ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Jan. 8th, 2015
SYNOPSIS: Steven spots something mysterious going through the warp stream, but none of the Crystal Gems believe him.
Now this is a pleasant start off to the episode: Amethyst and Pearl complementing each other on their battling skills. Look how far they've come! Steven on the other hand had a little trouble keeping due to an allergic reaction from the field they were in. They take the warp pad home where Steven sneezes so hard, it throws him off-course, leaving his head exposed to the realm outside the portal. It's a nightmarish place to say the least, cold with thunderous clouds and lacking much in the way of air. Steven spots another warp stream from afar and something traveling through it! He tries to tell the Crystal Gems, but they assure him that no one else is capable of using the portals, so stop worrying!
Steven does not stop worrying. He keeps spying on the warp pad back home, terrified some mysterious creature is going to sneak up and get him while he's asleep. Amethyst's teasing doesn't put his mind at ease, so Steven guards the pad vigilantly for the reminder of the night. He tries to anyway, Steven eventually passes out. By morning time, he hasn't gotten any better and none of the Gems – particularly Pearl – take his concerns seriously. Garnet finally has the right idea to go check it out if it'll help Steven calm down.
Steven and the Crystal Gems visit locations they've been to before (including the mountains where Steven Jr. resides, now with two goat kids, awww), but there's no sign of this mysterious thing. Steven is stubborn in his belief, enough to irritate Pearl a bit. He makes a good point though, nobody but the Gems on Earth could use the warp pads, but what if they came from space? And thus, the quartet visit the Galaxy Warp Hub. Pearl is particularly obnoxious here, carrying an arrogant tone as she corrects Steven: all warp pads leading to space has since been broken as previously established the last time they were here. Pearl values herself as the smart one who takes the time to educate or lecture; having to hear she's wrong frequently must have grated on her, but she takes a decidedly poor attitude here. "Warp Tour" understands that this kind of behavior is unacceptable though as Steven chews the Gems out for their dismissive reactions, especially Pearl. This is very odd for them to act though. The Gems have always done their best to support Steven and encourage his methods. They warped from one pad to another the entire episode because Garnet believed she was doing right by Steven, but "Warp Tour" is a post-"Mirror/Ocean Gem" episode and any hints of a visitor from off-planet is a cause for concern and the reason for the Gems' fervent denial of anything dangerous lurking in the warp pads. The Crystal Gems are hiding secrets from Steven, but it's taking a horrible toll on his psych. Steven is also rebelling; he can't be a kid forever and eventually he's going to start wising up.
Steven refuses to give up, so he stations himself next to the warp pad back home. Just when he's about to call it quits, a small robotic orb crashes through the roof. There it is, undeniable proof that something came from space! Steven calls for the other Gems as he struggles to contain it, but the bot is a wily little thing. Steven tosses it hard enough that it chips the warp pad, but the robot easily fixes it up with some kind of liquid. The robot then warps itself away, but not before Steven tackles it, taking the two with them.
In the warp stream, dozens more robots crowd Steven, pushing him out, though not before he takes one of them for himself. He spots more warp streams with robots all going to a central location. Steven was right, but now that he's floating in the middle of nowhere with little air and no heat, he knows his days are numbered. Luckily a warp stream pops up just within his vicinity. Garnet catches and drags Steven back in. With the robot in hand, Garnet now admits Steven was right all along. The robots all gather in one place: the Galaxy Warp Hub. There the team witness the machines fixing the broken warp pad that leads to space. Then someone activates it, forcing the Crystal Gems to hide. The robots were indeed from space, sent by an unknown operator to fix the pad so she could use it.
And she has arrived. Peridot.
Peridot immediately analyzes the planet, mumbling something about activating
"Kindergarten." While the other Gems are wary, Steven thinks she can be reached. I mean, look at those little robots surrounding her; they're like her children, so surely she's not all bad? Wait, no, she crushes a damaged one under her foot. Your assessment seem way off, Stevie Boy. Peridot spots the sticker Steven slapped on the Galaxy Warp Pad earlier and figures the entire hub has been compromised. She deactivates the rest of her bots and warps out.
Pearl is the first to speak and what she says is ominous, "They're coming back again. I can't do this! Not again!" Yes, they are returning: The Homeworld Gems. What Garnet and Pearl spoke in privacy back in "Ocean Gem" is slowly turning into a grim reality. The show has never been shy about the massive war the Crystal Gems were a part of six thousand years ago, but it's been coy on the how. All we knew was that the Gems fought to protect Earth. "Warp Tour" doesn't give us a definite answer - only more teases - but Pearl's reaction gives us a hint on who their opposers may have been. Garnet responds to all this by smashing the Galaxy Pad so no one can use it. And the episode ends abruptly.
"Warp Tour" is an ominous episode through and through. The Crystal Gems are anxious and terrified, knowing what had transpired in the past. It's not like the last Gem was exactly friendly either. Lapis Lazuli's reaction may have been out of anger and fear of being trapped for so long, but only Steven made an effort to befriend her. He probably thought he could do the same to Peridot, but from what little we've seen of her, Peridot's cold personality may not be enough to sway her to the Crystal Gems' side as he thinks he can. Steven is largely confused by all this, but he's not going to get an immediate answer anytime soon.
Peridot's appearance is incredibly miniscule, appearing at best for thirty seconds before warping away, but it's a telling thirty seconds. What is her mission? Something about Kindergarten. What baggage is she carrying from the Gem Homeworld that brought her here? Where is Lapis Lazuli in all this? Did her return trip home meant the Homeworld Gems finally had a cause to go back to Earth and get updates? Likely. Whatever their plans are, it's significant and dangerous enough that even the unflappable Garnet is spooked. If it's anything like the rebellion six thousand years ago though, the events will certainly be life-changing and Steven cannot remain oblivious forever.