We've only got a few more days to go until Steven Universe finally returns with a double bill of episodes. And wow, do they look good. Alexandrite and Malachite are set to return for an earth-shattering, potentially tidal wave-inducing battle, before the Crystal Gems finally finish production on that gem drill we've heard so much about. It's all going down and we couldn't be more excited.
To feed the fan hype, Cartoon Network have released a new clip from the episode "Super Watermelon Island" which is packed full of clues.
Rebecca Sugar also dropped hints during a recent panel discussion at the MoCCA Arts Festival, giving us a good idea of what we'll get to see in the upcoming musical episode. Let's break it all down!
Alexandrite vs. Malachite
One of the most exciting things we can look forward to in the next episode is seeing the Crystal Gems fuse into Alexandrite again. This is quite a rare occurrence, as Garnet, Pearl and Amethyst have such different personalities. As we saw in "Fusion Cuisine," their fusion can become unstable if they encounter something that divides them. Fighting with Malachite will test them to their limits, and it's possible that Alexandrite may "unfuse" during the battle.
And it looks like the Crystal Gems will have their work cut out for them when facing Malachite. The last time we saw Lapis and Jasper's terrifying hate-fusion, they were trapped at the bottom of the sea, mostly thanks to Lapis exerting her will.
But now it seems as though the two are getting along a bit better: Although Malachite starts out by arguing with herself, she soon settles down, relishing her power as a fusion and deciding to "tear you gems apart!"
"Give up! I'm impressed, you really held out. Stop! Pathetic. Don't you see? We've been holding us back for too long. And for what? If we're going to be this thing together, why don't we have some fun?"
It seems that Jasper has most of the control here. This dialogue definitely sounds as though she's speaking to Lapis, who's fighting against Jasper's control internally. Ultimately, the key to defeating Malachite is probably by destabilizing the fusion, reminding Lapis of her desire to protect Steven. And it's likely that the Crystal Gems will achieve in this, as we know later on Lapis joins them at the barn.
Gearing Up For The Musical
Moving on from Season 3's premiere, there's another big episode to look forward to in the future. Rebecca Sugar recently revealed that one episode of Season 3 would be totally in song.
"We have a full musical episode coming up — it has seven songs in eleven minutes!"
We don't know much about this, but it's possible this could mark Peridot's first fusion: Sugar hinted that Peridot would tap dance in the musical episode.
During her interview at the MoCCA Art Festival, Sugar dropped more hints about the episode. It seems as though Stevonnie will return in the musical, and she'll get a solo song!
"You know who is an incredible singer who I just wrote a song for, is AJ who plays Stevonnie."
Fans have been eagerly awaiting the return of Steven and Connie's fusion form, as the two characters have such a lovely relationship. The themes of gender and identity really chimed with fans in Stevonnie's debut episode "Alone Together," so it would be fantastic to see this explored further in the musical episode.
Sugar also hinted at the return of another popular fusion, possibly in the musical episode as whoever they are, they're set to sing.
Ryan Sands: "Aimee Mann (Opal), Nicki Minaj (Sugilite), Patti Lupone (Yellow Diamond) are all famous musicians. Are any of them going to sing on the show?"
Rebecca Sugar: "Yes…one of the people."
We could probably count out Sugilite, as the fusion of Garnet and Amethyst is rather troublesome, not to mention Nicki Minaj is very busy. It's possible that Opal will return, but my money's on Yellow Diamond: The imposing villain has been lurking beyond the stars for far too long, and her arrival on Earth has been foreshadowed repeatedly.
However, it's likely that the musical episode isn't scheduled until much later on this year, as Sugar has mentioned in both recent interviews that the songs are still in the planning and production stage. Each episode of Steven Episode takes a long time to create, which is one of the reasons for the show's notoriously sporadic schedule. But at least we know there's great things coming, and with the epic five-episode event coming soon, we don't have long to wait now until we find out what all these cryptic clues mean!
What do you want to see happen in Steven Universe Season 3?
[Source: MoCCA panel interview]