Jealous teens, dead ends, and music montages make up an underwhelming School Spirits. 


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Jealous teens, dead ends, and music montages make up an underwhelming School Spirits. 

Aired (Paramount+) March 30, 2023
Director(s) Brian Dannelly
Writer(s) Megan and Nate Trinrud
Previously Noted Characters
Maddie Nears Peyton List
Simon Elroy Kristian Flores
Xavier Baxter Spencer Macpherson
Nicole Herrera Kiara Pichardo
Wally Clark Milo Manheim
Charley Nick Pugliese
Rhonda Sarah Yarkin
Sandra Nears Maria Dizzia
Mr. Martin Josh Zuckerman
Mr. Anderson Patrick Gilmore
Claire Zahler Rainbow Wedell

Recap

This content contains pertinent spoilers. 

“Can ghosts have sex?” Maddie asks Rhonda early into the episode. Rhonda assures Maddie that ghosts can, but the answer seems to sprout many more questions for this viewer just as Wally interrupts the conversation revealing Maddie is a virgin. And that’s all that’s revealed this week.

In a very horny episode of School Spirits, Homecoming is now upon us. Maddie has been missing for two weeks, and just as we think we’re closer to solving her murder, the episode mainly diverts into petty relationship drama that leaves me questioning, “Why?” Why force in a love triangle/square with just two episodes left? Why solve Maddie’s murder at all?

School Spirits Episode 6 Recap Ending Explained Charlie Maddie Rhonda.jpg
While the episode had a few highlights utilizing music montages, “Grave the Last Dance” reconfirmed mostly what viewers learned last week. Your interest may depend on how much you care about who’s dating who. Maddie goes to the Homecoming Dance with Wally, leaving Simon upset, but Maddie is upset when she sees Xavier at the dance with Claire. But Xavier got close to Claire under Maddie/Simon’s order.

Operation Claire is fun due to Rainbow Wedell playing Claire as the one with power, while Spencer Macpherson’s Xavier never quite knows what she’ll do next. Claire has poise, money, and a vicious streak she’s already unleashed on a teacher and principal. But Claire is clearly struggling with the pressure to be herself. She breaks down in front of Xavier, explaining how she blackmailed Mr. Anderson but had nothing to do with Maddie’s disappearance.

school spirits episode 6 recapMeanwhile, Maddie’s mom Sandra sits in the dark alone when she hears rustling outside in her backyard. While we don’t know what caused this, Nicole comes rushing over just in time for the police chief to arrive and explain to Sandra that the cops think they found a murder weapon and have a suspect: the school’s custodian, Mr. South.

One touching moment from this episode is when Maddie and Simon finally give Charley necessary closure. After confessing that he never told his high school love Emilio that he forgives him and loves him, Charley writes this in a letter given to Simon for Emilio. Charley watches Emilio read it (more on that thought down below), and while we never hear what’s in the letter, the tears on both of their faces signify what we need. Charley has a moment with Maddie explaining being a ghost sucks, but you have to learn to move on. But despite this advice, Maddie spends most of the episode just watching Xavier and being quietly upset, and Wally spends most of the episode watching Maddie and being upset that she’s not present with him. Yet by the end, Maddie kisses Wally in a move that feels unearned so far.

Unfortunately, the episode ends with Sandra breaking her sobriety and having a drink, Simon popping balloons alone, and Nicole outside in the rain digging up something with a shovel.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Rhonda remarks that ghosts can grow and change, and this is reconfirmed by Charley wishing to express how much he’s changed, which makes me realize some of these ghosts are in their 60s and 70s years old but still act as if they’re teenagers. Is this the right assumption? Isn’t it strange that Wally wants to date Maddie when he’s in his 50s? 
  2. How did Charley not know his past love Emilio was a teacher at the school? While still a sweet moment, you’d think Charley would, by chance, see Emilio’s name somewhere around the school. 

What Could Happen Next

  1. Nicole just became suspect #1
  2. Sandra might make a buffoon out of herself at the school and expect a ghost showdown between Wally and Simon now.  

Review

On The Fence

Who is Maddie? 

Nicole remarks that no one really knew Maddie, and I agree. This episode, unfortunately, emphasized how we don’t know who Maddie is or why we should care. As we watched Maddie watch others live their lives, I realized we have little to no idea of Maddie’s music tastes, dance abilities, and what brings her joy or upsets her. Why didn’t she like school? What bonded her with Nicole and Simon besides horror movies?  Maddie has served as a confession booth for others’ backstories without revealing much about Maddie herself. 

Cliche Love Triangle Feels Forced

While Simon and Maddie’s intimate friendship is clear from the pilot, Wally’s and Maddie’s sudden interest feels forced into the episode. The last episode showed them bonding over their families, but nothing was flirtatious or intimate previously. Their chemistry at the school dance was even lacking. This lack of connection isn’t due to their performances, but what feels like rushed writing or a few scenes cut to establish this potential romance.

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School Spirits: Season 1, Episode 6 – “Grave the Last Dance” Review/Spoilers
Overall
A lackluster School Spirits falls into common YA tropes and brings up strange questions about the spirit world.
Highlights
Disputable
Maddie is starting to seem underwritten
Flaws in the spirit world are distracting
Romance story seems forced
70

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2 Comments

  1. A forced triangle of any sort would be loathsome to the likes of Pythagoras, a brilliant mind. Myself included. Great review lol, I will not be watching this against the wishes of my friends!

    1. Thank you for reading! The “love triangle” is just my theory right now. With only 2 episodes left, it’s difficult to tell if they’ll try to develop multiple love interests so quickly. If your friends get upset, send them my way!

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