After Tucker blackmails him with a love poem, Gary turns his revenge fantasy right into a tale around karma.

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Sam is the worst type of tiny brother -- the sort who steals his older brothers Mike’s money as soon as the bad guy is simply trying to buy their mommy a date of birth present. After ~ Sam takes the cash, buys a Zeebo-themed video clip game, and lies about where he obtained the money, Mike jokingly alerts him about the Crimson Clown, a porcelain doll that pertains to life come terrorize poor kids. Sam laughs turn off the warning and continues to act choose a brat, obtaining Mike in trouble v their mom. The Crimson Clown then begins to torment Sam, farming larger and much more terrifying every time that appears. Sam eventually repents because that his sins, and in return, the Crimson Clown transforms the timeline so that Sam never ever stole the money and also Mike had the ability to buy their mom a gift.

Tucker return Gary’s poem, and after frank shoots his shot v Sam and also strikes out, Gary asks Sam if he can walk her home.


T: i have complained around Frank this season, and also he’s still not good here, but at least he’s direct with Sam, lastly asking she out. And of course she’s awesome and not interested.

E: God, he’s such a dick about it though. Like, Frank, you’re an attractive guy. Friend don’t must put top top the challenging guy action to attract female attention.

T: Gary call Tucker a “little spud.” What a an excellent Gary placed down. Later on in the story, we get “turd face.” i love AYAOTD? slams.

E: and there room oodles of lock in this episode. The tension in between Mike and also Sam rivals Buzz and Kevin indigenous Home Alone, other than in this version it’s the younger brothers who’s the sociopath.

T: This week’s illustration is all about Mike, a flipping saint, and his small bro Sam, basically SATAN! ns can’t was standing Sam. The acting is fine, he’s just the pure worst.

E: He can be the most punchable character in the background of AYAOTD?, and it reveals therefore much around Gary’s feelings towards Tucker. Indigenous the outside, we have the right to all watch that Tucker’s shenanigans are obnoxious but cute -- classic small bro stuff. But Sam, the story-version that Tucker, is one anti-social, narcissistic nightmare. Due to the fact that we’ve began off through some solid Macaulay Culkin references, i’m gonna say he’s two pet sacrifices away from being Henry native The good Son. And also the spreading is perfect. I’m sure that son is perfect decent-looking now, but as Sam he has actually the type of smirky face that provides you desire to throw things at the TV.

T: Is this the only episode to feature snow? for a Canadian series, you’d think it would pop up much more often. It gives the episode a cozy feeling. You can see Mike’s breath when they go into the store. Ns don’t think eye is used enough in horror. Tangent, however the Friday the 13th remake virtually had a sequel set on crystal Lake during winter v a frozen over lake and hockey. Let go opportunity.

E: God, that could’ve been epic. However yes, snow deserve to be used to produce effect in horror. Is it warm or isolating? Is it pretty, or does it render the landscape unrecognizable? Or both? just look at The Shining.

T: maybe it’s simply the snow, but I had the believed that the Crimson Clown is a take it on Krampus. Come to think of it, Sam is favor Scrooge top top Christmas morning.

E: Oooooh -- i love this theory. Christmas is a an excellent time because that terror-induced redemption. So is her mom’s birthday.

T: The shop owner is great and creepy, but this is a Gary story about someone acquiring a monster item in a shop, so why isn’t this Sardo in the Magic Mansion?

E: another missed opportunity!

T: Again, a character wears the exact same yellow and also black checkered shirt!

E: It to be the 90s, Troyson.

T: as with how “Full Moon” felt like a work again, please again of “Nightly Neighbors” but with werewolves, this one feels like “Laughing in the Dark” dialed approximately eleven.

E: ns love the substantial Zeebo referral with the video game, and I adore the method the clown gets bigger and an ext bizarre looking v each scene.

T: Why is the mommy so oblivious? Anyone that spends an ext than ten secs with Sam have the right to tell he is a horrible, devastating person and Mike must be knighted. I simply can’t even with her.

E: as the parental of a five-year-old, I can personally say that I’ve witnessed parents shrugging off some pretty unfortunately behavior. The said, Sam and also Mike’s mommy takes obliviousness come a whole brand-new level. The fact that she can’t see v Sam’s bullshit is past me.

T: I totally buy her no seeing Sam’s shit, but she places it ~ above Mike. Therefore it’s not favor she’s one “My offspring are angels” type.

E: great point. I’ve never construed parents who hold their eldest youngsters to a higher standard.

T: The Crimson Clown laughs under Sam’s bed alone in the room, climate the camera pans out and the door slams shut. That’s fucking scary shit. Director Ron Oliver is so an excellent at pivoting native camp to frights.

E: speak what girlfriend will about Sam, the balance of laughs to actual horror in this episode is perfect. It’s almost like a home-based variation of Zeebo’s funny house.

T: i’m a small confused. When Sam eavesdrops top top Mike and also their mother talking around him, room we supposed to sympathize with him? Mike is fully right and also his complaints aren’t that bad, but the music and also acting and everything makes it feel choose we must be ~ above Sam’s side. Nope! he acts favor he’s genuinely upset that Mike isn’t pleased the he stole indigenous him through a nasty attitude?

E: i think this is a weak effort to humanize Sam, yet it fails epically.

T: The episode gets also freakier! Sam it s okay tied in his bed with ribbons? it’s very straightforward but damn. Climate the large clown’s head turns into a balloon? What?!

E: The exploding-glitter-balloon-head is both downright terrifying and also positively absurd. Pretty sure that’s Ron Oliver’s totality aesthetic wrapped up in one classic moment. Also, is all of this imagery scarier due to the fact that the victim is so young? Sam, at the very least on the surface, look at considerably much more innocent than Zeebo’s victim.

T: Definitely. Christian Tessier to be fourteen when Zeebo terrorized him. I couldn’t find Michael Barry’s age at the time, however I’m guessing he’s an ext like eleven or twelve. We’re much much more used come seeing teens (even if they’re play by twenty-somethings - ugh) fear on TV than middle schoolers.

E: probably that’s likewise why they dialed up the brattiness through his character.

T: i love that the birthday gift is in a crimson box v purple confetti. So the beautiful hugging moment between mother and sons? her hair it s okay in Sam’s mouth and he blows that out. Go earlier and clock that. The great.

E: when a small shit, constantly a little shit.

T: so there’s a couple of ways to read this episode. Mike right up renders up the Crimson Clown top top the spot, and also then the clown terrorizes Sam. Go that typical Mike has psychic powers he is unaware that – the his tormented an excellent guy next hides part Carrie-like powers? Or does Sam just go crazy and also imagine it all? Or does part creature native the void latch ~ above the story and impersonate the personality Mike created? Or space there other readings?

E: This the very same quandary we had with “Phone Police,” no it? we think we’re managing the legend Is real trope, yet then Annie the larger sister reveals she made the whole thing up. Like, how? the the options, I favor number three the best. It stays clear of the devastating It Was every In her Head trope and is a bit an ext plausible than alternative one. Though alternative one would certainly make a an excellent full-length movie.

T: yes so lot room because that an broadened story here. I love shorter fiction, and also the majority of this episodes work-related so well with their to run length, yet there’s a handful the scream because that a function length adaptation (see mine Queer or Not response for material to include).

E: Intriguing!

T: Tucker learns his lesson indigenous the story and eases increase on Gary. I assumed it was actually really sweet as soon as he cautions Gary the he can need the poem.

E: the a perfect reminder that, despite Gary’s dismal opinion that him, Tucker is not actually a Sam-like monster.

T: Yeah, ns think the was smart for the audience to acquire that distinction. Speaking of Sam and also Tucker though, is that super weird the Gary has a crush on a girl called Sam, therefore he speak a story around an awful Sam (a stand-in for his brother) getting terrorized? ns betting what taken place was Darren Kotania, who functioned on the crew and wrote “Dream Machine” and “Midnight Ride” composed this before Sam and Tucker were developed for the Midnight society since they were new additions this season and also the name is a finish coincidence. As presented though, come quote my favourite magician"s assistant, “Very weird.”

E: LOL. You’re more than likely right, though Freud would probably have actually a ar day v this.


T: Is Mike queer coded? he’s a quiet, clean, sensitive young who’s required to it is in the “man of the house.” i feel favor he’s struggling versus something. The line of your mom’s around him having actually to action a certain means to fulfill those criter struck me.

E: i’ll buy it. This story is ultimately really Sam-centric, yet Mike is the an ext intriguing character. He is the classic an initial child v the load of the people on his shoulders. Ns hope at some point he meets a nice boy and learns to relax a little.

I think we additionally need come talk about the means the Midnight society love triangle theatre out. Candid asks Sam the end in the most obnoxious way, to the allude where she in reality asks whether she has any type of say in the matter. Plainly she’s turned turn off by Frank’s toxicity masculinity and ultimately charmed by Gary’s alternate masculinity. Sam’s dismissal of candid is so gibberish -- such a sassy bait and also switch. I additionally love that Kiki it s okay pulled right into the entirety thing for a 2nd when candid glances over at her, and then she refuses to acquire involved. She and Frank obviously obtain along, but she can’t stand him as soon as he gets like this, and I’m sure every woman through dude-bro friends deserve to relate. “We choose playing basketball and also watching sporting activities together. How often should I contact him the end on his macho bullshit?” Every time, Kiki. Every. Time. However I’ll let that slide since it was the ’90s and that conversation would’ve to be over before it began.


T: In a fun referral to “Laughing in the Dark,” the video game Sam steals the money to buy is Zeebo’s funny House! it’s in a Sega cartridge yet Sam has a Nintendo hooked as much as his TV. Ns guess the propsmaster no a gamer.

E: for this reason close come a perfect reference! Alas.

T: Alan Legros played the Crimson Clown. He appeared in the series recently as a building and construction worker in “The Guardian’s Curse.”

E: You’re telling me there to be an actual male under that huge ping pong ball head? Also, follow to the interwebs, the Crimson Clown doll sold on eBay for half a million dollars. The said, the interwebs is full of lies.


T: I’d rework Sam’s entirety character. The arc is great, however he can’t be such a wretched human that we root because that the Crimson Clown come strangle him to death. And I’d walk ahead and also make this Christmas time for this reason the Crimson Clown is a Krampus’y anti-Claus character. Is Sam for this reason awful since he’s acting out over shedding their dad? Is that product that should be mined?

E: completely down because that a holiday-themed version of this story, an especially one that clarifies whether Mike is actually a powerful psychic capable of happen clown dolls come life. And exploring the tragic backstory would certainly go a long way toward making Sam much more sympathetic.


T: This one’s therefore strong. Yet I just can’t with Sam. He is the worst. The absolute worst. As with “Laughing in the Dark,” ns rooting for the villain. Ns wish we could get a clown story whereby the clown is an fully baddie. He is Krampus, he’s cool, however it sort of method there aren’t real stakes in the story. It’s fine crafted, and also I acquire why the iconic, but this episode pipeline me wanting more. 8.7 out OF 10 CAMPFIRES.

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E: The imagery below is height notch and the love triangle plays out perfectly. Yet I agree the Sam is also unlikeable. Ns going through 8.5 the end OF 10 CAMPFIRES.