It’s back to season 3 for today’s episode, which begins with some usual Midnight Society shenanigans, this time Tucker and Kiki arm wrestling, and then, it’s story time. Tonight, Sam is up, so of course Gary can just barely keep it in his pants. Sam’s got a tale about something that’s incredibly terrifying, but it’s not monsters or demons or any of the usual scary stuff. Hmm, sounds boring, but it can’t be worse than a whiny pirate ghost. Turns out her story is about true love. I’ll pause so you can change into some clean pants.
She tosses some pixie stix dust onto the fire and begins. Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, she calls this story…
Meet Erica and Johnny, brother and sister. Johnny appears to be in some sort of profession that involves wearing a jumpsuit, so it’s probably not good. Useless fact, the actor playing Johnny is named Fab Fillipo.
They both work at bowling alley where Erica is a waitress and Johnny is “the repair guy.” He’s also “the guy with a horrible hair cut.”
Johnny finds a ring in his locker at work and puts it on, before Erica informs him it’s a girls ring. It’s too late though, as it’s stuck on Johnny’s finger and he can’t get it off. With that jumpsuit, some girly jewelry and that pretty mouth of his, it looks like Johnny is ready to be a prison inmate’s dream girl.
Later, Johnny has fallen asleep while watching TV, when this hot bitty shows up in his living room.
She keeps calling his name, and as she’s about to lean in and kiss him, she disappears and Johnny wakes up. Maybe she got a good look at his hair. The next day, we learn that Johnny is really underappreciated at his job, despite being a wonderful repair guy. Johnny tells Erica all about the dreams he’s been having, and mentions that the girl in his dreams looks a lot like one who happens to be at the bowling alley right at that moment. Johnny thinks it might be fate and goes to talk to her, but she acts like she doesn’t see him. How the hell can you miss someone with that ridiculous haircut?
Johnny later finds his locker at work to be empty, but before he can think too much about it, he starts hearing the girl call his name again. She identifies herself as Donna, and appears behind the bowling lanes. Then she appears down the hall from Johnny and then she disappears, and for some reason Johnny does this.
The next day at home, Johnny finds a letter, containing a really bad poem.
The note also tells Johnny to meet her at midnight at the bowling alley snack stand. Johnny has a weird feeling about this, but can’t figure out why. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that girl you’ve never heard of is stalking you and telling you to break into your place of employment. Of course Johnny decides to go, and once he gets there, it seems like he’s not the only one. It also seems like he’s in 1950.
These people let Johnny know they can consider them “The Night Shift” and they seem to have been waiting for him. Speaking of waiting, it’s what Johnny and his awful haircut do for the next several minutes, which according to the fabulous neon clock they have there, is actually a few hours. Donna finally shows up, but she’s not interested in explaining herself, she just wants to dance. So begins an awkward high school style slow dance between the mystery girl and Captain Spaghetti Hair.
Donna wants Johnny to come with her, but his constant questions make it too late and Donna, along with everyone else disappears. Johnny runs home to tell Erica, and she’s found an article about Donna. Not just any article, but an…obituary!
Turns out Donna died in a car accident when her boyfriend’s car stalled on some train tracks. They both escaped, but Donna left the ring her boyfriend had just given her in the car and decided to go back and get it. She was rewarded for her stupidity with death when the train came barreling through. This prompts Johnny to spend the next day trying to remove the ring, but he fails again. Donna appears and tells him not to run from her and that it’s time they go, but disappears again when Johnny resists. Later that day, Johnny gets a phone call from Donna. For some reason he’s freaked out that she’s calling him. I don’t understand why, that’s slightly more normal than appearing and disappearing at random.
Donna says she’ll stop bothering Johnny and the ring falls off his finger. Erica for some reason gets mad about this, maybe she thought it looked really good on him. Johnny decides the decent thing to do would be to give her back her ring, and so, it’s off to the cemetery!
Johnny walks around aimlessly for a few second before Erica spooks him and he trips right over Donna’s grave. Erica begins to point out that it’s just a little coincidental that he managed to find her grave on the first try. Erica tells Johnny again about Donna’s death, only this time Johnny seems to recall some new details. He remembers being there and pushing Donna out of the way, but it was too late, and…they both died!
Turns out after the accident, Johnny just showed up at home remembering nothing, including the fact that he died. Erica was the only one who could see him, so she played along, probably at the loss of her own sanity. Of course Donna shows up to bring Johnny to the other side with her. Before he goes though, he gives Erica his class ring and they share a tearful goodbye. And everyone lives happily ever after, except for that whole “Hey, you’re brother is dead” thing.
Now, in 1993, that was an absolutely awesome episode with a great twist. If that kind of twist seems familiar, it should, because M. Night Shamalyan shamelessly ripped it off for the ending of The Sixth Sense. Yes, spoiler alert, Bruce Willis is dead. He cited the episode as “inspiration” but that’s just a fancy way of saying that he can’t come up with his own ideas. So because of that, the twist ends up seeming predictable, which is a real shame because that’s one of the best endings in the series.
It’s still a good episode and none of the actors are annoying. It’s one of the few episodes with an ending that’s bittersweet, which I always prefer to standard “defeat the monster and everyone is happy” ending. If it hadn’t been for Shamalyan ruining the twist ending for everyone, this would probably be in my top 5 episodes, but instead it falls just short. I’ll be reviewing my top 5 episodes starting Wednesday though. Also, I will never understand why Fab Fillipo decided to style his hair that way. It’s a question that will haunt me until the day I die.