Isaac

Isaac is a Revolutionary war leader of soldiers and spirits alike and is deeply insecure about his place in history. His rivalry with the founding forefathers, notably Alexander Hamilton, brings out his most jealous and snarky nature.

 

Played by: Brandon Scott Jones
Family members:
Abilities: Combat Readiness, Diplomacy, Negotiation, Public Speaking, Nation Building and Political Discourse.
Ghostly Ability: Able to make people smell flatulence when walking through him.
Occupation in life: Revolutionary War captain; statesman
Cause of death: Dysentery

Personality

A fascinating blend of contradictions makes up Isaac’s personality. Raised in the colony of New York (‘Ghosts: the Musical‘) and later educated at Dartmouth College (‘Hello’) he is pompous and well-bred in bearing, but prone to envy and making salty remarks of his more well-known contemporaries. Some have speculated that his inflated ego could be a cover for insecurity and an effort to hide a tender heart.

As seen in ‘Hello,’ Isaac struggles with a deep longing to be well-known and admired as a ‘founding father’ like the celebrated politicians he knew. Snarky, sassy and quick-witted, Isaac loves to brag about his experiences but made critical mistakes and tactical errors in both his military and political careers. Isaac has a love for name-dropping, gossip and drama, often poking fun at others, but is quick to forgive and to apologize himself (‘Dinner Party,’ ‘D&D,’ and ‘Alberta’s Fan’).

While he has been called the ‘brains’ of the ghostly group, and was innovative on the battlefield (‘D&D’), Isaac shows a fierce loyalty to his fellow ghosts, and demands the same in return (‘Halloween’). While being the third oldest ghost in the mansion (behind Thorfinn and Sasappis), Isaac keeps his political dreams active by serving as a leader amongst the ghosts and protector of the mansion (‘Halloween,’ ‘D&D’). Keenly observant and curious, Isaac is almost always part of the ghostly ‘welcoming committee’ for those who visit the mansion. Even though he is not seen or heard, he typically has an opinion of each person or situation he encounters (‘Pilot,’ ‘Possession,’ ‘Alberta’s Fan’). As for Sam, Jay and his fellow upstairs ghosts, Isaac demonstratives an attentive attitude, while sometimes boasting of his own importance in the effort. (‘D&D,’ ‘Ghostwriter’).

Flamboyant and light-hearted in his attitude and mannerisms, Isaac is well-known for having dramatic facial and eye expressions and exaggerated gestures. In keeping with his fancy and vibrant nature, he has a passion for tea parties, fancy dinners, and musical theater.

He was believed to be closeted gay throughout the earlier part of the series, based on his many comments on the male physique and his affection for British commander Nigel Chessum (D&D’). Unfortunately, he is painfully awkward in the bedroom. In ‘Thorapy,’ after failing to seduce Hetty in order to deflect attention from him and Nigel, Isaac comes out to Hetty by telling her his eye has indeed been on Nigel. But he confesses to her he is unnprepared to tell Nigel of this himself.

While Isaac’s life was cut short before he achieved his dreams, as a ghost, he maintains a sense of self-importance and determination to fulfill the potential he was denied of while among the living.

Note: Many of the points for Isaac featured here were contributed by ‘Ghosts’ fans on social media. Thank you!

History

Isaac Higgintoot attended Dartmouth College (‘Hello’); his area of study is unknown but he sought to distinguish himself through politics and the military. Isaac sat on the precipice of U.S. history, an observer and bit player in the creation of the new country, but not making the significant contribution he truly wanted to make. He served as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress (‘Alberta’s Fan’), and knew many notable early American leaders. He was also married, to a ‘handsome woman’ named Beatrice, but they slept in separate bedrooms during their marriage. (‘Hello’).

Isaac took great pride in his military career, achieving the rank of captain in the U.S. Continental Army. In 1777, Isaac created a weapon he called the ‘Eyesaac’ — a spy glass attached to a musket — to spy on British Lt. Col. Nigel Chessum across the battlefield (‘D&D’). Not long thereafter, Isaac accidentally discharged the weapon, killing Nigel, an anguishing secret Isaac kept for over two centuries.

Later in 1777, Isaac negotiated the surrender of Fort Ticonderoga in New York to the British (‘Hello’). Two weeks later, on the grounds of what would become the Woodstone mansion, Isaac dies of dysentery (‘Hello’).

As a ghost, Isaac is able to release the smell of flatulence whenever a ‘living’ walks through him (‘Pilot’). This ability is related to the intestinal disease that killed him. Isaac revealed that in 1883, he temporarily possessed the body of one of Hetty Woodstone’s workmen when the mansion was wired for electricity (‘Possession’).

Even in death, Isaac maintains a strong drive to be a leader amongst the upstairs ghosts, but was saddened to learn he was only a ‘footnote in history’ and that his rival Alexander Hamilton achieved great success and recognition (‘Hello’).

Under Isaac’s direction, the Woodstone spirits engage in surveillance and other general haunting and house-bound activities. He even rallied them to torment Sam until she acknowledged their existence (‘Hello’). Later, he talked her into writing his biography ‘Hello’).

Over the course of Sam and Jay’s time living at the Woodstone Mansion, Nigel has grown to become a pivotal part of Isaac’s life. In ‘D&D,’ Sam discovered a shed on the property that was to be torn down, which was occupied by three British Revolutionary War ghosts, to include Nigel, the man whom Isaac accidentally killed. Before this, Isaac and Nigel parleyed periodically to discuss matters still pertinent to the Revolutionary War. After much agonizing worry, Isaac confessed to Nigel that he had indeed, been the sniper who shot him. Infuriated, Nigel threatened to take over the Woodstone. Despite being broken-hearted over Nigel’s reaction, Isaac valiantly defended the Woodstone from Nigel’s invasion. Later, Isaac apologized to Nigel for not being forthcoming about the circumstances of Nigel’s death (‘D&D’). Isaac’s confession and apology served to deepen their friendship and their meetings grew to become a daily occurrence (‘Thorapy’).

With the Woodstone B&B due to open, Sam and Jay had the ghosts share bedrooms in order to finish up renovation of rooms (‘Thorapy’). Isaac and Hetty rather reluctantly agreed to share a room. Concerned that his fellow ghosts were focusing on Isaac’s growing relationship with Nigel, Isaac decided to make an attempt at seducing his new roommate Hetty. Hetty’s enthusiasm for Isaac’s amorous intentions deflated Isaac’s advances and his ‘mission’ failed. In a state of sorrow, Isaac later returned to Hetty to apologize. At that point, he also came out to her over his feelings for Nigel (‘Thorapy’), although Isaac related that he was not yet ready to tell Nigel.

From there, a 130-year friendship deepened and flowered into something greater and more powerful between Hetty and Isaac.

As unique events have transpired at the Woodstone Mansion, Isaac has expanded his relationships with his fellow ghosts, and has seen his own character grow in the process. In ‘Trevor’s Pants,’ Isaac, along with Hetty, Alberta, Sasappis and Sam, put Ari Cantor on notice for his involvement in Trevor’s death and disposal of the body. When he, and the others, were caught up in teenage ghost Stephanie’s ‘mean girl’ trick on Sam, Isaac expressed anger at Stephanie for her actions and apologized to Sam. But at Sam’s encouragement, was a part of the ‘ghost prom’ Sam puts on in Stephanie’s honor. And finally, in ‘Farnsby & B,’ Isaac musters the courage to approach Nigel at Hetty’s encouraging, only to be told by Jenkins that Nigel had been ‘sucked off.’ Despite his sorrow at this news, Isaac is the first to offer Sam gratitude for what she has done for the ghosts, when there was the concern that her attempt at reversing Thorfinn’s Norse curse might prevent her from seeing them anymore. Later, Nigel confronts Isaac over Jenkin’s lie that Isaac had an interest in Thorfinn. At that point, Isaac ‘comes out,’ telling Nigel that he likes him, with Nigel reciprocating the sentiment.

The first episode of Season Two ‘Spies‘, finds Isaac and Nigel slowly moving forward in their relationship. However, Nigel demonstrates some discomfort when with the other ghosts. When Isaac addresses this with him, Nigel tells Isaac that Thorfinn’s boisterous ways are a bit too much. Isaac then proceeds to to ask Thorfinn to tone down his energy in a way that makes the Viking feel he should just go away entirely, which he does.

Later, when cholera ghost Nancy reveals that Thorfinn is bringing the basement down with his depression, Hetty and Sasappis confront Isaac for his treatment of Thorfinn. Isaac defiantly refuses to apologize.

Later, after watching a documentary on the singing group the Spice Girls and their friendship anthem ‘Wannabe,’ Isaac brings Nigel to the basement to apologize to Thorfinn. Isaac’s apology consequently inspires Nigel to offer an apology of his own, which helps allow the two to begin develop their own friendship.’

Appearance

Tall, refined and handsome, Isaac appears to be between the ages of 35-40. He has a white stock around the neck, with lace jabot at the chest in front. He is outfitted with a dark blue regimental coat with a buff-colored rise-and-fall collar, cuffs, and facings (lapels), in addition to a buff skirted waistcoat and buff breeches. On the shoulders of his coat are gold-threaded epaulettes, which are decorative in nature and signify rank (gold for officers). There are gilt buttons on each lapel, cuffs, collar, and waistcoat. He also wears leather riding boots. His look is completed by having his own brown hair queued back and tied with a blue ribbon.

Many thanks to Dr. Tyler Putman, Senior Manager of Gallery Interpretation, Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia for the information contained in the Trivia and Appearance sections!

Trivia

  • Isaac is the U.S. interpretation of the Captain from the BBC ‘Ghosts’ series.
  • Isaac’s uniform evokes those worn by many senior officers during the Revolutionary War. Blue and buff were the traditional colors of the Whig/opposition groups in Britain, and it appears that early in the war, George Washington and others adopted these colors as their Revolutionary uniforms.
  • Isaac is a first tenor. (Ghosts CBS-NFL Promo)
  • According to actor Brandon Scott Jones, his favorite part of Isaac’s garment are ‘the frilly cuffs made of lace. My least favorite thing are the pants, which have precisely 19,000 buttons which must be undone to go to the bathroom.’ (CBS Watch Magazine, Autumn 2022).

Quotes

  • ’Could you imagine if she doesn’t make it? What a terrible last memory for him. Ending things in an argument.’’ (Season 1, Episode 1)
  • ‘’I must know what he went on to do. He haunts me, and I’m a damn ghost.’’ (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • ‘’I was mentioned in but one academic journal, in a footnote. I’m literally a footnote in history!’’ (Season 1, Episode 2)
  • ‘’I was never the type the commoners liked to have an ale with. Those dirty, filthy, ignorant commoners.’’ (Season 1, Episode 3)
  • “Huzzah!” (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • ‘’Oh Gadzooks, what a couple of lickspittles!’’ (Season 1, Episode 4)
  • ‘’I hate to say, ‘I told you so.’ Wait, no, it’s actually quite satisfying.’’ (Season 1, Episode 5)
  • ‘’Really, no one gasped? Well, I guess if you’re not gasping at that, you’re simply not a gasper.’’ (Season 1, Episode 7)
  • ‘’Well, back to the closet. To look for Jay’s shirt.’’ (Season 1, Episode 8)
  • ‘’Pirate! Damn my ruffled colonial garb!’’ (Season 1, Episode 9)
  • ‘’It was quite the interesting experience being inside another man.’’ (Season 1, Episode 10)
  • ‘’Need I remind you before that saint of a man was felled by a little girl’s arrow? No one compromised on anything around here.’’ (Season 1, Episode 12)
  • “You’re a woman with a comely nape, and this man wants to kiss it.” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • “Okay, I’ll say it. And then it’s said. The person who caught my eye is ….. Nigel.” (Season 1, Episode 15)
  • ‘Oh, well, Hamilton pretended to not know me at a party once. And then “got my name wrong” several times over the years after that. Classic archrival shenanigans.’ (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • ‘Oh, come on. That was gasp-worthy. There’s something wrong with you people.’ (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • ‘You have bros. And we are they. Enjoy.’ (Season 1, Episode 16)
  • ‘Oh, God, who would’ve thought that a prom of all things would create such a stressful situation.’ (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • ‘The Boston Tea Party. Well, all they were missing was a giant shortbread cookie. That would’ve killed at the tavern.’ (Season 1, Episode 17)
  • ‘Please tell me you’re not quoting that musical Hamilton. Incorrectly, I might add.’ (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • ‘I-I recently learned that you should say things to people before is too late. So even if this isn’t goodbye, I think I speak for all when I say, Sam, you have changed our afterlives for the better. And we are forever grateful. And please finish my biography. You have really dropped the ball on that. Okay, you may proceed.’ (Season 1, Episode 18)
     
  • ‘I like you….Please don’t make me say it again.’ (Season 1, Episode 18)
  • ‘Oh, someone can consume food. Must be nice.’ (Season 2, Episode 1)
  • ‘I don’t even know what this thing is with Nigel yet, but whatever it is, I don’t want to ruin it before it starts. So I’m sorry that Thor is unhappy, but when is it my chance to be happy? Hmm? When is it old Higgintoot’s turn?’ (Season 2, Episode 1)
  • ‘And Nigel, I care about you but something I learned today is that If you want to be my special companion, you got to get with my Viking friend.’ (Season 2, Episode 1)