Continuing from the other day, we move on to Season 3 of Darkside. This was the first and only season to not have a Halloween episode which was countered by going full speed with the Christmas tale. While the other holiday eps simply happen to be based around the same time as the Christmas, this one is wholly dependent on the day.
The entire episode takes place in a happy little home with an even split population of mom, dad, son, and daughter. Though you might be confused as the age difference between ma & pa is bizarre. To put it in proper context, the dad is played by E.G. Marshall who was one of the grandparents in Christmas Vacation just a few years later. Dude's got close to forty years on the actress playing the mom! Maybe they just had E.G. on contract and threw him in wherever. Still; you can't watch this one without getting some weird vibes about the parents back-story. Definitely a sugar daddy situation.
Anyway; it's Christmas eve and the family's just chillin at home. Diner's over and now comes the long wait for Santa Claus. As the parents have decided to have an old fashioned Christmas the family won't be watching TV or anything like that. They have to deal with each other tonight.
It's established early on that the kids are a little mouthy and the parents are big fibbers. They give the kids some story about Santas switch that breaks your gifts when you insult him. Naturally the toy train set kicks it then and there. Foreshadowing!
Eventually the lil brats get bored and start begging for a story. Problem is, they already know all of them.....or do they? Mom & Dad commence telling them the scariest of all Xmas tales, about a hideous beast known as the grither. Oh and don't say that name out loud or else he'll hear it and come for you. Not to mention that every subsequent utterance makes him hasten in reaching your house to eat you.
This is both the strength and weakness of the tale. It's essentially watching someone set up the biggest joke they can think of. In scene after scene the parents come up with more B.S to back up their story. They even go so far as to change the lyrics of “Come All Ye Faithful” to “I Am The Grither.”
Before long, the kids are close to pants wetting levels of terror which peaks when their uncle burst through the front door looking like a mutant Sherpa. It's at this point that the parents decide to defuse the situation by telling the kids that just like Santa, the grither is make-believe and thous neither of them are coming to the house tonight.
Daughter dearest reminds everyone of some arbitrary rule about finishing the grither's story before he arrives. As if on cue, a freak blizzard opens the front door blowing people to and fro. Once the snow has settled and everyone thinks it's safe, two enormous white and veiny arms burst through the windows and grab ma & pa by their heads before snapping their little necks. Which leaves everyone else with unopened presents and a lifetime of therapy sessions.
While it lacks the variety and symbolism of “Monsters in my Closet,” “Seasons of Belief” works on it's pure Christmas setting and the odd sensation of watching two people go out of their way to torment their own children. Those kids should probably thank the grither for sparing them of future holidays with the pricks they call parents. Maybe that was the greatest gift of all.
There's still one more episode to cover. Depending on how much stuff is going on, I may be able to get that to you all late Christmas night. Otherwise I wish you all a very merry day. Hopefully you get some good gifts and a few nice memories. Failing that, you can always get bombed on eggnog. Have a good one everybody.