Tag: episode

SU Review: “Super Watermelon Island” and “Gem Drill”

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“Super Watermelon Island”

It is officially Season Three and the start of the “In Too Deep” arc. We’re back on Mask Island where the Watermelon Stevens have established a village. However, Malachite is nearby and the Crystal Gems warp to the island while Steven enters via sleep and possesses the body of one of the watermelons. The gems fuse to form Alexandrite and battle Malachite free of her chains. Malachite initially has the upper hand before Steven rallies the rest of the watermelons to fight. They do just enough to give Alexandrite the upper hand on Malachite an poof her with an arrow leaving an unconscious Jasper and Lapis Lazuli. The can’t celebrate for long as the Cluster is starting to do its work. Steven must now go back to Earth and help Peridot. That leads to…..

“Gem Drill”

Steven wakes up and he and Peridot go down towards the Cluster via the drill. The plan is…to drill. They pass by some peridotite which is liquified form of Peridot. Peridot says that she can’t remember what happened, having only feelings of them. She says that even though she consciously rebelled against Homeworld, she still has difficulty getting over her feelings from growing up on her home planet, but she now has the company of Steven and the Crystal Gems—the kind of companionship she didn’t have on Homeworld.

After fighting off some mutant gems, they get to the Cluster which is comprised of millions of shards of gems and it appears that they are about to form. The drill not working, Steven finds himself italking to the Cluster and learns that the Cluster is obsessed with trying to form. He tries to convince the Cluster not to form and instead try to find other pieces of itself. Seeing as how the Cluster wants to be whole again, it will end up destroying the Earth along with all the other pieces of itself buried within it. He shows them that perhaps all they need is company and the Cluster finally realizes that it doesn’t need to be whole to achieve that purpose, as there are billions of Gems within itself. Steven bubbles a few of them, but it ends up panicking as it begins to uncontrollably take form.

Steven wakes up and tells Peridot that the shards need to be bubbled, but they end up doing it themselves and its crisis averted as it forms one giant bubble. It has no reason to form as a whole. The Gems return with an unconscious Lapis while the Cluster is at peace.

This is a terrific start to the third season. We get a return to Mask Island to see all the Watermelon Stevens, the Return of Malachite (Jasper and Lapis), the return of Alexandrite, and we finally get to see the Cluster. The battle scene was well-played as it was part Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels and part Avatar: The Last Airbender. Even Peridot shines with how well she designs the drill complete with controllers to blast mutant gems. The Cluster seems at peace for now, but it does leave just enough open to be resolved such as the fates of Lapis and Jasper and what might Yellow Diamond do next after the Cluster has been bubbled. There was a reason why these upcoming episodes were not being released in “Steven Bomb” format.

Overall, everything just flowed smoothly and these episodes worked well together as a half hour airing. Of course, Cartoon Network declared this to be the start of Season Three instead of the second half of Season Two. “Ocean Gem” and “Mirror Gem” was originally set to be the Season One finale before Cartoon Network doubled the season to 52 episodes. If anything, the only thing this episode suffers from is CN’s definition of what starts a season and what ends it, but that’s a nitpick. It does not take away from what was a super start to “In Too Deep” arc.

Pluses and Minuses:
+ Many happy returns
+ Peridot and her drill
+ Both episodes work well as a half hour one.
+ Battle scene in “Super Watermelon Island”
+ Leaves door open for subplots

GRADE (both episodes): A+

Steven Universe 301 & 302 – Super Watermelon Island & Gem Drill Episode Guide

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301 – “Super Watermelon Island”

Written by: Joe Johnston, Jeff Liu
Steven finds out what happened to all of the sentient watermelons he created.

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302 – “Gem Drill”

Written by: Raven Molisee, Paul Villeco
Steven takes a journey deep underground.

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LPS Review: “Paint a Picture, It Lasts Longer”

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Minka is experimenting with new styles of painting and comes up with a portrait of Blythe and the pets (with large eyes). All the pets like it except for Minka because she’s “not feeling it.” Blythe also likes the picture and wants to take it with her, but Minka urges Blythe not to tell them she painted. So course, when confronted by her friends at school, Blythe says she painted them. Also of course, the Biskits want Blythe to make a portrait of them to give to their grandmother.

Meanwhile all this time, Minka is still “not feeling it” with the different styles of painting and is feeling it even less when everyone compliments her. Minka finally comes around when Blythe tells her how much everyone else appreciates her paintings. Now, this is a legitimate conflict for an artist. While others may marvel at your work, you as the artist may not have as glowing an impression. Anyway, Minka helps Blythe create the portrait which is a mish-mash of the previous styles Minka has tried and the Biskits get Blythe to sign a contract never to make portraits again so theirs doesn’t depreciate in value. (That’s so Biskits.)

This is a nice episode painting a picture (no pun intended) of how everyone but the artist can appreciate the artist’s work. It’s a reminder of the old Monty Python gag, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like.” The pets do know what they like, but Minka, who knows the most about art, doesn’t like it. It just seemed natural a conflict for a Minka episode and kudos to the writing staff for coming up with it.

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Natural conflict for Minka
  • +  The paintings themselves
  • –  Blythe bowing to peer pressure a bit too easy.

GRADE:  A-

StatManDan

MLP Review: “Newbie Dash”

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In this episode, a spot on the Wonderbolts has opened up and it now belongs to Rainbow Dash—fulfilling a lifelong dream. She will be part of the troop when they perform in Ponyville in a couple of days. Spitfire gives Rainbow Dash an orientation and Dash does not make the best of first impressions. In fact, she’s given the name “Rainbow Crash” which brings back bad memories for Dash at Flight Camp. Of course, this being a military setting, troops do tend to get nicknames that are embarrassing.

The nickname still stings for Dash, but she it not really ready to talk about that. Instead on the next day, she imitates the rest of her friends and it’s funny the first time, but the more you see it, the more it can become cringeworthy. So on the day of the show, Dash asks for Scootaloo’s assistance to do a stunt outside the routine and it does not go nearly as well as last week’s stunt with Trixie and Starlight Glimmer.

In the end, Dash does admit that the nickname hurt her, but it turns out all of the Wonderbolts have an embarrassing nickname that they carry around. Spitfire’s is so embarrassing that we don’t mention it on here and that they’ve been waiting to include Dash for a long time. In the end, Dash is just glad to be a Wonderbolt at long last.

Here, we have a missed opportunity to explore why the nickname, “Rainbow Crash”, hurts her so much. They do mention how Dash (with her friends) has saved Equestria countless times, but that could’ve been done earlier. Honestly, Acts 2 and 3 were considerably off compared to the first act. I mentioned military nicknames and how they do get embarrassing, but the way things carried out might send mixed messages.

I really wanted to like this episode, but neither Rainbow Dash, nor the Wonderbolts are at their best in this episode (yet again).

Pluses and Minuses:

  • +  Dash is a Wonderbolt!
  • +  The first act
  • –  Dash’s imitations are cringeworthy the more you see them
  • –  Neither Dash, nor Wonderbolts at their bast
  • –  Acts 2 and 3 overall compared to the first
  • –  Might send mixed messages

GRADE:  D+

StatManDan

Littlest Pet Shop 421 – Paint a Picture, It Lasts Longer Episode Guide

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421 – “Paint a Picture, It Lasts Longer”

Written by: Nick Confalone
When Minka paints in a new style that everyone loves except her, Blythe promises to keep her name a secret by taking credit for it.

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My Little Pony 607 – Newbie Dash Episode Guide

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607 – “Newbie Dash”

Written by: Dave Rapp
After Rainbow Dash achieves her dream of becoming a Wonderbolt, she makes a disastrous first impression and gets saddled with a mortifying nickname.”

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Ratings Report: MLP and LPS

Both My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop experienced increases in viewership since they last ran a new episode. For MLP, “No Second Prances” drew an estimated 258,000 viewers last Saturday on Discovery Family. That’s an increase of 31.6% from two weeks ago which was the lowest since we’ve recorded the show’s viewership. The early Season Six average is at 287,000 after six episodes.

Next up for MLP is “Newbie Dash” this coming Saturday at 11:30am ET/10:30 CT on Discovery Family.

For LPS, “On the Same Page” drew an estimated 130,000 viewers on Discovery Family, last Saturday. That’s up 30% from last week’s episode and is the second-straight increase for the show. The show’s Season Four average now stands at 141,900 after 20 episodes.

LPS’s 99th episode, “Paint a Picture, It Lasts Longer,” is this coming Saturday at noon ET/11am CT on Discovery Family.

Ratings information for this report comes courtesy of Mitch Metcalf of Showbuzz Daily as measured by Nielsen Media Research.

StatManDan