ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Feb. 12th, 2015
SYNOPSIS: Steven invites Lars to a spooky movie night at the creepy old lighthouse.
Steven stops by the Big Donut on his way to a scary movie night, hoping to invite Lars. When Lars finds out Ronaldo will be the one hosting it, he passes. No need to hang around with that social outcast. Sadie already accepted the invitation prior, so she leaves with Steven. This motivates Lars to tag along though. On a side note, it took me a very long time to notice that Sadie has a small, but permanent scar on her cheek due to the events of “Island Adventure”. It’s so subtle, but it’s such a nice addition.
The horror party takes place in Ronaldo’s lighthouse. Decked in a Phantom of the Opera costume, Ronaldo invites the trio in, but quickly loses his luster when Lars makes fun of his lame outfit. He doesn’t even counter back with his usual theatrics and instead just meekly takes in Lars’ insults. Unfortunately, Ronaldo is easy pickings for Lars, particularly on his choice of horror movies. Sadie is the opposite, showing both an interest in scary films and impressed at Ronaldo for securing an uncut vintage copy.
“Horror Club” is the closest the show has to a Halloween episode and like its ilk, there’s always something lurking in the dark. The lighthouse loses its power, prompting Ronaldo to bring out a pendulum so he can summon what he believes to be a ghost. Lars remains skeptic throughout, but he’s the one who ends up looking like a fool! The pendulum wildly swings out of control. Soon, files from Ronaldo’s cabinet start flying everywhere! Maybe there really IS a ghost! Sadie orders everyone out of the lighthouse, but the “ghost” blocks the main exit, so they head down another path. Ronaldo compliments Sadie’s quick thinking; the two are getting along quite well. This is not lost on Lars.
They almost make it out of the lighthouse, but Ronaldo’s decorative scarecrows block the way and attacks. They push them out of the house, but the nightmare is far from over. Ronaldo concludes this isn’t a ghost, but a poltergeist. Ghosts haunt houses, poltergeists aim for people under emotional distress and he thinks Lars is the cause. Lars goes ballistic, thinking maybe all the weird stuff is coming from the weirdo himself: Ronaldo. He asks Sadie to ditch him and get the heck out, but she refuses to budge. Then the floor swallows her up. Fantastic.
They follow her to the basement where Steven is able to feel the poltergeist’s pain. The nearby wall pulsates with gooey veins as it spells out Lars’ name. Oh, and it has a giant mouth. Ronaldo believes the only way to save Sadie is to feed it Lars. He chucks him in, but Steven saves him in time, defeating the poltergeist in the process and subsequently freeing Sadie as well. There is no poltergeist or ghost, the whole thing was caused by a Corrupted Gem. The Gem projects a hologram containing a stored memory.
The hologram reveals that Lars and Ronaldo were once friends. The two of them took over the abandoned lighthouse one day so they could create a secret clubhouse. When Lars carved his name onto the wall, one of the wooden boards snapped off and struck him. Ronaldo managed to capture it on film, excited that he discovered his first paranormal activity. He planned to put it on TV, but Lars quickly ripped up the photo. Ronaldo angrily retaliated, asking Lars why he cared so much about what other people thought of him. Lars shot back, crudely admitting that people talked about Ronaldo behind his back, essentially admitting that he was too embarrassed to hang out with him. Their friendship ended that day.
Steven bubbles the Gem back to the temple, then leaves with Sadie so Lars and Ronaldo can catch up. Lars begrudgingly apologizes for ripping up the photo and Ronaldo clarifies that he had no intention of embarrassing his former friend. Lars wants to brush it all away, but at least there’s closure.
Growing up lonely, I rarely had friends and the ones I did I stuck to them like glue. This made it harder when they would cut ties with me, afraid my weirdness would taint whatever social ladder they were climbing. Their abandonment was a knife to the gut and I imagine Ronaldo feels the same.
Ronaldo has largely kept to himself since and “Horror Club” acknowledges that his hobbies are more than a personal interest, but a means to wade off loneliness. Maybe this is why he’s so defensive, he’s been called a weirdo before, forcing him to build a wall around himself and deny that there’s anything wrong with him, even though they isn’t. To be picked on exclusively for that reason alone is distressing, especially for children. I’ve been there, I’ve endured the judgmental cackles of my fellow peers, and I’ve built that wall numerous times.
Lars is a different shade of loneliness. He’s too self-conscious of what everyone thinks of him that he will often brush anyone away with his bad attitude. He built his own wall, one where he keeps people at bay because he has yet to love himself without being scared.
Lars apologizes and Ronaldo is receptive, but what gets me is that this doesn’t end with the two of them hugging and making up. They don’t instantly rebuild their friendship and there isn’t an indicator that they even will. What the two have done is bury something of their past, even if it was by chance.