Courage the Cowardly Dog
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Courage the Cowardly Dog

This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the character.


"McPhearson Phantom" is part two of the eleventh episode in Season Two of Courage the Cowardly Dog, written by David Steven Cohen. It aired November 2, 2001.

Synopsis

After Eustace is suspiciously folded, blown up, and eaten by chickens, he thinks Muriel is the one responsible for hurting him. Courage must figure out what is happening before Ma and a vengeful ghost ruin the Bagges' marriage.

Plot

Muriel and Courage are folding laundry in the bedroom when Eustace arrives and grabs his shirt. Muriel continues to fold, but Eustace gets folded along with his shirt. Later, Muriel presents Eustace with his freshly polished shoes. As soon as he puts them on, they blow up his feet. That afternoon, Muriel gives Eustace his now steam-cleaned hat. But, angry chickens have been put under the hat and peck at Eustace’s head.

Eustace is convinced Muriel is trying to hurt him on purpose, which Muriel denies. He goes to the living room to call Ma about his problem. But, a random chandelier falls from the ceiling onto Eustace. When Muriel and Courage investigate the crash, Eustace accuses his wife of the incident. Their argument is interrupted by a knock at the door.

Ma has arrived with a mail-order therapist’s license. She tells Eustace that she is going to “help” the farmer and his wife work out their problems. But, she asks random, unimportant questions before declaring their marriage unfixable. Muriel gives Eustace some tea and complains about Ma’s presence, but the hot tea sprays from the cup into Eustace’s face. He goes to his truck to avoid any other injuries. Ma accuses Muriel of hurting Eustace, which offends Muriel and causes her to leave the room with Courage. No one seems to notice the black ghost floating near the ceiling.

Muriel tells Courage that they need a better therapist to help them, which gives the dog an idea. He goes upstairs to the computer and takes a test to become a licensed therapist. Courage gets his license, brings Muriel and Eustace to the attic, and begins their couple’s therapy session.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the black ghost appears before Ma and introduces herself as the widow McPhearson. McPhearson reveals that she has been the one harming Eustace and making him think Muriel is behind it. The phantom wants to ruin Muriel’s marriage to Eustace because she believes Muriel’s great-great aunt threw Mr. McPhearson into the Loch Ness to be eaten by the monster in the lake. Ma agrees to help the phantom, so she can move into the farmhouse when Muriel leaves.

After some psychological exercises and sharing of feelings, Eustace forgives Muriel and they make up. Ma bursts in and accuses Muriel of putting lobsters down Eustace’s pants. When the McPhearson phantom arrives with the lobsters, Courage sees the ghost slipping them into Eustace’s overalls. Courage distracts Ma with an inkblot test, and she immediately starts opening up about her past. She reveals that her cruel great-great Aunt Grizelda threw a man into the Loch Ness, where the monster ate him. This angers the ghost, who then chases Ma out of the house with the lobsters.

Trivia

  • This episode uses some of the music from King Ramses' Curse.
  • First and only appearance of the McPhearson Phantom.
  • Returned appearance of the Computer.
  • Great-Great Auntie Grizelda and the Loch Ness Monster were mentioned and not seen.
  • It makes no sense for the Phantom to suddenly abandon her goal to destroy Eustace and Muriel's marriage, when she realizes that Auntie Grizelda was Ma's great-great aunt and not Muriel's. Eustace is Ma's son and still her enemy altho it may be because the Phantom revealed herself and so the plan to make Eustace believe Muriel was doing everything to him was exposed and likely went after the female counterparts of the family.

Cultural references

  • McPhearson Phantom's line "Wait! I sense a disturbance in the force!" is an allusion to George Lucas' Star Wars movies.
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