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Webcomic / Supernormal Step

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Just another day in the life of a mundane in a supernatural world note 

Fiona: You're the first person to say it that way...back where I belong, I mean. Everyone else says "home".
Hall: Well, it's not the same thing, is it? Only you can know what is home for you.

Supernormal Step is a Alternate Universe fantasy webcomic by Michael Lee Lunsford. Central to the comic are two universes: our normal 'Verse and the Supernormal 'Verse. Fiona, a blue-haired but otherwise normal girl from our regular 'Verse, is accidentally pulled to the Supernormal 'Verse by two men: Jerkass Jim, who is cursed to transform into a stuffed bunny whenever he does something malicious, and Charmer Van, who is following/helping Jim ostensibly for shits and giggles, but really out of a sense of responsibility.

The comic follows Fiona's efforts to return to where she belongs as well as the effects of Fiona's arrival on the Supernormal 'Verse. Although at first the 'Verse appears quirky and strange, tensions boil between de facto president Cavan Henderson, whose heavy hand is felt through the omnipresence of Henderson Security, and The Nameless, a mysterious anti-Henderson organization with eyes everywhere. Both sides feel that Fiona is vital to their respective causes, but Fiona isn't interested in the problems of a universe she doesn't fully understand. And with the machinations of other strange villains in the Supernormal 'Verse, including the bizarre Mr. Kite, it seems that getting back to the normal 'Verse will be difficult at best.

Fortunately, she has the teachings of her Crazy-Prepared dad, her developing combat skills, and a plethora of potential allies, including Hall, an affable Henderson Field Marshal muddling through a troubling journey of his own. With some help, Fiona may yet find her way back to where she belongs—or find her way home.

As of May 17, 2018, the comic has concluded. A backup can be found here.

Supernormal Step features examples of:

  • Action Girl: Fiona, May, Eva, Alice, Em, presumably Cecilia...really, just about any female character that plays a major plot role.
  • Alien Blood: Hall and Eva have black blood.
  • Alliterative Name:
    • Hall Henderson
    • Vic Valentine.
  • Alliterative Title
  • All There in the Manual: The main cast's full names, ages, heights, weights, and much more can be found on their character reference sheets. They also have theme songs.
  • Alternate Universe: Supernormal Step takes place on an AU Earth with magic and fantasy creatures. However, Earth is virtually unrecognizable—Fiona only figures it out when she sees a map that looks like America. In truth, Fiona's world and the Supernormal Step universe were once one and the same. A powerful witch separated the magical version from the main universe to prevent magic from going out of control and causing The End of the World as We Know It. Even the fact that the separated worlds continued to mirror one another was deliberate on her part.
  • Angrish/Symbol Swearing: Jim, on multiple occasions.
  • Animorphism: Wing the vampire can transform into a giant talking blackbird—but retains his dress shirt and tie.
  • Anti-Climax: A masterful one in bothversions
    • Fiona's reaction to learning that Jim was trying to pull her dad into the universe, seen here.
    • "Hall, you okay?"
  • Anti-Magic: The exact details haven't been explained, but Fiona's universe, which is equivalent to ours, is non-magical. Additionally, it has been stated that any magic imported from the Supernormal Step universe cannot survive there. However, portals generated from the Supernormal universe are still able to reach over and grab things, and there also appears to be a few other exceptions. Whatever prevents magic from surviving in Fiona's universe ultimately starts breaking down when she finally manages to return.
  • Art Evolution: Comparing current pages with the first few shows a clear improvement over time, especially in proportions and shading. Compare Hall and Eva from their first appearance in Chapter 1 with the first page of Chapter 5, and then here.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Cavan Henderson was voted dictator of the United States because he single-handedly defeated Hitler...who was a little green gremlin.
    • As of later comics, it's revealed that the size was severely reduced for comedic effect—the actual fight was WAY more badass.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mr. Kite.
    Mr. Kite: Whatever. Nothing else left to burn, I'm bored, let's get out of here.
  • Back from the Dead: It is not known to have been accomplished yet, but it purportedly can be if the body is fresh. Mr. Henderson's main motive is to resurrect his dead elder siblings. Since their bodies are long gone, he has been attempting to channel Sympathetic Magic via paintings in order to bring their information back through time itself in order to rebuild them. He eventually succeeds.
  • Badass Longcoat: The Henderson uniform incorporates a duster.
    • Also Jim, though he's more of a Jerkass Longcoat (and he spends so much time as a stuffed bunny that it's rarely played up).
  • Berserk Button: Derry, as a Mood-Swinger, gets angry at the mere mention of Henderson Security, but he loses it completely when Fiona mentions that the Hendersons made her an offer, and he gets even angrier when Hall rescues her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Big Bad is stopped from destroying the world and Fiona having finished with the whole ordeal is last seen fixing her old trailer and journeys to parts unknown but the fact remains that the world has suffered irreparable damage and is considerably worse off than it was before the end of the comic,Word of God however states that all the surviving characters will be fine
  • Black Box: The book, Supernormal Step, describes how to create a magical machine that can conjure sandwiches. An engineer who built one says that the blueprints make no scientific sense and he cannot figure out how it works. When he makes one with a window, allowing him to see how the sandwiches are created, he sees a magic purple hand plop a sandwich into the box, implying that the machine is actually borrowing Mr. Kite's magic.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: When magic is introduced to Fiona's previously non-magical world, many people unexpectedly transform into monsters and start promoting violent anarchy.
  • Book Ends: In chronology order when you start reading the retcon/remake of chapter 1,The story begins with fiona stop at an abandoned gas station to pick up some few things for her trailer before she was whisked away by a portal landing her in a supernatural version of earth itself,the final chapter ends with fiona returning to the same spot before she landed in the supernatural world and encounters her nearly abandoned old trailer before she fixed it and went off to parts unknown.
  • Breath Weapon: Fenris.
  • Brick Joke: "Be nice or you go in this jar I found."
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the final chapter, having realized that Magic is Evil, Fiona does this to the entire world, getting rid of magic forever.
  • Buffy Speak: Jules.
    Jules: Come along then. You can be my apprentice... or squire... or... whatever.
    Van: What does a squire do, Jules?
    Jules: I don't know; he squires. We'll look it up in the dictionary later.
    • Also, Eva.
    Eva: Hall is off investigating stuff on his own again and being generally nonconformist. Me go do with the sneaky sneaky follow time yes?
  • Can't Live Without You: If a spellcaster creates a magic clone and dies, the magic used to create the clone dissipates, ending them.
  • Came Back Wrong: Mr. Henderson's main motive is Necromantic, attempting to recreate his deceased elder siblings. All too many of the experimental clones are dangerously insane.
  • Carpet of Virility: Averted. Van Really Gets Around and lacks one. Dave has chest hair and Perma-Stubble to boot, but he's just an unhygienic Loner Geek.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: The background characters are deliberately made more unique and interesting than the mains, who are all human or humanoid.
  • The Cavalry: Apparently, Hendersons aren't totally useless Mooks.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: A rare example of a comic that, while gaining continuity and complexity, never really lost the funny. For example, the latest arc sees Henderson Security attempting to kidnap anyone who's ever met Fiona. However, given the comic's large cast, this leads to some confusion.
  • Cheeky Mouth: At least in the beginning.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Hall and Eva.
  • Cloning Blues: Hall.
  • Clothing Damage: Hall here, after Eva stabbed him with a pipe. In retaliation to his stabbing her with a pipe.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Low-ranking Hendersons wear colored bandannas on their gas masks to denote rank. Red is the lowest, and yellow is apparently equivalent to major. The eyes of the masks coordinate in color to the bandanna.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Jim. Once his curse is broken, it becomes decidedly less funny.
    Jim: Awesome! I'm gonna see what colors he turns!
    • Eva, too, and Hall to a lesser degree. Many of their scars are from each other. Word of God states that the prominent scar under Hall's eye is from "Eva and an ice cream scoop".
    Eva: And me without my potato peeler.
  • Continuity Reboot: Supernormal is a reboot of Lunsford's older comic "Stuffed Jim," which can be found here. It's interesting to compare the two. Some interesting changes: Dave Gold, a minor character in Supernormal, filled Van's role in "Stuffed," and Hall and Eva were subordinates of Mr. Kite.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Van was orphaned, but this revelation only prefaces his flashback to meeting Jules.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Jim's curse. Who would think of turning someone into a stuffed bunny when they act like a jerk? Someone cool, that's who.
  • Cool Bike: Fiona procures a hoverbike when she ditches Van and Jim.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Fiona's father had a large set of rules and procedures which he taught to his daughter to prepare her for any situation. They have been very helpful, but only in a general way—no one really expects to be pulled into a fantasy world, after all.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Fiona's spar with Van is over in less than a minute.
    • Jim makes fighting hordes of ghouls and vampires look easy.
    • Jim also murders Mr. Henderson, previously recognized as the World's Strongest Man, with relative ease.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Many of the characters, including Fiona if you count her natural hair color.
  • Cute Little Fangs: May.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Again, May.
  • Cuteness Overload: Jim's bunny form induces one here.
  • De-power: The fate of the rest of the characters in the final chapter
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Lampshaded with "hot lava" here.
  • Dead Serious: Oh, shi---
  • Deadpan Snarker: Akela.
    Akela: I'd say in your dreams, but I'd rather you just die.
  • Death by Depower: After The Magic Goes Away, Myrrine and Mr. Kite both experience Disappears into Light, and all of the other magic clones presumably do as well.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Eva teases Hall about interviewing Fiona, so Hall stabs her with a pipe.
    Eva: *with the pipe protruding from her chest* Uncalled for.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Derry's smiley face mask has this effect.
    • Eva and Hall are not remotely bothered by things like being stabbed.
  • Dream Sequence: Fiona has one here.
    • And another funnier, slightly disturbing one here.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played with. When Fiona becomes the hero of Sandy Lake, she gains the adoration of an entire town - but she also feels like her privacy is being invaded and like others are exploiting her fame.
  • Dynamic Entry: Hall makes an entrance.
  • Electronic Eyes: It's unclear if Mr. Kite has these or not.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Musak!
  • Electro Magnetic Pulse: Magic users generate electromagnetic fields due to their abilities.
  • Emotional Powers: Magic is triggered by confidence. The greater the confidence, the more power one has up to a limit. And since Jim is absolutely full of himself, and originates from a world other than the Supernormal Step universe thereby removing the limit, he is effectively the World's Strongest Man.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Van and Hall both, especially as the art improves.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: After the four-month Time Skip in Chapter Three, Fiona's hair has started growing out and showing blonde roots.
  • Expospeak: Poor Henderson.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Rascal.
    • That random old lady in the first chapter, until this page.
  • False Flag Operation:
    • Mr. Kite is implied to have massacred one of the domed cities while taking the shape of a Halland Henderson clone.
    • Jim and the Nameless's own leader (Mr. Kite again) stage one, faking an attack on a Nameless demonstration to spark a revolution against the Hendersons.
  • Fan Disservice: Mr. Kite... shirtless?
  • Fanservice: Fiona appears in her underwear multiple times throughout the comic. Van and Hall have both spent time shirtless.
    • Many of the wallpapers, and 100% of the pinups.
  • Fantasy Gun Control: Of the third variety. With the prevalence of magic, guns are obsolete in the Supernormal universe.
  • Hallucinations: Fenris's poisonous breath induces them.
  • Hands-Off Parenting: Jules, to some degree. He told Van not to leave their house, but he doesn't really enforce it, and he's perfectly okay with Van getting piercings and tattoos.
    Van: *about his sneaking out* Where did you think the piercings and tattoos came from?
    Jules: I... thought you might have done them yourself? \I'm less impressed now.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Halland and Eva Henderson are near-immortal, so its justified for them. But Henderson Security later decides to have all their officers keep their helmets off.
  • Heroic BSoD: Fiona, after learning that she will never return to her universe. Her face is heartbreaking.
  • "Hey, You!" Haymaker: Nosirrah favors a refined and dignified approach to this: "Excuse me."
Some guy. He's got some motive. Nobody really knows what that is.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: Oh, Fiona.
    Fiona: I just remembered I left coffee... going... coffee pot... oven thing... on...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Fiona just wants to get back to where she belongs.
  • Immortality: Hall and Eva are via a Healing Factor.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Hall and Eva were immortal since birth, but they seem to have aged normally and are both twenty-five.note  There is no evidence that they'll stay this way, however.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: Fiona's metal... whatever it wants to be, since it's powered by judgment magic.
  • Insistent Terminology: Cavan insists on being referred to as Mr. Henderson.
    • Fiona is Fiona, not Fi, Fi-Fi, or Fiifuls.
    • Although not really Insistent Terminology, Hall and Fiona draw a line between "where one belongs" and "one's home" here that makes it difficult to keep saying, "Fiona wants to go back home."
  • Ironic Echo :In the past Myrrine is about to commence her plan by separating the world into two worlds without explaining it to her superiors and in the present near the end of the series,Fiona commence her plan by removing the magic on earth without explaining it to Myrrine which she is not surprised as she understand what fiona is about to do.
  • Jerkass: Jim. This is also the reason he was cursed, though the specifics haven't been made clear yet.
    Jim: *on helping Fiona after generally ruining her life* Fine! Once again, let's detour from my original problem!
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Subverted; Jim can be changed back to a human by committing a good deed, but he's pure Jerkass and has to go out of his way to be nice.
  • Killed Off for Real: Nosirrah, Johnny. Also the "original" versions of Hall and Eva, who get absorbed into the new copies.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Vampires can wear full-body suits to go out during the daytime.
  • La Résistance: The Nameless.
    • The group Jim was part of in the normal universe that Fiona's dad founded.
  • Last-Name Basis: Cavan insists that Hall and Eva call him "Mr. Henderson", even though they seem to be related (same last name).
  • Lean and Mean: Mr. Kite.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall : This page shows Fiona about to make a speech as she perform a final spell to end magic but it also represents a farewell to the readers who have read the series from the beginning to end
  • Limited Wardrobe: Averted.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Dave isn't what one would call sociable.
  • Love Triangle: Akela and Hall both have an interest in Fiona.
  • MacGuffin: Supernormal Steps, the highly coveted book Van and Jim used to pull Fiona to the Supernormal 'Verse. Currently, Henderson Security has the last remaining copy.
  • The Mad Hatter: Mr. Kite and Beatle seem aware that they're... a bit off.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: It's not clear how magic works in the Supernormal universe. It's confidence-based - according to Cecilia, anyone who 100% believes they can do it can use simple magic, there are normally hard limits on how much power one can have - and it generates an electromagnetic field, but it's never explained where it comes from.
    Van: You don't get how magic works? It- It's magic!
  • The Magic Comes Back: Fiona's native universe is equivalent to our own and starts out largely non-magical, with most people not believing such a thing exists. According to one of The Men in Black it once was very real and still is to a degree, but it is now tucked away. It is possible for portals from the Supernormal Step universe to connect to it and even grab things, but it has been stated that magic cannot survive there for long. This is later revealed to be due to the efforts of a Reality Warper witch, who has been keeping magic suppressed to prevent it from running out of control. However, when Fiona and her companions finally return home from the Supernormal universe via a newly made portal, their presence causes magic to start flooding from the Supernormalverse into her world, causing increasing amounts of chaos as it starts getting empowered by everyone's confidence. The Big Bad ultimately succeeds in overloading the spell that separated the worlds to begin with, causing magic to come back completely.
  • The Magic Goes Away:
    • Part of the backstory of Fiona's homeworld. Magic was once a normal part of her world, but overuse of it resulted in the creation of rifts which started to eat the world away. Myrrine Whalen's solution was to separate everything magic had touched away from it into a pocket dimension, which would become the Supernormal Step universe.
    • In the final chapter, Fiona realizes that Magic is Evil and gets rid of it entirely.
  • Magic is Evil: Fiona ultimately realizes that magic is an inherently ruinous force and that Myrrine Whalen was wrong to have merely suppressed it instead of getting rid of it entirely.
  • Manchild: Eva has elements of this.
  • The Masquerade: In Fiona's native world, magic is largely believed to be fictitious, but there is a government agency charged with investigating it. Though they know magic to be real, they are limited to the memories of eye-witnesses since all actual evidence just mysteriously vanishes. They only have theories as to why, but Agent Matsuoka personally suspects that it is a deliberate effort by some sort of god-like being. Said god-like being turns out to be a witch named Myrrine Whalen, who has been preventing magic from manifesting for countless ages to avoid The End of the World as We Know It. She separated everything magical into a pocket dimension and used a spell to make the main world mostly forget that magic ever existed.
  • Merged Reality: In ancient times, Fiona's mundane world and the Supernormalverse were one and the same. To prevent magic from going out of control, a witch separated everything magical away from the main universe into a pocket dimension of its own. She isn't sure what will happen if too much magic overloads the spell maintaining the pocket dimension, but the pocket dimension collapsing back into the main universe is one of the possibilities. In chapter 22, it actually happens and the worlds combine back into one, resulting in a massive, worldwide catastrophe as buildings from the pocket dimension end up in the same spots as buildings in the main universe.
  • The Men in Black: They start showing up to investigate the "events" triggered by the return of magic, resulting from Fiona and several Supernormalworlders returning to her largely mundane world.
  • The Mentor: Cecilia.
    • Jules, to Van.
  • Mister Strangenoun: Mr. Kite.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Alright ladies, time to play follow the handsome man... But seriously we could die at any moment."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Eva fits this.
  • Mundane Utility: Fiona uses her magic as a flashlight here.
  • Mysterious Past: Hall apparently made some "past mistakes", but whether this qualifies as a Dark and Troubled Past is debatable, as it hinges on Cavan's definition of a "mistake".
  • Naïve Newcomer: Fiona.
  • Neck Snap: How Fiona defeats Fenris. And it is squicky.
  • Nerd Glasses: Elvina and Britta.
  • Nice Guy: Van genuinely cares about helping Fiona and treats the people he meets with respect and kindness.
    • Additionally, Hall actually cares about people, taking the "Security" half of Henderson Security more seriously.
    Hall: It's called being nice to the citizens; you should try it.
  • N.G.O. Superpower: The Nameless control an entire city, most of the U.S.'s airports, and even have relations with foreign countries. It has been stated that they could cause Mr. Henderson a huge amount of trouble if they decided to go to declare an open rebellion.
  • Non-Action Snarker: Dave, of the geek variety.
  • Noodle Incident: The baby carriage bonfire debacle?
    • Word of God states that the prominent scar under Hall's eye is from "Eva and an ice cream scoop".
      • The rare explained Noodle Incident: In response to a DeviantArt commenter, whose comment was essentially "I bet he took the last of the ice cream and Eva stabbed him in the eye":
      Lunsford: Think more unreasonable, like he came back from the store and told her they were out of strawberry.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Fiona is only interested in doing anything if it might result in getting her a portal back to the normal 'Verse.
  • Oh, Crap!: "Dad?!"
    • Sharp-eyed readers will note that the guy from this page is the skeleton in the yellow shirt here, making this an "Oh, Crap" for the reader.
    • Cavan's Dead Serious moment (see above).
  • Older Than They Look / Really 700 Years Old
  • Orcus on His Throne: Cavan hasn't done much besides paint a "creepy blind chick" and speak ominously, until this page.
  • Origins Episode :Chapter 20 is considered as this when it shows how Myrrine separated the world into two the supernatural one and the mundane
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Vampires in the Supernormal universe seem to have a variety of unique powers. Wing leads a "flock" of vampires that can shapeshift into birds, and Nosirrah can turn parts of his body to stone and produce a sword from his abdomen for some reason. While The Ageless, it is said that when a vampire dies, the curse will damn them to hell in what has been described as a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Why hello, May, we totally didn't see you there!
  • Plot Parallel: Hall's B-plot search for the truth about Mason parallels Fiona's A-plot journey.
  • Power Glows: Magic is represented as glowing energy in most cases.
  • Power Limiter: There is normally a hard limit on how powerful it is possible for any spellcaster to be. Long ago, no such limit existed, and the overuse of magic started to risk The End of the World as We Know It. To prevent this, Myrrine Whalen created a magical container and separated everything magical in the world into a new world of its own. The container prevented the main world from having magic at all anymore, and limited the potential of those in the magical one to a safe level. Mr. Kite works around this by summoning people from the main world into the magical one since the limiter has no effect on them.
  • The Power of Rock: Fiona's new magic technique ROCK!
  • Power Trio: Fiona, Van, and Jim, until the main group shifted into Five-Man Band Territory. Related tropes:
  • Punk in the Trunk: May is a Type II.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Every caster has a signature color to their magic. Two of these colors include blue and red, but the colors never mix. Purple magic is considered to be legendary and nearly unheard of. But Mr. Kite and Myrrine Whalen both have this as their color. Myrrine casted a world spanning spell to keep magic under control. One of its effects was to make the magical world blind to purple magic like her own to ensure they never learn the truth and break free.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: After her dad died, Fiona had a moment like this. But instead of destroying her reflection, she hacked off most of her hair and dyed the rest blue.
  • Reality Is Out to Lunch: When magic surges into Fiona's largely non-magical universe, it results in events far more bizarre than anything in even the Supernormal Step universe, such as people spontaneously turning into monsters then rioting and Fiona getting stuck inside a giant, otherworldly, haunted pinball machine. A mysterious witch states that this is because their world no longer knows how to handle magic when in the hands amateurs, and that the resulting reality bending phenomena puts all of existence at stake.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Cavan's lost track of his age.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eva and Hall, respectively. See here.
    • While Eva and Hall are a very straightforward example, Jim (red) and Van (blue) get a bit more complex. Jim is "red" in the sense that he is more "passionate" (read: irritable), defiant, and brawny; however, he lacks the enthusiasm and zest for life also associated with the red oni. Van is "blue" in that he is laid back, responsible, and somewhat more intellectual; however, he is not even remotely cold, aloof, or stoic.
  • Refused the Call: Fiona refused to select a side in the Henderson/Nameless war.
  • Robbing the Mob Bank: Fiona's chosen career is "pickpocket". One day, she picked the pocket of the wrong person, resulting in her constantly being hounded by organized criminals, who made it clear that even if she returned the wallet, they would still kill her. In the end, it gets so bad that she has to ask for help from Alice, who manages to take them all out.
  • Robot Buddy: A villainous example: Beatle, Mr. Kite's robot assistant.
  • The Runaway: Van ran away from foster care and was taken in by Jules.
    • Fiona ran away from home after her dad died. She also runs away from her problems when they're too much for her to handle.
  • Scars are Forever: And since Hall and Eva are both immortal, they're really forever.
  • Sealed Evil in a Teddy Bear: Jim. In his human form, he can "kick people into the stratosphere," but in his stuffed bunny form, he's pretty much limited to shouting expletives.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: May wears Van's shirt here.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong : Used as the main plot of the 2nd half of the series where Fiona betrayed by what she thought was her friend Jim is teleported back to her world along with the resurrected Hendersons siblings and the reduced human Akela while Jim now rules the supernatural world with his iron fist.Fiona must now make things right by trying to find a way to return back to the supernatural world and give payback to Jim for the betrayal.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Cavan Henderson.
    • Van as well. Apparently, Jules insisted that Van have fashion sense.
  • Ship Tease: Eva constantly harasses Hall for his generally platonic interest in Fiona. This doesn't come to much of anything until this page, when it becomes clear that Eva may be on to something.
  • Shout-Out: Mr. Kite makes a lot of popular music references.