One of the main comments I see on why people dislike Pearl so much is because she’s abusive, which I can get. She does do some bad things and kinda fails to apologize for them, but I kinda wanna go into why I think she does these things (bc it’s certainly not out a malevolence) and why she may not apologize for them, or even realize they’re that bad.
So, let’s start!
1. Literally anything with Connie and Sworn to the Sword
We get a lot of people saying that Pearl was abusive and awful towards Connie during this episode, which I can see. But the episode certainly didn’t condone her actions. It portrayed her in a negative light and her actions in a negative light.
I think the reason why she teaches Connie this way is sort of obvious. It’s how she taught herself to fight, and I think she gets a little wrapped up in that. I think she forgets Connie is human sometimes because she sees so many similarities between the two of them. But towards the end of the episode when Steven calls her out, she doesn’t exactly apologize, but she changes her tactics on how she plans to teach Connie, saying she and Steven can work together. This shows that she learned her lesson. I also see people saying the Pearl’s lessons traumatized Connie because of what we are shown in Mindful Education. However, I don’t really think that’s the case. Connie is more so just adjusting to her heightened senses and knowing of dangers in the world that not everyone sees (i.e. gem monsters and such.) She isn’t traumatized by Pearl.
2. Pearl and almost letting Steven die
Alright. So this refers to the one scene were Steven’s chasing Pearl up the platforms in Rose’s Scabbard, and in Space Race when they’re trying to fly into space and the rocket starts to fall apart. I think there are a couple other examples people use, but all of them are similar so.
In Rose’s Scabbard, Pearl is crying and panicked and wants to be left alone when Steven almost falls. She doesn’t care because she just wants to be left alone and Steven won’t let her. She angry and frustrated, and probably can’t think clearly because her mind is focused on the betrayal she’s feeling. Put it this way; if your best friend was chasing you up a set of stairs with s knife, would you care if they fell? The answer is most likely no.
In Space Race, Pearl is so excited to show Steven space that it clouds her judgement. It’s the same thing as Amethyst taking Steven to the kindergarten in On the Run. Pearl wants to show Steven her home, everything she’s ever known and that she loves. When Steven says that they aren’t going to make it out safely, she turns around and takes them back to Earth. Her judgement was clouded by emotion, but in the end she makes the right call to keep Steven safe.
If fact, really anytime Pearl endangers Steven it’s because her judgement it clouded by emotion. Pearl is an emotional character, and she’s unstable, but nothing can really change that.
Also, if anyone who’s ever endangered Steven should become or stay a villain, the Garnet (I think) is the only Crystal Gem that would still be a hero. Pearl in the above examples, Amethyst in on the run or during her self hatred arc, Peridot before her redemption, Lapis before her redemption, and Bismuth in her episode. They should all be villains on the show according to this logic.
3. Obsession with Rose
I can agree that Pearls fixation on Rose can be a little much at times, and that the way she treats Greg isn’t always great, but I don’t think Pearl is really at fault for either of these things.
Pearl fixation on Rose probably stems from the fact that, assumably, Rose helped liberate Pearl from her original owners. And till they met Garnet, Rose was probably the only person who respected her. Ever. So, of course she’s in love with her.
And then, really, she’s kinda justified in disliking Greg. Mr Greg portrayed that all really well. She’s been in love with arose for thousands of years and in what seems like the blink of an eye to a gem, Rose abandons her and betrays her, at least from her perspective.
I think there are probably more arguments that I just can’t remember at the moment. But this is just how I feel about these particular arguments. If there are any important ones I missed, feel free to message my about it!
1992, Pearl Jam, MTV Unplugged, the first time I ever heard the term “Pro Choice.” Went to school the next day and asked about it, which sparked an intense discussion among a class of young people who didn’t fully understand the enormity of the issue but had strong ideas about it anyway. That was the day I decided I needed to support the Pro Choice side for the rest of my life.