DISCLAIMER: This recap of the SurrealEstate episode “Baba O’Reilly” is laden with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, stigmatized property hunters! This week’s episode of SurrealEstate gives me Smart House vibes sans the cyborg maid named PAT. Millennials will understand this reference. Anyway, “Baba O’Reilly” boasts an innovative plot with teenage versions of our Roman Agency crew succumbing to an all-knowing, sentient house that gives them everything.
I have a theory regarding the episode title. “Baba O’Riley” is the name of a 1971 song by The Who. One of the lyrics of the said song is, “It’s only teenage wasteland … Let’s get together before we get much older.” If there’s a connection/homage here, I’m a genius. If there isn’t, I may still be a genius.
Ready to delve into “Baba O’Reilly”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a scene from the 1950s — a teenage girl is giddily dancing to music in her room. Suddenly, she clutches her chest; she may be experiencing a cardiac event. She tells an invisible force that it’s time for her to leave. We see the house “eject” her.
Fast forward to the present. An older woman lies dead on her front porch. Ominous!
Next, we’re at The Roman Agency. Luke (Tim Rozon) is on the phone with clients. We learn from Phil (Adam Korson), August (Maurice Dean Wint) and Zooey (Savannah Basley) that business is plummeting. Luke is an industry pariah, and clients are pulling out at a rapid rate. In addition, he had a spat with Megan.
Then, Luke introduces a new case for the team. A woman called regarding her aunt’s home. The aunt in question, Nellie, recently passed away. There’s nothing supernatural afoot — she wants the residence whipped into shape and ready for selling. Luke decides to take this on as his pet project.
Later, Luke is bowling with his father, Carl (Art Hindle). Luke questions whether his father would’ve still loved him if he grew up “normal.” Of course, his dad asserts he would’ve loved Luke no matter what.
Susan (Sarah Levy) shows up for a bowling session. That and to make sure Luke’s okay. He confesses that he’s been mulling over The Roman Agency’s future. For example, their paranormal cases make up a tiny percentage of their revenue. Perhaps it’s time to ditch the spooky stuff and go legit?
Of course, this decision might fracture the group, especially the members whose talents specifically suit the supernatural cases.
Next, Luke arrives at Nellie’s home to inspect it. Susan receives a phone call from Megan (Tennille Read), who’s trying to contact Luke. Susan offers her assistance instead. We see Megan is mindlessly drawing circles like the one family that was possessed by roadies. Megan urges Susan to come over to the Donovan house.
Meanwhile, Luke heads inside Nellie’s abode. He takes a look in the mirror … but it’s not our Luke in the reflection. It’s a 16-year-old version of Luke (Marcus Zane).
It’s like the beach that makes you old, but it’s the house that makes you young!
Back at the office, Phil unloads some unnerving discoveries on Zooey and August. Apparently, Nellie’s parents perished when she was 16 years old. Not only that — they died simultaneously by falling out of two attic windows. Creepy. Our trio decides to deliver the news to Luke.
Next, Susan arrives at Megan’s house. Megan is clearly flustered. Her place is in shambles, and she doesn’t remember anything after attending Susan’s award ceremony. Methinks a roadie is involved!
Later, Zooey, Phil and August enter Nellie’s home. Well, 16-year-old Zooey, baby Phil (Matthew Isen) and young August (Jeremy Watson).
As our teenage trio explores the house, they each find a room that fits their respective personalities. August spots a room chock full of tech stuff and … the devil’s lettuce. I knew August was a secret pothead!
Meanwhile, Phil gets comfy in a space decked out with books and licorice. Lastly, Zooey’s quarters are quintessentially punk rock, complete with a guitar and a piercing gun.
They decide to stick together, and they find young Luke playing video games in the living room.
Susan procures some of August’s items from her car at the Donovan house, including the swanky device that destroys roadies. She also installs a hidden camera so that they can monitor Megan’s moves. Megan’s body invader isn’t a fan of the device, a.k.a. the roadie.
While the teens are having a blast, Zooey learns they’re all the same age despite being born in different decades. Oh, and the house is essentially alive. It gives them everything they want so they won’t leave.
Suddenly, Megan’s inner roadie seizes control. Her head spins 360 degrees, which is definitely a thing that normal human heads don’t do.
Then, Zooey discovers the cake she wished for isn’t real. Her piercings have vanished. Everything is a glamour. Unfortunately, the home acknowledges Zooey’s skepticism by sending her flying out of the window.
Next, Roadie Megan shoves August’s device aside with her foot. Susan retaliates with a savage punch. Then, Susan utilizes her telekinesis to retrieve the device. The roadie transfers from Megan to Susan. Like a game of supernatural hot potato, the roadie returns to Megan. That’s when Susan telekinetically turns on the device, and the roadie is sucked into it for good.
Later, Phil notices that his books contain the same page from Moby Dick. August’s tools are the same size. And Luke hasn’t scored in his game for 20 minutes.
Both Phil and August are promptly booted from the building for questioning it.
Now, we see Zooey, August and Phil are back to normal. They brainstorm how to get Luke out of the Smart House house.
Meanwhile, young Luke comes face-to-face with present-day Luke. Well, more like the house manifesting itself as present-day Luke. The home attempts to coerce young Luke into staying with it for all eternity. The outside world is unbelievably cruel.
Thankfully, young Luke decides to leave. He wants to see the world. Before stepping outside, he drops a quote from his dearly departed dad: “Ships are safe at harbor; that’s not what ships are for.”
Since Luke overpowered the house, the spirit within it/its sentience disappears.
Then, he rallies the group together. Luke was thinking about going “legit,” but he realized their services are a necessity. So, they’ll continue to kick paranormal ass and make bucketloads of escrow. Go, team!
Back at The Roman Agency, we see a monitor of the Donovan house. A handful of ghosts descend the staircase. Suddenly, one creepy dude bursts onto the screen with a devilish grin.
“Baba O’Reilly” is a delightful, original outing supported by fine performances all around. Props to the casting department for finding realistic teen versions of Luke, August and Phil. These kids truly resembled their adult counterparts.
I love that “Baba O’Reilly” sheds light on Luke’s insecurities and showcases more of what innately drives the rest of our core cast, i.e., Zooey, Phil and August. In addition, I dig the material nuances (August’s tools, Phil’s books, etc.) in the house that prove it’s an ill-cast glamour.
I’m curious to see how the overarching story resolves with two episodes left in the season. Here’s hoping more ghostly drama is on the horizon!
SurrealEstate airs Fridays at 10 pm on your Syfy affiliate.
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