The Real Ghostbusters episode 21 review
The Real Ghostbusters
Production number 76008 – 1986-Syndicated
Written by Kathryn M. Drennan
Every 500 years the forces of good and evil hold a contest for the fate of a single human soul. This time they find their ancient battleground has become a baseball stadium, and so a supernatural game of baseball is in order!
I think my favourite thing about this episode is the way it plays with your expectations. The episode starts off very creepy with eerie music and some really terrific effects animation. There’s a really ominous tone to what’s happening right through till about the halfway mark of the episode when Winston goes to the stadium alone to check things out. The tension builds right up till the Ghostbusters break into the stadium after Winston and are confronted by a giant demonic looking entity that resembles an umpire, and then commercial break. After the commercial comes the reveal that the battle for good and evil is taking the form of a baseball game, and all the pent up tension is released in a wave of comedy.
Kathryn Drennan does a really excellent job of balancing the tension and peril of the episode with the comedic elements. Even after the big reveal she starts right away rebuilding the tension by giving the audience the impression that it’s Winston’s soul on the line. The tension is ratcheted up further when it is revealed that the evil team is allowed to cheat because that is the nature of evil, and that only the good team is not allowed to cheat. Finally the tension reaches its height when the guys decide to intervene, since they are on neither team it’s thought that they can cheat without penalty. However, Egon remembers the words of the Umpire upon their arrival, that no one is neutral and realizes that if they cheat good automatically loses.
The episode ends with the forces of good triumphant and the final comic revelation that they were actually playing for Peter’s soul. I was really impressed with how well crafted the writing on this episode was. I’ll be looking forward to future episodes by Kathryn Drennan.
Best line of the episode:
Ray – “What have you done with Winston?!”
Winston – “They made me short stop!”
Rating: 4 out of 5 on the PKE meter