With spooky season upon us, it only makes sense that Ghosts would gift us with a second Halloween episode, with “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past.” The spirited hijinks bring the living and dead residents of Woodstone Manor together to summon another ghost into the fray. If you don’t think there’s room to fit another spirit into this chaotic family, you’d be wrong. If you love re-watching Halloween episodes from your favorite sitcoms, this one can definitely be added to the list.
Hetty’s Turn in the Spotlight
Woodstone’s Lady of the House has already been on quite the journey of, ahem, self-discovery this season. Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) is the very definition of a problematic fave. She supports child labor, hates the Irish, and makes no qualms about making sure everyone knows she’s better than them. She’s always been a perfect anti-hero to cheer for.
Seeing her grow on Ghosts 2×05 “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past” is endearing. Even a woman as set in her ways as Hetty can recognize the perils of the patriarchy and how it precipitated her death. It’s refreshing to see a character like this be allowed to reflect on the error of their ways, rather than remaining stale. She’s allowed to be challenged, and become a better person, even in her afterlife.
A Halloween Party for the Ages…Kind Of
Halloween parties are always difficult to pull off. However, having 24/7 access to a massive haunted mansion has to make the job easier. Sadly, the Woodstone crew, living and not, are only able to manage a flop. Not even the amazing costumes could save this train wreck. It’s a shame because they are all just so ready to host guests and give them a spooktacular Halloween experience.
What the party does do, of course, is give the ghosts a chance to shine. If Tara Reid is going to make a guest appearance, Woodstone neighbor Liam Neeson needs to as well. While his cameo may not be as powerful as his Derry Girls appearance, he would no doubt fit right in here. No one could ever possibly compete with a party like Neeson’s. Perhaps next year, Woodstone will be given the massive party that it deserves.
New Character Unlocked
The infamous Maid has a name, Molly (how predictable). She’s here, and she’s delightful. While it may be a predictable twist that, in fact, Hetty’s good-for-nothing husband was effectively grooming Molly, the revelation is no less devastating. Molly is sweet, and the definition of innocence. Her backstory is heartbreaking. Yet, she is the emblem of everything that the Gilded Age actually was.
If we think of people who lived during the Gilded Age as being versions of Hetty with their high-class seances, the reality is that there were even more Mollys in reality. These rose-colored glasses fall off immediately when Molly’s introduced. Maybe not everyone lived her life. However, it’s clear in her brief appearance, she made an impact. After a lifetime of suffering, she deserves an eternity in a place where “everything’s perfect.”
Return of the Tree Guy
Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) is really doing his best. As always, the fact that Sam (Rose McIver) can see the ghosts and have fun times with them, has Jay relying on second-hand information. However, this premise gets more heartbreaking every week. As much as he clearly loves and cares for the ghosts, it’s equally evident that he’s in need of friends he can see.
Even then, Jay is an inspirational figure. He never seems down about not being able to fully join in on the spooky fun. His quest on Ghosts 2×05 “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past” to find living friends, leads him into bizarre situations. We’re cheering for Jay because he and Sam both deserve friends their own age in the middle of nowhere. And especially Jay, who is much more isolated.
Ultimately, Ghosts does such a great job of illustrating the perils of trying to find and maintain friendships in your 30s. We’re rooting for Jay’s success.
Isaac and Nigel: A Revolutionary Love
Isaac (Brandon Scott Jones) and Nigel (John Hartman) are out and proud, and they deserve nothing less. Two soldiers on opposite sides of the American Revolutionary War is Hamilton-worthy historical fan-fiction at its finest. These two have gone from murderer and victim to boyfriends, and Nisaac can now set sail in earnest.
It’s too bad that we only got a tiny glimpse of them on Ghosts 2×05 “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past.” The moments we do get are incredibly sweet. Isaac’s embarrassment about his…problem is incredibly relatable. It’s too bad Pete (Richie Moriarty) had to take the blame at first, but he takes it in stride, and he’s a trooper for it. The grace with which Nigel accepts him, occasional foul smells and all, is a testament to how strong these two are. They are just getting started.
Halloween provided the perfect opportunity for Ghosts to shine, and shine it did. The scares weren’t all that scary, but per usual, the heart was there. This show keeps giving us simple stories about a haunted mansion, that turn into meditations on life, death, love, and friendships. And there’s hardly a more perfect way to wrap up the Halloween season.
Other Spooky Thoughts:
- Thor’s (Devan Chandler Long) ability to mess with electricity is BACK, and we love to see it. We don’t get to see this ghostly power nearly enough. Ditto Trevor’s (Asher Grodman) fogged window calligraphy.
- Of course, leave it to Alberta (Danielle Pinnock) to solve everyone’s problems, and be loving and compassionate about it. She and Flower (Sheila Carrasco) are such an underrated duo.
- Sass (Román Zaragoza) immediately defending Flower even after she nearly killed Sam. So true. She has never done anything wrong, in her life, ever.
Ghosts airs Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.