Review #22: The Tale of the Silent Servant

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Part 2:

Part 3:


It’s back to season 4 today for a rushed review.


We start with Kiki and Frank being mad at Betty Anne for not sneaking into a movie with them.  Betty Anne is a goody two shoes, obviously.  This has somehow inspired her to write a story.  She tosses some instant grits on the fire and begins.  Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, she calls this story…

We start with a crazy guy sleeping in a barn.  The farmer, I presume, shows up and the guy freaks out, talking about how some magic words don’t work anymore.  Crazy guy runs away, as crazy people tend to do, and the farmer opens a door and says tells whatever is inside to be still, saying he’ll return later.

Mhmmm now I'm gonna go have relations with my cousin

We then cut to twenty years later, where we meet Jared, who is visiting his cousin Anne on her farm for the summer.  Jared loves baseball, Anne does not.  They’re playing catch and Anne sucks at it, so of course one of Jared’s throws ends up breaking a window.

Meet Jared, a kid incapable of wearing shirts that are even remotely close to his size.

A man, who may be Anne’s dad or older brother or uncle…or all three, declares that they’ll have to work off the price of a new window.

It makes Christmas shopping easier.

Jared and Anne go to deliver some beans, but Jared is distracted by a barn.  Apparently he thinks it looks cool, I think it looks like a barn.  Anne informs him that it belonged to Mr. Earlstad, who people said was a sorcerer that had invisible servants work his farm.  I’m sure they meant illegal servants, and Anne just misheard.

Inside the barn they find a scarecrow, and Jared decides they should bring it back to the farm to help with their deer problem.  I don’t follow his logic at all.  Neither does Anne, but she’s eager to prove she’s not scared, so she helps anyways.  She does find some weird looking artifact along with the scarecrow, and pockets it for later.

They go back to the farm and set up the scarecrow, and it looks like the stuff of nightmares.

I didn't think a scarecrow could look like a child predator until this episode.

They have to go back to the barn however, as they forgot to deliver the beans in all their scarecrow driven excitement.  Of course when they go back, they encounter the crazy guy from the prologue, 20 years older and definitely crazier.

I bet he smells twenty years worse too.

He rambles on about how he used to see pretty colors but now only sees blackness.  Also about silent servants and masters and magic words.  I found the whole thing to be quite entertaining, the kids however are terrified, and take off running.  Everyone’s a critic.

Back at home, Anne tells Jared that the crazy guy was Mr. Earlstad’s old farmhand, affectionately known as Crazy George.  Anne remembers the artifact from the scarecrow, noting that it has dragons on it, and Jared finds a scroll inside.  He reads the scroll, and it says something about awakening a silent servant.  Lightning flashes and ominous cuts to the scarecrow tell the audience that something strange is surely afoot!

Later that night, the kids are taking out the garbage and discussing the silent servant.  Jared wishes it was real as he’s tired of doing chores, and who should show up but the scarecrow.  The kids, of course, scream and run away.

See? Total child predator.

They tell Anne’s brother Mark about the scarecrow, but when he goes to look for it, he finds it in a heap against the house.  Mark figures the kids are trying to play a joke on him and ignores them, which he probably should just do all the time.  Jared and Anne go inside, but not before Jared tells the scarecrow that he should fix the window, and deliver the beans, since he’s the servant.

The next day they wake up to find the window fixed and the beans delivered.  For an encore, Jared gets the servant to finish building the fence they were working on.  Everyone is impressed with their work.  Jared then orders the scarecrow to build him a dugout.  I’m not sure a mystical scarecrow is going to know what a dugout is, but sure enough, when they return later, they’ve got a dugout.

I mean, it's not a very good dugout, but beggars can't be choosers.

Turns out though, the scarecrow used the boards from the fence to build the dugout, so now the fence is ruined.  This gets Anne and Jared grounded, but really Jared only has himself to blame for not giving clearer directions.

Let’s cut to the chase here, earlier in the episode Mark took Jared’s baseball glove after he broke the window.  He gave them back, but Jared’s glove was missing, and this enrages Jared, because he’s way too fucking obsessed with baseball.  In his nerdrage, Jared says he’d like to kill whoever took his glove.  The scarecrow, of course, takes this as a command, and goes after Mark.  Turns out, Anne’s father/uncle/brother has the gloves and the scarecrow is actually going after him.

This is the best moment of the episode, by far.

Of course Anne has figured everything out in the nick of time, and breaks the artifact over Mr. Earlstad’s grave, making the scarecrow disappear and depriving us of our opportunity to see how a scarecrow kills someone.  I imagine it’d use blunt force trauma.  The scarecrow reappears behind Anne, but she commands it to go back to where it came from.  This apparently causes it to have some acid flashbacks of the events of the episode, before collapsing into a heap of clothing.  Apparently it went back to wherever it came from naked.

Once everyone leaves, Crazy George shows up to put the artifact back together and laugh menacingly.

Yes George, now you can have him build you that magical stairway to the talking fireplace on top of unicorn mountain, which is of course made of lions. And also pickles. Huzzah!

The End

Good episode? Eh.  Good review? No.  But the scarecrow looks really cool, and I find it hilarious when he’s sneaking up on Anne’s father/brother/uncle guy.  The story is just a country bumpkin version of the ancient Jewish legend of the Golem.  See, look at that, even in a short review you still learned something.  It can also be viewed as a commentary on the plight of the migrant worker in America.  They’re the real silent servants.



3 thoughts on “Review #22: The Tale of the Silent Servant

  1. Pingback: Are You Afraid of the Dark? Review Index « My Rotting Brain

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