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Ghosts - The Perfect Assistant & The Family Business - Review

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A moment to squeal first because our ghosts are returning for a third season! Is anyone surprised? Probably not. But are we all collectively happy about this news? Absolutely.

The Perfect Assistant

There is no specific or strategic reason for me to lump these two episodes into one review (besides the fact that life came in the way and I was very late to watching and reviewing episode 11), but looking back now, there is nice symmetry in these two episodes. For one, Sam and Jay finally hire staff to help around the inn. Meet the perfect assistant: Freddy (Mike Lane).

The Perfect Assistant is not quite, ahem, perfect but it's certainly a harmless addition to what's been an incredibly solid sophomore season. If anything, it starts to show just how far the ghosts are willing (and able) to go to disrupt Sam and Jay's life, for better or for worse. The writers do a decent job throwing multiple red herrings (I certainly thought Freddy was actually going to turn out to be a serial killer) while still excelling at hilarious one-liners (Samantha, after our walk, will you open the curtain in my room? I have plans to stare pensively for several hours.).

Bjorn makes a surprise reappearance in The Perfect Assistant and he makes the terrible mistake of asking his father for advice on dealing with women when he is getting bullied by one of the other ghosts at the Farnsby's. As someone with a possible one or more father issues, this one hit very close to home, especially with Pete coming in to help Bjorn, giving him the good ole solid advice of communicating. Ah, the TV (and more often than not, real life) solution to all problems. As always, this brilliantly brings the ghosts closer to each other than ever with Flower hitting one of the episode's strongest punchlines: I think Pete just wanted to help, Thor. Like an uncle. That's what uncles do. They give you advice and buy you weed, and stare too long at your friends.. Ultimately, the episode sent me crying with Pete talking about how he never got along with his father, who always wanted to "fight fire with fire" instead of listening and understanding him. The audacity of this show not paying for my therapy at this point.

The Perfect Assistant also introduces Jessica, played by yet another Superstore star, Nichole Sakura. Sakura is immediately charming and I am immediately obsessed with her character (though admittedly, she gets a little more to do in the following episode). There's an instant connection between her and Sasappis--but more importantly, her presence on the show adds some much needed world building. Jessica is a "car ghost", meaning that she died in a car accident and is therefore tied to the confounds of Freddy's car, plus or minus a couple of feet. It's a fascinating new little tidbit and I certainly can't wait to see what else the writers have in store for us for future ghosts.

The Family Business

I'd be remiss not to mention that The Family Business finally addresses the Christmas cliffhanger that gave us the unexpected (yet welcome?) Hetty and Trevor hookup. This week's episode doesn't shy away from the fact that Trevor is horny while reminding us that he is in fact still pant-less, but Hetty is a little less certain about this new hookup. She gives the pretense that she isn't as interested, but something tells me that's just the puritan part of her refusing to go all in on her sexual desires. Regardless, I am still #TeamHetty--regardless of her faults. And boy, her faults do come out in full swing this week.

Where The Perfect Assistant laid the groundwork for Hetty and the rest of the ghosts' reluctance on having Freddy around as it could potentially mean less Sam-time, The Family Business goes the extra mile. Hetty is furious that Sam is "getting to know Freddy on a personal level", giving him relationship advice which eventually backfires and *gasp* showing her employee some basic human decency. Hetty uses her new, unlabeled cohort with Trevor to hack into Sam and Jay's laptop to make Freddy look bad, upping the reservation system at the B&B to make it look like they can handle, ahem, 69 open spots. Of course, it all inevitably goes wrong for Sam and Jay in the worst way possible, and I suppose you could say this isn't Hetty's best moment yet.

What this storyline does so incredibly well is show us a side of Sam we have never seen before (that I kind of love?): her mean, no-bullshit, boss side. She flips out on Freddy, telling him that his relationship problems should not have come between him and his work, exactly the kind of reaction that Hetty expected. Eventually, Sam and Jay find out that the ghosts messed up with the reservation system and, yep as you guessed it, the waterworks start.

Hetty's eyes tear up, a sign that shit is about to go down, and her reasoning behind what she did, while certainly not an "excuse", is perfectly in-character and beautifully realized. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Rebecca Wisocky is a stellar performer, and episodes like The Family Business give her a fantastic vehicle to showcase Hetty's vulnerable side. While I didn't need the flashback to her struggling to communicate with her living son, Hetty's speech about watching generations of Woodstones make mistakes in this mansion without her being able to give advice until Sam's miracle came to play is about as tear-jerking as this show can get. Using her and Sam's mother/daughter relationship is a genius move on the writers' part, and in an ensemble cast like Ghosts, it's easy to get caught up in so many different dynamics but this is one I absolutely need more of. Make me cry more, damnit.

On another note, Sasappis and Jessica are already kissing and getting to know each other more, and The Family Business is a perfect follow-up to Jessica's introduction. Nichole Sakura has perfect comedic timing (I was gonna walk to the other side of the car, but I guess I can do that later and If you think mentioning that you're super old is feeding into my daddy issues right now, then you're right. It is. I like it. It's super hot.), but this week is also a good vehicle for Sasappis to jump into the dating world for the first time in his life and admitting that he got unreasonably jealous is a very good step. With the added complication of Jessica being a car ghost, this dynamic has a lot of potential and I, for one, am excited to see where it goes.

Finally, The Family Business ends on a spooky note with Freddy going over the security camera footage and noticing the keys on the laptop being pressed, a.k.a the time Trevor and Hetty hacked into the reservation system. We don't know much about Freddy, but it's clear he's going to investigate this further and presumably find out that there are ghosts here. Yes, drama! What did you think of The Perfect Assistant and The Family Business, and are we going to come back to Sam's podcast and Alberta's murder anytime soon? Sound off in the comments below!

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