Lessons Learned From Are You Afraid of the Dark, Season 7
Here it is, the seventh and final installment of Lessons Learned From Are You Afraid of the Dark. In case you haven't been paying attention, here's the pitch: Are You Afraid of the Dark? was not so much a horror anthology series as it was an educational program contrived to terrify children into behaving the way that they should. Season 7 was probably the worst season of the show, featuring episodes about evil laser tag, an evil statue, an evil school dance, an evil genie, and an evil nurse that wasn't really evil. But the season did open with the epic three-part story The Tale of The Silver Sight, which was one of the best stories they ever told. So actually, Season 6 might have been worse. Nah, probably not. Below you'll find synopses for all thirteen episodes from the season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? so fucking bad that it got the show canceled for a second time. You will also discover the lessons that you should have learned from these episodes. Enjoy.
Episode 1 - The Tale of the Silver Sight (Part I)
Synopsis: Former Midnight Society president Gary (special guest star Ross Hull) has a weird dream about his Grandpa Gene. Moments later, he awakens to a phone call from his Grandma Aggie telling him that his grandfather had died. The next day, Gary goes to visit his grandmother and she gives him a letter from his grandfather. Grandpa Gene was the president of the original Midnight Society, and he and his campfire companions stumbled upon a powerful, dangerous artifact called the Silver Sight. The five friends tried to destroy it, but they didn't know how. Then bad things started to happen, because a traitor in the group used the Sight's power for personal gain. One of the friends, fearing that the Silver Sight was going to kill him, hid the charm. He then made a recording with a clue that would tell the others where to find it. He broke the record into five pieces, wrote a clue on each piece, and gave each of the other four one piece of the record. In order to find the charm, all of them would have to work together. He died shortly thereafter, and his friends never pursued the wretched charm. In his final letter, Grandpa Gene bequeaths Gary his piece of the record and beseeches him to find the other members of the original Midnight Society, obtain their record pieces, discover the location of the Silver Sight, and destroy it. Gary knows he cannot complete this mission by himself, so he asks Tucker and the rest of the current Midnight society to help him; they accept. The group then splits up to track down the remaining members of the original Midnight Society and obtain their pieces of the record. Quinn is charged with finding Donna Tilton, Megan goes on the hunt for Eleanor Gregory, while Vange and Andy search for Bruce McGorrill. But Part I of the story centers around Gary and Tucker's encounter with the final remaining member, General Laing Candle. Gary and Tucker show up at the General's mansion, and Tucker sees an oddly dressed boy outside. When he points the boy out to Gary though, he disappears. The boys meet the General, and he tells them that they can have his piece of the record, but they'll have to come back in a few hours because it's currently buried in storage. The boys go back to Gary's dorm room to meet with the others and get progress reports, but then Gary gets a call from Grandma Aggie: someone broke into her house looking for Gene's piece of the record. Gary and Tucker head off to check in on their grandmother, then Tucker goes back to see the General while Gary helps their grandmother clean up her ransacked house. When Tucker gets to the General's house, there's no answer. The oddly dressed boy that Tucker saw before shows up once again. He magically unlocks the General's front door for Tucker. Inside, Tucker briefly encounters Quinn, who is there to reclaim a sketch in the General's possession. After Quinn leaves, the boy reappears and shows Tucker where the General's piece of the record is, but not before warning him that's he unworthy of the Silver Sight. The record piece is in a room filled with various suits of armor and military outfits, and when Tucker enters, the door slams behind him and the costumes come to life. Tucker fights his way past them and grabs the record piece, then turns around to see them all back on their stands. The episode ends with Tucker leaving the General's house and the mysterious boy warning him that the path ahead is even more perilous.
Lesson #1: Dreams are premonitions, and should always be treated as such.
Lesson #2: It's perfectly reasonable to accept advice from an oddly dressed boy who can disappear at will.
Episode 2 - The Tale of the Silver Sight (Part II)
Synopsis: Part II centers around Quinn's efforts to find Donna Tilton and Megan's efforts to find Eleanor Gregory. Quinn's search takes him to a junkyard, where a ghost dog tries to scare him off. It doesn't, and he meets Vince, Donna's ex-boyfriend. It turns out that Donna died in a car crash a long time ago while driving with her new boyfriend, Laing Candle. Vince tells him the sad story of his life, and his constant bad luck. He and Donna were the hottest couple in high school. He was the star quarterback, until he broke his leg. Then a fire burned down his house, and he ended up in the hospital with smoke inhalation. Donna broke up with him while he was in the hospital and started going out someone new. Vince had planned to try and win her back, but she and her new boyfriend got into a car accident and she died. Vince opines that it's always felt like a dark cloud has been hanging over him, keeping him from being happy. Right on a cue, an old car rolls off a truck in the junkyard and crashes into Vince's office, nearly killing him and Quinn. Vince screams that the Silver Sight is after him and begs it to leave him alone. Quinn reveals that he is looking for the Silver Sight, so that he can destroy it, and asks Vince if he's ever seen a record piece. Vince reveals that he keeps it around his neck, because it's all he has left of Donna. He tells Quinn he can have it, if he can retrieve something that was stolen from him. While Vince was in the hospital, he made a sketch of Donna. He tells him that the sketch is currently in possession of the man that Donna was with when she died: Laing Candle. As we know from Part I, Quinn gets the sketch without any problems, though he does run into the mysterious boy while leaving Candle's mansion. But Quinn returns with the picture and gets the record piece without any problems. Meanwhile, Megan shows up Eleanor Gregory's last known address and finds... nothing. There should be a house, but there isn't. The mysterious boy who Tucker met last time shows up and tells Megan that the address she's looking for does exist, and gestures at a nearby manhole cover which bears the street number she's looking for. She climbs down into the sewer and stumbles upon Eleanor Gregory's slightly deranged son, his wife, and their two children, Peggy and Jim. Mr. Gregory reveals that his mother is dead, and that they are living underground to hide from their creditors. In their subterranean home, they have fancy china, cars, and all sorts of other treasures they were able to salvage before the Gregory mansion was foreclosed upon and dismantled. Eleanor was apparently once a brilliant investor and had made a fortune in the stock market, then one day everything went south and she lost it all. Megan brings up the Silver Sight, and Mr. Gregory throws her out of their home, saying that the Silver Sight destroyed his mother and scoffing at Megan's plan to destroy it. As Megan is leaving, Jim approaches her and asks if she's looking for the record piece, she confirms, and he tells her to come back later once his father's calmed down, and she can have it. When Megan comes back later, she find Laing Candle rifling through the Gregory family's things, looking for the record piece. Megan asks where the Gregory clan went and Candle explains that he threatened to call the police and they fled. Candle then demands to know how many pieces of the record the Midnight Society has found, but Megan taunts him. Then the General reveals that he can walk; he is the traitor! He chases Megan, but she is too fast and escapes. As Megan walks through an old train tunnel she hears a voice calling for help. It is the mysterious boy who helped her earlier, and his foot is stuck underneath the tracks. Megan tries to help him, but she can't get his foot loose . Out of nowhere a train appears. Megan tries frantically to get his foot out, but she can't. The boy then laughs at her and tells her that if she keeps looking for the Silver Sight, she'll get hurt. Then both he and the train disappear. Megan returns to the Gregory "residence" and sees an envelope addressed to her from Jim lying on top of a table, that General Candle somehow missed. Inside it is Eleanor's record piece. The episode concludes with the Midnight Society in possession of four of the five record pieces.
Lesson #1: Stay the fuck out of the junkyard, it's not safe.
Lesson #2: Sunlight provides essential nutrients that prevent you from turning into a complete fucking weirdo.
Episode 3 - The Tale of the Silver Sight (Part III)
Synopsis: Part III starts with Andy and Vange's search for Bruce McGorrill's record piece. Finding Bruce's piece of the record is especially hard because they already know Bruce is long dead. Bruce was the one who hid the Sight, made the record, and died shortly thereafter. After extensively searching the internet for information on Bruce and finding nothing (the internet totally sucked in 2000), they turn to the phone book. There's only one McGorrill listed, and his address is an amusement park. At the amusement park, the kids meet Bob McGorrill, Bruce's brother. Bob tells them that his brother was the world's youngest amusement park owner, but he died one day when he climbed up the rollercoaster to fix a problem and fell. Bob claims that Bruce knew the rollercoaster too well to have slipped and fell, and believes someone - or something - pushed him. Bob tells Andy and Vange that Bruce told him that one day someone would come looking for something, and that he was only supposed to help them if there was more than one person. He then presents the children with a piece of paper with a picture and address. He tells them it is a riddle, but when he looks at it, he recognizes the address written on it at as his childhood home, but does not recognize the picture. He tells the children to be careful, and sends them on their way. When Andy and Vange show up at the old McGorrill residence, it becomes clear what the picture is: the well in the backyard. Andy lowers Vange down, and they retrieve the record piece, but not before being spooked by an illusion of a giant glowy skull in the well. The Midnight Society has succeeded; all five record pieces are theirs. Back at Gary's dorm room, the team reassembles the record and plays it. It's a message from Bruce, telling his old friends that it was the power of the group that raised the demon within the Silver Sight, and it will take the power of the group to destroy it. He warns them to know who their true enemy is, wishes them good luck, and says goodbye. Gary and the Midnight Society then turn their attentions to the clues written on the physical record pieces:
Listen to the music (Gene's piece)
Not all the eyes are brown (Laing's piece)
It's a race that has no winners (Eleanor's piece)
With many ups and downs (Donna's piece)
Know your true enemy (Bruce's piece)
Conveniently enough, the children found the pieces in the order that the clues were meant to be read. They don't notice this however, as they are too busy trying to figure out the riddle. Andy gets it; the Silver Sight is hidden on the carousel at Bruce's amusement park. He specifically figures it out by recognizing the background music on Bruce's record, but the riddle really didn't need that extra clue. So the kids all head off to the amusement park and retrieve the Silver Sight. When all six of them touch it together, it reactivates and ends up in Gary's hands. The mysterious boy whom everyone except Gary had already seen appears and congratulates them. He tells them that the Silver Sight is theirs and that it can destroy their enemies. Just then, General Candle shows up. He tells them that the boy is a demon and he's using the Silver Sight to collect souls. Anyone you name as an enemy will end up trapped in the Silver Sight forever. Tucker accuses the General of being the original Midnight Society's traitor, but he tells them that are wrong. Everyone in the original Midnight Society used the Silver Sight for personal gain, even Gene; they were all traitors. The demon boy tells Gary that Candle is the one who broke into his grandmother's house and tells him to call the General his enemy. Candle explains that while his methods were less than ideal, he had hoped to track down the Silver Sight before the children and destroy it himself, sparing them from the danger of dealing with it. The boy tells Gary that Candle is a liar, and urges him to name him as an enemy. Gary isn't sure what to do, then Quinn reminds him of the last clue: "Know your true enemy." For no apparent reason, Vince, Mr. Gregory, Bob, and Grandma Aggie all show up. The Midnight Society agree to support Gary in whatever decision he makes, then Gary confronts General Candle. He angrily accuses Candle of lying to them from the start and endangering Megan's life, and condemns him for breaking into his grandmother's house. Candle tries to apologize, but Gary says it's time for him to stop his true enemy. The demon boy laughs gleefully, thinking he's won. But then, of course, Gary turns and faces the boy and call him the true enemy. By naming the Silver Sight as its own enemy, Gary destroys it, kills the demon boy, and frees all the souls that it had taken. The souls briefly ride the carousel, then disperse. Gary asks the General if he's okay, and the General tells him that his grandfather would have been proud of him. As everyone's leaving the amusement park, Gary looks back and sees Grandpa Gene waving to him.
The Lesson: Even in a story that centers around the Midnight Society, a guest star has to be the hero.
Episode 4 - The Tale of the Lunar Locusts
Synopsis: Jake (Aaron Ashmore from The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor) is kinda sorta going out with Julie, who totally wants his cock. But more importantly, she wants to wear his ring. Jake is reluctant to fully commit to Julie though, because he's the team's quarterback and he secretly thinks he can do better. His doubts seem justified when Ellen (Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski) suddenly transfers to their school and starts flirting with Jake. Ellen is a little weird looking, but she's still cuter than Julie, so Jake starts hanging out with her. Meanwhile, Julie goes into crazy bitch mode and starts spying on Ellen. She discovers that Ellen isn't actually enrolled at their school, and sees her conducting weird experiments on the football field. After a study date one afternoon, Ellen asks Jake for a ride home. Her directions bring them to the woods, where Ellen takes the keys and asks to be Jake's girlfriend. Jake, ultimately declines, realizing that he loves Julie. Ellen, dejected, reveals that she has tentacles and glowing green eyes. She demands that Jake give her his ring; Jake tries to run away. Ellen catches him, what with her tentacles and all, and tells Jake her story: she is the sole survivor of an alien race who were driven to extinction by intergalactic parasites. She shows him a newspaper article about a new flesh-eating bacteria and explains that the parasites are now on Earth and that she and a partner had come there to destroy them. Unfortunately, it seems that her partner crashed his ship into the ocean and died, because the crystal that Jake found on the beach and turned into his ring had belonged to him. Ellen tells Jake that the parasite queen has laid eggs breeding underneath his school's football field and that only the combined power of the two crystals can power the equipment necessary to destroy them. Julie has been spying on them, however, and runs off to tell the police that Ellen is an alien. Ellen and Jake race to the school to retrieve the equipment that she's hidden in the science room, but the police are already at the field. Ellen reveals that moonlight amplifies the crystals' power, and that if they don't activate the equipment that night during the full moon, it may be too late to stop the parasites. Jake finds Julie, tells her that he loves her and vaguely explains that he and Ellen are on a very important mission that must not fail. So Julie creates a distraction, giving Ellen and Jake time to set up the parasite-zapping guns on either end of the field. Before they can activate them though, the police see them and storm the field. Ellen is nabbed, but not before throwing her crystal to Jake. She tells him that he needs to toss the crystals into the center of the guns. He nails the first one, but misses the second one just as a police officer grabs him. Jake shouts to Julie to throw his ring into the gun and cover her eyes. She does; Jake and Ellen put on special sunglasses. The guns activate and briefly envelope the field in a creepy green light. The police officers all fall down, possibly dead. Julie asks Jake what just happened, and he shows her the newspaper article. Julie looks puzzled, saying that it's about a bacteria in Brazil that doctors killed with antibiotics. Jake looks at Ellen, who laughs maniacally. Turns out she's the parasite queen and Jake just helped her hatch her eggs. Oops.
Lesson #1: Don't trust aliens, intergalactic or otherwise.
Lesson #2: Tara Lipinski is probably the illegitimate daughter of either Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler. Look at those lips.
Episode 5 - The Tale of the Stone Maiden
Synopsis: Kevin Tyler and Julie Hart are boyfriend and girlfriend, but their relationship is strained. Julie is an artsy type, as evidenced by the fact that she wears purple pants and owns a camera. She wants to be invited over to Kevin's house for dinner, but Kevin's parents don't like her. One afternoon, Kevin and Julie get into a big fight over the issue at the park, and they break up. An angry Kevin wanders into the woods, where he stumbles upon a statue of a maiden holding a flask. Water is dripping out of the flask, and Kevin is thirsty. Since he's complete fucking idiot, Kevin decides to drink from it. He immediately feels sick and begins to run for help, but he turns to stone. Julie calls the Tylers' house later that night, and his dad stops being total assholes long enough to tell her that Kevin never came home. Later on, Julie develops some pictures she took earlier in the day and notices a weird man hiding in the bushes in one of them. The next day, Kevin is still nowhere to be seen. His parents go to his school to talk to the principal and as they're leaving, Julie approaches them to express her sympathy and concern; they coldly blame her for his disappearance. Julie goes back to the park after school to look for clues, and she is approached by The Protector, an environmentally-conscious homeless man who claims he knows what happened to Kevin. Julie is reluctant to follow him, and even more reluctant to believe that her boyfriend has been turned into a statue, especially once she realizes that the homeless guy is the same guy who was in her photograph. The Protector then shows her the Stone Maiden, the statue responsible for Kevin's transformation. After reading a plaque at the statue's base, they discover that the piece was done by an artist named Vivian White. The duo track her down, and The Protector (real name: Henry) is impressed to see her working on art made out of recycled materials. Julie inquires about the statue in the park, and they learn that it is based on an old Greek legend about a pair of lovers whose families tried to keep them apart. The young lovers chose to drink a potion and turn themselves to stone, so they could be together forever. When Ms. White shows them the sketch that sculpture was based on, Julie asks her why she didn't sculpture the Maiden's lover as well. Vivian assures Julie that she did, but Henry confirms that the Maiden is alone. One angry phone call later, Vivian learns that the city has sold half the statue to raise money even though her original contract expressively forbade them from splitting up the piece. Julie tries to cheer her up by telling her that they managed to split the statue without destroying its water pump. Vivian insists that it doesn't have one, but both Julie and Henry have seen water flowing from maiden's flask. Henry then puts forth the idea that perhaps the Maiden misses her lover and turned Kevin to stone to replace him. The trio go down to the DPW to get the Maiden's lover put back in place, but the workers ignore their pleas. So Henry and Julie steal the truck that the statue has been loaded onto and bring it back to the park. Julie also manages to call Kevin's parents at some point, despite the fact they're being pursued by city workers. Somehow Julie and Henry are able to life the statue, and Vivian and the head of the city parks system show up just as the statue is about to be put back in place; Kevin's parents show up as well. Long story short: Water stops pouring from the statue, Kevin is restored to normal, Julie wins the approval and understanding of Kevin's parents, Vivian produces her original contract and threatens to sue if the city ever separates the statue again, and Henry and Vivian fall in love and decide to collaborate on environment-friendly art.
Lesson #1: Don't drink water that isn't bottled.
Lesson #2: Love conquers all.
Episode 6 - The Tale of Highway 13
Synopsis: Justin is a spineless bitch, and his best friend Craig is a troublemaking douchebag who's always borrowing his car. When Craig accidentally breaks one of the sideview mirrors, the pair take a trip to the junkyard to find a replacement. While they're there, they run into Bulldog, who shows them a wrecked muscle car and tells them junkyard's owner doesn't realize that the damage is all external and is willing to sell the car for cheap. Bulldog opines that he would buy car himself, but his license has been suspended, and advises Craig to take it. Craig becomes excited at the prospect of buying and fixing up a car, so he runs off to talk to the owner. Meanwhile, Justin runs into Tony, a teenager who claims he works at the junkyard. When Tony finds out Craig is buying the car, he looks unhappy. Then Justin whines he needs help finding a sideview mirror that matches his car, and Tony forgets all about it. Cut to a montage of Craig and Justin fixing the car. Tony shows up with the sideview mirror that Justin needed and sees the repaired car; he is impressed. Then Craig's mom screams at him because she has found his report card. Craig runs inside, and Justin runs home to fix his car. Tony looks at the old car and tries to touch it, but his hand goes through it, startling him. He tries again. This time, the car appears to be solid. Later, Craig and Justin take the car out for a test drive. The car begins playing 60s surf rock and they end up at a brand new diner standing in what they thought was an abandoned lot. Inside, they meet Bulldog and a scary trucker guy. Craig manages to piss of the trucker, so he and Justin leave. On the road, they are pursued by the trucker. They try to get home, but they can't; they are stuck on Highway 13. They return to the diner. This time Tony and Bulldog are both there, and Justin and Craig learn the truth. Tony and Bulldog are ghosts, as is the trucker. In 1969, Tony was driving what is now Craig's car down Highway 13; his best friend Bulldog was in the passenger seat. Bulldog taunted the trucker into a game of a Chicken, the end point being a narrow bridge that was only big enough for one vehicle. Tony was too scared to floor it, so he kept his car even with the trucker. As a result, both cars crashed into the bridge and all three were killed; they have been reliving that fateful race over and over ever since that day. By restoring the car, Craig and Justin have inherited Tony and Bulldog's curse. They must race the trucker now. If they win, the curse is broken. If they lose, they will die too. Craig feels bad that he dragged Justin into this mess, so he tricks him into staying at the diner and chooses to complete the race himself. With Tony and Bulldog accompanying him, Craig drives towards the bridge, but finds himself unable to stop the trucker. He seems destined for a fiery death, but then suddenly, he stops car. The trucker passes him, the crash is averted, and the curse is broken. Tony thanks Craig for having the courage to do what he hadn't. Then Tony and Bulldog take their newly restored car and drive off to Heaven, leaving Craig in the middle of nowhere without a ride. Assholes. Craig walks back to the abandoned diner and finds Justin waiting for him. He starts to explain what happened, but then suddenly the scary trucker shows up. The trucker also thanks Craig, explaining that he never wanted to race. Then he too drives off to Heaven. Story over.
Lesson #1: Stay the fuck out of the junkyard, it's not safe.
Lesson #2: Don't play Chicken. If you've seen the Back To The Future trilogy, you already fucking know this.
Episode 7 - The Tale of the Reanimator
Synopsis: Julie (Emma Taylor-Isherwood from The Tale of Oblivion) works at Mr. Doyle's flower shop. One day, she spies on him and sees him working on a secret experiment that seems to bring a dead plant back to life. She tells her brother Peter and his friend Jake about it, but they don't believe her. Determined to prove that she's not lying, she sneaks back into the flower shop later that night to try and get some evidence. She is caught by Mr. Doyle, but he is happy to show her his experiment. His is working on a reanimation elixir, and he demonstrates it for her on a dead plant. The plant is restored to life, but there are side effects. A green slime oozes from it, and the plant aggressively seeks out more of the elixir. Doyle then reveals an unfortunate weakness of the potion: water reverses its effects. Julie asks Mr. Doyle if he plans to use it to resurrect his dead wife. He becomes nervous, and tells her that he has to go and asks her to lock up. Julie calls up Peter and Jake, and tells them about the potion and how she thinks Doyle is going to bring his wife back to life. The boys think it's an April Fools' Day joke, but accompany her to the graveyard anyway. There is no sign of Mr. Doyle at the graveyard, so Julie shows Peter and Jake a vial of the elixir that she stole to prove she's telling the truth. Peter laughs at her and pours some of it on a nearby grave. Then they all go back to Peter and Julie's house. Peter and Julie's parents are out for the night, so they're home alone. And guess who followed them home? The guy that Peter reanimated, and he's totally a zombie. Remembering Doyle's demonstration from earlier, Julie tries to kill the zombie with a garden hose, but it doesn't work. So the kids lure the zombie back to the flower shop, hoping to find something to kill him there. Inside Doyle's lab, they discover that the water used to kill the plant came out of a room filled with heat lamps; heat reverses the reanimation, not water. Since Peter still has the potion, the zombie is most directly interested in him. Julie tricks Peter into running into the heat room, and the zombie follows. Jake traps them in the room, and the zombie is quickly killed. Then Mr. Doyle shows up and sees the gooey skeleton on the floor. Julie apologizes, but Mr. Doyle isn't angry. He realizes that the reanimation experiment was a bad idea, and vows never to meddle in such matters again.
The Lesson: Sometimes dead is better.
Episode 8 - The Tale of the Time Trap
Synopsis: Jason Midas (Jay Baruchel from The Tale of the Walking Shadow) goes to Sardo's Magic Mansion looking for something to give him enough confidence to ask out a girl he likes, but he gets talked into buying a magic box instead. The good news is that the box contains a genie. The bad news is that the genie, Belle, is an evil bitch. Every time he makes a wish, Belle finds a way to use it to screw with him. He wishes that he didn't forget his report on Treasure Island, she gives him a report on the movie instead of the book. He wishes he didn't have to walk home from school, she gives him a stolen car. He wishes to be back at the Magic Mansion, she puts him in the middle of the street outside it. Jason brings Sardo back to his house and tries to give him the magic box, but Belle says that Sardo can't have it; once you give up the box, you can never have it back. A frustrated Jason wishes that his nightmare would end; Belle grants this wish by sending Jason and Sardo to an alternate reality. Jason's house is now a cop's house, and the cop's wife is quite upset to find strangers inside it. She calls her husband, and soon half the police force is outside the house. Facing a very bad situation, but not wanting to screw up another wish, Jason wishes that Sardo had a wish. Sardo wishes for a million more wishes, and Belle becomes excited; that was the wish she had made that turned her into a genie. She switches places with Sardo and leaves. Although he dresses like one, Sardo does not want to be a genie, and begs Jason to find a way out of the situation. So Jason wishes it was yesterday and Sardo rewinds time. Instead of going into the Magic Mansion, Jason asks out the girl he likes. He never buys the box and Sardo is seen putting it in the store's window. Ostensibly, Belle is once again trapped inside.
Lesson #1: If you're a child actor and star in three separate episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark, people will suspect you sucked someone's dick.
Lesson #2: If a genie grants a wish for you that it isn't at least five pages long, complete with corollaries and footnotes, you're going to get fucked over.
Episode 9 - The Tale of the Photo Finish
Synopsis: Alex and Chandler are best friends and roommates at Tillinghast Academy, an upscale private school for boys. Both boys attempt to join the school's exclusive Lions Society, but the Lions Society isn't interested in Alex because his family is poor and he's there on a scholarship. As the final part of his initiation, Chandler must pull off a successful prank, and he decided to steal a portrait from the Hall of Headmasters. Unfortunately, the one he picks happens to hold a deadly secret. Behind the old 1944 painting of Headmaster Brothman is a giant photograph of an old house. And living inside that house, there is a boy with a camera. When Chandler looks at the boy, his camera flashes and Chandler is sucked into the photo. Alex freaks out and tries to get help, but no one believes him. The next day, Alex decides to do some research. He gets ahold of an old Tillinghast yearbook from 1944 and begins thumbing through. Inside, he sees a picture of the boy from the photograph; his name is Jasper Davis and he died the year the book was printed. Moments later, Alex is confronted by one of his teachers, Professor Barish, who confesses that he is the one who hid the photograph. It turns out that Barish is a former Lions Society member and Jasper was his best friend. The other Lions Society members didn't like Jasper, and one day they invited him to their clubhouse and told him that they were going to let him join, just to mess with him. When Jasper found out it was a joke, he became upset and tried to leave, but the Lions wouldn't let him. They chased him up to the clubhouse roof; he slipped, fell, and died. A month later, the photograph mysteriously appeared and Barish saw two of his fellow Lions sucked into it. Since no believed him, he hid it. He then implores Alex to do the same, so that no one else will get hurt. Alex returns his dorm room to try and figure out what to do, but Renfrew, the president of the Lions Society, shows up looking for Chandler. Alex tries to get him to leave, but Renfrew recognizes the photograph as the abandoned Lions clubhouse on the old part of campus and decided to take a closer look at it; he gets sucked in. Now knowing the location of the house, Alex grabs the photograph and decides to track it down. When he enters the building, everything is in black and white. He encounters Jasper, who prattles on about how much he hates the Lions and revenge and how unfair life is and blah, blah, blah. Barish shows up and tried to apologize to Jasper, but Jasper is having none of it. He takes Barish's picture and traps him in a wall-mounted photograph alongside Chandler and Renfrew. Then Jasper turns his attentions on Alex, just because. Alex is still holding the photograph of the house though, and when he looks out of the window of the house, he realizes that he is inside the photograph. When Jasper tries to take his picture, Alex holds up the photograph in front of him. This causes Jasper's face to appear in the window behind Alex, since the photograph is now facing him. Alex steps aside, causing Jasper to take a picture of himself, thereby trapping him in the camera. Alex then opens Jasper's camera, freeing all the souls inside. This causes the photograph, which is also the house Alex is standing in, to begin to fade away; Alex conveniently escapes through the front door just in time. Out on the street, Alex finds that photograph he's holding is now blank, the house is still there, and that Chandler, Barish, and Renfrew are okay. Renfrew offers to let Alex join the Lions, but Alex tells him to fuck off; Chandler does the same. The duo turn to leave and Renfrew, not wanting to stand outside the creepy house by himself, quickly joins them.
The Lesson: Clubs are gay.
Episode 10 - The Tale of the Last Dance
Synopsis: Tara (Daytime Emmy winner Jennifer Finnigan) is a talented violinist. Her douchebag boyfriend Michael thinks the violin is waste of time and constantly makes fun of her interest in classical music. However, there is someone who does appreciate her music: a deformed, nameless mutant who lurks in the caverns underneath the rundown school. Since the school is going to be torn down at the end of the year, the lurker does the only reasonable thing he can do: he kidnaps Tara at the last dance and drags her down to his subterranean home. She's freaked out at first, but she warms to him, especially once she sees that he's a talented sketch artist. The lurker convinces Tara not to give up music, and she agrees. Then Michael shows up and picks a fight with the lurker. The two fight, and Michael almost knocks him into a bottomless pit, but he ends up helping Tara pull him back to safety. When she asks him why he helped her save the lurker, he says he did it for her. They hug and go back to the dance. Later that night, Tara returns to the cavern and offer the lurker the last dance. The two dance in his cavern for an indeterminate amount of time.
The Lesson: I'm sorry what we were talking about? I passed out from complete fucking boredom.
Episode 11 - The Tale of the Laser Maze
Synopsis: Twin sisters Kara and Ashley (Smallville's Laura Vandervoort) compete against each other in everything, and are always looking for new ways to do so. One day, an offbeat, badly dressed man named Drake shows up and offers the girls to the chance to beta test a new game called Laser Maze. The girls gladly accept. When they arrive at the address on Drake's business card, however, they find that they are the only ones there. Drake explains the beta test is very exclusive, and that answer satisfies them. They are then introduced to Laser Maze. Basically, Laser Maze is a lot like laser tag. In fact, Laser Maze is EXACTLY like laser tag, except that contestants are armed with laser-shooting goggles instead of the more traditional gun. The two sisters square off against each other and Kara wins by zapping Ashley three times, at which point Ashley is seemingly vaporized. Kara is vaguely concerned about her sister's safety, but Drake assures her that it's all part of the game and she will be back for Round 2. Kara is given a long questionnaire to fill out about her thoughts on Laser Maze, but she gets bored with it. She begins wandering around the Laser Maze facility and sees a computer with her vital signs and body statistics on it, as well as Ashley's. Then Drake appears, and she demands to see Ashley; Drake tells her it's time for Round 2. Kara is all like, whatever, I'm out of here, but then Ashley appears and coldly challenges her to another match. Kara tries to convince her to leave, but Ashley questions Kara's skills, so Round 2 begins. Kara beats Ashley once again, but this time Ashley's head explodes, revealing her to be a robot. Drake is shocked that Kara won, and he summons four new Ashleys to fight her. Kara tries her best to survive, but she is defeated. Kara awakens in a strange white room where she is restrained to a scanning contraption. Next to her, in a similar contraption, is Ashley. The machines are apparently designed to make advanced robotic clones of their occupants called Betatrons by draining their life force. Drake tells the girls that he is the producer of Laser Maze, a popular intergalactic television show, and that their clones are being sent back to his world to compete on the show and hopefully boost its ratings even higher. Just then, one of the Betatrons comes through a portal and tells Drake that the cloning process is flawed and that they are inferior to the original girls. The Betatron tells Drake that his finder's fee must be repaid. Drake says that the money's already been spent, so he is told that he must face the Betatrons in battle. He does not like this idea. Kara and Ashley offer to fight the Betatrons in his place, since it's better then having their lifeforce slowly sucked out. The Betatron accepts the proposal and returns through the portal; Drake frees Kara and Ashley from the replication machines. Big mistake. Instead of fighting the Betatrons, Kara and Ashley superkick Drake through the portal, leaving him to fight the Betatrons. At that moment, the girls decide that working together is better than competing against each other. They go to leave, but Drake is somehow waiting for them in the Laser Maze. Kara and Ashley dodge his attacks and grab vests and headsets. Together, they defeat Drake. Turns out he was a Betatron all along. Okay, whatever.
Lesson #1: Humans will always beat outsmart, outfight, and outlast any aliens who oppose them.
Lesson #2: Lasers are cool!
Episode 12 - The Tale of the Many Faces
Synopsis: Emma wants to be a model, but she doesn't think she's pretty enough. One day, after losing a sweater modeling job to her friend Jessie (magazine model Jessica Welsh, apparently as herself), a talent scout gives Emma an invitation to join Madame Visage's theater company. When Emma shows up at the address on the card, she notices that all the girls in theater company wear masks. She is creeped out at first, but she is told that it is for a play. Then she meets Madame Visage, who tells her that her face would be perfect for the lead in her newest play, and gives her a special facial powder to use. When Emma goes back to the modeling agency the next day, the photographer is so impressed with her skin that he awards her the magazine cover. Jessie is happy for her, and slightly jealous, and tells Emma that she looks different somehow. Emma tells her about the powder, then rushes off to Madame Visage's theater to learn more about her big acting debut. It turns out Madame Visage doesn't want to use Emma in her play, just her face, and the powder Emma's been using allows her to steal it. And so Emma learns the truth, the girls in the theater all wear masks because Madame Visage has removed all their faces, and she keeps them in a magic book to use whenever and however she chooses. Without their faces, the girls feel they have lost their identities; they willingly accept the numbers Visage assigns them in place of names and live as her slaves. Emma, being new, is not ready to submit to Madame Visage's will, especially when Jessie shows up and Visage poses as her to try and steal Jessie's face too. Meanwhile, Emma befriends Number 87, Lizzie, and together they break into Madame's special cabinet and find her original face. Number 66 rats them out though, and the two are brought before Madame Visage, as a confused Jessie watches. Emma appeals to all the girls, asking them to remember that they have names, lives, and families, and Madame Visage tells them that they don't; she owns their faces, so she owns them. Number 66 has a change of heart and the girls all rise up against their captor. Emma gives the Madame back her original face, which is now 300-years-old, thereby killing her. With the Madame dead, her magic is broken and the girls all get their original faces back.
Lesson #1: A face may not define who you are, but no one will talk to you if you don't have at least one.
Lesson #2: Facebook is evil.
Episode 13 - The Tale of the Night Nurse
Synopsis: While staying with their grandfather, sisters AJ and Nikki discover his house is haunted. They keep seeing ghostly scenes of the birthday of Emily Jerome, a girl who died after falling down the stairs on her birthday. Emily survived the initial fall with only an injured leg, but she had to stay in bed, so her mom hired a nurse to take care of her. When Emily died while in the care of the nurse, foul play was suspected. The nurse was convicted of poisoning Emily and spent the rest of her life in jail. While their grandfather has only seen Emily's ghost, the girls also see partygoers as well as Emily's seemingly deranged nurse, who wants to give them both shots. Up in the attic, AJ and Nikki find several of Emily's old things, including unopened presents and the dress she wore when she fell down the stairs. AJ tries the dress on for some reason, and when she does, she finds herself living Emily's final birthday. Having previously seen a vision of Emily falling down the stairs while trying to pick up a bracelet she dropped, AJ takes special care not to make the same mistake. She successfully picks up the bracelet without falling, but then ends up falling down the stairs anyway. When she awakens, the nurse is standing over her with a needle, ready to inject her. AJ tries to take off the birthday dress and return to her own time, but it's stuck. She tries to run, but the nurse is too fast for her. She begs the nurse not to inject her, and the nurse tells her that it's only penicillin and it will make her feel better. AJ reaches into her pocket and pulls out the metal bracelet that both she and Emily had dropped before: it was a medical bracelet warning that Emily was allergic to penicillin. The nurse apologizes, and tells her to make sure she never takes off the bracelet again. She then helps AJ take off the dress. AJ finds herself back with Nikki, back in present day. They look through Emily's old stuff and discover that thanks to AJ's actions, Emily didn't die. The sisters share a heartfelt moment, even though Nikki shouldn't be able to remember the unaltered version of history. Then their grandfather pops in and makes an offhand comment about ghost hunting, seemingly demonstrating that he remembers the original version of history too. Sure, why not?
Lesson #1: Make sure the people around you know what your allergies are.
Lesson #2: If you are allergic to peanut butter, please ignore the previous lesson. You are an impediment to society.
So what have we learned today? A few things. We learned that on the intergalactic level, laser tag, not soccer, is the most popular sport. We learned that you should be careful what you wish for, because the genie granting it might be an evil jaded bitch. We learned that aliens are liars, clubs are dumb, and racing is stupid. We learned that junkyards are a dangerous place for children and teenagers. But most importantly, we learned that the series should have ended with The Tale of the Silver Sight. Everything that came after it was a huge letdown.
Posted by: Syd Lexia
THE TRUE ENEMY... IS YOU!