You’re like the cotton candy of the jungle!
Please excuse me while I squee with Steven over the PINK PET LION.
Anyhow, this episode begins with the gang on a desert mission.
Garnet: It’ll be best if you stay here, Steven.
Steven: What if something eats me?
Garnet: […] There’s nothing out here that can harm you.
Whether it could hurt him or not, the pink lion shows no inclination to hurt Steven even when he starts climbing all over him, so he seems safe enough.
Steven: I always wanted an animal friend. But I thought it would be, like, a goldfish, or a dinosaur! But I guess fate had other plans for Steven Universe, and his best friend Lion.
The Crystal Gems successfully retrieve today’s dangerous magical object (a gem on a pillow) and subsequently retrieve Steven from his new friend.
Pearl: Amethyst, that pillow needs to be contained!
Amethyst: Yeah, yeah. I know what to do with it.
I mean, on the one hand it’s a perfectly logical place for a pillow, but on the other hand Amethyst is just begging for trouble.
Steven: I thought Gems don’t need sleep.
Amethyst: We don’t. Feels good, though.
I feel like the Gems are a little stupider than usual this episode – like, I could buy that Amethyst might be that lazy and irresponsible, but I do find it hard to believe that Pearl would let her get away with it. At least this means Steven gets to spend lots of quality time with Lion when he shows up on the doorstep (Steven himself never questions how it followed him all the way home, but that’s a bit more in-character for him).
And then he proceeds to make all the mistakes of a kid with their first cat, like trying to get it to play fetch (although trying to jump off a cliff onto any pet’s back is a bad idea regardless of size or species, tempting as it may be).
Then he decides to try a different tact, bribing it with food. Specifically…fish stew pizza? Because not only is that a thing in Beach City, it appears to be the only restaurant with indoor seating (and has something of a coffee shop vibe).
Kiki: You must be hungry.
Steven: I’m ordering for two.
Ronaldo: Steven’s pregnant?
Steven: I don’t think so. But I have a giant pet lion right outside!
Kiki: You’re not lion, are you?
Steven: That’s funny, but I’m not.
Ronaldo: I believe it! Lots of weird stuff happens in Beach City. You would know if you read my blog, Keep Beach City Weird!
Well, he’s not wrong…
Unfortunately, Lion apparently got bored and abandoned Steven to eat his pizza alone, so Steven’s not in the best mood when Lion breaks into the house with the apparent goal of stealing the gem pillow.
Steven: Is this what you wanted? This pillow? I’ve been trying to play with you, and feed you, cause I thought we were best friends. Did all of that mean nothing to you?
Then he throws the pillow out onto the beach, and sand just so happens to be what triggers the gem to build castles and other defensive structures.
But of course Lion really does want to help Steven – it seems he’s just of the same opinion as Pearl and wanted the gem safely sealed away.
Then Steven and Lion manage to retrieve it all by themselves.
Steven: So I guess this is goodbye. We had some good times, but I’m sure you have other magical stuff to smash with other magical boys…
But Garnet permits him to stay if he feels so inclined, and Lion shows no particular aversion to the prospect of being Steven’s pet, and thus the pink floofball became a permanent fixture.
Until next time…