Peridot gets to do a little self-discovery, with adorable results.
The episode begins with Steven offering a replacement for Peridot’s old log (again) in the form of a lightly used not-iPad that Greg decided to waste his money on at some point. She’s clearly delighted to have the world wide web at her fingertips (even if she once had access to the data of multiple worlds).
Steven: Amethyst and I were gonna go hang out, and we wanted you to come, too!
Peridot: “Hang out”? Oh yeah! That’s a friend thing to do.
So they go out to Funland and start with the best ride: The roller coaster.
Unfortunately, they were apparently caught up in a lawsuit and have finally implemented height restrictions.
Mr. Smiley: Sorry guys. Looks like this squad has some growing to do before you can ride.
Peridot: I do not have to grow! This height is indicative of my rarity and importance! I demand enter, you clod!
Mr. Smiley: You kids want another lifetime ban?
Wait, so was Steven just banned from the Teacups the other time? Or did Mr. Smiley rescind it after one of the times Steven saved the world? Oh well.
Steven: We’ll just have to maintain a healthy lifestyle in hopes we grow before the end of the season.
Amethyst: Oh, of course! Let’s just grow!
Peridot: Uh, I-I must be a little rusty. Why don’t you two just go. […] Just hurry up and go so you can hurry up and come back.
Peridot is obviously put out about missing the roller coaster, and she’s similarly irritated by further shapeshifting antics.
But then she finds her soul mate.
Peridot: Steven! Amethyst! Look at this being! Its large head, swollen with thoughts! Those compassionate eyes…it understands. I need it. Now!
Unfortunately, it must be won in a (probably rigged) ring toss.
Steven: Mr. Smiley! You’re working the ring toss, too?
Mr. Smiley: Eh, you could say we’re a little fun-derstaffed.
Steven: Ha! I get it.
Mr. Smiley: I glad you seeing the humor in it, Steven, because I ain’t seen a bed in six days!
This does help explain why he would let Steven and Amethyst on the coaster mere minutes after he turned them away…
But they don’t actually land a ring, so Amethyst resorts to cheating while Mr. Smiley is busy dealing with a pyromaniac Onion.
Amethyst: Good old Onion…
But the big one she wanted actually requires TEN rings. Poor Peri.
Steven: That toy you won is really cool, Peridot.
Peridot: You mean that Amethyst won, with shapeshifting. Maybe they should call it Shapeshiftland, because it’s the land where you go to shapeshift.
Amethyst: What’s wrong with shapeshifting, bro?
Peridot: You mean besides being an insult to your intended form?
Amethyst: Okay, what’s really wrong with it?
Peridot: I can’t do it. At all.
Steven: Well, we can help you try! […] I didn’t ever think I could use my powers, either, but then the Gems helped me out. We can help you, too!
Amethyst: Yeah, man! We’ll give you the shapeshifting lowdown, Shorty Squad style!
So they use all the same techniques Amethyst used to teach Steven to shapeshift (and then some), but to no avail.
Peridot: This isn’t going to work.
Steven: Maybe if we keep trying-
Peridot: No. My lack of skill is an objective fact. I’m an Era 2 peridot. I’m new. Resources are dwindling on Homeworld. They can’t make Gems like they used to. That’s why they give Era 2 peridots technological enhancements, because we…don’t have powers.
That actually might help explain why she had so much trouble accepting the Crystal Gems at first: They should have been “better” than her (especially after she lost her tech), but they never acted like it – they “wasted” that natural advantage on silly things like mimicry, or fused when there was no need for it.
Because of course Peridot takes to not-Twitter like a fish to water. She is the nerd for which that site was made.
Amethyst: Per, Imma be really real with you for a sec. This whole time we’ve been here you’ve just been focusing on what you can’t do. Of course you’re not having any fun! You think that all you are is who you could be, but we don’t hang out with you because of who you could be, we like you. I know you just heard me. Stop playing with that thing! Give me that!
Amethyst: You don’t need it!
Peridot: You don’t know that!
Honestly, I’m surprised Steven doesn’t step in and stop Amethyst trying to throw the tablet into the ocean, especially since he literally just gave it to Peridot that day. I know people getting engrossed by social media and not paying attention to their surroundings is annoying, but you don’t have to destroy their devices!
In this case, though, it DOES turn out to be the right thing, as Peri’s emotional distress at the thought of losing it leads to the discovery of A Power: Metalbending! (or maybe just moving metal objects)
Peridot: I know exactly what I can do…
So this time she cheats at ring toss herself and gets the ten rings necessary for her precious space alien, fair and square.
Until next time…