The gems seems to protect the earth but don't care too much for its inhabitants. When do you think Steven's patience over this will wear out and call them out on that?
er, well, that’s not really my assessment of it. I know that’s how a lot of people view them though, but that’s not really how I see them. Like, I know they don’t relate well to humanity and can be kind of rude and dismissive about it but I think that comes down to a lack of understanding not a lack of caring. I think its easy to forget that the Gems are aliens and that despite their humanoid appearance they’re really VERY alien, they’re not even organic beings or technically ‘living’ and what little we’ve seen of their culture implies they’re naturally a utilitarian and pragmatic species that are extremely literal. There’s a lot of road blocks between them and us that hinder their understanding, there’s a world between us and our culture is so foreign and different. But they’re trying, their primary focus is just to protect people from physical danger but, especially with Steven now, they do try a bit to understand human things (when they’re not overwhelmed with Gem stuff, like in “Political Power” where their dismissal of the power outage was rude but they kind of had the more pressing matter of ‘preventing the homeworld from coming which they could do any day now and killing us and then destroying the Earth and killing everyone who lives on it’). Greg mentions this both in “The Return” (”All they do is try to make up for it but they just can’t forgive themselves”) and this in-character interview (”They sure do, they’re really exceptional Gems. They’re really thoughtful, you know… they really try their best to understand people.”)
In any case, in general I’m not actually a fan of this sort of “call them out” or “tell them off” sort of swatting them with a newspaper sort of thing. Mainly because, again, I feel its a lack of understanding due to being an alien species, not a deliberate act of malice. I’ve never found shaming people or yelling at them telling them how bad they’re being to be particularly helpful in many instances, especially when it comes down to a lack of understanding. I feel its more beneficial to give them a way to understand humanity, something that allows them to connect, so that they can come to an understanding themselves rather than just being told they should understand. Y’know? The problem isn’t that they don’t care, they absolutely do care they sacrificed absolutely everything they’ve ever known (regardless if this was done due to their loyalty to Rose, they still had to choose to do it and choose to continue to do it), the problem is they have a hard time understanding what human lives mean because its such a different existence from their own. I feel like they’re finally getting to be introduced and come to understand humanity through Steven and connect with human culture in a way they didn’t get to before, what we’re seeing is their first contact, so to speak, previously they were just on the sidelines deliberately staying out of things as to not impede on natural human development. It’s baby steps, of course they’re going to be screwing up left and right. Tell them when they’re wrong, certainly, but I don’t see it as this big “Steven needs to tell them off” sort of thing that I see people suggest a lot.
but I dunno, that’s just how I see it. I know a lot of people disagree and that’s cool. Like, I do agree they need to make progress and come to understand humans and human culture better, and I believe they’re doing that. But its a process and not an easy one and I don’t think its something solved by running out of patience and snapping at them as though they’re not trying. Push them towards understanding human, point out problematic behaviors, sure