Steven Universe: Nightmare Hospital
September 10, 2015 2:54 PM - Season 2, Episode 19 - Subscribe

When Dr. Maheswaran confiscates Rose's sword, Connie and Steven go to her hospital to get it back.
posted by Small Dollar (14 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm slowly introducing my wife to SU. It's difficult going, she's a Philosophy grad and tends to pick nits out of the quantum foam. This is neither here nor there.

First, a few observations: Dr. Maheswaran hugging Connie, and Steven hugging... his mother's sword.

The playfulness the editors have is still apparent. The whole bit with Lion and his Lickers... perfect comedy.

Of course the Clusters leaping out and bringing that wonderful body-horror that SU does so well. Heee-eyuch! *shiver*

And yes, Connie resolving unaired grievances with her mother is exactly the kind of plot point I've come to enjoy from such a fast-moving plot. Of all the episodes so, I'd give this 4 out of 5.
posted by endotoxin at 6:50 PM on September 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm wondering why the gem clusters were wearing human clothes, and why they were attacking the humans in the first place.

For the first point, the clothes seemed to be hospital scrubs -- were the patients initially human, then they mutated? Or maybe it was just a gag.

For the second question, some people suggested that in "Keeping It Together," the clusters were reaching toward Garnet out of recognition, not to attack her. Maybe here they had some other reason for aggression besides "of course monsters gotta attack stuff"?

Also, I was really hoping for Stevonnie! But Connie's so competent that they might not even need Stevonnie.

Also, quality female relationships <3
posted by glass origami robot at 7:45 PM on September 10, 2015

I think the monsters were brought into the hospital and the hospital put clothes on them. Connie's mom called them her patients. The part where the hospital/doctors didn't say "This thing is very not human!" is a little hard to believe, but a weird sort of passivity seems to happen to humans around Gems. People are startled but don't freak out. I'm going to go with a head canon that Gem magic has a stupefying effect on human beings and that's why people just accept it instead of going all pitchforks-and-torches.

But the point of this episode was "Connie comes clean with her mom, her mom decides to be loving and not as controlling," which needed to happen. Though I also longed for a dramatic Stevonnie battle scene. I'm thinking we'll get one eventually.

But why do we have to wait a whole week for another, why, argh.
posted by emjaybee at 7:54 PM on September 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Connie's mom was saying over the phone how they were found and brought in due to an assumed car accident. A car accident could wreck a body, but it's definitely hard to account for additional limbs and no head.

Is it just me or are the fusion mutants looking more humanoid? There's still a lot of limbs, but they parts seem to work together more easily. It used to be limbs going every which way, but now they can chase, climb, attack, and find each other? Is Peridot still behind this? It'd be interesting to see if the fusion mutants experiments actually succeed and we see a new type of gem.
posted by zix at 10:58 PM on September 10, 2015

Just as Steven protected the Gems' feelings during their harmless test, Connie has been playing along with her mother's schedules and rules. As Connie grows up, she knows her interior life is diverging away from her parents, and can recognize her what her mother needs to feel safe and secure. I've been waiting for an episode that handles Connie's secrecy, and was really happy this storyline came up. Who hasn't yelled at their parents "You don't know me AT ALL!" at some point? It's a poignant counterpoint to Steven, who really doesn't know his mother at all. I mega teared up at him watching Connie and her mom talk. It's clear he is just so full of love, and that he knows so much of that is from his mother.

The writing on this show always amazes me with how much they can pack in an episode, but also how much they find time to let things breathe. Like Connie and Steven spitting thys and thees, or Lion going bananas for Lion Lickers. Man, Lion is just my favorite. His great cat indifference, with his occasional cat weirdness is just so well animated.

WTF are these horrible gem shard mutants up to?! I feel we've learned a lot about consent in this show, and the experiments take on a level of horror beyond creating something that's physically gross, but also something extremely unethical and perverse.
posted by missmary6 at 11:12 PM on September 10, 2015 [4 favorites]

The plot structure of this one was a little too close to "Friend Ship" for me. A dire situation related to Homeworld forces two characters into an enclosed space, where they're forced to talk. Emotions run over, they make confessions, and they use powers to triumphantly escape danger, resulting in a tearful reconciliation of a long-running conflict. Maybe the short running time encourages this sort of plot?
posted by glass origami robot at 11:28 PM on September 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

It's been confirmed by show staff that "Dr. West" mentioned in the episode is a reference to the movie Re-Animator with Jeffery Combs, which of course is an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "Herbert West, Reanimator." Which is, like, an additional level of thing for me to geek out over.

Also, there's a sign on the wall in a hallway giving directions to both "Dr. Gero" and "Patient 20," which is a subtle Dragonball Z reference.
posted by JHarris at 12:36 AM on September 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

Anyway, episode opinions:

This was an excellent episode, five stars. They managed to reveal the fact about Connie's fixed eyesight to her mother, and the sword training and monster stuff too, in a believable way that didn't result in her retreating into NOPELAND. And Connie got to be awesome! She was the hero throughout, even Steven couldn't do much about the monsters except block them and bubble them once they were poofed. As someone in the subreddit (which continues to be an oasis of decency on that site) mentioned, now Sadie isn't the only human to have defeated a gem creature....
posted by JHarris at 6:50 AM on September 11, 2015

Sadie isn't the only human to have defeated a gem creature....

Well, and Pizza Grandma basically did too! She told the Gems what to do to defeat the puffer fish gem.

I foresee a future climactic battle that involves all of Beach City fighting off gem creatures, successfully, and the eventual defeat/overthrow of the Homeworld invaders hinging on the partnership between humans and Crystal Gems, as symbolized by Steven.
posted by emjaybee at 7:24 AM on September 11, 2015 [5 favorites]

The style of hospital really seemed to play up SU's anime influences.
posted by drezdn at 3:44 PM on September 11, 2015

Love Connie's dramatic pose after she defeats the second monster. She must be internally nerding out about this SO HARD
posted by glass origami robot at 9:31 PM on September 11, 2015 [3 favorites]

I foresee a future climactic battle that involves all of Beach City fighting off gem creatures, successfully, and the eventual defeat/overthrow of the Homeworld invaders hinging on the partnership between humans and Crystal Gems, as symbolized by Steven.

Given that compassion and teamwork are his heroic character traits, I've thought that the finale climax of the show might involve his fusing with everyone: all of earth, all at once.
posted by painquale at 1:25 PM on September 13, 2015

I'm kinda disappointed that Steven outed Connie instead of Connie outing herself. I mean, I guess she did say "I know how to do this", but Steven provided a bunch of details instead of letting Connie decide exactly how much she wanted to reveal.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 7:00 PM on September 13, 2015

I appreciated Dr Maheswaran getting some agency by busting out of the room they're trapped in and distracting the monsters with a hospital cart. You can see where Connie gets a some of her strength from. Also I liked that she was allowed to admit that she was wrong and resolve things with her daughter directly without any extended carrying of the idiot ball.
posted by invisible_al at 6:44 AM on September 16, 2015 [4 favorites]

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