That… had to be the most deranged and deliriously-entertaining 22 minutes I’ve seen all month.
A huge part of what made YU YU HAKUSHO so entertaining for me was the way it balanced horror with comedy/action. The ol’ sucker-punch/one-liner combo was that much more fun when it cut off 20 minutes of doom-laden, atmospheric tension. Horror’s supposed to instill a sense of helplessness in the viewer. That’s the expectation. So when you thwart expectations, and abruptly fill the viewer with a sense of powerful agency… it’s just so much more cathartic.
That’s the best way I can describe the sense of elation I felt, watching Polnareff win this tooth ‘n nail struggle with Devo, the evil doll. Keep in mind, Chucky from CHILD’S PLAY absolutely scared the shit out of me as a kid. That one VHS cover, where he’s about to chop a jack-in-the-box’s head off with a pair of scissors? Utterly terrifying. So there’s probably an added layer of therapy here for me.
Polnareff chiding Devo for his insultingly-stupid attempt to hide in the fridge? Brilliant.
Devo’s sarcastic diatribe about what he definitely isn’t going to use that hairdryer for? Brilliant.
The staff finding Devo’s corpse in a bathroom stall, like he died of auto-erotic asphyxiation? Brilliant.
Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. I can’t write it enough times.
And just when I thought the show couldn’t get any more ridiculous, it ends with that inspired cliffhanger where Jojo #2 learns of the traitor in their midst. He flips through channels on a hotel TV like they're bird entrails.
You know a show’s crew is committed to giving you the biggest bang for your buck (of free time, at least) and I loved how this one episode had so much craziness that it had to push all the through to the credits. Brilliant.