Greg notices that Steven is obsessing over his phone again, and urges Amethyst to talk him out of his funk; unfortunately, due to her half-hearted attempt to break the ice, the conversation quickly peters out into awkward confusion. Later that evening, Greg invites Steven to converse with Garnet in the hot tub; he acquiesces, but insists on bringing his phone (which he secures in a plastic baggie). Garnet attempts to get to the root of Steven's anxieties, but she unfortunately misreads the situation, and assumes that Steven is still feeling anxious over the fact that his mother Rose Quartz assassinated Pink Diamond. As Garnet prepares to weave an epic narrative, Steven shuts her down and summarily explains that he's come to terms with the situation, leaving Garnet at a loss for words.It's a new morning, and Steven's anxiety has not abated one bit. As he sits on the front porch staring at his phone, he overhears Greg and the Gems; they worriedly discuss how they've been unable to break through to Steven, and that they're running out of options. Greg believes he is of no use, believing that the problem is literally of galactic proportions and out of his area of expertise. Garnet suggests that Pearl tackle the issue, and Pearl agrees, albeit hesitantly. Pearl steps out to greet Steven, while Steven pretends to remain unaware of his guardians' attempts to counsel him. After a couple of false starts, Pearl starts to babble on about the situation, revealing her own anxieties in the process. She suddenly stops short, struggling on the verge of what appears to be a dramatic confession.
But before Pearl can spit it out, Steven finally breaks down and admits what's been bugging him: He believes Connie has severed ties with him for good. To the Gems' surprise, Steven goes on to say that his escapades on Homeworld were not nearly as troubling as having to deal with the possibility that his friendship with Connie might be over. He bursts into tears and runs off. Greg promptly pursues Steven with renewed confidence; unlike the Gems, he knows how to deal with problems of the mundane Earth variety.
Greg finds Steven hiding away, and proceeds to talk with him, playing the fool in order to lower Steven's emotional barriers. Greg assures Steven that he's not angry; he does, however, admit that Steven's rash decision to turn himself in to Homeworld authorities was a rather harrowing experience for him, and he suspects that Connie is in the same boat. Greg admits that he dragged Steven to the Cool Ranch for the weekend because that was his way of emotionally dealing with the aftermath; he suspects that Connie's way of dealing with it is to keep her distance from Steven for the time being. Now Steven feels foolish because he had been sending a series of texts that made him seem overly clingy, and that Connie has been reading them all.
Then Greg points out that the Cool Ranch has no cell service.
Flabbergasted by this news, and realizing that Connie may have been trying to contact him all this time, Steven urges his dad to drive him to a place with cell service. The family of five pile into the van and start roaming for a signal, while Steven directs them, nearly guiding them off a cliff in the process. He clambers to the top of the van, and upon receiving a cell signal, is immediately informed of one pending text message. He excitedly clicks on it to see what Connie has to say...But it's just another message from Ronaldo.
Steven curls up, thoroughly disappointed. But Greg and the Gems climb up to the roof to comfort Steven in his time of need. Greg advises him that though heartbreak may hurt, time heals all wounds. The five of them sit beneath the night canvas, gazing at the stars above.
- Steven Universe
- Greg Universe
- Connie Maheswaran (mentioned)
- Pink Diamond (mentioned; flashback)
- Bismuth (flashback)
- Two unknown Crystal Gems (flashback)
- Ronaldo Fryman (pictured, voice only)
- Steven's Phone
- Greg's Van
- Gem Destabilizers (imagined in flashback)
- Koala Princess DVD set (mentioned)
- The title card of this episode, as well as the one from "Raising the Barn", uses Dosis (the credits font) for the name of the episode (instead of the font normally used for episode titles). However, it changes back to the regular font in "Back to the Kindergarten".
- To rent out Cool Ranch, Greg uses an app service based on Airbnb.
- The name of the land, Cool Ranch, is also a type of flavor for Doritos.
- Greg mentions that he still has 9 million dollars left from the check Marty gave him in "Drop Beat Dad".
- Garnet brings up the Rebellion against Homeworld to Steven, to which he states that he already knows about it. A brief flashback appears in a similar style to "The Answer".
- This also marks the first animated appearance of Pink Diamond, and also shows the silhouettes of two unknown Crystal Gems.
- The episode shows Pearl trying to talk about the Diamonds and Homeworld, although seemingly unwillingly covering up her own mouth, preventing her from telling Steven anything. The cause of and reason for this action is revealed in the episode "A Single Pale Rose." This was previously foreshadowed when she began explaining Pink Diamond's Zoo in "Adventures in Light Distortion".
- The events of "I Am My Mom", "Off Colors", "Lars' Head" and "Dewey Wins" are mentioned.
- When Steven sees the second text from Ronaldo, the background is still at the car wash, and then resumes back to the kitchen.
- When Garnet gives Steven a thumbs up while insisting that he accompanies them on the vacation, her glove's middle finger is missing.
- When Garnet said "Also, continue, Steven" her right palm has Ruby's gemstone instead of Sapphire's.
- When the Gems finish entering the van, the space between Steven's head and Pearl's is painted the color of the hair of the latter.
- When Amethyst looks out the door to ask Greg if it was normal for a snake to be in the house, the right side of his braces are painted the same color as his hair. This changes in the following scene.
View the episode's transcript here.