Sunday, July 15, 2012

Look Homeward, Ray

Episode 9 – Season 1

The first episode featuring a specific Ghostbuster has arrived and it’s Ray Stantz.  It’s about how Ray used to be from a small town but made it big as a Ghostbuster in New York.  He returns home to be head of a parade that celebrates a giant puma not being around.  Things naturally go wrong for him and it’s up to all of the Ghostbusters to set things right.

Elaine - Ray's long ago crush!
As it begins all of the guys except Ray are racing somewhere which ends up being the train station Ray is departing at.  Slimer tries to see him off but Peter tells him to back off, “Stay!  This is people stuff.”  I always enjoy the rotten treatment Slimer is subjected to from Peter, delightful humor!  The train is about to take off when Peter yells, “Hold the train, there’s a lobster on the track!”  I don’t get it but perhaps there is some joke about trains and lobsters I’m unaware of?  If not it’s a stupid line.  The guys toss a bunch a crap into Ray’s arms that he obviously didn’t want to take with him and tried to sneak out of the firehouse before they saw him.  They mention a mysterious puma legend which is probably a bunch of nonsense but let’s note it.  Slimer comes to say goodbye anyway which is unnecessary but shows his love for Ray I suppose.  Ray mentions his hometown is a mere thirty miles away so why don’t the guys drive him there?  They’re jerks and want to make him pay for a train ticket?  It’s really not that far but oh well no big deal.

Favish up to some dangerous trickery.
Roy Stantz is introduced at the big opening ceremony or whatever it is by the half witted mayor of this small town.  I did say Roy I know; they don’t even remember his name!  Ray meets his old crush Elaine who is quite the looker, ‘Go get her Ray’ right?  He also meets the local town turd Alan Favish, his old nemesis it seems.  Elaine has an old mansion is her possession now but it’s haunted!  Go figure so Ray decides to impress her and go busts the ghosts.  Hey who wouldn’t for her, it can be an engagement present Ray think about it!  Now this is when things get a bit shaky for me.  As Ray is marching to the mansion Alan is hustling to his shoe store apparently to cast a spell of ‘negative energy’ which will empower the ghosts haunting the mansion.  It happens incredibly fast as Ray gets a reading on his PKE meter that the ghosts are weak then the next moment they trash him and make him look like a fool.  The town turns on him instantly and Alan, of course, is the new hero!  I’m so happy now!

Ray returns to the firehouse in depression mode.  Winston mentions Ray has problems and goes to see what’s going on.  Peter states referring to what Winston said, “We knew that back in college.”  Ray tests the equipment to be sure nothing is wrong with it and there isn’t.  Winston and Peter have a small wager that Ray will attempt to go rectify his previous embarrassment back at his hometown.  Ray promptly does and is joined by Elaine who must like to wander around in the dark woods as much as him.  They team up to take a second crack at the two ghosts who bested him earlier.  Meanwhile Egon barges into the sleeping quarters, “I think we have a problem.”  Peter refusing to wake up, “Well wake me when you’re sure.”  They decide to go help Ray out.

Two in the box ready to go!
Creepy man Alan is also stalking around in the dark woods near the mansion to spy on Ray.  How did he know he was back?  It’s a small town I guess he has nothing better to do.  Ray gets defeated again by the two ghosts who, luckily for him, think it’s just funny to toss him around a bit.  His buddies show up to help when Alan chants his spell returning the ‘negative energy’ to the earth just at the most opportune moment.  Did he plan all this or is some of it just pure luck or amazing timing?  The Ghostbusters easily trap the two weenie ghosts and we get the theme music improving the scene overall.  Ray throws a fit and decides to quit being a Ghostbuster while running away.  Ray we all have bad days you just have to get through it.  The guys try to snap him out of it with some uneasy dialogue including, “Ray you’ll lose your pension benefits.”  Its daylight now as well which is a bit odd considering how quickly it came in so short a time.  Alan is also out jogging and offers Ray a new job.

Ray's new fashion!
Ray continues his downward spiral of self pity by wearing a full body pink bunny outfit and selling shoes for Alan at his store.  The guys leave as Ray just won’t come to terms with anything reasonable.  Let him wear his bunny suit in peace!  He can cuddle himself to sleep now, sorry Elaine.  The guys try to coax Ray into saving them with a set up ghost capture that Slimer ruins but I’m not surprised at all Slimer did.  It’s a neat scene and Winston helps, “Yo, its ghost bunny to the rescue!”  It’s a bit cheesy but it’s funny to see Ray with a proton pack and giant pink bunny ears.

Later Ray and Elaine find Alan’s secret spell book and more specifically the chapter about ‘negative energy’.  “To make shoes?”  I love Elaine’s comment on why Alan has such a book!  Is she that clueless?  Anyway Ray figures it all out now and rushes to warn the others at the parade he is no longer a part of.  The rest of the Ghostbusters are watching the floats go by and Egon states, “This is very bad.”  Peter adds, “Hey give him a break he can’t help how he looks.”  Peter is referring to Alan Favish going by on his shoe float but Egon has the PKE meter out getting strong readings from below the ground.  The ‘negative energy’ animation looks slick for this show as the winged puma finally makes its appearance.  I suppose that banter from earlier is true and dumb dumb Alan caused the legend to come to life.  The puma goes berserk and destroys poor Alan’s shoe store as Peter says, “Oh cute it followed him home.”  I tell you sometimes the jokes keep coming and really make the show worth watching.

The throwers have no effect since their positive energy so I guess you need the same energy to affect a ghost.  Ray saves his buddies by luring the puma away and reversing the polarity on his thrower to frighten the gigantic puma ghost off for the moment.  Winston says, “You’re worth your weight in pizza homeboy!”  Great lines!  As they give chase to the puma they construct a funky air float comprised of the shoe and Ray Stantz in float form.  It’s a somewhat anti-climatic capture scene but it wraps up the episode well enough.  Ray gets to be the grand marshal of the parade once again, Alan Favish is stuck rebuilding his crappy shoe store and a float resembling the puma gets blasted by Ray!  How they constructed that float so fast transcends me but that’s how this show goes at times.

The puma is a decent ghost in this series and really helped this episode out in my opinion.  The origin was shallow but it was more about Ray which is also a good thing.  It was cheesy at times and the timeline of events staggered a bit but I’d say it’s a pretty good episode in the end.

Rating:  7.5 of 10


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