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Ghosts - Weekend From Hell - Review: Chumbawamba

How is Ghosts so consistently strong week after week?

One thing about this show, unlike most (if not all) sitcoms, is how small-scale it may seem most of the times. Every episode can be seen as a "bottle episode" if you think about how the ghosts physically cannot go past the mailbox. Any guest stars the show might introduce come in the form of a guest at the B&B or a new neighbor or an old friend or family, at best. This show is so limited in that sense, but it uses that as a strength rather than a weakness because we end up learning so much more about each character on a weekly basis without having to resort to flashbacks every single time.

And now, Ghosts have already reached a point where previous guests are returning. Weekend From Hell brings back Hetty's cruel, disgusting husband Elias from...well, hell. Last seen in season 1's episode The Vault, Elias has returned with the pretense that he is a changed man now, despite in his previous life having blamed someone else for ruining Hetty's China plates let alone switching out her cocaine with wig powder (gasp!). Matt Walsh is about as charismatic and incredibly talented as always, bringing a character that could have easily faltered under lesser hands to life.

Ultimately, it is Hetty and Elias' dynamic that carry this episode all throughout. There's a genuine weight behind whether she was really going to forgive him for all his faults in every single exchange between the two, and Rebecca Wisocky, shocking absolutely no one, shines with this week's material. Wisocky and Walsh bounce off each other quite beautifully, even when there's no doubt that Elias is still a conniving, selfish, unforgivable bastard. It is ultimately Alberta's speech about how fixating on the no-good men in their lives doesn't actually hurt them that helps Hetty reach "real forgiveness", allowing her to sign the hellish contract that Elias was dangling in front of Pete.

The urgency of Pete's afterlife hanging on the line elevates the stakes significantly. It's pretty brilliant for Hell (or Elias, I suppose) to choose Pete as their victim, tricking him and Sam with a fabricated email about Little Pete to get him sucked down through the portal in exchange for Elias to hang around the afterlife at the mansion freely. As the character most likely to suffer the most in Hell, Pete proves just how fearless he actually is in Weekend From Hell; from immediately offering himself to save Little Pete's life within seconds to taking up Thor's advice about knocking your enemies in the genitals, Pete gets to be someone other than the person who just "takes it". I loved that for him.

The gravity of Pete possibly getting sucked down to hell and Hetty having to forgive Elias once and for all is contradicted by Flower walking through Jay, thus making him high, on the day the Menu Hunter is coming to the B&B to potentially put them on the spotlight with her cooking reality show. It's as hilariously absurd as you would expect, made all the more entertaining by Sasappis fully embracing his chaos era lately, convincing Trevor that they don't need to tell Sam right away. The result is a few hijinks and a stellar performance by Utkarsh Ambudkar; Ambudkar doesn't always get a ton of material on Ghosts so it is particularly exciting for Jay to get a solo storyline this week, fully realizing his potential.

Kudos to Rose McIver as well for how well she juggled all the different crazy aspects of Sam's life this week. Sam may have prioritized the ghosts a lot more lately like the time she had to push back her and Jay's Valentine's plans a couple of times, but there's no denying that she is incredibly supportive. Her Star War reference this week as she gives Jay the pep talk about being a great chef is particularly heartwarming. More Sam/Jay cuteness, please!

If I had one minor quibble with this episode, it's that it was another case of a very quick and abrupt resolution. For a moment, I really thought Elias was going to stick around for a while--which would have been a welcome, if not chaotic, change to the mansion. We were dealt with a double wammy as Elias attempts to take Pete down through the Hell portal with him by the end of the episode, but ultimately fails (the groin punch never fails); while admittedly happy that Pete got his deserved shining moment, I wish Elias' departure wasn't as hasty as his return. I am looking forward for another one of homecomings sooner rather than later.

Scary Delights From Hell:

Elias: Hell is mostly emails and Zooms that should've been emails.

Isaac: [Hetty] was never much of a little kid person.
Hetty: That's nonsense, I employed dozens of them.

Alberta: You cannot let Pete go down on us. No one wants to see that.

Flower: In my experience, more drugs is usually the answer.

Elias: What, did your female brain forget how to write?
Hetty: Much like your own proverbial pen, this one doesn't work.

Sasappis: The stakes could not be higher.
Pete: I mean, it's not like going to hell, but I can invest in other people's journeys.

Sam: Now kiss me like you're Luke and I'm your...sister, who cares.

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