Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Would Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad be able to add the Crystal Gems to his collection?

Ever since Steven Universe began, the obvious question arose: would Hank Schrader from Breaking Bad be able to add the Crystal Gems to his mineral collection?

For those who have not seen Breaking Bad, Hank Schrader is the lovable DEA cop who is completely unaware that his brother in law, Walter White, was head of a drugs criminal empire. Hank spent his time collecting minerals, which he took very seriously. For those who have not seen Steven Universe, it is about magical gems from space who take on human form. Clearly Hank would want to add them to his shelf.

If we take the situation as at the end of Steven Universe season one, there are currently seven Gems on Earth that Hank could collect, namely Steven (who holds Rose Quartz), Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, Peridot, Jasper and Lapis.

As an overweight bald man in his 50s, Hank is not a capable physical combatant. However he does have experience in firearm use and expert knowledge of minerals that he can use to his advantage. If he is able to prove wrongdoing on the part of the Gems he is able to bring in the DEA on their side to bring them down, but otherwise he is on his own.
Hank plots over his rock mineral collection

The easiest Gem for Hank to track down is Steven. Steven lives in Beach City with Pearl, Garnet and Amethyst, and his father lives nearby. This would give Hank a clear paper trail in order to locate Steven. As Steven is just a small child, Hank should be able to overpower him in a fistfight - however Steven is able to summon a magical shield when threatened. Hank may need to shoot Steven in the back to bring him in, but this is certainly doable.

At this point it gets difficult. The three remaining Crystal Gems would probably get quite angry at Hank having shot Steven. Each of them are capable combatants and have the ability to merge into a giant monster, so Hank probably wants to avoid this.

However, the Gems do have a permanent residence. Hank could use his police connections to investigate them: for example, do they pay tax on their property? The Gems seem uncertain or uncaring about various human concerns, so it is possible they do not. If Hank can prove that they have been using their magical 'duplication device' on US currency, then he can have them arrested for currency fraud.

It may be that having Steven in his possession would be enough to force them to come quietly, however it could go horribly wrong. His best plan would be to try and shoot them before they got to him, as the Gems have melee weaponry only. The Gems are able to fuse together, and in their giant combined forms they have access to ranged weaponry, and as Breaking Bad showed us, Hank is weak to ranged weapons.

Assuming he is able to defeat the Crystal Gems, there are still three Gems left on Earth: Peridot, Jasper and Lapis.

Out of these, Peridot would be the easiest to  pick up. She is alone and currently on the run with no resources or backup. Hank would be able to call the full force of the DEA on her as she tried to destroy all life on Earth and this is a criminal offence in many States. There was speculation that Peridot would try to head for the Canadian border and so escape extradition, but her broken escape pod was found near Beach City and she has no other forms of transportation.

Peridot has not shown herself to be a capable hand to hand fighter, so Hank is probably able to beat her on his own. This assumes Peridot has not had the chance to build a death ray with which she could shoot Hank (again, Hank has shown to be weak to ranged weapons).

Finally, Lapis has Jasper prisoner under the water. As Jasper was aiding Peridot in the 'invade Earth' plan, then Hank would be able to bring in the DEA, though it is possible Lapis is currently in international waters. Whilst Hank does own a swimming pool, the ocean is much deeper and so he may find it a struggle to both locate and secure them both. As a large man, Hank is buoyant, which could prove an added problem.

Hank's success would be reliant on being able to convince Lapis to hand over Jasper (assuming she is in any state to, if he dives down and only finds Malachite, then it was nice knowing you, Hank). If Hank can assure Lapis that Jasper will remain in prison (on Hank's mineral shelf) it could be an easy win for him. Hank can be a genial, charming man when he tries, so this is not outside the realms of possibility.

Collecting Lapis is another problem entirely. Lapis has terrifying aquakinetic powers, and was once able to casually steal all the oceans of planet Earth and reshape them at her whim. Hank is unable to bring in the DEA as stealing the ocean isn't actually illegal. Hank could easily find himself crushed by 1.5 quintillion tons of water, which would be a problem for Hank. He does have a hidden advantage though: Hank is able to home-brew beer. As Lapis had been a prisoner for the past five thousand years, she would have a low alcohol tolerance, and Hank could get her drunk in order to collect her for his shelf.

In summary, it is likely that Hank would be able to add Rose Quartz, Peridot and Jasper to his collection. Lapis may be possible depending on how good his home-brew is, but if he wants Amethyst, Garnet and Pearl he will have to resort to clever deception.

Of course, the real question remains: How would Walter White fare in a bake-off with Strawberry Shortcake?

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