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Recap / Steven Universe S4E21 "Doug Out"

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Steven and Connie are enjoying an order of Fry Bits on a bench, and Steven is cheerfully saying how nice it is they can just have normal days.

Suddenly, an ominous voice comes over the loudspeaker telling them to stop and drop The Bits. Steven flies into a panic and apologizes that he just couldn't resist them. It turns out, however it's not the real police: it's Doug Maheswaran, Connie's father. He's come to Beach City for a special assignment: there's been vandalism at Funland, and they've requested he stake out the place at night to see if he can catch the culprits. Doug says his job is not as exciting as his wife's job as a Doctor or Connie's job helping Steven save the world, but the kids offer him encouragement.

Steven and Connie ride along in back as Doug explains how dark it gets at his job and that his company equips him with — a flashlight. Steven and Connie find some clothing and disguise items in a box. Connie calls herself Veronica Cucamonga and Steven calls himself Peter Pizzapopoulous. Connie says that last name sounds more Greek, despite Steven talking in a cartoonish Italian accent.

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They don't have to wait long to find their culprit, despite the way the fence was broken seeming to indicate otherwise. There's a brief chase, but when it's all over, all Doug, Steven and Connie find is Onion, who attempts to protest his innocence. Unfortunately no one but his family understands Onion, so his attempt to communicate is misunderstood. Doug is no hardcase, though. He asks Onion if he's learned his lesson, and if he'll stay out of Funland after closing time. Onion seems a little out of sorts, but answers in the affirmative. Doug lets him go. He drives off with Steven and Connie.

As Onion is left alone, a pair of shadows — one really large and one really small — loom out of the darkness.


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Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Doug has two children with him and they may be facing some dangerous people.
  • Artistic License – Physics: While stuck in a ride that spins to push passenger back onto the interior wall, Doug throws his flashlight toward a console in the center to hit the off switch. The flashlight goes straight toward the console, slowly loses speed, then accelerates back into the opposite direction, as if the ride used Artificial Gravity instead of just centripetal acceleration. Ironically, Connie then laments how the laws of physics were what caused his effort to fail.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: In-universe, Steven makes up "Pizzapopoulous" to be an Italian name, but Connie points out the "-opoulous" suffix is generally used for Greek names.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: When Onion appears to be the only one trespassing in Funland, Doug laments that "It's never actually something" exciting that he encounters on the job. Unfortunately for Onion, it was something.
  • Butt-Monkey: Doug suffers a fair bit of comedic abuse. He's hit by a chain link fence, trips on gumballs, and gets his face repeatedly smacked by his flashlight when he throws it in the spaceship ride.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: Doug says Onion is too small to have cast the shadow they ran after. Connie demonstrates that his flashlight could cause Onion to cast a deceptively large shadow. However, the first shadow really didn't belong to Onion—it's also a different shape, and came from the larger figure that comes back for Onion at the episode's end.
  • Bland-Name Product: Connie's Carmen Sandiego Expy is Veronica Cucamonga, named after a different city in southern California.
  • Cassandra Truth: Onion claims that it wasn't him who broke the fence to get into Funland at night. No one believes him, and when they leave, two unknown Gems come up behind him...
  • Cliffhanger: Right after the others leave, Onion is left alone while some Sinister Silhouettes come into view.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The episode opens as Connie and Steven recount the events of the Out of This World arc.
    • When confronting Onion at the fair, two posters can be seen on the wall in the background, one of which is Steven's Tiger Millionaire and Purple Puma promotional poster and the other is Buck Dewey's "Vote For My Dad" drawing.
  • Crying Wolf: Onion's mischief making comes back to bite him, as instead of believing him that he's being chased by someone, they believe it was all him up to his normal trouble making.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Doug gets some spotlight in this episode.
  • Dramatic Irony: The ending is notably one of the few divergences from Steven's POV, as we're shown Onion is in danger that Steven missed entirely.
  • Foreshadowing: When Steven, Connie, and Doug are chasing the unknown intruder(s) through Funland, two different silhouettes that are definitely not Onion's appear, first when the chase begins, then before the fence in front of a booth is knocked over onto Doug. Both occasions are accompanied by new, distinct snippets of music.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Doug laments that his profession is boring compared to his wife's job as a doctor and Connie and Steven's magical adventures.
  • Inopportune Voice Cracking: Doug's voice briefly cracks as he yells after getting out of the carnival ride.
  • Irony: Steven, Connie, and Doug think they're doing Onion a favor by leaving him behind because they aren't turning him in for breaking and entering. They aren't.
  • Not Me This Time: Onion didn't break the fence down. Too bad nobody believes him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Normally, Onion displays little emotion and only bothers talking to people who understand his form of speech. When the others run into him, he is visibly panicked and tries to talk to Steven despite knowing that he doesn't understand him.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Doug feels like his job is boring compared what to his wife and Steven and Connie get up to.
  • Shout-Out: Connie dresses as "Veronica Cucamonga" while Steven's "Peter Pizzapopoulous" costume resembles a familiar plumber.
  • Slippery Skid: There a field of gumballs that Doug trips on, but Connie and Steven avoid by floating above it.

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