Sunday, October 12, 2014

A Completely Biased List of the Best Halloween Episodes of All Time

5. Freaks and Geeks, "Tricks and Treats"

Bill: "I'm sorry Steve Austin. I can't marry you. I'm mad at you right now. What? I'm sorry I can't hear you. Hold on I'm gonna put the phone on my bionic ear."

It’s Halloween in 1980, which is already awesome.
Someone actually asks Sam if he’s going out for “tricks and treats”—just like the Peanuts characters say in Great Pumpkin. No one has fun, and everyone ends up disappointed, kind of like a real life holiday.
"I'm not a little girl, I'm a bionic woman."

4. Buffy, “Fear Itself”

“I was just thinking about the life of a pumpkin. Grow up in the sun, happily entwined with others, and then someone comes along, cuts you open, and rips your guts out.”

The episode begins with a broken-hearted Buffy running her fingers through a bowl full of pumpkin guts…the bulk of the action takes place in a fraternity horror house that (of course, this is Sunnydale) goes very wrong because while decorating, the brothers accidentally summoned a real demon….and in the end, the demon turns out to be about twelve inches tall. 
Buffy steps on him like he’s a cockroach, and...end scene. 

 3.  Dark Angel, Boo

Original Cindy: "What the hell was that?!"
Max: Flashback. "Happens all the time."

The episode begins normally… as normal as a season 2 episode of Dark Angel can be, anyway. This is the season, after all, that took a perfectly awesome show, and added genetically engineered invisible geniuses, bug men, mermaids, and a dog boy. But the rest of the twenty episodes all take this mutant business very seriously. This one goes weird, and then it goes meta, and the whole thing ends up being just very terrible... but also pretty funny…and therefore kind of perfect for the most wonderful time of the year.

2. My So-Called Life, “Halloween”

“When I was little I, like, worshipped Halloween. And truthfully, part of me still does. 'Cause it's your one chance all year to be someone else.”

It’s not the best episode of this series, by any stretch, but any episode of this show is better than the best of lots of other shows, in my opinion.

Angela flirts with a ghost (for a realistic show they seem to go supernatural fairly often—there’s a ghost in the Christmas ep too!?) Best moment: her little sister, usually a throwaway character, briefly steals the show by doing a perfect emo imitation of her big sister.

1Buffy, “Halloween”

Giles: "And-and your…costume?"
Willow: "I'm a ghost."
Giles: "Yes. Um… the ghost of what, exactly?"

This could be a controversial choice…although Buffy ran for seven seasons, they made only three Halloween episodes. I’ve left off the season six outing, “All the Way.” In spite of some great one-liners, it’s the weakest of the three for me. I’m giving my top slot to season 1’s classic, if non-creatively titled “Halloween.”
There are so many quotable moments, but this one would probably win for me just for the moment when Willow, turned momentarily into a ghost by a spell which turns people into their costumes, walks straight through the library wall. Giles drops half the card catalogue, and his expression: priceless. Buffy gets a nice moment at the end when she’s turned back into the @$&-kicker we know and love. And, unusual for an early ep: Spike! The perfect Halloween cocktail.

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