Are You Afraid of the Dark? S2E3 “The Tale of Locker 22”

Oh season 2, you hit-and-miss little mess. “The Tale of Locker 22” is one of the most weirdly subdued episodes yet. We’ll not say it’s bad, but just incredibly “meh,” which isn’t a great thing, to be fair.

Kristen’s turn again, and the Midnight Society all awaits what outfit she’s going to wear. She arrives in a costume-shop “hippie” outfit that she claims she found in the attic. Her parents clothes, apparently. She tells the gang that the saying goes that we are doomed to repeat history’s mistakes if we don’t learn from them, but in her story – it’s the lessons of the present that are more important.

“The Tale of Locker 22” follows French transfer student Julia as she settles into her first day at her incredibly-large Canadian school. She has a pretty tough time of it. Her dusty old locker is miles away from anything else, the bullies target her immediately, and she’s pretty crap at chemistry.

All of her troubles attract the attention of assistant principal Mr Shaffner, who makes it a point to single her out. But she does manage to become friendly with a fellow classmate, Chris, who tries to take her under his wing.

But the worst thing about Julia’s first day at school is the hippie ghost girl following her around. She confides what she’s seen to Chris, thinking that she can trust him, but when she gets a prank call from the bullies that night, she knows he’s told someone.

The next day at school a beaded necklace falls from her locker. When she puts them on, she finds herself still in the familiar hallways of her school, but just filled with a bunch of stoners and hippies. The ’60s, right?

But the one clue she does spot is that her locker, grimy and old in the present, is brightly coloured and painted with a flower and the name Candy. A girl approaches Julia and begins to call her Candy, implying that Julia is living in Candy’s place.

Julia removes the necklace and finds herself back in the present. She finds Chris and asks for his help. Together they go back in time and find themselves face-to-face with a ’60’s version of Mr Shaffner, who is now the chemistry teacher. He tells Candy/Julia to hurry up as he’s offered to help her with an exam.

The same girl from Julia’s last visit to the past invites the two kids over to her house to listen to The White Album. Julia and Chris return to the present, and with their Beatles clue, they begin to dig through the school’s records.

They eventually learn that Candy died in 1968, the year The White Album came out. With enough adventures that day, Chris and Julia decide to part ways for the day.

Before leaving school, Chris speaks to an older teacher, who tells him that Candy was a sweet student who died in an fire caused by an explosion in the chemistry lab. Unbeknownst to Chris, silly Julia has decided to go back in time yet again.

Julia follows ’60’s Shaffner to the chemistry lab where he tells her to get on with her exam. She admits that she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. But the teach tells her that’s the point of the exam. Both are ignorant to the fact that the hose for the gas has rotted away, leaking gas into the room.

Candy appears to Chris in the present, alerting the boy to the fact that Julia is in trouble. He manages to get back in time, and stop the accident before it happens. He points out the rotten equipment to Mr Shaffner before making a get away with Julia.

The two students return to the present and find themselves face-to-face with a woman. She introduces herself as the assistant principal, Miss Warner. Chris and Julia realise that it’s Candy, and she’s been saved from her doom.

It’s a straight-forward one, this tale. If a bit basic. The hilariously bad ’60’s lingo is pretty fun. And I love that Are You Afraid of the Dark? interprets all students in the ’60’s as hippie stoners that say “peace” and “far out” all the time. But alas, it’s an episode that’s easy to move on from. Even the episode seems to know this, as the scenes from the Midnight Society are brief as well.

They all go around sharing their favourite slang terms leaving poor Frank with the dumbest one:

Highlight quotes of the episode:

“Neato!” – poor Frank

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