Lessons Learned From Are You Afraid of the Dark, Season 6

      Last year, I did a series of five articles on the original five seasons of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and the lessons learned from them. If you missed them, forgot about them, or simply weren't here last year, the premise is this: Are You Afraid of the Dark? was more than just an attempt to produce a child-friendly version of Tales from the Darkside, it was an attempt to scare us into behaving ourselves. In 1999, the show returned to the air for a sixth season after a three year absence. The cast was almost entirely new, except for Tucker, but the setup remained the same. Each episode was still a basic morality tale, meant to terrify us into being better people. Below you'll find synopses of all the episodes from Season 6, along with the lessons you should have learned from them. Enjoy!


Episode 1 - The Tale of the Forever Game

Synopsis: Peter is a complete douchebag who has no respect for his younger sister Monica or his best friend Mark. While leading them on a biking adventure though the woods, Peter gets the trio lost. As they try to find their way out of the woods, they discover that they keep ending up at the same spooky tree. Peter gets frustrated and demands that everyone split up to try and find the path back home. After Mark and Monica take off down separate paths, Peter becomes intrigued by the tree and decides to take a closer look. When he does, he is pulled inside it. Shortly thereafter, Mark and Monica simultaneously end up back at the tree. They see Peter's bike, but no sign of Peter. Worried, they dismount and begin to look for him. Meanwhile, inside the tree, Peter meets a strange suspenders-clad boy named Nathaniel. Nathaniel shows Peter the Forever Game, a mysterious board game with a magic portent in the middle. Inside the portent, Peter sees Mark and Monica wandering through the woods looking for him. He calls to them, but Nathaniel explains that they can't hear him. He then invites Peter to play the Forever Game. Thinking that he's fallen into Nathaniel's root cellar, Peter agrees and the game begins. The rules are simple: players take turn spinning the game wheel and the first person to make it to the door at the end of board wins. Nathaniel spins first. He lands on the Potpourri emblem, and a colorful assortment of flower blossoms begin to rain down on Mark and Monica. Peter is entertained. When he spins, he lands on the Lightning emblem. A storm suddenly appears over Mark and Monica, and lightning bolts begin striking near the pair. They take cover under some trees. Peter is even more entertained. Nathaniel spins again, and his face turns serious. He explains that each event stops with each new spin of the wheel except for the one he's about to land on, Burden Beast. Once the Burden Beast is summoned, it will stay active for the rest of the game. Peter is disinterested in Nathaniel's speech, because they're just playing a game. But once the Beast appears and begins firing its razor-sharp fingernail missiles at Mark and Monica, Peter gets upset. He says the game isn't fun anymore and refuses to play anymore. Nathaniel explains that Peter *has* to continue playing. The winner will get to the leave the tree, the loser will be stuck there forever. Hence, the Forever Game. Once the game is completed, Mark and Monica will be free as well. If Peter refuses to play, they will be trapped in the woods forever with the Beast. Peter watches as Monica and Mark give the Beast the slip, and he begins to see just how resourceful his little sister is. Concerned for her and Mark's well-being, Peter agrees to continue playing. Eventually, he comes to a crucial fork in the road on the board. With Nathaniel five squares away from winning, Peter is given a choice: he can either land on the Switch emblem and switch places with someone in the forest, or he can go back fifteen squares. Unwilling to escape the tree at the expense of either his sister or his friend, Peter chooses to go backwards. Nathaniel mocks his decision, and spins the wheel. He only manages to spin a three though, giving Peter another chance to spin. Meanwhile, Mark and Monica find themselves back at the tree once again. Monica suspects that the tree is the cause of all the strange things that have been happening, and asks Mark to help her knock it down. The two begin shaking the old dead tree, but are not strong enough to knock it down. Inside the tree, Peter decides to help them. He spins, and moves his piece backwards, landing once again on the lightning. Outside, Mark takes cover. Peter explains to Nathaniel that the lightning will be able to knock down the tree, but Nathaniel won't listen. Seeing his freedom at hand, he spins again. And since he's only two spaces away from victory, guess what number he lands on? That's right, ONE. Isn't that convenient? Even more convenient is the fact that Nathaniel lands on the Broken Twig emblem, which means that the last event will continue until the next spin. Peter refuses to spin. Outside, Monica convinces Mark that they both need to stand under the tree, because the lightning seems drawn to them. Mark reluctantly agrees, and suddenly the Beast reappears. The pair hold their ground, and lightning strikes the tree right as the Beast is about to pounce on them. The lighting bolt pierces through the tree, and right through the portent in the center of the game board. The board and tree both explode. When the smoke clears, Peter is reunited with Mark and Monica. He compliments Monica on her clever thinking, when suddenly an old man approaches them. It's Nathaniel, who is finally free as well. He thanks Monica for figuring how to beat the game for good, and tells the trio that he is going to visit his old neighborhood; he's been missing since 1929. Nathaniel departs and the trio head home - with Monica leading the way.
Lesson #1: Be nice to your little sister.
Lesson #2: Biking is fucking gay.


Episode 2 - The Tale of the Misfortune Cookie

Synopsis: David Lee is an aspiring artist who is stuck working at his parents' struggling Chinese restaurant. He desperately wants to go to art school, but his family can't afford it, and the restaurant can't survive without him. One day, his grandfather gives him a special present, a sealed box that has been passed down in the family for generations. When David attempts to break the seal on the box, his grandfather warns him that the box should not be opened; it is to be appreciated for what it is, not for what it *could* be. Later that night, David breaks the seal on the box anyway and discovers that it contains six golden fortune cookies. The next day, David shows the cookies to his sister Theresa and tells her that he plans to sell them to pay for art school. Theresa tells David that the cookies are priceless family heirlooms and should not be sold. A struggle ensues, and the cookies end up all over the ground. Then Theresa is called away by their father and David is left to pick up the cookies by himself. While he is doing so, one of the cookies breaks. Curious, David reads its fortune aloud: "One should find perfect existence through imperfect existence." Suddenly, the sky darkens. When it returns to normal, the Lee family restaurant is thriving under the guidance of Mr. Chin, its critically acclaimed head cook. David attempts to see his parents, but they don't recognize him. Then his sister shows up at the restaurant, sporting purple hair and a black leather outfit, and gets into a heated argument with the parents. David tries to talk to her, but she doesn't recognize him either. Eventually, his parents become upset at his repeated claims that he is their son and throw him out of the restaurant through the kitchen. When he tries to re-enter, a samurai in black armor chases him off. David eventually learns that he is rich, the successful most successful comic book artist in the entire world, and that he is supposed to appear at a local book-signing. But David can see that his sister is making bad life choices, and attempts to talk to her. Every time he does so, the black samurai shows up and chases him off. Eventually David confronts the samurai and asks him why he is being followed. The samurai tells David that he is protecting him. David has the fame and success he always dreamed of, and no family to hold him back. David has everything he ever wanted, and should be happy. David tells the samurai that if success comes at the cost of his family, he doesn't want it, because his family is more important. The samurai collapses, muttering that David's good side has won out. David unmasks him, only to see that he is the samurai. The sky darkens again, and then clears. Suddenly, everything is back to normal, and the box that David's grandfather gave him is sealed once again. David runs inside the restaurant to see his family. He thanks his grandfather for the wonderful gift. Their touching family moment is interrupted by a man looking for a job. It's Mr. Chin, the talented cook who David saw in the alternate reality. David tells his father to hire the man, no questions asked.
Lesson #1: Don't know what you've got till it's gone.
Lesson #2: Every rose has its thorn.
Lesson #3: You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, well you might find, you get what you need.


Episode 3 - The Tale of the Virtual Pets

Synopsis: Kate doesn't like technology. Her best friend Isabel does. You know who else does? EVERYONE ELSE AT SCHOOL. One day a kid named Tom shows up at school and starts giving out free virtual pets called Diggers. They are little virtual dogs that are way more cool and interactive than anything else on the market. Kate is suspicious as to why Tom is giving away free electronics. She's also creeped out by the Digger tattoo on Tom's neck. No one else is though, especially not Isabel. Isabel is one of the first people to get one of the Diggers. The Diggers seem cool at first, but they have one small design flaw: they eventually switch places with the user. When Isabel is replaced, Kate knows for sure something is up. She follows Isabel to Tom's house and finds the real Tom, the real Isabel, and a few other kids trapped in handheld devices. She also learns that the Digger program has taken over Tom's computer and is using it as its earthly base of operations. Kate blows up Tom's computer, frees her friends, and saves the day. Kate realizes she had a lot of fun saving the day, and starts to consider the possibility that maybe technology isn't so bad. Then she immediately changes her mind.
The Lesson: Virtual pets are a stupid fad, and they must be fucking destroyed.


Episode 4 - The Tale of the Zombie Dice

Synopsis: Tate is a douchebag who likes to take risks. Risks that seem to center primary around gambling. His best friend Alex is the exact opposite; he never takes chances. Hey, this setup is strikingly similar to the last one! Tate's love for games of chance attracts the attention of creepy Mr. Click, the owner of the local arcade. Click tells Tate that if he can beat him in a game of Click's choosing, he will give him the arcade. Alex initially talks Tate out of the deal, but Tate goes back the next night and accepts the offer. Mr. Click takes Tate to his office and challenges him to a game of Zombie Dice. The rules are simple. Tate must roll a pair six-sided dice three times. Five sides of each die are blank, the remaining side has a skull. If even one skull comes up in the three rolls, Tate loses and he must give Click his thumbprint. Otherwise, Tate wins the arcade. Tate agrees to the rules and rolls the dice. On the third roll, a skull comes up and he is forced to give Click his thumbprint. Click opens a secret panel in his office and sends Tate to have his thumbprint taken. Klimbo, a mentally deficient man who works for Click, leads Tate to machine and gestures for him to put his thumb on. When he does, he becomes stuck. The machine activates, and Tate screams and disappears. Meanwhile, Alex shows at the arcade with his brother, looking for Tate. The arcade is closed, but he sees Tate's jacket draped over a chair at the snack counter, so he suspects Tate is still there. Alex wanders into Click's office, finds the secret exit, and find a miniaturized Tate sitting in a cage. Click explains that Tate lost a bet, and now he will be shipped overseas and spend the rest of his life as a pet, provided that he survives the journey. Click tells Alex that he can save Tate, if he's willing to take a chance. Alex agrees to play Zombie Dice, under the condition that has to Click roll the dice. If Click hits a single skull in three rolls, Tate will be freed. If not, Alex will be enslaved as well. Unfortunately, Click wins. Before he can claim his prize, Alex offers a proposal: double or nothing. If Alex wins, he and Tate get to go free, and Alex gets Click's thumbprint. If Alex loses, Click can have his brother as well. Click accepts, and lets Alex pick the game. Alex bets that he can completely drink two huge mugs of Mountain Dew before Click finishes one small glass. Alex asks for one condition, that Click cannot start his glass until he finishes one of the mugs and puts it down. Click suspects that there's a trick, and claims that Alex will move his glass. Alex promises that he will not, and offers up a rule that neither player can touch the other's glass. Click agrees, but says that Alex must drink THREE mugs of Mountain Dew before he finishes his small glass. Alex agrees, and the game begins. Alex finishes his first mug and puts it down... right over Click's glass. Since Click has agreed not to touch any of Alex's glasses, he is unable to drink his glass, and Alex easily win. Enraged, Click tries to escape. His manservant doesn't take too kindly to that, however, and forces Click's thumb onto the machine. Tate is freed, and he leaves with Alex and his brother. Klimbo leaves for parts unknown with the tiny Click safely locked in a box.
Lesson #1: Gambling ruins lives. Don't ever gamble.
Lesson #2: Hustling, on the other hand, is perfectly fine.


Episode 5 - The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets

Synopsis: Tommy and David are a pair of brothers with a pair of problems. First there's Chuck, their babysitter's boyfriend. Chuck is a slightly overweight douchebag who loves to wear Hawaiian shirts and make toast-related threats. When he accidentally runs over David's bike in the driveway, he threatens to beat the boys up unless they come up with money to fix his scratched paint job. Then, there are Mr. Pimm and Mr. Collins, their mom's new tenants. The duo of interracial fatties constantly make food-related puns and giggle to themselves. At first Tommy and David assume the men are just flaming homosexuals, but then they notice that people who visit the men's apartment never seem to come back out. So the boys make the only reasonable assumption one could possibly make: Pimm and Collins are cannibals, who drug their victims with pineapple cider, then kill and eat them. The boys break into the men's apartment to prove it, and find a walk-in refrigerator filled with giant bags with labels that say things like "Hamburger PATTY" and "VIRGINIA Ham". I didn't add those cheesy emphases, Pimm and Collins did. The boys get caught in the apartment, escape, and run home. Later that day, Pimm and Collins show up to explain themselves. They are gourmet chefs with sizeable appetites, hence the large portions in their refrigerator. The pair have explanations for all the suspicious things the boys thought they saw, and one of their supposed victims even shows up, wondering if it's dinnertime. The boys apologize, and Pimm and Collins accept. To show there are no hard feelings, they even present David with a new bike. Everyone is happy. As Pimm and Collins leave the house, they invite Tommy, David, their babysitter, and their mom over for dinner that night. They explain that it's going to be a luau theme, and then Pimm takes out a place mat that looks suspiciously like the last shirt that we saw Chuck wearing. Then they announce the main course: chuck steak on toast! AHHHHHHHHHHH!
Lesson #1: Just because your neighbors are annoying, overweight homosexuals does not mean they're cannibals.
Lesson #2: But sometimes they are.
Lesson #3: Don't leave your bike in the driveway.


Episode 6 - The Tale of Jake the Snake

Synopsis: Wiley and Zach are best friends who want to make the school hockey team. Zach is just good enough that he might get a spot, despite having a really fucking annoying voice. Wiley, on the other hand, isn't quite good enough. After the first day of tryouts, Wiley is approached by a mysterious stranger in the hockey rink basement who offers him a magic hockey stick that will make him better at the game. The stick once belonged to Jake "The Snake" Desmond, a skilled hockey player who was so named due to his ability to snake through any defense. Sure enough, Wiley goes to the second and final day of tryouts with his new stick and totally kicks ass, winning a spot on the hockey team that might otherwise have gone to Zach. With his newfound success, Wiley turns into a dick and refuses to let Zach sit with him at lunch. He also starts to develop a strange rash. Zach tries to convince Wiley there's something wrong, but he pretends it's nothing. Wiley really is worried though, and when he goes to confront the mysterious man in the basement about his quickly spreading rash, Zach follows him. The man tells Wiley not to worry about it, and that if wants to keep playing well, he has to keep using the stick. After Wiley leaves, Zach confronts the man, who turns out be none other than Jake the Snake, who is now more snake than man. For some reason, Jake decides to explain his entire evil plan to Zach. Jake was the first person to use the cursed hockey stick, and everyone who has used the stick since then has turned into a full-fledged snake. If Wiley takes one more shot with the hockey stick, his transformation will be complete, and Jake will add him to the giant pit of snakes he's somehow managed to keep hidden in the hockey rink basement. Zach runs to Wiley's house to warn him, but Wiley seems unconcerned. So Zach steals the hockey stick, brings back to the rink, and tries to force Jake to take it. Unfortunately, Jake doesn't want it. What Jake wants instead, is to feed Zach to his snakepit. Wiley shows up to reclaim his stick and finally sees Jake's true form. He also sees Zach dangling precariously over the snakepit. Even though he knows taking another shot will turn him into a snake, Wiley grabs the stick and uses a dusty old hockey puck to knock Jake into the snakepit, where his victims attack him. Then he grabs the rope that Zach was hanging from and brings him to safety. Shortly thereafter, Wiley's final transformation begins. Zach looks contemptuously at the hockey stick and breaks it over his knee... at which point it turns into a cheesy CGI cobra. He throws the cobra in a nearby furnace, destroying the stick once and for all. Wiley's transformation not only stops, but he completely reverts to normal. All those snakes in the pit though? They don't change back, not even a little bit. Wiley and Zach leave the basement, their friendship stronger than ever. After they leave, Jake's hand emerges from the snakepit.
Lesson #1: Don't trust cloaked men who live in shadowy basements.
Lesson #2: Hockey is fucking gay.


Episode 7 - The Tale of the Hunted

Synopsis: Diana loves the outdoors: camping, hiking, canoeing, even hunting. So does Grant, her dad. So does Gar, the boy she's crushing on. But Diana's bleeding heart liberal friend Laura thinks hunting is wrong. When she finds out that Diana plans to go on a hunting trip, Laura bitches that it's barbaric and that wolves are gentle animals who wouldn't ever hurt a human if we would just leave them alone. Gar tells her she's an idiot and storms off, but Diana looks vaguely conflicted. That night, a scary wolf appears outside her window and growls menacingly at her. The next day, Gar takes Diana out to the woods to review some of the basics of hunting and tracking. Then Laura shows up and starts being a self-righteous cunt again, so Gar leaves. Laura prattles on some more about how awesome wolves are and gives Diana a wolf talisman that she got from a local Native American tribe. Diana puts it on, goes home, and goes to sleep. When she awakes up the next morning, she's a wolf. She runs out of her house, but her father sees her. Discovering that his daughter is missing and knowing that a wolf has been in his house, Grant assumes the worst. With help from Gar and his dad, they set out to find and kill the wolf they believe attacked Diana. While running through the woods, Gar accidentally steps in a trap. Diana stands near him and howls, drawing the attention of her dad. As he approaches, she runs off. Meanwhile, Laura shows up at Diana's house and finds the wolf talisman on the floor. At first she looks confused, but then she gets this cunt-like look on her face that suggests that not only does she know what happened, but she fucking did it on purpose. Shortly thereafter, Diana shows up at the house and Laura gives her a bowl of water. Then Grant shows up with the injured Gar and sees Laura with the wolf. Gar tries to explain that the wolf won't hurt them, but Grant is having none of it. He threatens Diana with a club, and as she tries to escape, she gets caught in a trap. Grant raises his club to kill her, despite Laura and Gar's protests, but then he looks into the wolf's eyes and he stops. Maybe he sees it begging for mercy, maybe he sees his daughter, maybe he sees something else entirely; we're never told for sure. For whatever reason, he stops. When he does, Laura runs up to Diana and uses the talisman to change her back into a human. Diana, Grant, and Gar all eventually block the day's events out of their heads. But none of them ever hunt again.
Lesson #1: Wolves are glorious, wondrous creatures that are soulful and compassionate. A marshmallow is more likely to hurt you.
Lesson #2: When you think you're right, it's okay to act like a complete cunt and endanger human life to prove your point.
Lesson #3: This episode was written by complete morons.


Episode 8 - The Tale of the Wisdom Glass

Synopsis: Jimmy Miller is a financially impaired boy who likes to go into the local computer game boutique and stare at games he can't afford. The store manager doesn't like him, because he suspects that Jimmy is going to steal stuff. Allan Price is a petulant little rich boy who buys ridiculous amount of games. The store manager likes him, because he has a credit card. One day, Allan is in the store and he sees the manager bullying Jimmy. He berates the man and tells him that Jimmy is his brother. Allan and Jimmy get to talking, and they hit it off. Allan asks Jimmy what game he'd buy if he had money, and Jimmy picks out one called Wisdom Game. When Allan goes to add it to his pile at the counter, however, the store manager confronts the boys. First he tells Jimmy that he knows he's not Allan's brother; Jimmy bails. Then he tells Allan that his dad has refused to authorize the purchase. An embarrassed Allan runs out of the store and into his limo. Once he gets there, he realizes that's he's still holding Wisdom Game. Pissed off that he was unable to buy any games and mad at the store manager for making him look like an idiot, Allan decides to keep the game. Then he sees Jimmy, the boy he bonded with earlier. Hoping to impress his new - and only - friend, Allan invites Jimmy into his limo. He shows him the game and suggests they go to Jimmy's house to play it. So they do. Jimmy installs the game on his computer, and registers their names. The game brings them onto the internet and informs them that there's a Wisdom Game card tournament the next day, and the winners will receive $10,000. The game prints out directions for them, then promptly fries Jimmy's computer. In need of money for a new computer, Jimmy suggests that they enter the card tournament, win, and split the prize. Allan agrees. The next day, Allan's driver takes them to where the tournament is supposed to be, and surprise, it's in the middle of fucking nowhere. After entering a rundown shed, Allan and Jimmy find themselves in a secret underground complex where everyone wears colorful robes and creepy masks. They are greeted by an eyeless woman in a long white robe who asks for their names. Jimmy gives them to her, and Allan becomes nervous. The woman inputs their names into the Wisdom Glass, a mysterious spherical artifact. Suddenly alarms sound and the woman's previously nonexistent eyes turn bright red. The boys run, but they are apprehended. Allan and Jimmy are then put on trial for the crime of stealing wisdom. Allan demands that he be allowed to call his father, but the judge tells him that he is in the Land of Wisdom, and he must play by their rules. The Wisdom Glass denies Allan's request, and the trial proceeds. Allan and Jimmy are given a jester for a lawyer, and the blind woman acts as prosecutor. She tells them that knowledge is something that cannot be bought, bartered, or stolen - a rather dubious claim since Wisdom Game was being sold commercially - and urges them to confess. Jimmy looks bewildered, and Allan angrily denies having stolen the game. During a break in the trial, Allan tells Jimmy the truth: he accidentally stole the game. He asks Jimmy to take the fall for him, because a criminal record will ruin his future. He attempts to buy Jimmy off, but Jimmy isn't interested in a payoff. Jimmy tells that Allan that he'll do it, not for money, but because Allan stood up for him in the video game store. When the trial resumes, Jimmy confesses and Allan is released. After Allan leaves, the Wisdom Glass hands down Jimmy's punishment: death by guillotine! Allan returns to his limo and his driver asks where Jimmy is. Allan tells him they're not friends anymore. The driver then reveals a pair of hockey tickets. He says Jimmy asked him to hold onto them as a surprise. Allan immediately feels guilty and returns to Wisdom. He tells the judge what really happened, and the courtroom applauds. The judge commends Allan for his bravery, then orders that he be executed in Jimmy's place; the will of the Wisdom Glass must be carried out. Jimmy grabs the Wisdom Glass and threatens to smash it unless Allan is released. Allan and Jimmy make a run for it, keeping the Wisdom Glass as collateral. They are almost to the exit when the eyeless woman confront them. Jimmy tells her if she wants the Wisdom Glass, she can have it, and he rolls it down the floor. A panic ensues, and the glass ultimately ends up in the hands of the jester, who subsequently drops and breaks it. Outside, Allan and Jimmy get into the limo. Allan asks his driver to take them home. Instead, the driver locks the doors, puts on the judge's mask and drives them down the dirt path back towards the Wisdom shed.
Lesson #1: Don't steal shit.
Lesson #2: People from different social classes shouldn't be friends.
Lesson #3: If you convince someone else to take the fall for you, let them take the fall and never look back.


Episode 9 - The Tale of the Walking Shadow

Synopsis: Ross Doyle (Jay Baruchel from The Tale of the Zombie Dice) auditions for the school production of Macbeth in order to impress the girl he likes, Vanessa. To his surprise, Ross gets cast as Macduff, one of the most important characters in the play. This would be great, except Ross has terrible stage fright. But on the plus side, getting tips on how to overcome stage fright gives Ross an excuse to hang out with Vanessa, who is playing Lady Macbeth. This situation is further complicated by the fact that the theater is haunted by two ghosts: Adrian Hercombe, who took ill during his opening night as Macbeth and died in the theater, and Hermione St. Claire, Hercombe's wife, who never got over his death and died at some indeterminate point thereafter. After Hercombe's death, no one dared perform Macbeth in the theater for many, many years. Hercombe has been stuck there, waiting for the chance to finish his performance. When Ross shows disrespect for theater traditions, the ghost begins to mess with him. Ross quits the play, thus pissing off Vanessa, but eventually mans up and agrees to be in the show once more. During the dress rehearsal, everything goes smoothly until the final act, when Hercombe incapacitates the actor playing Macbeth and takes his place. Ross, in character as Macduff, completes the play and defeats Hercombe's Macbeth. Hercombe's ghost, finally at peace, leaves the theater with his wife. Also, Ross totally wins over Vanessa.
The Lesson: Don't die during a production of the Scottish Play.


Episode 10 - The Tale of Oblivion

Synopsis: Max hates his twin sister Shelley. Wherever he goes, she goes, and she's always telling on him. One day, Max and Shelley visit Sardo's magic shop and Sardo cons Max into buying a pencil case containing a piece of charcoal he claims was once used by both Picasso and Da Vinci. It wasn't, but it is magic: any existing object that is drawn with the charcoal and then rubbed away with the accompanying eraser disappears forever. Max enjoys his newfound power, until his sister finds about it. When she threatens to tell their mom on him, Max gets mad and erases her. Immediately regretting his decision, Max returns to the magic shop and asks Sardo for help. Sardo makes up some bullshit that Max needs to follow her to save her. Max decides that Sardo is right, and erases both himself and his magic drawing kit. He ends up in Oblivion, the place where all things go when they're erased, and he is pursued by Kronos, a savage warrior who has sought the Tools of Oblivion for centuries. After giving Kronos the slip, Max brings Sardo to Oblivion, because Sardo should be onscreen at all times. Sardo is of absolutely no help, of course. Eventually, the pair find Shelley in a cage, a prisoner of Kronos. Kronos offers to trade the key for the Tools. Max agrees, but he secretly breaks both the charcoal and eraser in half and keeps a piece of each for himself. When Max fulfills his half of the trade, Kronos reneges and throws the key away. He also decides to reveal that the Tools can create as well as destroy; if someone draws something that isn't there and then erases it, it will appear. Kronos draws a door and announces his plan to escape and conquer the world. Then Max says he's going to erase Oblivion. Kronos charges at Max, but he is unable to stop him. Max erases Oblivion from existence, saving only himself, Shelley, Sardo, the Tools, and a dog he sent their earlier. The group ends up in a white void of nothingness. Max draws an exit to their home, and Shelley erases it, thereby making it appear right in front of them. They return to their home, and everyone lives happily every after. E xcept for Max and Shelley's piano teacher, because Max erased the piano.
The Lesson: Think very carefully before you murder your sister, because once she's gone, it's very hard to get her back.


Episode 11 - The Tale of Vampire Town

Synopsis: Adder Carballo (Kyle Downes from The Tale of the Forever Game) wants to be a vampire hunter, so he convinces his parents to take him to Wisteria, the purported hometown of the legendary vampire Dreyfus, for their family vacation. Adder believes that to successfully hunt vampires, one must think like them, so he dresses and acts like one. Unbeknownst to Adder, Mr. Mueller, the local funeral home director, was attacked by a vampire the night before the Carballo family's arrival. When Adder shows up at the local hotel, Stanley, the proprietor, becomes convinced that Adder is the one who attacked his friend. That night, Mueller and Stanley chase Adder down into the catacombs that were once home to Dreyfus and attempt to drive a stake through his heart. Adder finds the fabled vampire's staked coffin and removes the stake from it in order to defend himself from his attackers. When he does, Dreyfus is instantly resurrected, and he begins pursuing Adder as well. Adder eventually finds his way into Mueller's funeral home through the catacombs, but Mueller and Stanley corner him there. Adder attempts to explain that he's not a vampire, but the pair won't listen. Just as they're about to stake him, Dreyfus shows up. Stanley flees, and leaves Adder and Mueller to fend for themselves. Dreyfus goes after Mueller, but Adder distracts him with a bottle of vampire catnip. When Dreyfus moves towards the bottle, Adder opens the funeral home curtains to reveal daylight. Dreyfus is killed and Adder is vindicated. Adder returns the hotel, no longer dressed like a tool, and tells his parents that he's done hunting vampires and they can spend the rest of their vacation somewhere else. As they prepare to depart, Adder goes back into the hotel to talk to Stanley. Adder tells Stanley that he's confused. He doesn't understand who attacked Mueller two nights ago, since Dreyfus was not resurrected until the following night. Stanley tells Adder that he had hoped to blame the attack on him, then reveals himself to be a vampire. He grabs Adder, prepares to bite him, and the story ends.
Lesson #1: Don't be a little gothy douchebag.
Lesson #2:
Don't ever indulge your child's dangerous fantasies.
Lesson #3: There are exactly seven acceptable places to go on a family vacation. Two of them have "Disney" in the name.
Lesson #4: The casting director got really fucking lazy. Kyle Downes and Jay Baruchel both got to be in multiple episodes in the same season? What the fuck?


Episode 12 - The Tale of the Secret Admirer

Synopsis: Meggie Evans is a frumpy girl who not many people seem to notice. One day, she gets a note from a secret admirer and immediately assumes that it's from a cute boy, Nick. It's not. It's from Teddy Mars, a boy who had a crush on Meggie's similar-looking mother many years ago. Teddy had written a note to Meggie's mom telling her to meet him in the wood shop after school one night so he could confess his feelings and find out how she felt about him. The mom was afraid to show up, so her boyfriend, Meggie's dad, went in her place to tell him that she didn't like him the way he liked her. When the dad showed up instead of the mom, Teddy became enraged and attacked him. While defending himself, the dad accidentally pushed Teddy into a lamp. The lamp broke, and the sparks ignited some nearby lacquer, thus causing an explosion. The dad received only minor injuries, but Teddy was killed. However, Meggie knows none of this. So Meggie and Nick try to solve the mystery of Meggie's stalker, and grow close in the process. One day, Nick tells Meggie that he's going to put a stop to the letters, and offers to go to the wood shop that night, per the invitation of the love letters, instead of her. As Nick is on his way to confront Teddy, Meggie learns the truth about the letters from her dad, and goes to the school to stop Nick from getting hurt or killed. Posing as her mom, Meggie tells Teddy's ghost that she doesn't like him. Heartbroken, Teddy explodes. The wood shop blows up, but Meggie and Nick somehow escape unharmed, and officially begin dating.
Lesson #1: The sins of the father mother are visited upon the son daughter.
Lesson #2:
There comes a time in every girl's life when her body to starts to blossom, and all the spooky ghosts in the neighborhood can't help but notice.


Episode 13 - The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge

Synopsis: Dani has been guilt-ridden ever since her best friend Gina disappeared on a dangerous ski trail, and refuses to believe she's dead. Dani's brother Kirk (Hollywood's Hayden Christensen) tries to get her to move on, but she can't. Dani keeps seeing visions of Gina, and hearing her voice asking for help. Kirk tries to explain to her that Gina can't possibly be alive because she's been without food and water for too long, but Dani won't listen. One night, Dani is watching an old home movie of them playing in the snow, and Gina begins to talk to her. Gina tells her that she's alive and that she's on Bigfoot Ridge, miles away from where she disappeared. Dani goes looking for her the next morning, and Kirk reluctantly follows. Dani's visions lead them to a rundown cabin. Inside, they find Gina, who has been turned into an old woman. They also find the Umbra, a shadowy monster with has stolen Gina's lifeforce - and her likeness. The pair attempt to get Gina out of the cabin, but a storm hits and they become stranded. Gina explains that the Umbra lures its victims to cabin and then feeds on them. It was not Gina who had been calling to Dani, but the Umbra posing as her. She also tells them that the Umbra hates light. Night falls, and the trio build a fire in the cabin's fireplace to keep the Umbra away. However, they quickly begin to run out of things to burn, and realize that more desperate measures are called for. They notice that the cabin has electric lighting and decide to try and turn it on. Kirk and Dani trek down to the basement and manage to start up the generator, but the lights still won't turn on. After examining the fuse box, Kirk surmises that there must be a newer one somewhere else, probably outside. Dani decides to stay with Gina, while Kirk braves botth the snowstorm and the dark with nothing but his dying flashlight. Kirk finds the fuse box and restores power just as the Umbra is about to drain the last of Gina's lifeforce. The lights suddenly turn on and the Umbra is instantly destroyed. Also, Gina returns to her normal self. The trio leave the cabin the next morning.
Lesson #1: Don't stop believing.
Lesson #2: Just because something mentions Bigfoot in its title doesn't mean that it feature any man-apes or monster trucks.
Lesson #3: Hayden Christensen is a terrible fucking actor. Terrible.

      So what have we learned today? Hell, what HAVEN'T we learned? We've learned that you should be thankful for what you've got. We've learned that children should not hunt vampires. We've learned that gambling is bad. We've learned that you shouldn't try to befriend poor people. We've learned that someone your mom knew in high school may someday find you sexually attractive and stalk you. We've learned that clinging to the futile belief that a missing loved one is still alive will ultimately payoff. But most importantly, we've reinforced a simple lesson that Are You Afraid of the Dark? has tried to teach us over and over again: STAY THE FUCK OUT OF THE WOODS. Seriously. Nothing good ever happens in the woods. In the leafy solitude of the forest, the only things you'll find are curses, monsters, death, used condoms and empty beer cans. And while I'm pretty sure they never covered those last two things on the TV show, trust me, they're there.


Posted by: Syd Lexia