Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Spirit of Aunt Lois

Episode 18

This episode is much better than I remembered.  A combination of a new writer, up until now, and a couple of new characters minus Slimer, for the most part, results in one of the better episodes.  Ray’s Aunt Lois asks the Ghostbusters to visit her home as a spiritualist is set to do his version of ghostbusting.  Laughs abound and watching the Ghostbusters work with a fraud is an idea I appreciate.  Now does the spiritualist or the Ghostbusters get the job done?  We’ll find out now.

Why Janine? Slimer is the target right?
The Ghostbusters have just arrived back to the old firehouse after a slimy job by the looks of their boots.  Peter whines a bit about switching careers but Ray insists he loves it here.  There is a neat character moment in these two as Peter turns away with a smile on his face knowing he really does enjoy being a Ghostbuster.  Egon and Winston are taking some ghost traps downstairs as Egon speaks some of that classic scientific jargon he’s known for.  They also have a cool character moment as Winston tells him he likes it when he talks like that.  It’s not every episode you get these nice chips of development in the lives of the Ghostbusters.  As usually happens thus far in this series Peter decides to take a nap but Slimer hugs his leg covering it in slime.  He straps on the proton pack and aims at Slimer who is hiding behind Janine!  Janine says, “Dr. Venkman don’t you dare!  There’s nothing in my job description about target practice!”  Egon tries to tell him he’s being irrational but Peter says, “No Egon finding the refrigerator empty that’s irrational, slime in my shoes that’s irrational, this will be fun.”  Slimer does get away in the chatter and then an unexpected visitor shows up in the form of Ray’s Aunt Lois.

Nobel Prize my @$$ Egon, let me blast him!
Aunt Lois would like to know if the guys were free tonight but Ray says they have a job tonight.  Janine informs them that they cancelled on them though once they heard about what happened at the other place they were at today.  I take it the place isn’t structurally the same as before!  Aunt Lois mentioned she has a headache and she thinks it’s spiritual, whatever that means.  She tells the guys she hired Dr. Bassingame, a phony television spiritualist.  Ray is pissed but Peter covers for him and let’s her know they’ll be there tonight.  It’s great to see Ray so angered by this turn of events though, he usually is so chipper.  Peter then decides to get that nap he’s been after.  As he heads upstairs all you can hear is, “SSSSSLLLLLIIIIIMMMMMEEEEERRRRR!!!!!  What have you done to my bed?”  The delivery of this line is mind-blowing and hysterical!  How on earth did Lorenzo Music hold that for so long?  It gives more appreciation for his work.  Also it’s another great moment in Peter’s hatred for Slimer.

Spotted the fake seance equipment
Later on the guys arrive at Aunt Lois’ fancy digs.  It’s cool to see the guys dressed up too, not that I hate the routine jumpsuits but it shows a different side to the characters.  They meet the notorious Dr. Bassinggame and you can tell he’s a sly one.  His equipment is set up everywhere and does give a brief moment of being impressive, I did say brief.  Egon busts out his PKE meter as always, I love it!  He gets readings of dormant spirits but nothing else.  Dr. Bassingame demands he put it away though.  Why would you need real ghostbusting gear?  A séance occurs or should I say a fake séance occurs.  Peter asks Egon if Dr. Bassingame and his gear can handle the ghosts.  Egon whispers to Peter, “His equipment is designed to annoy it.”  Peter says, “As long as it’s not totally useless.”  You have to love the humor!  Dr. Bassingame uses a projector to summon a spirit.  His séance however is disturbing the actual ghosts in the area.  They begin to appear as nobody notices.  Ray points out that the fake ghost projection will want money and sure enough that’s what it asks for!

The Domoviye - Russian Ghosts!
The ghosts begin to start their trouble as Egon explains, while using his PKE meter, that Bassingame has awakened numerous class seven spirits.  This is possibly the first time they mention classes to categorize ghosts.  Ray wants to get the proton packs but Aunt Lois, being the clueless character she is, insists that Dr. Bassingame can handle it.  “Of course I can, I’ll do an exorcism.”  Bassingame says.  Peter replies, “You’re nuts doc!”  It’s funny to see Bassingame losing control of the situation if he ever had it to begin with.  He kicks the Ghostbusters out of the room.  Ray continues to be upset and can’t believe the situation.  Peter says, “Better them than us.”  That doesn’t calm Ray at all, ha-ha!  They head inside the room but get thrown out in all manner of ways except for Aunt Lois who is still trapped inside.  They decide against using their equipment since she is still inside and Egon brushes them up on their history.  Its here we learn that Ray’s family is Russian, interesting.

Not getting away so easily
Domoviye are the spirits haunting the home but they are helpful ghosts which is a surprise.  They become hostile if insulted which is exactly what Bassingame did with his phony séance.  If you know me then you know I love to know about what the ghosts are and where they came from, in this case Russia it seems.  They are also a location spirit which means they reside in a specific area of the home.  Egon comes up with an idea to get Aunt Lois out so they can go to work.  They will perform another séance so as to attract the spirits to them so she can escape the room.  They bring in Bassingame against his will and they also chant random things.  Ray and Peter sing 99 bottles of beer on the wall!  Aunt Lois manages to escape the room and also allow the Ghostbusters to clean up Bassingame’s mess.  It’s pretty cool to see the guys wear the black gloves since they don’t do it very often.

A new friend, they'll be happy together
They round up all the Domoviye in a very well done ghost trapping scene.  The animation was fantastic as was the use of multiple ghost traps since there were roughly 18 ghosts.  The theme music gets left out but it still manages to be successful which I wouldn’t think is possible.  In other words I’m impressed with this episode.  After they bag all the ghosts Peter scares the crap out of Ray who fires at Winston scaring the crap out of him!  The ending wraps up just as well as the rest of the episode.  The Ghostbusters prove to be the right men for the job and in unison say, “Ghostbusters” referring to it.  Bassingame however is a slick little man who shows his contract stating he isn’t responsible for any damages.  The Ghostbusters threaten to bring all the ghosts to his home if he doesn’t pay for the damages his phony practices caused.  He concedes and writes a check while taking home a souvenir for his troubles.  It’s the last Domoviye and it seems it has chosen a new home to haunt.

I’d recommend this episode to watch for someone interested in the show.  The show doesn’t follow any order episode wise so watching this one first is of little consequence.  The writer, Richard Mueller, did a nice job and I’ll be expecting great episodes from him in the future.  We’ll see how that goes as usual.  I’ll include some extra images of this episode as there were plenty showcase this time around.

Rating: 10 of 10

Professional at work
Nice touch with all the ghost traps strewn about
Ray freaks out!
Winston almost becomes a ghost!


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