Last week’s episode of Another Period saw the Bellacourt sisters fighting for women’s suffrage, but that’s all in the past with ‘Séance.’ This week a ghost is haunting the mansion, most notably near a portrait of Lillian’s late dog, Mayor Cutie.
What’s a rich family in the 1900s to do when their house is haunted? They call for a séance, of course. The show has a history of using famous figures of the time for guest roles, and Gil Ozeri plays Harry Houdini in this week’s episode. Houdini is a con man and fraud, preying on the Bellacourt’s fright and charging them for a ‘deluxe’ séance package.
The servants experience their own terror of the supernatural, and Mr. Peepers uses his Native American heritage to try and catch the spirits. Another side story finds Albert pursuing his hobby of sleight of hand, trying to become the opening act for Houdini’s séance — something he ends up paying $400 to do after enlisting Beatrice to be his assistant (even though it turns out she’s quite the magician herself.)
This week’s episode lacked the substance of ‘Congress,’ and there was very little plot or character development. In the end, we learn that the ‘ghost’ in the walls was just the girls’ father, the Commodore, who was kicked out last week. Houdini ends up getting a new dog in his plot to convince the girls they were séancing with Mayor Cutie, and once he’s outed, Lillian takes the dog as her own, treating it as the new Mayor Cutie.
Another Period isn’t a show that one would expect to have extensive plots and character development, but even so, ‘Séance’ could’ve been better fleshed out. Houdini’s guest appearance wasn’t enough to carry the episode, like that of Helen Keller and others in the past. The premise of supernatural frights and how they would be handled a century ago isn’t all that funny on its face, either.
Another Period‘s third season is just kicking off, but its second episode regresses from last week’s strong start. Next week’s episode, ‘Olympics’ satirizes the outrage over female Ghostbusters, which looks like it will put the show back on track to being the politically charged and vocal show that lives up to its full potential.