Themed episodes can sometimes be a drag, and other times they can be fantastic, summarizing everything that's great about a show AND a holiday in twenty or forty minutes, depending on the type of show that it is. Freaks and Geeks does a great job of taking Halloween and tying in the freaks and geeks into everything. Another impressive aspect of the episode is the way the plotline of the freaks and geeks effortlessly merge together. I felt as if they merged in previous episodes, to some extent, but not with the ease and the drama that it did in this episode.
I thought it was interesting the way the writers got Lindsey and Sam's parents integrated into the episode. Not so much the father, but the mother was given something to do, and I liked how her inclusion in the episode didn't worsen it at all. In fact, it added a layer of tragedy into the episode that made me actually feel some sort of emotion. Basically, the episode focuses on Sam, Neil and Bill as they struggle to decide whether or not they want to go trick-or-treating. As somebody who was similar to them in high school, I thought it was a plot that was realistic in the way it unfolded, mostly because it's one of those things that all of us have to decide: when are you too old to go trick-or-treating? When should you stop and should you be embarrassed if you keep going? I loved seeing all three of them create their own costumes, each one strange in their own way.
Meanwhile, Lindsey is lured into hanging out with Nick, Daniel and the rest of the "freaks," even though she promised her mother to hand out candy to the young kids that came by. It's interesting how the show is able to address two different views on trick-or-treating/Halloween antics in the same episode. While Sam struggles with growing up, Lindsey struggles with friends vs. family, something that just about everybody experiences throughout their life as they reach that age where being with your parents aren't as cool anymore. What I liked about this was, in the midst of Daniel, Kim and Ken being their typical sarcastic self, acting like burnouts and as if they don't care about anything, there's Jason Segel's character, Nick, who seems to be redeeming himself after his little snafu in last week's episode. He's a genuine guy and seems truly interested in Lindsey, to the point where he'll defend her against the jeers of the rest of his friends.
I mentioned earlier that the plots merge together, and it does so in a fantastic way. While Lindsey, Nick and the rest of them go around, vandalizing people's pumpkins and causing mayhem, Sam, Neil and Bill mope around the neighborhood, realizing they seem to have outgrown Halloween. Daniel pulls out eggs to throw at trick-or-treaters and Lindsey throws an egg directly into Sam's face. The entire scene where Lindsey tries to apologize to Sam is so heart-breaking that it makes me remember those awkward, embarrasing times in high school.. and when Nick tries standing up beside Lindsey and apologizing, it appears it's hurting him to see Lindsey so upset as well. Paul Feig is so good at getting those real feelings out of his actors.
The opening three episodes of Freaks and Geeks are as good as any other show I've seen. How could people not keep watching this show and keep the ratings up? I don't understand..