The latest Steven bomb has finished exploding. Spoilers, details, and analysis are below the break.
The quick summary: The gems develop a way to track Peridot by her warping and have a few run-ins with the green gremlin. In the process, Pearl and Garnet finally have a much-needed conversation about Pearl’s manipulation.
I’ll talk about Peridot first. Just when you think they can’t have her do anything crazier with those glow stick fingers, she goes and uses them to scuttle like a crab. Touche Steven Universe. I was thinking a bit about her favorite insult ‘clod’. it actually makes a ton of sense, maybe even more than the crew of the show intended. A clod is a loose clump of dirt, soil, or clay as well as a description of a fool. Both could be considered insults to intelligent mineral-based lifeforms like the gems. If their hierarchy puts diamonds (the hardest stone) at the top, then a clod is below even the softest gems.
I was also thinking about one of my favorite poems, ‘The Clod and the Pebble’. I don’t usually put much stock in poetry, but this one by William Blake caught my eye because it was small, had fun imagery, and was easy to interpret. Here it is:
Love seeketh not Itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care;
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.
So sung a little Clod of Clay,
Trodden with the cattle’s feet;
But a Pebble of the brook,
Warbled out these metres meet:
Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to Its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.
When you think about it a little too much, which I have taken the liberty of doing for you, this describes the struggle of Steven and the Crystal Gems against the home world gems. The clod espouses a selfless innocent view of love, willing to give things that might tread on it the benefit of the doubt. The pebble on the other hand, having been hardened and worn smooth by the constant force of the brook, sees love as selfish. It sees it as taking what you want from others.
Rose Quartz’s philosophy was that of the clod. Peridot speaks the truth when she calls Steven and the Gems clods because she has been allied with the unsympathetic pebbles. Again, I doubt they thought about this, but it’s a fun parallel.
Transitioning from Peridot to Pearl, did you notice that Pearl referred to herself as as A Pearl? When you notice that Pearl and Peridot have smooth gems on their heads and are always the ones interfacing with technology, then combine this with Pearl referring to herself as not meant for battle in the episode where she trained Connie, you start to get the idea she might be part of a particular caste of gem designed as engineers and thinkers. That would mean all of the main gems are characterized by the location of their stone. The intelligent Pearl wears hers on her head, the passionate Amethyst wears it over her heart/breast, the strong Garnet wears hers in her palms, and Rose/Steven, who are known for their instincts and gut feelings, wear it over the navel.
It may have taken a shrinking room threatening to crush them, but Pearl and Garnet finally shared the feelings we’ve heard them express separately. The conversation worked so well that they had some make-up S******x and escaped. Good for them. We were ready for it to happen.
Peridot’s escapes are becoming so frequent I’m afraid she’ll eventually say, “I’m blasting off again!” Let’s hope that by the time the next new episodes roll around those shenanigans finally come to an end. I’ll be back on it whether it’s a weekly dose or another bomb. Make sure to follow if you like this piece and maybe check out some of my others or some of my original fiction!