Oh, very exciting times. Very exciting times. Catch and Release was a big episode. What could be waiting for us later in the series, after this?
An uncontrollable soldier
The homeworld created the Cluster for reasons unknown. When the homeworld left Earth they believed that the Crystal Gems had all been destroyed, so it couldn’t have been a plan for vengeance. It can’t be a simple replacement for homeworld losses either, because if Peridot believes that it will destroy her along with the Crystal Gems and everything else on Earth then it can’t be in enough control of itself to really be able to distinguish friend from foe.
Having created such a dangerous weapon, the homeworld would obviously expect to use it somehow. If they are as militaristic as they appear to be, then whether or not they are currently engaged in a war with someone they can expect to find a new enemy to fight eventually; they were willing to wait more than five thousand years for the Cluster to mature, so they are obviously capable of operating on long time scales.
The question then becomes how to use the Cluster if it can’t (or won’t) choose not to attack “allies”, endangering Peridot just as much as a Crystal Gem rebel. We know that the Gems have developed a warp whistle that is able to activate a warp pad remotely, so perhaps the homeworld intends to lure the Cluster onto a galaxy warp pad and send it directly to an enemy planet through the warp.
Since the Gems don’t seem to be able to warp somewhere without first constructing warp pads (they initially flew to Earth before constructing the Galaxy Warp), that would mean that either there are other civilizations building galaxy warps, or the Cluster is intended to be used on worlds formerly held by Gemkind (which would be more evidence in favor of the homeworld being on the losing side of a long war).
There are definitely plans for the use of the Cluster later; if there weren’t, there would have been no reason to send Peridot to check on it. At some point, someone is going to try to direct it, either to another planet or to a specific goal on Earth.
You’re going to harvest me?
Upon seeing all of the gems that the Crystal Gems had bubbled and sent to the basement, Peridot immediately believed that they intended to “harvest” her. Exactly what “harvesting” a gem means is hard to discern: seeing the sheer amount of gems there, collected by just three Gems, Peridot probably wouldn’t have believed that “harvesting” a gem would make it go away. There seem to be too many gems there for them to have got there any other way but being collected over time.
We know that the washer and dryer work off of “magic”. Could the gems the Crystal Gems collect be being used to power the temple? Gems produce a lot of energy, which could feasibly be sent up to the Crystal Heart then throughout the temple.
We might just learn more about harvesting gems later in the season… We’ll have to wait and see.
The road to redemption
It was so great to see Catch and Release. We really wanted to see a friendly Peridot even at the start of the season, and after Joy Ride aired we got excited that her redemption was more likely. While Keeping it Together made us worry that Peridot might be too stained in Garnet’s eyes by the evil of the forced fusion experiments, Catch and Release made sure to have Peridot state that she was merely checking on the cluster (meaning her touch stumps are clean!). We may add a new color to the team yet!
It won’t be easy; she’ll really have to work at it. Still, the Crystal Gems no longer seem to view Peridot as a threat, and with the added benefit of some commercials for When it Rains we appear to see Peridot showing concern for Steven’s safety already. Believe in Green Mom!
I have a theory about the War that Homeworld is possibly facing. We know that Yellow Diamond is the only gem from the Diamond Authority mentioned on the show. That might be for good reason. We have not heard of any of the other Diamonds besides Rose being alive after the Rebellion. Why would that be? Because the war broke the Authority apart!
Yellow Diamond is the one mentioned most of all by Peridot because she kept the ideals that were established throughout Homeworld’s history. Blue and White Diamond? They sought to become greater leaders with much more efficient and powerful Gem societies. To them, Yellow Diamond was a disgrace in their eyes for losing the war against the Crystal Gems with her outdated tactics. Which could be why Homeworld is “so advanced” as Lapis stated in The Message. Yellow needed to up her game against the two opposing Diamonds who used to be close allies with her.
That’s why the Cluster was uknown to all the gems, even Rose Quartz (“ROSE COULDN’T HAVE KNOWN!”), because it was always Yellow Diamond who led the project. And she was the only one who trusted Peridot to check in on it. It’s her secret weapon, and she’s willing to sacrifice her top maintanence worker to defeat the armies of Blue and White Diamond.
I don’t know. First off it’s easy to say that perhaps Peridot and Jasper are Yellow Diamond’s subordinates, so they mention her because they report to her.
Second, if Yellow Diamond was the only legitimate ruler of the homeworld I’d think they’d remove the other two from their emblem the same way they removed Rose. If they were shattered during the rebellion and diamonds are irreplaceable it would make sense to leave them in as a reminder that there should be three rulers, but a rebel killed two of them. I could see it happening though, even if I think it’s unlikely.
Ugh. There’s so much about the homeworld we don’t know. We don’t know it’s ancient history, or what they’ve been up to in the last five thousand years. It is the thirst for this knowledge that drives us.
excuse me, but the correct terminology is touch STUBS. thank you.
I almost didn’t want a Peridot redemption arc because the idea of seeing her as a ridiculous saturday morning cartoon villain who is more of a nuisance than a threat was hilarious.
However, I, much like Steven, want redemption for everyone and peace on earth and universal happiness and all that sappy garbage.
Catch and Release made me fall in love with Peridot and I really hope she joins the team for good.
It may be that the whole Gem War on Earth is in the overall galactic picture only an annoying side bar issue. There may have been a massive internal structure (think Roman Civil War, Caeser, Pompey, after Crassus died) and it took thousands of years to sort out. Now it appears that the Yellow Diamond faction has gained control on the Homeworld and had the time to consolidate their holdings and so send Peridot to check up on their “old” holdings, sort of like a new corporation CEO sending out out a representative to different companies acquired in a massive merger to try to figure out what is happening in each place.
It leaves uncertain and unknown what happened to the other factions – blue, white diamond? Were they all destroyed or are they in hiding or just isolated to a different part of the galaxy.
Jasper has come the closest to a “Big Enemy” and even Yellow Diamond is a very nebulous vague threat. But she is more of the henchman thug level foe and not really the brains – not the mastermind. It would actually fit best if it turns out the Earth is just a minor sideshow to the whole galactic struggle.
Peridot’s path may not be a classic redemption – she may never come to accept the Earth and its living creatures (including humanity) has having equal value as her but she might accept the notion that her mission and the whole political underpinning of it is flawed and not in her best personal interest. Rose seem an exception in grasping that other worlds and other beings deserved equal consideration and her friends the CGs also learned this but it took them thousands of years, and their degree of commitment to this notion remains variable. Garnet is clearly the most committed – her current form takes advantage of the greater liberty and acceptance. Pearl is only slowly getting to accept that other creatures (like humans) can have equally complex and deeply held emotional lives. Amethyst likes humanity not knowing anything else but isn’t a deep thinker – more of a sensualist.