Mark Watches ‘Steven Universe’: S02E21 – Too Far

In the twenty-first episode of the second season of Steven Universe, Peridot discovers the difficulty of adapting to life on Earth. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Steven Universe.

Seriously, there’s such a beautiful emotional depth to this show. Season two of Steven Universe has become a highly serialized show, something I didn’t expect from the writers. I was perfectly fine with the mixture between one-off stories and short arcs in season one!!! Yet the decision to move to longer arcs has allowed the show to address things in finer detail, and “Too Far” is a fine example of that.

I mentioned at the end of the last review that Peridot has a lot to learn, that her Homeworld upbringing has made life on Earth challenging. As the group works on construction of the drill, Peridot learns a new facet of social interaction that confuses her: humor and the way that humor can harm. THIS IS A VERY RELEVANT TOPIC FOR ME, Y’ALL. It’s something I talk about all the time! As short as “Too Far” is, the writers still manage to capture how quickly an interaction can turn hostile once one party misjudged the impact of their jokes. At the start of this episode, Peridot observes the way humor seems to bind the Gems and Steven, especially Steven and Amethyst. The way she describes everything in Homeworld terms is hilarious to them. Since in Homeworld social hierarchies, the Amethyst is one of the highest, purest forms, Peridot sets out to gain Amethyst’s attention and respect, and she uses humor to do so.

Unfortunately, I had no idea that Amethysts were so revered, so I simply thought that Peridot was mimicking her as retribution, not because she wanted to be admired by Amethyst. Maybe she was mad about being leashed, you know? But once Peridot started unleashing her “humor” on Amethyst, I knew things wouldn’t end well. First of all, Peridot had no idea that she was relying on the exact sort of thing that upset Amethyst so much the last time she was at Kindergarten. Joking that Amethyst is too broken or too small fed right into her insecurities, and suddenly? The joke isn’t funny anymore.

Did Peridot intend to hurt Amethyst? No, and while it’s not meaningless that she really wanted to joke with her, it’s also not the most important thing here. Both things matter, but to different degrees. When Amethyst, Steven, and Peridot all return to the barn, Amethyst is cold. Uninterested in conversation. Unwilling to even look at Peridot. And how does that make Peridot feel? Small. I love the choice of words here because it so succinctly communicates how Peridot made Amethyst feel: as if she didn’t matter. Using a term that references size was also appropriate specifically because Peridot said that Amethyst was the wrong size. No matter what Peridot wanted to convey or communicate or do, what Amethyst got was an insult. She got words that made her feel tiny and unappreciated.

And once Peridot is on the receiving end of something similar, she understands. It’s not fun, of course, and Peridot attempted to be a part of the group through humor, and it backfired on her. Yet I appreciate that Peridot still apologizes, explaining that this whole world is backwards to her, and that she never wanted to hurt Amethyst. Like I said in the last review, she has a ton of growth ahead of her, and lots to unlearn. It sucks that Amethyst was on the receiving end of Peridot learning how feelings work and why they matter, but a genuine apology does wonders to help repair a relationship.

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

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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