Well, time to assume my secret identity…
This is the first time Connie really takes the spotlight (mostly) apart from Steven, and it quite sensibly deals with all the lies she’s been telling her parents in an attempt to cover up the adventures she’s been getting up to with Steven.
Dr. Maheswaran: A sword? Connie, where did you get this?
Connie: I found it! I just found it outside and wanted to show it to Steven.
Dr. Maheswaran: How could you possibly think this is okay?
Dr. Maheswaran: Do you know how many children I see every day in the hospital who’ve cut their faces off playing with swords?
Dr. Maheswaran: None! Because they all have parents who love them, and who don’t let them play around with deadly weapons like some kind of gang member! No playing with swords, under any circumstances!
I mean, you get where she’s coming from – I wouldn’t generally trust a tween with an actual sword (or any piece of metal that big). But I also wouldn’t bring it into a hospital. Which she does.
Connie: Steven, I’m so sorry. She took your mother’s sword!
Steven: Maybe we can get her to change her mind?
Connie: She never, ever changes her mind! We’ve gotta get that sword back ourselves.
This episode is aiming for a creepy atmosphere (as indicated by the title), which it only occasionally succeeds at. My main question here is how on Earth there’s an empty parking lot at a hospital. I don’t care how late it is, there’s always at least a couple ER visitors, not to mention the doctors, nurses, and night maintenance workers. I suppose the answer is artistic license.
Steven: What’s she doing?
Connie: Probably checking their vitals. Haven’t you been to a hospital before?
Connie: Oh. Lucky.
I’d bring up that they apparently watched some sort of medical drama, but then, they also said that it wasn’t very accurate in its depiction of hospitals.
And then it turns out the patient has no heartbeat…but is still moving around quite a bit.
Steven and Connie attempt to retrieve the sword after she leaves the room, but naturally get caught in short order.
Dr. Maheswaran: I made a rule: No swords under any circumstances!
Connie: But Mom!
Then they hear someone else on this suspiciously empty corridor…
Dr. Maheswaran: I don’t know what’s going on here, but I am going to get to the bottom of it!
Honestly, Connie’s mom is pretty cool in her own right (even if she isn’t the most perceptive parent). But she’s kind of out of her depth with Gem stuff.
Steven: Connie, I think that’s one of the Gem mutants.
Connie: What? Are you sure?
Steven: Pretty sure at this point.
Connie: Mom! I really really really need that sword!
Dr. Maheswaran: Connie, no. Now is not the time.
Connie: Now is the perfect time, Mom!
Dr. Maheswaran: Connie, what has gotten into you? You know I never go back on a rule, young lady!
I mean, she clearly just made up that rule today, there should be time to reconsider it!
Steven manages to fend off the second “patient”, and thanks to some quick thinking from the Doctor they get out of the room past the other one, leaving them to get stuck between the two.
I will say that the mutants are significantly creepier with the animation and sound, but they’ve still got nothing on CatBlobSteven.
Connie: Really, Mom, I know how to do this!
Dr. Maheswaran: No, you don’t.
Steven: Yes she does! She wasn’t playing around with that sword, she was taking classes learning how to use it right! Even though she’s always studying, or practicing tennis, or doing homework, she works really hard to be a good sword fighter!
Dr. Maheswaran: No. No, no no no no! I know my daughter! I know what she’s doing every second of the day, all her activities, all her internets – I know she’s definitely not some sword-fighting hooligan!
Connie: You don’t know me at all! You still haven’t even noticed my glasses!
Dr. Maheswaran: What’s wrong with your glasses?
Connie: They don’t have lenses anymore! I haven’t needed actual glasses for almost a year.
Dr. Maheswaran: What, your eyesight just magically got better?
Connie: YES! I’ve been dealing with magic and monsters and things like these since I met Steven! That’s why I need you to believe I know what to do here.
I can’t blame her for leaving out the magic spit part…
While she is extremely controlling, it’s not hard to see that all the rules are probably more for her own peace of mind than Connie’s alleged protection. She has a job where her presence at home can be sporadic, so she found comfort in knowing (or thinking she knew) what Connie was up to every hour of the day.
And she makes quick work of them as soon as she gets a hold of the sword. Which is honestly pretty impressive, considering that the sword is almost as tall as her.
Dr. Mahaeswaran: So that’s why it had no pulse…Gem experiments? This is what you’ve been doing? Training to fight these…things?
Connie: Mom, I’m really sorry about lying to you. It started out as a tiny secret, and then it felt like if I didn’t hide it, you wouldn’t let me see Steven ever again.
Dr. Maheswaran: Is that how you feel? Are we too controlling? […] I just wanted to be a good mother. I-I just wanted to protect you.
Connie: I can protect myself now!
Dr. Maheswaran: Okay. We’ll pull back on the rules, and I’ll try to keep an open mind about this, and that, and…him. It scares me that you can’t talk to me. I need to know what’s happening in your life, I-I need to step in when you’re in over your head! Will you just promise me you’ll stop all this lying?
Connie: That’s a rule.
I appreciate how they’re encouraging kids to talk to their parents, but no. No parent in the world is this quick to change their mind, especially when they just found out the kid was essentially leading a secret double life for maybe a year. This highlights one of the big issues I have with the series – it’s really good at interrogating emotions, especially ones common in children, but when it comes to interpersonal conflict, the show tends to skip straight from “acknowledging the problem” to “it’s all good now”. In real life, that process can be long and arduous, depending on the circumstances – heck, just convincing some people to acknowledge a problem for what it is can be shockingly difficult at times. It’s a bit easier to swallow when the show sticks to episodic storytelling, not so much when they’re aiming for tight plotting and generally want the audience to take it seriously.
Until next time…