Steven Universe 2×10 Review: “Rising Tides, Crashing Skies”


Ronaldo, the paranormally-obsessed author of the blog Keep Beach City Weird, has an odd twist to him. Much like Invader Zim‘s Dib, he’s simultaneously delusional while being the only person to realize that something is not right.

The other residents of Beach City, for whatever reason, find nothing interesting about the Crystal Gems. In this way, Ronaldo is the closest thing to an audience surrogate we really have. And this becomes truer and truer as the Steven Universe audience comes up with whacked out theories.

I enjoy Ronaldo, but I enjoy him a lot more when we actually see into him, as in “Horror Club.” I’m not as big a fan of the appearances that just ridicule his mentality.

I enjoy all the humor in “Rising Tides, Crashing Skies,” even if pretty much all of it is at Ronaldo’s expense–and in his own movie, at that. But it does bother me that it does very little to actually investigate the premise that Ronaldo is kind of right?

Ronaldo tries to drive the Gems away from Beach City because their presence endangers its people. It could be reasoned that the world would be better if the Gems were located in an unpopulated area.

Of course, I’m not suggesting it’s that simple. I’m sure the Gems, and therefore the world, benefit from their proximity to Beach City in many ways.

But unlike the answers to these questions, which the episode evades, the humor in this episode all feels very easy, much of it being the same joke: Ronaldo. Of course, that he’s worried that someone is out to “thaw the cryogenically frozen pets of the one percent” is some brilliant writing.

And why is Ronaldo’s video ultimately pointless, and a display of what he concludes to be his own mistake? The logic behind what he wants to do with this video is as muddled as his own theorizing, and I suppose that makes sense, but maybe the episode would have been more fitting instead cutting to him having watched the finished product, wondering what he was thinking, and giving it the axe.

But I guess it’s fitting that the only episode so far not presented from Steven’s perspective is the only one that feels weirdly mean-spirited.

Score: 6/10


Joey's a 23-year-old who graduated from the University of Minnesota Morris and now lives in Minnesota's Twin Cities. He enjoys art, activism, and politics, especially when he's looking at them through a lens of popular culture. First and foremost he's obsessed with popular music, but aside from what you'd expect, he's also into comic strips, graphic novels, cartoons, and indie games made for mobile phones (his highest tile in Threes is 3,072). He'll tell you that his favorite book of all time is Goodnight Moon. He needs more people in his life who understand the joys of Achewood.