Friday the 13th - Season Three Episodes
Episode Count: 20
Overall Comments: Generally, the third season is tied with second for the "best" season
of the series in this author's opinion. The series was apparently cancelled early however, since it
only runs 20 episodes compared to the 26 of the first two seasons.
By now, the concept of finding a cursed antique each week was getting a little predictable,
and those associated with the show seemed to realize it. Several variations were
introduced to try to change the pattern.
The first was the introduction of Johnny Ventura (Steve Monarque) as a regular character.
For several reasons, Ryan Dallion was written out. Johnny had the benefit of being
pre-introduced in several second-season episodes. However, quite frankly, he was
never as interesting as Ryan.
However, the introduction of Johnny allowed the writers to rewrite several "standard" stories
that cast him in the role of novice antique recoverer. So in Hate on
Your Dial and Crippled Inside, he screws up. In
Bad Penny he repeats Ryan's mistake (way back in
Shadow Boxer) of using a cursed antique himself.
There was also some minor efforts made to introduce a romance between Johnny and Micki,
something previously impossible since Micki and Ryan were distantly related. Naturally,
you couldn't have a show with a male and female lead and avoid all hints of romance between
them. F13 was no exception. Fortunately, after The Long Road Home
this element was dropped.
There was also a steady trend away from antique-hunting, as our intrepid trio either
became involved with other supernatural forces (Midnight Riders,
The Charnal Pit),
became peripheral to the main storyline (Repetition,
My Wife as a Dog) or both (Night Prey,
Year of the Monkey).
There was also some effort to expand the show beyond antique hunting.
The Prophecies allowed Satan to follow up on his efforts in
Wedding in Black and take another shot (albeit indirectly) at the
group. However, the possibilities of the "Big Guy" becoming a continuing threat were
dropped after that. Demon Hunter at least addressed the issue
of where the heck all the antiques were going to be stored.
Perhaps all of this was a natural evolution of the show. If it had gone to a fourth
season, these elements would doubtless have been expanded on further.
Still, despite the above, antique-hunting was still the main emphasis of the show.
Some stories were very basic, as if the writers didn't see any need to do much
else since these were "new" stories from Johnny's point of view. As noted above,
Crippled Inside and Hate on Your Dial are
good examples of this. Many other stories dwelt even further on the guest characters involved, making the
third season's "villains" the most sympathetic. Episodes like
Epitaph for a Lonely Soul and
My Wife as a Dog are the best examples of this trend
The third season pretty much stands on its own continuity-wise. After The Prophecies wrapped up
the Ryan storyline, only Bad Penny made any specific reference to the events
of previous seasons. We see nothing further of Uncle Vendredi, Rashid, or Satan. Although
Jack has a brief reunion with his father, no further mention is made of his dead son.
Speaking of Jack, he is moved even further into the background. Since the main
characters as a whole are moved back a bit from the plot, Jack gets even less
emphasis. He gets no "solo" episodes (such as Faith Healer or The Butcher). He
does have a major role in episodes like Spirit of Television,
Night Prey, and Midnight Riders, but doesn't
contribute much otherwise. His main roles now appear to be: chewing out Johnny when the poor guy
makes a mistake, supplying a bit of mystical research,
and getting knocked over the head.
As a minor note, the episodes themselves undergo some minor restructuring. On the
assumption that after two years the audience knew the basic concept of the series,
the voice-over narration was dropped. Instead, we get a pre-credits "teaser" for
Overall, the third season is an acquired taste. There is enough variety that you
won't get bored, even if you've been watching the show regularly during the first
two years. When the show tries to break out of its previous framework is when
it is at its most entertaining this year. If you were getting kind of bored, then
you'll probably enjoy the third season more than its predecessors.
The Prophecies, Pt. 1
Item: Devil's Bible
Plot: Asteroth, a minion of Satan, has obtained the Devil's Bible, and intends to
use it in a small village in Europe to unleash Satan on Earth.
Comments: This is a very involved episode, with a number of plot elements introduced,
including Ryan's background (going way back to first season's Scarecrow
and Pipe Dream), the faith of the young girl, the corruption of a holy place,
and the relentless fulfillment of the prophecies. The episode is also helped by its
overseas filming, the truly chilling sequences such as the riot at the hospital,
and a hammy yet effective performance by veteran actor Fritz Weaver. The first
part is as close as we get to a Jack solo story this season, but a concussion
takes him out before he can do much of anything.
The Prophecies, Pt. 2
Item: Devil's Bible
Plot: Ryan plays an integral role in the completion of the prophecies, as Asteroth's
plans near completion and all looks hopeless.
Comments: A minor let-down after the atmospheric part one. Ryan's zombie routine
becomes very old very quickly, and the final resolution is rather confusing. In
one sense, a final hurrah for the series, since after the apocalyptic events of this
two-parter, anything that follows would be somewhat of a let-down: essentially,
the team saves the world! The Prophecies could just as easily have been the series
finale with a little reworking.
Plot: A family team of demon hunters are searching for a hellspawn unleashed upon the
earth, unaware that one of their number is not what he or she appears.
Comments: Very reminiscent of Aliens, as the hunters try to track down their
prey, using heavy firepower and hand-held tracking units. The question of how
much room is in the Vault (particularly with the first season's trefinator and
electric chair) is finally answered.
Plot: An old man aids a crippled girl in gaining a cursed wheelchair that will
eventually let her walk and gain revenge on those responsible for her handicap.
Johnny has to solve this one himself.
Comments: A "Johnny screws up" episode, the first of several. There's a reference to
last season's A Friend in Need and the Medusa Shard from that episode
(we never find out if it's recovered). "The old man" seems to be a substitute for Uncle
Vendredi, although his presence and any connection he might have to Vendredi is never made
clear, or used again.
Stick It In Your Ear
Item: Hearing Aid
Plot: One member of a mind-reading act stumbles upon a cursed hearing aid that gives
him actual telepathic powers. He must eventually discharge the thoughts and bring
about someone's death, or die horribly himself.
Comments: Gore galore! In probably the most visceral episode of this season.
Appropriately enough, since to some degree it's a reworking of Cronenberg's first season
Faith Healer. If you were upset by ceti eels crawling into Walter Koenig's
ear in Star
Trek II, this one should be avoided. There's some nice commentary on the fleeting
nature of fame. Still, one might think after this episode the secretive nature
of the trio's efforts would be totally blown. Bad guy Adam Cole is played by
Wayne Best, who had a small role in last year's The Playhouse.
Item: Coin of Ziocles
Plot: The Coin of Ziocles resurfaces, in the hands of two bad cops. Johnny recovers the
coin, but decides to use it to resurrect his father (killed in The Prisoner
Meanwhile, Micki has to deal with her own fears since the Coin was used to kill her
previously (in Tails I Win..., also last season).
Comments: One of only two episodes that are direct sequels to previous ones (the
other is second season's Face of Evil). This is a far superior one,
cross-referencing several episodes and wrapping up at least one loose end (Micki's reaction to being
dead and resurrected). Although the cops are the typical evil-incarnate bad guys, there's
several nice character moments with Micki, Johnny, and Johnny's resurrected father.
Hate On Your Dial
Item: Car Radio
Plot: A cursed car radio falls into the hands of a retarded man and his racist
brother. The racist uses the car radio to go back to the 1950's and help his
father and the Ku Klux Klan.
Comments: Another "Johnny screws up" episode, and the third of four time-travel
episodes. This one is simulated in black-and-white. The time travel gimmick is a bit
over-used by now: even Johnny seem rather blase about it, despite never having
done it before! Still, there are some nice portrayals of life in the South
of the 50's.
Plot: A deranged vampire hunter gains a cursed cross that can incinerate vampires.
He uses it in his efforts to regain his girlfriend, who was transformed into a
vampire years ago.
Comments: This episode is almost a precursor to Forever Knight, and similarities
abound, right down to the cinematography and the musical score that Fred Mollin later
"borrows" from himself for FK. Particularly effective are Jack's opening and closing narrations,
as we see the toll of antique-hunting catching up once more. A mild contradiction
is that vampires were implied as not existing in a previous episode
(The Baron's Bride), but here exist as independent supernatural elements.
Item: Film Reel
Plot: A director of film noir with an invalid wife becomes obsessed with a cursed
reel of film of one of his movies. He discovers he can substitute a young woman
for the character in the movie that his wife played, so that "Lili" can emerge into real
life. Micki becomes trapped in the film.
Comments: An interesting commentary on levels of reality, and some people being
happier with fantasy. The sequence when the "Lili" from the movie goes into a theater
and sees her adoring fans is a nice touch. The ending is a little confusing: the invalid Lili
shoots her husband and takes Micki's place, which inexplicably destroys the "character" Lili
from the movie. Huh? Keep an eye out for one in-joke: the musical composer for the
film, "A Scandalous Woman", is listed as one "Frederick Mollin" (Fred Mollin was the
composer for the series). One down note: the endless scenes of trapped women
running through the movie become very tiresome after a while.
Mightier Than the Sword
Item: Fountain Pen
Plot: A writer of crime biographies enhances his reputation by using a cursed fountain
pen to turn innocent people into serial killers, controlling their exploits by
writing his stories. Micki is his next target...
Comments: No season would be complete without Micki being mentally controlled into
doing something against her will, and acting sultry and seductive in the process.
At least she isn't forced to fall in love with the author (Colm Feore, from last
season's The Maestro, and recently Storm of the Century). An okay
episode, enhanced only by Robey's performance as a psychotic murderer.
Year of the Monkey
Item: Monkey Statues
Plot: The trio must make a deal with a retired samurai: in return for an antique
tea set, they must recover a set of three Monkey statues from the Tanaka clan.
The statues are used by the father to test his children. The one who passes
his test gains all of his wealth, and immortality until he or she finds a worthy
successor in turn.
Comments: Interestingly, the statues aren't cursed items but simply magical artifacts. This
gives the story
a slightly different spin. The trio are also forced to travel to Hong Kong and
New York to gain the statues (although the sequences were filmed on Canadian
sets, of course). Both these factors help to "open out" the show a bit. Now well-known actress
Tia Carrere (Relic Hunter, Wayne's World, True Lies) is cast as a Japanese
woman (?!?). Robert Ito (Sam on Quincy, and Highlander episodes "Revenge of the Sword"
and "The Samurai") plays the head of the Tanaka clan, while Von Flores (Sandoval on Earth: Final
Conflict) plays a minor bad guy.
Epitaph for a Lonely Soul
Item: Mortician's Aspirator
Plot: A mortician (the title's "lonely soul") finds an antique aspirator that lets him do
the old "Kill Person A, resurrect Person B" shtick. With the added bonus that they (initially)
don't recall much of their previous lives, and accept anything he tells them.
Comments: Neil Munro vies with Denis Forest for the award for "Actor Playing the Most
Different Bad Guys": Epitaph... is his second of three appearances (he was in last season's
Better Off Dead). He's no Denis Forest (thankfully, no one is), but as the
mortician this is the most sympathetic of his three roles. The resurrection/healing concept itself is
way overdone by now, but the romantic angle helps a little bit. If you ignore
the hints of necrophilia, that is.
Item: None (Motorcycle Gang)
Plot: While visiting a small town, our trio become involved when a motorcycle
gang rolls into town - a gang of ghosts, that is. Jack's father also mysteriously
shows up, after having disappeared years ago.
Comments: Another non-antique episode. Like first season's The Pirate's
Promise, this episode borrows heavily from John Carpenter's The Fog, with ghosts coming
back from the dead to wreak vengeance for an injustice. The non-antique
angle and the revelations about Jack's father, Cawley, are the best parts.
Plot: A newspaper columnist runs over a little girl...and her voice emanates
from her locket to tell him to kill someone else to bring her back to life.
He does so, except the next victim does the same thing. Repeatedly. Just
like the title. At the end, the guy kills himself from the stress.
Comments: This episode only marginally features the main characters, and is
basically a character piece on the columnist, as he slowly goes nuts. But
the episode is kind of...well, repetitive. I suppose that's the idea, but
still, watching the guy go nuts over the course of 40 minutes just isn't that
The Long Road Home
Item: Yin-Yang Amulet
Plot: After recovering an amulet that allows the transference of souls, Johnny
and Micki head back, but run into two wacko brothers who have their eyes set
on Micki. When Johnny is wounded, he must transfer his soul into one of the
brothers to stop the other.
Comments: >Deliverance meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with a bit of Psycho
thrown in (the brothers practice taxidermy, which provides a cute "twist" at the end).
The brothers are probably the most depraved characters to ever appear on the show, and
considering their competition, that's going some. One is played by Angelo Rizacos,
who played an obsessed sculptor in second season's Wax Magic and
in the first season episode of the same title. Angelo manages to be even less
likable here. This episode bears a strong resemblance to Bedazzled
two seasons earlier. The first part of the episode (actually, the pre-titles teaser here) deals
with the recovery of the antique, while the rest of the episode involves our
friends' efforts to keep it while being hunted down by two evil-doers. There
are hints of a Micki/Johnny romance here, thankfully dropped. The episode is
redeemed slightly by the ending, which has a truly chilling moment when the
surviving brother finds a new body to possess...
My Wife as a Dog
Item: Dog Leash
Plot: A fireman's only friend is his dog, which is dying of old age. His wife has
divorced him rather than tolerate his obsession. But the fireman discovers an
aboriginal leash that will grant him his fondest animal-related wish: to heal
his dog and make her his only companion.
Comments: This episode is as close to a comedy as the show ever does. The trio
has no real clue what's going on, even at the end, and a lot of dog jokes are
made. Denis Forest, going on his fourth appearance in four different roles, gets
his one and only shot at a sympathetic character, albeit a homicidal and somewhat
insane one. Very bizarre.
Plot: A young girl uses a antique to kill those responsible for her father's
death, in return for being able to summon his spirit. Eventually, she decides
she has to join him.
Comments: A pretty standard "get the antique" episode, enhanced by the focus on how the
mother and the girl deal with the father's death (neither handle it very well,
although they are portrayed realistically enough). Also, the father's spirit
isn't a willing party to his daughter's actions, but is rather summoned forth by the
antique. This provides for an
interesting character study, and an episode with no real villains. Oh. Well,
yes, the people who actually kill the father are your typical scum (who knew
working at a rec center pool was such a dangerous job?), but they're dispatched
in short order.
Spirit of Television
Plot: A would-be psychic uses a cursed television to show her clients the ghosts
of who they want to see. Unfortunately, the ghosts must then turn vengeful,
killing the one who wanted to see them. The psychic gains a few more weeks
of life in return.
Comments: A very average episode. The scenes with the summoned spirits,
initially kind but later grotesque and vengeful, are impressive.
Otherwise been there, seen it, done it.
Tree of Life
Item: Fertility Statue
Plot: A cult of female druids uses a womens' hospital in a bizarre set up.
Infertile couples come to them, and the druids use a cursed fertility statue
to sacrifice the father so the wife gives birth to a twin boy and girl.
They then claim only one child was born, give the boy to the mother, and
keep the girl to raise in the druid way. Our trio stumble into the situation.
Comments: Another hint of supernatural powers other then the antiques, although
the druids' magic seems to derive only from the cursed statue: they seem to
lack any powers of their own. Still, their cold-hearted use of the antiques
to further their own goals is very effective, albeit reminiscent of
Tails I Win... and The Sweetest Sting.
The concept of an antique spawning duplicates of itself is also raised, a truly chilling
The Charnal Pit
Item: Two-Sided Painting
Plot: A two-sided painting has magical powers. When fueled by blood
from a dead body,
it acts as a portal back to the time of the painter, the Marquis
de Sade. A 20th century scholar gets hold of it,
and uses it to supply de Sade with victims in return for the Marquis'
personal diaries, which he then uses to bolster his own reputation as a
de Sade expert. Things take a turn for the worse when, while investigating,
Micki accidentally passes through the portal and must masquerade as a
Comments: The fourth and final time-travel episode, this one is just filmed
normally. No sepia tone, no black & white. A somewhat elaborate plot, but it gives
Robey a chance to step outside of her typical role and indulging in a little period
dress. Some interesting insights into Micki's character are presented. Neil
Munro does an excellent job of playing the Marquis in his third F13 role.
In fact, the episode is rather explicit in tones of sexuality until reverting
to a more typical gore-fest at the end. The painting itself is not cursed, but
Micki inadvertently leaves a letter which Vendredi got hold of, leading him
to procure the painting: a nice paradoxical time-travel touch. Her concerns
about returning to the present are also well-portrayed.