|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the soundtrack or the book.|
No more questions. Don't ever question this. You already are the answer.
The episode begins with Steven sleeping on the back of a pickup truck in the family barn. Garnet appears and wakes Steven up at midnight, celebrating his birthday. Even though Garnet's plan of telling Steven that she is a fusion is ruined by the events of "Jail Break", she instead begins to tell the tale of how Ruby and Sapphire met and became a Crystal Gem, which excites Steven.
Garnet introduces the setting as Earth, 5750 years ago.
Homeworld was in the process of colonizing the Earth, but a group of rebels were delaying the progress. As a result, a team of diplomats were sent to Earth to investigate the current crisis, including Sapphire and her team of three Ruby bodyguards. Sapphire was summoned by Blue Diamond to give her a report of the outcomes surrounding the rebellion in the future, and along the way, the Rubies discuss how they will fight the rebels, punching each other in the process. One Ruby is shoved into Sapphire and apologizes, but Sapphire excuses her, explaining that she knew it would happen thanks to her future vision. As Ruby attempts to make herself look dutiful, Sapphire approaches Blue Diamond and informs her of the future - the rebels will attack the Cloud Arena, destroying the physical forms of seven Gems in the process - including Sapphire herself and two of her Ruby bodyguards. Despite this, the rebels will be captured, ending the rebellion and winning the war.
The rebels appear immediately afterward, revealing themselves to be Rose Quartz and Pearl, the original two Crystal Gems. They urge Blue Diamond to abandon Earth and begin attacking the Homeworld Gems. The attack proceeds exactly as how Sapphire had foreseen it, with Pearl defeating two Quartzes and Sapphire's Ruby guards facing Rose. The trio fuses into a giant-sized version of themselves, but Rose easily defeats them, poofing two Rubies in the process. As Pearl approaches Sapphire, the latter thanks the remaining Ruby for her efforts - Ruby realizes that Sapphire had accepted her fate, having seen this outcome through her visions. However, Ruby refuses to accept this outcome - she jumps towards Sapphire, knocking her out of the path of Pearl's blade. In the process, however, the two Gems fuse together into Garnet, but with a much more chaotic-looking outfit than her present-day self. The new Gem is utterly confused as to what happened - meanwhile, Rose stops Pearl from attacking Garnet, and they flee the arena.
Garnet immediately unfuses as the crowd surrounds Ruby and Sapphire, murmuring in anger and disgust. Blue Diamond is disappointed that Sapphire's visions proved imperfect, but Ruby intervenes by taking the blame. For this, and the "crime" of fusing with a member of her court, Blue Diamond sentences Ruby to be broken - however, Sapphire grabs Ruby and escapes, jumping down to land. Ruby is furious that she failed to protect Sapphire, and Sapphire was surprised, because of Ruby's impulsive nature, it changed the course of fate which she previously foresaw. Ruby accompanies Sapphire to shelter, and they hold out during the rain. Ruby expresses her frustration about failing her mission for saving Sapphire, but Sapphire calmly tells her that she already saved her. They discuss their feelings of when they were fused as Garnet, along with the strange new properties they inherited from each other. They sing together, exchanging thoughts of love and caring for each other, and end with a fusion dance, bringing back Garnet once more.
Garnet was beginning to get used to her new form as she continued sustaining her fusion, she suddenly trips and stumbles into Pearl, and Rose. Against Garnet's plea for mercy, Rose urges her to stay fused. Garnet is concerned that she may be upsetting Rose, but she insists that the most important thing of all is how Garnet herself feels as a fusion. She admits feeling lost and scared, but also happy. Rose welcomes her to Earth, presumably titling her as a new Crystal Gem. Garnet asks Rose many questions about Ruby, Sapphire, and their fusion, but she stops Garnet and tells her that she already is the answer to all the questions she seeks. Steven asks Garnet what the answer was, to which she replies with "Love." Steven says he knew it all along, and Garnet agrees.
- Ruby (flashback)
- Other Ruby Gems (flashback)
- Sapphire (flashback)
- Blue Diamond (flashback) (debut)
- Blue Diamond's Pearl (flashback) (debut) (cameo) (non-speaking)
- Various Other Gems (flashback) (cameo)
- Rose Quartz (flashback)
- Pearl (flashback)
- "Happy Birthday Steven / 5750 Years Ago"
- "Blue Diamond (soundtrack)"
- "The Rebels / Garnet's First Fusion"
- "Escaping the Colony / Feelings of Love"
- "The Answer (soundtrack)"
- This is the first episode to air in 2016.
- This episode's name was first revealed in an interview with Rebecca Sugar by The Mary Sue.
- Although Lamar Abrams frequently storyboards with Aleth Romanillos, and Katie Mitroff frequently storyboards with Hilary Florido, in this episode, Lamar Abrams storyboards with Katie Mitroff.
- This is also the first episode to be storyboarded by a new pair.
- The period that Ruby and Sapphire's story is told is in 3750 B.C.E., according to Garnet.
- Garnet states that Ruby and Sapphire met 5750 years ago, which is also the tested half-life of the radioactive isotope Carbon-14.
- Garnet does not wear her visor once throughout the entire episode.
- Garnet is revealed to be the very first fusion of two different kinds of Gems. She was already a perfect fusion despite fusing for the first time, but her relative inexperience is shown by her more patchwork appearance (a chaotic combination of reds and blues, along with hints of Garnet's future outfit).
- This episode also features the first on-screen fusion between multiple Gems of the same type. This type of fusion is revealed to create a larger version of that Gem, and the result is implied to be weaker than a fusion between Gems of different types.
- Steven turns 14 in this episode, as seen here.
- A silhouette bearing a striking resemblance to Lapis Lazuli appears as a member of Blue Diamond's entourage. However, it is not confirmed if it is really her.
- Garnet's first-generation outfit is similar to original concept sketches for Stevonnie.
- Due to Pearl's abnormal behavior, she was given the nickname, "Rose's terrifying renegade Pearl", to reflect her infamy.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Short Form Animated Program category.
- During NYCC 2016, Charlyne Yi said this is her favorite episode to have personally worked on.
- Both this episode and "Hit the Diamond" were banned in Russia and Bulgaria.
- This is the only StevenBomb 4 episode in which Peridot doesn't appear.
- Various elements in the episode resemble scenes from Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty:
- The scene where Ruby and Sapphire dance near a river to later form Garnet resembles Aurora's and Prince Philip's "Once Upon a Dream" scene.
- Garnet's appearance in this episode resembles Aurora's dress during the "Pink and Blue" scene.
- The art style of Lotte Reiniger, foremost pioneer of silhouette animation, is referenced in this episode.
- The way Homeworld Gems viewed the fusion of two different types of gems as disgusting is similar to how society used to view people of different races being together instead of separate, as well as people of different castes in Hindu culture intermingling (i.e. intercaste marriage).
- The whole episode shows signs of being a metaphor for queer people coming out, coming to terms with their sexuality/gender identification and starting their first relationship as someone queer. The way Ruby and Sapphire's fusion is viewed by Blue Diamond and the rest of the Homeworld Gems is also similar to how society views queer relationships today. It has also been confirmed that Ruby and Sapphire are in a same-sex relationship (although Gems are technically genderless).
- The way Blue Diamond asks for Sapphire's council to see the outcome of the battle is very similar to the oracles of ancient Greece. In both real life and mythology, important people (kings, heroes, generals, and gods) sought the council of oracles before going to war and battle to see if fate favored their side. The most important oracle in ancient Greece was the Oracle of Delphi.
- Cloud Arena resembles Cloud City from Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
- Steven discovered that Garnet was a fusion in "Jail Break". In the same episode, Garnet also mentioned that she had planned to save this revelation for Steven's birthday.
- When Sapphire escapes with Ruby, it is similar to a scene in "Jail Break" where she grabbed Steven and sprinted to reunite with Ruby.
- As Ruby and Sapphire start to dance, they hum the tune to "Stronger Than You" from "Jail Break".
- In "Love Letters", Garnet tells Jamie that she does "not believe in love at first sight, and that love takes time and effort", implying that her fusion also took time and effort getting used to.
- When Garnet tells Rose Quartz of her conflicting emotions, Rose tells her, "Welcome to Earth", the same welcome Garnet would give to Peridot in "Back to the Barn".
- Blue Diamond is seen with another Gem standing beside her as she speaks with Sapphire. This Gem is a Pearl, further referencing the social position of Pearls in the Homeworld, as discussed in "Back to the Barn".
- Three Gems depicted in Garnet's story are similar in appearance to three Gems found in Pearl's hologram of the Lunar Sea Spire in "Cheeseburger Backpack".
- The story of how Rose met Garnet was first hinted at back in the episode "We Need To Talk".
- Also, it shows how Garnet and Pearl met for the first time.
- Garnet said that she was going to tell the story of how Ruby and Sapphire first met, but this is incorrect due to the synopsis of the episode saying that Garnet tells the story of how she became a Crystal Gem. However, both descriptions of the episode are partially true; Garnet's story includes how Ruby and Sapphire met, fused, formed a relationship together, and eventually joined the Crystal Gems.
- In both shots where Garnet is sitting over Steven, the black section on her neckline is missing.
- After Ruby accidentally hit Sapphire, all the background gems are gone.
- When the three Rubies fuse into a giant Ruby, the right shoulder gemstone goes to left palm, and the left-palm gemstone goes to the right shoulder.
- They also unfuse in the same way.
- Their gemstones also were bigger.
- While Sapphire and Ruby are both sitting by the fire there are small scenes of their time as Garnet. In between these scenes, you can see that Sapphire's gem is on the wrong hand for a moment (right after Garnet's feet are shown).
- When Rose settles down Garnet's fears of being a fusion, Sapphire's gemstone on Garnet is upside down.
- When Garnet tells Steven the "answer" is love, the back of her pants is all orchid-colored, missing the blue on the back.
- Once Rose and Pearl land on the arena, Rose is behind Pearl, but in the split shot of Pearl and Rose, Rose cannot be seen behind Pearl.
- When the Rubies form a pyramid, the Ruby whose gem is on the back of her right hand's gem is missing.
- When Sapphire first appeared on Garnet's flashback, she had circular shoulder pads, but throughout the whole story, she had pointed oval-shaped shoulder pads.
- When Garnet fell after she was formed for the second time, Pearl was pointing her sword to Garnet using her right hand, but it moved to her left hand when she realized that Garnet was the earlier fusion, and it moved back to her right hand when Rose came.
- When Rose and Pearl are standing next to each other when Rose delivers the line "Welcome to Earth!", her dress is colored the same shade as her hair between her curl.
- When Blue Diamond says, "You will be broken for this!" her sleeve is missing.
- When Ruby places her hand on Sapphire's hip before they start their fusion dance, her hand appears to be over Sapphire's hair, but when the camera zooms out, and for the rest of the dance, Ruby's hand has been shifted closer to her front.
- Just before she starts dancing with Ruby, Sapphire's left glove briefly turns the same color as her skin.
View the episode's transcript here.