Happy Christmas Eve! We're diving back into the Ghostbusters Containment Unit with a review of now 30 year old episode 'X-Mas Marks The Spot'
Airing on December 13, 1986 on ABC’s Saturday Morning as the first season finale and 13th episode… making this the 30th Anniversary of not just the episode but of the Real Ghostbusters Cartoon…. X-Mas Marks The Spot sees The Ghostbusters returning from up-state New York, where Ray apparently zapped someones cat… they come across a fork in the road which they did not notice before and on a hung from Egon take a wrong turn… Ecto-1 stalls and so the boys head out to try and find someplace to make a call… and we learn that Peter doesn’t particularly care for Christmas because his father was always away during the holidays. This is an important detail of the episode, as it turns out this entire series of events is for his benefit… for the Ghostbusters come across a time slip and are sent back to the 1800s… the time of Ebeneezer Scrooge and arriving just as Jacob Marley is leaving his former business partner’s house and as the Ghosts of Christmas’s past present and future arrive. The Ghostbusters, not knowing what is going on, rush up to bust the Ghosts… helping Scrooge in the process and destroying Christmas in the process.
Returning to the present, as Egon goes to puts the Christmas Spirits into the containment unit, some things aren’t quite right, Janine and Slimer are both very anti-Christmas… and as Ray, Winston and a reluctant Peter go out for a Christmas tree they see things have really gone down hill...5th Avenue doesn’t have any of its famous Christmas Decorations, the people of New York are even bigger jerks to one another and there is a book written by Scrooge called ‘A Christmas Humbug’ detailing how ‘He defeated the Spirits of
Christmas’… Ray and Winston realize what they’ve done, and while Peter doesn’t see a problem… they rush back to the firehouse to stop Egon, but its too late, the Ghosts are already locked in the Containment Unit…
As you can probably tell by my summary of the episode, this opens up a few things about the Ghostbusters that the events of A Christmas Carol are apart of historical events in their history, and its possible Scrooge writes it under the pen name of Charles Dickens, plus the ending reveals that Santa is real as well. This episode is also notable for getting everyone involved and while it is a ‘Peter-episode’, it’s not totally obvious it’s about him. The animation is really damn good in my opinion, and though the effect of the snow falling when out doors can be a tad bit distracting, it doesn’t hide the how gorgeous some of the backgrounds look, particularly when things are set in Scrooge’s time with the sky colored brownish do to all the smoke coming out of chimneys. The interior of the Containment Unit as a hellish dimension is just wicked, with the cloud swirls and various structures.
That said If you’ve never seen X-Mas Marks The Spot, I highly suggest you do, it is on volume one of the Real Ghostbusters DVD set put out by Time-Life several years ago. At the time of this recording (December 24, 2016), Crackle does not have it up with their current rotation of RGB episodes.