ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Sept. 4th, 2014
SONG: Yes, “Steven and the Stevens”, later repurposed to “Steven and the Crystal Gems”; “Ste-Ste-Ste-Steven” and “Big Fat Zucchini”
SYNOPSIS: Steven recruits dopplegangers of himself via a time traveling device so he can form a band.
Steven and the Crystal Gems are in the Gem-structured Sea Shrine. Their goal is to look for the legendary Glass of Time, an hourglass device that can be used to travel back in time. Picking the right one is a challenge though: like the final trial in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there are hundreds of hourglasses and the team must choose wisely. Steven is enamored with a tiny hourglass, but Amethyst ultimately picks up the wrong one (a janky-shaped object), causing the temple to flood. Unable to resist the cute, Steven quickly picks up the small hourglass before the team warps to safety. It’ll be another hundred years before the flooding ends and the temple reforms.
On the plus side, Steven returns just in time for Beach-a-Palooza. He’s going to perform with his father, but Greg is pre-occupied at the car wash. Yellowtail took his boat in for some spick-and-span, but it’s currently stuck in the tunnel. Greg apologizes to Steven, but he can’t make the event. Steven is upset and wished he had gotten there earlier to warn his dad. The Glass of Time reacts and warps Steven back to just before Yellowtail could squeeze his ship into the car wash. Steven quickly figures out that he has a time-traveling device, then runs off to warn his father. Yellowtail is offended that he can’t get his boat washed and argues with Greg. Both adults fail to see Yellowtail’s car backing into a pole, causing it to fall and spark a fire that spreads all over the building. Horrified, Steven goes back further in time to fix the mess.
Steven stops his past self from mucking up the car wash, but it means that they can’t perform at Beach-a-Palooza. They suddenly have a bright idea, they can create their own band! They grab two more Stevens during their time traveling trip and create Steven and the Stevens. They make a pretty good team, but like most starting bands, there are egos amongst the group. They first decide on a leader and choose the original Steven. The latter than proceeds to distinguish them: Steven-2 is the smart one, Steven-3 is the funny one, and Steven-4 is the sensitive one. None of the Stevens stick the landing though and their lighthearted antics annoy Original Steven. He goes off to blow some steam, but returns to find the other three Stevens have kicked him off the band for his bossy attitude.
Steven decides to get revenge by going back in time and preventing all this from happening. Unfortunately the other Stevens follow since they all possess the Glass of Time. Everything turns to chaos as numerous Stevens time travel and try to prevent each other from achieving their goals. Steven goes back to where it all began: the Sea Shrine. He tries to stop the Steven there from even taking the Glass of Time in the first place, but he’s confronted by dozens of Stevens, all with intent to stop him. The Crystal Gems are bewildered as they watch fifty-something Stevens beating the star out of each other.
Original Steven realizes that this has gone on way too long, so he smashes the Glass of Time. All the other Stevens disintegrate before his eyes. The only Steven remaining is the one in the Sea Shrine, sporting the look someone would make when they saw fifty versions of himself dying before his eyes. But he did create a new band for Beach-a-Palooza: Steven and the Crystal Gems.
“Steven and the Stevens” is the rare kind of Steven Universe episode where it’s filler without the added bonus of genuine character development. It’s just Steven messing up before fixing it. If I had to stretch, it’s one of the few times we see Steven figure out the solution without any involvement with the Crystal Gems or anyone else. The boy picks up the cues of time traveling very fast and uses it to his advantage. Course, being a twelve-year-old preteen, he manipulates the flow of time for his own personal gain and as is wont of a narrative structure of a kid with godly powers, it ends badly. But it shows the initiative and quick thinking he’s gained over the course of the show that he readily handles the issue without outside assistances. The Gems are sidelined and have no idea what they witnessed, perhaps for the best. Pearl would have a conniption!