First: I’m not against her being redeemed. The creators have made it abundantly clear that they aren’t here to tell a story where the villains are unambiguously evil, or even that the heroes are unambiguously good, which is one of the reasons I love the show. But...this isn’t the kind of road to redemption I was hoping for. I’m not sure what exactly I was hoping for, but it wasn’t “Bring Peridot down to a helpless state where she’ll have no choice but to comply with the gems.” I know there’s clearly more to it than that--the core of it is about her learning from Steven’s genuine kindness, but it still started at the fact that she had to be de-powered in order to reach that point.
I was already pretty iffy on the concept of “Peridot isn’t actually competent” (of which, I still believe she is competent, just not on Earth where everything--sans the places the gems have made their territory like the Kindergarten--is completely unfamiliar to her), and I’m downright uncomfortable with “she puts up a cold, arrogant front to hide how scared and helpless and cute she is.” On the contrary, I can’t find her “cute” at all because she’s in a position where she’s feeling helpless and clambering for any scraps of pride she has left. The rain scene did nothing to help temper the feeling of discomfort.
I don’t want to see Peridot be redeemed by being stripped of her power and looking cute. I don’t want to see her personality continue to do a 180 from her first appearance. I just want to see her redeem herself the way the other characters have whenever they’ve messed up: through their actions.
I do realize, however, that we’re still only in the beginning stages of Peridot’s arc, and that there may be something more in store than just “Peridot is redeemed through the power of love and friendship.” I have a lot of faith in the show when it comes to surprising me, and I won’t throw this one out the window as another thing that may potentially surprise. But until that time comes, everyone in the fandom’s been wholeheartedly embracing this turn of events while I’m just sitting here going “Ehhhhhh.”
But hey, even if I don’t get won over by Peridot’s arc, that just means it’s one aspect of a show I otherwise wholeheartedly adore that didn’t work for me, and that’s really impressive.