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‘Steven Universe’ Recap ‘Escapism’

Turner / Cartoon Network

 

This week’s episode bought to us by the power of Watermelon Steven’s.

We start back up with Stevonnie desperately trying to escape the tower before separating back to Steven and Connie. Steven is full of his doubts about his plan to save the corrupted gems on earth, wishing there was someone they could call for help, when Steven realises – there’s still a Crystal Gem left, Bismuth! He realises he might be able to reach her with his sleepy psychic mind powers, and settles down for a nap, reaching out to Earth with his mind.

Unfortunately, Steven doesn’t quite make it to Beach City, instead landing on the Watermelon Island, he himself now a Watermelon Steven. Frustrated but not beaten, Steven sets out to find his way off the island, with the help of a Watermelon dog.

A group of star-wearing watermelons have set up monuments and buildings in honour of Steven, holding worship sessions, only to Stevens’s frustration. After a failed attempt at swimming to Beach City, he realises he needs help and sets about building a boat but is captured by rebel watermelons who try to convert him to join them. Steven, growing more and more frustrated, attempts to steal his boat timber back, when the star watermelons return to save him, forming a human shield around him. As the rebels and stars start to fight, Steven slips away back to the ocean to try and build his boat, but suffers terribly with his new watermelon hands.

Some of the other watermelons follow Steven to find him crying and realise what he is trying to build. Both factions of watermelons start to work together, building Steven’s boat and uniting the tribes. Steven is able to sail away, confident that he’s finally on his way, and leaving a new, untied Watermelon Island in his wake.

As with all things, it’s not quite as simple and after a storm, Steven is left adrift at sea until he is attacked by a watermelon shark, losing a leg in the attack. Not scared however, he fights back, and ends up comforting and showing love to the shark, as Steven does best, and the shark swims off happy and comforted, allowing him to live. Paddling away on what was left of his barge, Steven loses an arm from water damage and starts to feel all is lost, when as if by magic, Lion appears for him. After a quick lick and hug, he glides across the water, bringing Steven back to Beach City to a very zen like Greg, strumming his guitar and feeling the breeze, quickly changed at the sight of a fast decaying Watermelon Steven. Once they’ve returned to Bismuth, happily rebuilding the beach house, Steven sets about trying to explain what is happening back on Homeworld through a serious of adorable sand drawings. Once the Beach City gang are on the same page, they vow to help out and Steven finally relaxes, falling back to sleep and returning to his body on Homeworld with a hopeful thumbs up from Greg as his departing image.

 

Quite a different vibe this week, after two very Homeworld-centric episodes. I can’t say I’m not a little disappointed by the lack of movement in the main story line, and sad not to get more development on the Diamonds – especially considering the arc is called Diamond Days – but it’s nice to see some old characters like the Watermelon’s back, and to have a little breather. The show does the dark and dramatic so well that it’s often easy to forget it’s a kids cartoon at heart, and watching Steven’s interactions throughout the episode, espcially with the cute uptempo music is just lovely.

We have a weeks break before our season finale Battle of Heart and Mind, but don’t worry, this episode is a whopping 44 minutes, the equivalent of 4 episodes in one. What is everyone most looking forward to? The promo suggests some major diamond drama, and after tonight’s episode it looks like Greg might finally be bringing the ole’ universe charm to Homeworld.

As Steven himself said, “I guess we’ll see what happens”.

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