Thursday, May 10, 2012

When Halloween Was Forever

Episode 8 – Season 1

Samhain has always been my favorite ghostly villain in the Ghostbusters world but upon assessing this episode’s overall use of him has left me a tad disappointed.  I love the back-story on Samhain; the originator of Halloween has a spooky ring to it.  I really like the character design for him as well, the pumpkin head truly represents the holiday.  I would have liked to see a more dominant presence or act done by him through the course of the episode but it doesn’t happen.  He’s mere eye candy in most scenes and his apparent ignorance of the Ghostbusters leads to a sour ending for me.

Peter doesn't hit on Cynthia?
The Ghostbusters begin the episode trapping spirits on Halloween day, very fitting.  The rise of spirit activity has sky rocketed and even caused the ghosts to be more difficult to trap than usual as noted by Winston.  If it’s tough for him I can only imagine what the other three scientists must be going through with their weaker physical prowess.  Cynthia Crawford, a reporter, is on the story of the recent ghostbustings going on throughout the city.  I like her presence in the episode and it’s a shame she’s not integrated into the show more.  She would have been able to connect the Ghostbusters events to the general public more, solid possibilities were there.  Later at home after watching the report on TV Peter, as the TV is turned off, says, “I think we’ve seen that three more times than we had too.”  Winston states, “I don’t like it.”  Peter adds, “Me either, I always look terrible on TV” one of the funnier moments this episode.

You might want to avoid carving this pumpkin.
Egon is figuring out why the increased spiritual activity is occurring, in a less than overall entertaining scene.  Slimer is funnier than usual as he searches for candy in Peter’s jumpsuit during the conversation they’re all having.  Peter earlier in the scene threatened Egon by using Slimer to slime his sock, Egon conceded while Peter rewarded Slimer with a lollipop.  Egon is suspicious that the Halloween legends may be true but he hasn’t quite been sold.  You have to admire his stubborn tenacity in discovering the truth.  Meanwhile at a museum two goblins release Samhain from his tomb which is awesome.  It’s a great intro scene for him but alas it may be one of the few moments done right to do him the justice he deserves.  You get to see the immediate effects of his power as he flies through the night bringing supernatural activity to high levels.  The music selection is a bit lame from the actual soundtrack it’s taken from, sad times.

Blindly rushing out to face the supernatural forces!
Later at night in the firehouse Egon and Ray are working together on some random machine when it breaks all of a sudden.  Egon thought they were building a “Spectral Differentializer” while Ray thought it was a toaster.  It doesn’t sound like it would be that funny, but it actually is!  Janine answers the door for some trick-or-treaters but gets scared by the two goblins who released Samhain and the guys head out in a frenzy trying to get a handle on the situation.  Samhain meanwhile has the power to make lesser ghosts gravitate toward him unwillingly; he ‘reels in’ Slimer so to speak atop a tall building.  Samhain senses Slimer helps mortals and despises him for it.  Samhain seems to be building up an army of ghosts for his plans but has no knowledge of the containment unit’s plethora of ghosts.  Wouldn’t it be wild if Slimer was forced to reveal that information to him?  I believe that plot course could have provided a more exciting finish to the episode.

Light doesn't brighten up everyone's day.
Ghosts are meanwhile terrorizing the city as the Ghostbusters, on foot, try to capture them all.  Where’s ecto-1 guys, how can you trap more than four ghosts?  Are they running back to the firehouse to empty each trap, no they probably are just slacking and not catching many ghosts.  Peter probably convinced them since they’re not getting paid for this to take it easy, ha-ha!  They figure out that time is stopping and it dawns on them that Halloween will last forever.  Samhain is finally pissed off at them as he slams a section of brick wall near them forcing them to recognize him.  It’s the scene in the episode that really saves it even though it’s not the best it still could be.  I didn’t like Peter recalling a line from the actual movie about showing Samhain the town, it wasn’t a good line.  Samhain tells them to stop bothering him and his “little ones” as he annoyingly says too much for my liking.  I do love it when he states very evilly, “I am Halloween.”  I’ve always felt Halloween and the Ghostbusters is the best possible combination for a successful story.  The legend of Halloween that only the Ghostbusters can stop!  I like the power of Samhain to cause global eternal night.  That’s a big-time supernatural power to possess and he wasted no time in using it.  How they stop that is beyond me, we’re talking about an immense amount of spiritual energy aren’t we?  Alas Egon discovers his weakness, light!  So along with the Gremlins, two of my all-time favorite evil entities hate light.

I'm surprised Slimer didn't eat the pumpkin first.
The ending is disappointing.  Egon gets search lights in position below Samhain’s haunted building in a silly way.  He tricks a pair of ghosts driving a small car to pull several giant lights into place as the others march up the building busting ghosts methodically.  Samhain faces them on the top by holding Slimer hostage, weak!  You have the power of eternal darkness on a worldwide scale while becoming stronger as a result of it and you try to hold Slimer hostage?  The Ghostbusters neglect to blast him several times in the confrontation which is odd behavior especially from Winston, he always shoots first!  It’s an uninteresting conversation between the forces when Ray simply shouts, “Pizza!” to get Slimer away from his tortured state in Samhain’s grasp.  I can imagine Samhain reading the script for this episode and muttering, “This is major B.S.”  Egon blasts the light on the top of the building and Samhain gets trapped.  Isn’t Samhain strong enough to resist the beams in the very least?  As the Ghostbusters put Samhain to rest in the containment unit they use their newly installed ghost scope to view him inside.  He sits patiently looking quite annoyed at his current predicament.  Janine turns off the power and has Slimer float inside a pumpkin to scare the crap out of the Ghostbusters!  In that sense it ends on a funny note.

I still like this episode enough for the presence of Samhain and the great potential story behind his very existence.  I admit being disappointed but thus is the world of the Real Ghostbusters.

Rating: 9 of 10

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