I Watched Some Halloween Themed Episodes of Popular Shows from the 90’s

Today is Halloween.  Now back in the day, television sitcoms would throw in ham-fisted Halloween themed episodes to ring in the holiday.  They probably still do this, but with the advent of things like Netflix I just watched a Christmas episode of Supernatural, so, uh, yolo!?

Here’s a recap of two “great’ Halloween episodes from “great” shows.

“Murder On The Halloween Express”
Sabrina The Teenage Witch
Season 6 – Episode 4

This episode begins with Sabrina’s aunts, Zelda and Hilda, making Halloween taffy.  Because I guess they’re going to pretend like this is a thing people do.

Shake dat Halloween Taffy?

Shake dat Halloween Taffy?

While taffying, the girls receive an invite to the “Mystery Train.”  A train ride that involve solving a murder!  So original!  It’s like Clue, but on a train!  Sadly, this means that a butler is probably not the culprit.

Sorry, Mr. Curry

Sorry, Mr. Curry

Cut to Sabrina talking to a group of friends at a coffee shop.  I checked out of this show after a few seasons and so I don’t recognize ANY of these people (well except Harvey Kinkle, now demoted to friend status).  I’m going to just assume that all of her previous friends were killed in freak spell related activities and these are the mid series replacements.

Two-thirds of your real name is stupid.

Two-thirds of your real name is stupid.

Sabrina informs these friends that they’re going to go on a mystery train ride!  They want to protest, but this show isn’t called Friends of a Witch that Have Independent Thought.  Sabrina’s new boyfriend, Josh, tries to protest, but she puts up the argument that she, “thought it’d be fun.”  Not needing more of a discussion, Josh agrees.

What's a backbone?

What’s a backbone?

On the train, Sabrina manages to get some Halloween taffy (stop trying to make this a thing, writers!) and excuses herself to the bathroom.  What’s great about this is that she got it on a glove, so I don’t know, maybe, take off the glove?  Or, oh wait.  She’s a witch.  Surely there’s a spell she can cast to clean a glove?  Nope!

Taffy, my one weakness!

Taffy, my one weakness!

As she makes her exit, the train conductor informs Sabrina’s friends of the roles that they will all be playing in this murder mystery.  But wait, being a show about the supernatural, these friends won’t just play parts, but they’ll BECOME the parts!

TWIST!!

TWIST!!

Wait…what?  Sabrina realizes the error she made.  Having sent mortals on a supernatural train ride.  Normal, non-supernatural, folk aren’t supposed to be on this train and this cast a spell on them making them characters in the murder mystery story.  I mean, they’re already characters in the show, but now they’re characters in a story within a story!

Witchception!

Witchception!

I have NO idea how this scenario would go down with non-mortals on the train.  Apparently it doesn’t?  Maybe they capture humans to play the roles every year?  Who knows or cares.  Oh, also Sabrina is cast as a detective solving the murder!  Who’s murder?  Josh’s!

I am dead much like my career.

I am dead much like my career.

Now, this is a supernatural show.  Josh isn’t breathing.  He’s dead.  Like, for real dead.  At no point does Sabrina asks if he will be revived at the end of this game.  Does she just assume this?  Don’t make assumptions. Ms. Spellman.  It makes you look like an idiot.

This dumb expression isn't helping.

This idiot expression isn’t helping.

Zelda and Hilda, apparently taking a break from all of that Halloween taffy finally realize that Sabrina isn’t home from school or work or whatever.  Salem, the talking cat, tells the women where Sabrina is.  Hey, just a thought.  When someone from your family is missing and the only person that knows is YOUR PET CAT, then maybe you should spent less effort making Halloween taffy and more effort in parenting?

So Sabrina interrogates her friends, allowing them to show off their limited acting range to the studio executives.  Meanwhile Zelda and Hilda arrive at the train station or possibly the entrance to Space Mountain?

I wanted to ride the Materhorn!

I wanted to ride the Materhorn!

Sabrina, too stupid to solve this case, is assisted by Salem.  Salem adorns a Sherlock costume because I guess that’s adorable?

Okay, yeah it totally is.

Okay, yeah it totally is.

He solves the crime that Sabrina can not.  And does this all while smoking from his pipe.

Less adorable!

Less adorable!

And the murderer is…….Sabrina for some reason!

Yeah, okay, sure.

Yeah, okay, sure.

Apparently she murdered him because she was angry that he didn’t agree right away with her Halloween plans?  So the lesson is that…uh…don’t piss off Sabrina?

Roar!

Roar!

Josh is revived and each of her friends receive a healthy dose of amnesia.  Sabrina admits to Josh that she was being a real *itch and all is forgiven.  For now at least.  For Sabrina has already killed Josh once, and now she knows what it’s like to kill…That or these events will never be spoken about again…

I buried my former friends right oveeeeeer there.

I buried my former friends right oveeeeeer there.

“Mystery Weekend”
Saved by the Bell
Season 3 – Episode 26

I have to admit something here.  I was never a fan of Saved by the Bell.  I’ve seen a few episode before, but I never felt like I was missing out by not catching it when it aired.  After watching this Halloween episode, I can safely say I made the right decision.

This episode begins with the Bayside gang arriving at a mansion.  Lisa Turtle won tickets from a radio contest to visit a mansion on the weekend for a murder myster…son of a…

I'm noticing a theme here...

I’m noticing a theme here…

The host introduces himself as Steven Jameson the Third and then Zack introduces himself as Zack Morris the First because he’s kind of a dick.

...and he knows it.

…and he knows it.

Then we are introduced to a 40 year old woman dressed in a slutty maid costume.

No, just no.

Go home, Saved by the Bell, you’re drunk.

The guys get their jollies looking at her even though she’s old enough to be their mom.  Speaking of old, we’re introduced to two others.

Good thing they found that time machine to bring Mark Twain into the mix.

Good thing they found that time machine to bring Mark Twain into the mix.

Like most old people, they don’t really serve a purpose.  We are to assume that they are contest winners as well, but this is never brought up.  I guess I’ll just ignore them for most of this recap since the writers completely ignored them as well.

Oh, and also there’s a butler

Butlering.

Butlering.

Also, a piano player…who is quickly murdered!

You're ruining the song with your dying!

You’re ruining the song with your dying!

And so the mystery begins.  Including what the age of consent is in California.

There is nothing appropriate in this shot.

There is nothing appropriate in this scene.

Or this one.

Or this one.

Another mystery is where Screech got this Sherlock costume from.

Stop trying to get us to smoke, Halloween specials!

Stop trying to get us to smoke, Halloween specials!

Does anyone else agree that I could just copy and paste my recap from the Sabrina episode?  I won’t, but it IS tempting.

Zack, in an attempt to ruin everyone’s weekend, decides to announce who the killer is…the butler!  But, what’s this!?

Butler fall down!

Butler fall down!

Butler die!

Butler die!

Maybe you should take a Time Out, Zack, and think before you speak?

Within minutes, a detective appears to help solve the crime.  He questions Screech who panics and admits to murder.

He also admits to some poor decision making that will happen in his future.

He also admits to some poor decision making that will happen in his future.

The detective tells Screech to stop being a gross human being and begins to tell the Bayside gang who the REAL killer is.  Of course there’s 10 minutes left of this episode, so his declaration is quickly silenced by a pack of arrows to the back

Arrow! - 8 ET/PT on CW.

Arrow! – 8 ET/PT on CW.

Now let’s rewind this scene for a second.  We see the detective walking towards Jessie sans arrrows.

No arrows...

No arrows…

The lights go out for a full second.  Although we can see that no one has moved.

...still no arrows...

…still no arrows…

 

When the lights come back on…he’s become a human bullseye.

Arrow! - 8 ET/PT on CW.

….arrows!

Obviously we’re supposed to assume, within the context of the story, that someone placed these arrows in his back during that second, but that visibly didn’t happen.  Why didn’t Jessie see this?  She could have saved us another 10 minutes of this crap.

When Screech scolds you, you know you did something wrong.

Hey Jessie, when Screech scolds you, you know you did something wrong.

Next up, the old woman’s necklace disappears (I guess that was her purpose?), and Jameson is almost murdered by a slow falling axe.

Saved by the Bell - 03x26 - Mystery Weekend.mp4.Still020

Saved by the Bell - 03x26 - Mystery Weekend.mp4.Still019If you can't tell, the axe only moved after Ms. Turtle slammed him into the door.

If you can’t tell, the axe only moved after Ms. Turtle slammed Jameson into the door.

Jameson informs the group that the axe was totally NOT planned and that he wants to call the whole thing off.  Also we are informed that there was a $500 reward for the one who guessed the killer.  Zack, being wrong on his earlier guess, asks for the money because he’s kind of a douche.

Why would I want to be safe if I could be RICH?!

Why would I want to be safe if I could be RICH?!.

Jameson declines, but offers free vouchers to spend another weekend there.  I may be in the minority here, but I can’t imagine spending the weekend somewhere dangerous and actively think, “Well it’s bad NOW, but I’m sure next weekend will be much safer!”

The gang pack their bags, but before leaving, Lisa reminds Zack of the vouchers.  Feeling vulnerable, Lisa asks Zack to lock the door on his way out.  Hey, reader.  Did you get that?  Lisa feels vulnerable and so she ASKS ZACK TO LOCK HER IN THE ROOM.  Because what’s safer then being trapped?  Possibly everything?

Zack confronts the host about the voucher, but before handing them to Mr. Morris, the lights go out again.

Saved by the Bell - 03x26 - Mystery Weekend.mp4.Still023

For the most part.

For the most part.

Jameson disappears and Zack is left alone.  Oh wait, no.  Everyone was waiting outside apparently.

The guy in the center speaks for the first and only time here.  I imagine he's the writer and/or director.

The guy in the center speaks for the first and only time here. I imagine he’s the writer and/or director.

Zack tells them what happens and to double check his story, reach for the vouchers.  Instead it’s the $500.  So now Zack looks guilty.  I’m just going to reiterate this.  Everyone at the mansion are currently in the belief that they are in REAL danger.  Zack now looks as though he stole money from Jameson and possibly killed him.  Get all of that?  It’s no longer a game, #(%@% just got real!

Zack’s friends all behave the way you think people would respond to finding out that their friend is possibly a killer.  With total disinterest.

...meh.

…meh.

If I was Zack Morris, I’d stop time right here and get the hell out of dodge.  Instead, he remembers that they have a friend named Lisa.  She has been completely absent for these events.  They walk into the room where he last saw her, but GASP, she’s gone!

Saved by the Bell - 03x26 - Mystery Weekend.mp4.Still028

…but…but…I locked her in here so that she could never leave!

At this point Zack is in shock and tells them there’s no way that she could be gone because he locked the door.  AGAIN, let me repeat that.  Zack locked the door on the outside and Lisa was TRAPPED in that room.  Do me a favor real quick.  Find me a door in your home.  Be it for your bedroom or bathroom.  Next, is it a door that can be locked?  Okay, and next question.  Can it be locked ONLY from the outside?  Is there no possible way to unlock it from the other side?  If you said yes to all of these, then you are probably insane and hide bodies in that room.

I just got sidetracked, so where was I?  Oh right, cops appear to help solve the case!  Now these cops are supposedly real, remember?  The game is over.  Now we’re trying to find out if Zack Morris is wanted for attempted murder.  Oh, here’s a screen grab of the cops.

Totally real cops and not at all characters in the murder mystery.

Totally real cops and not at all characters in the murder mystery.

That woman sure looks like a man…but wait, I’m getting ahead of the idiot characters.  So, somehow, Zack gains intelligence and realizes what’s happening.  He solves the mystery by realizing that Lisa was in on it the whole time!  Shock!  Also Jameson and the butler are the cops!

What a drag...(sorry)

What a drag…(sorry)

No answer to the mystery of why they couldn’t just afford other actors.  Nope, had to be drag I guess.  Zack delves deeper, solving the murder of the piano player and realizes it was…Jameson!  And that’s not all!  Zack discovers that the detective was murdered by, who else, but…the butler!

He had ME fooled - said no one.

He had ME fooled – said no one.

For those with good memory (and better memory then that of the writers), the detective  was brought in to investigate the murder of the character that supposedly killed him.  So I think it’s safe to assume Jameson and his pals would hella cheat at a game of Clue.  I guess I gave more thought writing this short recap then the writers did writing this piece of crap.

Oh, and on a final note, it’s revealed that the two old people WERE in on it.  So the only people not acting in the murder mystery were the Bayside gang (sans Lisa).  So essentially Jameson was going to give them $500 regardless of the outcome.  He just wanted an excuse to dress in drag.

But doesn't he look fabulous?

But doesn’t he look fabulous?

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