Haunting Hour Season 4 Retrospective

(Remember how that “So the Drama” review got stolen by ….something? Yeah, it happened again. It’s not as bad this time, as I only wrote 2 sections, and started on another when I lost it. I was pissed, but I only re-wrote one section cuz I was SO PROUD of it. So yeah, I’m sorry.)

Hello, Spongey here.

Well, it looks it’s that time again. Season 5 is actually coming soon (though with my luck it may be out by the time this is out).

(It’s not out yet. HOLY SHIT I GOT SOMETHING DONE)

Yeah, I started this awhile ago due to my laziness, and then losing the DVR’d episodes, caused it to be late.

But hey, it means I don’t have to do a whole thing about why Season 4 being over was odd. Why is this Season so short? Well, Season 4 is actually Season 3 part 2. These are Season 3 episodes that aired overseas and didn’t are in the states until now. So they just made another season out of those missing episodes.

For further proof, let’s look at the numbers of episodes per season.

SEASON 1: 20

SEASON 2: 16

SEASON 3: 12

SEASON 4: 12

Add up Season 3 and 4 and you get 24, which is not only as long as a normal season, but the LONGEST season! So there you go. By the way, The Hub’s Sneak Video for Season 5 called it Season 4. So…this may be Season 3. I don’t know.

The only downside to the Season is that the lack of a 2 part episode made it feel shorter than it actually was. Otherwise, this was a surprisingly solid season. There are at least 3 episodes that could make it on a top 15 list, or at least on the runners up.

That’s not too bad. I’ll go more into Season 3 vs 4 in terms of my ratings later. I’ll just say that each episode, again, had some special and unlike Season 3, none of the episodes were weak. Well, sort of.

But with that out of the way, let’s dig in…with 1 episode being unexplained for reasons already explained.

This, is Haunting Hour Season 4 Retrospective

By the way, I realize these are mostly Recaps rather than normal Reviews, so keep that in mind, because SPOILERS.

(As a heads up, the titles are in Italics, because this new wordress thingy doesn’t like underlining.)

Seance

Director: James Head

Writer: Meolody Fox & Tim Shell (Story)

Carla’s older sister Namoi is holding a Seance with her friends while their parents are away, and Carla wants it. They first reject her because she gets scared often, but eventually they give in. After the Seance, Carla vanishes and the other suspectt that the man that they weere trying to contact with the Seance is coming.

This is likely the weakest Season Opener, and close to being the weakest of the Season (though one coming up is close). It’s a solid B episode, and it has a B+ ending, but it feels like a Season 1 episode. That’s not bad, but that also means it is solid and nothing else.

I have no issues, but it some generic bits here and there. Some are part of the fun but some of the cliches with Carla are a bit off. She’s a typical little kid who wants to be with her asshole sibling for no reason, and pays the price. But she’s decently likable, and she becomes awesome at the end. She’s played by Joey King, who I remember from Ramona and Beezus. She’s cool.

The first half is spent on the Seance, and the build up to it. It starts out typical, but fun. The older characters, (one of which is played by another bitch, Patty Farrel from Wimpy Kid) are assholes and use dated slang, but it makes them fun. The Seance itself is pretty cool, with great atmosphere.

They are planning to talk to One Leg….name I forgot. Let’s call him Leg ghost. He was a lazy worker dude who was caught drinking on the job and long story short, he got his leg sawed off somehow and he died of leg lose, somehow. Now his ghosts wears a peg leg and is out for revenge. It makes more sense in context.

Also, a kid’s show just referenced drinking. I’m not shocked at this point.

Predictably, Carla is pranked into thinking Leg ghost is there and they move on. Naomi and her friends watch a scary movie while Carla sits in her room thinking about leg ghost. Eventually scary things happen and we supposedly see Leg Ghost snatch up Carla.

The rest of the episode is like a typical horror movie, with the kids being scared by a ghost and getting picked off. However, this part is the best because it’s a fun homage to “classic” horror flicks. It’s not funny about it, but it manages to be the fun kind of spooky. It has a scream vibe to it, since they were watching a horror movie, and now they are living it.

It’s a bit cliché, but unlike other bits in this episode, it’s the good kind. By the way, near the end they try to think of how the kids in the movie escaped, and one says that they just get killed. The other reminds them that it was the original where that happened….and we are told the same thing somehow happened in the sequel.

That’s funny.

Not much happens until the end, where Carla shows up with a peg leg, revealing that leg ghost got here. This is the scariest part, as Evil Carla is pretty threatening, and it’s a cool comeuppance moments. Can you guess what happens next?

The correct answer should be the following: It turns to be an prank from Carla. Pretty cliché, and what happens next is also a bit cliché but it works better. How did Carla do this? She had help from leg ghost.

He pops up and..

“That was funny”

So is his line read. Seriously, it’s done this kind of… weird voice that makes it funny. Then it becomes scary once he attacks the kids, and the credits roll. Pretty basic, solid ending. Reminds me of The House of No Return only, you know, better.

There isn’t much to say, plot-wise here. It goes the way I just said. It’s basic, with some solid touches. The atmosphere is very good, setting the mood nicely. That makes this episode a solid watch, as the script is kind of basic.

There’s nothing too bad here, but it has cliches that drag it own. A more simple plot with less cliches would make this episode better. Also, the ending does work as the whole “it’s a prank but the ghost is there” thing does make it work. It’s a cool comeuppance ending that does a cliché well.

The start is just typical, and the episode itself is one of the more average entries in this series. Kind of like “Walls” or “My Sister the witch” and while those gave me more to like (The hilarious ending in the former, and the kid liking his sister in the latter) this is a bit more memorable in terms of overall presentation.

But if this was Season 1, no one would remember it the way no one remembers those. Of course, people would be kinder to it since Season 1 has more eps like this. This Season lacked pure horror episodes such as ‘Dreamcatcher” “Girl in the painting” or “Lights out” but the small scary stuff like in this, make up for it.

Plus, the writing is still decent. Overall, this is a basic episode, but it works because of some decent scares and passable writing. Not much to say, as the episode whelmed me that much.

It’s alright.

Grade: B

Detention

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writers: Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr.

This was the main section that got lost. I’m redoing it because this episode was worth reviewing twice.

A Goth named, Audrey a Jock named Halftime, some nerdy dude, and an Alpha Bitch named Kate walk into a detention. They don’t recall why they are there, and soon they find out…and it ain’t pretty.

This is one of those episodes where the ending is the reason why it is amazing. But I’ll try to pace myself. When I hear the premise, I thought it would be like ‘School Spirit” from Nightmare Room, but trust me, it’s not.

Well, it is actually more similar than you would think ,but that’s a review for another time.

At the start, I’m already liking this episode. We have these characters exchanging some fun banter before the creepy stuff sets in. There’s a great scene where the teacher is telling them about Detention. He gives no fucks at all and he’s like “I don’t care what you do, just shut up while I go fap”

I made up the last part but still. He’s great but the episode only gets better from there. Some may find the stereotypes annoying, but I thought they were a lot of fun. Sort of like The Breakfast club but….not.

Their banter was enjoyable, but my favorite character by far is Kate. She’s the Alpha Bitch and my god is she amazing. She’s hot and her actress steals every scene she is in. She’s so condescending to everyone that it’s awesome. The banter with her and Audrey is especially good.

But she even gets a good arc by the end, but we’ll get to that. Anyway, this episode mostly has the kids walking around trying to figure out what is going on. The tension is high as creepy things happen, and the 2nd half is nothing but gold.

At one point early, Kate just leaves only to bump into that teacher. Once again he is amazing as he just says Kate doesn’t like following rules. Then Kate just bitches at him like a bitch.

“My allowance is bigger than your salary”

After that, something grabs her and boom, she’s gone. This is where the episode goes from good, to very good. I won’t recap everything from here to the end but I’ll go over this great scene.

Audrey and Halftime bond a bit because she likes Halftime’s sports radio show…thing. She then reveals that she was once in ___’s Alpha Bitch pack. Infact, they were really solid friends. But one day, this eager new girl was invited to a sleepover with them and the bitches shaved off her eyebrow.

Audrey took pity and shaved her own eyebrow. Kate kicked her out of the Alpha Bitch squad, and they have been enemies ever since. See, here we see our characters actually grow beyond their stereotypes. We see that she was kind of nice once but she clearly got too bitchy-y and shit went down because of it.

This is a great scene because It is the turning point in the episode. Get ready, we’re almost at the twist. The kids find out they can’t find a way out of the school, they don’t remember how they got detention, and all the textbooks are empty.

By the way, there’s this nerdy kid who hasn’t said much until now, when we find out he’s from….another realm. What do I mean? Well, the characters suddenly remember everything and we find out what is going on:

See, Halftime stuffed the ballot boxes for homecoming queen, to get into some party but once she got the crown, she dumped his ass. I say that as set up for this bit of info: Audrey was sick of Kate’s shit, so during the homecoming float, she played a little prank…that made the float go out of control.

They all died, and as it turns out, this “Dentition” is purgatory.

HOLY. SHIT.

This twist….is amazing. It may very well be the best twist in the whole series! Really! It’s a complex, dark and daring turn for this show. I love it when show that seems to have hit every high it could it, it hits an all new high. Sure, we had shockingly complex stuff before, but this is an episode talking but Heaven, Hell, and all that!

And it’s not just that idea. It’s an interesting look at these characters that went from good to bad, Halftime became bad because he helped a bitch-y chick. Audrey became bad by stooping to her level, and Kate is self explanatory.

It gets even better. After they find that out, they are taken back to Earth where they see the aftermath of their deaths. Kate is found here, as a car shows up to take her….downstairs. She tells the gang that she knows she is a bad person, and she thinks she deserves this.

Yes, she’s willingly to go to hell to pay for her mistakes. ….THIS SHOW.

Audrey tells Kate that she’s not a bad person. She reminds her that used to be real friends. Through this speech, Kate changes her mind and decides not to go to hell. Then some…time thing happens that takes them to the morning of Homecoming, before they all died.

This isn’t explained but I can live with it. The episode ends with the Nerdy guy as the doors to the school close. Roll credits. I have no idea that Nerdy guy is. He might be Death for all I know.

So yeah, this may be the most complex episode the series has done. Everything about the ending alone is great. This episode has so much that I like. Good characters, fun banter, a good story, decent scary parts, and complex themes.

This episode is quite and touches on themes I never thought I would see in this show. Seriously, we life, death, hell, and purgatory, all in one episode! It pretty much sums up everything great about this show.

It never talks down to kids, and it gives them complex content that challenges them. It’s a fantastic episode all around. It has interesting themes, great characters, and it’s just one of the best episodes…period.

….i like it.

Grade: A

Funhouse

Director: Micheal Robinson

Writers: Erik Patterson and Jessica Scott

This one of the ones that got deleted. I don’t wanna redo it so i’ll give you cliff notes. This makes up for the writing team’s last failure. It has a dude dealing with the fact that his dad flat out left, and it’s a really interesting story where he has to stick together with his sister to get through the pain.

Also, an evil funhouse feeds his anger and makes him an evil asshole. It’s another deep episode that proves to be really scary. Only issue is that the main actor (who also acted crazy in Brush Madness) can be too hammy at times.

Otherwise, up there with Dentition as one of the best of the Season. Sorry you couldn’t see my full review.

Grade: A

Worry Dolls

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writer: Nicole Duboc

This is the last section to get eaten. I decided to re-write it as I hadn’t done much of it.

A Mom and Dad are always going off for work, which doesn’t please their kids, some boy whose name I forgot, and the Alpha Bitch from Girl Vs Monster. One day, they give her a present they found: Some “Worry Dolls”. Jodanna thinks they are silly until they start taking care of her worries, which sounds awesome, until they start proving that you should be careful what you wish for..

While this isn’t as deep as last couple episodes, it still managed to be solid with it’s themes. Seance is scarier but this did have a better script. So there you go. The whole “workaholic” thing is cliché but I enjoyed the way they did it here. Not to mention that they end up a putting a much needed spin on it.

See, one of the problems with this cliché is that the parents usually work hard to put food on the table yet they are seen as bad guys because ….eh? I don’t mind the cliché as much others, but I see their point with that.

This episode starts off by doing it straight but it soon subverts it. Later on, Jodanna talks to Mom about this and Mom says they work hard to keep a roof over their heads. They don’t hate the kids or anything, they just need to make money and all that, and the kids just don’t see it.

They don’t go any deeper into it after this scene but the dolls do show the kids that the opposite may be even worse. But creepy stuff happens before that. Their mean babysitter vanishes because Jodanna is worried that they will be stuck with her forever.

On top of that, she gets worried about her violin lessons, so the instruments ends up getting trashed. And of course, the dolls are there every time. Things start off alright, but it gets very creepy/funny when Jodanna worries about how the parents are rarely there.

Thanks to the dolls, the parents quit the jobs and decide to have the kids home schooled. It starts off fairly innocent…then it gets weird. Just the way the parents act is a combo of scary and funny. It was already odd with what I said, then shit happens.

For example, they want to have a simple movie night, but when the kids spend a bit too much time in their room (looking up Worry dolls) the parents um…go a bit crazy. By that I mean they bang on the door demanding the kids come out. And not in the “DO WHAT WE SAY” way. In “PLEASE WE NEED YOU” way…which is REALLY freaky.

Seriously, when the kids finally open the door, the parents are on the floor going “DON’T DO THAT TO US AGAIN”. It’s like the kid’s are an addiction. It’s hard to describe but on screen it’s…weird.

Does it get weirder? Well, eventually, the parents tie the gets up with tape to make sure they don’t get away while they are watching their movie.

…Nah, it’s all normal.

So yeah…it’s weird. Creepy weird or funny weird? Both. The way the parents act could have veered into the hammy zone and in a way it does, but to me, it didn’t. Mostly because of WHAT they were doing was so messed up that it stayed creepy.

Again, it’s hard to sum up with words, but their performances are handle that balance pretty well. It is meant to be kind of silly but scary so it works no matter how to see it. That’s how this episode went from fine to pretty enjoyable.

It adds to whole “Be careful what you wish for” thing, which in turn ties into the whole Workaholic thing I’ve been talking about. But before I go more into that, let’s go over how this episode ends.

Before they get taped up, they went through this whole thing looking up the dolls and all that. They were able to put the dolls in the fireplace, hoping to burn them but before they could do so, the parent ties them up.

A bit later, they suggest to their Dad that a roaring fire would make this family moment better. He agrees and (somehow not seeing the dolls) he sets up a fire. The dolls burn and boom, the parents are normal, and the nanny is back.

WHAT A CLIMAX!

But really, this is a fitting end so I’m cool. By the way, we never see how the parents react to their nanny vanishing nor does any question where she went. We just cut to Jodanna looking for traces the dolls.

She is worried the fact there is no trace but the brother is like “Calm down”. As you would expect, a doll pops up in her bed that night. She screams. Roll credits.

This is a typical “Gotcha!” moment but I like that it implies her worrying actually made the dolls come back. Kind of a “hoist by their own petard” moment there.

So yeah, back to the thing I was talking about. This episode kind of tells us that those Workaholic parents are working for good reason and we should respect their work and not shun them for it. Sure, in some cases they are really being distant but I like that they had the Mom give her side instead of just making her a bitch.

Like I said, it’s a “Be careful you wish for” thing. There is such a thing as too much attention, as they clearly learned. The brother is even glad when they parents are going back to work at the end.

Though, if they didn’t work so much, they wouldn’t have needed to get the evil dolls in the first place. Whoops.

My only issue is with this, is that nothing is resolved. The parents didn’t seem to learn anything and the kids are just like “whatever”. I wanted a final look at this issue, with the parents saying that, while they do need to be with their kids more, they shouldn’t be bashed for working so hard.

Now, this episode was almost a B cuz it’s just that kind of episode. But it got an upgrade for two things: How it handles the Workholic cliché and how insanely creepy the parents are. Their actions are so insane it becomes creepy instead of silly.

I figure this would be another ep that was a B+ when I first saw it, but turns into a normal B when I re-watch it. But actually, it got a tad better. The only other thing I have to add is that Katherine whatsherface was pretty good as a nice girl. I’m used to her being an Alpha Bitch but she pulls of a nice girl. She has some bitchy moments at the start, which she sells pretty well, of course.

Not much else to say. It’s not the best, but it takes an old cliché and does a new spin on it, while also giving us two creepy yet funny performances. It’s a solid entry in this season, even if it’s not in my top 5.

Grade: B+

Lovecraft’s Woods

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writer: Brandom Auman

Okay, I know what you thought of when you saw the title. I thought of that too but trust me, this episode has nothing to do with THAT lovecraft. At all. I think they named it that just to get that reaction from us. What is the episode about? Well…

On their way to a party, three teenagers, a gamer named Nicholas, a goth named Erica , and a brainy girl named Margaret find themselves in an unfamiliar part of the forest known as Lovecraft’s Woods, said to trap its victims with evil stuff.

Like Dentition, the ending is part of the reason I like this one, but this one a bit different. There’s really nothing to say about the scenes before the big twist. Telling you what the forest does kind of ruins the entire thing.

There’s no way to review this episode without discussing the “Twist’. So this one has a pretty big SPOILER warning, even more so than all the other sections. So there’s your warning.

Now, the twist itself is one of the more shocking ones in the series. To the point where I had no idea the episode would go in this direction. At the start, we get something akin to Detention. We have three characters that fit stereotypes, having some banter and we get hints of development to come.

I already liked this one from the start. Some of the acting is a bit weak but it gets better. We get some fun banter, and find out some stuff. Erica isn’t actually Goth, and she changes every week. We see that she just wants to git in, which is why she is dragging her friends to some party.

Right from all this, I expected a B, maybe B+ episode which is spooky and has some decent development. But what I got was…pretty different.

Basically, they got through the forest as they start being stalked by a weird creature. We find out the Wood’s are named ‘Lovecraft’s woods” cuz some couple with that last name got lost, and while the wife got out, the husband ended up being lost forever. Also, the wife was told she was gone for 2 YEARS.

I’d go into the theory they have for what happened to Mr Lovecraft, but I’ll get into that with the twist. I was liking this even more on a re-watch because of how tense it is. I felt real suspense as they ran around the forest and all that.

There’s just something about the way it’s done, that made me really invested in this. It’s surprisingly intense because you have no idea what is after them, or what will actually happen.

It gets even more interesting when Erica scratches herself on a tree branch and said scratch starts getting…bothersome.

Then they find themselves hiding in a shack, as some weird…thing outside is trying to get to them. In there, they find a keychain…that looks exactly like Erica’s. They randomly come up with a theory that honestly comes out nowhere, but it turns out to be true so i’ll get it in a quick second.

After more tense stuff, they find a journal. They think it’s from Mr Lovecraft at first, but they find who it is as they read it. The person who wrote says that they are changing. A …scratch from a tree has infected the person. They started change.

“This place really does loop in time”

WHAT A TWE-

Wait, there’s more.

Not only this person get in a time loop, and get turned into a creature thanks to these evil woods but then they see this line, as paraphrased by me.

“I shouldn’t have dragged Margret and Nicholas to that stupid party!”

WHAT A TWEEST!

That’s right. It turns tout hese woods make whoever comes in, loop in time and repeat whatever they were doing, forever. The creature that was after them was really Erica who got turned into a monster from some tree.

Before I got into this twist, let’s wrap up that plot. This is close to the end as other stuff happened, so this isn’t too rushed.

After discovering this, Erica starts to change. She tells her friends to go and find help. After some coaxing, they do so, thinking they memorized a map they saw on the wall of that shack. Short story shorter, they head out and suddenly, we’re watching the opening sequence again.

Only this time, it’s spliced in with Erica writing that journal entry and then going out to stalk her friends…and herself. Basically, we get the opening scene only from the POV of Monster!Erica.

The episode pretty much ends right there, on a HERE WE GO AGAIN note. Yep, they pretty much say they were repeating previous events and will keep repeating them forever.

First off, they heard something about a time loop in the forest, so that is why they jumped to that theory at one point. But there wasn’t that much set up except for the key chain. So it kind of came out of nowhere, but the twist itself is done well.

I didn’t see it coming from the firs few moments…unless you interpret the line where Erica says they might be attacked by rabid Ground hogs, as a subtle shout out to Groundhog Day.

…Which it might be. I mean, they show that line again at the end, while they skip other lines from earlier.

Anyway, this twist is pretty great. I didn’t see it coming, and it’s just really well done. While I was expecting something bigger with Erica’s development, this was good too. You most certainty feel bad for her as she turns into this creature. At the start we saw that she had trouble fitting in and through this, that issue just kind of gets worse.

So the moral is….Be yourself and don’t try to be like others or you’ll get trapped in a Groundhog day loop forest?

…Okay.

Anyway, this twist is pretty cool and it most certainly makes you a think…a bit too hard. I mean, when you really think about it, it doesn’t make it a ton of sense. We clearly see that the creature going after them was Erica from the earlier time loop.

Last I checked, it wasn’t possible for someone from one time loop to exist with a version of them from another one. Even if we buy into the whole “the forest is a bubble and going into it activities a loop” thing, this doesn’t make sense.

But even if you suspend your disbelief, I have another question: Why does Monster!Erica leave the journal she wrote in, in the shack? Wouldn’t it make more sense to give it to Margret and Nick so they’ll know your issue faster and all that?

I mean, you could just throw it at them and let them do the rest. …But whatever, I can forgive all of this since the twist is still pretty cool.

It’s unexpected, (somewhat) smart, it makes Erica sympathetic, and it just adds to how tense this episode is. The only bad thing is that since it takes up most of the episode, you can’t tell someone about it without spoiling it all. So even if I DIDN’T spoil the episodes a lot, I would still be talking about the ending here.

There isn’t much else to say, actually. I told you, there isn’t a lot to this episode. The only downside is that due it’s nature, it’s not very complex in the story and character department, much like Seance or other episodes like it.

But it makes up for it with a likable character, some tense stuff, and an unexpected, awesome twist. It’s basically just one of the similar B episodes with an almost A worthy edge. It’s like Detention: Starts out with fun banter but gets into some serious stuff later.

Not one of the best of the season, but it is the best B+ episode so far.

Grade: B+


Coat Rack Cowboy

Director: James Head

Writer: Jack Monaco

Ethan and his brother Brett are sent back to the days of the Old West, where an outlaw named John “Mad Dog” McCoy who was hanged for his crimes on the tree in Ethan’s yard, challenges him to a showdown at high noon after learning that his resting place has been cut down and turned into a coat rack.

This is one I didn’t have much expectations for, due to the title. But thankfully, it’s a pretty solid. It’s not the most complex episode of the season but I actually like it more than Worry Dolls and Seance because it’s…kind of scary, actually.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t get some story bits. At the start, we see that Ethan likes to make up crazy stories, which doesn’t please his Dad and Brother. They are big workers but Dad flat out says Ethan is too young for big work for why this was a plot point is beyond me.

They are chopping down a tree in their yard, but Ethan thinks something bad will happen somehow. It turns he’s right, as that night he gets the sense that something is off. Then when he and Brett go outside to check something else, they see that their enrivment has suddenly changed to be more Old West-y.

There’s even a saloon now! They look inside and meet Mad Dog Mccoy. As it turns out, that tree once hung this guy, an infamous gunslinger who killed 5 people with his bare hands. He shot the sheriff and that is why he got hung. He was sleeping the rest of the dead until Ethan’s Dad took down the tree and that brought his ghostly form here.

No, they never explain why the old west randomly dropped in.

Long story short, Mad Dog thinks Ethan was calling him out by bringing him here (I don’t get it either) and challenges him to a showdown at High Noon. (Of course). Now Brett has to help Ethan get ready for an epic old west showdown.

Now the first interesting thing to note, is that this episode his some big ‘ol black bars on the top and bottom when it airs. This wasn’t a mistake in the first airing, it’s part of the episode. I think it’s supposed to really help emulate the old west style, and it really works during the intense scenes.

But otherwise, it’s a bit distracting. Now, I wish they had picked a better title cuz while It does make sense, it makes the episode seem sillier than it is. In reality, it’s kind of scary and dark. I mean, we have a villain who was hung for killing people!

And there’s no doubt he planned to kill Ethan. Not to mention he flat out gives a GUN for the showdown. He never gets to use it during the fight but both guns featured in this get fired. You could NEVER get away with this in other shows.

But you know what really makes this episode? Two things. First off, the Atmosphere. They could have half assed the old west thing, but they went all out. The lighting, directing, and music all help to make this FEEL like the old west we know: Grainy, tough, and awesome.

I like seeing “Gritty” versions of the old west, and this certainty counts. Just the way everything looks is great and it’s very well done, especially during the moments leading to the “shoot out” at the end.

The other thing that makes this episode? Mad Dog himself. He is AMAZING. Not so much for the character himself, though he is badass and has some good bits I’ll get to an sec. But I love him for his actor.

He is played by the creepy world ending dude from Scarecrow, and IT SHOWS. Both episodes show how great of an actor he is, though looking at his IMDB page, he’s only been I in a few other things…one of which is on my to review list.

He steals every scene. He acts exactly like a true old school gunslinger. He’s intense, and every time he talks, you listen. For example, when Brett doubts he really killed 5 people, Mad Dog is like “You calling me a liar?”. Just the way he reacts, convinces you to never mess with him.

It’s hard to describe, but he’s just great. By the way, he’s shown to not like noise, which means he may or may not end the world over it.

Anyway, he makes this episode insanely intense for most it. Yes, it makes no sense for him to challenge Ethan but he’s still cool. We learn later on that he was a orphan, and he has no parents to tech him anyway. This is part of why he became an outlaw.

We get a bit more insight into his character later, but that goes in the wrap up. This episode has much less plot than I remember, it’s about as long as most episode. The first few minutes is set up, and next several minutes is our heroes talking to Mad Dog.

Then there’s a few minutes of MONTAGE, then the shout out, the end to said battle, and the final twist. On screen, it doesn’t feel like much happens before the climax. But I guess I didn’t mind it because the good stuff is so good.

After being challenged, Bett helps Ethan get ready for the fight with a MONTAGE. Brett says that while he hates Ethan sometimes, he’s cool with him most of the time. Plus, he doesn’t want him dead. Sweet! I think…

We get some comedy during the montage, as we see the rather inexperienced Ethan try the gun while we see Mad Dog just go crazy on that thing. It’s a cool contrast. But then we get the final battle….yeah, let’s go over this.

After a bit of stalling, Ethan talks to Mad Dog. Ethan tells Mad Dog that the shreiff he shot had two kids. He made two orphans that day. One died, and the other become an even bigger outlaw, making orphans.

“I …never considered the ramifications of my actions. …I don’t plan on starting now!”

I love that line, but back to the plot. Ethan goes on about how alone that poor kid was, and how he had to turn to a life of crime. How Mad Dog’s stubbornness lead to misery for everyone. He goes on until it finally starts to hurt Mad dog. He says something like this

“I didn’t mean…to hurt…”

And he finally goes over, finally dying for good, of his own guilt.

…Let’s wrap up this up first.

Brett is impressed but he asks how Ethan knew all that. He…didn’t. He made it up. Yeah, I’ll get to that in a sec. They go back inside and finally go to sleep. By the way, Dad left for the night so that is why he didn’t hear any of that crap outside.

Then suddenly, two more cowboys should up outside. One tells the other about how The “Sarsaparilla kid” took out Mad Dog without a shot. The other says that he will have to take on them soon. They walk away and the episode ends.

I won’t ask where they come from but I guess they happen to be other ghost cowboys for some reasons.

So yeah…I like the climax! I know it’s kind of Anti-Climatic, but it’s still pretty interesting. I mean, we get this guy who was an orphan, and he let those hard times ruin his life, as he becomes and outlaw. And the story Ethan tells is pretty interesting, as it actually gets Mad Dog to feel guilty for his actions.

“All because some sheriff called you a liar”.

Yeah, call Disproportionate retribution all you want but it shows how far he went. Yes, Ethan’s story turns out to be bull crap but it still got to Mad Dog, and that’s all that matters. It never comes across as cheesy and it actually works pretty well.

I think Mad Dog would make a “Top Haunting Hour villains” list Who would be number one? It depends. Does the scarecrow guy count as a villain? If not, then here’s a few that would still be on that list:

The Mom from Perfect Brother, Mom from Girl in the panting, Jake from The Dead Body saga, Fear from Fear Never Knocks, and of course Lilly D.

But back to this episode. Someone on Twitter compared the bit with Ethan’s story being fake to the end of “The Great Divide” episode of Avatar. He didn’t say it in a bad way though, and I see what he means. But in this case, it fits the character and situation much better,

It’s a bit of a cop out since the climax was so good, but for some reason. I’m cool with it. I mean, it pays off the “Ethan tells stories” plot thread pretty well, by having his story actually save the day.

Plus, it could very be true, and it’s just a funny coincidence. If they hadn’t set up this plot thread, and payed it off like this, this episode wouldn’t have too much substance with our hero.

Overall, this episode didn’t have much to it with the plot, but it made up for it. The atmosphere was great, the villains was scary, intense, and complex, and the plot is decently interesting. I didn’t expect this to be as good as it was.

Maybe it could have had more to it, but what was there is very solid. Not much else to say, but it’s a rootin’ tootin’ scary good time!

Sorry.

Grade: B+

Long Live Rock and Roll

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writer: Brandon Aumon

Holden is a boy with a garage band, but has no musical talent when it comes to playing lead guitar. After being kicked out the band by his dick friend Tibb (which angers his nice friend, Squee),he finds a coupon for 50% off any instrument at a music shop run by a rocker named
Not!Keith Richard aka Sir Maestro and buys a golden electric guitar that was once played by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. But Holden soon learns that Sir Maestro wants more than just money for payment on the guitar — and worse, Holden’s bandmates have been tempted with similar offers…

This is an example of an episode that switched between “Good” and pretty good. Not only as it went on, but as I thought about it. Maybe through this review, I’ll decide which grade it gets. Now, this one mixed a simple, non complex episode with a complex one.

At the start, we get a music video-er I mean, bit of the band performing. It’s not bad, actually. The song itself is talking about how it’s “all the same”. Keep that in mind for later. Holden screws up and Tibb (Real name Frankie) bitches about how he is starting to suck. Holden says it’s just the guitar, but Tibb says it might be Holden.

Squee (Real name Jessica) is more supportive but she can’t stop Tibb from kicking Holden out. Holden leaves, leaving the others to bitch at other. Then, conveniently, a flier for a music shop hits his leg, and he decides to go there. This is all before the opening.

Yeah, like Coat Rack Cowboy, this one is slightly rushed, and not a ton happens, but it is more eventful. Now, the whole thing with the band mate is hit or miss. On one hand, Tibb randomly switches from “okay” to “dick” for no reason, but on the other hand, the resolution is solid.

Anyway, Holden visits Sir Maestro’s Guitar shop and after a speech, he buys an awesome Guitar claimed to have been owned by Cobain and Hendrix. Given what we find out about Maestro later, this makes that comment…interesting.

Like in Coat Rack Cowboy, this establishing is long, but solid. Maestro has Holden sign a contract in Red Ink and says that in return, he simply wants a performance from Holden. Hmm..

He takes his badass guitar back to his band mates, and impresses them so much they take him back. Man, they are easily swayed. But when Holden starts kicking ass, his friends suddenly get weaker.

Also, Maestro shows up (claiming he was taking a jog and happened to walk by) and offers them some sick guitars of their own. Before we move, I’ll comment on the main thing that makes this episode good: Maestro himself.

His actor was previously in Brush with Madness (As Alan Miller…I think) and he’s really good here as an ex rocker type. He isn’t “scary” like Mad Dog but he is a lot of fun and he is especially good during any scene he shares with Holden, especially the climax.

Anyway, so far we’ve had decent build up and spooky stuff, hinting at what Maestro could be all about. Let’s ruin that by having him show up in Holden’s room and explain everything! Okay, jokes aside I don’t mind this, it just kind of ruins the pacing a bit. He basicaly tells Holden he wants his soul or something and he come back for Holden once he takes the souls of the bandmates, or something.

I don’t think they 100 percent explain the soul thing, but that’s what I can gather. I get that perhaps he knew about the bandmates before hand (Because magic) and he didn’t take Holden’s soul earlier cuz he wanted to get the bandmates involved first.

But why doesn’t he just take his soul in that part since the band mates are already headed out to his place? I mean, we see in the next bit he clearly planned to take the friend’s first but why? Ah, who cares.

Also, there’s a kind of creepy bit where Holden says he’s gonna call the cop but Maestro says he’s not even here, and vanishes. Nice.

Holden heads out to Maestro’s place and right in the basement is Tibb and Squee performing for him, soulless and dead eyed. He tells Holden when he’s done taking their souls, his turn is next.

A bit later, Holden challenges Maestro to a battle …of music. As in, an epic guitar playing battle where, if Holden wins, he and his friends go free. You can guess what happens is he loses.

Now, let me get this straight: Sir Maestro wants some souls, he makes Holden sign a contact in Red, and Holden has a music battle with him in his lair, which has epic red lighting.

Yeah….he’s the devil. Or at least a stand in. See, now this show is doing a deal with the freaking devil! Can it get any more amazing?!

Anyway, this whole scene is pretty good. I love the lighting and the actual battle is pretty badass, thanks to the POWER OF ROCK! It’s already an intense scene but Holden is forced to do it with his old, crappier guitar.

He still does good anyway which i’ll go into at the end. Eventually, Holden stops to have a “I know you’re in there somewhere” fight with the band mates. He reminds them of the good times they’ve had, and he even says this to Tibb. This is kind of cliché and odd, but it does add a sweet element to the story.

And yes, it works. They break out of their mind control and join Holden is taking on Maestro with the POWER OF ROCK! It”s pretty epic. They are able to out do him, meaning he works himself too hard trying to catch up and he break his guitar. This pretty much defeats him and he is supposedly sent back to hell.

Then the kids just play another a song….and roll credits! Yeah, it lasts a bit longer than I say but it really ends there! Now, the song they play is a reprise of the opening song but not it’s talking about how things are not the same and we’re free and stuff.

What does that mean? The opening was about how Holden is in a rut and all that, and now he realizes that it was never the guitar that was holding him back, it was him. So yes, they actually used the song to help show us his development.

Now you see why I want to give this one a higher grade. So yeah, this episode is a tad mixed for me. If it took all the things I’ve praised and amped it up, this would have been an easy B+. But as it is, I’m not 100 percent sure. It seems like it is a tad rushed and some things aren’t properly explained.

At times, it moves like a normal B episode, like Night of the Mummy but with some parts, it’s a B+. Like I said, it has a good villain, and some nice development but it falls short of being great.

It has everything a good episode needs with all the complexities in it. When I look back on it, the weak parts don’t stick out, though. My goal was to watch the episode again and review it and if I think back on and don’t remember the weak parts, it’s a B+.

So it is.

I don’t have much else to say besides what I’ve said already. I overall think the main character is well developed, the thing with the band mates is sweet, and I like the whole rock backdrop. So this is a pretty good one, even if it falls short.

Grade: B+

<strong>Dead Bodies

Director: Jason Furukawa

Writers: Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas

PREVIOUSLY, ON THE DEAD BODY: Read my original review of that one. I’m lazy…but if you want the short version, this dude named Will is now dead cuz he switched places with this dead guy who is now alive again and he stole his girlfriend.

3 months later, Will is now a ghost and he’s watching as Jake romances Anna up some more. She has been wondering where Will is now, and now Will wants to take this chance to finally beat Jake once and for all. But will he succeed?

You might recall my review of The Dead Body, and how I said I didn’t get why everyone wanted a sequel. After all, the ending was about the same as usual for this show, so making a sequel seems pointless.

Well, I have to eat my words because this sequel was pretty damn good. However, upon a re-watch, I kept switching between two grades for it…so I watched it again. This episode mostly works because it’s much scarier than it’s predecessor, making it a perfect Haunting Hour episode.

They do an okay job getting us up to speed, and showing us what the characters have been up to since then. Though it does lead to clunky dialogue scenes, like when Ghost Will gives Anna a recap of the first one, just so we can have a recap. This is before she can see/hear him so that’s why it is clunky.

We see that Anna has been dating Jake, and this pretty much becomes that story where the girl is with a cute bad boy who is really a BAD boy but she doesn’t realize it until it’s too late. …I say it like it’s cliché but the only example I can think of is Danny Phantom. Shut up.

We see that Anna is trying to study for her SAT’s, to secure her future and all that. But her whole thing with this bad boy is distracting her. This gives her character some sort of depth, instead of just being the love interest. Granted, that kind of stops when it’s time for the climax, but ah well.

Most of the episode has Jake dealing with problems of his own. See, this …grim reaper thing (The credits call it a “Wraith” but whatever) shows up and it looks like it isn’t happy with how Jake cheated death. It gives Jake this weird deformity that gives him some troubles.

This gives the episode the “scare” factor the original was missing. This episode has 3 major “plots” going on that make it great: Anna dealing SAT’s, Jake, and Will’s dissapeanrece, Will dealing with Anna and being a ghost, and Jake dealing with this whole…Wraith thing.

“I may not be getting my life back, but it looks like you’re not keeping yours”

Why Death doesn’t just take Jake right away is anyone’s guess. But either way, it makes for good conflict. I said before that Jake is a good villain because he’s almost kind of tragic, and that continues here. He just wants to live but Death isn’t having any of it. Granted, he killed someone and took their girlfriend….but shut up!

There’s an even focus on each character, which makes the episode interesting. It’s very intense throughout, and it’s just overall more interesting than the first one. Though it does have flaws. For one, it has some cheesy moments with the acting, especially Brendan Meyer He’s good but some moments are a bit …off.

Also, there’s bad CGI and green screen at some points, but that’s nitpick. The biggest problem is the pacing. It feels less like an episode that happens to be a sequel to another, and a part 2 was delayed by 2 years. I mean, it gets started right away, and there’s a small bit of downtime before we get to the climax. After the Wraith visits Jake, (about a quarter into the episode), he visits Anna and boom, they go to the cliff, for the climax. The “Climax” takes up the rest of the episode.

It’s not a big deal, but it may bug some people. However, it’s not enough to weaken the episode for me, Anyway, Jake is having his life sucked out of him, so he takes Anna to a Cliff, and after a speech, he asks her to give him her soul. Anna, of course, says no, and Jake gets pisssed.

What I find interesting about this scene is how Jake is almost sympathetic here. He’s more or less testing Anna’s “love” for him. Yeah, he’s a bad guy but there seems to be more to him. I really like that.

Will sees this, and tries to stop Jake. And somehow, Anna can see and hear him now. Why? Well, Will yelled at Anna to reject Jake’s offer…so it was his love for? I don’t know, it kind of makes sense I guess.

So there’s an epic struggle, which ends with Death showing and taking Jake for good. This happens via a bad CGI effect. It’s still creepy though. And yeah, it seems anti Climatic but in context it works better than I make it sound. With Jake gone, a white light appears, and Will is ready to step into it. Will is about accept this, but it goes away, and suddenly, Will becomes alive again.

“It’s letting me live”

So yeah, Will was pretty much about to go to Heaven, and he was accepting of it but …God, I guess, let him live, as he wasn’t supposed to die in the first place….God damn, this show is amazing.

I know we had a bit like this, in this very season, but that was awesome. It was a dark, complex, and mature moment. This show is just…damn. It keeps impressing by doing sutff it’s already done. That is impressive.

So Will explains things to Anna and they live. And the episode ends with Jake’s hand popping out of the ground. JUMP SCARE!

Yeah, not much of an ending, but it’s okay. Really, I wonder where Will’s parents were in all this. We saw that Will’s disappearance has just been accepted, but how are they feeling? Their son is gone, and we never see them at all! How is Will is gonna explain this?

“A made a deal with this dude who made me switch places with him so I die in his place, and he took my life and my girlfriend”

“..’

That’s why there will never be a Part 3. That and they won’t top this. Normally, I’d be harsher due to the flaws, but honestly, this episode worked really well. While I like the first one fine, as it’s not meant to a scary episode like some others, this one topped it in in every way.

In continued the story in a way that I liked, each characters gets time to shine, it has some scary moments and sweet moments, and everything was very well written. It has good ideas and it’s very tense throughout. I was just more invested this time around, as it was a lot scarier.

Yeah, it has flaws, but overall, it was a great sequel that manages to be even better than the original. I’d put it on par with The Return of Lilly D, honestly. While I think this episode was over hyped, as in people were being too impatient about it, the wait was well worth it.

Grade: A-

My Robot

Director: James Head

Writer: Melody Fox

Phillip is a science nerd with a secret: he has a robot that he ordered online and programmed himself, but the robot turns out to be the one ordering Phillip around and Phillip needs his friend Tim’s help in destroying it.

This is another episode where the grades switched around, but in the end I made my choice. It has a few problems but overall, it’s better than it sounds. It gets off to a rough start, as we have some bullies picking on Phill.

The bullies are pathetic. They can’t act and they are laughable. They aren’t on screen for long but the whole opening segment holds the episode back. Thankfully, it picks up soon.

The first quarter has Phil telling some bullies he has a robot, and just a bunch of build up. It’s fine, I suppose, but it’s a tad slow compared to the rest of the episode. Eventually, Tim visits Phill’s house and we finally meet the Robot. This is where it gets good.

The Robot has kind of a silly design but it works for the episode. Much like Big Yellow, it has a presence to it, that makes it scary whenever it pops up. And what happens with it makes it even better.

I’ll just cut to the chase here. Phil created the robot to help him, and things were fine. But all Robots must turn against their creator, so it started being over protective. It forced Phil to adhere to a schedule, and it banned junk food, and forced him to exeriece and stuff. And it also kind of kicked his parents out. …Yeah.

I told you this is where it gets good. This whole situation is done really well, as it makes you sympathize with Phil. I mean, this robot he made kicked his freaking parents out! …Wait, how did n one notice that?

And why didn’t they go the police, and just leave out the robot part? Why doesn’t Phil call the cops? ….Okay, another problem with this is that it forgot logic. I can suspend my disbelief for a bit but I couldn’t forgot these questions.

The whole thing is very tense and as the episode goes on , you really get into this situation. The Robot is very creepy, as I said before, and you are right on board with this plot as they try to solve this problem.

This episode has elements that work pretty well, as you can see. It’s tense and it has an interesting little story going on, where you feel for the main character. Well, sort of. Tim is techaingly our hero, as it follows him helpign Phil. Honestly, I think that was a mistake.

I think it should have been all about Phil from the start. Show all of this starting, from building the robot, to kicking the parents out. It would be more interesting and answer my questions. Though in that case, they would have to change the ending…

Usually, I got over the plot, but I’ll skip to the ending, because I need to get this thing out before Season 5 starts. Long story short, they shut the robot down.

But then it turns back out. However, Phil claims it’s just rebootng, back to it’s factory setting. Before you ask why he doesn’t just keep it off, it suddenly locks on Tm. Tim tries to move, but the Robot keeps him there.

Phil says he is free, and he’s off to get his parents. The Robot traps Tim, while Phil leaves.

“You set this up!”

The end.

….I shouldn’t be shocked by these endings at this point.

This is an awesome ending. …But it also kind of sucks. On one hand, it’s awesome to see Phil basically trick Tim and turn on him, even though he was our symaphetic charzcter for the evening. On the other hand, the most sympathetic character turns into an asshole for no reason, throwing away logic. No, don’t just kept the robot off, and turn it into scrap metla. Just turn on you friend!

….Yeah, I’m conflicted. But honestly, the awesome-ness/unexpected-ness, of it wins out. If you hate the ending, I see why. But I thought it was cool. Though my mixed feelings on it make sense, given how mixed the episode itself.

While it has weak bullies, it needed a different focus, it has logic issues, and the ending has weird implications, it also has solid atmosphere, a likable lead and an interesting plot.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad. I like episodes that try to be scary in a different way, and this one worked fine. Yeah, it’s another Average episode from a mixed writer, but they can’t all be Dead Body, can they?

Overall, it’s an flawed episode that still brings the scares, and an interesting story. It’s not the best but it’s a solid entry in this season.

….I’m running out of bad puns to close out these things.

Grade: B

Bad Egg

Director: Neil Fearnly

Writers: Erik Patterson and Jessica Scott

An irresponsible boy named Angus, I mean Jason, is only one screw-up away from being shipped off to military school as per his strict father, which is why Jason needs to pass his egg-sitting assignment. Trouble is, the eggs donated to the school are rejects from a biochemistry lab harboring an ostrich-like monster that is not fit to live among humans. Now Jason must keep his father from knowing about his latest mistake while keeping the monster away from two government agents posing as pest control workers who want the monster back.

I’ll be honest, I have some problems with this episode. Oh, it’s a good episode but I like it less than I should. There’s one big reason but we’ll get to that in a sec. This episode is weird, as it’s a Comedy episode…then it’s a scary episode….then it’s a sweet episode. And it stays that way.

No, the problem isn’t the tone, but it is a bit confused at points. It starts in a Government lab, as some dumbass donates dangerous eggs to school, because he’s an idiot who can’t tell between evil eggs and normal eggs. But don’t worry, that’s the last of my logic issues….sort of.

Anyway, the first quarter is dedicated to our hero Jason being…kind of a dick. Or at least. Not a funny dick. I expected him to be “funny”, he is from the Disney Channel after all, but he’s a tad overbearing at times.

I mean, we establish that he’s not doing too well in school, and what does he do when he gets this important Egg baby? He fucks around with it. I know it’s part of his development, but this isn’t the best way to make us like your hero.

But trust me, he’s not the worst character in this episode. Jason is a bit too much of a dick at the start, but once the plot starts, he becomes more likable. And now we get to the real thing that pissed me off about this episode:

Jason’s Dad.

Now, you may recall my Morganville Vampires tribute, I talked about how people hate on asshole characters for no reason. They aren’t meant to be likable, so why hate on them like that’s not the point? It’s weird.

But here, I could of get it. Jason’s Dad is supposed to be a bit of a dick…but I fuckng hated him. Okay, so Jason is a bit of a screw up. We know that. But the minute he gets him, he [retty much tells him if he screw up one more time, he’s going to military school.

That sounds okay, but the way it’s written makes it seem way too unfair. And at no point does Daddy even consider that Jason isn’t a screw up. At one point, he sees that Jason is keeping the egg safe, and he just comments that Jason hasn’t screwed things up for once.

No “Oh good, you’re awesome” or anything like that. Every time he talks to Jason, he pretty much has nothing but contempt for him. This doesn’t sound so bad, but it is. Also, his Mom is more loving but she clearly has no say here. She’s also incredibly typical, with a pearl necklace thingy to boot.

I don’t wanna say he’s THAT kind of Dad…cuz that would be dark, even for this show. Plus, my hate for him doesn’t go THAT deep. …Let’s get back to the plot.

Of course, Jason gets the egg containing the evil monster, and the Government guys eventually show up to get the monster, secretly. Yeah ,the rest of this episode would not happen if they just told Jason/Dad that they are here for a big monster. More logic problems!

Anyway, it turns out the monster is harmless and cute, so of course Jason bonds with it, and must protect it from the Government guys. The episode gets good from this point on. While it is kind of cliché, it does get fun as things up.

I even liked their relationship. It’s not that complex, but you start to feel for Jason as he finally has a friend that understands him. It’s kind of nice. Jason does seem to develop, learning his lesson about being the way he is. Even with the endng, there’s a nice moment with him.

Yeah, let’s skip to the ending. Eventually, the monster (I can’t remember his name) runs away because Jason won’t be safe with the Goverment guys chasing them. So yeah, his new friend must leave and it’s all sad. But I must mention one scene first. Dad goes into the Garage to do something, and the monster pops up. He knocks Dad out with a paint can, but a bit with Jason later confirms he was attempting to hurt him …more.

NEW FAVORITE CHARACTER.

…Anyway, you honestly do feel bad for Jason as he’s lost his new friend. To make it worse, Dad comes in and sees that Jason broke the egg, and made yet another mistake. They don’t know about the monster because contrived.

Jason doesn’t make up an excuses this time. He admits he make a mistake again and we see that he has learned not to be all irresponsible and stuff. It’s actually a very nice moment, honestly.

And Dad doesn’t care, and tells him to go pack for Milarity school Yep, even after all that, he couldn’t even give a single crap about his kid. He just owned up to his mistake, and showed he isn’t going to make any excuses. Perhaps you could give him one more chance, as Mom suggests?

Nope, Military school. Go die, please. Look, I get it, but there was no need to make him this much of an asshole. Most Dad’s like this, at least seem like they care about their kid. But not this guy. Jason’s Dad, go fuck yourself.

…Let’s wrap this up. Jason goes to pack, but oh hey, his Monster friend pops up in the window. Why is he back here? I don’t care. Jason is happy to have his friend back. So what does he do? He packs him up, saying Military school won’t be so bad after all.

So he’s taking a semi-dangerous monster to Milarity school with him. That’s stupid….yet awesome! It’s a nice ending for Jason, to be honest.

Yeah, I’m conflicted on this one too. On one hand, Jason does grow out of his flaws, and he has some nice moments, and it’s rather sweet with a funny. On the other hand, the story is a tad messy and Jason’s Dad is WAAAAAY too much of a dick.

I think the story should have been about Jason and his Dad working together to protect the monster, thus leading to development for them. But no, make him the worst person ever. Great idea.

In the end, it is a good episode. But man, Jason’s Dad makes it hard to like more. I should be giving it as harder a grade…but I can’t. I’m usually the guy to say an episode is better than people say it is. If anyone were to bash My Robot or Seance, I’d use it’s strengths to defend it.

While I would do the same, if someone said they hated this episode, and used Daddy as a reason…I would see their point. Yeah.

However, it has a lot to like, and I can’t ignore that. In tone, it reminds me of “A Creature was Stirring”. It has humor, scares, sweetness, and the tone may be confusing to some. That episode was more focused (and I didn’t want to murder the Dad) but this one was solid too.

It’s a nice story with some sweet moments, and solid development. You just need to ignore the asshole Elephant in the room.

And an extent…i can. It just takes a lot of effort. But in the eye, it’s a good enough episode. Not great, but good enough.

Grade: B

Toy Train

Director: James Head

Writers: Craig S. Phillips and Harold Hayes Jr.

A boy named Logan and his father come to his Grandfather’s old house to pack stuff up. Logan discovers a toy train set in the barn, and that night hears a train pass by the house, although trains haven’t run there for twenty years. He has to get to the bottom of an interesting mystery.

This episode was a bit fresh of air after the last two. It’s pretty great. But of all the “Great” episodes, it’s one of the more underwhelming. Oh, it’s really good, but it’s a bit simple in terms of it’s story. A bit too simple in some places.

But it still works, and that’s that counts. That episode is rather low key before the ending. As I said, it’s very simple, but it works due to the ending, which we may get to sooner than usual.

So we got a kid and his Dad, and guess what, the Dad is distant. You know part of where it’s going now. One day, Logan hangs out by the train tracks and meets a kid named Henry. The twist with him is a bit predictable once you learn that he hasn’t heard of certain Modern things. Not to mention that he often hears the train even though they say it hasn’t ran in years.

Most of the episode has Logan dealing with the fact that this toy train turns on whenever the train comes by, and stuff like that. It’s one of those “hard to summarize” episodes, that make me wish I did video reviews.

But it has decent build up and good atmosphere, so I can forgive it. This creepy Switchman dude starts stalking Logan, leading him to believe something is up. He finds an old newspaper saying a Switchman died in a train accident, making him think he awoke him from the dead, and he’s after him.

Spoilers, that’s actually not the case. But the episode a good job at throwing you for a loop before the big twist. And now let’s buildd up to it. Dad doesn’t buy it and forbies Logan from going to the tracks,’

He goes to the tracks. But while he’s there, dealing with stuff, Dad faces our twist. As it turns out, when he was a kid, he got stuck when a train came by, and a Switchman saved his life…by sacrificing himself. Since then, Dad blamed himself and he always wanted to thank him, but that never happened. This caused him to be a bit distant with his son later in life, and of course prevent him from going to the tracks.

And in the climax, the Switchman shows up, as he was visiting Dad the whole time. …Yeah, it’s one of those really dark, and deep episodes. Man, this show is awesome. Now, this is a very well done, unexpected, and dark twist.

It’s somehow both predictable and unexpected. Predictable because of the whole with Henry. The dad’s name is Henry, by the way. Yeah, if there’s one issues with an episode, is that the kid didn’t need to be there. There’s cute some stuff with him, but the fact that a younger version of Dad is there is never explained.

But eh, it’s no big deal. Anyway, the Switchman tells Dad it wasn’t his fault, and that Dad should spend time with Logan…before the Train hits him. Yeah, back with Logan, he gets his shoelace caught in the tracks as a train is coming by.

How is Dad gonna save him? With the Toy Train. Yeah, for an episode called Toy Train, the toy doesn’t do a lot except look creepy when it turns on. And here, he uses it to make the Tran go another way. How does that work? I have no idea.

Yeah, there are some logic problems. But aside from that, the epoisode is very good. The train is stopped, Logan is saved, he says bye to Young Henry, and he hugs Dad. They have a happy moment and they leave. The End.

Yeah, no big ending. I don’t mind it, but it does make the episode…simpler. It in the end, not much happens. Logan doesn’t even interact with the Switchman and he doesn’t really find out the truth, though it is implied he may know.

It’s not bad at all, it just needed a bigger punch. However, it’s still very good as it is, with good atmosphere, dark content, and sweet moments. Sadly, I cannot give a perfect grade, as it doesn’t hit me as harder as the others, but it’s still really good.

Despite it’s flaws, it’s one of the best of the Season. I like it.

Grade: B+

Uncle Howee

Director: Ken Friss

Writer: Rick Drew

Now this is a very interesting episode. Not only because of the content, or even the quality, bu because of how popular it was. Seriously, go on TV Tropes and you’ll see that it’s mentioned on every sub-page.

A lot of people liked analyzing it, as it was quite interesting for many reasons. Why so? Let’s get into it.

Jared is babysitting his little sister Cynthia while his mother is working the night shift at the hospital, and he insults her favorite TV show called “The Uncle Howee Show” which is hosted by a loud, energetic man known as Uncle Howee. But He soon finds that Uncle Howee and his rabbit friend Loomis are dangerous when they’re not confined in the family’s flatscreen TV….

I may as well get the big fact out of the way. Uncle Howee is played by Tom Kenny. Yes, really. When I found this out, my reaction was…calm.

“RGRBERBRYESYESYESYESYESYESBESTSHOWEVER”

….Sort of.

The guy who more or less shaped my childhood on a show that I also hold dear? That’s a freaking dream come true. There 3 episodes with actors I was happy to hear would be on the show before: Wrong Number (Debby Ryan), Grampires (Chrstohper Lloyd) and Poof De Formage (Vincent Martela). Thankfully, this is more of a Wrong Number than a Poof De Formage.

But before I got to Slightly Less Creepy Ice King, I must talk about the episode itself. It’s very simple, as in not much happens. It’s mostly based on atmosphere. But here’s the thing: It’s partly a Comedy episode.

And let’s say Ken Friss learned his lesson from last time. I think the real problem with PDF was the direction. Ken Friss episodes tend to very creepy, and PDF is very comedic. As a result, the writing style of Erik and Jessica didn’t clash with his directing style, making an episode that felt awkward.

But here, the horror comes FROM the Comedy. Yes, Uncle Howee is very over the top and we have a lot of jokes. Yet the episode manages to very intense. How? Well, let’s think about. A lot of people find wacky hosts as such, let’s say, Pee Wee Herman creepy, even though they are very over the top and funny.

The reason for that is that they are so over the top and over bearing to some that they head into the Uncanny Valley. This episode feeds on that by making it scary on purpose, so the direction is very intense when he appears. Tom Kenny’s performance is a big part of this, being very funny while also being scary. The direction adds to it but he helps a lot as well.

The episode leaves everything ambiguous, and it doesn’t explain much. How did Uncle Howee come to “life”? If he a weird reality wraper that got in contact in Cynthia? Is SHE the reality warper? The episode doesn’t explain, and that bugged me at first, but I realized that it’s for the better.

Leaving it ambiguous leaves the door open for discussion, and it makes everything more mysterious, and thus scarier. It may have bugged because this show usually has stuff like this explained, instead doing something more Twilight-zone-y.

But this is done by a first time writer, so it shouldn’t be too shocking. He previously was a writer on Goosebumps, which kind of explains a lot. His episodes include Living dummy 2, Vampire Breath, Monster Blood, and Don’t Wake Mummy.

The episode also hits on interesting themes. It can viewed in a few things. For one, you can see it as a an attack on people who let TV basically influence their kids.

See, Mom is always working late, and that’s part this happens. Granted, it may not be her fault but it could play a part in a message about not letting TV be your kids teacher. It’s TV that caused all this, ain’t it?

On the other hand, Jarrid is most certainly in the wrong for being such a dick to his sister. It could just be another episode saying “Don’t be a dick”. But the other lesson could play a part as well.

See, the episode touches on a lot of interesting themes, and if you ignore that, it’s a nice scary episode. ..Oh shit, I haven’t given a plot summary yet!

Evil Edurado appears in the house and hilarity ensues. As I said, most of this episode is made of these antics, but it works fine enough. Eventually, Jarred gives up and says yes to being Spongebob’s friend.

Then we cut to later as Mom comes home to see Cynathia watching TV instead of going to bed. She tells her to turn it off, but she looks at the TV and sees….Jared….as Uncle Two Brain’s new puppet friend.

And with a creepy close up of the puppet, the episode ends. It’s a pretty creepy ending, I must say. Though I must comment on other thing about the episode that bugs me: Jared’s acting,.

I’ve seen worse but he’s pretty weak in some spots. It actually kind of stops the episode from being enjoyable, even if it’s still very enjoyable. Though given that he turns into a lifeless puppet, maybe that was intentional.

I suppose the only problem is other than that is that it’s very simple. But unlike, Seance, it’s fresh in it’s execution. It also implies some interesting themes, with many possible morals. It’s very intense and has a great mix of horror and Comedy. Add in a good performance by Tom Kenny, and you have an episode that earns it’s popularity.

It’s a very interesting episode, but even I’m shocked it has so many people talking. I knew Tom Kenny would get people watching it, but the stuff I saw on TV Tropes made me realize how mutli layered this episode.

Was any of intentional? Maybe but it’s good either way. So yeah, this is better Poof De Formage, and it’s at least on par with Wrong Number and Grampires. Seeing my childhood icon in this show was good enough, but it’s nice to know it happened to be a good episode.

It’s interesting, it’s intense, it’s funny, and it’s scary. What more could you ask for? It’s not the idiol Season Finale, and it’s the 2nd weakest (Yes, I like it more than Terrible Love, another non Horror Ken Friss episode), but it’s still pretty good.

Grade: B+

And that ends Season 4. How was it? It was about Par for the course. There’s 12 episodes, 3 of which got a B, 6 got a B+, and 3 of them got an A. But unlike Season 3’d B+ episodes, they were about as goof as they were going to get, and that’s not bad.

If I had to pick, I’d say I prefer Season 3. Yeah, this had 2 of the most amazingly complex episodes ever, but Season 3 just a bit scarier. However, they were both Good Seasons in the end.

Yeah, it had the weakest Season Premiere, and no 2 parters, but it was still a Solid Season with Plenty to offer. We had a spooky western, Evil Spongebob, and a tale about life, death, and purgatory.

What I find interesting is that this Season had some new writers: Nicole Duboc, Brandon Aumon, and Rick Drew. Whether they will stick around remains to be seen, but this explains why their episodes felt a bit different than the others. I thought they mostly brought interesting things to the table.

.So Yeah. I’m not sure what else I should say. Season 3 had about the same number of episodes I would put in my personal top 15, though “Intruders” and “Dead Bodies’ float around. Sometimes they are on it, sometimes they are not.

When Season 5 is over, I plan to remake my old Top 11 until a Top 20 (since there will be more episode to choose from then) with better explanations. I will also list my Top 5 Writers and Directors for the show, which may change with more episodes from them.

So now onto the issues of this being Season 3 Part 2. If Both Season 3 and 4 are Season 3, then that’s interesting. It makes it an even better Season that’s exactly on part with the previous season. Season 1 had 4 Episodes I’d put on my top 15, Season 2 had about or 6 (Still debating Return of Lilly D), and a whole, Season 3 had about 7. Those that my have to do with it containing 24 episodes.

So yeah, it’s about the same, but Detention alone makes it worth it. In case you’re wondering, The Season 5 Retrospective will be called just that to make it easier. By the way, if you want to know my thoughts on each episode ahead of time, you can hit my Twitter right after the episodes airs, or read my First Impressions Journals on Deviant Art.

So what does Season 5 have in store for us? First off, I know The Hub is becoming Discovery Family. Yes, Discovery is taking back their land, and filling it with crappy reality shows in prine-time instead of old sitcom and stuff. However, The Hub has stated they still have Poines, Pet Shop, Rescue Bots, and Haunting Hour. Everything else is canned, or in limbo.

Spooksvile is in the canned list, by the way, But fans are trying to give it a new home, either on TV or on Netflix, because that’s the popular thing nowadays. Still, the sucks.

So the new season will still air. First off, with have guest stars such Chyna Anne McClain and Margot Kidder. Yes, another real actor. There are others, but I’ll wait to say them. The season will, once again, start with Two episodes airng on the same day.

The 2nd is Grandpa’s Glasses, which sounds like that one Are You Afraid of The Dark episode, and the first is I’m Not Martin. Yay, I’ve only been waiting forever for it. As I said before, I wanted an episode to explain the ending, and based on the ads, it looks it’ll change a lot. Good.

So that’s it for my Retrospective until like the new Season is over. Yes, I will start it right away, though like last season, it may take awhile for me to realize it’s the Season finale. It’s been fun reviewing these episodes, and I can’t wait to see what Season 5 has in store.

And as usual, I leave you with my top 5 episodes of the Season.

5. Uncle Howee

4. Toy Train

3. Dead Bodies

2. Funhouse

1. Detention

See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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