I love Halloween. It is my second favorite holiday of the year. I love it for a variety of reasons for the dressing up in costumes to the pranks to the decorating of jack-o’-lanterns to candy corn and trick or treaters coming to your door. I love Halloween. I love the holiday of Samhain and the roots of pagan traditions and I love the modern secular holiday too.
It’s the turning of the wheel, the cooling off of the year and the marking of the final harvest. It’s the last hoorah before the winter months set in and we begin the mad dash towards Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s an excuse to be silly and to have fun. At my daughter’s school, they celebrate Great American Day so that’s another added bonus to the mix. This year, my daughter will be Amelia Earhart at school and Batgirl at home. Seriously, does it get any better?
But my other favorite part of this time of year is the fun that television programs have with Halloween. Now I’m not into slasher flicks or horror porn. I tend to be an old fashioned girl where Halloween is concerned. I love a great prank. So in no particular order, here are my top five Halloween episodes over the last couple of decades:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In 1997, during Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s second season, the episode Halloween was added to the annals of my favorite Halloween episodes of all time. Buffy and Angel are trying to untangle their feelings for each other and Buffy’s not feeling very feminine. Willow wants to break out of her shell, but she’s still too shy and Xander’s masculinity takes a hit when Buffy saves him from the football team bullies.
Enter Ethan Rayne, an old college buddy of Giles. Ethan uses Janus, the two faced Roman god to cast a spell on all the costumes in his shop, whatever a person is wearing – that’s what they become. Children become monsters, Willow becomes a ghost, Xander becomes special ops guy and Buffy becomes a delicate flower of a woman who gets vapors at the first sign of trouble. It’s an episode filled with mayhem and hilarity – Spike gets great lines, but it’s a classic and I end up watching this episode every year.
My next favorite episode, oddly enough, also features David Boreanaz, but in a very different role. In the episode The Mummy in the Maze, Booth and Bones have to solve the crime of a real life murder victim turning up as a mummy. They find a pattern and realize that more girls could be out there. The clincher comes at the end when Booth (dressed up as a Squint) and Bones (dressed as Wonder Woman) go to rescue the remaining victim and rats swarm out, leading Bones to jump onto Booth’s back and scream like a little girl – a rare enough occasion. They eventually catch their guy and get filthy, but the imagery of Wonder Woman and Clark Kent is stuck forever.
In an episode called Witch Hunt, the team is working to solve the mystery of a stabbed marine and a missing girl on Halloween. Tony hates Halloween because it’s always a freaky night for cops. The best moments in the episode come in two places: the first is the interrogation of one suspect who is dressed up as a Klingon. Gibbs spends a lot of time studying the guy, because it’s hard to read a Klingon. The second is lab tech Abby done up to the nines as Marilyn Monroe. The guys about trip over their tongues when they see her and it’s so white bread for the Goth, making it a perfect Halloween costume.
Sam leaps into a horror novelist in Maine named Joshua Raye. Odd things keep happening in the town, people die inexplicably, Sam sees people that aren’t there, Al behaves strangely and although Ziggy keeps saying they are there to save a deacon, it gets stranger and stranger. When Sam finally jumps out, Al says that he and Ziggy haven’t been able to find Sam for days – making this one of the screwiest episodes ever. What was real and what wasn’t? And was Sam afflicted by the oddness of the horror novelist’s mind? Muhahahaha!
And finally, the best Halloween television ever:
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
No matter how many times I see it, it just doesn’t get old.
What are you favorite Halloween television moments?