Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Top Five: Favorite Halloween Episodes

Welcome back to my Halloween posts! Today, I have a list of my top five Halloween episodes. Halloween episodes are usually the best holiday-themed episodes on TV. They skip the touchy-feely stuff and get right to the fun. Genre series will usually up the ante and try to surprise you. Comedy series will pull out thoroughly entertaining satire. Sure, they fall short a few times but the population of great Halloween episodes is huge. Picking my favorites was difficult, but I think that I have a great list for your today.

1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester (Supernatural)


This episode is Supernatural’s own Urban Legends of Halloween. People in a small town are dying (as they usually are) in freaky, Halloween-myth related incidents. These incidents end up being a string of ritualistic sacrifices to summon the demon Samhain. The summoning of Samhain will lead to an all out Hell-on-Earth party, so our intrepid heroes do all they can to stop the witch behind this plan. The first half of this episode is ultimately better than the second half, but it’s still really exciting and has some of the most iconic of the grisly death scenes that define the series. If you haven’t seen this episode before, check it out. And if you’re a Supernatural fan, maybe this is how you should spend your Halloween?

2. Vampire Weekend (Castle)



Castle just wants to believe, and Beckett won’t let him. In this episode, our dynamic duo (and, you know, those other guys) investigate a staking. Yes, a staking. A boy dressed like a vampire was found staked in one of the local cemeteries, and Castle and Beckett investigate their way through his vampire coven in order to find out whodunit. I may have mostly included this episode for the brief moment where Nathan Fillion dresses up as Mal Reynolds, but it’s still a really good episode!

3. Fear, Itself (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)


I think that Fear, Itself is the best Buffy Halloween episode, though some might say that it’s Halloween (we don’t talk about that other one). The Scooby Gang goes to a Halloween party, but the fake haunted decorations at the fraternity house have turned into real horrors. It still has a great dose of the Whedonesque humor, though, to counter the horror of the middle acts. Ultimately, the episode teaches you that you should never copy down a random symbol in an old book because you never know what you could be unleashing. And you’d be lucky if it was just one of the funniest sight gags in Buffy history.

4. Life of the Party (Angel)

Awkward.
Where the Buffy Halloween episodes were more scary than anything else, the only Angel Halloween episode goes more for the laughs than for frights. Lorne gets the Wolfram and Hart gang to throw a Halloween party for all their clients. Of course, the party itself ultimately coincides with Lorne coming down with a case of the… I have no idea how to put this succinctly. People start obeying him, following his advice to the letter. Fred and Wesley get completely schwasted, Angel and Eve get a room, and Spike hilariously acts more positive. Of course, this funny issue ultimately results in a case of giant demon, but it’s not like we don’t know how to handle that. All in all, it’s a great, lighthearted Halloween episode.

5. Epidemiology (Community)

Greatest. Halloween Costumes. Ever.

In its early seasons, Community always took a tongue-in-cheek approach to its themes. This certainly held for Season 2’s Halloween episode, where the show tackled zombie tropes. Dean Pelton throws a costume party and, whoops, accidentally unleashes a zombie virus on the school. Every zombie movie trope is present, and there’s a good sprinkling of horror movie clich├ęs, as well. None of it seems over used or dry, as Community was able to play it right and evoke all the laughter that it aimed for. 

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