The Steven Universe will soon return to our screens after the hiatus, and we've got a lot to look forward to. After standing up to Yellow Diamond in Message Received, Peridot is officially a member of the Crystal Gems. But if this preview is anything to go by, it looks like she's not the last of Steven Universe's antagonists to get a redemption arc...
Lapis Lazuli Returns
Cartoon Network recently released a very short promo for the episode Barn Mates, and it looks like the Crystal Gems have an unexpected guest!
Peridot seems to be offering Lapis Lazuli a present, probably to ask forgiveness for their tumultuous past. There are so many questions here, the most glaring being: how did Lapis unfuse from Jasper?
The last time we saw them, Lapis and Jasper were trapped as the hate-fusion Malachite at the bottom of the ocean. How they unfuse, and how Lapis Lazuli joins the Crystal Gems at the barn seems to be far too complex a plot for just one episode. Barn Mates will probably focus on Lapis and Peridot's relationship development, which means that it might be preceded by a few other episodes.
There's also the question of what happened to Jasper, but mysteries aside, it seems as though a major theme in Steven Universe Season 2 is that of redemption. Peridot's slow transition from a villain to ally has been one of the high points of the show so far, as she learned to trust the Crystal Gems.
Her friendship with Steven was a large part of this: he was the one to first reach out to her as a person, rather than a kidnapped asset. And because of this budding friendship the Crystal Gems learned about the Cluster. It could be that Steven is also the key to Lapis Lazuli joining the Crystal Gems.
Steven Is The Key
Lapis Lazuli plays a very interesting role within the show: she doesn't really care for Earth, but she has gone to great self-sacrificial lengths to protect Steven. Lapis also doesn't believe in the Crystal Gems' mission. Instead, she has a similar view to Peridot, that the Crystal Gems are betraying their own kind in favor of Earth.
So far she hasn't shown any interest whatsoever in joining the Crystal Gems, but this new teaser hints that this may be where her plot is headed. This probably has a lot to do with how and why she unfused from Jasper, but moving on from this it could be that Steven is going to have the same influence on her that he did on Peridot. Lapis Lazuli's desire to protect him has already taken her to great lengths, so it's not too much of a stretch to assume that she'll eventually join the team to help Steven.
This could be a bit repetitive of Peridot's plotline, but it would make a lot of narrative sense in the long run for Lapis Lazuli to join the Crystal Gems, especially if Steven persuades her.
If this happens, Steven would start to mirror his mother, Rose Quartz, by persuading other gems that Earth is worth protecting from Homeworld. This would be a nice way to tie the current plot together with Rose's mission, and it would mean that Rose's rebellion against Homeworld continued after she died.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways for the plot to go, and this might not make sense with Lapis Lazuli's motivation. We'll have to wait and see, but this would be quite a nice narrative development.