Samiksha Jaiswal

Super Watermelon Island

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Episode no.  Season 3 Episode 1
Original air date  May 12, 2016
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Written by  Joe Johnston Jeff Liu
Running time  11 minutes
Directed by  Ki-Yong Bae (animation) Sue Hong Kim (animation) Jasmin Lai (art) Joe Johnston (supervising) Ian Jones-Quartey (co-excutive producer)

"Super Watermelon Island" is the first episode of the third season of American animated television series Steven Universe, which premiered on May 12, 2016 on Cartoon Network. It was written and storyboarded by Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu. The episode was viewed by 1.693 million viewers.

Contents

The episode deals with the two prominent threats of the second season, the Cluster and Malachite. After astral projecting into a Watermelon Steven and learning that the others managed to civilize on Mask Island, Steven finds Malachite on the island as well and tell the Gems, who warp there and fuse into Alexandrite to save Lapis.

Plot

The episode begins with Steven (Zach Callison) waking up in the body of a Watermelon Steven, one of sentient watermelons shaped like himself he created in Watermelon Steven. Accompanied by a watermelon dog, Steven sees that the Watermelon Stevens have created their own society on Mask Island complete with homes, jobs and rituals. Steven is then led to a statue of Baby Watermelon around which the Watermelon Stevens stand before selecting Steven for a ritual. He is painted with a yellow star on his chest and given a rose flower crown and stands a top a cliff. Suddenly, from the water below, a chained Malachite (Kimberly Brooks) rises up before recognizing Steven and devouring him whole.

Steven then wakes up in his own body and tells Garnet (Estelle), Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), and Pearl (Deedee Magno) that the tremors Peridot (Shelby Rabara) mistook for a sign of the Cluster's emergence is actually Malachite. The Gems tell Steven to stay put with Peridot while they go to the island because it's too dangerous for him. Wanting to help the Gems but knowing to stay safe, Steven astral projects into a Watermelon Steven to do both at the same time and witnesses Malachite struggle against her chains & the Gems fuse into Alexandrite (Rita Rani Ahuja). As Malachite breaks free, Jasper (Brooks) is apparently now in control, Alexandrite warns her that they don't have to fight, she's outnumbered. Malachite ignores her and the two engage in battle.

As Alexandrite charges at Malachite she catches her with a giant water hand. Alexandrite breaks free by breathing fire and evaporating the hand. Malachite then launches several ice projectiles, which Alexandrite dispatches with Amethyst's whip before fusing it with Pearl's spear into Opal's long bow and firing several arrows at Malachite who forms an ice wall protecting herself. Malachite then flies above the wall with Lapis Lazuli's water wings, summons Jasper's helmet and charges at Alexandrite, knocking her down and accidentally smashing the Warp Pad in the process. Seeing Malachite gaining the advantage, Steven rallies the frightened Watermelon Stevens, who have taken refuge in a cave, into fighting back.

Outside, Malachite has Alexandrite cornered and tells her she was right about fusion, it being more than just a cheap trick (as Jasper believed in "Jail Break"), before throwing her into the ocean. Alexandrite momentarily falters and almost defuses before managing to regain stability. Malachite seizes this as an opportunity to trap Alexandrite with two more giant water hands which she then freezes. Before she can finish her off, Malachite sees the Watermelon Stevens, which have coordinated an organised attack on her. At first merely irritating her, the Watermelon Stevens manage to down Malachite long enough for Alexandrite to free herself and drag Malachite towards her using Sugilite's flail. Greeting Malachite with a three-armed punch, Alexandrite forms Sardonyx's war hammer and launches her into the sky. As Malachite resummons Lapis' water wings, Alexandrite resummons Opal's bow and states, "You two should spend some time apart.", before releasing a devastating arrow which disrupts Malachite's form, finally defusing her back into Lapis and Jasper, who Alexandrite catches before defusing herself back into her exhausted component Gems.

Recognizing Steven in the Watermelon, the Gems praise him and the others for their help. Suddenly, the island begins to tremble and a giant fissure forms across the beach. Amethyst manages to catch Lapis, but Jasper falls in. Realizing the earthquake is indeed a result of the Cluster's emergence and that with the Warp down they won't make it back in time, Garnet tells Steven to wake up and drill to Earth's core with Peridot. As he begins to regain consciousness, the Gems affirm their belief in Steven and remind him that they love him.

Production

The episode was written and storyboarded by Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu and directed by Ki-Yong Bae & Sue Hong Kim (animation), Jasmin Lai (art), Joe Johnston (supervising) and Ian Jones-Quartey (co-executive producer). The episode makes reference to Gulliver's Travels in that the Watermelon Steven's attack on Malachite is similar to how the Lilliputians down Gulliver.

Music

The episode does not include any song but features instrumental songs "Watermelon Steven", "Collaboration/Malachite VS Alexandrite: Part 1" and "Malachite VS Alexandrite: Part 2" all composed by Aivi & Surasshu.

Broadcast and reception

"Super Watermelon Island" premiered on May 12, 2016 on Cartoon Network. Its initial American broadcast was viewed by approximately 1.693 million viewers. It received a Nielsen household rating of 0.46, meaning that it was seen by 0.46% of all households. The episode was the first of a two-part episode which was the first episode of the "In Too Deep" special event in which five new episodes aired across four weeks.

The episode received a great deal of praise, specifically with the conclusion of the Malachite story arc and the progress in the Cluster arc. James Whitbrook of io9 declared the entire In Too Deep event as the "show at its best" and said the episode provided an effective and satisfying close on the current storyline. Eric Thurm of The A.V. Club, however, was more critical of the episode, giving the episode a B+, saying that the assault on the Cluster felt "increasingly-delayed" and that the Malachite/Alexandrite fight lacked "resolution of emotional stakes" which made the fight scenes more enjoyable. However, he did concede that he was "quibbling because of high expectations".

References

Super Watermelon Island Wikipedia


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