Just when the plot was really starting to thicken in Season 2 of Cartoon Network’s critically-acclaimed stalwart Steven Universe, the show took a frustratingly long three-month hiatus. Now, it’s returning in the most satiating way possible—with a new episode every day this week.
Today’s episode, “The Answer,” is kicking off Steven Bomb 4 with Garnet’s long-awaited backstory. If the trailer is any indication, we’ll get another glimpse of Ruby and Sapphire and potentially learn how they fall in love. Overall, the five episodes are being billed as “Steven’s Birthday Week,” but what we’ll really be looking for is how Steven and the Crystal Gems continue to develop their chemistry with newcomer Peridot as they work together to stop a potentially planet-destroying threat at the center of the earth. Needless to say, our fingers are tired from hanging onto that cliff.
This will be the fourth so-called “Steven Bomb,” a nifty sort of compromise between traditional weekly TV programming and the binge-watching habits that dominate modern television consumption. The show has used it in the past to explore miniature story arcs, do some intensely focused character development, and drive the overarching plot, which tends to proceed slowly (if at all) in 11-minute cartoons. In the last Steven Bomb, which aired in July, viewers saw an intense falling out and eventual reconciliation between Garnet and Pearl that dealt with some massive emotional baggage. It was not your typical “kids’ show” material, and it was wonderful.
Steven Universe airs at 5:30 p.m. Eastern on Cartoon Network all week. Here’s a full list of the Steven Bomb 4 episodes, with a brief description of each, from Cartoon Network’s press release:
Monday, January 4: “The Answer”- Garnet finally tells Steven the story of how she came to be a Crystal Gem.
Tuesday, January 5: “Steven’s Birthday” – Steven has a birthday party out at the barn, and decides he has some growing up to do.
Wednesday, January 6: “It Could’ve Been Great” – The Gems take a trip to the moon.
Thursday, January 7: “Message Received” – Steven has doubts about believing in everyone.
Friday, January 8: “Log Date 7 15 2”- Steven sneaks a listen to a friend’s audio diary.