ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Jul. 17th, 2015
SYNOPSIS: Garnet and Pearl reach the tipping point of their relationship. They must hash it out in time to stop Peridot.
The Crystal Gems managed to locate Peridot again. The little green gremlin had been trying to rebuild the warp pad in the Galaxy Warp Hub. Pearl is too earnest in her attempts to capture Peridot and her lack of focus causes the latter to escape once again. Peridot does say something interesting before she departs: Earth has an “expiration date”, indicating that it’s living on buried time. Hmm…
Pearl’s trying to keep a stiff upper lip, hoping that by catching Peridot, it’ll end whatever awkwardness she and Garnet have been stuck with for some time. Hopefully soon, Steven and especially Amethyst is just about done with this nonsense. Using the escape pod, Pearl managed to rig it so they can locate Peridot anytime she uses a warp pad. With it, they find her next landing point somewhere in the heart of South America. Peridot has somehow locked herself inside an old Gem ship, a perfect place to corner her!
The minute the Crystal Gems arrive, Peridot traps them inside the ship. She had tricked them into coming so she could kill them all. Peridot uses the ship’s weapons and defense system against them; the Crystal Gems barely dodge in time. Peridot is at the end of a hallway, but a hasty Pearl only ends up stabbing a hologram of her. She’s beyond frustrated, tired of losing and tired of the guilt eating inside of her.
Eventually the floor gives out on them. Amethyst managed to save herself and Steven, but Garnet and Pearl falls straight into a pit. Pearl has reached the last breaking point and she apologizes again, wishing things could just go back to normal. They both know retrieving Peridot isn’t going to fix anything though. The walls start closing in on them. As they struggle to push back, Pearl asks Garnet what she can do to earn her forgiveness. Garnet rightfully points out that forgiveness cannot be requested; she has to live with the consequences and just deal with it. Pearl tearfully confesses that she couldn’t help herself, she needed Garnet’s strength because she’s “just a Pearl.” She felt complete and secure – a perfect relationship so to speak – while fused. Garnet tells her she’s wrong because she, too has weaknesses, she just chooses to play to her strength because of the impact she has on the team. Garnet tells Pearl that she looks up to her as well because she brings her own uniqueness to the team. Pearl needs to acknowledge that instead of wallowing in her own misery.
We’ve seen Garnet literally fall apart over fusion and how it betrayed the fearlessness she often displays. It is a huge sticking point for her, so I’m glad she told Pearl to suck it up. She’s right, you can’t demand forgiveness nor expect it; the other party has to forgive on their own term. Steven Universe teaches us that apologies are not the be-all, end-all of a conflict. Sometimes the aftermath is achingly long and brutally culpable. I feel for Pearl because suffering through guilt and letting it eat you up is the worst, but there’s not much you can do. Even then, sometimes people will accept your apology and move on, other times they won’t. The best you can do is learn from your mistakes and do better next time.
Pearl often follows a straight and narrow path and these recent stream of episodes not only expanded on that, but opened another big piece of herself. She needs to work with somebody because it gives her structure as well as a sense of worth in her eyes. She did it with Rose and she’s doing it here. For as much as Pearl prides in her abilities and wisdom, she defines herself by who she used to be, a “Pearl.” The circumstances behind this meaning will be clearer over time, but for now, Pearl relapsed back into a habit that she’s been trying so hard to get rid of. Even when we’ve gotten a handle on our issues, it’s still a mental battle everyday and some days are just better than others. It’s a vicious cycle, but when we learn, it’s a good day.
Pearl finally stops feeling sorry for herself and with Garnet’s permission, they fuse into Sardonyx and drill their way back to the surface.
They reach Peridot just before she tries to kill them again. Outnumbered, Peridot flies away, but Steven grabs ahold of her foot. The rest of the Gems form a chain to hold her down, forcing Peridot to release the boot Steven has a tight grip on. Peridot may have evaded them once again, but the team is back to normal.