Steven Universe: Message Recieved
January 7, 2016 3:17 PM - Season 2, Episode 28 - Subscribe

Steven confronts Peridot about an artifact she took from the Diamond base on the Moon.
posted by Small Dollar (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
... And Peridot!
posted by Small Dollar at 3:23 PM on January 7, 2016 [10 favorites]

I'm glad that episode didn't go as I expected.

Did the animation seem poorly executed to anyone else?
posted by INFJ at 3:27 PM on January 7, 2016

I think that the diamonds were not as aesthetically pleasing as they could have been.

I second your opinion INFJ.
posted by AlexiaSky at 4:11 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

That seems...sorta quick. At what point does Peridot decide Homeworld's plans were a bad idea and tries to reason with Yellow Diamond?
posted by divabat at 4:16 PM on January 7, 2016

Yellow Diamond's neck seems really long.
posted by rustcrumb at 4:17 PM on January 7, 2016

Pearls are colour-coded to their diamond, so White Diamond will be involved at some point in Pearl's story.

That seems...sorta quick.
VERY quick. She went from frenzied with Yellow-Diamond loyalty to traitor in minutes.
posted by FallowKing at 4:19 PM on January 7, 2016

They seemed to be doing a specific sort of Anime style with YD which was pretty jarring. I blame the storyboard artist.

On seeing the sheer scale of YD I am now officially in-throwing my hat from the "Rose Is pink diamond" ring and placing it gingerly in the "Rose killed pink diamond" camp. Rose's size is consistent with other quartzes like Jasper, Diamonds are clearly a whole other thing entirely. If Rose really used to be a diamond then something happened to shrink her down.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:20 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

I think the next episode will shed light on Peridot's face turn, but I can see Peridot calling with the intention of convincing YD to take up some variation of the original colony plan again and getting frustrated at the waste of a perfectly good planet. Plus she's spent too much time around Steven and made the mistake of thinking anyone on homeworld gives a damn about her opinion.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:25 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

  • "Save your strength! You're up against one of the Earth's greatest trapping technologies: THE CHILD SAFETY LOCK!"
  • "How could you do this to me, the great and lovable Peridot??"
  • It is interesting that the show choose this way for Peridot to reject homeworld -- Yellow Diamond was revealed not to be as logical as Peridot expected.
  • (honk honk honk) "(sigh) I see she knows what a horn is now."
  • "Not all Pearls know each other, Steven."
  • Yellow Pearl is basically a smug telephone operator. Credits reveal despite the affected voice, she's still voiced by Deedee Magno Hall.
  • Yellow Diamond may pose an obstacle to Steven's caring outlook. She's shaping up to be the show's first actual villain.
  • Note that Yellow Diamond didn't see the CG's.

posted by JHarris at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]

Oh, and Steven was pretty canny this time! He pretty much made all the right moves. Way to go, kid!
posted by JHarris at 4:32 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

I liked the phrase "rotary invisible shields." Peridot just cranked down the window.
posted by painquale at 5:03 PM on January 7, 2016 [10 favorites]

Toddler reaction: Peri car! Peri open? Peri wobot! (followed by running to hide)

My reaction: :D :D :D
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:13 PM on January 7, 2016 [7 favorites]

Peridot is SUCH a geek. It's glorious. The impulsive enthusiasm, sarcastic grumbling, inability to grasp any nuance of social interaction, admiration for tech with no consideration of consequences, and near total lack of self awareness. I can see her earnestly arguing on the internet how Crying Breakfast Friends sucks since they started pandering to clods. It probably says bad things about me that I find that endearing.

As for the episode Peridot's turn makes sense in terms of the conversation with YD. Peridot starts the call thinking she's going to be a hero. She's going to serve the perfect Yellow Diamond, how could someone perfect do anything bad? She obviously hadn't considered she was going to have to put the CGs and Steven in mortal danger.

I also doubt when she activated that communicator that she had seriously considered the reality of going back to just being "a Peridot", let alone an incompetent Peridot. Yellow Diamond treats her like an interchangeable one of many. Also, smug Yellow Pearl sliding into shot was a great way of underlining that reality.

Finally, and I think fatally, Peridot sees YD behave irrationally. This is the flip side of Peridot geeking out about the plans to hollow out the earth in the last episode. She's annoyed that the CGs cant see the elegance and efficiency of the genocidal Xenoforming plan. YD is willing to blow up a perfectly good planet on a grudge. "The most perfect, the most rational, reasonable, efficient decider ever to exist in the universe" is trashing a planet because she's pissed at something that happened 5000 years ago.

So Peridot gets her world view shattered and is forced to make a choice between going back to being a disposable unit or throwing in with Earth. There seems to be a theme developing here. Garnet's first totally explodes Ruby and Sapphire's world views as well. Makes me wonder what happened to Rose and Pearl back at the beginning.

I also like that Peridot's reaction after all of it to basically go fetal, and not to really seem to mind too much that she's holding a bomb that will definitely go off soon. I kind of expect Peridot to spend the next little while freaking the fuck out. Assuming they don't go straight for the cluster, and trade the fear of far away angry Yellow Diamond with the fear of right here gem-mutant Lavos.
posted by Grimgrin at 5:13 PM on January 7, 2016 [11 favorites]

So here's how I see things:

- Rose Quartz and Pink/Red Diamond arrive on Earth as overseers of setting up a new colony world.
- Something happens that convinces Rose that the earth is something worth protecting.
- Renegade Pearl that wants to fight is rejected by Homeworld, devotes self to Rose's cause even though she doesn't really see what Rose sees in the earth.
- Rose and Pearl cause trouble for the colony building process. Homeworld sends diplomatic contingent (including Blue Diamond?) Sapphire meets Ruby and throw in with Rose after being rejected by Homeworld.
- Yellow Diamond, intrigued by Garnet's cross-gem fusion, secretly experiments with creating artificial fusion clusters out of gem shards.
- Lapis Lazuli is imprisoned in a mirror as punishment for failing Blue Diamond. Suspect it's because the Crystal Gems wrecked something she was in charge of.
- Rose and the Crystal Gems continue causing trouble. More gems join Rose's army.
- CGs win great victory over Homeworld, shatter Pink/Red Diamond. This battlefield becomes the strawberry battlefield seen later.
- Yellow Diamond convinces the other diamonds to write Earth off and implants the Cluster.
- As the CGs celebrate their victory the Diamonds unleash a doomsday weapon that corrupts every Gem left on Earth. Rose is only able to protect the closest two gems, Pearl and Garnet.
- Homeworld assumes the CGs are all dead and leaves Earth to the cluster.
- The surviving CGs start the long process of defeating and proofing all their former allies. Rose devotes herself to figuring out how to heal the corrupt gems but never succeeds.
- The CGs find Amethyst during a routine visit to Kindergarten. She is intact since she was never properly awoken and was underground "overcooking" when the weapon was unleashed.
- the CGs build/adapt the temple as their base of operations.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:44 PM on January 7, 2016 [12 favorites]

I loved this episode both for the plot and the comedy moments. I scared the dogs laughing.
posted by Foosnark at 6:24 PM on January 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

Even though Peridot's stuck with the Crystal Gems for now, I don't think she'll be totally on board until she trades the diamonds on her outfit for stars. We should get at least one story where she gets the chance to betray everybody and go home safely before that happens. That said, maybe the show can finally let her redemption story take a back seat on episodes that she features heavily in for a while. Maybe she can meet the Boardies? An episode where Peridot and Ronaldo "Actually..." each other for a day would be a-maze-ing.

* Yellow Diamond's design and animation reminded me of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, but maybe it was just the lips.

* YD's Pearl having a mid-century girl Friday's nasal accent was a fun touch. Since all three Rubies in The Answer were voiced by Charlene Yi, and "Gem Warrior" in Sworn to the Sword is voiced by the woman who performs Jasper, I wouldn't be surprised if all gems of the same type share the same voice actress.

* Steven gets called out on his tendency to solve problems with patience and understanding. Even though he's ultimately right about Peridot, it's still exciting to see the show's title character get his childlike belief in the goodness of others gently corrected by Garnet.

* "Not all Pearls know each other, Steven." Gold star, Crewniverse.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 6:49 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]

We should get at least one story where she gets the chance to betray everybody and go home safely before that happens.

But isn't that what just happened? Plus once you call your Diamond a "clod" pretty sure your Go Home Safely chances are 0%,

Yellow Pearl was done by the same voice actress as regular Pearl.
posted by emjaybee at 6:56 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

But the Crystal Gems haven't really trusted her before. Right now Peridot is stuck with the gems, but for her to really be committed, she needs to explicitly reject Homeworld and choose Love/Earth/The Radical Philosophy of Rose Quartz. For that to happen, somebody, Jasper maybe but Yellow Diamond would be ideal, needs to offer her clemency, or even a promise of a promotion if only she'll sell out the Earth at some critical moment. A lower stakes version might involve Peridot in some internal bargaining phase come up with a plot to get back into YD's good graces, but that feels like more of a credibility stretch than an offer from one of her old superiors.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:06 PM on January 7, 2016

I think this was the definitive face turn for Peridot. I re-watched the episode I just realized the argument between her and Steven in the pickup can be read another way. Rather than Peridot straightforwardly wanting to follow through with the plan to destroy Earth, in her mind she's come up with a plan to save it: "I can be of use to Yellow Diamond, this planet can be of use to Yellow Diamond." Her response to Steven's objections about the cluster: "Yes, yes, that's the point!". You don't blow up something that's of use to you. Gems like herself are flawed, the Diamonds are perfect, so why trust something that's flawed over something that's perfect? This is also Peridot being super geeky, she has her plan to solve a problem, that's clever, brilliant even, and is completely workable and logical except for the minor hitch of disregarding reality and the worldview of everyone else who would have to go along with it to make it work.

GameDesignerBen: The thing is, I can't see the Radical Philosophy of Rose Quartz rejecting Peridot because she hasn't made a properly motivated choice. I can't see Rose requiring that kind of choice. I thought her philosophy was: Every living thing here has a unique existence, and that's worth defending. So you know, a lost, loyal, little Peridot from Homeworld just called a diamond a clod to her face. Pretty unique.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:43 PM on January 7, 2016 [8 favorites]

Just rewatched the episode with “Peridot was meaning to reason with YD this whole time” thing in mind. We’re getting really set up for our expectations of Rose Quartz to be WRECKED.

“She’s flawless and the best” is exactly what everyone aligned with her keeps saying about RQ. Peridot’s not the only one that’s about to be disillusioned.
posted by divabat at 10:39 PM on January 7, 2016 [5 favorites]

Also for all the angsting that Pearl does about not being unique, it does seem that Pearls are way more distinct than most other gems.
posted by divabat at 10:40 PM on January 7, 2016 [2 favorites]

Crazy theory of the day: what if the Diamonds are secretly fusions and Pink Diamond was Rose + another gem?
posted by speicus at 12:39 AM on January 8, 2016

speicus: that theory's been going around now, with some speculating that Rose + the Bismuth in Lion = Pink Diamond.

also I can't stop watching this
posted by divabat at 12:44 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

But then how could Bismuth be Steven's corrupted half-sister?
posted by GameDesignerBen at 6:01 AM on January 8, 2016

My new theory: the two blue, jasperish guards of blue diamond suggest that perhaps each diamond has two such guards that match their color. So jasper has a match for yellow diamond, a double who is on home world, still with her master. If rose was the high guard of pink diamond, did she have a double? If she's not pink diamond, she's probably not unique.
posted by Rinku at 8:54 AM on January 8, 2016

My current theory: Rose's army beat pink diamond by forming a huge (or possibly several huge) fusions, out of everygem's belief in the cause rather than personal compatibility. It worked, *but*, with the exceptions of Garnet (who held together because Ruby and Sapphire had each other), Pearl (who had Rose) and Rose herself, who has an unshakable sense of self, all the other gems were driven insane/corrupted/turned into monsters. That was a) where Homeworld got the idea for the cluster and b) where all those damned monsters, who the Crystal Gems have been so carefully saving, came from.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

So, we've all thought that Earth was abandoned and forgotten for these last 5,000 years. But it turns out that no, they've just been waiting for the Cluster! Now that Yellow Diamond is aware that the Cluster is due to emerge "soon", then I think Earth is about to receive a bunch of attention when that doesn't happen. Watch out, gems!
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2016

I'm still wanting more clarity on the whole "corruption" thing. It's not fracturing a gem, because the ones they bubble appear whole. Gems seem otherwise fairly impervious to injury. You can't "infect" them. So what could corruption even be? If Rose's tears (and presumably her healing spring) couldn't heal them, what possibly could?

If I had to come up with a random theory, I'd try this one; that corruption is done sonically--that corrupted gems appear whole but are riddled with microscopic fractures or holes induced by a weapon emitting a very high or low-pitched sound. Some kind of unique Gem wavelength.

Therefore healing them takes more than spit/tears. It also
posted by emjaybee at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

I just found out that Yellow Diamond is voiced by Patti LuPone. Holy cow!
posted by miratime at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

I had wondered who voiced her!

That's defeasible evidence for Yellow Diamond being a fusion. Fusions are typically voiced by and modeled on famous singers.

(I really wish they had managed to get Janelle Monae to voice Sardonyx.)
posted by painquale at 12:28 PM on January 8, 2016

Surely they can't get talent like that without getting at least one song out of her... right?
posted by miratime at 12:30 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's funny that we don't get songs from Aimee Mann or Nikki Minaj and we hardly get any from Estelle, but we get a ton of songs from Tom Scharpling, of all people.
posted by painquale at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

We got a tiny bit of a song from Aimee Mann. (Still one of my favorite moments in the show.)
posted by ocherdraco at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

I so wish I knew how to make gifs, because this episode is more gif-able than any episode I've seen yet. The helicopter face! Yellow Diamond's angry face! The Telephone Pearl's smug face! So many faces!
posted by Anonymous at 2:19 AM on January 9, 2016

posted by divabat at 2:28 AM on January 9, 2016


I never wanted anything as much as I want this
posted by Anonymous at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2016

But then she'd end up settling all the issues with the Crystal Gems through some highly idiosyncratic means, like... like in some kind of "lightning chamber."
posted by JHarris at 4:35 PM on January 9, 2016

Or! Or in an "electricity room." Or maybe in a "current sphere."

What, no one's gonna take the bait on this one?
posted by JHarris at 7:31 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think we're better off just moving beyond that one.
posted by baf at 3:48 PM on January 10, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm just going to wander around bereft the rest of January, hoping for a new episodes date to put on my calendar. God I hate the way Cartoon Network refuses to have a consistent schedule of any kind, it is just a giant Fuck You to the viewers.
posted by emjaybee at 6:35 PM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I'd prefer a Stevenbomb every five weeks instead of a weekly schedule. 11 minute episodes are just too short.

But I do wish they'd keep the hiatuses on a constant schedule. The first week of every month should be a Stevenbomb.
posted by painquale at 6:42 PM on January 10, 2016

It may also be a question of a limitation on the crew. I wonder if a Steven Bomb a month would just wreck them.
posted by delicious-luncheon at 10:24 AM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

"We tried doing live cartoons, but it was too much of a strain on the animator's wrists."
posted by JHarris at 3:55 PM on January 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

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