Nuggets of Wisdom

Friday, February 5, 2016

SU Recap: Back To The Barn

In the last episode, we saw Peridot warm up to the Crystal Gems as a whole. In the next few episodes, we’ll see her warm up to each of them individually on a one-to-one basis, with Garnet (“Log Date 7 15 2”), Amethyst (“Too Far”), and, with this episode, Pearl.

Ever since being stranded on Earth, Peridot has been experiencing quite the case of culture shock, especially in this episode. She’s so accustom to living within a socially regimented society where every gem knows their place  that the very notion that a “common pearl” is not only capable of giving orders, but also capable of developing better technology than her, is extremely foreign. But as Garnet implies with her “welcome to Earth” quip, things are simply different on this planet, and she’s going to have to learn to unlearn her prejudices if she’s going to adjust. You could almost say that she needs to “check her privilege”! (Sweet Celestia, I can’t believe that I’m using that phrase unironically!)

Why is Peridot divulging this information about the Cluster? We've already heard it before. Either she's telling the Gems about it for the first time (in which case, why didn't she do so back at the kindergarten where she could have used the computer rather than a cardboard box to explain it) or she's telling them again (in which case, she's being redundant). Either way, redundant exposition is redundant.

Oh My Celestia! The Cluster is a chest buster from Alien!

Already, we can see Peridot's prejudice on full display as she chastises Pearl for seemingly "speaking out of turn" and then taking credit for her idea, claiming it as her own. From here on out, her behavior becomes even more problematic. (Celestia, I also can't believe that I'm using that term unironically!)

Don’t feel too bad about the broken television, Steven. It was outdated anyway. Seriously, it's 2016. No one watches box televisions with built-in VCRs. You seriously need to upgrade to a flatscreen smart television.

What exactly did Greg's folks use the barn for? Not only does it contain enough spare parts to build several giant robots and a drill, but also a functioning spaceship capable of traveling lightyears into space. This clearly isn't farm equipment being stored in here.

So they need to build a drill to get to the Cluster at the center of the earth. Too bad they don't have a gem fusion form with a drill for a weapon.

Oh wait.

This episode gives us more information on Pearls and their roles in Gem Homeworld. We knew from tidbits in previous episodes that they're a servant class. Now we know that they're mass-manufactured solely to serve the needs of the higher gem classes, with implications that they're not even treated as actual persons.

We see this with how Peridot treats her as a thing that's only useful for "standing around and looking nice and holding your stuff for you." Peridot's even taken aback by the mere suggestion of having to listen and take orders from her. If anything, this indicates that Pearls are less like "servants" and more like slaves.

"A Peridot owning a Pearl. What would they say back home" So far, we can tell that Peridot is on a much higher level in the Homeworld social order to be taken aback at the idea of taking orders from Pearl, but she's obviously much lower in that it would be uncommon for a gem like her to own one. Both are clearly working class gems, but Peridot is higher working class (white collar) and Pearl is lower (blue collar).

You should built a spaceship…er, I mean robots. Yes, why would I think that Steven would be obssessed with building a space-ship. Spaceship. SPACESHIP. SPACESHIP!

Hmm. These giant robots are impressive. But you know what would make them 20 percent cooler? If one of them had a convertible for a head with a hula girl bobble figure on the dashboard. Chicks dig giant robots like that!

I'd say that white robots can't break dance, but hers is clearly green, not white.

If Pearl were human, that bolder would have killed her. At least, it should have made her poof. I guess that pearls really are durable gems.

Even in a robot she dances gracefully. But are her sneezes graceful?

Peridot jumped so high, she reached the sky, and didn’t come down until the Fourth of July!

Amethyst, that's not how you let them paint you like their French girls.

"Stop! Giant robots shouldn't fight."

I want to laugh at this, but that line is only making me remember the first Pokemon movie, and just how face-palmingly stupid it was to suggest that Pokemon shouldn't fight--even though that's what they're being marketed for!

"You're just a Pearl."

"That's right. I am a Pearl."

I really wish there was a meme I could reference here. A meme where an alien life form asserts his own personhood by punching another lifeform. A meme with a catchy one-liner like, oh, I don't know, "I am a man!" A meme that was started by an internet reviewer, specifically one with a fedora and glasses who reviewed comic books. If only such a meme existed. Oh well!

Pearl fainted. Quick, use a revive and super potion!

"Welcome to Earth."

I always assumed that was simply a quip, but the line has a much deeper meaning when taken in context with the entire episode. Peridot is clearly in another world where her expectations for how Gems are supposed to act do not apply, and clearly, she needs to start unlearning everything she knew before in order to adjust.

The fact that Peridot was able to construct such a giant robot holding the drill upside down is quite the accomplishment in and of itself.