Have you ever seen something happen in an episode and you really, really wanted it to be setting something up to happen later in the series? Like really wanted it? We have questions about Super Watermelon Island and Gem Drill, of course, but we have at least one hope as well.
A boy and his Lion
This isn’t a hope, but it’s an interesting observation: when Steven finds himself on Mask Island in the body of a watermelon, he’s quickly found by a watermelon dog who leads him to the village, putting him exactly where he needed to be to find Malachite. Later, when he takes control of a different watermelon (one of the two playing hacky sack he had passed by earlier), the same dog again comes to his side.
Had the dog only showed up once there wouldn’t be much to say about it—perhaps it was the watermelon’s dog, and at any rate the dog doesn’t act suspicious. It happened twice though, and both times the dog served as Steven’s faithful companion despite him being in a different body both times.
It would be really out there to say that the watermelon dog literally was Lion. The watermelons were made from the magic of Steven’s gem though. Perhaps some of that magic knows that Steven will always need a Lion to guide him, whatever form that Lion will have to take, while he grows into the role he was meant for.
Stuck in a bubble
So the Cluster isn’t destroyed, merely bubbled. While Steven empathizing with an apparent enemy and finding a way to resolve the conflict without hurting anyone is perfectly in-character for both him and the show, it’s also a very tidy ending to a major plotline—perhaps too tidy.
We know Yellow Diamond wants her Cluster, and we know that Cluster is still tucked away safely inside the Earth. As long as it’s within her grasp, we have every reason to believe that the Cluster will come up again in the series. We might see it teleported away to safety inside the temple eventually, but where would they put it? The temple doesn’t seem to have strict space limitations, but they’d still need to make a large storage area just for it and temporarily redirect incoming bubbles to it.
Even that might not be completely safe, but as long as Yellow Diamond didn’t know it was there she wouldn’t know to go looking for it. The teleportation scene would probably be pretty dramatic too, so we’d be happy to see this happen.
Now here’s the opportunity we’ve been shown: Jasper joining the team. We’ve always wanted this, and now we’ve seen the first opening. With Jasper having escaped capture due to some very good timing from the Cluster, the writers don’t have to break her out of a bubble before she interacts with the team. Steven’s already befriended a planet-killing monstrosity, so there’s no real argument to be made that there needs to be anyone he can’t eventually get on his side; if that were ever going to happen it would certainly only be one character, and the most likely candidate for that right now is Yellow Diamond—though we still hope they can find common ground.
Jasper would also bring more to the show than war stories. Back at the start of the season there was a lot of conflict within the Crystal Gems. It all came to a head during the week of Sardyonx, with Pearl betraying Garnet’s trust in A Cry for Help and only starting the healing process in Friend Ship. Everything seems to be patched up pretty well, though: Amethyst and Pearl can happily form Opal for a minor convenience, Garnet seems to have forgiven Pearl, and Alexandrite is the fighting machine she was always meant to be.
Peridot is on the team, and it looks like Lapis will be staying for a while, so Jasper isn’t needed to add some character conflict to the show. Good things always come in threes, though, and no one can deny that Jasper would present the most opposed viewpoint. Peridot even took the time to highlight how much she disliked her in Gem Drill.
Just cross your fingers. There’s no way Jasper fell into that chasm never to be seen again, and she’s too tough to shatter and too cool for a bubble.
Perhaps the Watermelon Dog was a creature like Lion, if it isn’t the same. Lion could easily be a creature created from Rose’s gem, and the dog could be another.
While it is impressive that Steven befriended the Cluster, I still think Jasper is a harder challenge. The Cluster was likely made up of Crystal Gems, so they would already be inclined to want to help Earth and side with Rose. Lapis never wanted to be hostile to begin with, and Peridot was naive about her YD’s intentions. Jasper is a seasoned warrior with a grudge against Rose, and now Steven, and who willingly participated in the war against Rose. The only way I can see her turning against Homeworld is if Homeworld rejects her for some reason. Perhaps her willingness to participate in a non-Jasper fusion could be the cause, or she could get cracked too, but that might be too much of a repeat of Lapis.
I saw the opening of Super Watermelon Island, as an obvious homage to LOST. LOST had the same opening, with Jack in the jungle, looking up, and then the dog coming to him. I would see it more that way than anything else.
One thing that I thought was cute/subversive of the Watermelon Stevens, was they’re kind of a reverse Gem culture. For the Gems, everyone is female. For the Watermelons, they’re all ‘male’ by default since they’re Steven, but the obviously play different roles, and have families, etc. For the one watermelon couple adopting a watermelon baby, it was the ‘female’ watermelon with the flowers and the skirt who went to war, while the ‘male’ watermelon with the tie stayed at home, subverting all sorts of gender roles and expectations, just like the Gems. I thought that was a very Rebecca Sugar thing to do.
Something I’d like to point out during the Bubbling scene. Steven was able to Bubble Gems while inside of their little gem-space. So he has access to his powers while in another Gem’s mind. Makes me think of Lion having that bubbled “gem” inside of his mane. Bubbling the Gem while inside of the Gem seems to pacify them, as why else would Steven do it. Could Lion be corrupted and the fact that his “gem” is bubbled inside of him is keeping him tame? Pop it and suddenly, monster Lion mode.
I think a great plot element would be all 7 of them: Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl, Steven, Peridot, Lapis, Jasper having to finally deal with the cluster by all going back down to it and pushing on it to warp the bubble into the temple, like a massive storage space for it, just a big void in the temple devoted to the temple.
It’s so interesting how the Gem bubbles were able to merge like that. Does pressing two bubbles make one big bubble? Bubble fusion? Or was it only because the cluster was ONE gem technically (being a fusion) and fusions have their own bubbles independant from their component gems bubbles.
I’m pleasantly surprised that the Cluster seems to be a mass of normal-sized Gem parts and not a giant woman, like, all those arms and stuff were about the size of the other experiments limbs, proportionally. I also love that Steven saved the earth through the power of shipping. Shard, meet shard! Hi… Hi…