1.14 - Ghostwriter

Episode Number: Season 1, Episode 14
Episode Title: Ghostwriter
Air Date: February 24, 2022
Written By: Josh Malmuth, John Timothy
Directed By: Kimmy Gatewood
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: Tristan D. Lalla, Gregory Zaragoza
Episode Images: Episode Stills | Screen Captures


Episode Summary

Zoom into the snowy Woodstone Mansion as Sam and Jay try to think of a slogan for the B&B website. Does Sam like Jay’s suggestion? “Maybe…” but don’t be fooled, it’s simply a polite way to say that she “hates it and [is] letting [Jay] down easy,” or at least that’s Hetty’s translation. Isaac walks in to watch along with Trevor, Alberta, Thorfinn, Sasappis, and Hetty. Jay is not surprised that the ghosts are in the kitchen with them and actually assumes that they’re everywhere, which is why he wears a bathing suit while showering. It’s true. “It’s got little duckies on it.Jay wants to take a step back and just write something simple for the website, but Sam’s perfectionism inevitably comes out. Sam says that she wants to make the best impression possible, so Jay leaves and allows her to finish fixing up the website on her own. They have to get it up and running sooner than later so they can make a living unless they find another valuable ghost watch – but Sam has to take it off the next corpse. Jay laughs, “Oh… what is my life even.”

Jay and Pete are commenting over a basketball game featuring Sam as the translator. Jay likes that Pete gets him and enjoys having him around – besides the fact that he can’t see or hear him. But they don’t let that stop them! Jay tries to ask Sam if she’s finished the website yet, but she changes the subject back to the basketball game and Pete’s supposed comment: “Good hustle on the backboards.” Good hustle on the backboards? That’s nonsense, Sam. Jay insists Sam needs to go and finish up the website and stop stalling, so she agrees to leave, but also checks that Jay and Pete will be fine without her translating. Although they’re a bit hesitant, they insist to Sam that they will probably, definitely, be okay… maybe. Once Sam leaves, they do their handshake and Pete is thrilled although Jay is unsure if they “nailed it,” but they return to sitting and watching the game anyway.

Sasappis pops into Sam’s office to check how the website is coming together, but she not-so-subtly shuts her laptop to hide her screen filled with veteran-dog reunion videos instead… Ok, yes, maybe she’s a bit distracted. Sasappis understands the writer’s block struggle since he was a storyteller back in his day, too. Well, despite it being an oral tradition, he still sympathizes with Sam’s slump. Cut to the year 1513, Sass tells his father that he wants to be a storyteller. Unfortunately, his father is concerned if Sasappis is similar to him and lacks “the gift”, so instead, he encourages Sass to try something safer like being a hunter or warrior. “Yeah. Great,Sass replies unenthusiastically. We then cut back to the present day with Sam commenting that even “across cultures and centuries, parents still find a way to put their own crap on us, huh,” although she offends Sass.

…JK. Haha, she’s fun to mess with.

Anyway, Sass offers a helping hand to Sam to help with the website, which she gratefully accepts… after they watch a few more dog reunion videos. Aww.

Jay and Pete attempt to still commentate and watch the game together despite the literal communication barrier. Flower offers to “talk basketball” with Pete since she grew up playing with her three older brothers, but Pete dismisses her by saying how he doesn’t talk with just anyone about basketball. It’s his and Jay’s “thing”. Hm. And, hello, Mark! He walks into the TV room and Jay invites him to watch college ball with him, and he accepts! But oops! Mark “takes” Pete’s seat (aka phases through him). Aw, poor Pete 🙁

Sass and Sam are now brainstorming in the kitchen about ways to spice up the website and make it stand out. Ooh! Ooh! Sasappis has an idea! What if they wrote the website from the perspective of a TREE! “…a tree?” Sam hesitates. Sass explains how the tree is almost like a symbol for the ghosts as narrators since they’ve been on the property forever and seen a lot of change. And the best part – the tree’s name: Woody! Haha! Sam begrudgingly shakes her head and responds with a fake-polite “maybe,” but Sass knows what that really means. Hmmm.

Back to the basketball game, Jay and Mark are watching it despite Pete standing behind them and mocking Mark while Flower, Isaac, Thorfinn, and Trevor watch in utter confusion. Pete tries to clarify that he brought them into the room to one-up Jay for seemingly prioritizing spending time with Mark over Pete. But like Trevor points out about Pete’s flawed logic, Jay can’t even see or hear them, so Pete’s jealousy “plan” is, well, illogical. Pete attempts to overcompensate by emphasizing that they’re not there because of Pete’s FOMO or anything, noo the real “plan” is just wanting to spend some more quality time with his “ghost bros :D”. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a bust because Thorfinn just talks about Danes, Trevor brings up dating, and Isaac insults Massachusetts (as a colony) since Flower told him that’s where the game was invented. They upset Pete so he admits how they can’t easily replace Jay and allows them to leave. Although Thor and Isaac are relieved, Trevor sympathizes with Pete by giving him a brief pat on the shoulder, and Flower insists that she can stay to watch, but Pete, again, just dismisses her.

Back in the office, Sam and Sasappis are continuing to argue over the B&B website, specifically the tree thing again. Sam spots Hetty and Alberta walking by and asks them for help because she and Sass are having issues working together. Hetty and Alberta point out that they are “both creative talents,” but that both of them also “think [they’re] always right,” and Alberta agrees they’re a mismatched creative pair. Sasappis gives up and states that maybe they shouldn’t work together, and Sam agrees, which Sass repeats back with the annoyed “maybe…” and leaves.

Hetty then walks by and sees Flower wallowing alone in her room so she asks her what’s wrong. Flower explains that she wanted to watch the basketball game with Pete, but is upset that she was ignored despite her loving basketball and clearly knowing more about the game than the other guys Pete was trying to connect with do. In high school, Flower played on the school team – that is, when she wasn’t distracted getting high with the point guard during halftime. Haha, oh, Flower. Anyway, Flower is upset that not only does she have a passion for the sport that the other guys don’t share, but that it’s been fifty years since the sexual revolution and is disappointed that she STILL isn’t being treated like an equal…at all. Hetty agrees with her frustration and encourages her to “talk to Pete,” about him disrespecting her. Flower is surprised and asks if Hetty is a feminist now, and Hetty believes that she is! (other than still not supporting women handling money or riding bicycles, but you know, baby steps 🙂

Sam is now in the living room with Thor patiently waiting for her to work on the website. Sam claims that she’s not just sitting, she’s also thinking, which is in fact a very important step in the writing process. But, she will take a break and grab a snack, so Thor joins her. Then out of nowhere, Sasappis and Trevor sneak into the living room to use Sam’s laptop. Trevor is hesitant and questions why they would mess with the computer, so Sass insists that once his idea is actually written out, then Sam will understand how genius the tree thing is. Trevor understands and uses his ghost power to use the computer, but accidentally moves the website file to the trash…and also accidentally empties the trash, thus deleting the B&B website. “Uh Oh,” Trevor mumbles as Sass realizes what they’ve done. They are in so much trouble…run? Run.

Pete and Jay walk into the dining room with Sam, Thorfinn, and Alberta as Jay recalls how much fun he had watching basketball with Mark, especially because he can actually interact with him, which of course frustrates Pete. “Why don’t you take the arrow out of my nack and plunge it into my back,Pete exclaims before he storms out of the room. Jay asks Sam how the website is coming along and she tries to show him but can’t seem to find the file on her computer. Also, she confesses that she doesn’t back up to the cloud (storage) either, so they have no way of retrieving the file. Sasappis and Trevor walk in an attempt to explain what they did. Sass blames Trevor first, but Trevor defends himself by saying how Sass wanted him to write his tree stuff down and that’s why he was messing with it. Sam seems oddly neutral about their mistake and forgives them easily. A bit too easily. Jay points out her weird behavior but she tries to just defend the ghosts anyway. He understands and problem-solves by suggesting that they can just get something out there so they can start the business, but this, unfortunately, leads Sam into a spiral. Sam insists that the website must be perfect because once it’s out there, “there’s no turning back,” and feels like the weight of the business’s success is all on her shoulders as she leaves the room in distress.

Next, we see Flower confront Pete about how she’s been “bummed out,” by him throughout the day. Pete finally listens to Flower about that even though she’s a girl, she loves and is knowledgeable about basketball. Pete admits that that is something he wasn’t aware of and Flower points out the obvious: “Because you judged a book by its cover.” Pete apologizes for his oblivious behavior and realizes the hypocrisy of being so caught up with how Jay was “ditching” him that he never noticed how he was “ditching” her. Flower then proceeds to make some basketball-banter references, but because they are before Pete’s time, he is blissfully ignorant and doesn’t know anything she is talking about. Patiently, Flower sees that she can help catch Pete up on basketball history, so she proceeds to explain the history of the game from the beginning of the sport in 1891 Massachusettes to help educate Pete.

Sass joins Sam in the kitchen and empathizes with her fear of failure if the B&B doesn’t end up working out. He opens up about how his father’s fear of not having “the gift” got into Sass’ head and he got scared. Flashback #2 time: Sasappis tells his dad how he’s worried if he’s not a good storyteller for the Fall Harvest Ceremony, but his father admits that his concern if Sasappis didn’t have “the gift” was really about the father because he doesn’t have “the gift”. But, Sasappis does. His father gifts him an eagle feather which “represents bravery and courage” and would help to comfort him while he told his stories, but tragically, he died before he got the chance to. Instead, he symbolically passes his (ghost) feather onto Sam so she will have that extra strength and support to finish the website so they can open the Bed & Breakfast. It’s a ghost feather though, so it doesn’t leave his person, but symbolically, it’s Sam’s now. Aww 🙂 Sam asks if Sass ever told his stories to the ghosts, but he excuses them because they’re always wrapped up in their own stuff so he hasn’t before. Jay then walks in to start his whole encouraging speech, but Sass already helped Sam have her daily emotional breakthrough, so he’s all good. Jay then wallows away because the ghosts are “always stealing [his] thunder,” aw, poor Jay.

Skip to later at night, Sam is showing the now completed website to Jay, and the rest of the ghosts behind them, tree-narrator and all! They then officially make the website live so they can start getting guest reservations in four short weeks. And they are…live! Anything new yet? “It’s been four seconds,Sam. Jay then tries to turn on the TV for the Big East Championship game, but uh oh, the TV isn’t turning on. Hmm, what ever will they do for entertainment? “Is anyone here a gifted storyteller,Pete quips as they all turn to face Sasappis. Sass suspects that Sam had something to do with this, and she bashfully responds with a more positive, “maybe…” Sass then accepts and stands in front of them all, touches his eagle feather for good luck, then starts to tell his story. This sequence is also beautifully coupled with the song “Don’t Be Shy” by Cat Stevens as we see all of the proud and emotional expressions on the ghosts’ and livings’ faces as Sass shares his story. He tells of a Lenape tale about “the turkey, the turtle, and the wolf,” as we hear little bits here and there, then heart-warmingly ends with the conclusion, “It goes to show that us ghosts and the Livings are more connected than we realize,” which is met by applause and appreciation from all who are listening. We even see a brief fade in and out of Sasappis remembering his father when he originally gave him the eagle feather all those years ago. It really does come full circle here when Sasappis finally allows himself to take up space, share his story, and fulfill the role as a storyteller that he has always believed himself to be.

Episode Quotes

  • “Still? Good God, it’s not the Magna Carta, Sam. Chop, chop.” – Isaac
  • “I assume they’re everywhere. That’s why I shower with a bathing suit.” – Jay
  • “That’s true. It’s got little duckies on it.” – Alberta
  • “look, I get it. Storyteller back in my day. It was an oral tradition, but I liked to put my own spin on things, and sometimes the inspiration wasn’t coming so fast.” – Sasappis
  • “Maybe try something safer, like hunter or warrior?” – Naxasi
  • “Across cultures and centuries, parents still find a way to put their own crap on us, huh?” – Sam
  • “I’m supposed to help my wife with TurboTax today, so… hell yeah, let’s do this.” – Mark
  • “Thor like putting head of Dane in basket. Give basket to Dane’s mother. Surprise! Very funny.” – Thorfinn
  • “Massachusetts? Well, it must be a game for simpletons. No, there… there were some nice people there, but certainly a lesser colony.” – Isaac
  • “Um, a little, but-but I do know how much you enjoy being disheveled and sweaty, so that’s not a far cry.” – Hetty
  • “I thought that after the sexual revolution… That this stuff would get better. That women would really be equal, but now it’s 50 years later, and Pete isn’t treating me like an equal at all.” – Flower
  • “Why don’t you take the arrow out of my neck and plunge it into my back?” – Pete
  • “You really bummed me out today, man. You’re all like, “Jay won’t talk to me, wah, wah, wah!” And the whole time, I’m sitting there waiting to be the Bob Cousy to your Bill Russell.” – Flower
  • “I didn’t have the gift, but you do. I know because I’ve watched you your whole life. I’m giving you this eagle feather. It represents bravery and courage. It’ll give you the strength you need.” Naxasi
  • “And now I give it to you. It’s scary spreading your wings to try something new, but you can do this. it’s a ghost feather, so it kind of just zaps right back into place, but symbolically it’s yours.” – Sasappis
  • “This first one is a Lenape tale about the turkey, the turtle, and the wolf. They say that there are three persons, or human-like animals, that started the Lenape…” – Sasappis

Episode Trivia

  • In this episode, Naxasi the father of Sasappis (Román Zaragoza) is actually played by Román‘s real father, Gregory Zaragoza.