This week’s Wednesday night comedy block on ABC featured a slew of Halloween themed episodes. Or, in The Neighbors‘ case — “Halloween-ween.”
Need an explanation? Here we go!
It’s their first human holiday in Hidden Hills and the Weavers are excited. So excited that when the episode begins the family is seen scoping out a suitable place to trick-or-treat — they’ve dreamed about the year they could not be in an apartment building. But when they get home, they discover their neighbors are…less than thrilled about he holiday.
In fact, the aliens are literally battening down the hatches — locking the gate, boarding the windows, preparing for what they believe to be an invasion of small humans. The bunch has prepared to “take them out” should action be necessary, armed with an arsenal of flaming arrows. The Weavers assure them that Halloween is a perfectly normal human tradition, by showing them their decked out home, which prompts the Zabvronians, particularly Jackie Joyner-Kersee (she even ends up dressing , into wanting to learn about the holiday “Halloween-ween” as they call it.
Larry Bird, however, is dead set against the celebration. The alien leader has built himself up as a hero for protecting his people from October 31st, comparing himself to Winston Churchill as a protector, and exclaims like a child “It’s my war and I want to keep it!”
For the children — both human and Zabvronian — this year’s Halloween brings the potential to change. Max, who usually does a buddy costume with Marty, decides that he would rather go trick-or-treating with the kids from school. Abby, accustomed to holding her parents’ hands all the way to the door, takes a brave step to do it on her own, “like a big girl,” and Amber changes her plan to make a political statement to “sex up” her costume and go to a party with kids from school. She even poses the option for Reggie Jackson to join her, pairing as a slutty nurse and a hot doctor.
When Debbie and Marty learn their childrens’ plans they’re upset, yet Jackie is thrilled that their schedules are now free to teach the Zabvronians about Halloween-ween. All through lessons on trick-or-treating and costumes Larry does his best to re-convince the community that Halloween is to be feared and he finally succeeds on the big night. Just as costumed children wait at the gates, the group begins to panic and they flee as soon as the kids start running into the neighborhood.
While the Weavers are out trick-or-treating with Abby and Dick (who dressed as someone he admires — Debbie Weaver, complete with a Marty Weaver puppet), the Zabvronians hole up in Larry and Jackie’s home. But when children start knocking on their door, Jackie must encourage her husband; she assures him that he is a great leader everyday, everyone just wants to learn and if he leads, they’ll follow. Larry braves the trick-or-treater at the door — an adorable little girl in a ladybug costume — successfully, and proclaims to the Zabvronians to return to their homes and “give the tiny humans the crap they desire!”
For Debbie and Marty, the night ends up a success as well, after Abby discovers she can make people think she has no candy. The little girl makes her parents hold what she’s gotten in an effort to get more from other houses, and makes them feel needed in her candy scam. Max finds that trick-or-treating with kids from school isn’t as fun as he expected — he’s not ready for the pressure of an elementary school girlfriend, and Amber and Reggie learn that they have more self-respect than other 16 year-olds and would rather spend the night with family.
Overall, the episode was fun. The Neighbors is just strange enough to enjoy and doesn’t demand to be taken seriously. There were certainly moments that made me laugh out loud, and moments that were touching. “Halloween-ween” showed how the humans and aliens want to hold onto their standing traditions, but ultimately learn to mix them with their new situations.
The Neighbors airs Wednesdays at 8:30 PM on ABC.
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