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Recap / Steven Universe S2E19 "Nightmare Hospital"

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Just a bit past nightfall on the street where Connie lives — a portal opens, dispensing Lion with Steven and Connie on his back. The pair speak briefly about how well Connie's sword practice is going, and Connie expresses a wish that she could practice more at home. Steven pulls Rose's sword from Lion's head and drops to one knee, offering Connie the sword with a flourish.
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As they go inside, they are still discussing how important the sword is, and how Connie's parents would never permit her to have such a thing. Just then a sound alerts Connie that her mother is home! Steven then sees Lion has left and they have no place to hide the sword.

Dr. Maheswaran enters to find Connie calmly playing the violin, and Steven sitting nervously beside her. Connie assures her mom she's wrapping up her violin practice hour. Her mother counters that Connie is now running late for her study hour.

Dr. Maheswaran crosses the room to the door, where Rose's sword is disguised as a coat rack. She speaks of a crash victim who seems to be something out of a nightmare — but assures the children they're spared the gory details by doctor-patient confidentiality. Immediately after, she realizes that the family doesn't have a coat rack, and freaks out when it is revealed to be a sword!

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Dr. Maheswaran lays down the law! No swords, under any circumstances! She goes on to tell her daughter and Steven about all the kids she's seen who have sliced their own faces off from playing around with swords...none, because they all had parents who loved their children and don't allow them to play with swords! But before her tirade can continue, the phone rings. It's work. Something has happened at the hospital and Dr. Maheswaran is needed. She leaves, sticking the sword in a duffel bag.

Dr. Maheswaran: I will discuss this with your father to calculate how grounded you are. ... and we're using the abacus.

After a moment of dismay on the part of Steven and Connie, they decide Rose's sword is too important, and they must get it back. Lion portals them to the hospital, and Steven "pays" him in Lion Lickers. Lion drops to the asphalt and plays with it like a housecat.

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The hospital is dark and spooky as night has truly fallen. Connie explains they dim the lights after dinner time. Steven and Connie sneak past the nurses at the reception desk, then hide as Connie's mother walks down the hall to a room where her patient awaits. The duo peek in through the window. Under the covers, the patient thrashes and groans. Dr. Maheswaran attempts to get a heartbeat, but finds none.

Dr. Maheswaran: Cheap hospital budgets.

She leaves and Connie and Steven seize their moment. They go for the duffel bag and as they're carrying it back out, Connie's mother returns. Another argument ensues about Connie not being allowed to touch the sword until they hear a large noise. The kids and Dr. Maheswaran leave the room only to find a giant lurching figure coming down the hall toward them. Connie's mother identifies it as another patient, but Steven recognizes it for what it is: another gem fusion creature. Connie tries to convince her mother that she knows how to use the sword, but Dr. Maheswaran insists that mother knows best, even as her calm is fracturing in the face of the inhuman threat. Connie implores her mother to bend the rules just this once, finally crying out in frustration:

Connie: I'm not some rule-driven robot!

As if the strong emotions in the room have disturbed "the patient" it throws off its covers, revealing itself to be another one of the disturbing gem fusion experiments. It grabs Connie, and Steven immediately summons his shield to fight it off.

Steven: Keep...your...hands...off...my...Connie!

Steven, Connie, and Dr. Maheswaran try to flee down the hall, but the two gem fusion monsters end up flanking them at either end. Steven bubbles the three of them safely in his forcefield, and Connie makes one last attempt to convince her mother to let her draw the sword. Her mother still refuses. Connie, still upset, calls her mother out for not even noticing that Connie popped the lenses out of her glasses because her eyesight no longer requires correcting. She explains that she's been dealing with magic and weirdness since meeting Steven, and takes the sword back. Steven, at Connie's command, drops his bubble. She slices through one, then takes a running start, gets a boost to her leap from Steven lifting her on his shield, and cuts down the second. Reduced to their gem shards, Steven bubbles them away.

As they leave the hospital, Connie's mother tries to make sense of what she has just seen, and what her daughter is capable of. Connie apologizes for keeping it a secret because she feared her parents would never let her see Steven again. Stricken, Dr. Maheswaran asks if she and her husband have been too controlling. But after a few moments, she decides to pull back on the rules, while keeping an open mind about the magic stuff and tells Connie she doesn't want any more lies, but she wants to know what's going on in her daughter's life.

As Connie and her mother reconcile with hugs and tell each other "I love you," Steven is left watching, and has only his mother's sword to embrace.

Iris Out over the two hugging.


Tropes:

  • Abandoned Hospital: The hospital is still fully in use, but the creepy atmosphere is still present because the episode takes place at night when most of the staff and patients are gone.
  • Absentee Actor: The Gems are absent from this episode.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode focuses heavily on Connie, her mom and their relationship.
  • Adorkable:
    • The scene where Steven tries to give Connie the Rose Quartz sword, especially with them both going "eth" over and over.
    • Later, when Lion bites into a Lion Licker without waiting to get the plastic off, they both burst into giggles.
    Steven: (As Lion is tearing away) He didn't even take the plastic off.
    Connie: What an animal.
    (both burst into giggles)
  • Adult Fear:
    • Dr. Maheswaran is surprised to learn Connie has been doing dangerous things and hiding it from her because she was scared of her reaction, and she hasn't noticed anything's changed.
    • Being so strict as a parent that one's child fears confiding in you and hides anything they could potentially be punished for - including legitimately dangerous things. By the time it comes to light, it's already too late to help.
  • All Swords Are the Same: The first scene implies Connie hasn't wielded Rose's sword since "Lion 2", which was before her sword training began. Despite it being much larger than the fencing sabers Connie was shown practicing with, she can immediately use it with no problem. Perhaps it's lighter than it looks.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Downplayed. It takes Dr. Maheswaran some time to come to terms with Connie's eyesight having been magically healed, despite being under assault by horrific abominations and protected by a magical bubble generated by a child. She seems to have begun wrapping her head around it by the end of the episode.
  • Ascended Fridge Horror: There's been speculation on whether or not any of the fusion experiments in "Keeping it Together" got away before the Crystal Gems got there. This episode shows that at least two did.
  • BFS: Connie wields the Rose Quartz sword, which is as long as she is tall. The thing is tall enough to be mistaken for a coat rack for goodness sake!
  • Big "YES!": Connie shouts this after revealing her eyesight was fixed.
    Dr. Maheswaran: What, your eyesight just "magically" got better?
    Connie: YES!
  • Blunt "Yes": Besides the above, Connie also loudly screams "yes" to her mother.
  • Body Horror: The two fusion monsters that show up at the hospital: one has no head and several sets of arms, while the other has its Gem cluster in a malformed head with no other facial features and a giant club hand (which seems to be made of a torso) with two sets of small fingers. These monstrosities wouldn't look out of place in a Silent Hill game.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: On one hand, her parents' extreme Control Freak nature does make it hard for Connie to be honest with them. On the other hand, Dr. Maheswaran points out that that Connie's secrecy only hinders their relationship even more.
  • Call-Back:
    • Steven and Connie make ample use of Lion's portal ability.
    • Connie is still practising swordfighting, and when she laments being unable to practice more at home, Steven pulls Rose Quartz's sword of Lion's mane so she can.
    • Steven mentions Peridot, Malachite, and the fusion experiments from "Keeping It Together" when listing things Connie might have to fight. Later, fusion monsters show up at the hospital.
    • Connie reveals her lens-less glasses to her mother, establishing that it's been about a year since "An Indirect Kiss".
    • Connie's mom wanting her to stay away from swords might be because, y'know, swords are dangerous blade weapons... but her phone call with Garnet back in "Fusion Cuisine" where Steven and Connie are said to have killed each other while playing (with) swords might also have contributed to it.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: Connie finally has enough of her mom and calls her out.
  • Clark Kenting: Played for Laughs with Connie putting on her glasses when she gets home. She even says that she's assuming her "Secret Identity".
  • Comically Missing the Point: While trying to treat a wheezing, choking rogue Cluster Gem made up almost entirely of arms and Body Horror, Dr. Maheswaran realizes it has no heartbeat. She blames her hospital's meager operating budget for a cheap stethoscope rather than realizing this patient cannot possibly be human.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The song that Connie plays on her violin is the one from the jam session in "Sworn to the Sword".
    • Steven has figured out that if he bribes Lion with Lion Lickers, which Lion expressed an interest in way back in "Lion 3", he'll listen to him.
  • Control Freak: Connie's mother says she knows "everything" her daughter does. At the end, she promises to pull back on the rules.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: They use an abacus to help decide Connie's punishment.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once Connie gets the sword back, and Steven drops the bubble, the battle with the Gem fusion monsters is almost ridiculously fast.
  • Dramatic Curtain Toss: The second fusion monster removes a curtain to reveal itself right before it grabs Connie.
  • Enmity with an Object: Connie hates an abacus her parents use to calculate how long she's grounded.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • It takes Connie's mom a few moments to notice the new "coat rack" even after putting her coat on it.
    • Despite the Cluster Gems having bodies which defy all biological sense (which includes an arm coming out of the neck in place of a head and no visible means of breathing, eating, or vision), they're assumed to be car accident victims by the hospital staff, including Connie's mom.
    • Connie points out that her glasses haven't had lenses for nearly a year, yet her parents have never noticed.
  • Fell Off the Back of a Truck: Steven gives Rose's sword to Connie to train at home with, but her mother finds out and freaks. Connie doesn't want her getting mad at Steven, and so claims to have found it outside. This backfires because Dr. Maheswaran doesn't know it's Steven's property, much less an heirloom, and thus she feels free to take it away from both of them.
  • Food as Bribe: Steven uses Lion Lickers to bribe Lion into doing what he says.
  • Foreshadowing: Connie's mom talks about working on a strange patient at the hospital. Naturally, this becomes important when Steven and Connie have to follow her there.
  • Fun-Hating Confiscating Adult: Played with. Connie's mother is quite reasonably worried for Connie's safety when she confiscates the sword and makes the "No Swords Ever Under Any Circumstances!" rule, but Connie, Steven, and the audience know more than she does about Connie's capability and that it's not strictly "playing" for "fun".
  • Funny Background Event: When Connie has her Blunt "Yes" when her mom asks if her eyes just "magically healed", Steven gives an awkward shrug behind her.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Steven and Connie try to hastily hide Rose's sword by disguising it as a coat rack. It works up until Connie's mom realizes that they don't own a coat rack.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Connie and her mom have a bonding moment and hug in front of Steven, inadvertently reminding him that he can't have that experience with his own mom.
  • Internal Reveal: Connie's mom learns a lot of stuff that the audience already knew.
  • Irony: In "Gem Glow", Steven was furious that Lion Lickers had caused the discontinuation of Cookie Cat; and now he has a lion of his own who likes them, giving him a use for the confection he complained that nobody liked.
  • Lawful Stupid: Connie's mother refuses to go back on her ruling to give the sword to Connie, despite the increased danger. This is justified though, since she really has no idea that Connie is trained enough with a sword not to be a danger to herself with it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Connie tells her mother that she hasn't needed lenses in her glasses for almost a year. "An Indirect Kiss" aired Mid-September 2014, almost a whole year before.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Connie starts the episode still keeping some of the specifics of what she does with Steven from her parents. Her mom is finally let in by the episode's end.
  • Mama Bear: Connie's mom may not have wanted Connie to use her a sword and has no fighting abilities, but she was fast to shove a hospital bed at the gem mutation to save Connie and Steven.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When Connie's mom asks Steven how he's doing, he replies "Sitting!"
  • Noodle Incident: A pair of hospital employees talk about someone called Dr. West and how he "ain't gonna like" something, but no further details beyond that. The vaguely intimidating way the two laugh doesn't help.
  • Not a Zombie: The two gem cluster monsters were somehow mistaken for injured humans and taken to the hospital.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Steven and Connie both get this when Connie's mother realizes that they don't own a coat rack.
    • Steven and Connie after Dr. Maheswaran catches them sneaking the sword out of the room.
    • Steven, upon seeing the patient is actually a cluster gem monster.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner:
    Dr. Maheswaran: Mother knows best!
    (Dr. Maheswaran rams a large Gem Cluster with a stretcher.)
  • Rage Breaking Point: Connie right before revealing everything to her mom.
  • Rule of Three: It takes Connie three attempts to get the sword back from her mother.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Dr. Maheswaran does this when telling Steven and Connie about the strange patient.
  • Secret Identity: Connie jokingly says she needs to assume hers when putting on her glasses.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: Hospitals in real life have security guards, but none are present in this episode to prevent Connie and Steven from sneaking past the main desk or try to stop the cluster monsters. Possibly justified due to it being pretty late when they go (Connie mentioned that they dim the lights after dinner, so it is probably around 9:30-10:00 PM); they might just be running on a skeleton crew and they were lucky enough to not run into anyone but the clerk at the front desk that didn't notice them due to her headphones.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Connie gets to show off her sword skills against actual opponents instead of mere training holograms, easily dispatching two fusion monsters. Steven's no slouch, either, using his bubble offensively to throw the monsters back and managing to overpower both using his shield.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lion Lickers for Lion. Steven has figured out that he can bribe Lion with them.
  • Weirdness Censor: Played with. Connie's mother was obviously trying to pretend everything was perfectly normal until she was forced to accept weirdness, and that her daughter was more than prepared for it.
  • Wham Episode: There are fusion monsters on the loose outside of the Kindergarten and not only does Connie's mom get clued into the magic stuff going on, Connie gives her a massive calling out.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Connie's mother gets these when she first finds Rose's sword.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Steven speaks like this when trying to give Connie the sword. She points out how incorrect it is, then joins in.

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