Why Lapis and Peridot fighting in “The New Crystal Gems” was not a bad thing
Up until The New Crystal Gems, Peridot and Lapis had been shown to be sharing their lives in perfect harmony. They seemed very much like the “perfect” couple – always happy and relaxed around each other, and just enjoying one another’s presence.
However, there’s no such thing as the perfect relationship. Couples do fight and they do bicker, often over the silliest of things. The expression “bickering like an old married couple” exists for a reason, after all. And it seems that the Crew are very much aiming for the “married couple” vibe with Lapis and Peridot.
This started in Beta. A lot of people commented that Peridot and Lapis were “basically married” in this episode – because of how happy, supportive, and ultimately domestic they’ve become.
Although this appears to fall apart somewhat in The New Crystal Gems, it’s very important to bear a couple of things in mind.
Firstly, look how light Lapis’ touch in particular is here. They’re just gently pushing and shoving each other around, not really wanting to hurt each other. They were both using their elemental powers at the time, and could have turned these on each other if they actually wanted to deal some damage. But they didn’t. They were ultimately vying for an audience and trying to steal the limelight from one another, but neither of them was annoyed enough to actually want to hurt the other – and that’s a very good thing indeed, because it shows that they still care about each other. And that this disagreement was quite trivial in nature.
It’s also worth noting that when Peridot is dangling off of Lapis’ arm, Lapis seems quite unfazed by this. Previously, she’s been extremely quick to withdraw physical contact from people when she’s angry with them (most notably Jasper in both The Return and Alone At Sea), but that’s not the case here. This suggests to me that she’s so comfortable with Peridot that she’s absolutely fine with her physical contact, even in the middle of a fight with her.
When they have their verbal fight afterwards, it quickly descends into name-calling and general pettiness, which is often the way when couples have an argument. Peridot even say’s “I’m leaving” – which sounds very much like the sort of thing that would be said by a disgruntled person who’s about to storm out from their lover in the heat of an argument.
Marriages (and long term, serious relationships in general) aren’t all happy and lovely 100% of the time. In fact, you don’t even need to look beyond Steven Universe itself to see this.
In Keystone Motel, one of our canon couples, Ruby and Sapphire, had a huge disagreement over Pearl’s behaviour in the previous episode. This argument was so extreme that it forced their inseparable fusion to fall apart. It took the entirety of the episode for them to finally come back together again. But they did come back together again – they realised that their behaviour was wrong, and they shared a loving moment together before re-fusing into Garnet again.
And that, ultimately, is the single most important thing to bear in mind.
Peridot and Lapis’ fight ended with them both looking very guilty indeed, after Connie managed
to talk some sense into them both.
Then, by the end of the episode, everything was back to normal – they’d made a collaborative “meep morp” for Greg (the new car wash sign) and were perfectly happy again, even pausing to do a “victory pose” upon Peridot’s insistence.
The fact that Peridot and Lapis have had their first ever “lover’s tiff” means that their relationship is being built in a meaningful, and ultimately realistic, way - which is excellent to see.