Boomerang blade! Boomerang blade! Boomerang blade!
Steven and the Gems are seen watching a Japanese movie called the Lonely Blade IV which Pearl comments on while they are watching claiming that it is nothing like real sword-fighting. She then offers to show a demonstration of proper sword techniques to Steven, which Steven excitedly accepts. Pearl then takes the Gems to a cloud temple where Amethyst is sitting on a cloud floating in the air. Pearl says she needs a sparring partner and Steven raises his hand, but Garnet quickly shoves it down. Pearl then says that she already has the perfect partner, and projects a hologram of herself who is trained to sword-fight. They then have a battle, Steven and Garnet cheering on Pearl, and Amethyst cheering for "Holo-Pearl." Pearl finally wins, and Steven asks Pearl to teach him the art of sword-fighting. She then shows him the basics, leaving him bored, so he asks for Pearl to do the "Boomerang Blade" from the movie. Pearl starts to lecture him on how you have to "wait for the perfect time" in sword-fighting, and gets distracted from her fight. Holo-Pearl then stabs Pearl in the back with her sword, impaling her. All the Gems go in shock as Pearl disappears, leaving only her gem behind. Steven starts crying and saying how it was all his fault.
Garnet then explains that this has happened in the past and Pearl will reappear as soon as she's gathered enough energy to heal from her wound. Steven asks how long it will be, two weeks pass and Pearl still hasn't regenerated. Steven gets depressed and tries to fill Pearl's void by hanging out with Pearl's holographic clone, but the clone is only interested in combat practice. The other Gems tells Steven to stop hanging around with Holo-Pearl, as it's getting creepy. Meanwhile, Amethyst eats part of a cloud, inflates like a balloon and goes flying into the sky when Garnet accidentally lets go of her leg.
Steven tries to get a reaction by taking her to Pearl's favorite tree, but when he tells her to "not hold back" she takes this as acceptance of her challenge for battle and chops down the tree. Steven, annoyed by how much Holo-Pearl wants to fight him, runs away and back to the house.
Later, Steven is planning to watch "Lonely Blade V," but Holo-Pearl tries to get Steven to fight her again and destroys the TV in the process. Steven finally snaps at Holo-Pearl, yelling how horrible she is, unlike the real Pearl, pushing the holographic version in the process. This resulted in Holo-Pearl attacking Steven in basic attack mode, which Steven throws his toys at, one of them hitting her, only to activate advanced mode. She then attacks Steven, actually trying to kill him, while Steven tries to use items he finds around the house, like a walrus and boomerang. Although neither the boomerang nor walrus worked, eventually he destroys her by throwing a mop like the boomerang blade and impaling her. Finally, Pearl finishes regenerating, sees the mess that Steven's made of the house and the inflated Amethyst, and says she can't leave them alone for a second. Steven ties his shirt on like a headband and begins banging a pot with a spoon, marching around the room repeatedly chanting "Pearl's back!" as the episode ends.
- Lonely Blade IV
- Lonely Blade V
- Pearl's Arena (first appearance)
- This is the longest episode's title of the show, second being "Steven and the Stevens," and the third being "Keep Beach City Weird."
- In "So Many Birthdays," it was said that while they do not age, Gems can still die if badly injured; in this episode it's shown that if badly injured, a Gem's physical form will disintegrate until they gain enough power to generate a new one. It's possible that this is what they meant by "die," or that they can be permanently killed if their gemstone is somehow destroyed before the regeneration completes.
- After regenerating, Pearl got a different outfit.
- This is the first episode to contain subtitles, if you count the Lonely Blade IV movie at the beginning.
- During Pearl's regeneration, the silhouettes of Pearl's past forms can be seen.
- The first is an unknown featureless design.
- The next is linked to the early promotional design before the pilot.
- There is another unaccounted-for design after this.
- It is possible that it is a reference to the Steven Universe comics where, at the end, Connie finds an old magazine with someone who looks strikingly like Pearl from the late 80's, early 90's.
- The next shown is her design in the Pilot.
- The fifth is her outfit from "Story for Steven."
- The final one before she reforms is the design from the series debut.
- During each silhouette, a color flashes in the light with the color scheme of their respective designs.
- As an aside, this episode may explain why the designs of the Crystal Gems changed between the pilot and series. However, this is unlikely, considering Steven's ignorance of the regeneration concept and the fact that he would have noticed the Gems absence.
- This occurrence of previous forms showing is also seen again in "Reformed" when Amethyst reforms at the end of the episode.
- It's possible that in order for Pearl to regenerate, her hologram must be absent. This could have been a coincidence though.
- However, in "Reformed", it is revealed the Gem decides what they look like, so the long period of time was probably due to Pearl taking her time to perfect her new form.
- A small part of Garnet's Room (or that could be The Burning Room) is seen as Amethyst sees that Steven is hanging out with Holo-Pearl.
- This is the first episode to air at Steven Universe's new time on Wednesday. This move was due to the [adult swim] block moving its start time to 8:00 PM, necessitating schedule shuffling. Episodes returned to Thursdays when Adventure Time took a regular break from new episodes.
- A written Gem language is seen inscribed on the pillars of the gem temple where Pearl tries to teach Steven sword fighting. More than twenty-six characters are shown so this language might not directly translate into English.
- This episode marks the second time Steven's TV broke.
- Lonely Blade IV appears to be a video tape, but in "Joking Victim" Steven doesn't know what a video tape is and in "Lion 3: Straight to Video" he had to go to the Big Donut in order to watch a video tape.
- This episode aired exactly one year before "Story for Steven."
- There appears to be a Nintendo 64 in the foreground when Steven tries to get Holo-Pearl to organize the figures. At the very end of the episode, the same controller can be seen hanging from the ceiling by its cable (right next to Amethyst).
- When Pearl was stabbed by Holo-Pearl, it resembled a scene from the movie Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when Frodo was stabbed by Shelob the giant spider.
- After the "Two Weeks Later" title card, Steven places a yellow lamp next to Pearl's gem. The lamp bears some resemblance to the Luxo lamp from the Pixar logo.
- The figures Steven shows Holo-Pearl resemble Pikachu, Gitaroo Man, and Hero (from Ian Jones-Quartey's defunct webcomic, RPG World), or Cloud Strife From Final Fantasy 7. Another resembles the "Gotta Go Fast" or little Sanic meme, which is fanart of Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The way Pearl retreats back into her gem and out is a possible reference to Genie from Disney's Aladdin.
- The sword fight sequence between Pearl and her holographic projection could be a homage to Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- When Holo-Pearl attacks Steven from above, she appears to be using Sephiroth's Hell's Gate move, the same one he uses to kill Aeris in Final Fantasy VII.
- The cloud Amethyst rides resembles the flying Nimbus that Goku rides from in the Dragon Ball anime series.
- Steven, when being attacked by Holo Pearl, found a boomerang and threw it at her while saying "Boomerang? Boomerang!" referring to Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Before Steven raises his hand wanting to become Pearl's sparring partner, the middle-finger part of Garnet's glove was not colored.
- When Steven congratulates Pearl for defeating Holo-Pearl, Garnet's left shoulderpad was colored black.
- When Garnet accidentally lets go of balloon Amethyst, her left shoulderpad was colored black again.
- After Holo-Pearl cuts the petal tree down, Steven ran away, and on the next scene Holo-Pearl's head was backwards.
- After Steven dissipates Holo-Pearl with the mop, the sword falls to the ground, but in the next scene the sword is gone.
View the episode's transcript here.