Steven Universe – Episode 76 “It Could’ve Been Great”

Peridot frantically chides the Crystal Gems for taking a break from constructing the drill. It’s not like they have a finite number of days to complete it or anything! Steven placates Peridot by teaching her music. Peridot quickly takes to this strange form of entertainment and realizes how much fun it is in spite of its apparent uselessness. It’s been a long time coming, but Peridot has significantly lowered her guards since she started working with the Crystal Gems. She is genuinely enjoying her time with them.

After weeks of construction, the drill is officially finished. Now all they need are coordinates to get to the Cluster. Pearl thinks the information might be stored inside a Diamond Base, but that’s located on the moon. Since they have no warp pad to get there, Steven begs Lion to take them. Lion only agrees because he wouldn’t be able to take a nap or eat Lion Lickers anymore if the Earth is destroyed. Lion has priorities.

Lion pulls an Inception and roars out warps-within-warps, giving him the necessary speed to reach the moon. They make it to the base (which apparently has air because Steven breathes just fine) and the first thing Steven notices are large murals depicting the Diamonds. Peridot gabs about a couple of them, namely Blue and Yellow Diamond. Peridot is especially glowing of Yellow Diamond’s reputation since she works directly under her. Finally, we get a decent explanation on who these folks are. Blue and Yellow Diamond are part of the Diamond Authority, the matriarchal leaders of Homeworld and all the colonies they’ve conquered. Peridot states every Gem was made to serve them and she says this with such enthusiasm that she’s one cult away from handing out pamphlets if Garnet didn’t butt in to shut her up. Peridot nervously skitters to the main computer frame to find the coordinates. Steven also notices an empty room containing only a floating blue ball, but Garnet brushes it off since it isn’t part of their mission. Bet on it coming up in a future episode.

Peridot is adorable here: she geeks out over old Diamond tech, sits on a chair reserved for only for the highest authority after Steven coaxes her, and treats the entire base like she’s a kid in a candy store. To her, this place is sacred and to wander into a room where the Diamonds once walked is awe-inspiring. Peridot has never known a time where the Diamonds weren’t amazing and absolute. It’s precious, but it’s alarming, too. Peridot has made great strides with the Crystal Gems as well as her understanding of Earth culture, but she still seems loyal to the Diamonds. What will happen once they handle the Cluster? What will Peridot do?

Peridot opens up the main files. Included inside is a map of Earth. Wow, the Gems did a number on it because they severely changed geographical locations of the world: stand-outs include Florida split off from the rest of the United States, South America being significantly broader, and the big one – a good chunk of Russia just plain gone. Peridot makes note of the Cluster’s original insertion point at a second Kindergarten (the Beta) and eventually locates its current position. She sends the coordinates to the drill. That’s that, everything is ready!

Steven asks if the computer has any games, but Peridot insist this device isn’t a toy. To demonstrate, she shows Steven what Homeworld had planned for Earth should they have succeeded. All those Gem structures we saw in past episodes were but a mere five percent of the buildings Homeworld had built. By the time they’d have finished colonizing Earth, the planet would have resembled little of what it originally was since it would have been gutted to fit Gem needs. The demonstration is horrifying and the Crystal Gems react appropriately. Peridot thinks the colony should have finished since it would have expanded the Gem Empire. The Cluster wouldn’t have even been a factor; if it ever wakes up, that’s a huge loss in resources right there. The Crystal Gems counter, saying Rose protected the world so no living creature would have perished from the colonization. Peridot insults Rose since she thinks the whole thing ended up a losing situation for everyone and hoo boy, the Crystal Gems went from tranquil fury to wanting to rip off Peridot’s head. If Steven hadn’t stepped in, Garnet might have choked the granite out of her.

Steven is disappointed, too. For Peridot, she thinks the Rebellion failed because the Cluster is the result of their backlash. Steven tells her the Crystal Gems don’t see it that way – Earth has living creatures worth protecting. He thought she finally understood that. Apparently, she didn’t. To add insult to injury, Peridot sneaks off with a small device, causing Steven to be suspicious of her actions.

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