And so, with a hiatus upon us, this is the last speculation post we’ll be writing about a new episode for a while. Yesterday’s lore post showed that we hit a good haul there, so of course there’s stuff left over to speculate over—it’s the Steven Universe way.
Let’s start off with the guest star of the episode: a corrupted Gem monster that Steven dubbed the Slinker for its habit of slinking around the temple. Though the characters already knew of the Slinker (Pearl had apparently reported seeing it, and the team discussed it), this is the first time it’s actually been mentioned to or seen by us. It’s obviously a powerful monster, as it’s the only one we’ve ever actually seen force one of the Crystal Gems to release their physical form. Even discounting all of her subsequent defeats as being brought about by stress, there was little Amethyst could have done the first time: she was grabbed and squeezed with no time to react.
So a powerful monster is loose in the temple, slinking about but only actually attacking the Crystal Gems when they get too close to it. There are so many things that could be going on with the Slinker there’s little point in engaging in serious speculation: it’s all pure guesswork at this point. We’re hoping that the Slinker turns out to have something interesting in its backstory. Perhaps it could be an infiltrator specifically sent to disrupt the Crystal Gems, or an old friend, but it would be great to have another episode where, like they implied at the end of Reformed, they track it down.
More of the temple
We first saw the inside of the temple in episode four, Together Breakfast, and haven’t really seen much of it since. Secret Team took us to the same places we had already seen, and while The Test did show us an interesting, completely blank space that the Crystal Gems built a test chamber in most of the temple’s inner spaces don’t seem to be like that.
Really, Amethyst’s room exemplifies most of the spaces in the temple that we’ve seen: rocky with embedded crystals. Reformed showed us a large area with rocks or crystals that grew up like pillars and have been broken, looking a lot like the field visible from the waterfall between Pearl’s and Amethyst’s rooms, but also showed us that there are immense spaces filled with solid rock and embedded crystals that the Slinker had tunneled through.
It seems that Amethyst could alter her room’s properties if she wished but has never bothered, while Pearl very fastidiously altered her room into an elegant design. As for why there is such a mind-boggling expanse of rock and crystal in the temple when we also know that there are spaces that are completely void, well, the temple still has its mysteries.
Do we get a new opening yet?
After Pearl’s costume change it made sense that the opening remained the same: it was early in the series and it was just one character. It staying the same after Garnet got a new costume raised a few eyebrows though, considering that it came right at the end of the first season—a natural point to change the opening up. So now we have a third costume change. Do we get a new opening yet?
Maybe. If we don’t, that makes it more likely that a new character will join the cast during the season—though this would be by no means assured, as we know that Ms. Sugar has some lyrics (where all of the “dadadada” is in her performance of the song) for the theme that as of the time before Ocean Gem aired would be big spoilers. Have we progressed to the point where they wouldn’t be spoilers anymore? It’s hard to say without knowing the lyrics, but the part about “finding beauty in your world” makes a lot more sense now than it did before.
On the other hand, because we want so very much for some characters to join the cast we wouldn’t take a new opening to mean that a cast member won’t be added. Hey, if they change the opening once they can change it again, right?