Ghosts: S1.E3. “Happy Death Day”

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Screen Capture: Lolly Adefope and Jim Howick as Kitty and Pat, respectively, in the Ghosts episode "Happy Death Day"



In the latest episode of the BBC situation comedy Ghosts, “Happy Death Day,” we find Pat (Jim Howick) celebrating his ‘Death Day.’ Pat tells Alison (Charlotte Ritchie), one of the new owners of the house, his family makes an annual pilgrimage to the site of his demise.

Simon Farnaby, Jim Howick, Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond, Katy Wix, Charlotte Ritchie, Mathew Baynton, Laurence Rickard, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, and Lolly Adefope in Ghosts (2019). Image Credit: IMDb

SPOILERS ALERT: If you have yet to watch this episode, please feel free to stop reading at this point in the article. Continue reading after you watch the episode.

The episode begins with a flashback to Pat’s actual death day. After being hit in the neck with an arrow, Pat tries to drive himself to the hospital in the mini-bus. He crashes the mini-bus into a tree and dies. The tree, along with many other trees around the country, was a casualty of the Great Storm of 1987.

When discussing his wife’s husband with Alison, Pat realises she had been having an affair before the accident. Finding his best mates clothes strewn up the staircase should have been an indication his wife was getting taken to pound town. Pat must have been awfully dim when he was alive. Even though he has been dead since 1984, there is not much change in the intelligence department. He is still as dim as a broken lightbulb.

Family Issues

Everyone has family issues. Robin (Laurence Rickard) talks to Pat about the issues he has with his family. Family can be more than just blood relatives. It can include your friends. This is what Pat comes to realise.

When Pat’s family show up to pay their respects, Alison speaks with them. She discovers Pat has a grandson. His name is Pat.

“It’s an Occupation”

After Lady Fanny Button (Martha Howe-Douglas) gets a face full of builder’s butt crack, she calls an emergency meeting of the ghosts. The Captain (Ben Willbond), along with Julian (Simon Farnaby), try to find justifiable reasons to get the builders out of the house. It seems, unfortunately for the Captain and Julian, the builders are a decent bunch of lads with hearts of gold.

The use of double entendre, typical of British comedies, is readily apparent. A double entendre refers to something that has multiple meanings. When the Captain said, “It’s an occupation,” he was talking about the builders being akin to an occupying military force. But he could have also been referring to the job these men are doing.

The ghosts need not have concerned themselves about the builders. It was Alison’s odd behaviour that makes Terry give up on the job.

The Birds and the Bees

Kitty (Lolly Adefope) apparently does not know how babies come into the world. The period in which Kitty is from, one simply did not discuss what men and women did in the privacy of the bedroom. It was not the done-thing. Alison uses the arcane phrase “How’s your father?” in reference to sex but Kitty literally thought she was asking about her father. Kitty even asks Pat about how babies are made.

Later, Kitty seeks out Lady Button and asks her about how babies are made. Lady Button waffles on about bees and flowers, but it is evident from the modicum of distain in her voice, she is talking about her husband. Kitty even asks Julian about babies which is relatively speaking a huge mistake.

Building Friendships

Alison seems to think becoming pally with the builders will get the contractor to keep the price low. “You’ve got to be mates,” Alison told Mike, “if you want mate’s rates.”

If you know anything about British builders, you’ll know this will probably not work. He is less likely to reduce renovation costs than he is the sugar in his cup of rosy lee. For people not familiar with Cockney rhyming slang, rosy lee is a reference to tea.

Restroom Anxiety

Meanwhile, Mike (Kiell Smith-Bynoe) is struggling with going to the bathroom now that he knows the house has ghosts. Even though he cannot see the ghosts, he knows they can see him and he’s having difficulty using the bathroom. This is apparently not the first time he has had issues like this. He left Glastonbury Festival so that he could use a restroom.

A Poet Lost for Words

Thomas (Mathew Baynton) to come up with a poem to express how he feels about Alison but when he hears Kylie Minogue’s 1987 song “I Should Be So Lucky” on the radio, he inadvertently adds lyrics from the song to the poem his is composing. Naturally, Alison recognises where he got the inspiration from for his poem. Consequently, this makes him dash from the room moments before Mike enters.

Guest Stars

Joining the regular cast members for this episode are Steve Oram, Imran Adams, Ethan Alston, Tom Grey and  Tim Plester as the builders Terry, Kevin, Colin, Keith and Wixy, respectively.