Why can’t you see me?
This episode provides a little development for Sadie, but it’s mostly an excuse for more fabulous musical numbers from Sadie Killer and the Suspects.
Sadie: I think I could get a more guttural scream on the chorus if I rest my voice a little.
Honestly, I relate to the whole band practice thing (just not the “looking for gigs” part). I was a little surprised that Sadie was the only one with a water bottle, but then I remembered she’s basically the only one singing (and no one’s got a wind instrument).
The premise is that Steven’s filming the band’s “humble beginnings” on his dad’s old camcorder because something something vintage look. Basically it’s about getting the band off the ground, starting with Steven introducing Greg to their music and subsequently piquing his interest.
Teens by day, we're alright Teens by day but every night we're Sadie Killer and the Suspects Sadie Killer and the Suspects Don't be scared in the afternoon Don't be scared, but pretty soon we'll be Sadie Killer and the Suspects Sadie Killer and the Suspects The moon is out I'm feeling strange It's making me shout, it's making me change You better watch out, it's gonna get loud I'm killing the stage, I'm killing the crowd You're next.
This number is a more traditional 70’s “introduce the band with a catchy refrain” number, hence the only thing it really accomplishes is hammering that refrain so that you’ll always read the name of the band on that particular note.
Greg: Woah, that was great! Sadie, you transform into a totally different person!
Steven: Yeah, no more Sadie Miller – she’s Sadie Killer!
Sadie: Yeah, it feels kind of freeing.
Greg: I can tell. And this whole look you guys have going is really fun! […] Now you just gotta work on the stuff that isn’t music – booking shows, making merch, getting the word out…
Steven: Dad! You know how to do all that stuff! You can help them.
Greg: What, like, be their manager?
Buck: You taught me everything I know, Mr U. I think you’d be a great manager.
Greg: I’ll take the job!
Sadie: Thanks, Mr. Universe!
Buck: And so it begins: Our rise to stardom. Followed by the inevitable infighting and creative disagreements that will tear us apart in a beautiful explosion of emotions.
Because Buck just has to have him some band drama (but it doesn’t really happen). They’ve already had one band member step aside without much fanfare – Steven. It’s understandable, considering that he’s not needed as a lead singer anymore, and also he’s got plenty of stuff to do with the Crystal Gems that would probably conflict with regularly scheduled performances.
Greg: Go big! It’s on my tab.
Sour Cream: When you say big, you mean, like, glowsticks in every color?
Greg: Bigger! I’m talking lasers.
Sour Cream: Lasers?
There’s certainly something to be said for having a manager who’s already financially set – he sold out so they won’t have to!
Anyhow, Greg hits up his old music industry pals and shortly lines up a gig for them in Empire City!
Barb is clearly excited for her daughter’s debut in the big city, but Sadie’s been adamant about keeping her mom out of her business (which is, ya know, very understandable).
Sadie: Mom! We’ve talked about this!
Sadie: The band is my thing, and I just want to be able to do it on my own.
Barb: Right, right. You need your space.
This is one of the areas where you can definitely see elements of wish fulfillment taking precedence over realism. Again, it’s not an inherently bad thing, but a single conversation isn’t usually enough to change the habits of an overbearing stage mom. But at any rate, Barb has been very supportive of Sadie’s dubious career move while also respecting the boundaries she set up.
Sadie: My mom used to be so into my life, it was suffocating! But now I get to be Sadie Killer, and it’s something that’s totally mine, and I know she’s just waiting to get her hands on it!
Greg: Wow, that’s so funny.
Sadie: How is it funny? It drives me nuts!
Greg: Oh, no, it’s just, back in the day, my parents didn’t want anything to do with my music. They thought I was throwing my life away. They never came to one of my shows. They never even wanted to hear about them.
Greg: It’s kind of amazing that your mom is excited about your band, it’s just…really nice to see.
The implication is that Barb only ever wanted her girl to succeed, which is actually a very common sentiment among parents. I’m sure Greg’s parents wanted him to succeed, too – it’s just that their ideas of success didn’t align with his, and that alone can create a seemingly insurmountable rift.
But they proceed to Empire City without further ado.
Jenny: I’m so excited! It’s our first big show!
And then Sadie looks out into the crowd and sees this.
Sadie: Mom? Does she think she can just show up in some wacky disguise and I won’t know it’s her? It’s so obvious!
Steven: Maybe she should’ve gotten some costume tips from you.
I mean, considering that we’ve never seen Sadie perform without garish makeup (intentional or not), I’m not sure if Sadie is capable of putting together an inconspicuous disguise.
I used to be sick and tired Delirious, dizzy, terrified But I'm suddenly up and out of bed You'd never believe I was almost- Why can't you see me? Why can't you see me? I think I might be A g-g-g-ghost
Now this is what I’m here for: Sadie verbalizing her feelings through monster metaphor songs!
Also, as someone who played a ghost in a production of The Addams Family musical, I must compliment her on her ghost makeup. She even applied it herself! Although I’m sure the professional lighting helps, too.
Oh Can't you see that I exist And I don't need an exorcist To let me out Look and I'll appear Why can't you see that I'm right here That I'm right here Why can't you see me? Why can't you see me? I think I might be A g-g-g-ghost...
Then this lady comes backstage to reveal that she is not, in fact, Sadie’s mom in an awful disguise.
Sunshine Justice: Where’d you find these kids? Reminds me of your old space gimmick – except people actually like it.
Sunshine Justice: I’m just kidding. You were very ahead of your time. But Sadie Killer and the Suspects? That crowd was going crazy. You’re really something. You kids are welcome to play at the venue, any time.
I mean, her name may make her sound like she belongs in My Little Pony, but we’ve previously established that changing your name is a thing you can do (even if it isn’t always advisable).
First of all, I love the little details like Greg’s van having a roll-up window. It is extremely retro.
Steven: So how does it feel to be a rock star?
Sadie: Weird. And good! It’s just, I went all out thinking my mom was at the show. I can’t believe I kind of wanted her to be there! Well, not even kind of, I did.
Steven: There’ll be other shows. Why don’t you tell her about the next one?
Sadie: Hey Mr. Universe, let’s play our next show in Beach City.
Greg: I’ll make it happen.
I can relate to feeling torn between wanting to share my passion with my family and being scared they’ll take it the wrong way (if not in the same way as Sadie here). Honestly, shutting her mom out of her music seems tantamount to shutting her out of most her life at this point. There will be plenty of boundaries she needs to rethink, and that’s perfectly normal, especially for a teenager who’s still figuring out her life.
Until next time…