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I wanted to tell you for so long.

Pearl


"A Single Pale Rose" is the 18th episode of the fifth season of Steven Universe and the 146th episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Steven helps Pearl find her phone.[2]

Plot

Upon returning to Earth, Steven anxiously waits to ask Pearl about Pink Diamond while she and Amethyst try out her cellphone. Amethyst leaves to get Pearl a phone case and Steven uses the time to directly ask whether Pearl shattered Pink Diamond herself, instead of Rose Quartz. Pearl immediately covers her mouth and doesn't answer, seemingly shocked. Amethyst returns and she swiftly changes the subject, leaving Steven hurt.

After getting something to eat, Steven suddenly gets a text from Pearl. In it, she apologizes and says she can't tell him. Steven returns home and confronts her about it, to which Pearl responds she hasn't used her phone since that morning. Trying to retrieve her phone from inside her gemstone fails, and eventually Pearl tells Steven to go inside and get it himself, saying to him, "let me know when you find what you're looking for". With that, Steven is sent inside of Pearl's gemstone.

He finds himself in a cleanly compartmentalized area featuring another Pearl who organizes all of Pearl's possessions. Steven asks the whereabouts of the phone; after a search by Pearl fails to find it, she guesses that it may be with the "other Pearls", but advises him not to go to where they are because "it's a mess". Nevertheless, Steven insists, and Pearl takes him inside her gemstone yet again. The cycle continues several times as Steven is taken further into Pearl's gemstone, passing through her memories including Rose's pregnancy and the aftermath of the Gem War. Eventually, he reaches the moment where Rose Quartz has just shattered Pink Diamond. He steps closer, and she raises her head and opens her eyes, which resemble Pearl's.  "Rose" turns towards a scream, revealing her pearl gem.  Steven realizes it's Pearl disguised as Rose. Steven sadly takes this as confirmation that Pearl was the one who shattered Pink Diamond until Pearl holds her hand out, revealing Pink Diamond's gemstone. Steven is confused before being taken into her gemstone once more.

Shapeshifting into Pink

Rose reverts to her true form as Pink Diamond

Inside Pink Diamond's palanquin, Steven overhears a conversation between Rose and Pearl behind the throne. While Pearl is at first hesitant to do her assigned task, Rose is adamant, assuring her that this is the only way to end the war, their lives will be better and they'll be free afterwards, saying that if this is really her world then she wants to give it to the Crystal Gems. Pearl agrees to Rose's plan and (to Steven's shock) "Rose" transforms into Pink Diamond. Once out in the open, Pink shows Pearl a handful of dirt with the head of a single pink hibiscus, and gives her the latter. She then changes the dirt into fake diamond shards and swallows them. Before Pink leaves, she gives one last order as a Diamond to her Pearl: never speak of these events again. Pearl then turns to Steven, who has been watching speechlessly the whole time, and offers her cellphone with an apology. Steven wordlessly takes the phone as Pearl shapeshifts into "Rose" to stage the fake "shattering". Once Steven texts Pearl that he found her phone, she pulls him out of her gemstone.

Back outside, Pearl says she wanted to tell Steven for a very long time. Somberly, he takes in the fact that his mother was Pink Diamond. Behind him, Amethyst and Garnet, who have just walked in, react with shock; Amethyst says, "Whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!"

Features

Characters

Locations

Objects

Music

Instrumental Songs

Trivia

  • This episode reveals that Steven has technically always had Pink Diamond's gem. Therefore, by Homeworld's established laws, he rules the Earth, the Moon Base, and Pink Diamond's Zoo. It also means that he owns Pearl, is Jasper's superior, and has his personal court. 
    • Though in continuity, Pink Diamond as Rose Quartz has had already "freed" Pearl of her Diamond-level servile duties when they executed Pink's death ruse.
  • The reason why Pearl never spoke about the Diamonds and is forced to cover her mouth every time she attempts to do so is revealed to be due to Pink Diamond's final order to never speak of her faking her death.
    • Crewniverse member, Joe Johnston, confirmed that this is part of a Pearl's functionality – they cannot disobey a clear order from their owner.[3]
  • This episode marks the first time we hear Pink Diamond speak, excluding Stevonnie's dream in "Jungle Moon" in which Stevonnie plays her role. It's also the first episode in which we clearly see her entire body.
  • This is the first time Pearl has been shown to shapeshift.
  • This is the first time a Diamond's physical form is broken on-screen.
  • It is revealed that there are multiple Pearls (persona-like entities) inside Pearl's gem; each Pearl represents her specific memories and thought.
    • While the first Pearl tries to file Steven in alphabetical order, some items around also appear alphabetically, which include:
      • Candelabra, cannon, candy, card (ace of clubs), carp, carafe, cassette, cauldron, cellophane, cleaver, clock, comb, compass, controller, cream, crepe, and cheeto; the place for "cellular phone" is vacant (which was supposed to appear between "cellophane" and "cleaver").
      • Scissors, screwdriver, Sea Pals, seashell, shotgun, sloop, stapler, stethoscope, sticker, sugar, suitcase, sunscreen, tinfoil, tissue paper, and TV set; Pearl initially attempts to place Steven between "stethoscope" and "sticker".
      • A potted plant, photos, phone books (yellow pages and private), multiple phone numbers, and a portable telephone.
    • Some of the telephone numbers have area code 240, and others have area code 301. In the real world, these two area codes are overlaid in western Maryland.
  • It is revealed that Zircon's accusation against the Diamonds is not completely inaccurate, since "someone of supreme authority," Pink Diamond, faked her own shattering.
  • A packet of sugar with the brand "Rea Sugar" can be seen alongside the large variety of items stored within Pearl's gem, which is most likely a reference to Rebecca Sugar.

Cultural References

  • The numbers 555[4] which can be seen in all of the cellphone numbers stored within Pearl's gem is a common trope used in fictional media whenever a phone number is presented. This prefix, which is not generally used for real phone numbers, appears in order to avoid prank calls to real-life people.
  • Steven's descent through nested levels of another person's mind, culminating in a highly emotional moment, mirrors the plot of the movie Inception.
  • [04:37] The white controller on the left bottom resembles the Xbox 360 controller.
  • During the aforementioned scene showcasing Pearl's cellphone numbers, one of the notes also includes an email address consisting of a scribble and "@gmail". The latter is the domain address for Gmail, Google's email service.

Continuity

  • Flashbacks from "Back to the Moon", "The Trial", "Jungle Moon", and "Your Mother and Mine" are shown.
  • This episode takes place right after "Can't Go Back".
  • Pearl covering her mouth when details surrounding Pink Diamond's shattering are brought up was first shown in "Back to the Moon".
    • However, the first time this was shown as an unpreventable physical reaction was in "Gemcation".
  • Some items appeared previously can be found in Pearl's gemstone.
    • Mystery Girl's number is seen again in the episode, next to a handful of other cellphone numbers that Pearl had previously acquired.
    • "Pearl Points", which appeared in "Steven vs. Amethyst", can be found in "S" category (as "sticker").
    • Sea Pals (from "Love Letters") and Gem Sloop (from "Cat Fingers") are also present.
  • Pearl's phone makes its second appearance.
    • Its first appearance was in "Letters to Lars".
    • Amethyst says Pearl has had her phone for a month.
      • This implies that "Letters to Lars" takes place around a month before the events of this episode, assuming that Pearl first got the phone around the time of the episode.
  • Pearl's aversion to shapeshifting is revealed to stem from her role as Rose Quartz in the staged shattering of Pink Diamond, and the trauma from the loss of nearly all of her comrades in the ensuing retaliation.[5]

Errors

  • The exact shape of Pink Diamond's gem cannot be directly translated into a 3-dimensional object, because it is impossible to transition from a straight edge to a curved edge in a facet of a series. The circular shape of Rose's gem could be explained by the separation ring we can see in some pictures of this episode, for example in the shot of Rose-Pearl's hand after she poofed her Diamond when Steven came back to the real world (the same kind of separation ring we can see through Amethyst's gem, which is featured in "Reformed" when Amethyst is poofed and both sides of her gem are revealed). However, this ring mysteriously disappears from Pink's gem when she turns back to her real self.
  • Just before Rose/Pink flips her gemstone, the pentagonal facet can be seen pointing down instead of up like usual.
  • When Garnet and Amethyst are seen comforting Pearl after what appears to be Rose's death, Amethyst's bare arm is seen. Judging from "Three Gems and a Baby" and We Are the Crystal Gems, Amethyst did not wear the her off-shoulder mauve tank top until sometime when Steven was in his adolescence, instead wearing an off-shoulder mauve sweater.
    • Also in the same shot, Garnet's shoulder pads appears to be oval-shaped like her current regeneration instead of cube-shaped.
  • When Amethyst screams "What?" at the end of the episode, her tank top is rounded at the bottom instead of ripped.

Transcript

View the episode's transcript here.

Gallery

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Video

References

  1. http://www.showbuzzdaily.com/articles/showbuzzdailys-top-150-monday-cable-originals-network-finals-5-7-2018.html
  2. "A Single Pale Rose" on CartoonNetwork.com
  3. Joe Johnston's Tumblr
    "Q: Sir, but how do we know everything Pearl did for Rose wasn't just that Pearl-caste-programming kicking in because in truth, Pearl knew Rose was infact her Diamond. Sure Pearl had feelings for her, but how do we know whether or not the servant mentality still didnt play a role in Pearl's allegiance with Rose.
    A: I’ll put it this way, if Pink Diamond we’re to say “Pearl, I ORDER you to do such and such…” because she’s her Pearl, she would have to do it. Of course her servant mentality played a role in her allegiance to Rose, how could it not. BUT, that relationship clearly grew and changed as naturally as any relationship will, and it wasn’t due to Pink Diamonds powers or influence..."
  4. [1]
  5. [2]
ve Episode List
Pilot Pilot
Season 1 A: Gem GlowLaser Light CannonCheeseburger BackpackTogether BreakfastFryboCat FingersBubble BuddiesSerious StevenTiger MillionaireSteven's LionArcade ManiaGiant WomanSo Many BirthdaysLars and the Cool KidsOnion TradeSteven the Sword FighterLion 2: The MovieBeach PartyRose's RoomCoach StevenJoking VictimSteven and the StevensMonster BuddiesAn Indirect KissMirror Gem/Ocean Gem

B: House GuestSpace RaceSecret TeamIsland AdventureKeep Beach City WeirdFusion CuisineGarnet's UniverseWatermelon StevenLion 3: Straight to VideoWarp TourAlone TogetherThe TestFuture VisionOn the RunHorror ClubWinter ForecastMaximum CapacityMarble MadnessRose's ScabbardOpen BookShirt ClubStory for StevenThe MessagePolitical PowerThe Return/Jail Break

Season 2 Full DisclosureJoy RideSay UncleLove LettersReformedSworn to the SwordRising Tides, Crashing SkiesKeeping It TogetherWe Need to TalkChille TidCry for HelpKeystone MotelOnion FriendHistorical FrictionFriend ShipNightmare HospitalSadie's SongCatch and ReleaseWhen It RainsBack to the BarnToo FarThe AnswerSteven's BirthdayIt Could've Been Great/Message ReceivedLog Date 7 15 2
Season 3 Super Watermelon Island/Gem DrillSame Old WorldBarn MatesHit the DiamondSteven FloatsDrop Beat DadMr. GregToo Short to RideThe New LarsBeach City DriftRestaurant WarsKiki's Pizza Delivery ServiceMonster ReunionAlone at SeaGreg the BabysitterGem HuntCrack the WhipSteven vs. AmethystBismuthBetaEarthlingsBack to the MoonBubbled
Season 4 Kindergarten KidKnow Your FusionBuddy's BookMindful EducationFuture Boy ZoltronLast One Out of Beach CityOnion GangGem HarvestThree Gems and a BabySteven's DreamAdventures in Light DistortionGem HeistThe ZooThat Will Be AllThe New Crystal GemsStorm in the RoomRocknaldoTiger PhilanthropistRoom for RubyLion 4: Alternate EndingDoug OutThe Good LarsAre You My Dad?I Am My Mom
Season 5 Stuck TogetherThe TrialOff ColorsLars' HeadDewey WinsGemcationRaising the BarnBack to the KindergartenSadie KillerKevin PartyLars of the StarsJungle MoonYour Mother and MineThe Big ShowPool HoppingLetters to LarsCan't Go BackA Single Pale RoseNow We're Only Falling ApartWhat's Your Problem?The QuestionMade of HonorReunitedLegs From Here to Homeworld
Season 6 •TBA
Shorts Lion Loves to Fit in a BoxThe Classroom Gems: What Are Gems?We Are the Crystal GemsThe Classroom Gems: How Are Gems Made?UnboxingThe Classroom Gems: FusionCooking with LionGem KaraokeSteven ReactsVideo ChatSteven's Song Time

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