Lead through the mist
by the milk-light of moon
All that was lost
[cue creepy wind blowing sounds]
This week’s blogpost is neither on old school epic poems that should be told around campfires, or badass star-blasting babes, it’s on a children’s tv show. Over the Garden Wall is a Cartoon Network miniseries that aired in 2014, and was created by Patrick McHale. If you haven’t seen it but are planning on watching it, or are in the middle of watching it (it’s on Hulu) STOP READING NOW BECAUSE I WILL BLOW YOUR MIND WITH SPOILERS!
…maybe I should phrase it differently so you actually do want to avoid the spoilers…
STOP READING BECAUSE IT’LL GET BORING FROM HERE ON OUT!
…did they leave? Yes? No? Well, whatevs, you do you.
The quality of content in this show is truly incredible, given each episode runs about ten minutes and there are only ten episodes. Originally I was going to talk about the entire show, but there is so much substance in every single episode that I’d be giving a lot away to those who haven’t seen it, if not confusing the rock facts out of them. See, like that. “What the heck is a rock fact?” You’re probably thinking.
“‘Did you know if you soak a raisin in grape juice, it turns back into a grape?'”
So I’ve decided to start you off slow, we’ll talk about one episode. Episode two. But first, some background.
The show is about two brothers, the eldest, cynical, unsure Wirt, and the youngest, lil’ baby Greg (His name isn’t really lil’ baby Greg, it’s just Greg. But the kid is so stinkin’ cute with a tea kettle on his head, I can’t help myself) trying to find their way out of a dark wood inhabited by talking bluebirds, singing frogs, and The Beast. The thing is, the brothers don’t know how they got into the wood to begin with. So, they aren’t sure how to begin getting home, all they know is they must avoid The Beast who’s “in search of lost souls such as [themselves]!”
Now, how do I introduce what it is I really want to say?
I suppose, for one, don’t watch this show when you’re house sitting, and you come home at ten at night to find the tv turned itself on, then watch episode one for the first time after you’ve checked the house for intruders. You’ll freak yourself out! Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything… Though this show can be a bit dark, so I’d recommend it for ages ten and up. The episode that creeps most people out is episode two, which is the one we’re gonna talk about! Yay!
Here’s a clip of episode two provided by Cartoon Network Australia’s Youtube channel, just to give y’all an idea.
The episode opens with the two brothers looking for signs of civilization, when they come across a woodblock marker noting Pottsfield, 1 Mile. Lil’ baby Greg hears a voice coming from some brambles and finds a bluebird, whose name is Beatrice, stuck. Greg frees her and she tells him she’ll do him a favor, he tells her he’ll think of his wish later, and the duo-turned-trio heads into Pottsfield.
The town is seemingly abandoned, with not a soul in sight, when Wirt and Greg hear singing coming from an old barn. They walk in and see a group of pumpkins, some carving other pumpkins, some dancing around a Maypole, in what looks like a celebration of sorts. This is where the clip comes in. Wirt, if you clicked on the clip, is asked by a feminine pumpkin: “Say, aren’t you a little…early?” Even though there is a handful pumpkin people already there. Wirt asks, “What do you mean?” The pumpkin says, “I mean, it doesn’t look like you’re ready to join us just yet.” As you know, Wirt says they’re just passing through and this causes a stir, making Enoch, the town’s leader appear. This is where the clip ends. Enoch sentences the three of our travelers to a few hours of manual labor on account of destruction of private property (Greg and Wirt stepped on non-anthropomorphic pumpkins) and disturbing their private ritual.
In a montage, (to a song called Patient is the Night, which I adore) the boys and bird collect corn and dig holes when all of the sudden, Greg finds treasure! Only it’s not the kind of treasure we commonly think of, it’s a skeleton! There’s one in Wirt’s hole too! And they come to life, donning pumpkins, to the joy of their pumpkin-wearing skeleton friends.
See, when the feminine pumpkin said, “Aren’t you a little…early? It doesn’t look like you’re ready to join us just yet.” She meant, you’re not dead yet, why are you in Pottsfield? Because Pottsfield, like a potter’s field (ahem) is for the dead. So Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice aren’t dead, but they are in a place where the dead exist. Or can exist, because the skeletons come to life, during this private ritual, where the dead are welcomed back.
If I say any more, I’ll only be giving things away 😉
Thanks for reading,