Ah, the mid-season finale. A relatively new term in the world of television. Back in the day, your favourite shows would just stop airing new episodes for a few weeks during the holidays, then they would return in the new year. Simple as that. But now, this moment in time is an event! There’s a big surprise or a raging climax that’s meant to leave the audience on the edge of their seats until January (or in some cases, February). American Thanksgiving is usually the kick off point for mid-season finale time, as the next few weeks have big reveals and shockers in store right before the holiday hiatus. This Sunday marks the final episodes in 2014 for AMC shows The Walking Dead, Talking Dead and Comic Book Men. Now we all know that The Walking Dead has been having a stellar season with high octane action, fast-paced storytelling and some fantastic character moments. But what about TWD‘s little brother that airs at midnight? Comic Book Men has arguably been having it’s best season yet.
When Season 4 of CBM premiered, I touted it as “a fun way to cap off your Sunday night” and I feel that the show has lived up to that statement. In just a short number of weeks, we got to see Walt, Bryan, Mike and Ming have more than a few geeky adventures both in the store and out. The guys tried their hand at Stand Up Comedy with a sold out show right in the Secret Stash. They not only attended a local BronyCon, they also entered the costume contest and strutted their stuff in front the large MLP-loving crowd. They got to check out (and almost purchase) a pavement slab with the hand and foot prints of the dynamic duo of Adam West and Burt Ward. All of these moments were a lot of fun and some even touched the hearts of fanboys and fangirls alike. But as in all “reality based” programing, not everything’s perfect. There was one dud of an episode (titled Super-Baby) involving the guys taking care of their friend’s baby while working the store. Four Men and a Baby didn’t really pan out as the hilarious, mad-capped episode they were hoping.
Overall, the season has been full of cool items coming through the doors (including a G.I.Joe Defiant Space Shuttle) and fun folk telling interesting and exciting stories. One of those interesting cats happened to be Kevin Eastman, one of the comic creators behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Eastman’s appearance was akin to that of George Perez in the season prior. While his appearance was fun, it’s trumped by this week’s special guest.
This Sunday’s Mid-Season finale, titled “Stashbusters”, brings a little something strange to your neighbourhood as Ghostbusters‘ Ernie Hudson joins Walt and the boys on a very special mission. Walt’s got a crazy idea of bringing comics to kids in a whole new way…….a new way involving an ice cream truck. An ice cream truck driven by Winston Zeddemore. Like many of Walt’s ideas, this venture is an uphill battle to say the least. The major selling point behind this episode is the instant chemistry between Walt and Hudson. Ernie Hudson is known on the convention circuit for being an incredibly nice guy. When he arrives, he looks genuinely ready to help. As the episode progresses and Walt’s idea of a comic truck runs amok, you see the patience of the former Ghostbuster wearing thin. But being the good sport that he is, he never loses his cool. In fact, at some points, he even gets into the calamity and appears to enjoy himself. All the while, Walt’s oblivious and is having a ball.
Probably the biggest improvement over previous seasons is the comfort for the camera now presented by the guys. Walt has grown the most in this regard. No longer is he the curmudgeon who looks tired and nervous as he was before. Now he’s a footloose and fancy free curmudgeon. Truth be told, he appears to be sinserely enjoying himself. When he strutted across the stage at BronyCon in the two man pony suit (with Ming as the back end), he looked to be glowing with joy. Of course the glowing might have been an effect of wearing a bright blue pony suit, but I’m going to stick with my theory that he was just happy to be on stage. This joy carries over into the Stashbusters episode as he seems to be very excited to be driving around with an real Ghostbuster in his truck…..even if said Ghostbuster doesn’t necessarily appear to be all that excited himself.
Even with a few minor bumps in the road (I still hate that baby episode), the fourth Season of Comic Book Men appears to be hitting its stride and I think that more wild and crazy adventures await us when it returns in the New Year. Check out the mid-season finale this Sunday at Midnight on AMC. After you find out what happens for Carol and Darryl and Beth and Rick and Sasha, stick around to see what happening at the Secret Stash.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!