S2E3: Curse of the Werepony
Tonight’s episodes, Curse of the Werepony and Girls’ Night, both have some great callbacks to horror movies of the past, and include some amazing guest-stars, along with focusing more on Evie. Our first episode starts in 1887 where we see the demise of a Willard’s Mill sheriff, who scoffs at the idea of a curse, and is promptly killed in a vicious pony attack. There are many phrases I end up saying in reviews for this show that would make no sense out of context–’vicious pony attack’ is one of them.
Back in present day, we meet Evie’s ex-husband, Kenny, who is played by none other than David Koechner ( you might know him as Todd Packer of The Office). He’s about what you would expect Evie to have married, and then divorced–an immature man-boy who bought their daughter a pony but expected Evie to take care of it. Of course, Stan likes him right away. The jokes in this episode fly hard and fast, and the entire cast seems to have found great comedic beats with each other. Denise, being so pure of heart, is of course determined to make sure the pony doesn’t feel small and is going to make him a tiny town–appointing him, “Mayor of Pony Town.” Which is great, except this is definitely the werepony, and he stakes his first kill, biting an old woman to death.
Of course Evie notices the pony is missing and goes searching for it–only to find Rusty, the human side of the pony. This is a reverse-were situation we have here; instead of being a pony by night, human by day, it’s the other way around. We are treated to a great practical effects scene of the pony transforming into Rusty, as well, harkening back to An American Werewolf in London.
Rusty keeps nagging (get it?) Evie, but she’s not interested–nor is she interested in reconnecting with Kenny, either, which causes him to cry like a baby. Stan, who has been allowing Kenny to stay with him (because of course he would–they were bros!), realizes exactly why Evie broke up with the man, and tries to break up with him, too.
This causes Kenny to have a little fit, and after a hilarious scene where Rusty ends up eating flowers (he’s a pony after all) in frustration at not being able to woo Evie, the two spurned men go out for drinks.
–well, not really. Rusty actually ties Kenny up in a barn as he wants Evie all to himself. He turns back into a pony and breathes on Kenny in a scene calling back to the original Alien.
Around this time, with Deputy Leon’s help, Evie realizes that Rusty is actually a werepony. Nothing is ‘normal’ in this town, after all. Evie and Stan arrive just in time to save Kenny, and with Rusty’s dying breath he confesses he couldn’t kill Evie because he grew to care for her–I guess beauty killed the beast, eh? (I’m full of jokes today, guys!)
S2E4: Girls’ Night
As usual, we start with a flashback, seeing how our ‘monster’ of the week works. This time the witch is played by none other than Jeffrey Combs, famous for Re-animator and The Frighteners. His character (who remains nameless), convinces the sheriff at the time to play a game of chance, and when he loses, compels him to kill himself; we haven’t seen powers work like this before, and it seems even more sinister than some of the other techniques our monsters have used.
In present day, Stan is stressed over Denise, who created her own waterbed–which just caused the ceiling above the living room to get gooey. Before he can make her leave the house so he can get some peace and quiet, Evie shows up, and gets him to leave, as it’s girls night! The girls are going to watch The Fiance, the show’s version of The Bachelor. Stan goes to the bar (of course), where our charlatan appears (of course). He starts trying to wager our former sheriff, while at the same time projecting himself into the television, hypnotizing Evie, making her think that she could win the show–only if she gets rid of Denise. …well gets rid of Denise and puts on makeup to make herself look pretty. She starts screaming at her friend, demanding, “Living woman’s makeup!” Again, it makes sense in context.
For Stan, he almost immediately realizes that this strange man is a witch of some sort, and asks him for assistance with the wraith’s eyes–he needs to find a man named Gerard Ducet; however, our charlatan of course just wants to kill sheriffs, not actually help. We do get to see an interesting flashback on why Stan decided to become a law officer: basically he likes the idea of having power over other people. And kicking a dying man is pretty fun (again…context). Finally willing to make a ‘bet’, Stan agrees that if he goes home and finds someone dead, he’ll end his life.
When he arrives, though, no one has died–despite Evie’s best attempts. Looking like a two year old who has played in her mother’s makeup, she starts attempting to kill Denise; lucky for our plucky girl, Leon arrived to crash the girls’ night and helps Denise avoid Evie long enough for Stan to get home. Of course, the con-man is furious over having lost the bet, so he demands one more attempt–this one Stan is willing to agree to. If Stan can get a coin to land not heads or tails, the witch has to kill himself; Stan uses that weird goopy part of the ceiling to hold the coin in place, basically conning the con. The man dies, furiously.
Honestly, these two episodes were such a blast. There were so many little call backs to old horror movies, and the new take on some old tropes was refreshing to see. The comedy continues to step it up, as well; getting to see Evie unhinged was a real treat. There were hints to moving the ‘going to the past’ plot, forward, so I’m interested to see where that goes, next.