After the longest hiatus in Steven Universe's history, Season 3 has finally premiered in a glorious double bill of episodes. Malachite returned, Steven and Peridot finally journeyed down to the Cluster, and we got to see how all those adorable Stevenmelons have created their own society.
Moving forward, the events of "Steven Watermelon Island" and "Gem Drill" have huge implications for the rest of Season 3. We're left wondering what's going to happen to the Cluster next, and those abilities that Steven demonstrated certainly are intriguing.
So here's a breakdown of what we learned, the hidden hints, and what all of this means for the plot of Season 3.
New Powers & Abilities
Before we get to Steven, whose superpower mostly seems to be his ability to befriend any enemy he encounters, let's talk about Alexandrite's new fusion-busting weapon.
We've seen weapons destabilize fusions before (Rose managed to break the Rubies apart in "The Message"), but this is something new. It seems as though the Crystal Gems are using their combined power in a new way to almost fire themselves at Malachite, and it really worked. Alexandrite managed to destabilize the fusion without damaging Lapis Lazuli, but Jasper, who seemed to exert the most control at the time, looks a bit... off.
In every shot of Jasper we see subsequently, her face is obscured by her hair. This has already lead some fans to theorize that she was wounded significantly by Alexandrite's final blow. Or, to put it in the words of the theorist — "her gem is fucked".
It would be really interesting if Jasper's gem was indeed damaged in the fight, as this could cause some really weird things to happen to her. It could also mean that Steven might get the chance to heal her and, in doing so, try to persuade them across to the Crystal Gem's side.
And speaking of Steven's healing abilities, his powers certainly seem to have developed since he last tried them out. He can telepathically connect to the Stevenmelons (which we've caught a glimpse of before), but we've never seen him actually possess one before.
Later on, Steven clearly felt a high level of empathy when he and Peridot encountered the Cluster, and plunged right into their collective minds. We've never seen Steven take his telepathy this far before, and it was really exciting. Not to mention narratively satisfying — destroying the Cluster was always morally uncomfortable, after the episode "Keeping It Together" revealed that the Gem Shards still have some sort of awareness and sentience. This was continued in "Gem Drill" in a very disquieting way.
"They just seek out other gems, searching for the missing pieces of themselves, trying to make themselves whole."
"Gem Drill" kept up the sense that destroying the Cluster shouldn't be the only option, by giving the Cluster itself several voices, reminding the audience that this geo-weapon used to be Gems.
Once Steven connected with the Cluster, he was not only able to communicate with them, but bubble some of the Gem Shards inside. Which begs the question — was this some kind of astral projection? It must have been, as Steven was able to physically alter the state of the Shards inside the Cluster. This has huge implications for Steven, if he can harness this ability in other ways.
Steven managed to help bubble the entire Cluster, preventing it from taking form. While it was a lovely twist on what we expected to happen, this is probably just a temporary solution. How long can the Cluster resist its engineered urge to take form?
It seems as though this might just be the tip of the iceberg as far as Steven's healing abilities go. This might just be foreshadowing that one day Steven will be able to heal the Shards entirely, although that might require finding the rest of their Gem pieces. Which is a tall order, considering there are several billion Shards in the Cluster. But with any luck, these Shards can find their other pieces and form themselves again.
So with the Cluster dealt with (for now), the biggest threat is Yellow Diamond herself, who might arrive on Earth soon to deal with the Crystal Gems herself.
This arrival is ominous, and if Yellow Diamond brings her own troops she could spark off another Gem War. Can Steven befriend even her? It seems unlikely, but you never know.
The prospects for the rest of Season 3 are really excited, and at least we don't have to wait months to find out what's going to happen next! "Same Old World" airs tomorrow on Cartoon Network, and we can't wait.