After last week’s mostly solo venture for Annie, “Scary Me” gets back to what Marry Me does incredibly well: showing the growing maturity and challenges in a relationship, not in individual problems. But the way “Scary Me” achieves this feels strongly like an un-produced episode of Happy Endings that David Caspe got a second chance to create.
“Scary Me” centers on Annie and Jake skipping their usual crazy Halloween Hella Rage party, and instead deciding to make a haunted house in their apartment for the neighborhood kids. While this sounds good, the mother-in-charge of the apartment complex Julie—played by the always awesome Jessica St. Clair (hey USA! Renew Playing House already; thinks the haunted house is a bad idea. As a way of proving Julie wrong, Annie and Jake, or Zombie Lucy and Ricky, go through with their plans. It all goes over incredibly well, until a stray kids sticks around after the party, and the two have to track down the kid’s parents.
The rest of Annie and Jake’s friends have other plans as well, which, thankfully allows us to learn more about these characters. Gil and Kay plan on going trick-or-treating, but Gil tricks Kay into going into his old neighborhood to check on his ex-wife. This B-story gives us a deeper look at the pain that Gil is really feeling, while at least we get a bit more Kay than we have received in the last two weeks. And as an adult that believes you’re never too old to trick-or-treat, I approve of this storyline.
Surprisingly, the story that intrigued me the most is also the most irrelevant to the entire episode. Dennah decides to go to the Halloween Hella Rage by herself, cutting out the middleman and just going dressed as a slut. While she’s there she runs into her ex-boyfriend Derrick. What’s so interesting about Derrick isn’t the fact that Dennah used to date a gay man, but that Derrick is also a character from Happy Endings. I know it’s probably just a silly little inside joke for fans of Happy Endings, but I can’t help but get excited by the possibilities. I mean, could this be just the first of many cameos? What happens when Derrick meets Annie, and realizes he knows two people that look exactly the same?! I need more crossovers into this show as soon as possible.
“Scary Me” is Caspe and his team at the peak of their talents, with incredibly satisfying turns-of-phrase and incredibly witty script choices. And while cursing and nudity can be pretty funny, somehow censoring these things is even funnier. “Scary Me” does a lot of this. In getting back to Annie and Jake playing off of each other, we get to see the great writing at its height, and the strength of the jokes is even better, with Casey Wilson and Ken Marino together. For a first holiday episode, “Scary Me” nails it.
Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.