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The Tale of the Photo Finish

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The Tale of the Photo Finish
Season 7, Episode 9
Eplogo87
Air date May 14, 2000
Written by Alan Kingsberg
Directed by Mark Soulard
Episode guide
Previous
The Tale of the Time Trap
Next
The Tale of the Last Dance
The Tale of the Photo Finish is the Ninth episode of the Seventh Season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and the Eighty-Seventh episode in total.

Intro

That night, Quinn and Vange enter the circle to see Megan frustrated and ticked off. Tucker stands up and mentions it's about the ring club that he's in at school. Quinn says he must mean the snotty club full of jocks. Tucker is annoyed and says it's a service club, and Megan mentions that Andy tried to join it, but they turned him down.

Vange is mad and asks Tucker if stood up for him. Tucker says that he sure did, he told them how great a guy he was and how lucky they would be to have him. Megan says that they still turned him down though, and goes to sit down. Tucker tells Vange and Quinn, that Andy probably knows by now and not to mention it to him when he shows up.

Andy shows up, and he's not mad and he's taking it very well. Andy says that life isn't always fair, but he got a good story out of it. Then goes to sit down. Quinn says if it's about the guys from the club, then it must be a horror story! Tucker defends them by saying that the guys aren't so bad once you get to know them.

Andy sits down and says his story is about trying to a join a club, and the different things you can do don't if you don't get in...

  • 1. You can let it go and move on.
  • 2. You can get mad.
  • 3. Or.. you could get even!

Andy's friends all look excited and intrigued hearing this, then Andy opens the pouch and tosses in a handful of the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while he submits his story for approval for The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of the Photo Finish" and begins the story.

Story

Andy, tells the story, it first takes place at a club initiation. Four pledges are given a test of bravery, their told that before each of them is a bowl that contains cold intestines of a wild boar. They must be brave and eat it, or they will fail the test. Three of the pledges slowly begin eating the disgusting slop, while the forth pledge is freaking out about how gross it is and he runs off scared.

The lights go on and the club president Renfrew tells the three pledges that they have passed the test of bravery. The club is called the Lions Society, which is the coolest club at Tillinghast Academy. Renfrew tells two boys Alex and Chandler and a third boy, that their final test to get in is that they each must pull a prank or a joke that is creative and original and not get caught.

Renfrew likes Chandler and tells him that's immediately accepted into the club. Chandler is thrilled to hear this, but not so happy to hear Renfrew say that they're not interested in his friend and roommate Alex, and didn't think he would make it so far on his initiation. Chandler tries to stand up from Alex by saying he's an excellent student and athlete, but Renfrew doesn't change his mind and threatens to kick him out too if he doesn't agree with their decision.

That afternoon on the way back to their dorm, Alex is excited, because he believes that once they're in the club they'll rule the school and be popular. Alex discusses the prank he might pull such as sending out a fake email that there is a holiday. Or sending out a fake message, that the lizards have escaped from the biology lab. Therefore they could be just about anywhere and to carefully watch where to sit.

Chandler disappointingly says he's thinking of swiping a painting from the Hall of Headmasters and putting it up in the detention room. Alex asks Chandler what's wrong and he blurts it out, telling Alex that Renfrew told him that they don't want him to in the club. Alex can perfectly guess it's because unlike Chandler, Renfrew and the rest of the Lions Society, who are from rich families and paid to attend the school, he isn't. He's from an average income family and came to the school on a scholarship. Since they're best friends and a team, Alex tries to convince him to quit, but Chandler believes that since his grandfather and father were members at a time, that he must carry on he family tradition and stay in the club.

Later that night, Chandler sneaks in through an window into the Hall of Headmasters. Chandler sneakingly chooses a painting to swipe. When suddenly another one slightly moves and falls off the wall. This set off the alarm and Tom the Library Guard almost Catches him. Chandler just misses him and swipes the fallen painting and runs back to his dorm.

An elderly Professor, frantically has a Security Guard check every room. Chandler panics and can't find anywhere to hid the old painting, Alex reluctantly helps him. They figure out they can peel it off. So they peel it off and roll it up, and hide it in their closet. When they peeled off the portrait, they were shocked to discover a black and white photo of an small old house was behind it. Therefore they hung it up on the wall to just blend in with the room setting.

The Security Guard, finally makes his rounds to their room. They nervously watch as he inspects their room, and they are cleared. Then afterwards, Chandler is relieved and thanks Alex for his help. Because if caught he might have faced expulsion. Alex coldly welcomes him, and looks at the old house photo. Alex notices a creepy teenager in a checkered blazer and bow tie sitting on a chair. Then later that night, Alex wakes up hearing knocking sounds, but no one is there. Then he notices the kid in the photo is gone, a bit confused he asks Chandler whether or not he was in the picture earlier but Chandler is too tired too care. 

Alex decides to see if the noises came from the hallway. When outside he's startled, after he bumps into Renfrew coming out of the bathroom. Hearing more noises, Chandler gets up and he notices the kid in the portrait is back. He is shocked and calls out to Alex to come see. Alex runs back, and just as he points out the kid is back, Chandler suddenly freezes and gets captured into the portrait. The kid in the photo is now giving a smirking look. Alex is terrified and runs into the hall screaming for help. Renfrew and the Lions Society all come to see what his problem is. Alex is scared, telling them all that the kid in the portrait captured Chandler inside the photo. Renfrew and the others aren't amused. Renfrew in a cold and smart tone, tells him not to both pulling a prank since their club isn't interested in letting him join. Alex tries to convince them it's not a prank, but they don't believe him and leave.

The next morning, Alex asks The School Librarian about the painting. The Librarian said it was a painting of Headmaster Broffman, which was done in the 1940s. Alex asks her if possibly anything was behind it and she is confused and tells him to check the old yearbooks for more information. Meanwhile, the elderly professor from the other night is nearby and nervously suspects him.

Alex looks through the 1944 yearbook of Tillinghast Academy. He's not surprised to see The Lion's Society was near the beginning of the book. As he looks through the yearbook, he comes across a memorial page in the camera club section. The memorial was for a student named Jasper Davis, born 1929-1944. Alex is shocked when he hears noise sand senses someone is approaching. Suddenly on the other side of the bookcase the Professor pops his head in and nervously asks him if he has the photograph. Alex is calm because it's only Professor Barish, but he asks Alex if he has the photograph. Professor Barish mentions where might Alex be, this hints to him he knows what the photograph does. The Professor reveals that he believes him, because many years ago his friend got trapped into it too!

Professor Barish takes Alex, into the Lion's Society Clubhouse. He reveals to him that both he and Jasper Davis enrolled in the Academy in 1944 and were soon best friends. Professor Barish soon joined the  Lion's Society and got Jasper permission to take their pictures. Then soon the Lion Society decided to play a prank on Jasper. They told Jasper they wanted him to join their club, he was thrilled because he finally felt as if he was going to fit in. Then soon enough the Lion's Society revealed to him, they had no intention of letting him join because he was poor. Then begun to chase him around and tease him about his clothes and the way he spoke. They chased him all the way onto the clubhouse roof. This was where he accidentally fell off and died.

Then soon enough, the clubhouse moved from the old part of campus to where it is now. Then a month later a mysterious photograph of the old clubhouse appeared. Professor Barish saw his friend and a fellow member get trapped into it. Nobody believed him, they thought he was either crazy or playing another prank. So he hid the photograph behind the painting of Headmaster Broffman. Professor Barish is scared and suggests Alex to do the same thing before it captures anybody else.

When Alex returns to his room, he's not too happy to see Renfrew there, who is looking for Chandler. Renfrew rudely invites himself in. Then rudely explains to Alex he wouldn't have been happy in their club anyhow. Renfrew sees the photograph on the wall. He recognizes it and says it's the Old Lion's Society Clubhouse on the old part of Campus. Alex warns him not to look at Jasper. But it's too late, Jasper captures him into the photograph. Alex is nervous and remembers Renfrew mentioned it's on the old part of campus.

Alex wraps the photo in a shirt (not to capture anyone on the way) and heads over to the old clubhouse. The place is old and abandoned now. When entering the clubhouse with the photograph, it acts as a port key and Alex is traveled into the black and white dimension inside the photograph. Alex then sees many empty wall mounted pictures, and finds the pictures of Professor Barish's friends from 1944. He also sees the captured pictures of Chandler and Renfrew.

Then he is welcomed by Jasper Davis. Alex is shocked to see him because he's deceased. Jasper reveals he's a vengeful ghost, and he blames the Lion's Society for his death. Because he felt that if they had just let him into the club, he never would have fallen off the roof. Jasper feels he now has the last laugh, taking the club down with him. When any Lion Society Club Member looks at him or his photograph, he takes their picture and captures them. He then traps them forever on wall mounted pictures. He reveals he now intends to do the same thing to Alex, possibly because he wanted to be a member, or sees him as a threat.

Then just before Jasper takes Alex's picture, Professor Barish runs in and demands him to leave Alex alone. Jasper is stunned to see him, addresses him as Felix and remarks about how old he's grown. He reveals that Felix Barish was his friend at first, but being a club member was more import. How he along with the others chased him onto the roof and he covered up his picture leaving him lonely for all those years. Professor Barish states he was trying to help him not chase him. Also he had no choice, but to cover his photograph or he would have captured the rest of the club. Jasper expresses his hatred and feelings of betrayal and says he has a spot on the wall just for him. Professor Barish screams no! Then his picture is taken and he's captured. A moment later he appears mounted on the wall in a picture.

Jasper then sets his sights to Alex, Alex has nowhere to run but hides in a corner. He finds out then when looking out the window, he can see the reflection of anyone standing nearby. Then Alex pretends to surrender and to let him capture him. Jasper tells him to say cheese, and then as he squeezes the bulb, Alex steps away and Jasper gets caught in his own reflection, and camera and sent into a picture on the wall.

Alex then opens the camera, and exposes the film. This frees all the captured souls, but the realm begins fading and exposing. Alex runs out just in time, when looking at the old photo; it vanishes. Professor Barish and Chandler are both free and thank him and applaud him on his bravery. Professor Barish says he hopes his friends from 1944, along with Jasper are now in a better place and at peace.

Then Renfrew, appears and he is astounded and amazed with Alex. Believing he just pulled the most incredible prank in history. Therefore he lets him join The Lion's Society. Alex turns him down and quits saying he has better thing to do, then hang out with a club of snobs. Chandler agrees with him, and quits the club too. Chandler then goes off to return the painting of Headmaster Broffman. Renfrew spooked about the old house, runs along with them.

Ending

Andy ends his story simply by saying: The End. His friends are very impressed and they all tell him it was a really good and creepy story. Quinn asks him if he plans to get even with those guys, for not letting him into their club. Andy, says no because getting even with people is not the way he is. Also as it turns it, he got into the club and he happily shows them his new ring, Tucker and Megan are both very happy for him.

Andy says he got in all because of Tucker, Tucker really stood up for him and when they still said no he quit. Megan and Vange are both very proud and impressed of what Tucker did for Andy. However Tucker is confused, asking him if the club let him in because they changed their minds. 

Andy says that, since Tucker quit there was an extra spot available and so now he's in. Tucker is furious to hear he took his place, and says he's gonna get those guys and runs away.

Afterwards, Megan asks him if he really took his spot. Andy laughs and says of course not, they're both in the club. He just likes to tease him and get him going. Hearing this they all laugh, then Quinn puts out the campfire and they leave.

  • Patrick Thomas who portrayed Chandler, previously appeared in the show before. he first appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets" as Tommy.
  • Victor Knight who portrayed Professor Felix Barish, previously appeared in show a few years earlier. He first appeared in the original series episode "The Tale of the Long Ago Locket as Mr. Olshak.
  • Robin Weekes and Daniel DeSanto, both appeared together in a few episodes of the children's show "The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon" as Dudley's human friends, Matt and Terry.

  • Robin Weekes as Alex
  • Patrick Thomas as Chandler
  • Robert Crooks as Renfrew
  • Victor Knight as Professor Felix Barish
  • Andrew Craig as Jasper Davis
  • Frances Brady-Stewart as The Librarian
  • Vincent Sheffield as Tom the Library Guard
  • Jonathan Stark as The School Security Guard
  • Sacha Cantor as Kid #1
  • Steven Wieferig as Boy #1

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