Okay, so, this episode is about what can go wrong with trains. There are a lot of things: bad brakes, derailing, running out of whatever powers trains, tracks that lead to a bridge that is out, etc. But the most dangerous possibility by far is that of a poltergeist messing with kids so that they walk in front of novelty trains. Truly horrifying.
Also, can we talk about the weird “childproof holster” that Teddy’s mom tied him to the sink with? Is that a thing? I remember when there were those weird spring leashes for kids for mom’s to have in stores so that their children wouldn’t get snatched in the 1980’s. Everyone was worried about the abduction of children in the 1980’s. Presumably it happened a lot or they wouldn’t have been so worried. I was not abducted as a child, so I really don’t know about that.
Anyway, back to poltergeists. So, the crazy old Roma lady, Golda, screams about how the child is a devil child. This episode would be impossible today, as there are so few well-behaved children anymore that they would be identified as the devil children for being so well-tempered and polite. Instead, children are now expected to scream continuously, particularly in movie theaters and the like, and always wherever I am sitting whilst trying to eat lunch. It is also totally normal now for children to send their malevolent, ghostly doppelgangers out to harm those around them.
Golda, on the other hand knows the business. The chicken guts on the roof trick. That is the good stuff. If more grandmothers threw chicken guts on the roof, maybe their grandchildren wouldn’t be such devils. Of course, the idiot government people want to bring social services into the mix. They do not know how to deal with evil children and poltergeists. All they have is bureaucracy. What they need is chicken guts to throw on the roof. They do not have any of those.
Why are the cops and everyone else so freaked out by Golda’s religious practices. First amendment, jerks. If she wants to draw backward swastikas (the not-Nazi kind) on kids and bleed chickens dry in her bedroom to protect herself and her family from nutty stuff and ghosts, let the lady be.
BUT NO, Scully. You have to call social services.
Back to bleeding roosters. The technique portrayed in this episode is impeccable. Big bowl. Lots of rooster blood, and what happens: the bound poltergeist child gets trapped in smoke. But even the daughter can’t appreciate a good ol’ avian bloodletting spirit-binding ritual. How dare she toss the old Roma grandmother out on her ass. Rude. She is clearly the only thing standing between this family and utter madness. I mean, here is Charlie bringing dead, bled-dry roosters back to life. What the hell is social services going to do with a kid who has a poltergeist who can bring dead animals back to life. That is way worse than those pre-psycho kids killing neighborhood cats when they are teenagers.
So, back to trains. When you are booking your next train trip, be sure to ask about the rate of poltergeist-related accidents the railway company has experienced in recent years. They are legally obligated to tell you. If there are a lot, I might rent a car or something instead. You don’t want to mess with poltergeists and trains. They are already super slow and prone to all sorts of delays. Poltergeists will only make that way worse. There will be exorcisms involved. Nobody wants to deal with all of that just to go on a train without bother.