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Ghosts - Woodstone's Hottest Couple - Review: Not!

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It didn't even occur to me that Ghosts has so many couple pairings until this episode aired. Setting Sam and Jay aside as they are, for lack of a better term, the main couple, we've had Flower and Thor, Nigel and Isaac, and whatever Hetty and Trevor are doing. It's pretty common for an ensemble show to pair characters together, especially for a show like Ghosts where there might be some limitations in the amount of guest characters they could have, given that in this universe ghosts can't travel. But unlike Sasappis who at least had a car ghost girlfriend despite what Thor may or may not remember, we're left with the fact that Alberta and Pete are the remaining two ghosts who have not paired with anyone yet (and it will stay that way as long as Alberta has a say in it), which is a little surprising for a sophomore season. Enter Stephanie.

We last saw Stephanie in Attic Girl last year as the high school student known for her fantastic '80s hair and jarring, bloody saw marks on her back. After catching up on what's happened around the mansion over the last year in what was the most meta Ghosts scene to date, Stephanie gets pretty jaded over being sad and alone among a sea of couples and determines to break them all up. Did I believe for a second that the show was going to break up all of its couples by episode's end? Absolutely not. Was I still taken by surprise over the Sam/Jay dilemma? More than anything.

While trying to cause an argument over a collection of shoes hiding in the attic, Stephanie inadvertently helps Sam find out that Jay interviewed for his old head chef position job in NYC. This stirs up a raw, heartbreaking conversation between the couple over Jay hiding this information from Sam and him indulging in the fantasy of his old life. It's a scene unlike anything Ghosts has produced yet, and you really feel for both characters--Sam obviously can't live in a big city with wall-to-wall ghosts (Central Park looks like the "Thriller" video, for God's sakes) and Jay misses interacting with people he can see and hear, making this "fight" more realistic and heartbreaking. Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar are truly phenomenal here, I can't wait to nominate them both for SpoilerTV's Performer of the Month in April, but until then I will applaud the writers for consistently giving Ambudkar some material to showcase his acting chops in a show that could have easily fumbled making Jay interesting. It's the little things, like constantly exposing his love for D&D (someone in that writing room knows the terms!) and his friendships with Mark and Pete, that make Jay more three-dimensional than just the ghost-seeing main character's partner.

While the resolution to this storyline is a bit abrupt with Jay and Mark getting to work on their own destination restaurant at the B&B (do we know if that barn outside was ever mentioned prior to this episode or was this just a very convenient thing to spur up this week?), I was happy to see Thor and Flower get closer over their shared love/knowledge of owls, let alone Thor finding out he can change the entire meaning of a sentence by following it with the word "not". Meanwhile, Trevor and Hetty double-dating with Nigel and Isaac proved to be disastrous and boring when Trevor realizes, no thanks to Stephanie, that he isn't really a "tea" guy. It's a hilarious subplot in an episode focused on couples, especially as Trevor and Hetty decide to trick everyone into thinking they've broken up in order to keep their secret hookups hot and, well, a secret.

Woodstone's Hottest Couple ultimately succeeds on so many levels, but particularly in showcasing many different types of couples. In doing so, it highlights the loneliness that Stephanie feels as she is surrounded by love everywhere. A part of me wishes that the show goes slightly darker as it depicts how psychologically damaging it must be to be trapped in a mansion as a ghost forever, but I trust that the final two episodes of the season will be satisfying (and possibly even troubling, based on the press release!). I, for one, cannot wait.

Scary Delights from the B&B:

- Stephanie: So what did I miss since last April?
Pete: Oh, well, let's see, Elias came back from hell.
Hetty: Samantha got possessed.
Sasappis: We all met Tara Reid.
Alberta: Ooh, we started a podcast about my murder.
Thor: I have son.
Isaac: And I'm gay.
Stephanie: What's a podcast?

- Flower: We're going on a double date with Trevor and Hetty at some unspecified point in the near future.
Hetty: As soon as we can work it out schedule-wise, yeah.

- Isaac: I'm dating Nigel. It's sort of an adorable story. He's British, and I killed him.

- Trevor: Is this whole double date gonna be tea-related conversation? It's just, it's been an hour. And that's just a long time to talk about flavored water.
Hetty: Well, perhaps it wouldn't feel so long, dearest, if you attempted to participate.
Trevor: Okay. Well, I guess that I like... iced tea. Have you ever had Snapple? The Diet Peach was pretty good.

- Jay: I just wanted to indulge in the fantasy for a minute.
Sam: What fantasy?
Jay: I don't know. Being at the epicenter of the cooking world again, and working in a busy restaurant with people that I can see and hear.
Pete: Ouch. That felt pointed.
Jay: I'm not unhappy here, I just-- I miss some things about my old life.
Sam: Okay. Well, what can we do?
Jay: I don't think there's anything to do.

- Nigel: During tea, did either of you...
Isaac: Feel his genitals were on display? Yeah.
Hetty: I wish I could say you get used to it. You don't.

- Thor: Yes. Thor and Flower both familiar with owls. Is definitely basis for entire relationship. Hmm?

- Hetty: Then back into the shadows we go, where this mismatched travesty belongs. Now take me, you bare-assed libertine.

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