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PERIDOT


Gem Identification:
Facet-2F5L Cut-5XG
Generation:
Era 2
Former Superior:
Yellow Diamond
Member of: The Crystal Gems
Occupation:
Certified Kindergartner & Technician
Episode Premiere:
“Warp Tour”
Voiced By: Shelby Rabara

Peridot is a character that I was initially quite indifferent towards in her premiering episodes, which, to be fair, did not really do her character an extreme amount of justice, or so I had felt at the time. When she first appears, Peridot comes off as being a cold-hearted scientifically minded individual with little to no moral fiber given how callously she destroys one of her little robonoids that had been only marginally damaged. She is also the first, and thus far only, Gem to have appeared more cybernetic than wholly organic in that her limbs possessed many a gizmo and device in them, especially in her “fingers.”

Her arm apparatuses, later named as “limb enhancers” allowed Peridot to interface and control various Gem technologies, at least those of a more recent make/design as those left over on Earth proved to be almost too ancient to even work let alone be controlled with any kind of finesse. On its own, her forearm enhancers could provide Peridot flight by way of mimicking helicopter blades and could even fire a concentrated blast of energy so strong that it knocked Peridot off her feet virtually every time that she used it.

I speak in the past tense of course because following her defeat by the Crystal Gems, which took quite a few episodes to get to you mind you, Peridot’s limb enhancers were tossed into the ocean and, upon her release via Steven wanting to know what had her so terrified and desperate to as far from Earth as possible, we see her real form.

Her really small form.

Contrary to most Gems shown thus far, Peridot is, currently, unable to utilize any of the common powers that most Gems have demonstrated. She is a “Era-2” Gem meaning that while not exactly a newborn all of her generation of Peridots are unable to use any powers and so were given their “limb enhancers” to make up for it. However, thanks to a… attempt… at training with Amethyst and Steven, Peridot discovers that she has a form of telekinetic powers pertaining to metal. Whether this is control over magnetism like Magneto or a Gem form of metalbending remains to be seen.

Since the premiere of her true stature, Peridot has done nothing but solidify herself as being “Best Gem” in my book. While the Crystal Gems have shown the capacity to grown and change over time, particularly in the case of Garnet who was almost entirely emotionless in the beginning of the series. Prior to her capture, we see Peridot growing more and more desperate with every new encounter with the Crystal Gems. It all comes to a head when Steven chooses to let Peridot free from her bubble and she reveals the main interest that the Gem Homeworld has in Earth.

The aptly named “Cluster,” which is hands down a creation whose origin is so irrevocable dark and twisted that frankly, I’m still amazed that it made it onto daytime television, nevermind a cartoon series aimed towards “younger audiences.”

From there, it’s a race against time to stop the Cluster from forming and though Peridot does her best to try and work with the Crystal Gems, it’s a sort of one step forward, two steps back method. Peridot is clearly trying but most of her Homeworld mannerisms and instincts often get in the way of her behavior towards the others. Pearl, for example, was treated as little more than a servant girl by Peridot initially for the fact that Pearls are literally “made-to-be-ordered” in Homeworld and are among the lowest in their caste system.

For Amethyst, she and Peridot get along surprisingly well with the only rough patch being Peridot’s, admittedly brutal, honesty in regards to the purple Gem’s creation and formation. For Garnet, Peridot admitted that she could not understand her, could not comprehend the concept of a fusion of Garnet’s lifespan, which has crossed over to several centuries by this point. At Garnet asking Peridot if she was interested in fusing with her, the little Gem had an admittedly hilarious reaction and though she tried, her own nerves prevented her from successfully fusing with Garnet.

… For now at any rate.

As to Peridot’s relationship with Steven, ah, now here’s where things get interesting. Virtually all of Peridot’s current behavior and mannerisms can be attributed to Steven’s influence with a dash of Amethyst. Whether by conscious or subconscious decision Perdiot has shown that she mimics the people that she likes/respects in some fashion, using Steven’s exact words for gratitude when expressing her own, even when she’s more than a wee bit ticked off.

This is especially proven when Garnet says to Peridot “Don’t worry Peridot, it’s our sworn duty to protect anything that calls this planet home, and that includes clods like you.”

Rather than be angry or offended, like i had expected her to given how frequently she throws the word around like it’s an insult, Peridot is surprisingly emotional and says, quite simply, “That’s my word…

Why would she react in such a way if not because she sees that, much like herself, Garnet, and by extension the other Crystal Gems, see her and are trying to understand her? To sympathize with her and show her that she means something to them?

Still, as much as Garnet has done for her, it is Steven himself who gave Peridot a reason to actually like Earth to a point where she outright calls Yellow Diamond, her literal supreme overlord, a “clod” right to her smug face.

In point of fact, almost all of Peridot’s individualism and quirks can be laid at least partially upon Steven as was proven when Peridot contacts Yellow Diamond and states just her name and not her specific identification. Yellow Diamond replied with “Which Peridot?” and for a moment, just a brief moment, there is honest despair on Peridot’s face as she’s caught completely flat-footed for two primary reasons.

First and foremost, she introduced herself strictly as Peridot and not facet whatever, something that she has done for likely the entirety of her existence thus far. For someone like her, so keen on the numbers and mathematics of everything, such a simple mistake would not happen. She has come to think of her name, of her very self, as being unique. That it alone would be satisfactory in introducing herself to people, her Diamond included.

Secondly… for all of her worship and idolizing of the Diamonds, and Yellow Diamond in particular, they will never see her specifically as an individual but as one among hundreds if not thousands of other Gems of similar design. For all of her accomplishments, for all that she has done for Homeworld and her people, Peridot will never be noticed, never be recognized, as someone special, as someone that stands out.

I can’t speak for the Gem Homeworld but for those of us here on planet Earth? Peridot never needs to worry about that.

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