Steven Universe – Too Far Review
Too Far follows up the strong pairing of Pearl and Peridot, with the slightly weaker pairing of Peridot and Amethyst. It is still a quality episode, but it isn’t quite as exceptional as Back to the Barn. Peridot and Amethyst actually prove to have a decent back and forth as Peridot views Amethyst as being the most qualified of the Gems due to her being a form of quartz, and Amethyst finds amusement in Peridot’s lack of awareness of Earth’s customs and terminology as well as her willingness to mock Garnet and Pearl. Now, of the three main gems, Amethyst has always been the one who is most likely to take the piss out of her compatriots. However, in watching this episode, I came to realize that, with a few notable exceptions (*cough* Maximum Capacity *cough*), Amethyst has generally had a good sense of when she was taking a joke too far. As this episode proves, Peridot does not have the same sense for when someone is upset.
The episode kicks off with the group working on the drill to reach the Cluster. She ends up annoying Garnet when she requests that she unfuse because it makes her uncomfortable. In one of the most brilliant gags of the episode, Garnet responds by placing Peridot on a leash, stating that having her run free makes Garnet uncomfortable. As Peridot tries to request that items be brought to her, Amethyst and Steven find amusement in her use of terminology to describe such things as screwdrivers and body parts.
However, when Steven and Amethyst are tasked with escorting Peridot to the Kindergarten to recover one of the drills, Peridot unwittingly takes things too far. She starts explaining that Amethyst is actually the most suited to lead the Gems, after discounting Steven due to his status as a hybrid. Amethyst is initially amused, but, as we know from On The Run, Amethyst’s origins are a significant point of sensitivity for her. As a result, when Peridot starts addressing Amethyst’s defects such as her small size and her late emergence from the Kindergarten, it is no surprise that it ends up upsetting Amethyst. Now, it’s worth noting that, despite her tendency to mock others, particularly Pearl, Amethyst has often expressed an awareness of when to let up. She could have mocked Pearl for deceiving Garnet back in Cry for Help, but she understood the gravity of the situation. Peridot does not have this same insight, and, as a result, it isn’t until much later that she is even able to recognize that she hurt Amethyst.
Too Far taps effectively into that universal feeling of regret that comes with realizing in hindsight that something you said or did hurt someone else. As a result, Peridot’s attempts to mend fences and apologize resonate heavily and lead to a very effective ending. On the whole, the episode takes a little while to get going, as it has to build up the dynamic between Peridot and Amethyst, but the destination warrants the trip.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- The air date for the next episode is currently unknown. It remains to be seen whether or not it will be part of the next Stevenbomb.
- With all this focus on Peridot, it’s been a few episodes since we’ve seen Connie… Now I really want to see a Connie and Peridot episode. Likewise, it’s also been a while since we’ve heard from Greg.
- I like the way Peridot describes how she feels in relation to her size (i.e. feeling small or feeling big). It’s a nice touch.
- The gag with Peridot constantly dictating to a tape player that Steven gave her is surprisingly effective. I would have expected it to wear out its welcome, but it was never overused.
- Michaela Dietz performance as Amethyst is particularly notable in this episode. The moment where she repeats Peridot’s use of the word “defective” contains such an impressive blend of emotions that those few seconds of reaction shot constitute one of my favorite moments in the episode.
- Pearl: “We leave for one second and everything goes off the rails!” Garnet: “I blame the cows.”
Too Far is a great episode for Peridot, and in a few ways serves as an inverse of Back to the Barn as its emotional core is implemented a bit more effectively, but its plot structure is a bit weaker. Ultimately, I feel that Back to the Barn is the better of the two, but that is in no way an indictment of the quality of Too Far. It is a fun episode with some good emotional payoff.
Too Far is a well constructed episode about learning to apologize and make up for mistakes that you didn't realize were mistakes when you made them. It's a lesson that remains relevant well past childhood, and it is incredibly endearing to see how Peridot deals with this issue.