I’m still positively reeling from the new episode but I really, really wanna talk about Pearl’s song for two specific reasons (which I had to process back-to-back so consider me thoroughly destroyed.)

Beyond the fact that it’s beautiful and touching and basically everything about it is perfect – the pacing, the colors, DeeDee’s vocals, the lyrics, the cinematography, the emotion – I feel like this song does a little extra for us. It might feel like a rehash, especially given how much material we already have concerning Pearl’s feelings for Rose, yet despite all previous musical numbers and instances of Pearl addressing that, this still feels very fresh and unique a perspective to bring to the topic.

Because I think what’s really gripping about this song is how it’s not even really about Rose, it’s about Pearl! Who she is, what she wants, how far she’s come.

It’s about Pearl wanting to move on, about her loving Rose but her wanting to move on from Rose, to move past petty feelings, to focus on what’s important now. 

I’ll say that the moment that really struck me most in this song was when we take a step back and we see Pearl fully, when she’s standing on the glass of the balcony and delivers these lines: 

War and glory, reinvention

Fusion, freedom, her attention

Out in daylight, my potential

Bold, precise, experimental

I feel like this is Pearl reflecting back on all she dreamed of, the things she aspired for before Rose left. She was a renegade soldier, fighting for change, ideals of freedom and self-importance. Pearl came from a background where she was never meant to fight, but she worked at it, became something stronger than she was, for herself as much as for Rose. Out in daylight, my potential. Bold, precise, experimental. These are things Pearl truly sees herself as, or at least, she used to. Someone who was growing, becoming something better, something she could be proud of.

Then immediately she falls, doubts herself, thinks of what she is now, what she’s become in Rose’s absence. She thinks herself ‘petty and dull’, as if she’ll never be anything beyond that (what does it matter? it’s already done), but she has to be here without Rose. Be there for Steven. Because if there’s nothing else Pearl can do that’s worthwhile, she at least wants to be there for Steven. 

That’s why this song is so heartbreaking to me, but also gives me hope. Pearl isn’t quite there yet, but she desperately wants to be, she wants it to be over. She wants to move beyond this. Yet the song isn’t hopeful, it’s a sigh of defeat. Benign acceptance that it’s over, isn’t it? 

But Rose is gone, and she’s still here, and she still can’t move on.

I think she can, though. I think it’s important that we’re shown Pearl wants to become better. I think that’s the point of her character, in the end. As much as it might sometimes feel like Pearl’s entire character is built entirely around Rose, to the point where it feels like they’ll never be separate, I think it’s more that her character is built on top of the impact Rose left on her. 

Pearl’s development is about her learning to love herself, to better herself on her own terms, for her own reasons, and this song is amazing because it shows that she wants it and she’s slowly getting there, despite how much it still hurts.