We shift our perspective to that of the ordinary townsfolk as Ronaldo seeks the truth about the attack on Beach City.
Ronaldo: My name is Ronaldo. For years, I’ve run a blog called Keep Beach City Weird. My mission: Keep Beach City weird! And also to expose the truth! Most people choose to ignore my mind-blowing revelations. But no one could deny it when the truth was pointing right in the town’s collective face!
Ronaldo: With the space hand closing in for a high-five of the third kind, we fled the town. But then, just as mysteriously as the space hand appeared, it exploded into an explosion. […] Beach City was saved – but by whom?
Why yes, most of this episode IS narrated by Ronaldo! He proves that he actually knows what questions to ask, but his priorities are too skewed for him to try to do anything with what he learns.
Ronaldo: Miss! Who do you think saved Beach City from the giant hand-craft?
Sadie: Oh, hey Ronaldo. Wait, are you filming?
Ronaldo: Please answer the question.
Sadie: Oh, okay, um, yeah sure. Who saved us? Um, well, wasn’t it Steven’s…family? I think they pretty much keep to themselves. Steven says they protect the planet and the human race and that they have magic powers…it sounds hard to believe, but I’ve seen some pretty wild stuff.
The most interesting thing about this episode is seeing just how little most of the townsfolk know about the Crystal Gems. Everybody knows Steven, of course, but there’s a lot of (understandable) confusion about the other Gems.
So Ronaldo quite sensibly goes straight to the source.
Ronaldo: So…want to participate in a groundbreaking interview?
Steven: Only if you participate in a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade!
Steven: Oh, that giant hand? It was a spaceship, coming to get us.
Ronaldo: Us? I knew it! Steven, we know too much!
Steven: No, not us us, I meant me and the Crystal Gems.
Ronaldo: Wait! So the Hand wasn’t here to snatch up humans for a human zoo? Or interfere with our subsidized Beach City wind farm? Or thaw the cryogenically frozen pets of the one percent?
Steven: Uh, no, I’m pretty sure it came to Beach City for me and the Crystal Gems.
Ronaldo: Oh. So if you and the Crystal Gems weren’t here, we wouldn’t have been attacked by the giant hand?
Steven: Oh, definitely not!
Ronaldo: And there it was. The Crystal Gems weren’t saving us – they were putting us in danger!
This is actually kind of a big deal. Even if the Crystal Gems are doing a service to humanity as a whole, Beach City faces a lot of danger as the focal point of their monster-fighting activity (even if the Gems are pretty good about keeping the fights contained).
But since it’s Ronaldo, nobody really takes what he says seriously. They’re too focused on living their lives in peace and stability to think very hard about turbulent times, even though Ronaldo is actually right to worry if there’ll be a repeat of last season’s finale – Steven’s expressed that concern himself! Although Ronaldo is still pretty condescending and arrogant about it.
Ronaldo: Everyone was too afraid to realize they were actually afraid. Beach City needed a hero, and that hero would have to be me!
So apparently he decided that his best option was to confront the Crystal Gems in the middle of the night. I’m really curious what he was planning on doing if they hadn’t been fighting a monster on the beach.
Ronaldo: You’re all a danger to our city! […]
Steven: But the Crystal Gems are here to help people!
Ronaldo: But all the monsters just come here to get you guys! And then wreck things and put us in danger! Beach City would be way safer if you guys weren’t here!
Pearl: Listen Frybo. Magic beings are indeed drawn to us, but we were here long before Beach City even existed,
Ronaldo: Who cares how long you’ve been here? Innocent people are in danger as long as you’re hanging around!
Garnet: You’re right. I guess we’ll just leave then.
Ronaldo: […] Uh…mission accomplished!
Again, they both have legitimate points…but what was Ronaldo even trying to do? He clearly didn’t expect the Gems to leave at his request (a very reasonable assumption). He also wasn’t looking for “the truth” here (as evidenced by his immediate dismissal of Pearl’s counterargument). He came expecting that he wouldn’t change anything, probably that they wouldn’t even listen to him. All he wanted was to be a “hero”, even a martyr. All he wants is to be able to say, “I was right!” when the world comes crashing down, not to actually stop Impending Doom. So of course he’s shocked when he appears to actually win.
Ronaldo: That’s right. I did it. Thanks to me, the Gems are gone forever!
Peedee: Hm. That’s too bad. Now you won’t have anything to blog about anymore.
Ronaldo: Come on, dude, I’m trying to finish the movie!
Peedee: Well this relates to your movie! You said it yourself: The Gems cause all the weird stuff in Beach City. So now that they’re gone, there’ll be no more weird stuff.
Ronaldo: No. No! What have I done?
Because clearly Beach City would be boring without the Crystal Gems.
Ronaldo: Crystal Gems! You have to stay! Every messed up consequence of your presence gives me a reason to wake up in the morning! Without you my blog doesn’t stand a chance! I’m too late, what have I done? I’ve made Beach City NORMAL! I’ve broken my promise to the city! And to myself! You’re still here! Please don’t leave! I was wrong! Stay and keep this town weird!
Garnet: Okay. […]
Ronaldo: I had skillfully negotiated for the Gems to stay. Perhaps I have a future in intergalactic diplomacy? In the end, I suppose the Gems really do save Beach City – from being not weird!
Naturally, it’s all about him. I really don’t have anything more to say about Ronaldo except to reiterate that Princess Tutu did this character better.
Garnet: That was very poorly edited.
Steven: Were we really gonna leave Beach City?
Garnet: No. I just wanted him to get that camera out of my face.
Until next time…