5 Reasons Room for Ruby is Poorly Written
Aw Room for Ruby, it’s a decisive episode. Not just for the fandom, but also for yours truly. There’s some things I really like about this episode, but also some things I really hate about this episode. However, one thing I know for sure is that it’s a really poorly written episode. Now just because it’s a poorly written episode doesn’t mean it’s a terrible episode. Hit the Diamond is a poorly written episode that I love. Room for Ruby is somewhere in between a poorly written episode that’s still charming like Hit the Diamond and a hard to watch poorly written episode like Fusion Cuisine. Now let’s get on to the list.
1. The Beginning is Contrived, Horribly Improbable and Lazy
As someone who has written before and has read multiple screenplays I would tell you that it can be hard to connect your plot points. Sometimes the writer knows what’s meant to happen in a story, but they don’t know how to get to that point. Beginnings can be hard to write is what I’m saying. However, that will not stop me from saying that the beginning to Room for Ruby is lazy as hell. Navy just lands in front of the temple, no real build up or no reason, she just lands in front of the temple. You have to have your turning points in your story happen more naturally than that. It’s like if you wanted to start a romance story by having character #1 go up to character #2 and say “Hey you seem nice, let’s date”, to which character #2 said “sure”, then the plot begins. It’s not only lazy for an opening, but it’s also confusing. What are the fucking chances she lands in front of the temple. She was drifting in space and fell to the Earth( which is really huge) to fall exactly in front of the temple. If she did it on purpose then how the fuck did she accomplish that!? I’m guessing she didn’t do it on purpose because she didn’t know the location of the temple, so she just happen to fall in front of the temple. That is really contrived Lauren!
2. It’s Hard Not to Take Navy’s Side Here
One thing I loved about the episode was Navy turning out to be “evil”. I really like what they did with the Ruby Squad where they first appeared to be dumb comic relief nuisances, but actually turned out to be somewhat legit threats. Eyeball trying to kill Steven was a big surprise, but Navy tricking the Barned Gems was a bigger surprise. I like how they pull it off in the episode. In most of the episode it wasn’t even considered that Navy could’ve been tricking them (yes a lot of the fandom was suspicious, but the characters weren’t), then she wanted to see their ship and tricked them. This was great. Here’s the downside, she’s kind of in the right.The ending of the episode treats it like she was being a sadist, but she wasn’t. Her anger towards them is justified (which to be fair the episode does mention) and she flung them over water where they would be safe. It’s not like she tried to kill them, she just wanted some catharsis. I can easily see a likable hero doing something like that.
Also the Crystal Gems left the Rubies stranded in space and didn’t even try looking for them once. Yes this was a problem outside of this episode, but this episode could’ve fixed this a little with a small change. Have Steven and Garnet look for the Rubies at the beginning of the episode (also imply that they’ve been doing this regularly) and have them find Navy. This would’ve made the CGs look less like the bad guys and also would’ve fixed the problem with the opening being contrived. Navy’s betrayal would’ve seem more like a betrayal too. The sloppy writing involving the Rubies is definitely why half of the fandom was like “How dare you!” and the rest were like “You go girl!”
3. Lapis Being the One Who Objects Doesn’t Work
Here’s something I did like the first time I saw the episode. It was Lapis’ objection to Navy staying there. I liked that the show was finally giving Lapis a little character development and I liked that they presented not getting use to something quickly as a positive. However, the more I thought about it and after I rewatched the episode I realized that Lapis objecting to Navy staying there doesn’t work. First her objection is pretty much that Navy has forgiven them way too quickly, which is ironic for Lapis to say because Lapis has not brought up once to the Crystal Gems about the whole mirror incident. She doesn’t seem to show any resentment towards them at all. I don’t think it’s conceited to say that I’ve handled this better because I have a running joke about Lapis getting revenge on Pearl by using her water punch on her at random times.
Lapis second objection is that Navy is getting use to the Earth way too quickly since it apparently took Lapis a long time to get use to the Earth. Yes, it took Lapis so long to get use to the Earth, like 1 episode, maybe 2. Some of you might argue that maybe it took her awhile to get use to the Earth while she was living in the Barn. If that’s the case than that’s really lazy writing and a huge side effect of that cursed barn. Actions speak louder than words and that definitely applies to fiction. Lapis’ dialogue in this episode breaks so many show don’t tell rules. Now this isn’t just the fault of this episode, but when you’re trying to write a continuation to a story than you need to make sure the pieces fit with what’s been established. I’m not actually against the story Room for Ruby was telling, but Lapis is terribly miscast as the objector. Now if only there was another Gem in this episode where it would make more sense to be the objector… Wait a minute!
Peridot would have worked so much better! Think about it. Peridot went through multiple episodes where she had to get use to the Earth. She had to get over Homeworld bigotry, she had to learn to value the life on Earth, and she had to be disillusioned to the Diamonds. Her transition to loving the Earth was so much harder than Lapis’ and we actually got to see it. I could see Peridot saying Lapis’ dialogue in this episode and it working a lot better. Unfortunately, they decided they had “better” uses for Peridot.
4. What Are You Doing to Peridot!?
This episode is really frustrating because it features two of my favorite characters of the show at their absolute worst. The first one they featured at their worst was Peridot. She got a lobotomy before this episode happened. In the episode she is completely happy go lucky and doesn’t question anything. There’s even a scene where Peridot is hanging of the back of Navy’s ship and she’s all like “Wow Navy is showing us the ocean!”. What happened to that wonderful three dimensional character we got in Season 2? The fucking barn happened! That fucking barn.
5. What Are You Doing to Garnet!?
Like Peridot, Garnet was also one of my favorite characters that the show has slowly ruined. They didn’t even have to use a barn to ruin her. Back in my Mellow Frames for Mindful Education I made fun of how Garnet is only used as a fusion wise guide. The show pretty much took that as “you think Garnet only talking about fusion is bad, we can make her worse”. The Garnet since Mindful Education comes off as a huge idiot, especially in this episode. Why didn’t Garnet go with Steven to redeem Navy? This could’ve been a good opportunity for Garnet to get some good screen time, or even have her unfuse and have Ruby help her fellow Ruby. The ending implied that Garnet used her Future Vision and saw a possible future where Navy joins the gems and a future where she betrays them. If that’s the case then Garnet not going with Steven is even dumber. Why couldn’t she have gone to make sure they don’t do anything stupid like what they ended up doing in the episode? Her reaction to what happened also makes it look like she too had a lobotomy before the episode begun. Her reaction to Navy stealing the ship is pretty much “oh well, at least we tried”. Um Garnet, this is actually a pretty big deal! A homeworld gem stole your only ship and is no doubt going to tell the Diamonds what happened leading to another homeworld invasion! This is pretty dam serious Garnet! God! What this show did to Garnet is so disheartening and this episode made it worse. They even fucking shrunk her.
Now that is the five reasons why Room for Ruby is a terribly written. Now I honestly don’t think it’s a terrible episode since I thought it was entertaining, had a good story in theory (just poorly executed), and Navy’s betrayal was awesome. I would say it’s passable. Now my next review is going to be of a Lauren Zuke episode that a lot of fans hate, Rocknaldo. I’m going to be a little controversial and tell you why that episode is actually good.