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Recap / Steven Universe S3E1 "Super Watermelon Island"

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A Watermelon Steven opens its eyes, who seems a little confused. He gets up as there's a little tremor and begins to wander the island, finding a watermelon puppy on the way. Before long the Watermelon Steven has made his way back to the village. It's a small but thriving community, where everyone has a job from working the gardens to tending the watermelon chickens. A watermelon horse pulls a cart, where new watermelon babies have been harvested. He delivers one to a pair of Watermelon Steven people, who excitedly greet their new child.

The idyllic scene is interrupted by another tremor and a harsh noise. A Watermelon Steven is banging a gong. This turns out to be a summons to the entire community, as they all gather in a clearing around one of their own who appears to be a wise man or shamanic figure. The Watermelon Steven who is exploring follows them to see what's going on, only to watch in bewilderment as they all engage in a round of “nose goes”. The Watermelon Steven was so fascinated he didn't touch his own nose, so is treated like a volunteer. He is adorned with a flower crown and painted with Steven Universe's star on his chest, then carried with great ceremony via palanquin to the edge of a cliff – and left there.

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The Watermelon Steven looks back at the rest of the villagers, who mime to him the position he should take. He follows their lead and turns back to the cliff's edge which overlooks the sea. Another tremor shakes the island. From the waves rises the enormous head and shoulders of Malachite, still in Lapis' chains, who opens her eyes, looks down on the cliff, and recognizes... “Steven.”

As she bites down on the Watermelon Steven, the real Steven Universe wakes in alarm as another tremor goes off. A frantic Peridot cries out that this is a sign of the Cluster being close to emerging. She points out how fast the tremors will progress, and that they don't have long before the earth is completely destroyed.

Steven describes the dream he had and that he saw Malachite. Garnet realizes this must mean Lapis is losing control and that the dangerous fusion will soon be loose. They recognize the threat of destruction and harm that the unstable fusion could cause.

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The Gems decide to take on Malachite first and head for the nearest Warp Pad without Steven; Garnet has declared this mission too dangerous for him, much to his dismay. Peridot only just now finding out about Malachite and is astonished that Lapis has trapped Jasper in a fusion. When Steven complains the Gems said it was too dangerous, Peridot suggests he just disobey them and rebel.

Peridot: I mean, isn't that you guys' thing?

Steven gleefully realizes that using his dream power will allow him to be present for the fight but still remain safe as his body is still beside the barn. He immediately lies down to go back to sleep, much to the dismay of Peridot who is now all alone for the first time in a while.

Steven, now possessing another of his Watermelon creations, rushes to see what's going on. The Gems are on the shore, and perform their Fusion Dance to become Alexandrite. Lapis Lazuli notices their presence, as does Jasper, who is so eager for revenge that she manages to pull free of Lapis' water chains. Alexandrite tries to make a non-violent go of it, suggesting they don't have to fight. But Malachite, with Jasper in control of the fusion, eagerly joins battle with them, saying she was wrong about Fusion just being a cheap thrill.

The fight starts out almost even, but quickly begins to take its toll on Alexandrite. Before long Lapis' water powers and Jasper's brutality turn the tide, and she is able to get Alexandrite on her back.

Steven rushes to the cave where the Watermelon community has taken shelter, and gives them a Rousing Speech. The shaman agrees, and the majority of the community runs off to battle, save for the ones with children.

Malachite is gloating over being about to defeat the Gems when suddenly she is assaulted from behind. The Watermelon people are firing on her with arrows, rocks, and catapults. Some of them are even coming at her in the air from gliders. They swarm her. They're not much of a threat, but they distract her into swatting them off and smashing them. It's enough to loosen the grip of the water grasp she has on Alexandrite. Alexandrite frees herself, smacks Malachite with Sugilite's flail, hits her into the sky with Sardonyx's warhammer, and finally produces Opal's bow.

Alexandrite: You two should spend some time apart.

The energy arrow carries the essence and intent of all three Crystal Gems. When it hits, Malachite is forcibly fissioned from the fusion. Jasper and Lapis Lazuli fall from the sky, unconscious and unable to save themselves. Alexandrite catches them, then unfuses as well; the Crystal Gems are exhausted, Amethyst barely even able to move.

Watermelon Steven runs up to greet the Gems, happy for their victory. Pearl asks if that's really Steven. Garnet acknowledges him and thanks him for not only coming, but for rallying the Watermelon people. She then directs her thanks at all of the villagers, bowing in respect and appreciation for their assistance. Despite their losses, the Watermelon Islanders are blushingly appreciative of the praise. Relieved the fight is over, everyone begins to laugh...

Suddenly, there's suddenly an earthquake! The Islanders clutch each other in alarm as a fissure cracks open, slanting the island's land toward it and throwing everyone off balance. The unconscious Homeworld gems begin sliding toward it. Amethyst grabs hold of Lapis and Pearl makes a dive for Jasper, but misses. The enormous Homeworld gem falls into a crack and vanishes. Garnet immediately acknowledges the threat of the Cluster and tells Steven he and Peridot must handle it alone, as the Warp Pad got destroyed in the fight so there's no way for them to make it back to the drill in time to help.

Steven is terrified of trying such a huge undertaking without his family beside him, but they assure him they know he can do it. As Steven acknowledges his duty and begins to leave the Watermelon Islander and return to his own body, the Gems' words of encouragement follow him.

Amethyst: You got this, dude! You know the drill!
Pearl: Stay safe. Watch each other's backs.
Garnet: And Steven...we love you.

We Iris Out in Slow Motion on the trio.


Tropes

  • All Your Powers Combined:
    • Alexandrite uses all of the Gems weapons against Malachite. All of them. Including Opal's bow, Sugilite's flail and Sardonyx's hammer.
    • In addition to Lapis' water powers, Malachite can also summon Jasper's helmet and use her charging attack.
  • Animation Bump: The Crytal Gems' fusion dance. A glance at the storyboards show that it was practically fully animated in StoryboardPro before going to full animation proper.
  • Astral Projection: Steven can fall asleep and take control of a melonperson; this is how he helps the Crystal Gems despite still technically being back home.
  • Bloodless Carnage: The Watermelon Islanders take heavy casualties when Malachite attacks them, but when "killed" they simply burst into slices of watermelon.
  • Breath Weapon: Alexandrite can breathe fire from her lower mouth.
  • The Bus Came Back: This episode features the return of the Watermelon Stevens and Malachite (which also includes Lapis and Jasper).
  • Call-Back:
    • Mask Island returns, its first major appearance being in "Island Adventure".
    • The Watermelon Stevens from "Watermelon Steven" have settled on Mask Island. They have abandoned their violent ways, so that Steven has to rally them to fight.
    • Steven once again sees Malachite in his dreams, though this time he knows it's reality.
    • And while we've seen her individual components, its also a dramatic return of Alexandrite for the first time in a long time. And fighting, to boot.
  • Cassandra Truth: Peridot tells Steven and the Gems that the various tremors she's feeling could be the early signs that The Cluster has begun to emerge. Steven, however, thinks that it's being caused by Malachite escaping. Unlike most times something happens on Earth, this isn't a case of Peridot being paranoid, as the end of the episode shows the tremors really were caused by The Cluster beginning to emerge.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Steven's slightly controllable ability to travel through Astral Projection, previously established in "Chille Tid," allows him to travel to Mask Island and possess a watermelon body.
  • Cliffhanger: The Cluster begins to emerge, and with the Gems unable to return from Mask Island in time, Steven and Peridot are the only ones left to stop it.
  • Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Malachite feels her wrist after breaking Lapis' water chains.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Just as the threat of Malachite has been stopped by the Crystal Gems, The Cluster begins to emerge, and with the Warp Pad conveniently destroyed, the majority of the team are stuck on Mask Island. This leaves Steven and Peridot as the only ones left that can stop The Cluster from destroying Earth.
  • Draw Aggro: The Watermelon Stevens aren't able to significantly hurt Malachite, but their attacks do annoy her enough that she turns her attention to fighting them off, distracting her long enough for Alexandrite to break free and turn the tables.
  • Evil Feels Good: Malachite's laughing as she gloats to Alexandrite, saying that Fusion is much more useful then Jasper thought it was.
  • Evil Laugh: Malachite gives one as she forcibly crushes Alexandrite, and when she starts to crush the Watermelon Stevens.
  • Eye Cam: The episode opens and closes from Steven's point of view in a Watermelon Islander.
  • Eye Scream: A female Watermelon Steven punches Malachite in one of her eyes.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Alexandrite is formed, and she pulls out all the stops to face Malachite. An interestingly near-literal example in that Alexandrite actually bears some resemblance to Godzilla, being a giant monster that fights with a Breath Weapon.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: Steven manages to rally the Watermelon Stevens into an army to help fight Malachite, and they manage to distract her long enough for Alexandrite to break free and finish her off.
  • Heroic RRoD: During the battle, Alexandrite's body took quite a lot of punishment. Then, shortly after defeating Malachite, she falls to her knees, gives a loud roar, and falls apart. Her components are varying degrees of exhausted after this, with Amethyst in particular being collapsed on the ground and barely able to move.
  • Heroic Willpower: Malachite gives Alexandrite such a beating that she almost breaks apart, but manages to stay fused through sheer force of will. Shortly after Malachite has been defeated, Alexandrite almost instantly defuses.
  • Human Sacrifice: The Watermelon Stevens seem to regularly feed one of their own to Malachite, evidently to appease her. The one Steven possesses is the latest victim.
  • Hypocrite: Jasper used to be disgusted with fusion, but with the increase of power, she enjoys abusing it to stop the Crystal Gems.
  • Kaiju: Between their huge sizes, monstrous appearances, and the fact that Alexandrite is shown to have a Godzilla-esque Breath Weapon that comes courtesy of Ruby, the fight between Malachite and Alexandrite calls to mind films like King Kong vs. Godzilla about giant monsters fighting each other.
  • Little "No": Watermelon Steven starts frantically shaking his head when Pearl and Garnet tell him he has to stop the cluster on his own.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Peridot hadn't learned about Malachite until this episode.
  • Luminescent Blush: All the Watermelon Stevens blush when complimented by Garnet.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!":
    • The Watermelon Stevens when Malachite approaches the island.
    • The Crystal Gems when Steven tells them that Malachite has returned.
  • Mouth Cam: When Malachite eats the Watermelon Steven the original Steven is controlling.
  • Multi-Part Episode: Aired as the first part of the season 3 premiere, with "Gem Drill" being the second.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Steven after he has a dream about Malachite returning.
    • Lapis within Malachite's body when Alexandrite shows up.
    • Malachite when she realizes Alexandrite has an arrow pointed straight at her and she's too high in the air to shield herself with water in time.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: The warp pad on Mask Island is destroyed, preventing Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl from reaching the drill as the Cluster starts to emerge.
  • Planimal: The Watermelon Stevens have managed to breed watermelon dogs, chickens, and horses.
  • "Pop!" Goes the Human: Surprisingly, this is how Malachite goes out.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: After Alexandrite tells Malachite to surrender, since she's outnumbered:
    Malachite: I may be outnumbered... but you're out of your depth.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Just before Alexandrite nails Malachite in the chest with an arrow and forcibly defuses her:
    Alexandrite: You two should spend some time apart.
  • Remote Body: Turns out Steven is capable of using the Watermelon Stevens as this.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The watermelon dog Steven befriends.
  • Rousing Speech: Steven delivers one to the Watermelon Stevens to get them to aid the Crystal Gems. Played for Laughs in that it's not clear what he's actually saying, but it fires them up anyway.
  • Sanity Slippage: Being trapped under the ocean for so long has done a real number on Jasper's mental stability, to the point where she now enjoys being Malachite.
  • Save the Villain: When Mask Island gets torn apart due to the Cluster emerging, Pearl attempts to save Jasper, but isn't able to reach her in time.
  • Sequel Episode: To "Watermelon Steven", showing what became of the living watermelons Steven created.
  • Sequel Hook: An unconscious Jasper falls into a crevice after the Cluster starts to hatch.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Malachite defuses, the sound effect of a Poké Ball opening is heard.
    • The Watermelon Stevens' attack on Malachite and their methods (arrows, catapulted rocks, makeshift hangliders) are very reminiscent of the attack of the Ewoks on the Endor troops in Return of the Jedi.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Pearl recognizes one of the Watermelon Stevens as their Steven when he gives her a big Glomp.
  • So Proud of You: The Gems to Steven for rallying the Watermelon Stevens to fight.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When Steven laments that he can't go help the Gems because he was told to stay back, Peridot asks, "Why don't you simply disobey?" and mentions that Steven regularly disobeys orders. This gives Steven the idea to use Astral Projection to help and stay safe at the same time.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Some of the otherwise uniform Watermelon Stevens wear ties or skirts to establish gender.
  • This Means Warpaint: The Watermelon Stevens don simple warpaint before going off to fight Malachite.
  • To the Batnoun!: "To the nearest Warp Pad!"
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Steven rouses the other melonpeople to fight back against Malachite. How peaceful they were beforehand is questionable, however, as they managed to gather together a significant number of spears, shields, bows, arrows, and even some catapults and gliders in the span of minutes.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Malachite laughs when the Watermelon Stevens start to fight against her, and she starts to crush them one by one. They still manage to be crucial in the final battle.
  • The Unintelligible: Steven, when he's in a watermelon body.
  • Wingding Eyes: The Watermelon Steven that Steven possesses gets these after Malachite is defeated.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Peridot's reaction to learning about Malachite. Though it's more of a Flat "What".

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