I have always been a fan of Ed, Edd, n Eddy as a kid. I remember the first time I saw it even, it was in a motel up in Maine where my family used to spend a few days every summer, munching on a bagel as I flipped through the channels, always hated having to figure out the channels up there. My parents never liked the show, called it stupid, called it dumb, but that's what cartoons are. Dumb fun.
Unfortunately, I eventually started to watch Comedy Central instead of Cartoon Network, a part of growing up I guess, forgetting all about my beloved children's shows in favor of stand-up comedy and "real shows". Though recently, I met a friend who reignited my spark in cartoon interests, and upon researching, I found that Ed, Edd, n Eddy continued much longer than when I had stopped watching, even a season revolving around school life, it was quite a nostalgia trip to say the least.
The trip didn't last for long though, after binging on YouTube videos, I eventually watched them all, and that was it, the end. There's nothing I hate more than when a good thing ends. That is, if it really was the end.
After a few hours of searching for news and info on the show, I eventually came across an online auction for someone's VHS collection of all the episodes, which I hastily bought, wanting a more physical format for my childhood than YouTube.
A week later, the collection arrived in the mail, the contents of the package being quite a few tapes, each having several episodes on them which the previous owner thankfully labeled clearly for me. That was when I noticed it.
In the back of the box was one last tape, this one rather dusty, as if the owner hadn't watched it in some time before sending it to me. Instead of episode titles and run times on the label, it simply read: Ed, Edd, n Freddy.
Freddy? A typo maybe? A joke? Or perhaps even some Halloween bootleg gag mixing a cartoon with a well known horror film? Whatever it was, I was curious, popping it into my VHS player and readying some popcorn. The oddities began right at the title.
"Ed, Edd, n _____!"
The narration at the start of the opening jingle omitted Eddy's name, and when the opening itself began, Eddy was oddly absent, in fact, he was replaced. Instead of the short scheming miser, there was a rather tall boy, long black hair and a red cap, smiling to the camera as the whistling played. The choreography of Ed and Double-D was much different as well, Ed running about like an excited puppy while Double-D chased after him, the boy in back watching and chuckling silently at their antic until the whistling stopped.When the opening ended, there was a slight pause, the screen staying black for a while before the title card appeared, a plain blue background with grey letters reading: Goodbye
Now that was weird, as if the opening containing an unknown character wasn't enough, now an ominous title card? Just like something out of those "lost episode" bullshit stories. Anyway, I digress.
The title card faded away and revealed a scene of the Cul-de-sac at night, the audio seemed to be missing or muted. While it seemed late at night, the strange boy from the opening was there, alone, walking silently up to one of the houses, moving painfully slow before opening the door and going in.
The scene suddenly shifted without warning, no comical fade like most episode. For this new scene, Double-D was frantically observing his lab set with glee, scribbling things down rapidly as the boy from before watched over his shoulder.
"Amazing! Stupendous!" Double-D would squeal, watching the beaker intently as the color changed to purple, his eyes widening in delight as he stood up.
"We did it Freddy! You were right! It worked!" he exclaimed, turning to the boy who simply stood there, smiling. For a few more minutes, Double-D would speak in technical jargon, praising this boy Freddy for his insight and ideas. Just as sudden as before, the scene shifted back to the Cul-de-sac at night, and what I saw made me drop my drink.
Coming out of the house was Freddy, in his hands he was dragging a garbage bag behind him, emotionless, silent, the only sound being the dragging sound. As this soaked in, I simply watched, my eyes fixated on the screen as Freddy headed into another house for another scene switch.
"Freddy, help Rolf carry Victor to the pasture!" Rolf said, the scene now showing Rolph's iconic farm as he seemed ready for a day of work, Freddy there again, smiling and nodding, effortlessly lifting Victor the goat and carrying him off, Rolf praising him for his strength as they went into the pasture, where he broke into one of his usual strange folk dances, Freddy joining in with him, as if he was completely familiar with Rolph's culture, the two dancing in merriment for a minute or so before back to the night scene. Now, there were two bags dragged behind Freddy as he went to the next house…
For the entirety of the episode, I found myself paralyzed, watching as he went from house to house, never speaking, never making a sound. Each house he entered showed a scene of him and the house occupant doing something together, and every time, it was a positive scene, playing dress-up with Sarah and Jimmy, fixing bikes with Kevin. Honestly, I forgot the dark imposing night scene during the Ed visit, where Freddy basically dangled a toy on a stick while Ed batted at it like a cat, but of course, my laughter ceased as Freddy left Ed's house with another garbage bag…
I was scared of this Freddy boy, and what he was doing. From what I saw, he looked like a demon, a seducer, jumping in and forming relationships, before emerging with those bags…big enough to hold bodies…
This fear of mine was reinforced once all the houses had been visited, hell, even the Kanker Sisters trailer was shown, Freddy now having so many bags, he had to use a wheelbarrow to carry them all. Once he had everyone, he went to somewhere that was never shown in any episode.
Freddy brought the bags up to a hill, passing all the graves and moving to an open one, dug deep into the hill, Freddy looking into it as the camera showed no bottom in sight. There was a bottom however, how else would I hear the thudding of the bags hitting the ground as he tossed them in, one by one…
Once all the bags were in the whole, a wispy object appeared behind Freddy, a voice so quiet I had to rewind with my volume on max to hear, asked a simple question:
"Do you have them all?"
"Are you ready?"
Freddy nodded again.
As Freddy nodded, the scene faded out into black, slow, silent…I expected this to be the end. However, I was wrong, the episode had some more to it.
When the scene faded back, it was the Cul-de-Sac again, this time, it was morning, and to my surprise, everyone was alive and well, but they seemed disoriented, wandering out of their homes sleepily and chatting with everyone at once, the topic seeming to be that everyone had a nagging feeling that something was missing, that they had forgotten something important. As they pondered this, the sound of a truck could be heard, moments later a moving van pulled to a stop in front of one of the houses, the adults cleverly hidden by furniture as they carried everything into the house, a second car pulling up behind it.
"Hellooooooo everyone!" a familiar voice filled the speakers, jumping out from the passenger seat was, to my surprise, Eddy! His appearance was sudden, and from the looks of it, this was his first time meeting everyone. Despite his grand entrance, nobody seemed impressed, in fact…they had looks of disdain on their faces, the camera panning up to the sky, a sudden flash of light confused me, but after some carefully timed presses of the pause button, I saw it was a word flashed right across the screen, a word that explained everything: