• Episode Followup: Rocknaldo

    hilaryflorido: “ ROCKNALDO! Check it out this Friday at 7 ”

    We haven't had a Ronaldo episode in a while. I wonder what he's been up to? We also apparently get a new Gem this episode, so let's get started!

    "Ah, space is great, but nothing beats some good ol' atmosphere!"
    Yeah, you know who would probably agree with you, Steven? The Rubies you left behind! Episodes Since Steven Broke His Promise: 3

    I love how Jenny doesn't just ignore him, but also waves him away like she's shooing a mosquito. Oh Ronaldo, you're never going to be a Cool Kid if you're busy handing out hate pamphlets!

    We all know the Crewniverse likes to have Ronaldo represent the negative aspects of whatever they're trying to call attention to. Tonight's Ronawful: Intolerance!

    "No no no, Crystal Gems aren't Rock People, Crystal Gems fight Rock People. See my documentary Rising Tides / Crashing Skies."
    You're talking to a Crystal Gem, Ronaldo. I think Steven knows what a Crystal Gem is.

    I love how Steven can now just nonchalantly summon his shield to prove a point.

    "No no, you're not getting it."
     This face. This whole conversation. I dub this "Ronsplaining."

    TFW your trusted friend turns out to be a Rock Person.

    "I'm so glad you're the only one who took a Ronalphlet! I'm so sorry!"
    Y'know what, I'm kinda proud of Ronaldo here. The second he discovered that Steven, someone he knows and trusts, is a member of a group he was spreading hate about, he realized he was wrong about the whole thing and immediately apologized. Most intolerant people will just ride the cognitive dissonance train their whole lives, but Ronaldo is better than that. He realized his beliefs were hurting people and reexamined them. Good on ya!

    "I may never come back to the internet!"
    This is the tone of voice I imagine a lot of blog posts are written in.

    "I suppose it's a good thing that he's taking time to think." "There's a new post!" "Hmmm."
    Here it is, everyone! Far and away the best face of the episode. You'll be seeing it in your memes for months to come! 

    "I've mixed up what is right and wrong, and ended up saying some pretty mean things about the Crystal Gems." 
    It's ok Ronaldo, the Crystal Gems are pretty chill. I'm sure you can find some way to make it up to them.

    "That's why I'm joining the Crystal Gems!"

     "Uh-uh. No. You are not living here. And you certainly can't join the Crystal Gems."
    She shut that down right away. And she used her Ronaldo-stopping hand. Better get out before they have to carry your unconscious body out, Ronaldo!

    "You're going to entertain this?"
    Of course he is, Pearl. Steven is always prepared to make his life harder for the benefit of others who won't appreciate it!

    And he's always prepared to make a passionate speech about it too!

    "Well, I care so much, I think it'd be, like, deep in my heart... or like a million tiny gems, like, one crushed up gem coursing through my blood, like, like... BLOODSTONE!"
    Pictured: SU fan coming up with their gemsona. Actually, Ronaldo tends to say oddly predictive things. I wonder if we're going to see a sub-surface gem in the future... or a gem made of a million tiny gems, or one crushed up gem making up a gem body...

    Wait. Ronaldo, you're Bloodstone? Cartoon Network, how could you!

    FORE! It's probably a good thing they didn't sell Bloodstone an actually sharp sword.

    Hey wait, how come Bloodstone gets his star right away but Peridot, Lapis, Pumpkin and Connie still don't have theirs? I demand equal star treatment! 

    Ok, he looks like a goof, but hear me out. If he had made that jump, you would've been impressed. Right?

    "Uh, I'm sorry, Bloodfry. You're going to have to sit this one out. It's a bit dangerous."
    Ok, who else thinks Pearl is the best part of this episode?

    "Well, I just think a real Crystal Gem would want to show off their gem, like... all the time. If I had a gem, I'd show mine off!"
    Eh, it's not a good look, Steven. Your gem is your own. If you don't want to show it off all the time, that's up to you. 

    Wow, Steven is far more patient than me. If I woke up to this, I wouldn't throw Ronaldo out of my house... I'd have the police do it.

    "Funny that you sleep when gems don't need sleep. Why is that?"
    Uh, since Steven is only half-gem, I'd think that'd be pretty obvious, Bloodstone. You're human too. You're allowed to sleep. Heck, gems can sleep if they want to.

    And wait, how do you know gems don't need sleep? Do you watch the show, like Connie does?

    "What a cool name. I'm so cool."
    And we come to the crux of the issue. Bloodstone didn't join the Crystal Gems because he wanted to help them. He joined them because he thought they were cool and unique, and wanted to be cool and unique himself by identifying himself as one of them. That never works. It's transparent as heck and it makes the one doing it look like a jerk. You might know someone doing this. This episode is for them.

    Yay! Connie's in this episode! Everything's going to be ... aaaaand she's gone. Never mind.

    "How come I don't get your mom's gempen? That's 'gem' and 'weapon.'"
    What have you even done to earn Rose's sword? Connie's been training for probably over a year now. You've been a Crystal Gem for what, a day? You want to be a cool and amazing Crystal Gem, but you're not really willing to put in the work, are you?

    "Admit it. She's just in because she's your girlfriend."

    Um, no that's not the reason she's a Crystal Gem. She's a Crystal Gem because she wants to protect her home and her friends from the same threats that the Crystal Gems deal with every day. She's been putting in the work, and as The New Crystal Gems showed, she's doing a great job! What have you done, Bloodstone? Yeah, you live there just so you can be there all the time, but you don't do anything!

    "Are you serious? Bloodstone, ever since you got here, all you've done is boss me around! Who are you to tell anyone about how to be a Crystal Gem? You're just... you're just... a guy with a blog!"
    That's right, Steven. No matter who you are in a community, you can't call out the other members as being not "dedicated" or "real" enough. People shouldn't have to live the way you want them to live. But if you're an unexperienced newbie in the community, that makes this behavior a million times worse. Don't do it. Take it from me, a guy with a blog!

    "Is that love? Is that acceptance? Maybe you're the one that isn't a Crystal Gem. I think you need to leave and think about stuff."
    Wow. Bloodstone is hyper-focused on being the "best" Crystal Gem. But, of course, since he isn't willing to do the work, all he can do is tear down the other Crystal Gems. That's a really crummy move, Bloodstone. Steven isn't going to be bullied by your tactics.

    "If I were really a Crystal Gem, I'd never... Wait a second."
    Um, he isn't going to be bullied for long. Holy heck though, Bloodstone got Steven to question whether or not he's a real Crystal Gem. Take that as a warning sign, folks. If someone makes you question whether or not you're really part of a group, maybe they're just a toxic influence. Ugh.

    "Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha... Amethyst!" "Yo, I didn't even say anything!"
    Bloodstone is at maximum sleep deprivation already. I know the feeling. I've been there. Sleep is important, people!

    Truth kills
    "I really thought you joined because you were interested in the Crystal Gems, but the second it wasn't about you, you stopped caring! This isn't the Bloodstone Club about making Bloodstone feel good. This is my whole life! Do you care about that or not?"
    And that's what this episode is all about. There are people like this in every community. They didn't join because they wanted to help out. Heck, the community they're in might not even apply to them, they just want to be included. They're only out for attention and to make themselves look better. This episode highlights that and the trouble it causes, in hopes that people might realize that they're being that person and try to correct it, like Bloodstone just did. The floor probably helped. That's a concussion.
    "Whoa! You truthed him so hard, he died!"
    You heard Amethyst. This is the last Ronaldo episode, folks!

    "Well, what do we do with Fryrocko now?"
    Pearl has too much sass to respect the dead.

    "Hey dad, I'm back! Blog blog blog." "That was really good!" "Thanks!"
    Yup, just dump him on the boardwalk and hope his family finds him. I might deal with my next unwanted houseguest this way!

    "I wasn't acting like Bloodstone. I was acting like *breath in* Jerknaldo." ... "I think it's better Ronaldo Fryman work alone."
    Oh good, so we don't have to keep calling you Bloodstone. Right? Right? But really, it's good that Ronaldo is willing to admit when he's been a jerk. If only he could catch himself before it happens more often.

    There we go! It was a tough journey, but we got there. Ronaldo wants to help the Crystal Gems, but isn't trying to be one anymore. This episode has a good message, I think. Ronaldo summarizes it best himself on his blog:
    But on my most recent quest to help the Crystal Gems, I forgot to listen to someone very important: the Crystal Gems.  If you wanna help someone else, you can’t make it all about you - no matter how sweet your KATANA BLADES may be!  You gotta listen and help spread their words.
    It's a shame Cartoon Network pulled a bait-and-switch with the Bloodstone thing. Lots of people don't give Ronaldo a chance, either, and Ronaldo-focused episodes will always land with a dull thud for them. I still think Ronaldo works a lot better as a supporting character, as he was in Drop Beat Dad and Beach City Drift, rather than a spotlight character as he was in this episode.

    "Actually, the only times Gems really call me that is if they're about to kidnap me or beat me up." "That's rough, buddy."
    The end of another episode. Don't worry, folks, I'm sure we'll be getting back to Gems calling Steven "Rose" soon enough, but there's still some character development that needs to be done! I wonder what kind of episode we're going to get in Tiger Philanthropist?