“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…..
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+