This is an episode about predicting the future. We may need Zoltron to know our lucky numbers (we never would have guess that W would be one!), but that we’d end up talking about future vision? It seems logical enough! So let’s see what we learned.
I knew you’d say that
Garnet’s future vision seems very powerful at first glance: there are some situations where she’s known exactly where to go and what to do, including in Future Boy Zoltron. If her future vision was as perfect normally as it is in these scenes, the entire series would feel fake because every failure of Garnet would be something she arbitrarily decided to fail at.
There are times when her future vision is far weaker though: she never saw her confrontation with Pearl in Cry For Help in advance, and couldn’t predict Peridot’s arrival in Warp Tour at all. In Know Your Fusion she seemed genuinely surprised by Smoky Quartz as well—a fan of the show has even speculated, quite reasonably we think, that the reason she “couldn’t” ask Steven and Amethyst what they were planning was because doing so would trigger her future vision and so ruin the surprise.
It makes sense because her future vision seems to be heavily based on the questions it is asked. In Future Boy Zoltron Steven couldn’t see the result of Smiley’s and Frowney’s conversation, but earlier when Mr. Smiley asked him what Frowney would say Steven immediately saw a range of options. This would make sense of Cry For Help as well: all Garnet was “asking” was where she’d find Peridot, not any questions about Pearl.
This leaves Garnet’s future vision as quite powerful, but still allows her to be surprised (or even to panic when suddenly handed the phone, though that “mistake” turned out suspiciously well in the end…). It also means she asks herself regularly about how she can help Steven, for her to show up and set everything with Frowney in motion so perfectly.
The rule of three
It’s interesting that each time we’ve been shown future vision (the visions Steven got in Winter Forecast, plus the two batches in Future Boy Zoltron) we’ve got the possible futures in batches of three; heck, in Future Vision, in the Big Donut, Garnet mentioned three futures to Steven. Of course she mentioned four potential fates to Steven at the fry shop, so we know this isn’t a strict limitation—it’s probably more about how compelling the rule of three is when writing a show for people to enjoy.