You have to be honest about how bad it feels so you can move on.
Connie walks to the Beach House and knocks on the door. She is greeted by Steven, who is apparently bald. Steven attempts to get Connie to notice his baldness but fails because Connie appears unenthusiastic. After a small stress attack, Steven gets to the point and blurts out that he is bald. Connie wonders how that had happened, but Steven reveals it was just a joke and removes the bald cap he was wearing. Noticing her continued indifference, Steven asks Connie if she is all right. Before she can respond, Pearl and Garnet warp in. Pearl asks Steven and Connie if they are ready for today's "special lesson", which is revealed to be fusion training. She explains to them Garnet will be sitting in and is very excited to see Steven and Connie fight as Stevonnie, even making a "fusion sign" with two sides (one for Steven and Connie and the other for Stevonnie) to cheer them on.
The group warps to the Ancient Sky Arena to begin fusion training. Pearl summons two Holo-Pearls that fuse together to form a larger version of themselves. Garnet cheers on Steven and Connie as they fuse into Stevonnie. Pearl commences the duel, and Stevonnie and the Holo-Pearl engage in sword combat. As the fight progresses, Stevonnie jumps over Holo-Pearl and floats by kicking their legs, impressing Garnet and Pearl. Stevonnie lands on a nearby pillar before jumping straight at the giant Holo-Pearl. As they fly toward the Holo-Pearl, the hologram turns into an unknown human child. This startles Stevonnie, making them lose focus and unfuse. Garnet and Pearl rush over, surprised and concerned by their unexpected misstep. Without a word, Connie runs away, visibly distressed.
Steven finds Connie by the warp pad and asks her what is wrong. Connie says she did something horrible at school. She explains that she had beat up a kid she did not know, describing how he had bumped into her and caused her training instincts to kick in. Unsure of what to do, she had run away in embarrassment. Steven attempts to comfort her, telling Connie that she did not mean to hurt him. He relates to her experience, understanding the emotional difficulties of unintentionally harming another, and advises her not to dwell on these kinds of accidents. Garnet comes on the scene and takes Steven and Connie to the beach. She explains to them how a fusion must have inner balance in order to preserve its physical form. An imbalance can cause the fusion to hallucinate and eventually unfuse. Garnet elaborates that in order to maintain the balance of their fusion, they must confront and understand their feelings. She offers to demonstrate and asks Steven and Connie to form Stevonnie so they can begin meditating. After they fuse, Garnet helps them enter the realm of their mind.
Inside their fusion realm, Garnet begins to sing "Here Comes a Thought", teaching Stevonnie about confronting their emotions. They observe Ruby and Sapphire encounter a butterfly. It disturbs Sapphire and makes Ruby furious enough to chase it down. This leads to more butterflies surrounding Sapphire. Stevonnie encounters a butterfly on their finger until it flies off with a swarm flying in from behind them. The swarm surrounds Sapphire, overwhelming her as Ruby is overwhelmed by the one butterfly she was chasing. Garnet, however, assures that this is not how the two fall apart. Ruby takes deep breaths and runs over to Sapphire to comfort her, and succeeds in doing so. Stevonnie begins to sing and experiences Steven and Connie facing the same issues with the butterflies but ultimately calms down as well. Steven, Connie, Ruby, and Sapphire lay down and watch the butterflies flutter away, and Stevonnie and Garnet complete their meditation.
The next day at the Beach House, Connie is much more enthusiastic than before after talking to Garnet. She informs Steven that she had even resolved her issue with the kid she attacked, whose name she reveals to be Jeff. She describes how attempting to ignore her conflict only made her feel worse about it. Connie expresses her optimism regarding their training as Stevonnie, believing that their performance will improve now that she has cleared her mind. As she leaves to prepare for sword practice, Steven is concerned to see a butterfly on the handle of Rose's sword.
At the Ancient Sky Arena, Stevonnie spars against three Holo-Pearls as Garnet and Pearl look on. When Stevonnie thrusts their sword into one Holo-Pearl, however, the hallucinations begin again, this time coming from Steven's part, as Stevonnie witnesses Bismuth getting poofed. Garnet snaps them back to reality while Pearl expresses concern, but Stevonnie returns to their hallucinations and witnesses Jasper and her corruption. They also witness Eyeball's hatred and anger toward them, and Stevonnie is eventually surrounded by the three, becoming overwhelmed with guilt and remorse.
The three poof into swarms of butterflies and form Rose Quartz in the sky, looking down on them with a disappointed expression. This makes Stevonnie recede in distress, slowly moving toward the brink of the Ancient Sky Arena. To Garnet and Pearl's alarm, Stevonnie inadvertently falls off the edge of the arena.
Stevonnie unfuses from the sudden shock and Connie encourages Steven to fuse again to hover down safely. Steven is under turmoil, however, as what he witnessed was one of the worst things he had experienced coming back to haunt him. Connie tells him it is okay to think about it and that he has to feel bad about what he had done so he can move on.
With her reassurance, Steven comes to terms with his actions, as he had no other choice but to act upon Bismuth, Jasper, and Eyeball's demise since the three refused to accept his help. Steven and Connie begin to fuse once more, and Stevonnie begins to breathe to calm down. They eventually land on the ground safely, happy about the outcome. They lay on the ground and stare at the clouds as the episode ends.
- Connie Maheswaran
- Ruby (imagined)
- Sapphire (imagined)
- Bismuth (imagined, mentioned)
- Jasper (imagined, mentioned)
- Ruby (Eyeball) (imagined)
- Rose Quartz (imagined)
- Jeff (pictured, mentioned; debut)
- Greg Universe (mentioned)
- The episode features some sequences made by Japanese animator Takafumi Hori.
- This is the first episode to be animated by a guest animator.
- "Here Comes a Thought" is the first song sung by Stevonnie, the first duet by Garnet, and the first song of Season 4.
- Stevonnie is shown to be ambidextrous in this episode as they have used the sword and shield interchangeably.
- In the Ancient Sky Arena, four floating octahedrons (yellow, white, blue, and pink) can be seen above the arena, with the pink one being broken, possibly foreshadowing Pink Diamond's "shattering".
- This episode ends without an iris close.
- White butterflies are a heavy piece of symbolism in the episode. In many cultures, the butterfly represents the soul, with the color white representing the soul's purity. It also has many associations with good luck and moving on the right path of life.
- This could also be a reference to the expression "butterflies in the stomach", which relates to anxiety.
- It may also be a reference to the Persona series of video games, which use a blue butterfly as the symbol of the major character Philemon.
- Stevonnie kicking their legs to hover in the air is a possible reference to both Yoshi and Luigi's scuttle jump from Super Mario Bros.
- Connie and Steven holding their hands together as they fell is a reference to a scene in the 1986 Studio Ghibli film Laputa: Castle in the Sky, in which the two protagonists (Sheeta and Pazu) share a moment as they float safely to the ground via the power of Sheeta's Levitation Stone.
- Garnet's method of mindfulness meditation, especially the lines "it's just a thought, we can watch them go by," closely mirrors the principles and strategies of Mindfulness Cognitive Behavior Therapy (MCBT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), practiced by accepting the presence of negative feelings without dwelling on those thoughts. Both therapies have been shown to have a high success rate in treating anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
- Steven's bald appearance during the opening joke might be a reference to Steven Hayes, Ph.D., known for his work related to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
- The hand symbol made by Stevonnie and Garnet during the song is the Mudra for the Vishuddha Chakra or Throat Chakra. This fifth blue Chakra is the Chakra of truth/communication, being blocked by lies/confusion.
- The scene of Stevonnie facing Steven's shameful thoughts are filtered through orange and yellow, possibly symbolizing Steven's Sacral Chakra, the second orange Chakra of pleasure and creativity, and Solar Plexus Chakra, the third yellow Chakra of willpower and taking action, currently being blocked by guilt and shame respectively. Avatar: The Last Airbender did a similar thing with those particular Chakras and all the other ones.
- Colin Howard's promotional art for this episode is a reference to the 1973 TV series, Schoolhouse Rock!, which consisted of animated musical educational short films.
- The negative depiction of butterflies is similar to that of an "Akuma" from the French cartoon Miraculous Ladybug.
- Steven and Connie are still training with Pearl since "Sworn to the Sword".
- Steven confronts his "demons" from the episodes "Bismuth", "Earthlings", and "Bubbled".
- The "Ancient Sky Arena" shows damage from the events of "Steven vs. Amethyst".
- Garnet uses Steven's line, "Hold the phone. Now give the phone to me," from "The Message".
- The odd visions Stevonnie sees when under stress in "Alone Together" and "Beach City Drift" are revealed to be a normal side effect when a fusion is in disharmony.
- Steven uses the "Fusion joke" line first heard in "Cry for Help".
- Note: Time is displayed in [mm:ss]; [00:00] refers to the point after the title card is displayed and before the episode's start.
- [02:07] When Stevonnie falters and unfuses, Garnet's sign displays "GO, Steven + Connie" despite having flipped it to the other side. (However, Garnet could’ve used her future vision and seen that Stevonnie would break apart)
- [04:15] At the beginning of "Here Comes a Thought", Stevonnie's gemstone has six facets instead of five.
- [04:25] [04:57] [05:01] In multiple shots, Ruby and Sapphire's gems are missing.
- [04:44] [05:27] In multiple shots, Sapphire's plump lips are missing.
- [04:54] As Ruby yells at the butterfly during "Here Comes a Thought", her gemstone is not colored in.
- [05:06] When Garnet is holding the butterflies in her hands, the tip of her left shoe is uncolored.
- [10:03] When Steven and Connie are falling, Connie's ribbon changes from red to blue in a frame.
View the episode's transcript here.