This is one of those episodes that just takes an absurd premise and escalates it to insane levels…and somehow manages to have a heart in there somewhere.
It all begins after a watermelon-seed-spitting contest between Steven and his dad, because magic spit gonna magic.
Garnet: This is really impressive.
Pearl: I suppose…your mother had the power to grow sentient plant life to act as her defenders.
Amethyst: But Rose’s plants moved and stuff. These guys don’t do anything.
Thinking them harmless, Steven decides to sell the Steven-shaped melons, like every amateur gardener with an overabundant harvest.
Smiley: Steven! What’s going on here? You got a permit for this setup?
Steven: Oh! Hey Mr. Smiley. Here! Try one of my Watermelon Stevens.
Smiley: Hm, I don’t know, it’s kind of weird-looking, but…I’ll go ahead and accept your bribe.
Before too long, he’s sold all of them except for Baby Melon, the smallest and most precious one of all. And apparently there are two-dollar bills in Beach City. But then Onion tries to steal Baby Melon because he is evil.
Steven: My Baby Melon! My precious! I thought I’d never see you again…you’re…alive? I really shouldn’t be so surprised about this. Oh man! The other ones must be alive, too, right?
Thus he promptly moves to reclaim all the other melons before they can be dispatched. Somehow I found this episode was more tolerable once I knew the melons would all be rescued…guess it has to do with my irrational revulsion for “cannibalism” plots.
It all goes smoothly until Ronaldo threatens to dissect his melon and smacks Steven when he tries to stop him.
Ronaldo: Steven! Is the camera getting all this? Sweet!
Well, at least he’s happy. Even if he does have zero views on his groundbreaking livestream.
Steven: My watermelons came to life and they’re attacking people!
I mean, I’m not sure if Ronaldo qualifies as “people”, but that’s certainly enough to motivate the Crystal Gems to action.
Garnet: Rose’s plants live to fight.
Pearl: He can’t control them. Steven, get in the house, now!
It’s interesting how the Gems’ first instinct is to fight…and the Melons get mad when Pearl bosses Steven around. Then they manage to overwhelm the Crystal Gems.
Steven: Wait, don’t! Come on, Baby Melon. We have to stop this! Everyone, please, stop! I’m okay, look! You don’t have to fight anymore! […] This is bad, Baby Melly! How do we end this carnage? Baby…Melon?
Then they all stop attacking the Gems long enough to tear poor Baby Melon apart.
Steven: Let me through, you melonheads! Baby Melon. I understand. You stopped the Watermelons from fighting everyone else, by making them fight you. Look at what you’ve done! You think I wanted this? You should all be ashamed! He knew this is what it would take to calm your rage! He understood true loyalty. Go! Think about what you’ve done! And don’t come back until you understand what he did for me – for all of us!
It’s telling that Steven took the same kind of power which his mother used for fighting, and instead desired to teach them to live peacefully. Because that’s just what he wants for everybody.
Garnet: Spoken like a true king.
Steven: They don’t need a king. They’re their own melons now.
It’s weird how this show can combine weirdness and comedy with sincerity and pull it off. That’s just the power of Steven, I suppose.
Until next time…