Steven and Connie hang out with her dad for once, but all’s not as chill as could be hoped.
Steven: Life can get really intense, huh?
Connie: Especially your life! Let’s see, alien abduction…
Steven: Going to a weird zoo for humans in space.
Connie: And sneaking out right past a pair of intergalactic tyrants!
Steven: Well, it’s nice to know we can still have peaceful days like this without any trouble.
Considering that we’re approaching another season finale, I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler to say the peaceful days won’t last much longer…
Steven: Oh no, it’s the cops! All those years of ordering off-menu have finally come back to taunt me!
There’s quite a bit of silliness this episode as Mr. Maheswaran (aka the titular Doug) invites them on a stakeout he’s doing at Funland (in his capacity as an officer for a private security firm). Also, now we know where Connie got that jacket from!
Mr. Maheswaran: I’m sure you guys do lots of waiting when you’re saving the world. It can’t be all bam-pow action all the time.
Steven: Aw, I wish! There’s a lot of fighting. I mean, I kind of inherited an intergalactic war.
With no sign of any intruders yet, Connie and Steven plunder a “dress-up” box that he just so happens to have in the back seat.
Connie: I wanna be undercover. I’ll be, Veronica Kookamunga!
Steven: It’sa me! Peter Pizzapopolis! From Italia!
Connie: Pizzapopolis? Sounds Greek.
And then something actually happens.
Mr. Maheswaran: How on Earth did this happen? If this were some punk with a pair of bolt cutters, it’d be a clean cut, but this chain looks like it was torn apart. This was no kid.
Connie: Well, if it wasn’t a misguided kid, what could it be?
Mr. Maheswaran: It’s up to us to find out!
I really like their use of the abandoned amusement park – it lends an air of mystery to the proceedings, particularly with the sparse lighting. For most of the episode, all you see is a glimpsed shadow here and there.
Then they hear what sounds like the intruder entering one of the rides, so naturally they follow.
…but no one’s there, either.
Connie: Hey Steven, maybe we should get our weapons.
Mr. Maheswaran: That won’t be necessary. We’re not here to escalate the situation. Besides, a good security guard only needs their trusty flashlight!
And then the ride starts up suddenly, and it takes Steven a couple minutes to shut it down and then bust down the door.
Connie: Do you think maybe it’s some kind of Gem mutant, or monster?
Steven: It could be, but it trapped us. The monsters and mutants aren’t that smart.
Connie: Could we be dealing with a Homeworld Gem?
Mr. Maheswaran: Homeworld? Gem? Mutant? I, uh, well, whatever it is, if someone’s trespassing, they’ll have to answer to me.
Poor Doug is in way over his head. And somehow his daughter isn’t.
And then the lights turn on…
Mr. Maheswaran: I can’t believe this. They’re mocking us! Show yourself! What is it that you want here? Prizes? Fun? You think this is the place to get your kicks? You sick monster. Destroying the sanctity of this land of fun!
Then someone shoves a chain-link panel onto him before running off into the darkness.
And who do they find but Onion?
Mr. Maheswaran: You? What are you doing here? We’re in the middle of a very important investigation!
Connie: Dad, I think this is who’s been causing all this trouble.
Steven: That’s just Mr. Maheswaran! Oh my gosh, did you think a bunch of strangers were chasing you? No wonder you were trying to throw us off your trail! Everything’s okay.
Mr. Maheswaran: It can’t just be a kid! It doesn’t make sense.
As evidence, Connie presents a piece of cloth that she found on the wrecked gate (which clearly tore off of Onion’s pants), and posits that his shadow only looked big because of the angle of the flashlight. And Steven mentions that Onion knows how to use a blowtorch.
But something still doesn’t add up. Onion was terrified when they caught him (and of course they can’t understand what he’s saying). So they present him as simultaneously the little criminal mastermind we know and love…and a kid who’s scared of his friend in bad Mario cosplay. You can have one or the other, but not both. Also, how does “knows his way around a blowtorch” equal “tearing a chain fence apart in the seconds they were distracted from the gate”?
But they’re going with “Onion did it” for simplicity’s sake.
Mr. Maheswaran: Of course. It’s never actually something.
Connie: What’s wrong?
Mr. Maheswaran: Nothing’s wrong, it’s just, my job isn’t like the exhilarating adventures you’ve been having with Steven, or the life-threatening emergencies your mom deals with at the hospital. The most action I see is telling kids to quit loitering around. I was hoping maybe you’d get to see me take on a serious job. I guess all I’m good at is being your silly old dad.
Connie: You’re right! You are silly. But that’s why I like hanging out with you. I’ve got enough serious things going on in my life; sometimes I just want to spend time with my dad.
Isn’t it nice when Steven and Connie can just do something completely unrelated to the magical Gem stuff?
Mr. Maheswaran: You learned your lesson? Then you’re free to go. And remember kid, no loitering!
But I don’t care if he is a delinquent, you don’t just leave a kid alone in the middle of the night! Besides, I’m pretty sure it would be his prerogative as a security officer to at least remove the alleged perpetrator from the premises – like, maybe he could take Onion home? But nope!
Until next time…