Steven Universe – Episode 73 “Too Far”

To make up for the defunct Limb Enhancers, Steven gave Peridot a tape recorder so she could resume logging her progress. Peridot has taken to it like moth to a flame and has kept a daily record of her activities since. Right now, she’s in the middle of a collaboration with the Crystal Gems to build a drill machine to dig into the Earth. Peridot first informs Garnet that she’ll get to work after she unfuses because it’s making her uncomfortable. Garnet responses by tying her up to a fence. And because this is Peridot, her vast unfamiliarity with Earth culture means she doesn’t even attempt to untie herself despite free range of her arms.

In spite of the tension between Peridot and the Crystal Gems, Amethyst digs Peridot’s specific lingo because she thinks it’s comedy gold. Pearl steps in and states everything is a-go except for the drill head. Peridot can get one at the Kindergarten, but Garnet isn’t letting the little gremlin off without someone babysitting her. She is not letting that fusion remark go, Peridot. Steven and Amethyst volunteers.

Amethyst encourages Peridot’s ramblings because it makes her laugh, not at all caring that most of her statements –- however true they may be –- is blunt and condescending. Steven wants to change the subject, but Amethyst is having a ball. Peridot quickly endears to Amethyst and pulls the Homeworld Gem equivalent of a Seinfeldian “”What’s the Deal?”” routine with the Crystal Gems as the main subject. Peridot eventually tells Amethyst that she should be the one in charge since she’s a real Gem, not like Pearl (who’s just a Pearl) or Garnet (who’s an unholy fusion.) The only setback is that Amethyst is considered “defective.” This opens up a whole new can of worms between Amethyst and her flip-flopping self-confidence. Peridot elaborates, saying Amethyst’s emergence as a type of Quartz meant she should have been bigger and sturdier. She must have stayed in her hole longer than intended and with Kindergarten having already been abandoned by the time she was born, nobody was around to tell her who she was and what she was suppose to do. Peridot finds it amusing that she came out “wrong.”” Amethyst does not.

The worst part is that Peridot meant this as a compliment. She thinks Amethyst should be the head honcho of the Crystal Gems and praises her skills when utilized. Peridot finds a rapport with Amethyst, but it backfires horrendously when she drops this bombshell. Amethyst already has a giant mountain of an issue concerning her existence and to find out she came out “wrong” only adds to the fire. Peridot obviously doesn’t know this about Amethyst and her comments were meant in good humor, but unintended insults are no less harmful than deliberate slander.

They return to base with the drill, but while Peridot is getting the hang of observational jokes, Amethyst is not in the mood for any funny business. Steven has to tell a confused Peridot that she really hurt Amethyst’s feelings, even if she didn’t mean to. Peridot feels horrendously guilty, but is at a loss on what to do. Importantly, she’s starting to value Amethyst’s feelings.

Steven and Peridot brush it aside for the time to set up the drill. It goes out of control during and the only way to stop it is to turn off the switch, which just so happens to be located inside the drill. Amethyst arrives in time to see the chaos ensue, but doesn’t react quick enough when the drill spins towards her general direction. Peridot leaps in and saves Amethyst while Steven finally turns the drill off.

This doesn’t fix anything though, Amethyst is still upset. Peridot later approaches her and with all the strength she can muster, plays a recording she made earlier. In it, she admits her wrongdoing and apologizes to Amethyst for making her feel like she was worth nothing. Peridot genuinely thinks Amethyst is the best Gem and she enjoys the time they spend together. Amethyst accepts the apology; all is well.

A notable part of Peridot’s apology is that she admits that she’s still learning. Last episode, she begrudgingly accepted Pearl as a skilled engineer, but she hasn’t yet embraced this as a whole (further evident by Peridot’s continued astonishment that a Pearl can even be a skilled technician.) Peridot’s journey is gradual and I like that it takes its time. You can’t just undo several thousand years of ingrained bigotry. The culture Peridot grew up with means Earth is an entirely new field and she has to adjust herself accordingly. It should further be noted that Peridot did not apologize to Garnet for her insensitive fusion remark; she has to climb that ladder one step at a time. Peridot acknowledges she’s at fault and wants to improve, but she’s already come a long way from the snidely little troll that delightfully graced our screens episodes back.

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