Prepare yourselves for angst and angry stomp outs and lots of “I hate yous” because she’s baaaaaaack. Woodstone’s resident ’80s teen ghost Stephanie has been awoken from her attic slumber (remember, teenage ghosts hibernate for most of the year) and is once again looking to wreak havoc on the Woodstone mansion. Teenagers are objectively scarier than ghosts, so a teenage ghost? Terrifying. No one is safe.
This time around, Jay accidentally wakes Stephanie up while trying to hide some fancy sneakers he bought while off in NYC for the weekend, a purchase he’s trying to keep secret from Sam, instead telling her that he spent the entire time playing Dungeons & Dragons and having the time of his life. I mean, that part is mostly true and very sad, he just omits the sneakers thing. It’s a little secret Stephanie uses to her advantage when she takes it upon herself to destroy every single couple at Woodstone one by one. You’ll remember that Stephanie has a whopper of a crush on Trevor, but since she’s eternally a teenager and he is a grown man, he wants nothing to do with her. It doesn’t matter that, as she reminds him, she’s technically 54 years old; this is never happening. Plus, he informs her, he’s a taken man these days.
And that’s the beginning of the end: Once Stephanie hears that not only have Trevor and Hetty, of all people, paired off, but that Thor and Flower and Isaac and Nigel have too, Stephanie is livid about being alone. Sam tries to comfort her with a quote from Sixteen Candles, Stephanie’s favorite movie, and Jay tries to comfort her with the hopeful thought that one day maybe a teenage boy will get into a gruesome car accident on the property and Stephanie will find love with him. Jay is nothing if not a romantic, you know? But it doesn’t matter; Stephanie is now on the warpath to destroy every couple she can.
Stephanie shows Sam the sneakers hidden in the attic. When Sam starts asking Jay about his weekend, an unexpected truth emerges: Jay had a job interview for the head chef position at his old restaurant in the city. He misses a lot of their old life — especially, you know, being able to talk to and hear the people around him. He’s not unhappy, but he’s not not unhappy, just a little bit. What can they do? Sam can’t live in New York, it’s a horror show, but she also doesn’t want Jay to constantly wish he was somewhere else. This isn’t just some tiff over expensive sneakers; this is a major issue Jay and Sam will have to deal with.
In the end, though, Stephanie’s plan backfires. After Sam learns the sneakers — well, half of the sneakers — belong to Mark, the contractor, and Mark reminds Sam that there’s a barn on the property that needs a lot of work but has good bones, Sam has an idea: She thinks Jay should convert the barn into a destination restaurant. Jay loves the idea, loves his wife, and loves that Mark is going to be his business partner in this venture. He probably loves that last thing the most. No offense to Sam, but Jay really needs some friends.
Stephanie’s other attempts at becoming the Destroyer of Love at Woodstone have about the same success rate. She reminds Thor and Flower that they have nothing in common, which honestly is old news, but the two eventually realize they both have “knowledge of owls” and that’s … not nothing, apparently? Those two and the concept of owls will be just fine. Stephanie also plants a seed in Trevor’s head that now that he and Hetty are loving out loud, he’ll be stuck doing boring boyfriend stuff. She isn’t necessarily wrong: Trevor gets trapped in a painfully boring double date with Isaac and Nigel in which the topic, for hours, is simply tea. And the only thing Trevor has to offer the conversation is his love for Snapple, and that reference just does not land. Both Trevor and Hetty agree that things were much better and much hotter when they were sneaking around and hooking up. Hetty didn’t have to worry about having a boyfriend whose “knowledge of steam engines [is] rudimentary at best.” In the end, they stage a public fight to make it look like they’ve ended things, but it’s a trick: They meet back in “the shadows” and pick things up where they left them. It’s a win-win. Trevor and Hetty win because they get to actually enjoy being with one another again, and we win because we get to hear Hetty say, “Now take me, you bare-assed libertine.” On what other show, friends? On what other show?
If you’re keeping count, that’s three strikes for Stephanie. She doesn’t even attempt to take on Isaac and Nigel. Perhaps she was moved by Isaac’s retelling of how they got together: “It’s sort of an adorable story: He’s British, and I killed him.” Stephanie is pretty wrecked over the fact that just because she died as a teenager, she’s been relegated to spending eternity alone since no other teens are on the property. It’s Nancy, the cholera ghost, who saves the day: Hasn’t Stephanie met Ralph before? No one’s met Ralph before! Ralph is a teen cholera ghost who’s been hanging out in the basement this whole time. Could this be true love? Well, there is one major roadblock: Ralph is wearing glasses and looks like a total dork. But wait! “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins, famously from Sixteen Candles, starts playing, Ralph slowly removes his glasses, and Stephanie has never gazed upon someone so hot. “You look like that under those?” she asks in amazement. They head up to the attic to have some awkward small talk (“So what kind of music do you like?” “I only heard music three times in my life.”) before having their own Samantha Baker/Jake Ryan kiss moment. And just like that, Stephanie’s reign of terror winds up giving all of the Woodstone couples a happy ending. What will her sojourn down from the attic bring next year?
Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun
• Rose McIver always nails those awkward moments when she has to cover up that she was talking to ghosts, but the one in this episode, in which she has to cover with Mark — a never-ending spewing of “Guys, my guy, my man, my dude, Mark, Marky-Mark” — was one of the best. As Sas puts it, “Ugh, it never gets less painful to watch.”
• We only see her once a season, but Odessa A’zion makes the most out of her time on Ghosts — she’s always a welcome addition.
• Alberta on Sam and Jay: “I’m rooting for them. It’s gonna be a bummer watching them wither and die, but right now, this is nice.”
• I love that Hetty’s only contribution to the summary of what Stephanie missed over the past year was “We all met Tara Reid.”
• Poor Sas. No one remembers that he dated car ghost Jessica for like a week a few months ago. Sas has really been MIA in this back half of the season, hasn’t he? More Sas in season three!