Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 1 Episode 13: The Tale of the Pinball Wizard


Tonight’s tale is from my future ex-brother in-law The Gary. It’s about a kid who loves pinball, like really loves it.

Tonight starts off with the gang already at the clearing, I think they are waiting for Gary to get there. David is sitting next to Betty Ann and he is telling her all he needs is a few more points in order to get the key. Betty Ann seems somewhat interested, but at the same time not really concerned about the game at all. I think it is interesting that she doesn’t make a sound. Also it is cool that David has an old school gameboy. I used to have that same gameboy as a kid. My parents got it for me, so I would stop crying on the airplane to Kauai. As a child, I spent nearly every summer in Hawaii, specifically the island of Kauai and while most kids would love it, I hated it. I hated the airplane ride and would cry and beg my parents to drive instead (I did not understand that we couldn’t dive since it was in the middle of the ocean). Kind of ironic that I now live in Hawaii and I do not mind plane rides that much anymore, I’ve gotten use to it.

David_Betty Ann
“I just need a few more points”- David

Anyway, Idiot Eric comes along and asks David what a certain button does while he pushes it, and it resets the game.

Eric re-sets the game and David dies on the inside a little

Poor David has to start all over now, but Frank comes and asks Dave if he has gotten the key yet and takes the gameboy out of David’s hands, Betty Ann kind of smirks at this and I find it very funny as well. David says no he doesn’t have the key, and he may never get it now.

Let Frank handle it, he can get the keys.

Frank says it is a piece of cake to get the key, Kristen criticizes, David, Frank and Kiki and ask them how they can invest so much into a game.

Games are for kids not for Canadian pre-teens

Kiki comes along and tells Kristen its the fight between good and evil that makes it all worth it, and then she tells Frank it is her turn and grabs the gameboy.

Kiki’s got it.
If this doesn’t scream future teacher I don’t know what does.

Gary finally shows up and takes the gameboy away from Kiki and says that Kristen is right it doesn’t matter, because you can just hit a button and reset the game to start over. He takes the gameboy away because he is getting ready to start tonight tale. Gary takes his seat on the storytellers chair and submits his story, he calls it: The tale of the Pinball Wizard.

We are introduced to our main character, a kid named Ross Campbell. Gary tells us that Ross is one of those kids who is on his own a lot and knows how to take care of himself. If he had a goal, he would make sure to get that goal accomplished. Ross looks through all the coin returns of the payphones at the mall to get quarters, then he looks down at the fountain and sees a quarter. He rushes down stairs to get it, only to get into an argument with a homeless lady over the quarter. A security guard catches them and tells them to stay there, as he comes down stairs to address the situation. Ross escapes the security guard and ends up in Olson’s, which is a hobbies shop/ arcade.

He’s kind of a dirt-bag

Ross is trying to convince Mr. Olson to hire him to work in the shop, Ross is saving up to buy some metallic supersoakers. Remember supersoakers? I remember really wanting a supersoaker 1000 with the backpack for the water and the pumping action. I miss good water guns. Anyway, Mr. Olson tells Ross he doesn’t want to hire another kid and that the only talent Ross has shown him is playing pinball. Ross tells him that is unfair and then Ross notices a new pinball game under a sheet and asks Mr. Olson about it. Mr. Olson tells Ross not to touch it as it is a collectors item and doesn’t work right. He tells Ross to go play the games out in front. Just as Ross puts in a quarter, Mr. Olson tells him to come back in an hour as he is leaving to have lunch. Ross says that it is perfect, he can have Ross watch the shop. Mr. Olson is not convinced, but Ross tells him that he wouldn’t lose business if he keeps the store open. Mr. Olson agrees and tells Ross to just sit down and not move or touch the register or the new pinball game in the back. Mr. Olson tells Ross if he can do this, he might consider hiring Ross at the store.

He is like a human Gru, but with hair

Mr. Olson leaves the store, and Ross gives it about a minutes before he goes and plays the new pinball game. We then see Mr. Olson outside the store hearing the new machine’s music in the background and he has a sly smile on his face. Ross is playing the game when he gets a customer. It is a girl named Sophie, who has come to pick up her music box, which is in the shape of a throne. Ross flirts with her (he flirts like a zombie). After a while he finally asks Sophie what the music box looks like and she tells him its in a gold box. He finally find the gold box (which is the only box in the store). She asks him if it is really ready for pick up, at which point Ross finally admits to her, he is not sure and that Mr. Olson will be back in an hour and to come back. She says that she has some other stuff at the mall to do, and says she will come back. As she leaves, the pinball machine magically turns back on again.

Sophie she is secretly a princess

At some point in playing Ross montages his way into the machine. Once his quarters runs out, Ross yells out for Mr. Olson and realizes that the mall must be closed as it is all dark. In a panic, he runs for the front door only to find them locked (if it was me, I would have tried to break the door open, but that is just me). Just then a payphone rings and Ross runs to it to answer the call. He gets to it just in the nick of time. The person on line asks him if he has an umbrella (I am sure it is not Rihanna but Mr. Olson). All of a sudden it starts raining quarters! Ross runs into the fountain to get the quarters, when he see some silver men (who look like the blues brothers) and tries to ask them for help when one of them grabs him by the arm. Ross freaks out and rips the guys hand off. Then Sophie (who is now a princess) call out to Ross to grab a key and get the tiara from the vault. Ross realizes that the blues brothers are afraid of water, and splashes water on the ground to make them go away. He than heads to what he assumes is the vault, which is the lockers.

Oh shit Zombies who are afraid of water

For whatever reason, Ross opens the lockers face first, and get covered in guacamole or very thick pea soup. Then he gets blown by smelly air before opening the correct locker to find Sophie’s headband. Once he finds the headband, the escalator turns on to take him to the second floor, where he chases Sophie down a corridor. Once in the corridor, Sophie is kidnapped by a reject from Chippendale and Ross runs into the homeless lady who is now a witch. She has like really bad emphysema or asthma and blows Ross away back into the mall. Ross drops the crown and the witch grabs it. Sophie yells at Ross from the corridor to get the throne.

I used to work for the Thunder from Down under, but not I am Chippendale dancer

Ross dashes back to Olson’s to get the throne. Once in Olson’s he finds Sophie who is tired up to a chair and demands to know what is going on, she tells him there is no time and he has to help her. Ross goes to grab the throne, when they are attacked back the executioner. They run of while being pursued by the executioner and Ross must battle him. Sophie explains to Ross that he has to play the game. Ross defeats the executioner and Sophie tells him to grab the mace. They then see the witch who has the crown and is about to put it on her head, when Sophie opens the throne and it plays music and the crown is transported back to them.

The Wtich

Just than, Sophie is grabbed by the security guard, she throws the crown and tells Ross to get it to the third level and that he can not hurt her. Ross chases after the crown and grabs it. It is at this point that he realizes he is playing the pinball game. Ross opens the throne and thinks it can not be right as it is too small to sit on. But alas it grows to human size, Ross sits in it and it starts to move (you can totally see the stage hand during this pushing the chair). The chair runs into the witch, which I presumes kills her as we will not see her again. He is stopped by the rejected Chippendale’s dancer and the security guard, and is pushed into the elevator bringing him back to the first level. This gives Ross an idea, he grabs the mace and smashes the glass case that holds the supersoakers.

He finds the Chippendale’s dancer, the blues brothers and the security guard holding Sophie hostage. He uses the water guns to defeat them, and all is good and he believes that he has defeated them. But the security guard sneaks up on Ross and knocks the super soaker out of his hands.  The security guard tells Ross, that the game isn’t over until all the character have died, and tells Ross to give up. Ross says that this is real life and in real life you make your own rules, he then pull out the smaller super soaker and shots the security guard with water defeating him and turning him into a baby blue cloak.


Ross turns to Sophie and says he did it he defeated the security guard. Sophie tells him almost, he still has to crown her to win. Sophie takes her seat on the throne and Ross crowns her, and wins the game.

Princess Sophie being crowned

Ross is happy, but he was told not to play the game for a reason, and we can now see Mr. Olson playing the game and telling Ross “I thought I could trust you Ross”, then Ross looks up to see a giant pinball on the escalator. It is at this point that Ross realizes he was never going to escape and he would be getting free games for life.

Evil Mr. Olsen

Gary ends his story by saying “The end” and then asks David if he still wants to play. David says “I think I have outgrown it” and passes it to Frank. Frank says “It’s all yours to Kiki.”  Kiki passes it back to Frank who says “No you got it”, and then Frank passes back to Gary. Gary says “Whoever’s got the game, just make sure the game doesn’t get you.” Then Betty Ann stand up in a hurry and says “Nite guys”, followed by Kristen and the rest leaving Gary. Gary says “Until next time” (he doesn’t actually declare the meeting over) and puts out the fire.

Betty Ann awkwardly get up in a hurry to go home. Maybe she sneaked out as she was grounded?

Moira’s Thoughts:

  1. For some reason in my mind I remember this as one of the first episodes of AYAOTD that I ever watched and that gives this a special place in my heart.
  2. This story is great. It moves at the right pace and I like that it doesn’t have a happy ending.
  3. I liked that Gary doesn’t declare the meeting over, I suppose this was foreshadowing of us getting a second season.
  4. This was the last appearance of Eric, I am assuming that the Midnight Society took a vote and voted Eric out or moved locations and just did not tell him. Gary never mentioned Eric’s family moving like he did with Kristen, David and Frank.

Thank you for joining me on this journey of the first season of Are You Afraid of the Dark. I am not sure when I will start on season 2, but maybe this week on Monday as I feel I deserve a break. My next post will be a top 5 of the episodes of the first season. I will also eventually continue my fan fiction, but I’ve hit a wall with that and ran out of ideas, so it is on the back burner for now. Also I am currently formulating a letter to request interviews in my head because as I see it I really have nothing to lose. I want to make it fun for them by having them also ask me questions as something different. My goal with that is to get all three of the ones who lasted all five seasons of the first run (Ross Hull, Raine Pare-Coull and Jodie Resther), we shall see how that goes.

Until next time….Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) Blog number 14. Now I shall try to go back to bed as it is 5:30 AM.

Photo Credit google images: Pinball wizard title card David and Betty Ann  Ross Mr. Olsen Sophie Zombies Witch  rejected chip  executionor crowning sophie Evil Mr. Olsen


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