Steven Universe – Episode 77: Message Received

Still suspicious of Peridot, Steven approaches her so they can talk in private. Inside an old truck, Peridot regales in her absolute devotion to her superior, Yellow Diamond. Even after all this, how could she still not worship her superior? That’s more than enough to convince Steven that Peridot will go rogue. He swipes the device she snuck from the Moon Base and traps her with the deadliest invention known to man: the child safety lock. What is interesting is how badly Peridot reacts to this: she doesn’t resort back to her snide self or attempt to threaten our heroes, she instead begs. She legitimately feels betrayed that Steven, her friend, turned his back on her. Despite what Peridot has planned with Yellow Diamond, she enjoyed her time with the Crystal Gems and wanted to keep that after all that was said and done.

Peridot confesses that she had been hoarding a communication device that would directly contact the Diamonds. She knows the Crystal Gems’ efforts to protect Earth from Homeworld will be futile, so she has a plan that would ensure Earth will be valuable to the Diamonds. Steven is disappointed because Peridot will never change and now considers her a loss cause. This is big. Steven never had a moment where he gave up on someone; he has always extended his hands in welcome, knowing there was good in everyone. The only time he didn’t is because he couldn’t (like Jasper who wasted no time wailing on the Crystal Gems.) Even Onion – a kid that weirds him out – was someone Steven avoided at worst with no scrutiny. Peridot betrayed him and it hurts. For a brief moment, Steven learns a pretty harsh lesson: some folks won’t changed.

Peridot escapes with her robot. She quickly swipes the device from the Crystal Gems and make haste. All the Gems aren’t happy, but Amethyst is especially angry. She transforms into a helicopter and flies the rest of the Crystal Gems to get that despicable gremlin. They eventually catch up to Peridot and Steven tackles her. Everything they had was for nothing – he trusted her! Peridot retaliates by saying he doesn’t understand either, seeing their emotions as a flaw when logic and reasoning will save the day.

Peridot successfully operates the device. The Crystal Gems are forced to hide so they won’t be spotted…by Yellow Diamond.

This is the first time we’ve seen a Diamond front and center in the present time period and there’s so many brilliant moments to decipher. When Peridot opens communication, the first Gem she actually sees is Yellow Diamond’s personal Pearl who prolongs the anticipation by grilling into Peridot for daring to disturb her superior in such a manner. When Yellow Diamond is shown, she isn’t even looking at Peridot because she’s too busy working. Heck, she doesn’t know which Peridot this one is until the latter had to clarify. That alone should tell you how flippant she is towards her subjects. The other thing of note is that Yellow Diamond’s first appearance doesn’t have her facing our heroes, let alone in person. Blue Diamond’s arrival occurred during a flashback while Yellow’s interaction happens completely behind a screen. It simutaneously reveals a big player in the overall narrative while gradually raising the stakes. We’re not privvy to see the Diamonds face-to-face yet, but we’re slowly starting to see the faces behind Homeworld.

Yellow Diamond digs up Peridot’s current mission and is disappointed that she’s failed. Peridot informs her that her ship had been damaged, purposely omitting the Crystal Gems’ by name and claiming it was an accident. She then tells Yellow Diamond the real reason she called: she thinks the Cluster should not emerge. Earth is too valuable with resources unique to its own and there’s so much the Diamond Authority can do with it without harming any of the lifeforms living there. That. That was Peridot’s plans, she wanted to save Earth. She’s still loyal to Homeworld and wanted it under the Diamond’s name, but it is a far better fate than letting it get blown up by an emerging geo-weapon.

Yellow Diamond does not take this kindly. Peridot has stated multiple times that Yellow Diamond was logical and focused, but it’s clear that even at her calmest, Yellow Diamond is visibly restraining herself from losing it at the mere mentioning of the planet Earth. It hits her on a personal level for reasons we don’t know yet. When Peridot refuse to obey her orders to leave the Cluster alone, Yellow Diamond loses it. She wants Earth gone. Peridot, though scared out of her wits, stands her ground and tells her off. Earth is worth protecting and not even Yellow Diamond can stop it from existing. Then she calls her a “clod” and hoo boy, was she wise to close communication before Yellow Diamond really lost it.

Peridot goes catatonic; she’s now a traitor to Homeworld. The Crystal Gems cheer for her, now declaring her a new member of the Crystal Gems, whether she likes it or not.

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