The day’s links:
Today is a special episode. It’s special because for one magic moment in 1993, my two favorite 90’s TV shows combined in a manner of speaking, and this is the result.
We begin innocently enough, with Sam reading by the campfire as the rest of the society arrives. She’s reading a history book, so I assume none of you can really grasp the magic that awaits us. We get some Frank/Sam/Gary love triangle action, which never really goes anywhere in the series and seemed like an entirely worthless tack on, and then we get started. Sam tosses some wig powder into the fire and begins. Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, she calls this story…
Wait wait wait, this is a special episode, and a special episode needs a special guest star. We’re going to need a good looking guy. I’ve got the perfect man for the job!
That’s right ladies and gentleman, this episode’s guest star is none other than Eric Matthews! No I don’t care if that’s not his real name, he’s Eric Matthews to everyone and he’s sure as hell Eric Matthews in this review.
Now, we begin with Eric sitting in a classroom, with his teacher droning on and on about the Spartans.
Wait, something else isn’t right here, that teacher just isn’t doing it for me.
Much better. Anyways, Eric is too busy staring longingly at his Asian classmate, April, to listen to what’s going on. Eric likes her, but he’s not sure if she likes him back. Haven’t we all been there before? After school, Eric is walking home through a park, as he does every day, but Sam promises us that today will be different. Eric finds a knife, or maybe it’s a dagger, but after he picks it up, he’s grabbed by a strange man. Eric screams in terror and the man runs off, but we catch a small glimpse of him.
The next day at school, Eric talks with April about history, and also about the ice rink that will be opening up soon.
Eric attempts to ask April out on a date, but is interrupted by some other guy. He’s African American, so Eric backs off, as that’s a race of people he has very little experience dealing with back home at John Adams High.
Later that day, Eric is again walking home through the park, and again he sees the strange man. This time he’s mincing through the forest, carrying a gun.
This time Eric gives chase, but our mincing friend is still able to surprise him. He starts asking where Harrisville is, and Eric is too shocked to answer. Suddenly, they’re under fire. From who, you ask? Well, it appears to be British soldiers.
Eric and the still unidentified man take cover behind a wall, and the man tells them that once the enemy passes, Eric will direct him to Harrisville. Unfortunately, the soldiers find them and are about to stab them with a bayonette. Fortunately, the soldiers disappear, but Eric is left curled in the fetal position while a bunch of kids from school, including April, look on.
After making up a terrible cover story about losing a contact lens, Eric finds a brass button, and then brings it to an antique dealer. The dealer confirms that it is in fact a button, one from a minuteman’s uniform. He informs Eric that the battle of Harrisville was fought in the park he walks through every day, nearly 200 years ago. This whole sequence would work better if Mr. Feeny was telling him this.
Later, Eric is once again in the park. He goes looking for his lost Frisbee, but instead he finds British soldiers again and this time they’re convinced he’s a spy. Things don’t go well, and he’s quickly captured.
Rescue is quick though, as our still unidentified rebel soldier distracts the troops and gives Eric enough time to escape. Moments later they have a sweaty and breathy bonding moment, as the mystery man needs to get to Harrisville to tell a girl that he loves her. The catch is, he couldn’t find the words, and now he’s going to give her a locket which he hopes will say the words he can’t. Eric relates to him, due to his inability to tell April how he feels and also, their shared desire for no taxation without representation.
To commemorate their new friendship, still yet to be named guy gives Eric his dagger. The next day, Eric again takes it to the antique store, I’m assuming so he can sell it. He hasn’t even met Jack Hunter yet and he’s thinking just like him! He offers him $150 for the dagger, but Eric turns it down. Smart man. The dagger has an inscription on it, and the antique store owner gives Eric a book that might help him figure things out. Like Eric Matthews is really going to read a book.
Uncharacteristically, he does. I hate it when shows portray characters wrong. For instance, they keep calling Eric “Jimmy’ in this episode, I don’t get it. Anyways, we finally, learn the man in the park is named Lieutenant William and that he was hung by the British for being a spy. He’s looking good for a dead guy. After school, Eric decides he has to help Lt. William find his way to Harrisville and keep him from being hung. He explains his entire situation to April and her friend, and they surely think he’s insane, but that’s just Eric being Eric. He borrows a boom box and runs off.
He finds Lt. William as he’s about to be hung, but distracts the Redcoats with his boom box, and the killer tunes of what sounds like a bad Van Halen tribute band. A bad Van Halen instrumental tribute band, no less.
Eric frees William and tells him how to get to Harrisville, forever altering history and changing Lieutenant William into Captain Willaim, which sounds like a really uninventive super hero name.
Before William leaves, he tells Eric to make sure that he tells April his true feelings, before it’s too late. Eric takes this advice and after tackling April while running away from the ghosts of British soldiers, he does just that. He also finds William’s locket and gives that to her, but that’s just so the title of the story is relevant.
I think they then go to the mall and April gets called a bad name and Eric has to explain prejudice to Morgan.
That might be the least scary episode of the series, but damn it, it stars Eric Matthews, so it was definitely getting covered. It could have used more Corey and Shawn, and we didn’t even get one Feeny call. I bet that park is where Eric ends up living when he becomes Plays With Squirrels though. I’d apologize for writing a review that is impossible to understand unless you watch Boy Meets World, but I’m not sorry. At all.