|Since I can't get any quality screenshots of "A New Woman," take a look at Charles Dickens' ugly mug.|
Maybe it's because I had to watch this Monsters episode on YouTube, in grainy quality hijacked from someone's VCR recording of "A New Woman" when it aired. But I highly doubt it; the episode is overwrought and boring, a smorgasbord of bad '90s hair and cliches. Even the classic Christmas carols of the episode and the quick glimpse of a couple of skeletal ghosties can't save this episode from being as lifeless and rotting as Charles Dickens' body must be.
Linda Thorson plays Jessica, a money-hungry woman who marries a rich old man fully expecting him to die and leave her millions. She didn't realize, however, that her husband might leave the money to a development, and so she battles with him to leave all of his wealth to her alone. She contemplates pulling the plug on her husband before he can change his mind, but she's caught by his strangely moralistic butler, who explicitly states that he's going to have a ghost visit her and terrify her into changing.
I'm not sure that change can be scared into someone in one night with one ghostly visit, but it works! Jessica sees the grotesque ghost of her husband, and he conjures a bunch of other demonic figures that point at her and make spooky faces. She's not so scared until she sees her face in the mirror, blooming with large blistery bumps. "I'll change!" she cries, and apparently that's good enough for all of the writers at Monsters, because the ghost takes her at her word and everything goes back to normal.
In fact, because of Jessica's fantastic and forced change for the good, her husband revives! She loses out on the millions he could give to her, but the butler reminds her that she should be good or else he'll be back to turn her into a warty troll.
The episode spends so much time forcing the viewer's face into Jessica's depravity that it really doesn't have time for any ghosts, so instead of following the Christmas Carol formula, it only uses one boring ghost. It's hard to understand what "A New Woman" is going for in terms of morals, too; is it that you can be a terrible person as long as you pretend and promise you're not?
So next time you're feeling greedy at Christmastime, just remember Jessica's story in "A New Woman" - as long as you pretend that you're changing for the good, you won't become an ugly witch with a serious case of psoriasis, and you can still keep all of the money you got from murdering someone.