1.11 - Sam's Mom

Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 11
Episode Title: Sam’s Mom
Air Date: January 6, 2022
Written By: John Timothy
Directed By: Katie Locke O’Brien
Regular Cast: Rose McIver, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Brandon Scott Jones, Brandon Scott Jones, Danielle Pinnock, Asher Grodman, Román Zaragoza, Sheila Carrasco, Rebecca Wisocky, Devan Chandler Long
Guest Cast: Rachael Harris, Nadine Djoury, Rodrigues A. Williams, Betsy Sodaro, Stuart Fink, Nigel Downer, Arthur Holden, K.C. Coombs
Episode Images: Episode Stills | Screen Captures


Episode Summary

Sam walks into the upstairs hallway rolling a suitcase, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the ghosts: Sasappis, Hetty, Trevor, Pete, and Isaac. She explains that she and Jay are going away for the weekend to go see if her mom is a ghost in Ohio. Six years ago, her mom had an allergic reaction to shrimp and passed away. Sam is excited to visit the Buckeye state since she might have a chance to actually say goodbye to her mom, even though she’s not sure if she’d still be there or not. The ghosts remind her of their support – and also to leave the TV on before she goes. Some things never change, huh?

Pete stops by Sam and Jay’s room to ask Sam for help on how to tell Alberta that he has a crush on her. Sam repeats it out loud so now they have looped in Jay, too. Jay then proceeds to ask why, after decades of knowing her, is he only now making a move. Pete says how he’s a loyal guy, but after seeing how Carol cheated on him, it’s fair to say he’s ready to move on. Unfortunately, because Sam has one foot out the door, she tries to talk Pete out of telling Alberta his feelings. She also brings up the point that Alberta has only talked about dating “bootleggers or mob bosses” before, so Pete might not be her type. This naturally kinda upsets Pete, along with Sam harping that if Alberta doesn’t return his feelings it could be awkward for everyone, “for all eternity.” Yep. Sure could.

Sasappis meets Sam outside right before she leaves to remind her to keep the TV on. However, Jay accidentally makes a remark about how he hopes Pete telling Alberta that he likes her goes well, which Sass, of course, overhears. Sam pleads with him to not tell the others, and even though he is quite tempted, he promises to try and not tell anyone despite the secret being “a tasty morsel!”

Next shot we are in Ohio with Sam and Jay still waiting in the car. Sam is nervous since she hasn’t seen her mom in six years, and also has a bit of a rocky relationship with her. She recalls the last time they spoke was when they got into an argument during Thanksgiving regarding Sam’s career path and living up to her full potential. As always, Jay helps hype Sam up by looking at her strengths and what is going well versus focusing on what could be different. And once again, Sam appreciates him. I mean, seriously, she might be the only living person who can see ghosts, she’s practically a superhero! What Mom couldn’t be prouder? Well, we’ll see…

Back in New York, the ghosts are dealing with the new phenomena regarding the TV: the dreaded sleep mode. And since Jay put the remote away, Trevor can’t even easily press a button to turn the television on. Pete, being the scout troop leader that he is, attempts to lift their spirits (and boredom) by talking about the movie, Meatballs, like they used to do anyway. “Food club. Movie club,” and so on. Unfortunately, no one quite has the patience like pre-TV time, so Sasappis snaps and lets out Pete’s secret: “Pete’s planning on telling Alberta that he likes her.” He quickly apologizes despite the secret now being out in the open. Alberta suggests that they go into a private room to talk about this, but Isaac insists that they could all stay and celebrate together if it’s good news… “Yeah, maybe the other room?” This response quickly makes Pete defensive as he starts to lie about how that’s not the truth. No, Sass must’ve heard Jay and Sam wrong, Pete doesn’t like Alberta. No, he likes… his girlfriend. This news shocks and surprises the other ghosts, including Trevor’s vaguely jealous comment: “Girlfriend? What, you got a girlfriend?” Most of them are still impressed with Pete’s supposed updated relationship status… that is until he claims that they don’t actually know her because she lives downstairs. Yep, in the cholera pit. Well, of course, they’d all love to meet her! So, Pete heads downstairs to invite his 100% real, totally not fake Canada— I mean, Cholera girlfriend so he can introduce her to the ghosts. Haha, yay…

Back to the culturally-confusing restaurant, Mojitown, Sam is looking around trying to spot her mom as a ghost — and she does! ”Oh, my god,Sam and her mom repeat back to each other a total of three times.

Sam and her mom catch up. The mom has a few ghosts there she can talk to, like Sondra and Peggy Sue. She also mentions that her ironic ghost power, despite being allergic to shellfish, is temporarily making the livings burp up shrimp breath, which she demonstrates on Jay. They also catch up about Sam’s career, specifically her juggling opening the B&B while also only being a freelance journalist for a local paper. “Oh,” Sam’s mom replies. Sam is hit by that disappointment so she starts to lie that she has connections to The New York Times staff to try and impress her mom instead, which she’s proud of…for about two seconds. Sam gets hurt again that even her lies don’t seem like they’re good enough to impress her mom without some critique or extra push that she wasn’t asking for. So, it seems like they got into an argument. Again. (Sigh).

Pete is also caught in his own sticky situation as he heads downstairs to the cholera pit for a volunteer to be his fake girlfriend. Most of them decline since they don’t like going upstairs – besides Nancy. She instead confessed that she’s bored and wants a better afterlife than standing and talking about a water heater. Pete is a bit hesitant to accept her as his fake girlfriend, but because literally, no one else is volunteering, he is stuck with her — and not just because of her infected wound (see what I did there?).

So now that it’s just Jay and Sam’s mom, Sheryl, he asks her if she can meet Sam halfway because she can be too critical at times. Like, Sam traveled all the way back to Ohio to try and reconnect with her, but all they’ve done is argue. Jay eats an appetizer as one of the other ghosts sides with him. Sondra reminds Sheryl of when another ghost finally got closure, they ascended, so Sheryl agrees that if she makes some kind of breakthrough with Samantha, she can ascend, too.

Back to Pete and his new girlfriend, Nancy, now upstairs and meeting all of the ghosts. The ghosts are pictured with their array of shocked and disgusted expressions of disbelief. Nancy proceeds to introduce herself. She’s from Albany, but got sick, and was thrown in the basement. Not a great start. Hetty asks how they met, and Nancy claims it was because Pete was downstairs “trolling for sex,” which he obviously says is a joke and how he likes her sense of humor. They are not very convinced. Trevor gestures and asks “what are some of the other things,” that he likes about her, and he attempts to pretend that he loves talking about the water heater which he obviously is equally knowledgeable about just like Nancy. He sure loves that water heater!

Once Sam returns back to the table with Jay and Sheryl, her mom begins to apologize for how she’s acted too critical toward her. She also asks Sam for her forgiveness… a few times actually. In disbelief, Sam feels like her mom is faking an apology to try and ascend, or get “sucked off”, so Sam once again storms off.

While upset in the car, Sam complains about how she can’t believe she almost believed her mom would apologize and change. Jay tries to comfort her by suggesting that her mom loves her in her own way. Not every mom praises their kids a ton like Champa Arondekar. He understands that Sam and her mom are getting into an argument just like they did the last time they spoke, so he encourages her to take advantage of this second chance instead and finish talking to her mom while she still can. Sam thanks him for the good advice. Can he call his mom to tell her that? Okay, maybe not right this second, but soon.

After some time, Pete feels like it’s about time for Nancy to head back downstairs, which is surprisingly met to most of the ghosts’ objections. Nancy agrees. She starts to keep lying about how they were sneaking around and spending “every night in Pete’s room,” together. Pete’s had enough. Turning Nancy around, she states how she doesn’t want to go back downstairs yet. And, yes, it does sound like a threat. She then quickly squeezes him before he can object even more, which is met again by the ghosts’ discomfort, too.

Walking back inside, Sam looks for her mom. Instead, Peggy Sue tells her how much her mom brags about her to Sam’s surprise. Sheryl finds her and explains why she pushes and criticizes so much: “I just want you to have everything you’ve ever wanted.” And, well, Sam is happy. Also, Sheryl invites Sam to return there for Thanksgiving (to reconnect, not eat the restaurant’s food). But just before they start to confirm the holiday plan… Sheryl starts to ascend. Once more, for the last time, she emphasizes how proud she is of Sam, and they’re able to share one last goodbye.

Cut back to the living room, Nancy is still going on about “doing it” with Pete in oddly specific detail. Isaac and Sasappis are disgusted. However, Alberta remarks to Pete that since Nancy is happy then he must be a good boyfriend. Then sighs, “I wish I could be treated well like Nancy.” By that, she means that she admits she had poor taste in boyfriends when she was alive, perhaps because she didn’t think she deserved better. Pete reassures her that she does deserve better. “You deserve the best.” Unfortunately, Nancy got the “last honest guy,Alberta says, trying to give Pete an out for fake-dating Nancy, but he still sticks with the unfortunate situation he got himself into. Sam and Jay then return as Nancy briefly introduces herself as Pete’s girlfriend before she and Pete leave the room. What was that? “Sleep mode, Sam. Sleep mode happened,Sasappis remarks.

Before bed, Jay checks in with Sam about her mom. She has mixed feelings about finally saying goodbye to her mom, but her mom is now gone because she was sucked off. Despite the criticism, it was nice to know someone cared that much about her. And in walks Hetty to be just as caring as she is critical. Sam ends the scene with a smile on her face and a new appreciation for her matriarchs.

Episode Quotes

  • “We’re sorry about your mom, Sam.” -Sasappis
  • “Okay, but remember to keep your wits about you amongst those buckeyes. Rutherford B. Hayes was from Ohio, so…” -Hetty
  • “Not every spirit is lucky enough to be trapped in an endless purgatory.” -Isaac
  • “And also to remind you to leave the TV on when you go.” -Sasappis
  • “Well, I’m a loyal guy, and my wife was still very much alive. But then you asked her to come visit the house, and I found out she was a dirty, lying cheater. So, long story short, I’m ready to move on.” -Pete
  • “It’s like watching Friends, except you can’t see or hear Friends, and you only have one person to tell you what it’s about.” -Sam
  • “Oh, you don’t think I’m a bad boy? You know, I ripped the tag off a mattress one time. That’s a federal offense, baby.” -Pete
  • “I promise I’ll try not to say anything! But this is a tasty morsel!” -Sasappis
  • “Uh-huh. And that means I’m doing it with a superhero, which, as you know, is, like, a big dream of mine.” -Jay
  • “One of you mating with Pete?” -Thorfinn
  • “He came downstairs trolling for sex.” -Nancy
  • “Hey, hon. Is your mom still here? ‘Cause I’m sort of hoping she didn’t just sit there and watch me eat an entire appetizer platter for six.” -Jay
  • “I can’t believe you would say all of those things just to get sucked off.” -Sam
  • “Busted. I’m a dirty, dirty dog.” -Jay
  • “Sometimes, when we’re doing it, I’ll get on his back like a horse, and I’ll steer him around by his arrow.” -Nancy
  • “I wish I could be treated well like Nancy.” -Alberta
  • “Well, don’t stay like that. You’ll get laugh lines, and your husband will wander. Must I teach this girl everything?” -Hetty