Tales From the Darkside 210: Ursa Minor

Ursa Minor, huh? So is this going to be about stargazing, or killer bears? Or a killer bear from the stars! One can only hope... The episode begins with a hung-over dad trying to struggle his way out of bed, followed by a domestic scene that the show tries to make creepier than it is by adding a 'scary' cue.

VID1 (~0:45)

Here's the thing, though. The whole talking about her bear as if it was a person is a completely normal childhood thing. It's not creepy in the least.

The mom has difficulty raising the dad from his slumber. His over-reliance on alcohol used to self-medicate his self-esteem problems has left him unable to function as a husband or father! He doesn't even know what day it is - and he's chagrined to discover that it's his daughter's birthday, since he didn't buy her a gift.

Then who, pray-tell, got her the bear? And why is said bear knocking over vases?

That's right, things are starting to fall and be damaged around the house, and little Suzy claims that the bear is to blame. Naturally, the parents don't believe her, which I'm sure will lead to their downfall in about twelve minutes. More importantly, though, until the spooky supernatural stuff starts up, I'm just going to say that this was an episode meant as a metaphor laying out the ways that children can act out when they're raised by neglectful, alcoholic parents.

Didn't take long for the spooky stuff to kick in, huh? Bear stomping around in the middle of the night, leaving footprints everywhere - this is really putting the daughter in a bind, too, as neither of her parents will believe she's not responsible!

Also not responsible (albeit in a different way) is dad-

Who's actually smoking in bed while drunk! Man, they don't mind laying it on thick here on the Darkside, do they?

Mom wants to talk about Suzy's emotional problems, but Dad is too drunk and lackadaisical to engage. Some time later we get a look at Dad's workshop, which features, not coincidentally, an actual bearskin rug! Mom hopes that seeing an actual bear will teach Suzy the difference between real and fake, although somehow I doubt that will be the result.

Things around the house continue to deteriorate - the parents fight over money troubles, their daughter's emotional problems, his alcoholism... if it weren't for the magic bear, this would just be a depressing drama! Rather than what it is, a depressing drama with a magic bear - who has glowing eyes!

After Suzy is caught making porridge in the middle of the night (bears like porridge, you'll recall), Mom decides to call in some professional help. By which I mean a professor of mythology, as opposed to, you know, a psychologist. He rambles about bears having black magic in native mythology - it's his theory that the spirit of the bear is pissed off that society has so marginalized it with adorable teddy bears and the like. This seems pretty far-fetched, but mom is convinced to throw the bear away and replace it with a harlmess Goldilocks doll.

It won't be that simple if Teddy has anything to say about it, though - he tears up Suzy's room, scaring the daylights out of her! With the final straw on the camel's back, mom waits until Suzy's asleep and pulls the switch. Teddy goes in the garbage, where he can't possibly pose a threat to anyone ever again.

Except to Goldilocks, who gets mauled that night. In a neat detail, when Mom finds the Teddy bear and viciously stabs him to death, what does she happen to find amidst all the stuffing in his little bear-tummy?

Yup, it's Goldilocks' hair and a part of her head! Yikes! Well, at least now the bear has been stabbed to death, stopping him once and for all.

Kidding. He totally comes back as a full-sized toy bear and tears everybody (except dad, who's in the hospital because of a work injury I didn't mention earlier) to pieces.

The end.


Anonymous said...

That wasn't 'Teddy Bear' crashing through the door, that was the bearrug attacking, not sure if it was her mother or like Slappy (that when the host doll is broken, it possesses anything else).

soggybottom said...

It wasn't Teddy OR the bear-skin rug.

The "bear-skin rug" part of the story was just the parents trying to explain to Suzy the difference between real and fake bears, but Suzy didn't believe any of it..."Teddy is way more real than any rug!" That's all it was--It wasn't to hint to us that the rug may come to life later on.

Remember what the Mythology-dude said earlier about Ursa Minor and Ursa Major?

So Teddy was Ursa Minor, and the big bear at the end was Ursa Major, coming for revenge on the person who stabbed and killed poor little Teddy.