Everything we were running from, she was right there all along... using us for her little war... smiling at us with those knowing eyes... making me believe in a better future that I couldn't see, because it wasn't real, and now here we are, our friends, shattered, and corrupted... of course she was a Diamond. What a long road she took to torture us like this...
Following the revelation (in "A Single Pale Rose") that Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond, Amethyst is shocked, while Garnet remains stoically silent. Pearl laments she how much she wanted to tell Steven, but Pink Diamond’s orders were to not tell anyone to avoid any reminders of the past. Since the secret is out, she’s more than happy to explain everything. Amethyst takes none of this personally and remains calm about it. After asking, Garnet can't process this information, as she starts having a mental breakdown and unfuses, with Ruby surprised and rational and attempting to comfort the furious, betrayed Sapphire. Sapphire yells at Ruby, taking out her stress on her, and questions their relationship. Now knowing Rose Quartz is a Diamond, Sapphire thinks everything she led the Crystal Gems to do was based on a lie. Sapphire warps to Rose's Fountain, leaving Ruby in tears as Pearl and Steven go after her.
At Rose's Fountain, they find Sapphire grieving, causing the area to snow. In her rage, she thinks Pink Diamond was only using her fellow Gem rebels for her “little war” to torture them. Steven consults with her that she should know Pink didn’t want to hurt anyone, but Sapphire says she didn’t know. She explains that her negativity is based on her self-doubt, because she didn’t see Pink’s true colors even through her future vision, thus implying she doesn’t know anything at all and she still holds a grudge against the Diamonds. Pearl tells Sapphire and Steven the story of Pink Diamond's and Pearl's past: she reveals why Pink decided to become Rose Quartz. She had become bored of running her colony, due to the long period of time where nothing happened, but one day the Amethysts began to emerge. This caused Pink to become excited and wished to be there but couldn't due to her responsibilities, asking Pearl "could you imagine" in a rhetorical manner, but Pearl took this order literally and came up with a plan that involved Pink shapeshifting into a Quartz soldier, to which Pink quickly decided to do in her excitement. After witnessing the emerging soldiers the two then wondered off and witnessed the life on Earth first hand. This caused her to realize that the Diamonds were taking all life from the planet just to create more Gems. Sapphire questions why didn’t Pink stop all that since she’s a diamond, to which Pearl answers that she tried but couldn’t. She pleaded with Blue and Yellow Diamond to leave Earth alone for years, trying different approaches with each Diamond, only for all of them to fail. Because Pink wanted to preserve life on earth, they made the human zoo. Pink was the lowest ranked Diamond and her status meant nothing to Blue and Yellow. Convinced that the other Diamonds didn't respect her enough to cease the colonization of Earth, she decided to start the Rebellion using her alias, Rose Quartz.
Pearl explains that she wanted to scare all the Gems away at first but this changed after seeing Garnet accidentally formed for the first time. This leads to what happened after Pearl and Rose left the Cloud Arena. Rose was amazed by the fact that two different Gems fused together and wondered what it was like, only to be interrupted by Pearl picking her up in an adorable attempt at "traditional" fusion, but after failing, they shared a heartfelt moment where Pearl reveals that because Pink never told her to stop imagining things she never stopped, and she thought of many things included her own fake backstory about her running away and meeting Rose and how happy she makes despite not being hers. She admits she thinks the idea is ridiculous and begs her to tell her to stop only for Rose to tell her to never stop. This causes the two of them to nearly fuse for real. This makes Pearl worried about what would happen if anyone finds out that they nearly fused and makes Rose worried what happened to Garnet. It is then that they officially met Garnet after she fell to Earth. At first Rose was just fighting for earth, but after meeting Garnet, she was fighting for all Gems too. Sapphire returns to the house with Pearl and Steven, understanding that they didn't follow Rose; Rose followed them. However, once they warp back, Sapphire becomes shocked to find nobody in the now dark, vacant house, and a letter from Ruby.
- Steven Universe
- Rose Quartz/Pink Diamond (flashback)
- Yellow Diamond (non-speaking/flashback)
- Yellow Pearl (non-speaking/flashback)
- Blue Diamond (non-speaking/flashback)
- Blue Pearl (non-speaking/flashback)
- Amethyst Guards (flashback)
- Blue Diamond's Amethyst Guards (non-speaking/flashback)
- Two Topazes (non-speaking/flashback)
- Prehistoric Humans (flashback)
- Rainbow Quartz (flashback; silhouette while forming)
- Lion (mentioned)
- Beach City
- Prime Kindergarten (flashback)
- Rose's Fountain
- Cloud Arena (flashback)
- Moon Base (flashback)
- Pink Diamond's Zoo (mentioned)
- Parts of Earth (shown in flashback)
- Warp Pad
- Injectors (flashback)
- Observation Orb (flashback)
- Diamond Communicator (flashback)
- Blue Diamond's Palanquin (flashback)
- Pearl's Sword (flashback)
- Rose's Sword (mentioned)
- This is the first time a Gem is seen emerging from a Kindergarten.
- The cross-hairs on Pearl's projected map suggests the Prime Kindergarten is somewhere in the Great Lakes region of the USA, probably in Ohio or Indiana.
- It is shown that Pink Diamond is the lowest-ranked Diamond in the Great Diamond Authority, as she cannot make her own decisions regarding Earth and has to obey Blue and Yellow Diamond.
- The Amethyst that the Amethyst guards were waiting for, "8XM", is Amethyst from the Crystal Gems (Facet-5, Cut-8XM), as mentioned in "That Will Be All".
- Pearl claims that she was given to Pink Diamond a few thousand years before Pink was given Earth. This means that since Pink Diamond began her colony on Earth 6,000 years before the beginning of the series, Pearl may have been given to her at least 9,000 years ago.
- "Pink Diamond Backstory" and "Flashback Episode", were both boxes on the official Cartoon Network B.I.N.G.O sheet for the current arc.
- At the end of this episode's premiere, the credits appeared in tiny white lettering at the lower-left part of the screen before it ended. This is the first time this type of "credit crawl" has been used on Steven Universe, though Cartoon Network has done it for other shows.
- The episode's title is a reference to a lyric from the 1983 hit song "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler.
- The episode begins immediately after "A Single Pale Rose".
- It is revealed that it was Pearl's idea for Pink Diamond to disguise herself as a Quartz soldier.
- The flashbacks from "The Answer" are seen from Pearl's point of view.
- The audio track with Garnet’s lines from when she met Pearl and Rose in the episode "The Answer" were reused in this episode.
- In "Message Received", Pearl claimed that not all Pearls know each other when asked about Yellow Pearl, but this episode reveals that she has met both Yellow and Blue Pearl.
- This episode tells the true story of how Rose Quartz came to be and how the Rebellion started, as opposed to the phony version from "Your Mother and Mine" Garnet believed.
- In “It Could've Been Great”, Steven said that the Diamonds must have really liked stairs, but it turns out that Pink Diamond just skipped the stairs and descended down.
- In "Pool Hopping", Garnet says that she doesn't know anything anymore after Steven tells her to focus on Cat Steven's future. In this episode, Sapphire says that she clearly doesn't know anything after she learns about Rose's true identity. Both Garnet and Sapphire say this because of being unable to predict something.
- In "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl mentions being a few thousand years old when she first began fighting alongside Rose Quartz. Here, she says she was given to Pink Diamond a few thousand years before she was given the Earth.
- The Cartoon Network on-screen bug did not display the "New Episode" banner when this episode first premiered, same with "What's Your Problem?" and "The Question."
- The Observation Orb's light does not create any shadows although it did in "Can't Go Back".
- Pearl and Pink Diamond use a warp pad to get to the Kindergarten, even though the Moon Base doesn't have a warp pad.
- When the Amethyst which the other Amethysts are waiting for emerges out of her hole, she emerges out of an already open hole.
- An Amethyst soldier, when shown saying, "That is the first and nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.", has her gem on her right shoulder. However, in the shot where she emerges, her gem is on her right thigh.
- Blue Diamond's court members are seen with the modern Diamond insignia during the flashback, however Sapphire and Lapis are shown having a different insignia during that time period.
- In "The Answer", Ruby and Sapphire spend what seems like days together before fusing back into Garnet. In this episode, it seems like Rose and Pearl had just left the Cloud Arena when they bumped into Garnet again.
- Although it is possible that Pearl skipped a few uneventful days in her story. Rose still being shocked about the fusion could be explained by the fact that a day is not considered a long time by Gems. This is also reiterated by Rose in the episode "We Need to Talk" where she said "Everything on Earth seems fast to me".
- Sapphire's name on the note is bold, however at the beginning of the following episode the words are thin.
View the episode's transcript here.