I’m sorry there haven’t been a lot of posts coming out recently! School work + a bad case of writer’s block + trying to have something resembling a social life + fixation on a newfound fandom + general exhaustion = not as much time going into writing for this blog as there should be at the moment. Things should be calming down soon, so I promise I will try to get back on track. Operative word is try, but like, I actually will try hard. Really.
It feels weird to be posting reviews for these episodes closer to Christmas than to Halloween.
Halloween specials in cartoons are usually like my favorite thing ever, but this Halloween special is oddly unmemorable for me. I guess the premise doesn’t feel very unique to me. SpongeBob is known for being easily scared on Halloween, and he wants to be the one who does the scaring for once. It sounds familiar and just not very interesting to me.Still, there are some good things in the episode.
While I found it a little ridiculous how easily scared SpongeBob is by everything (I know that’s the point, it was just a bit much for me at times), I liked the scene at the beginning of the episode, where Squidward and Mr. Krabs scare him. I like it when Squidward and Mr. Krabs are sort of playful together. They’re a lot more so in earlier seasons, they almost seem like friends at times. At the very least Mr. Krabs seems to like Squidward and Squidward seems to tolerate and sometimes sort of like Mr. Krabs, which is pretty good for Squidward. Their dynamic changes so much in later seasons, where they’re constantly at odds with each other, and it’s really too bad because I like what they have in pre-movie.
I also like seeing the characters in costumes. Sandy’s costume is really clever, even if other characters don’t seem to appreciate it (which I think makes it funnier). I like that even Squidward has a costume, and a pretty good one too. I like how SpongeBob’s costume, no matter what he tries to do to make it scarier, really just looks silly and cute.
The Flying Dutchman also makes his first real appearance in this episode. He’s a pretty fun minor character, funny while still managing to be believably scary to the other characters (if not scary to the audience). His reason for showing up in this episode is funny too. He’s pissed that people dress up as him every Halloween, turning him into a joke. He’s especially annoyed by SpongeBob’s attempt at a Flying Dutchman costume, and how he fails to be scary at all. Honestly I think the idea of a monster being offended by terrible costumes of themselves is kind of hilarious.
Of course the best part of this episode is its twist ending. The Flying Dutchman pulls off the sheet SpongeBob covered himself in, and what’s under the sheet scares everyone, even the Flying Dutchman himself. Earlier in the episode, SpongeBob shaved off parts of his body to make it more rounded, like a ghost is typically made to look. And apparently he went overboard.
Actually, you know, he kind of looks like Squidward?? Especially when you look at his shadow. Also… what are his arms attached to? Where are his insides? What even is his anatomy?? Who knows. In any case, SpongeBob successfully scares everyone, though not in the way he intended.
The ending is really the highlight of this episode, and the main reason to watch it. Other than that, I don’t get a whole lot out of it personally, but it’s cute and there’s nothing really wrong with it.
Haha. Oh man. This episode.
What even is this episode??
I don’t know if I’d say I like this episode, but there is something about it that fascinates me and I guess I enjoy it? Maybe? It’s just… such a weird episode, and I mean it’s weird in a way that’s different from most episodes. This is a lot of people’s least favorite season 1 episode and even quite a few people’s least favorite pre-movie episode, and I can’t say I’m surprised by that.
First of all, it’s kind of an unpleasant story. SpongeBob leaves town for three days and Squidward promises to feed Gary, but he forgets. Squidward realizes his mistake when SpongeBob comes back and he tries to hide it, but Gary is clearly unwell. They call a vet and are told that Gary has to be given a shot, but SpongeBob won’t keep Gary still while Squidward tries to give the shot, and SpongeBob ends up taking it instead.
This leads to a scene that is one of very few in this show that I feel genuinely disturbed by. I don’t mind that it does, though. I mean this is technically a Halloween episode, and isn’t that what Halloween specials are supposed to do, at least to some extent? Whatever was in the shot that was supposed to go to Gary (who is fine, by the way, all he needed was some water) causes SpongeBob to transform into a snail. The transformation scene alone is pretty unsettling, but the scene that follows it is even more so. Snail!SpongeBob goes to visit Squidward and won’t let Squidward get rid of him. In the ensuing chaos, Squidward accidentally takes an injection of the snail medicine himself. Why he still had it, I’m not sure.
I mean… you can see why this episode is unpopular and why it isn’t easy to talk about. It’s so bizarre and so unlike any other episode the show has had at this point. Like I said, there’s a part of me that maybe sort of enjoys it on some level, precisely because it’s so bizarre, but I can’t give it any praise beyond that. It’s an interesting episode, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good.
If you consider the fact that this is technically intended to be a Halloween episode, it’s a bit better. The episode does actually have kind of a creepy vibe that is appropriate for Halloween, but “good at a certain time of year” still isn’t much of a selling point, is it?