• Episode Followup: Escapism

    Art for tonight's episode
    Things look pretty dire for Stevonnie and the Gems. How will they get out of it? Wouldn't it be lovely if we found out this episode? Yes. It would be. Let's find out if we find out after the break!

    Hooray! We get Stevonnie in this episode! I guess I shouldn't be surprised since we ended last episode with them, but it's always a nice treat to see them.

     Gee Stevonnie! How come your moms let you have two shields?

     Oh, there's a window! It wasn't a completely dark room after all. Welp.

    Homeworld's architecture is pretty breathtaking. Even their prison is a giant spear.

    Aw, Stevonnie time over. It looks like Steven and Connie can use their fusion as one big crumple zone to avoid injury.

    Good thing Connie packed protein bars. Hey, that's interesting to think about... not only are clothes preserved during the fusion, but also the contents of their pockets. Did Stevonnie have access to this protein bar? Is fusing while carrying food a way of preserving it? I have many questions. Questions that this show will never want to answer.

    "We never should've come here."
    Well yeah, I think the whole fandom could've told you that. It all went so fast! One day you're battling your aunts on the beach, the next they're taking you home to grandma, who just doesn't approve of your life choices...

    Er... is that how their family dynamic works?

    "And what'll Dad say when he finds out? His only son, in jail at 14! What a disgrace!"
    I dunno Steven, your dad's a rock star. He'll probably be happy to see you fighting the man.

    "Not that there's anyone we could call for help anyway..."
    Aw yes, here it comes! Time to get Lars on the phone! Off-colors to the rescue!

    "Really!? A hundred years?"
    Why are you happy about that?

    "There's one Crystal Gem left that hasn't been poofed, and that's Bismuth!"
    Steven, Bismuth is stuck on Earth. What's she gonna do? Lars on the other hand has his own space ship...

    "Well what are we waiting for? Bedtime, mister!"
    Heh, yeah, you can probably use those poofy shoulder pads as a pillow.

    O-or Connie's lap. Their relationship really is progressing, huh? 

    "Connie, I did it! I'm in that psychic ghost space again."
    Seemed pretty effortless this time. Steven's got quite the handle on his powers, huh?

    And hey, it does work. I wonder how often Pink Diamond used her telepathy-between-galaxies powers... 

    Oops. Steven takes over the body of another Watermelon Steven. Ehh I dunno buddy, maybe just log out and log back in again? 

    The face half the fandom made when they realized most of the rest of this episode will be dedicated to Steven getting off the island instead of getting any Pink Pearl character development.

    Remember the mantra: no episode is filler. It can be a bit of a let-down now that we're not learning more about Homeworld today, but I'm sure once everything is said and done, there'll be a lot of interesting tidbits in this episode. Let's keep an eye out for them.

    Oh hey, he's got a star painted on him. Last time we were here, the star was painted on each sacrifice to Malachite... 

    Wow, looks like that fissure cracked the whole island in half! Kinda reminds me of Homeworld. Still looks pretty, though. Steven Universe backgrounds are the best.

    Looks like they all have stars now. And Shaman Guy lost their hat. Farmer Guy still has theirs though.

    Huh, this place got a makeover. No more grass huts. Now we've got... Shaman-head huts... what happened here?

     The star-bellied Stevens assert their dominance.

    Even the dog has a star. I wonder if this thing and Pumpkin would get along. 

    Best face of the episode goes to: Dog. 

    What, Steven, you're gonna swim all the way to Beach City? That would take months! 

    All in all, not a bad rendering of the Temple. Or Blob King. 

    According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that this bird should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bird, of course, flies anyways... 

    Never mind. Press F to pay respects. 

    There's trees all over the island, Steven. Do you really need to venture to the other side to find sticks?
    Nice hat, though. 

    You came to the wrong neighborhood, kiddo. This is plain-bellied Watermelon Steven land! Perhaps the warrior Watermelon Stevens broke off and formed their own tribe?

    Oh, except the town guards have stars. Maybe stars convey a special status? 

    Oh, huh, guess there's two cities on the island now. And this town worships Watermelon Steven and the Dog! This ought'a be a cakewalk.

    Oh hey, it's the lei-wearing one that joined the warriors and punched Malachite in the eye! Wait... where's Tie Guy? And the baby? Uh oh... 

    I guess actual Steven isn't special enough to have a star.
    Is this foreshadowing?

    Are the star-bellied Stevens representing the Crystal Gems and allies, and the plain-bellied warrior Stevens representing the Homeworld gems? 

    And now they're painting stars on. Conversion? I guess it saves $3 at McBean's Star-On machine.

     Farmer Guy made friends with one of the Warrior Guys! Does that mean the star-bellied Stevens won the battle of the hearts and minds, or did they both win?

    And Steven's leaf hat is catching on! The Watermelon Stevens are entering a new era of fashion! 

    Bye, Super Watermelon Island! You'll always be creepy, but your dog is cute!

    I'm sure the fandom will have plenty to pick apart about whatever just went on there as we get more context in the episodes that follow. Until then, let's get a move on.

    Steven, you realize this is still going to take days if not weeks, right? I'm still thinkin' you should log out and log back in again. Maybe you'll get a boardie body next time?

    Of course there's watermelon sharks. 

    It bit off his foot? Sheesh, this show uses watermelons to get away with a whole lotta gore, doesn't it? 

    No Steven, you're supposed to bop the shark on the nose, not kiss the shark. 

    Oh hey, it worked! Now that you've befriended it, it can take you to Beach City! We're saved! 

    Or it can just leave you in the wreckage. We're screwed!

    I feel really sorry for the Watermelon Steven that the real Steven took over. It was just minding its own business on the island and now it's going to wake up missing a hand and a foot. That's if Steven doesn't manage to get it killed in the process. 

    This beautiful shot establishes that it's now night time. Steven, how much time have you wasted trying to get to Beach City the slow way?

    Thankfully, we have the series' Deus Ex Machina in the form of Lion to help us out! That was lucky!

    Poor Greg. All he can do is wait and worry. And play his guitar at sunrise. He gives us one heck of an intro to our most anticipated song of the season, Escapism!

    Sung by the voice of Stevonnie with Steven and Connie singing back-up, I guess it's Stevonnie's song. Hey, that counts. Check off the corner of your bingo card. I wonder if this was initially intended to be sung while Stevonnie was in the cell, but they moved it to background music so they could have more watermelon screen time?

    Bismuth fix the house! Huh, I kind of expected she'd do it up in stone and crystal, like the gem architecture she's used to building... but I guess good ol' Bismuth is at home working with any material! 

    Also the fact that Escapism has eclipsed all other audio means they didn't have to bring Tom Scharpling or Uzo Aduba in for this episode. Gotta save money when you can, I guess! 

    To be frank, Steven, I saw all the events you're referencing and I still can barely make sense of your drawing.

    Yeeahhhhh... you definitely don't want these three on your Pictionary team. 

    Ok great, but shouldn't you write a bit more? Like warning Bismuth how the rest of the Crystal Gems are poofed? Or specify that you're locked in a tower? Or that White Diamond is angry? Y'know... the stuff you tried to draw? 

    I imagined the B-team would be Bismuth, Lapis, and Peridot. I never considered that it'd be Bismuth, Lion, and Greg.
    But that's what's going to happen, isn't it? These three are going to rescue Steven, Connie, and the gems.
    Not Lars.
    Not Lars, who has a space ship.
    Not Lars, who Steven could get to through Lion's mane right now.
    No, Bismuth, Lion, and Greg will get to Homeworld somehow, even though all they've got to get there are two wrecked arm ships that only Diamonds can pilot.
    Oh and Lion can create interplanetary portals, but last time he could barely make it to the moon.

    Th-then again, we don't know what was said. We don't know if Bismuth said she was on her way, or if she was going to make sure help was on its way. After all, if Lapis reforms, she can fly to Homeworld under her own power, given enough time... 

    Or maybe Bismuth and Peridot can rebuild the communications hub and they can call Lars on Steven's behalf. Yeah, that's what they'll do. Bingo bongo.

    And with the distress call delivered, sparse though it was, Steven returns to his own body... leaving a dazed, confused, and mutilated Watermelon Steven behind to stare up at these three.

    Poor thing.

    "Guess we'll see what happens!"
    Yeah I guess we will, Steven. Though I wish a bit more had happened this episode. Sometimes, this show makes the most of 15 minutes. Other times, it burns straight through them. 15 minutes really isn't enough for this part of the story.

    Thankfully in two weeks, we won't have the 15-minute limitation. That's right, brace yourself for a full hour of Steven Universe. Well ok, 44 minutes with commercials. Here's hoping we get to the bottom of this White Diamond thing once and for all...

    And let's hope that when Bismuth and Greg finally show up in two refurbished, fully-armed Diamond arm ships ready to blow White Diamond to smithereens, Steven's already gotten the situation on the ground under control. That could get messy.