Steven Universe Season 5 Episode 8 Review: Back to Kindergarten

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Does Peridot struggle with depression? We take a look at the evidence this episode presents.

This Steven Universe review contains spoilers.

Is Peridot depressed? Look at this quote from the end of the episode.

“The general sense of hopelessness I tend to deal with on a day to day basis.”

She glosses over it, as if everyone deals with that all the time. Now that might just be Peridot assuming things but it does strike at something very real. Again bringing my own life into viewing this episode, that’s what depression can feel like. That everything is hopeless.

Sure, you can still have fun and hang with your friends. Depression doesn’t always have to mean you lock yourself in a bathroom and play twangy music (my choice when things get really bad is “Mad World” which I do not recommend). Sometimes it’s just a cloud that hangs around your mind. You don’t always notice it, but it’s there.

Peridot has fun around the barn sure but do we really know what goes on in her head? How she feels after everyone else leaves? Remember in “Raising the Barn” when she casually thought Steven was ignoring her? It sounded like a joke but perhaps she genuinely believed that.

It makes me want to go back and rewatch all the Peridot episodes up to this point. How long has she felt this sense of hopelessness? Since Lapis starting calling the shots around the barn and Peridot was afraid to get her mad? Since she joined the Crystal Gems? Since she first came to Earth? Has she always had some form of depression? It’s hard to say but well worth investigating. 

The whole thing about flowers not growing in a dead place some great symbolism that I believe connects to the depression thing. Maybe the Kindergarten in this episode is representative of a brain with depression.

For some people depression just doesn’t go away. No matter how much you work at it it’s still going to be with you forever. So trying to change that won’t work (same with planting the flowers.) However there are other things in your life you can focus on. Just like Steven said, 

“Even if there’s nothing we could do for that one patch of land there’s still a whole earth blooming all around us.”

Just because you have one bad thing in your mind doesn’t mean everything is terrible. There’s a lot of goodness not only all around but within us as well. You just have to be willing to work at it.

Steven Universe is really tackling some tough topics with these new episodes and I can only imagine what we have in store for us with the next two.

– “You feeling any better?”
-incoherent mumbling-

Same, Peridot.

– “You can make us feel dumb for telling us all the stuff we don’t know.”
“I have missed that…” 

Bless you, Peridot.

– “That’s Earth for you, always bouncing back.”

Awwww, Steven.

Shamus Kelley NEEDS that Cookie Cat clock. Follow him on Twitter!  

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