Follow Monsters of Television on Twitter

Wednesday, 22 of September of 2021

Steven Universe – “Catch and Release”

“Duh, homegirl knows we’re gonna beat her into a green pancake.”

Steven Universe title cardSince the end of Season 1, when Lapis fused with Jasper to form Malachite, we haven’t had any real big plot developments regarding the Gem homeworld. Sure, Peridot’s been trying to get back there for a while (which is what spurred on the first bit of the episode here with her kidnapping of Steven), but Yellow Diamond has yet to make her big appearance, and there hasn’t been any other contact from the Gem homeworld.

What we do get in “Catch and Release,” however, is not a new bit of plot, but a quick line from “Jail Break” brought to the forefront.

In “Jail Break,” Peridot mentions that “the whole point of coming here [Earth, presumably] was to check on the cluster.” Nothing else is said about that in “Jail Break,” and you could be forgiven for forgetting the line since, well, Garnet finally sang, and it was awesome. Here, “the cluster” gets mentioned again, and Peridot is pretty worried about it. It’s going to “hatch” and “emerge” and then “shatter” everyone and “nothing can stop it.” So, yeah, pretty ominous stuff, provided Peridot understands what’s going on, but she’s not super-interested in telling (and who can blame her; the Gems do like to beat her up; she’s the henchman who always gets socked hard while the big bad guy gets away) and locks herself in Steven’s bathroom after Steven lets her out of the basement.

Gem fusion has steadily moved to the forefront of the series, not just because of Garnet (and Ruby and Sapphire) or because of Sardonyx. There’s also the matter of those gems that were forced to fuse in the Kindergarten, or gem clusters, if you will. Peridot did swing by there in “Keeping It Together,” and as you might recall, things didn’t go well when Steven and the Gems found her. Those gem clusters have even made it close enough to Beach City to end up at Dr. Maheswaran’s hospital. Seems like they’re getting stronger, or least more mobile. Whether or not Yellow Diamond wanted to control these clusters, just use them to cause havoc on Earth, make a really big gem cluster (which seems likely given Peridot’s concerns, yeah?) or something else…well, your guess is probably better than mine. I do think that, at the very least, we’ve got next little arc for the show lining up here.

Show mythology aside, “Catch and Release” was also just generally pretty funny. Peridot sans her limb extensions is, indeed, a cute, “angry little slice of pie,” and I thoroughly enjoyed her slap fighting with Steven and her amazement at the bathroom as an archaic thinking chamber. I did like that Peridot seems resigned by the episode’s end that she’ll need to deal with the Gems if she wants to survive, but it’ll be an uneasy alliance for sure.

Leave a comment