Original Airdate: November 23, 2013
Director: Jason Furukawa
Writer(s): Jed Elinoff, Scott Thomas
So on Monday, I had turned nineteen years old. That means I'm one year away from being legally allowed to drink... in Japan. Also, I have four more episodes left of season three.
In this sequel to season one's "The Dead Body," Jake Skinner (who is now human after tricking Will into dying in 1961) finds his time on Earth running out when a Grim Reaper-esque wraith grabs his arm and causes his skin to rot, so Jake plans to trick Anna into sacrificing her life so Jake can keep living -- and only Will's ghost can stop him.
One of the major improvements that this episode makes from The Dead Body episode is that the bullies, Trevor and Chang, are absent, aside from being mentioned briefly. In my review of The Dead Body, I thought that Trevor and Chang were nothing more than one dimensional bullies and were also the weakest part of that episode. Because of this, I feel like omitting these characters was a smart move and really strengthened the episode for me.
The other thing I liked about this episode was the character development. The first major piece of character development is from Anna. In this episode, she's trying to study for her SATs, which are extremely important if she wants to get into college. However, she gets distracted by Jake who says that she'll have plenty of time to take tests. She tries to resist but she eventually gives in. I think this makes her seem more like a real person because there are times when we know we need to do something important but we get distracted by certain things, which can sometimes be difficult to ignore or resist. The other major piece of character development is from Will. Throughout the episode, Will is trying to get Anna's attention and warn her about Jake, though she doesn't seem to notice him, much to his dismay. Towards the end of the episode, Will musters up all the courage he can and uses his ghost powers to fight Jake and save Anna from becoming another victim of Jake's trickery. Because of this kind deed, he is rewarded by becoming human again while Jake is sent to hell, presumably by the wraith.
One of the weaker parts of this episode was the effects for the wraith. In this episode, the wraith shows up twice and when they're shown on screen, it's clear that CGI was used. Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against CGI itself. But the problem here is that the CGI looks like something out of those live action Scooby Doo movies, which aren't all that great looking. This is show that has had great special effects in the past and even when the effects didn't look all that great (see The Golem Part 2), they still worked to the episode's advantage. However, the CGI in this episode does not do that and it just sticks out like a sore thumb.
Overall, Dead Bodies is a great follow up despite one or two setbacks.
Overall Grade: B+