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The Amazing World Of Gumball - "The Poltergeist" Recap

“Gumball finds Mr. Robinson in the shed and lets him live in the attic without telling his parents.  When Richard hears his depressed moans in the middle of the night, he begins to believe that the house is haunted and is soon driven to hunt down the ghost in order to protect his family and his food.  Meanwhile, Gumball and Darwin attempt to cheer Mr. Robinson up.”

There’s something that has to be cleared up about this episode.  Cartoon Network called it a Halloween special and promoted it as such, but it’s not actually a Halloween special.  It’s revealed early on that there is no ghost, and because the latter half of the episode involves Mr. Robinson’s marital life, it could be argued that it has more in common with Valentine’s Day than it does Halloween. That doesn’t detract from the quality of the episode, as I really enjoyed it, but a lot of fans were looking forward to an actual Halloween special.  Fortunately, the crew is working on an actual one for the second season.  At any rate, this episode marks the first prominent role for the Robinsons since “The Debt”, which aired back in May.  I’m still not sure how I feel about them as characters, as Margaret Robinson doesn’t talk and Gaylord Robinson is basically this show’s Squidward Tentacles, existing only to despise the main characters and be abused on a regular basis.  I give the show credit for at least having Darwin and Gumball be aware that Mr. Robinson enjoys their misery instead of being completely oblivious to it like Patrick and SpongeBob, but I’d like to see an episode where Mr. Robinson doesn’t suffer.

Most of the humor came from Mr. Robinson being abused, so if you’re not a fan of that type of humor then you may have problems with this episode.  I normally dislike that type of humor and I criticized “The Debt” because of that, but it paid off in this instance because it helped save Mr. Robinson’s marriage.  The rest of the humor came from Richard, who actually had a very strong outing in this episode.  His brand of humor is very hit-or-miss, depending on the circumstances, but I felt that his behavior was justified in this instance.  The moan that he heard in the middle of the night would have unnerved just about anybody, and I really liked the fact that he was partially motivated by a desire to protect his family.  I don’t believe his family man side is depicted often enough.  I would have liked to see more from Nicole, as earlier details about the episode implied that she would have spent more time falling into Richard’s traps, and I didn’t like how Anais vanished from the episode altogether.  These things are mostly unavoidable when trying to cram so much into an eleven minute episode, but I think both characters could have done a bit more.  All in all, this was a very enjoyable episode and I’m really looking forward to the actual Halloween special next season.

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