♫ Just a little time... just a little something up ahead I'm dreaming of... Being... Being... Being...
|—Emily King, "Being Human"|
"The Future" is the 20th episode of Steven Universe Future, the 20th episode overall, and the final episode of Steven Universe Future and the Steven Universe franchise. It is also the fourth and final part of the four-part finale.
Steven is finally ready to move on.
In Steven's bedroom, Steven and Connie plan Steven's schedule. Connie asks him how everyone took the news about Steven moving out. He basically told everyone in Beach City, and his dad, but he hasn't told the Gems yet. He doesn't have any idea how they are going to take it because the Gems have been so protective of him for the past few months since his meltdown. He wonders if there's a way he could let them down easy.
Later that day, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl return from the Warp Pad and they see Steven waiting for them. He then shows the Gems his homemade Cookie Cats, and the Gems eat some, including Pearl. The Gems reprise the Cookie Cat song Steven sang to them years ago, singing the song themselves (but ending on "He left his family behind").
Steven compares his abandonment of everyone else to Cookie Cat, thinking the reason he left was to move forward in life, despite how difficult it was. He then quickly announces to the Gems, with hesitation, that he's decided to move out the next day, and has a plan of how he's able to visit his friends before he can decide where he wants to go and urges the Gems not to talk him out of his decision. However, the Gems seem to take his decision very lightly and are proud of him showing a desire to be independent.
Steven goes to Little Homeworld, where Bismuth, Lapis, and Peridot do not take the news of Steven's departure so lightly. Bismuth begs him not to leave them, and Lapis tries to assure him that running elsewhere will result in what she went through in her past. Peridot bursts out crying, showing how she doesn't want Steven to leave and that there won't be anyone else like him. To commemorate everything they've been through, Steven hands out gifts for everyone to remember him. He gives Peridot his old salmon-pink shirt from the original series, a drawing kit with watercolors for Lapis, and Bismuth gets Rose's Battle Flag since she was one of the very first Crystal Gems. They all hug him while crying, thanking him for all he's done for them, even Steven bursts into tears saying that he loves them, as they reply the same.
Before heading back to pack his things, Steven encounters Jasper, who appears by punching a hole in the wall. She says that she heard about him leaving and insists that she will join him, but he tells her that he is going alone and can protect himself. Jasper, visibly upset, admits that he'll be fine and says goodbye to Steven, punching another hole in the wall to leave.
Steven heads back to the Temple and gives Amethyst his old video games. She is touched at first but appears to be excited to play his games, which isn't what Steven was expecting. He then goes outside to give Pearl his old ukulele, and she nonchalantly stores it in her gemstone. Steven says it's okay for Pearl to be sad, but she replies that him leaving is a positive thing as he's going to explore new places.
Steven holds back his tears as he goes to visit Garnet, giving her the same wedding plan book he used to plan Ruby and Sapphire's wedding, in the hopes that Garnet can eventually help Steven plan his own wedding when the time should come. As she takes it, not showing a lot of emotion, Steven tries to reason with her about how she should feel about his leaving, but Garnet reassures him that he'll be fine. She says that even with her future vision, it's up to him to figure out what to do when he leaves. As she warps away, he weeps.
Steven has all of his things packed up, but he's a little upset over the fact that though the Gems know he's leaving, he didn't get the reaction he was expecting. Greg tells him that they still love him, and are probably trying to be supportive. Steven's gift to Greg is his old room and a wall poster of Kerry Moonbeam, stating that he is now able to move in with the Gems. Laying down on the bed, Greg appreciates this gift, stating how he finally getting some well-deserved rest, and Steven departing is similar to his own childhood.
Outside the Temple, Steven says his goodbyes to Connie and Greg (sharing a kiss with the former), with the intent of heading for a bed and breakfast, with Connie reminding him to give her a text once he arrives so he doesn't forget to have breakfast with her. Afterward, he says goodbye to the Gems, who are still smiling, and each of them gives Steven a goodbye hug.
As Steven heads off in the Dondai, driving off to his next destination, he looks in his mirror, watching his family and Connie waving goodbye to him until he can't see them anymore. Suddenly, he halts the car and quickly drives it in reverse back to where the Gems are, and bursts into tears, asking why the Gems are taking the situation so lightly. However, the Gems reveal that they have been holding back their tears, and are extremely sad about Steven leaving.
They all come crying together for a group hug and the Gems explain that they didn't want their sad thoughts to interfere with Steven leaving, but whatever happens in his future, they'll make sure that they're a part of it too.
Everyone expresses their love for each other, and after one last goodbye, Steven leaves his old home for a new path in his life. He passes by the Big Donut, where everyone waves goodbye to him as he leaves Beach City and begins his road trip, ending the episode, and the series.
- Steven Universe
- Greg Universe
- Connie Maheswaran
- Lapis Lazuli
- Kiki Pizza (non-speaking)
- Kofi Pizza (non-speaking)
- Nanefua Pizza (non-speaking)
- Nanefua's Bodyguards (non-speaking)
- Larimar (non-speaking)
- Harold Smiley (non-speaking)
- Quentin Frowney (non-speaking)
- Barbara Miller (non-speaking)
- Mr. Fryman (non-speaking)
- Peedee Fryman (non-speaking)
- Ronaldo Fryman (non-speaking)
- Jane (non-speaking)
- Blue Lace Agate (non-speaking)
- Vidalia (non-speaking)
- Onion (non-speaking)
- Yellowtail (non-speaking)
- Orange Spodumene (non-speaking)
- Bixbite (non-speaking)
- Watermelon Tourmaline (non-speaking)
- Crazy Lace Agate (non-speaking)
- Bill Dewey (non-speaking)
- Lars Barriga (mentioned)
- Sadie Miller (mentioned)
- Shep (mentioned)
- Cat Steven (cameo)
- Pink Pearl (cameo)
- Flint (cameo)
- Chert (cameo)
- A Jade (cameo)
- A Ruby (cameo)
- A Sentient Pumpkin, Gourd and Squash (debuts; cameos)
- Warp Pad
- Steven's Video Game Systems
- Cookie Cats (Steven-made)
- Golf Quest Mini
- Ranger Guy
- Keep Beach City Weird: You Can't Hide the Truth!!!
- Rose's Battle Flag
- Steven's Ukulele
- Cheeseburger Backpack
- Dondai Supremo
- Providence Island (mentioned)
- Kansas (indirectly mentioned)
- University of Jayhawk (indirectly mentioned)
- Empire State (indirectly mentioned)
- 37 other states (mentioned)
- This is the first time Steven and Connie are shown kissing on the lips.
- Connie previously kissed Steven in Steven Universe: The Movie, though it was on the cheek.
- This is the first time Pearl is shown voluntarily eating.
- The Cheeseburger Backpack is seen with Onion as he waves goodbye to Steven. It is presumed that Steven gifted it to Onion.
- The washing machine on the temple statue has a sign on the back of it, warning Peridot to stop stealing parts from the machine and that they are running out of replacements, indicating she has done so multiple times.
- As of this episode, Pearl is the last character to speak in the Steven Universe franchise, excluding the song Being Human.
- When Steven is driving away, a group of sentient vegetables are seen walking by. The lead one looks like an older version of Pumpkin. This could be the only time Pumpkin shows up in Steven Universe Future.
- While planning Steven's and Connie's itineraries, Connie mentions Boogle Maps, a spoof of Google Maps.
- Providence Island is a reference to the real-life US state of Rhode Island, whose capital is Providence.
- Amethyst references what the process of saving in Nintendo 64 games is like.
- She even questions "Why does [the game] only have one save slot?" which was a common complaint regarding classic Nintendo games.
- Steven tells Peridot to "Be the Steven [she] wants to see in the world.", a reference to the popular quote "Be the change you want to see in the world.".
- According to Steven, the episode takes place a few months after the events of "I Am My Monster".
- Cookie Cat, as well as the song of the same name, return from "Gem Glow", the very first episode.
- Due to Funtime Foods Inc. ceasing production of the product sometime before the events of the series, Steven had to make his own batch of Cookie Cats.
- This is the second time Pearl sings a commercial jingle; she sings along to a commercial for Cam's Camshafts in "Bismuth Casual".
- Steven gives Lapis a drawing kit with watercolors because of her love for Meep Morps, as seen in the episodes "Beta", "Bluebird", and "Why So Blue?".
- Steven gives Bismuth Rose's Battle Flag, which was first seen in "Lion 3: Straight to Video" and more prominently in "Rose's Scabbard". When handing it to Bismuth, Steven tells her, "I can't think of anyone who's more of a Crystal Gem than you.", echoing Bismuth's own line, "Nobody's more Crystal Gem than I am." in her debut episode.
- Steven's radio and fitness equipment from "Coach Steven" are seen again at the beginning of the episode after a long absence, as we also hear Steven's Korean workout music from "Future Vision".
- Among the items Steven packed, there is a Ranger Guy figure and Buck's Vote for my Dad shirt from "Shirt Club".
- The Dondai Supremo's design from "Beach City Drift" returns in a moment after Steven's departure.
- Additionally, when Steven turns back around to ask why the Gems are so calm about him leaving, the Dondai's drifting ability is once again demonstrated, which was also first seen in "Beach City Drift".
- Jasper's grunt from "Fragments" is reused when she punches the ground.
- The song that plays as Steven says his final goodbyes to the Gems is a reprise of "Steven's Shield".
- Steven mentions that he's going to travel to all 39 states, as opposed to the real world 50 states in the United States of America. Whilst it's never explicitly stated, the Earth's history was drastically altered due to the presence of Gems on the planet, the effects of which are seen throughout the series. The USA being made up of only 39 states is yet another example of this.
- Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all say goodbye in a way that is consistent with key parts of their personalities, as well as their actions throughout the franchise.
- Garnet uses her future vision to warn Steven to check one of his tires during his road trip, lest it cause trouble.
- Amethyst calls Steven "brah" and holds up a peace sign. Throughout the series, she's seen using slang multiple times, due to her laid-back personality.
- Pearl, who is seen crying many times throughout the series, doesn't say anything and instead sobs hysterically.
- The shot of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl all huddled together telling Steven they love him is very similar to the ending of "Super Watermelon Island ". In both instances, the Gems are telling Steven that they love him, with Garnet being the one to say it.
- While Steven and Connie plan, the map to University of Jayhawk has no red lines top and bottom.
- In the crowd bidding Steven farewell, Peedee has a bowtie in long shots which is missing in closeup.
- As Onion turns in the crowd to look at Steven's car, he is drawn with ears.
- As Steven's car passes the crowd waving goodbye, Barb looks the other way.
- In one scene when Steven holds his Cookie Cat, all the ice cream is pink, when the half closest to the viewer should be white.
- However, this could be Steven having accidentally made the Cookie Cat incorrectly.
- When Amethyst cries while saying goodbye to Steven with the line "Oh man, I can't take this anymore! Aw-hoo-hoo!", the triangle hole in her shirt is upside down.
View the episode's transcript here.