Steven Universe: Horror Club
February 12, 2015 8:39 PM - Season 1, Episode 41 - Subscribe

Steven goes to the lighthouse to watch scary movies with Ronaldo, Lars, and Sadie.

Written & Storyboarded by Raven M. Molisee and Paul Villeco
posted by sleeping bear (14 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes by posting this thread. Sorry if I am.

I really enjoyed this episode. Lars and Ronaldo play really well off each other, and I loved that it boiled down to a gem INHABITING A HOUSE FOR YEARS which is pretty rad, actually.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:40 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like how Steven really sees Gems in their gem forms as sentient beings now. And poor Ronaldo, all this time, even the earliest strange happening he encountered was Gem-related.
posted by Small Dollar at 9:10 PM on February 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Some notes:
- I thought the episode seemed a bit rushed. I think Steven Universe could stand to move to a longer format. Also I was actually a little sad to see the source ultimately being another Gem, I'd love to see these characters in a more traditionally Scooby-Doo-like adventure.
- The lighthouse is an interesting place. It's right there in the main title card in the intro, atop the Temple, but it's only the second time we've been there. I get the feeling there's something important about it beyond it being the home of a Gem for all this time. Ronaldo seems to basically live there.
- Pay close attention to the shots that are closeups of Sadie's face. She still has a scar on her cheek from when she took down the Gem monster in Island Adventure. It's most visible when the lights go out. It's visible in at least one other episode too, and appears to have become a permanent part of her character design. Fittingly, it's visible when she's walking down the stairs with Ronaldo.
- Ronaldo actually seems to have decent information on supernatural entities. Not just from observing the contents of his filing cabinets, but his description of poltergeists isn't that bad, the Wikipedia page mentions them as haunting people more than places. In the show's lore the supernatural seems to be entirely the result of Gem activity, which may make Ronaldo something of a human expert (as far as there is one) on them.
- Steven's getting pretty handy with both his shield bubble and sealing bubble. Additionally, Steven's being able to sense the Gem's emotions, even before knowing the spirit was a Gem, is new. We've not seen any of the other Crystal Gems being able to do that. Steven's demeanor when talking to the Gem was rather more mature than we're used to from the little goofball. He somehow knows how to calm the scared entity.
- Additionally, this is the first episode in which Steven is the only Crystal Gem appearing. It doesn't even have Amethyst showing up to instigate things.
- It's also the first TV episode in which the elder CGs are in no way aware of the problem. Before, they've at least noticed something like an earthquake signalling an approaching monster (Bubble Buddies). They've even been in the lighthouse before and had no clue there was a Gem there. This time, it was humans who discovered the problem, and Steven who solved it by himself. (In the comics, there is a story where Connie finds a book with a Gem embedded in it before the CGs do. The Gems eventually resolve that one, though.) That is interesting because it was lying dormant near the Crystal Temple for years, without causing trouble.
- Additionally, for the first time the Gem causing the trouble never manifests. Instead, it was capable of affecting the lighthouse without incarnating, which was like a body to it.
posted by JHarris at 11:35 PM on February 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm glad this episode filled out Lars' character. He's acted like such a jerk, trying to fit in with the cool kids. Now we know why. It's been a reaction to his encounter with the supernatural as a teenager. Kind of the opposite of Ronaldo's reaction. I love that this show is willing to treat everyone with empathy. As I always say, everybody's got a story.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:43 AM on February 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think that's interesting ob1. I also think it will be interesting to see if, ultimately, the show will extend this philosophy to the Earth-made and homeworld Gems.
posted by JHarris at 12:26 PM on February 13, 2015

More notes:

When Ronaldo's file cabinet is open, you can read some of the tabs: Gargoyles, Genies, Ghosts, Ghouls, Giants, Gnolls, Gnomes, Goblins, Gremlins.

Steven: "I think you can stop being such a dink to Ronaldo!" 1. I totally thought he was going to say a different four-letter D-word, and 2. the kid's learning to stand up to Lars, good for him.

When the mouth in the wall opens up, that steam pipe is a weird thing to see there. I guess whatever Gem magic is making the teeth, tongue and lips doesn't affect the metal?

When Steven warps the bubble out, Sadie, who's seen this kind of stuff before, takes it stride, but Ronaldo looks kind of thoughtful. Hmmm....
posted by JHarris at 7:22 PM on February 13, 2015

I thought this was interesting! I find both Lars and Ronaldo difficult to spend a lot of screentime with, but the fact and history of their relationship made both of them more interesting to me. I always love Sadie -- I hope she ditches Lars for Ronaldo, he's awful but he's at least less awful.

I'd love to see these characters in a more traditionally Scooby-Doo-like adventure.

Reminded again that I'm the only person in the world who hates Scooby-Doo.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:20 AM on February 15, 2015

I'm not a real fan of the originals either, but Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated is amazing, if you get the chance to watch it.
posted by JHarris at 1:23 PM on February 15, 2015

This was the first episode where I liked or cared about Lars. The same goes for Ronaldo. Two milestones in one episode!

And Steven handling a Gem encounter on his own is another milestone.

Sadie's reputation as a Gem-fighter increases. I think she was also drawn in a stronger, more mature way.
posted by isthmus at 7:43 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

she was also drawn in a stronger, more mature way

The show's animation team depicted her in a different way, making her look stronger and more mature. What's the right animation lingo for that? Heh.
posted by isthmus at 7:44 PM on February 17, 2015

Also, I would join Ronaldo's film club.
posted by isthmus at 7:46 PM on February 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would too, isthmus!

It might be interesting to consider how the other Gems would have handled this situation, which would probably involve major property damage. They're warriors, and handle things in a martial kind of way. Steven isn't, and is open to other approaches. Although it's not his first effectively solo encounter: that would be the worm in Bubble Buddies.

Here's a (some) question(s). Who owns the lighthouse? Who maintains it? (We know it's operational from other scenes, I seem to remember.) Is Ronaldo squatting? Is his presence there connected with his and Lars' previous clubhouse idea? Does this mean Lars is going to maybe hang out with Ronaldo more? Am I too interested in what cartoon characters plan on doing with their lives?

BTW, issue 7 of the comic has an adorable story involving Pearl getting a little too involved with the plot of one of those fantasy epic series books.
posted by JHarris at 11:59 AM on February 18, 2015

Ronaldo referenced the events of this episode on Keep Beach City Weird last Halloween, months before it aired. Too bad they haven't done as much with KBCW as of late.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:35 PM on July 7, 2015

I really liked that Steven went to a film night, while tv-grounded, with the intention of not watching the tv.

He is extremely obedient!
posted by fizban at 1:37 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older Fortitude: Episode 3...   |  Adventure Time: The Mountain... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments