How about one more Dr. Vink appearance before I start my top 5 episodes tomorrow? Fine, I’ll even throw in a Neve Campbell guest spot. This one is from is from season 3. This episode has a great beginning, with The Midnight Society each saying what they’re most afraid of, here’s a breakdown:
Betty Anne- The Attic
Tucker says slasher movies, but everyone says that doesn’t count, so he instead claims he isn’t afraid of anything. Frank, the one who’s put everyone up to this, sits down and confesses that he is…afraid of the dark.
Well, that answers that question, I guess we can all go home now.
Just kidding, Frank’s got a story about fear and after he tosses some crushed up bullion cubes into the fire, he begins. Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, he calls this story…
We begin with a random guy in a strange dark room. A voice tells him to have a seat, and he does so. If this were made in the present day, I’d assume we’d be getting a visit from a puppet that wants to play a game next.
Instead, the wall opens up and out pops this little gargoyle fellow.
The voice informs random dude that the gargoyle knows what scares him. The voice then repeats that fact really gleefully. What scares random dude?
After this the room goes dark and gargoyle vanishes and we cut to Neve Campbell, hostess extraordinaire at a restaurant called The Wild Boar.
Everyone goes to The Wild Boar for the soup, which costs $100 a bowl. Ah the Clinton years. We meet a waitress named Jersey, who can’t believe people would pay that much for soup, and also has a thing about touching knives. She just doesn’t do it, okay!?
We cut back to the dining room where everyone is giving a round of applause to the chef who crafts such fine cuisine. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?
The next day we find Neve, who’s character’s name is Nonnie, so we’ll be sticking with Neve, going over some finances, when a long haired vagabond shows up looking for a job.
This tool’s name is Reed. He’s had a lot of jobs and can’t wrap his head around the fact that Dr. Vink could be both a doctor and cook. Vink interrupts to inform us all that he is in fact a chef, and Reed asks if he’s supposed to be impressed. The answer is yes, Reed, and he’s not a nutbag! Vink takes Reed back to give him a taste of his soup, which we learn is actually called The Dangerous Soup. All his employees get one taste to “educate the palate.” If they try to take another taste, Vink guarantees they’ll regret it. Though I must say, looking at Reed, he might need a few more tastes before his palate actually learns anything.
So Reed starts working and he’s apparently the kind of douche that doesn’t want help from anyone, ever. Whatever pal, carry all those onions yourself, it’s your ass when you drop them. Frank pops in to let us know that The Wild Boar is an okay place to work, but strangely, every once in awhile someone would just up and quit out of the blue. I’m sorry Frank, but go work in a restaurant for a few years, that’s not an uncommon occurrence.
Of course the inevitable occurs and super genius Reed just has to try the soup again.
Dr. Vink is there to catch him red handed though. Neve for some reason pops up and defends him. You have horrible taste in men, Neve. Meanwhile, Jersey shows up all pissed off that she has to do dishes. Vink could care less however and tells her that she’s too loud to work in his restaurant. What follows is Jersey childishly banging pots and pans together while Reed opens up to Neve and explains that he’s always had to do things on his own because no one was very nice to him. Cry me a river, toolbox.
Vink tells Jersey that he wants to make her his protégé, and he’ll happily tell her the secret ingredient in his soup. It can be found in a large walk in freezer.
Oh what a surprise, the freezer happens to be the same room we saw in the beginning of the episode, and now it’s Jersey’s turn to take a seat. Immediately after she sits down, the gargoyle pops up and suddenly Jersey is thrown back, and a large blade starts swinging closer and closer to her throat. All the while Vink is screaming about how the gargoyle knows what scares her, and collecting what apparently is liquid fear in a container outside.
As soon as Neve and Reed come in to investigate all the screaming, the blade disappears and Jersey emerges from the freezer, remembering nothing. Reed and Neve confront Vink about it, with Reed acting like a tough guy and Vink decides to tell them the story of his secret ingredient. When he was travelling the world, he came upon a group of savage warriors who would never raise their swords. They had something more powerful, a statue that could reach into a person’s mind and manifest their greatest fear. The statue would draw out fear from those who came in contact with it, in liquid form.
And it is deeeeeelicious! That’s the secret ingredient in the soup, human fear. Neve puts it all together that Vink has been using his employees to gather fear, and that’s why everyone is quitting. Though I’m sure if she didn’t interrupt him, Vink would have eventually told them that himself. No credit for you Neve! Reed continues to act like a badass, claiming that he’s not afraid of Vink, so Vink suggests they find out what Reed is afraid of. Being a tool, Reed accepts.
And so Reed ends up in the freezer. Usual schtick happens, have a seat, gargoyle, it knows what scares you, it knooooows what scares you. So what scares Reed?
Apparently it’s his dead uncle, who was very cruel to him growing up. They don’t really elaborate on what he did, so lets make something up. Reed’s uncle would make him mow the lawn in a dress and then at night he would go into Reed’s room naked and beat him up. Terrific.
Neve can’t stand hearing Reed’s girlish squeals and opens the freezer door, much to Vick’s chagrin. I on the other hand, delight in Reed’s girlish squeals and think you should all totally go check it out. Why is Vick so against Neve opening the freezer? Because if you open the freezer while the gargoyle is still doing it’s business, it can escape. And of course it does.
Vink runs off to try and catch it, because once free it can just go around feeding on anyone. Though I suspect his motivations are more based on keeping his restaurant in business. Turns out he shouldn’t have left, as the gargoyle stuck around and soon begins scaring the crap out of Neve. Only this time, it’s been super sized.
Neve ends up getting locked in the freezer, which really just shows the gargoyle is lazy. Reed stands at the door and offers her words of encouragement like “don’t think about what scares you.” Yeah, I’m sure that’ll get her mind off of it. Doesn’t matter anyways, because Neve is claustrophobic. The walls start closing in as part of the gargoyle’s illusion, and Reed runs off rambling about facing your fear. What a hero.
Reed runs out to the dinning room where he again finds his undead uncle. Reed proceeds to yell about how it’s not real and slowly curl into a ball against the wall. Really showing some courage there Reed.
Reed manages to muster up some courage and attack his uncle, who disappears. He runs back into the freezer and tells Neve all about how he faced his fear and he’s sure Dr. Vink won’t be making any more of his soup. Dr. Vink however thinks otherwise, and locks them in the freezer with the gargoyle, because it still knows what scares them.
Now there’s a happy ending! After rewatching the episode, I’m really surprised I didn’t put it into my top 5. Unfortunately the list has been made, and I refuse to change it, so the Dangerous Soup will have to settle for being 6th best. It’s by far Dr. Vink’s best episode, as the character is at his most eccentric and villainous here. I can’t even complain about Reed being a loser, because the ending is so satisfying. Generally the episodes that end on down notes are far superior to the episodes that don’t. You spend 20 minutes being annoyed by a horrible actor, you don’t want to see him celebrate when it’s over. I just wish there were an extended ending scene in which Reed’s uncle locks Neve in his coffin, then strips down and kicks Reed’s ass all around the freezer.