Mark Watches ‘Steven Universe’: S04E18 – Rocknaldo

In the eighteenth episode of the fourth season of Steven Universe, oh, Ronaldo. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.
You know, it’s easy to sympathize with Ronaldo up to a point, and “Rocknaldo” absolutely finds the point where it becomes virtually impossible. But when does he go too far while trying to fit in?

That’s a vital question to ask because it’s easy to postulate that there are lots of us who have wanted to be a part of the cool group. Ronaldo never says that in this episode, but the signs are all there. Once his conspiracy theory is proven to be nothing more than a misinterpretation of the Crystal Gems, he quickly makes it his mission to be a part of the group. We all know that the Gems don’t work this way, and that’s the first major misunderstanding. They’re not a social group, though Ronaldo treats them as if they were. There’s not really a membership process, and there certainly is no way a person can just “make” themselves part of a group. Yet Steven, ever the optimist and the boy of kindness, takes the Crystal Gems’ philosophy of acceptance a step further: why can’t they invite someone to be a part of the team purely based on their interest in them?

And that’s the second misunderstanding in this episode: Steven genuinely believed that Ronaldo was interested in them and their cause. Granted, he had no reason to think otherwise! Had anyone in town aside from Connie ever been so exuberant about the Crystal Gems? That being said, everyone else figured that this would be a disaster, MYSELF INCLUDED. The problem is that Ronaldo was interested in the Crystal Gems for selfish reasons. How could the Gems make him seem cooler? Stronger? More interesting? How could he utilize them for his blog? Throughout the frustrating events in this episode, Ronaldo makes things entirely about himself! He insults Steven. And Connie. And does a lot of sulking when he can’t come on a mission, despite that he has no training at all. He outright claims that Steven only keeps Connie around because she’s his girlfriend, which is a cruel thing to say about BOTH people.

Then he kicks Steven out of his own house. There are quite a few things that Ronaldo does that suck, and that moment after Connie left was probably my breaking point. Yet Steven tries so hard to make Ronaldo feel welcome!!! I admire that, but I admire him even more for realizing that there was no reciprocation happening here. Ronaldo was so desperate to fit in that he was pushing Steven out. IT’S NOT YOUR HOUSE, RONALDO. I can’t get over that! It took such nerve to presume that that was okay.

In the end, Ronaldo gets it… sort of. He’s still sticking to the whole “outsider” identity, which is half the problem here. But at least he knows know that he misbehaved and that there’s nothing wrong with carving out his own niche in the world.

The video for “Rocknaldo” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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