Welcome back to the Steven Universe episode collection! Oh man, didn’t I just finish writing two of these? No matter! A good writer’s work is never done, especially if they’re following the Crystal Gems.
Tiger Millionaire (1×09)
Summary: Amethyst and Steven become Beach City’s newest wresting tag team in an attempt to get away from Garnet and Pearl’s constant judgement.
Oof. How about those outsider feels? Because this episode has them.
Steven is joining the gems on more missions now, which means Pearl is more concerned and on Amethyst’s case more than ever. After a mission where Amethyst punches a Blood Polyp, Pearl calls her irresponsible and Garnet agrees by saying, “You are a Crystal Gem. You need to act like it.”
That evening, Steven catches Amethyst running out of the house. He follows her to a warehouse by the docks and sees her competing as a wrestler named The Purple Puma, the most hated wrestler in Beach City Underground. After the match, Steven asks her if he can compete with her, intrigued by the way she describes being a wrestler as complete freedom compared to being stifled by Pearl and Garnet. Amethyst agrees, saying that she hasn’t won the Tag Team competition yet.
Steven ends up coming up with a character named Tiger Millionaire to match Amethyst’s Purple Puma. At first, it doesn’t seem like Tiger Millionaire won’t be of much use to The Purple Puma, but when Steven realizes that anything goes in wrestling, he ends up becoming one of the most entertaining heels Beach City Underground has ever had. Even Lars becomes a big fan of Tiger Millionaire, not realizing it’s Steven at all. However, Steven accidentally takes it too far when he ends up knocking a drink out of Lars’s hands after he asks for an autograph and ends up being labeled as a terrible person. Amethyst tells him that he can’t let anyone make him feel like garbage, and Steven asks her if that’s how she feels. Her response? “I only feel what I want to feel.”
Yeah, okay, I didn’t need those feelings at all.
That evening, the two are preparing for the championship bout when it’s interrupted by Pearl and Garnet. Pearl berates Amethyst for getting Steven involved and using her powers on others and Amethyst yells at them for trying to take away the one thing she has. When Garnet tries to tell her to return to the temple, she refuses and the two end up fighting. Before it gets too bad, Steven interrupts, telling The Purple Puma’s backstory of how he was the most wild cat in the jungle and was ostracized by the other cats. He searched for somewhere he belonged and found himself in wrestling. He ends with a plea to Garnet to let them have this.
To which Garnet replies no.
Because she’s in the League of Wrestling Haters and is determined to put an end to all wrestling.
Yes, that is Garnet covering and turning heel for the sake of the audience.
Pearl catches on and the tag team match soon turns into Tiger Millionaire and The Purple Puma “fighting” Garnet and Pearl. They end up winning the match, and Amethyst and Garnet apologize to each other.
I wasn’t a wrestling fan as a kid, but this episode was a sweet explanation of the sport and why people flock to it. That, and it gives me all the Amethyst feelings. ALL OF THEM.
Steven’s Lion (1×10)
Summary: While on a mission, Steven befriends a pink lion. The lion ends up following him home, but for what reason?
This episode was so pretty and so adorable. It kind of makes me sad that it moved so fast.
The Gems are on a mission in the desert to find The Desert Glass, a sentient gem that keeps building structures out of sand. While they go to retrieve the Glass, the Gems leave Steven to wait for them. Garnet assures the “wet one” that he’ll be fine and that nothing can hurt him.
While Steven waits, he’s approached by a pink lion. At first, he’s afraid, but then he realizes that the lion is just a big kitty. Steven begins to bond with him, but their time together is cut off by the Gems coming back with the Glass. Which Amethyst is refusing to bubble.
Steven and Amethyst take a nap when they get home, but Steven is woken up by a noise at the door. It turns out to be the lion! Steven is ecstatic and tries to get the lion to play with him, but he doesn’t seem very into that. Steven decides that he needs to be fed and takes him to get pizza. When he brags about his new “pet” to the shop though, the lion disappears and a cashier named Kiki makes a bad lion/lying pun.
When Steven gets home, he’s understandably mad at the lion, who’s scratching at the door again and trying to get to the Desert Glass. In a total moment of little kid rage, Steven tells the lion he can have the glass and throws it out the door and onto the beach.
Yeah, if you guessed that this starts the building process all over again, you’d be right. This time, it’s a giant sand fortress made of gorgeous muted colors. As the Gems try to get to Steven, Steven tries to get to the Glass, but nearly fails…
…Until he’s saved by the lion. That’s when Steven realizes that the lion was trying to protect them from the Glass. The two then work together to retrieve it and stop the sand from building.
As the episode ends, Steven is sad to part with the lion, but the Gems decide to let Steven keep him. Because as Garnet says, “We kept Amethyst.”
Steven with his new lion (named “Lion”) was super cute. I’m with the theory that the lion is another Crystal Gem in disguise because the protection thing and pink color is too coincidental to not be intentional for me. Is it Rose in disguise? Another Gem? Something else entirely? Who knows, but I hope we’ll find out!
Arcade Mania (1×11)
Summary: Steven treats the Gems to a day at the arcade, but finds that Garnet may have a weakness for video games.
I feel like this episode could have been called “Why ESP and Video Games is a bad idea.”
After a mission involving a giant creature and some spike like parasites, Steven decides to treat the Gems to a day at Funland Arcade. However, the concept of gaming is a bit lost on our beloved Crystal Gems since Pearl doesn’t understand why driving well in driving games isn’t usually a good idea and Amethyst does what we all wish we could do at Skee Ball: just drop the ball into the high point holes.
Garnet might be the worst offender of the three though. After literally punching two fighting games to death, Steven leaves her on a game called Meat Beat Mania and she’s still there when Steven escapes the arcade from the owners wrath with Pearl and Amethyst in tow.
The next day, the team wonders where Garnet is since she’ll have the next mission due to her heightened perception. Steven decides in the meantime to go comb the beach for quarters to use at the arcade. While doing so, he comes across the drilling parasite creatures from the previous mission and they go after him and the Gems. Needing Garnet and her perception, Steven runs back to the arcade to see if she’s still there.
Lo and behold, Garnet is still chugging away at Meat Beat Mania. Steven is impressed that she’s made it so far into the game, but he needs her to come out and stop the parasites. He tries to climb her and catch her attention that way, but only ends up knocking off her sunglasses and discovering that she has a third eye that’s working overtime. Plan B is unplugging the game, but Garnet ends up turning it back on with her powers. Steven valiantly tries to beat her at the game on two player mode, but I knew that was a bad idea before she beat him three times in less than a minute. In a last ditch effort, Steven ends up just breaking the machine entirely. It breaks Garnet of her spell and sends her into the fight, but it gets Steven in trouble with the arcade owner and he has to work while the Gems fight. Way to go, Steven.
This episode wasn’t my absolute favorite, but I loved the lighting and character animation a whole lot. That, and Garnet’s third eye. Most unexpected character attribute ever!
Giant Woman (1×12)
Summary: When Steven finds out that Pearl and Amethyst can fuse to make a Gem named Opal, he becomes obsessed with making the two of them do it.
I… I loved this episode so much. It was mahou shojo to the max.
Through another one of Amethyst and Pearl’s arguments, Steven finds out about Opal, the two’s fusion form that they haven’t used in a long time. Like a kid obsessed with a new toy, Steven becomes bound and determined to make Opal happen, despite the two’s insistance that it can’t be done.
You can imagine that it probably makes the mission to the Sky Spire to find the Heaven Beetle super annoying when you have someone insisting that everything is dangerous and that it’s time to turn into Opal. At least Steven expresses himself in a cute little ukulele song about wanting to see them turn into a giant woman. It’s been stuck in my head for weeks.
Not to mention that Steven does hold his end of the bargain to keep the harmony between the two. He even points out that the two work well together. Why don’t they do that more often?
Probably because the two fight too much to really get anything done.
Well, long story short is that Steven ends up getting eaten by a giant mutant bird that has also eaten the Heaven Beetle and a mountain goat dubbed Steven Jr. Steven manages to recover the Heaven Beetle and is quickly rescued by a giant four armed woman.
Yep… you guessed it. It’s Opal. And she is beautiful and godlike.
She’s also got the most comforting voice in the world. Does anyone know her voice actress? Let me know if you do!
Steven and Opal make it back to the temple, where Opal breaks apart when she realizes that she doesn’t have the Heaven Beetle. Before Amethyst and Pearl can bust out into another argument, Steven hands over the Beetle to Garnet. She compliments Steven on keeping the harmony and tells him that he’ll be great at fusing one day.
Well, I mean, Steven has the same reaction, but that’s a thing Gems can do? WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SEE MORE GEM FUSIONS?
I should probably have more justification as to why I liked this episode so much, but really, it was like a cup of warm tea with honey and a warm blanket. That, and Opal is just amazing.