“Wait, can Steven fly? …yeah, I think I remember that.”
“Steven Floats” is, on its face, a reintroduction. And it’s going to kick off the Summer of Steven, new episodes every weeknight for a month (the only packed scheduling that I think is even comparable is when Avatar: The Last Airbender aired its last ten episodes in just six days). So herein we return to a few tropes familiar to the early first season: Amethyst as Steven’s social gateway to the other Gems, the matriarchal, hysterical Pearl, the all-knowing, ever-cool Garnett. Steven even has a cutaway fantasy to name much of the Beach City cast all at once.
But more importantly, “Steven Floats” plays out the Steven-has-a-new-power plot while nodding constantly to the meta. Steven is thrilled to be home, it feels like it’s been forever. And in fact, it’s been over nine whole months since we last saw Beach City in “Back to the Barn.”
And the Steven Universe team seemed so aware that maybe fans might want the story to move forward that they brought Pearl back to square one and then some:
The whole thing was actually a very pleasant re-immersion into the SUniverse, complete with a gentle forward push to a plot that we’ve become accustomed to roaring forward.
“Steven Floats” rating: 8/10
Steven Universe is almost relentless in trotting out episodes about the parental relationships of the kids of beach city: Connie Maheswaran revealing the more thrilling side of her life to her mother in “Nightmare Hospital,” Sadie asking her mom for space in “Sadie’s Song,” Buck Dewey’s old relationship with his dad in “Shirt Club,” and on and on. Luckily, this time there’s a loose end closed that we didn’t know we were waiting for:
Greg’s old band manager, Marty, is stopping by Beach City, and we had no idea that he was Sour Cream’s biological father.
The result is honestly pretty typical and maybe a little clumsier than your average parental problems Steven Universe episode, but there’s more going on than Marty sending Sour Cream’s dreams up in smoke while promoting Guacola and launching a can into Ronaldo’s stomach. Mainly, it’s a tee-up to tomorrow, when we’ll be set in motion after Greg cashes his $10 million check. But maybe aside from a few Guacola jokes, this’ll be one of the weaker moments in the Summer of Steven.
The onslaught continues tomorrow.
“Drop Beat Dad” score: 6/10