Spoiler Policy: All spoilers up to and including the currently discussed episode will be unmarked. Spoilers for episodes beyond the current point will be enclosed in Fast Forward blocks, which will include spoilers for the entire series.
Official Description: Steven imagines what Garnet does with her day.
So this episode is mostly just a bunch of inconsequential cuteness, which is fine because I’m just real exhausted, y’all.
We open with Garnet returning from a mission with a bubbled Gem. What is that Gem, anyway? It’s almost Diamond-esque. Steven is hiding in the rafters and jumps on top of her, yelling, “Stevenbomb!” The term “Stevenbomb” would later be used for promoting blocks of five new episodes. I missed all of this because I didn’t watch any of it while it was airing.
Steven puts his hands in front of Garnet’s eyes, “blinding” her. “Tiny hands, my only weakness!” says Garnet.
As was pointed out last week, Sapphire also has extremely tiny hands compared to Ruby. These two, I can’t take it. And we’re going to see them on Steven Universe Future in a few days!
Steven asks Garnet what she’s been doing, but Garnet tells him to tell her what he thinks she’s been doing.
I just took this screenshot because it’s cute.
So this episode is just Steven’s story about what Garnet could have been doing all day. It’s narrated by Zach Callison, Steven’s voice actor, but in a somewhat different cadence than his normal Steven voice.
This episode contains a ton of anime homages that I’m not super familiar with because I don’t watch your Dragon Ball Naruto Piece Moons. I’ll point out the super obvious ones because I’m not helpful.
This episode is done entirely with simplified, rounded character designs, in a different animation style than the usual episodes. There are also a lot of anime-style cut-ins like this one.
Steven’s story begins with Garnet stepping off a warp pad into a forest, and almost immediately encountering a bomb. She dodges it, only to be surrounded by a few more bombs, which she also dodges. A little figure wrapped in a ninja-like cloak stands before her, and she grabs her to reveal…
Hopper the frog, whose design appears to be based off of Frog from Chrono Trigger. All of the characters in this episode are voiced by SU regulars. Hopper here is voiced by Deedee Magno-Hall, who also voices Pearl.
Anyway, it turns out that Hopper is Garnet’s friend and was only trying to help her train.
Hopper asks if she’s seen Hoppy, who was very excited to train with them. A second later, Hoppy jumps Garnet with a sword. Hoppy is an excitable little rabbit voiced by Michaela Dietz (Amethyst).
While Hoppy and Garnet spar, Hopper measures Garnet’s power levels with what is obviously just a WiiU controller. The power levels are a running gag in this episode that’s obviously a send-up of Dragonball Z.
Garnet says she doesn’t have time to train because she needs to recover a Gem artifact. Hopper speculates on what it could be, including a “an enchanted power onion.”
Garnet wants to recover the artifact quickly because “there’s someone at home I need to get back to.” She pulls out this picture of Steven.
Hoppy: Who’s that?
Garnet: My most favorite person in the world.
Hoppy: Have you ever told him that?
Hoppy: Why not?
Garnet: I’m not strong enough.
Hopper: Will we get to meet him soon?
Garnet: Not yet. He’s not ready to learn that I have secret animal friends.
First off, it’s absolutely adorable that Steven wants Garnet to tell him he’s her favorite person. He cares about her opinion a lot (and she cares about him just as much).
This entire exchange seems to be foreshadowing for Jail Break. In that episode, Steven meets Garnet’s components for the first time and learns that she is a permanent fusion. It turns out that Garnet was saving introducing Steven to Ruby and Sapphire for his birthday. Ruby in particular is very upset that the surprise is spoiled. This seems to match the dialogue here, where Garnet declares Steven is not ready to meet her animal friends. She also says that she’s not strong enough — and in Jail Break, immediately after Steven learns she is a permafusion, she sings her iconic song Stronger Than You.
Garnet and her friends walk through the forest until they come across this guy lying unconscious on the ground. Garnet revives him, and he introduces himself as Ringo. He’s obviously just Ronaldo, and shares the same voice actor (Zachary Steel).
Hoppy asks how he got his wounds. He says that he was kicked out of his own shrine, and tells the story…
He was tending to his shrine when a Foxman arrived, asking to see the sacred magic gem of ultimate power that lay within. When Ringo showed him the gem, the Foxman betrayed him, stealing the gem and using his power to banish Ringo. Garnet declares that they have to get the gem back because no one should have that much power.
They travel to the shrine on this adorable little video game style map screen. The shrine, of course, has a blinking red arrow over it.
The Foxman is sitting in front of the shrine, browsing what appears to be cat pictures on Tumblr. Same, Foxman, same. Hopper estimates his power level as 70,000 and warns Garnet to not “hop off” more than she can chew.
Anyway, they fight, and Foxman punches Garnet off the hill. Garnet and her animal friends decide to go train more.
They meditate under this waterfall, and honestly, I really love Garnet’s look here? I kind of like it more than her current look. It really works for her.
Garnet summons enormous “weighted gauntlets” and begins to punch with them, increasing her power. When she falters, Hoppy tells her to remember what she’s fighting for, and she recalls the picture of Steven and continues punching. Hopper declares her power level to be “seven thousand… eight thousand… ten thousand… numbers have no meaning!” (Note the number she skipped.)
You know, if you’re anything like me it’s probably been a while since you’ve seen this classic internet meme, so here you go:
Garnet punches the crap out of one of the innocent happy mountains in the background and declares that she’s ready.
A powered-up Garnet returns to take on the Foxman. Foxman is voiced by Matthew Moy, who also voices Lars.
Foxman: Back again, huh? Looks like you’re hungry for another delicious beating.
Garnet: Actually, that last one spoiled my appetite.
Foxman: How dare you insult my cooking skills?
This is all likely intended to be a reference to the fact that Lars actually is very sensitive about his cooking skills!
Garnet now easily beats Foxman. Ringo sneaks by and nabs the gem, as Foxman complains that he’s actually the rightful guardian of the shrine.
Setting up the Foxman as an antagonist who turns out to be an ally — a possible hint towards Lars’ future role in the series?
Ringo / Ronaldo as a secret villain is a little less clear, since he never turns out to be an actual villain, just a nuisance.
Ringo grabs the gem and does a magical girl-style transformation into Ultimate Ringo. He uses his powers to turn Foxman into an onion ring and banish Garnet and friends to his Ringo Zone.
Ringo: It is here where my powers are strongest. You wanna stop me? Go on. It will amuse me. And after I beat you, maybe I’ll destroy the planet. Just ’cause I can.
The reference to destroying the planet might be foreshadowing for the Cluster arc. Honestly, I keep forgetting that at this point we still don’t know about Homeworld’s plans to destroy the planet.
Ringo defeats Hoppy and Hopper. Garnet is forced to remove her weighted hair, raising her power levels. She clashes with Ringo, but Ringo still wins. She sadly looks at her photo of Steven: “I’m sorry, Steven, I wasn’t strong enough.” Ringo laughs and turns the photo into an onion ring, enraging Garnet. She reforms her hair and finally defeats Ringo.
“And so, Garnet used the Gem to return the Foxman to his original form. And as for Ringo, he stayed trapped in the Ringo Zone. Forever. That day, Garnet learned a valuable lesson that being strong was about more than just how many mountains you can punch in half. It was about love. And there was no greater love than Garnet’s love for Steven.”
This bit foreshadows a number of upcoming plot points. Most obviously, that Garnet’s “answer” is love, but it also alludes to the fact that raw physical strength ends up not being the solution to the problems the Crystal Gems face. The bit about returning the Foxman to his original form might also be related to restoring the corrupted Gems to their original forms at the end of the series.
Steven: And that’s what you did today!
Garnet: Yeah, that’s pretty much what happened.
This episode is one of the least consequential episodes of the show. It doesn’t really contain any plot elements other than some vague foreshadowing. However, it is very fun and cute, and packed full of lots of anime and video game references. I had kind of forgotten that this episode existed, but I enjoyed watching it again.
Official Description: Steven discovers a new power.
I think this is the vaguest description we’ve had yet.
I really like this opening shot of Steven and Greg eating watermelon in front of the car wash. It really captures the vibe of a lazy summer evening.
The events of this episode have ramifications for later, but on its own it’s fairly inconsequential and a lot like an S1A episode. It’s also pretty clear that they were trying to fill for time. The episode opens with a couple of minutes of Steven and Greg eating watermelon and having fun spitting the seeds everywhere. Mind you, I’m not complaining about this; this scene is actually my favorite in the episode. The father-son bonding is so pure.
After Steven hits a can with a seed from several feet away, Greg declares that the game isn’t about who can spit the fastest or furthest, but the coolest. He does a trick where he spits the seeds into a ramp made from a watermelon rind and catches them back in his hand. Steven responds by spitting seeds everywhere like a helicopter.
Greg declares him the winner and gives him a crown made of a watermelon rind, dubbing him the “Watermelajesty.”
Steven goes to sleep in his beach chair, and wakes up the next morning surrounded by an enormous patch of watermelons. Even more disconcerting, all of the watermelons are shaped like him.
Steven gets the Gems to take a look. Pearl says, “Your mother had the power to grow sentient plant life to act as her defenders.” We saw a few examples of that with the moss in Lars and the Cool Kids and the thorn bushes in An Indirect Kiss. Amethyst points out that these watermelons aren’t moving, though. She picks up a small one that Steven thinks is just a little baby.
Greg steps in one and is disturbed to be looking at a Steven watermelon with a caved-in chest. He asks what they’re going to do with them all.
The upbeat chiptune music in this scene is very Steven and very cute.
Steven sets up a table outside Funland to give away the Watermelon Stevens. Mr. Smiley asks him if he has a permit, so Steven gives him one of the watermelons and Mr. Smiley says he accepts the bribe.
Sadie shows up, and look at her cute outfit! She also still has the scar on her cheek from Island Adventure, which I believe persists for the entire series. She wants to know how much a watermelon costs, and Steven says he’s giving them away. Sadie insists on paying because she love supporting local businesses. I’m glad that after Island Adventure we’re back to lovable Sadie again.
Ronaldo turns up and starts taking pictures of the Watermelon Stevens for his blog. There’s a long gag where he slowly types out a blog post that really seems like the episode is stalling for time. When Sadie hands him five dollars for a watermelon, Ronaldo is shocked at the low price and starts shouting for everyone to come get a watermelon. Customers rush Steven’s table and soon all the watermelons are gone except for Baby Melon.
With all the watermelons gone, Steven counts out “one hundred pieces of money.” Onion crawls out from under the table and indicates he wants Baby Melon, who Steven says is not for sale. Onion runs off with Baby Melon, and Steven gives chase through Beach City.
Baby Melon suddenly comes to life, jumps out of Onion’s arms, and runs back to Steven. Steven is grateful to get him back, but then realizes the implications — all of the watermelons he gave away must also be coming to life.
Steven runs all over town, to the Big Donut, the Arcade and other shops, collecting all the now-living Watermelon Stevens.
Ronaldo is livestreaming “the first ever official mutant watermelon autopsy” on weirdstar.stream. He has a Watermelon Steven laid out on a slab and is brandishing a spatula and an eggbeater. Steven and his new watermelon posse run in and plead for him to stop.
Steven: Ronaldo, it’s alive!
Ronaldo: Not for long!
Damn, Ronaldo, that’s cold. The Watermelon Stevens surround Ronaldo and begin beating the stuffing out of him. Steven offers to go get help, but Ronaldo just wants to make sure the camera is getting all of this. Steven adjusts the camera to a better angle. “Sweeeeeet!” Ronaldo cheers as the watermelons punch him in the face.
Steven runs to get the Gems, who are just sitting around reading newspapers. I love this. Why are they reading newspapers? Garnet, maybe, but Pearl generally has zero interest in human society and Amethyst does not at all seem like the type (unless she’s reading the sports or comics).
The Watermelon Stevens have gathered outside. Pearl points out that Rose’s plants lived to fight, and Garnet worries that Steven can’t control them. Pearl roughly shoves Steven back into the house, causing the Watermelon Stevens to turn hostile against the Gems. The Gems and Watermelons begin to fight, with the Gems exploding dozens of them into little watermelon pieces.
The Watermelons, through sheer numbers, begin to get the upper hand, piling on top of Garnet and Amethyst and grabbing Pearl’s spear. Steven and Baby Melon run out, yelling at them all to stop fighting. By my count, this is the fifth time in the series Steven has tried to stop the Gems from fighting something.
The Watermelon Stevens dogpiling Amethyst dig a grave for her, complete with a tasteful bouquet. “Those flowers are lovely!” screams a distressed Amethyst.
A desperate Steven asks Baby Melon how they can end the fighting. Baby Melon suddenly punches Steven in the gut.
All of the other Watermelons stop fighting the Gems and turn on Baby Melon, who calmly accepts his fate.
When the dust clears, all that’s left of Baby Melon is this fruit salad.
“I understand. You stopped the watermelons from fighting everybody else by making them fight you.”
This self-sacrificial streak is something we haven’t seen from Steven yet but we very much will. In particular, this situation seems like foreshadowing for Steven eventually giving himself up to Aquamarine in exchange for her releasing his friends.
Steven yells at the Watermelon Stevens that they should be ashamed of what they did, and that they should go and think about Baby Melon’s sacrifice until they understand what he did for Steven. The Watermelon Stevens sadly walk into the ocean.
We will next see the Watermelon Stevens in Super Watermelon Island, where we learn that they’ve formed a society on Mask Island from Island Adventure. In that episode, we see that they’ve taken Steven’s words to heart, although maybe not in the best of ways. They have a statue of Baby Melon in the center of their town and a culture that seems to be based around self-sacrifice. They end up being instrumental in defeating Malachite.
Garnet: Spoken like a true king.
Steven: They don’t need a king. They’re their own melons now.
Notably, when Steven actually does gain power — by ascending as Pink Diamond — he immediately uses that power to try and reform Gem society and to allow all Gems to live freely.
Steven eats a piece of Baby Melon, causing all the Gems to have hilarious horrified faces.
This episode is eventually important plotwise, but is really a below-average episode on its own. There are a number of moments where they’re obviously stretching for time because they lack material, and while the Steven-Greg bonding is great, other bits like Ronaldo’s slow typing are not. However, even a below average SU episode has some pretty good moments in it. The scene with Ronaldo’s liveblog being interrupted is pretty funny.
Next Time on Steven Universe Rewind! Get your tissues ready for crying, because we’re covering Lion 3: Straight to Video.
There’s also Warp Tour, which introduces a minor, inconsequential new character that I’m sure I’m not going to devote thousands of words to or anything.