Well first off, we learned that Greg wasn’t kidding in Steven’s Birthday when he said that the Crystal Gems didn’t know much about babies. Other than that, this episode had a bit of information for us without dropping any huge bombshells. Let’s see what’s inside.
The Cool Kids
We as a fandom have wondered about how old the Cool Kids are. In Drop Beat Dad we got a good estimate when Sour Cream said he had gotten so big nine years in the past, but we got an even better estimate here: there is a photograph on the table in Vidalia’s house that shows her, Yellowtail, and a young Sour Cream with a missing tooth. The short story is that this gives us a fairly tight age range for Sour Cream at the time of that picture being taken, which works out to him being roughly 19-22 at the time of Drop Beat Dad.
We’d expect something towards the upper end of that range given how he had been “so tall” already nine years ago, but we figure it’s likely that that picture was taken only a few months before Greg saw it, not years. Still, that makes it possible (even likely) that Sour Cream has been at least twenty years old for the entire series.
We also see a young Buck, and probably Jenny, playing in the snow in the current day of the flashback. They might actually be a year younger than Sour Cream, possibly as many as two, but they’re obviously not out of the initial age range for Sour Cream since Buck is missing a front tooth.
Three Gems kidnapped baby Steven, and they each had their own idea about what he was. Amethyst and Garnet both assumed he was Rose doing things they were familiar with, with Amethyst assuming that Rose was shapeshifting and Garnet assuming that Rose had somehow fused with Greg while leaving Greg around (and, crucially, that the other half of Steven could be fused with again at will).
Pearl, however, had a darker understanding of Steven’s situation to match the loss she felt: that Rose was trapped inside of Steven, much like Lapis was trapped inside of the mirror (except she knew Rose chose to do it).
Pearl’s understanding of Rose’s situation is actually a common fan theory: that if Steven were to die, or if his gem was separated from his body (possibly killing him), Rose would reform. Hopefully we’ll never find out.
There’s not much to say about Steven in this episode except that he has always been a mystery to his caregivers. Still, it was interesting to see a couple of things.
First off we’d like to mention the mysterious glow of his gem. Just like when it glowed in Gem Glow, it glowed when he was happy (and surrounded by his family). (Just between us, while Cookie Cat and key may not start with the same letters, C and K can both make the same sound, and Cookie Cat does have a K in it. Also, “carabiner” does start with C.)
Second, having his gem covered seems to cause Steven some degree of discomfort. It doesn’t seem to be that bad, since he’s able to cover his gem up now that he’s older and even as a baby he felt just fine if he was being wrapped up, but it would explain why even now Steven doesn’t seem to like completely covering his gem if he’s just out and about town.
We can probably safely assume that all Gems feel this way about their gems, since they all leave their gems exposed when doing normal activities, but Garnet is able to cover her gems with her gauntlets and fight effectively.