This Ghosted review contains spoilers.
Ghosted Episode 4
Ghosted has shown flashes of potential so far in its early run, mainly due to the lived-in comedic chemistry between its two leads, but hasn’t been able to deliver a fully formed episode – until this week. A bottle episode only four episodes into its first season may seem a bit premature, but by trapping our core characters together in “Lockdown,” Ghosted finally seems to find its legs. It’s easily the best episode yet and serves as proof of concept for the series.
One of my main gripes with Ghosted so far has been the supporting cast. Nearly anonymous and lacking even one standout moment through three episodes, Annie, Barry, and Captain LaFrey have yet to become the supporting ensemble that comedies like Ghosted rely on to keep the laughs flowing. Looking to remedy the problem, “Lockdown” decides to split Max and Leroy up and pair them with one of their lesser colleagues. It’s a risky move to disassemble the only portion of the show that’s working, but the move pays off, at least mostly.
While Barry and Max’s time together scores laughs with Barry gushing over Leroy and Max trying to prove that he’s just as cool as his partner, Leroy and Annie’s scenes are hampered by Leroy questioning Annie’s feelings for Max. The problem here is that the Annie and Max romance angle is so underdeveloped and the pair have yet to develop anything that even somewhat resembles a rapport. Luckily, these awkward scenes are intercut with Captain LaFrey trying to distract and simultaneously seduce the water guy, so there’s plenty of good to outweigh the bad.
The Monster-of-the-Week is also genuinely monstrous, despite the cheesy, shoestring budget CGI. A water-based reptile that can replicate, the monster rampages through the Bureau Underground, taking out fellow employees and guest stars Beck Bennett and Erik Griffin. The fact that these two guest stars score more laughs and make more of an impression than our normal supporting players is unfortunate, but the energy they add to an already zippy episode is much appreciated. Anyway, the monster thrives on water, so using the help of Jace the water guy, our team stores all of the water in a room containing essentially a giant microwave. However, after the monster is trapped, everyone discovers that Barry forgot to turn the machine on. We then get the hilarious visual of Max and Leroy covered in baby powder (the closest thing that they have to some “dry device”), sneaking back into the room to power up the machine and incinerate the beast.
All of that said, the plot details don’t have to make much of an impression when the jokes are idiosyncratic and cackle-worthy, like Barry’s weird game of “Shag, Marry, Kill,” Leroy’s Wendy Williams advice, and all of the jokes at Annie’s boyfriend Tad’s expense. Even when the episodes feel uneven, they’re always funny enough to warrant a viewing. Luckily there’s less unevenness than ever, and better material, too. Hopefully that trend continues when Ghosted returns in two weeks.