Are You Afraid of the Dark? “The Tale of the Dark Dragon” (part 1 of 2)

As you know, we had a bit of sexiness with our last Are You Afraid of the Dark? recap, with the big brother from Boy Meets World and the dirty colonial guy, Lieutenant William. This prompted me to remember that the guy from the episode “The Tale of the Dark Dragon” was hella sexy, so I decided to continue the streak of hotness and recap this episode.

But bear with me here; the protagonist doesn’t start out hot, nor does he stay that way throughout the entire episode. But it’s those little bits of magical, bad-assed hotness that really make this episode shine. It’s like when Anakin Skywalker finally turned bad—he was extra hot because you had to wait a little while for it to happen.

We start out this episode with Gary arriving at the campfire and finding no one there. He then steps on a birthday balloon, and tells everyone that the jig is up. A second later, everybody jumps out and yells, “Surprise!” It’s a birthday party—sweet!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Still, I wonder how long the other members of the Midnight Society were squatting in the bushes? That couldn’t have been comfortable.

As a special birthday treat, David is telling a story in Gary’s honor, using one of Gary’s recurring characters. David says he wanted to tell a story involving magic (umm… unlike the rest of the stories?), the special kind that Gary likes, the kind that’s fantastic, but also strangely real.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

David’s story is about the magic inside all of us, which can be used for good or… Bum bum bum! For evil!

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We open on two kids named Keith and Mariah in their high school library. The scene starts just as Mariah is putting away a copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Ooh, subtle foreshadowing. If this had been filmed today, Mariah would probably have been putting away a DVD of The Hottie & the Nottie, since that title perfectly sums up this story.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

After fulfilling her sexy librarian duties, Mariah comes over and says hi to Keith.

Keith tells Mariah that he has a surprise for her. He hands over a bag of chocolate-covered blueberries, and Mariah goes slightly ape-shizz. Keith tells her that he knows she likes them, so he “pinched a couple” from his dad the other night. Aww, you’re cute, Keith, even though you’ve got a bit of a Grover voice, and some rather prominent eyebrows. But actually, those things only add to your adorableness.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Mariah asks Keith if he’s going to the dance on Friday, and Keith replies that he’s not much of a “dance” guy. He’s more of a “sit and watch” guy. Um, yeah, is that so, Keith? You know, there’s a hot girl asking you out. Just say yes, man.

After Keith totally spoils his chance to get some hot hand-holding action from Mariah, two cool guys come into the library. We know they’re cool because they talk loud and get shushed by Mariah. One of the guys gestures to a blonde girl nearby named Shelly, and explains that she’s mad because she thinks he takes her for granted.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Then the guys play hacky sack (didn’t I tell you they were cool?) and accidentally kick the ball in Keith’s direction. They yell for him to kick it back, except Keith can’t, because it turns out his right leg is in a brace.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

David’s voiceover narration explains that Keith’s leg was injured in a car accident, and this means he’s going to walk with a limp for the rest of his life. Which probably means he can’t kick that little bean bag back to you, you assholes. Way to make him feel self-conscious.

The lead cool guy, also named Gary, apologizes to Keith for being inconsiderate. Keith punches him in the face and tells him to suck it. Actually, Keith just tells Gary that everything is okay, because he probably didn’t mean anything by it. But if this had been bad-ass, potion-influenced Keith, he totally would have done the punchy-thing, but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

On the way out of the library, Shelly bumps into Keith, and knocks all of the books out of her hands. Keith apologizes like crazy, even though it’s not really his fault.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Then he asks Shelly if she’s going to the dance, and Shelly shrugs and says she’s not sure, because she doesn’t know if her a-hole boyfriend Gary is going to bother to ask her. Keith tells Shelly that she can count on him if she ever needs anyone to fill in or anything. Shelly tells Keith he’s sweet and then leaves.

Doesn’t anyone in this story have enough sense to realize when they’re getting asked out? Yeesh.

Mariah looks on sadly as Keith gives Shelly the lovesick puppy dog face. Aww, sorry, Mariah.

Later, at the Charcoal Pit, an oddly named local hangout that appears to serve only soda and shakes, Keith sits by himself reading a comic book. Suddenly, Shelly knocks on the window and waves at him. Keith, ever the gentleman, gets up and opens the door for her. Shelly says a quick hello to Keith, then walks past him and goes over to have a weird PDA moment with her stupid boyfriend Gary.

Awkward!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Keith returns to his seat and opens his comic book once more, finding a big full-page, full-color ad that piques his interest.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Wanting to see how he might “bring out the best in [himself]”, Keith stops by the little magic shop in the ad. There, he encounters a saucy fellow with whom most fans of this show will be instantly familiar.

Keith asks if “Mr. Sourdough” is here… and out pops none other than Sardo!

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

That’s sahr-DOE! No “Mr.”, accent on the “doe”.

Keith asks for the potion from the ad. Evidently, it’s supposed to make him more confident and powerful. Hell, if that’s all he wants, why not just order a bottle of ExtenZe?

Regardless, he buys the potion from Sardo for the low, low price of $20. Sardo tells him that he’ll only need to take one drop at a time for maximum results. So while Sardo is off getting Keith’s receipt, Keith walks over to Sardo’s skanky-looking rabbit, and puts a drop of the potion in its water, just to see if the stuff is safe.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Nice, Keith. You’re lucky you’re going to be sexy in a minute, or else you’d totally be on my ass-kicking list for these animal-testing shenanigans.

Luckily, nothing bad seems to happen to the rabbit. In fact, the bunny instead becomes lovely and sleek and soft-looking. Keith then heads home without his receipt, excited about the possibilities to come. Sardo comes in a few seconds later, and finds a bunny that’s suddenly turned into a scary, fur-covered mutant thing. Whoops.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

At home, Keith takes a drop of the potion, gags a little, then looks into the mirror to find himself looking all kinds of sexy.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

As you can see, it’s not exactly a makeover. It’s more like a fakeover. Much like the aforementioned Hottie & the Nottie, they’ve taken someone who’s already attractive and done subtle things to let us know that they’re not dorky anymore. Of course, the big difference in this case is that Keith actually is hotter when potion-influenced, because he’s all confident and shit. And we all know that the ladies love confidence.

The next day, Keith even dons a black leather jacket, since he’s such a magical bad-ass now. Mariah, who apparently lives in the same apartment complex, notices Sexy Keith walking out of the building and seems curious about this apparent stranger, probably because, like the rest of us, she wants to jump his bones.

Sexy Keith heads over to the Charcoal Pit, where he finds Shelly sitting with several of her vapid friends. He walks straight over to her and introduces himself as “KC”. As in, Keith’s cousin—get it?

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Clearly, Shelly and the gang are awestruck by “KC”’s unrepentant sexiness, so he grins and says, “Are you going to ask me to sit down?”

Shelly takes a moment to pick her panties up from where they dropped on the floor, then invites “KC” to hang out with them. Mariah, who’s now in stalker mode, looks through the big window and frowns as she sees KC sitting with Shelly and company.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

The next morning, Keith is disappointed to find that he’s back to normal, complete with leg brace. Then he notices this weird-looking skin growth thingy near his neck and gets all grossed out.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon" (part 1 of 2)

Yeah. I guess KC must have had a rough trick last night or something.

Multi-Part Article: Are You Afraid of the Dark? "The Tale of the Dark Dragon"
TV Show: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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