Slimer, Come Home
Production Number: 75006 [1986 - ABC Season One]

A black cloud falls over the nighttime New York City sky and the Ghostbusters are on the job once again. Ray explains that this is the third night in a row that they've dealt with this same group of ghosts, while Peter says that at least it gives them an excuse to get Winston out of the station until the "you know what" is ready.

In the back of Ecto-1, Winston tells Egon that he doesn't understand why these ghosts are attacking random targets. Since they are poltergeists, they should stay in one place. Egon says that they shouldn't even have the energy for roving attacks, unless they have some source. Then he promptly tells them to turn left.


Peter is a little miffed that Egon didn't give them any warning and as he complains about it, Egon instructs them to turn right. As the car careens to a stop, they see a bunch of people (and a dog) run by. Now, it's obvious which way they have to go.


As they head down the dark alleyway, strange things start happening. Ghosts pop out of trash cans and manholes, and then disappear before anyone can see them.


Egon is sure he keeps hearing strange noises, but no one else believes him and tells him, "Shhhh!" (I have no idea why.) When they reach the end of the alley, a bunch of ghosts pop out of trash cans, also saying, "SHHHHH!" in mockery.

Within moments they're surrounded by bouncing trashcans. The ghosts eventually fly out and form a whirlwind around the Ghostbusters.


From out of the whirlwind comes a single large clown-like ghost clad in a black coat and top hat. This character is not given a name in the episode, but I will call him "Ghash", because that is what the scripts and storyboards called him. Ghash snaps his fingers and the trash cans stack on top of each other.


Egon tells them to run from the falling trash cans, but Peter says, "No! Blast them!", and... god, what a stupid idea that was.


The poltergeists are still swirling around in a whirlwind, and Ghash takes a deep breath and blows the ghostbusters into it, spinning them around in the air.


Eventually the ghosts all dive down into a manhole, followed by their leader Ghash, and the whirlwind stops, dumping the ghostbusters onto the roof of a nearby building. Winston comments that at least things can't get any worse and of course it starts to rain.


On the way home, Ray and Egon discuss why they believe the poltergeists are stronger than they really should be: Even though they should get weaker the farther they travel from home, they think the big ghost (Ghash) is feeding off the energy of all the little ghosts - like hooking up more and more batteries to the same line. Meanwhile, Winston is wondering why it's taking so long to get home, and Ray asks Peter if he thinks Janine has gotten "everything set up by now".


And...okay, can someone please explain this next scene to me? Winston is seen opening up the firehouse door. It's completely dark inside and he starts calling, "Hello! Is anyone home?" The lights come on and, "SURPRISE! Happy Birthday, Winston!"

What I don't understand did the other Ghostbusters get home ahead of Winston when they were all in the Ecto-1 together? Did they drop him off a block away and tell him to walk home? I don't get it, either.


Anyway, Slimer gives Winston a party hat and Janine wheels out a giant blueberry fudge cake...


...which Slimer consumes in one fell swoop. Everyone is angry and disappointed that the party is now ruined, and Peter in particular starts yelling at Slimer.


The others try to calm Peter down, but he just keeps yelling at Slimer, saying he's useless and telling him to "cut it out". Slimer whimpers and fades through a wall. Ray worries that Peter was too hard on Slimer, but Peter says, "he has to learn" and "ghosts don't have feelings". Ray wonders if that's true as the scene fades out.


Later that night, as the Ghostbusters are asleep, Slimer, who is still visibly upset over the incident, floats over each bed and says goodbye. He then proceeds downstairs and writes a letter, eats the pencil, and leaves the firehouse through the front doors.


Janine returns (gee, I guess she's working really late tonight) and finds the letter. She shows it to the Ghostbusters and reads it to them, "No one likes me. I'm always doing bad things. I try, but I can't help it. So, it's better if I leave. Goodbye forever. Slimer." The others blame Peter for this turn of events. But Winston says it doesn't matter whose fault it is, they have to go look for him. So they put on raincoats and head out - all except Peter who refuses.


Meanwhile, Slimer is out in the world on his own when he comes across that same group of poltergeists from earlier in the episode and decides to follow them.


Meanwhile, back at Ghostbusters HQ, guess who is trying to sneak outside in a rain coat when Janine catches him? Peter claims he's only going out to get fresh air, but Janine doubts it since it's raining. She tells him that if he should happen to find Slimer, please tell him that we miss him. Peter agrees, and runs off into the night, calling Slimer's name.


Slimer notices all the ghosts he followed are heading into one very tall, apparently abandoned building and he follows them inside. Though the ghostbusters are unaware of this, Egon expresses concern that the roving band of poltegeists they fought earlier is out looking for any source of ghost energy it can find, which makes Slimer a potential target.


Slimer joins the poltergeists at a dinner table of sorts, and he's immediately accepted into their ranks, which makes Ghash very happy, it seems.


While Peter is desperately searching for Slimer, he's suddenly knocked over by a small gang of poltergeists. Realizing he's onto something here, he follows them.


Meanwhile, Ghash, for whatever reason, is trying to get Slimer to act scarier. Despite Slimer's effots at making a few scary faces, Ghash is disappointed and commands him to follow him outside.


Elsewhere, Egon is accosted by a gang of street thugs, who ultimately decide to leave him alone since the gang leader thinks Egon is acting weirder than they are. Egon then meets Ray at a fountain and asks why he isn't looking for Slimer. Ray says it's a new theory he has - that if you go looking for someone, you'll almost never find him, but if you wait in one spot, every one you ever knew will eventually come by. Egon is about to say that is the most ridiculous thing he's ever heard, when suddenly Mrs. Milligan, Ray's 2nd grade teachers, drives by and says hello.


But Slimer isn't going to come by anytime soon, since Ghash is demonstrating to him how to be a scary ghost by frightening off a couple of random people on the street. He tells Slimer that it's now his turn, so Slimer takes off flying around the corner, snarling and acting as scary as he possibly can.


And who should it be coming 'round the corner, but Peter Venkman? Slimer tries to stop when he sees who it is, but he smashes into him and takes off. Peter can't believe he's been slimed again, but he still calls the other ghostbusters on his walkie-talkie and says that he's found Slimer.


Inside the haunted building, things have taken a colossal turn for the weird as a giant mouth has appeared on Ghash's belly, beckoning the other ghosts to "Come. Join me." Without an ounce of protest or concern for individual identity, the poltergeists comply and start heading straight into Ghash's stomach.


Slimer is the only one who is reluctant to go, but the other ghosts keep trying to force him into it. Slimer keeps evading their efforts, until eventually Ghash just grabs him and throws him in.


With his newfound power, Ghash busts through the ceiling. The ghostbusters enter the building and see that Slimer is trapped inside of him, trying unsuccessfully to force his way back out.


Egon tells them to set their proton beams to Slimer's exact frequency to separate him from the big ghost. (Along with "Mrs. Roger's Neighborhood", this is now the second episode to feature a scene where they tune a proton beam to someone's "frequency" to separate him from another entity.)


Thankfully, the plan works and Slimer is freed, if feeling a little woozy from the incident. Unfortunately, Ghash's shadow takes the ghostbusters' proton packs away before they can do anything else.


Ghash slams his fist into the wall, causing the floorboards to peel up and wrap around the ghostbusters, rendering them helpless as they're lifted upwards.


Slimer tries to help by using a proton pack, himself, but he can't control it. However, he's just lucky enough that a rogue beam hits the floorboards, causing Ghash to lose control of them.


The ghostbusters are dropped to the ground, where they're able to quickly recover their proton packs and get a trap ready. Within moments, Egon throws the trap and Ghash is contained.


However, there are now too many ghosts in the trap. It wasn't made to hold that many, and Egon warns them that it could explode at any second. They decide to hurry back to HQ as fast as possible, and oh yeah, Peter tells Slimer he can come along, too.


Back at the firehouse, Winston puts the ghost trap into the containment unit. There's a slight scare at first as it shakes a bit on reception, but then it goes back to normal and everything is fine. Peter tells Slimer that they want to see him upstairs, and he goes up there to find a surprise "welcome home" party waiting for him.


Janine says that the party was Peter's idea (uh, when did they have time to plan this, again?) Peter claims he only did this because he likes parties and it has nothing to do with Slimer. Then he admits to having missed Slimer "maybe just a little".


Winston wheels out a really gross-looking cake for the occasion, saying "We have two parties to make up for". Of course, Slimer instinctively eats the entire cake in one bite, then gets distressed when he realizes he made the same exact mistake that started this whole mess, again.


But Egon tells Slimer not to worry, and Peter says that they've learned from their mistakes. Winston lifts up the box the ugly cake was sitting on to reveal a more normal-looking cake underneath. This prompts Ray to remember that he had taught Slimer a new trick: "Alright, Slimer, go ahead. Show'em your food," he says.


What Slimer actually does is not shown to the audience, for which we should probably be grateful.

Notes & Trivia

As much as I am usually head over heels for J. Michael Straczynski's episodes, I have to say that this is the weakest one of the series so far. The good news is that we've gotten it out of the way, and the rest of his episodes are uphill from here. Like "Killerwatt", there isn't much of a plot and there are weird little continuity errors, timing issues, and a general strangeness that makes much of this episode feel off-kilter.

I think it's no secret that this episode is a metaphor for the child who is misunderstood by his parents and falls in with a bad crowd as a result. It's practically an afterschool special!

What is the point of the mouth on Ghash's stomach? You'd think he was going to use it to eat the other ghosts, but it just disappears before he starts absorbing them.

Why was Ghash so concerned about making Slimer act scarier when he was only planning to absorb him, anyway?

There are several continuity errors, animation mistakes, and audio problems that give this episode a really weird feel. Due to the slow pace of the story, these issues tend to stand out more than they might in a faster-paced episode. Some examples:

- When Winston is talking to Egon in Ecto-1 near the beginning, there is a shot where you only see Winston from his shoulders down and his head isn't visible. In this scene, his color palette has taken that of Ray's.

- When Egon is lying on his back in the Ecto-1, he points in the direction they should go, and the other three Ghostbusters are already walking that way. The problem is that one of them (Peter) is colored with Egon's palette, so it looks like he's in two places at once.

- I have no idea how the other Ghostbusters got into the firehouse ahead of Winston to surprise him with the birthday party. Don't they usually drive the Ecto-1 into the building to park it? Why was Winston wandering around outside on his own?

- Janine reads the note Slimer left behind, says, "Oh no", and immediately the Ghostbusters show up at her desk to ask what's wrong. They had been sound asleep before that. Seems like a scene where she wakes them up is missing.

- In the scene with the street thugs, a guy with a green t-shirt, brown hair, and sunglasses walks out and asks Egon what he's looking for. However, somehow he ends up getting several feet ahead of Egon when the camera switches to an overhead view, and he's changed into the street thug with the blue t-shirt and blonde mohawk. He switches back to the sunglasses thug when the rest of his gang catches up to him and the camera changes angles again.

- There are several scenes where a character stops talking and his mouth continues to move for a few moments, or another character's mouth moves while another is talking. This happens at one point when Egon is talking outside Ecto-1, Winston appears to be mimicking him.

- When Slimer is flying amongst the poltergeists, right before they get ready to merge into Ghash, he is heard saying something that sounds like, "Hi, Winston!", even though Winston is nowhere around. #1. He says this without moving his mouth. #2. This is an identical audio clip taken from the "Adventures in Slime and Space" episode of the syndicated series, where in fact he does say this line to Winston.

- When Peter gets his proton back from Ghash after the "floorboards" scene, Ray, Winston, and Egon run behind him to get their's, too. However, they are so badly-colored that they almost appear to be three random people running by.

- Perhaps the weirdest "glitch" of all occurs after they put all the ghosts in the trap. Winston says, "I think we'd better get this thing into storage fast, before it blows" and before his line even completey concludes he says, "There's only one chance!". Peter responds, "What an awfully good idea, Winston!" Uh, what? Peter is probably saying that getting the trap into storage before it explodes is "an awfully good idea", but that "There's only one chance!" line in-between makes it sound like he's responding to that... and that Winston had some specific plan in mind that we weren't informed of. Maybe Peter's a mindreader.

The Tahiti song "Remember Home" plays during the part when Slimer is saying his goodbyes and leaves the firehouse.

Peter makes references to both Clint Eastwood and The Wizard of Oz when fighting the poltergeists inside the trash cans.

Storyboard artist Brad Rader says in the commentary that he was inspired by the 1941 movie Penny Serenade when he drew the storyboards for the scene where Slimer is saying his goodbyes and writes the letter. Specifically, the way the letter was left on the desk was taken from a scene in that movie.



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