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.
"Rose Buds" is the 3rd episode of Steven Universe Future.
The episode begins with Steven trying to find a place to put the portrait of Rose Quartz, testing multiple locations like the Crystal Temple's hand, the Warp Pad Dome, and his bathroom, neither of which are a good place. He puts it up in the exact same place where it was before and sighs in frustration, realizing he went back to the start. Amethyst and Greg walk in to distract him from his frustration when the house immediately darkens. They go outside to see Pink Diamond's Zoo floating in the air. Using a communication panel in the Warp Pad Dome, Steven and Amethyst receive a video call from Wy-Six and Jay-Ten, who reveals that the Zoo is now piloted by the Zoomans. Greg walks in and is immediately scolded by the two for his previous actions, and leaves soon after. Wy-Six offers Steven to come to join them up in the Zoo. He accepts and asks if Amethyst can join him so she can visit the Famethyst. Wy-Six informs him that as long as Amethyst is not Greg, she is allowed to come.
Steven and Amethyst board the Zoo to see that the human containment area is now a tropical paradise, akin to a summer resort. Wy-Six explains that the Zoomans are now in control of the zoo, while the Quartz guards do not contribute much, simply loafing around. Holly Blue Agate is also troubled, as the lack of authority within Era 3 displeases her. She complains that she wishes to support the Diamonds in any way, but they only want to talk about Steven, until she gets startled when she realizes that he's standing right next to her. Steven says hello, and she responds by performing the Diamond salute and walking away nervously, with the Famethyst laughing at her. Amethyst joyfully reunites with the Famethyst while Wy-Six takes Steven to the Rose Quartz Bubble Room, claiming there are some "new friends" who wished to see him.
Wy-Six opens the door to the room, and a dumbstruck Steven is greeted by three Rose Quartzes, among the other Rose Quartzes who are now unbubbled and free. Two of them, "Superfan" Rose Quartz, and "Hippie" Rose Quartz, quickly introduce themselves and talk to Steven, while the third, "Shy" Rose Quartz, who bears a striking resemblance to Steven's mother, remains quiet. This encounter has made Steven visually uncomfortable, and in his panic, he invites the three of them to his house for dinner. Meanwhile, as the Famethyst are dancing in a conga line, Amethyst attempts to get Steven's attention and notices the Rose Quartzes, making her feel just as unsettled and uncomfortable as Steven is before leaving the room with her fellow quartzes.
Back home, Steven eats dinner while the Rose Quartzes, Garnet, and Pearl watch on. Greg enters the house briefly, asking how long the Zoomans will be around, but leaves quickly in immense discomfort after seeing the Rose Quartzes, especially "Shy" Rose. Pearl then leaves the table to go to Steven's Bathroom, followed by Garnet and Steven himself. Once inside, the three of them discuss the discomfort they are feeling due to the similarities between the Rose Quartzes and the original Rose Quartz -- not just by appearance, but by personality as well. Steven exits the bathroom to rejoin the Rose Quartzes when "Shy" Rose catches a glimpse of the painting of Rose Quartz and suggests they should leave. Panicking again, Steven reluctantly invites them to stay for a slumber party, which "Superfan" Rose excitedly accepts in an exaggerated manner.
At night, Steven and the Rose Quartzes watch movies together in his room. "Superfan" Rose accidentally plays the tape Rose Quartz gave to Steven, causing him to quickly shut off the TV and put them to bed. While conversing with them in bed, Steven inadvertently invites the Rose Quartzes to stay on Earth with him. "Superfan" Rose and "Hippie" Rose quickly accept the offer, but "Shy" Rose is able to see through Steven's emotions and announces to them that Steven does not like them. Steven anxiously tries to reassure them that what they said is not the case, but the three Rose Quartzes shortly leave, disappointed and heartbroken.
Steven quickly catches up to the Rose Quartzes just before they leave via the Warp Pad Dome. He confesses to them how much they reminded him of his mom and how he has been pretending to be comfortable around them when he actually isn't. The Rose Quartzes, in turn, confesses that they were also pretending to be fine, after being bubbled for having the same cut as Steven's mother. The group eventually comes to an understanding, after realizing that they aren't so different, and are almost like siblings.
The three Rose Quartzes warp away, contented, and bid Steven a farewell, just when Amethyst warps back in from hanging out with the Famethyst and asks what she missed.
Back in his bed, Steven sleeps in peace, as the painting of Rose Quartz rests inside Lion's mane.
- Steven Universe
- Rose Quartzes
- Greg Universe
- The Famethyst
- Holly Blue Agate
- Pink Diamond (mentioned)
- Rose Quartz (seen on video)
- The Great Diamond Authority (mentioned)
- Connie Maheswaran (mentioned)
- Cat Steven (pictured)
- Beach City
- Pink Diamond's Zoo
- Pink Dimension
- The Zoomans are no longer wearing their earrings, as they are now in charge of the zoo.
- The title of the episode is a play on words, referencing how blooming roses form buds and how the term "bud" is used as an endearing term for close friends.
- The three Rose Quartzes also represent certain archetypal older sister figures seen in media.
- The Zoomans are still very upset with Greg for inadvertently hurting their feelings during the Choosening ceremony during "The Zoo".
- The videotape that plays on the TV before Steven turns it off is the one Lion first showed him in the episode "Lion 3: Straight to Video".
- Since Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond, this episode marks the first appearance of actual Rose Quartzes, not counting their bubbled appearance in "That Will Be All". Their personalities are revealed to be loosely based on Pink's.
- When Steven is on the Crystal Temple's hand, the star on his shirt is missing.
- Rose Quartz's video tape still stays on the shelf when "Superfan" Rose plays it.
- After Greg says he can feel the rest of his hair falling out "Hippie" Rose and "Superfan" Rose switch places at the table and "Hippie" Rose appears to be wearing shoes.
- When Holly Blue Agate demands the Amethysts get back to their posts, her turtleneck is missing, but when she says "How can you stand this total lack of order?!", it is visible.
View the episode's transcript here.