Well, that deleted scene should have been in the finished film. Jeez. Why the hell take that out? It sets up the end of credits sequence and helps to flesh out things a bit more. It even makes Janine and Callie look like mother and daughter, which they should have been in the first place…
Okay, so now some time has passed and after re-watching the first two movies and knowing what happens in Afterlife, I just feel like there really needs to be some explaining of Egon and Callie’s backstory.
It's funny, because I'm reading conversations on other boards and social media where people want more of the OG busters in Afterlife deleted scenes because they didn't get enough screentime, and yet all I'm thinking about is Egon's backstory and how the hell the main premise of Afterlife even came about.
When you watch the first two movies, out of ALL the four guys, Egon is the last one you'd think would have a wife and child hidden away somewhere. GB2 hits so differently now, and it's just because of Egon. When you compare Venkman's behaviour to Egon's in GB2, knowing now that Egon is a father while Peter isn't but is trying to be just makes it seem like there's this massive plot hole that needs to be filled somehow.
Egon's always been a little quirky, sure. Trying to drill a hole through his head, wanting to experiment on people's brain tissue, etc. But when it comes to his own offspring, he just wants to document her progress from afar with some photos? Not very scientific, right? And for her own educational progress, when he could impart some of his big brain knowledge on her, he just... doesn't. He's not even interested. Most parents want their kids to be better than they were and achieve greater things than they ever could. I'd imagine a scientist as dedicated as Egon would have wanted that, and more. But in Afterlife it just isn't so.
There are some sympathetic theories out there as to why Egon couldn't have a relationship with his daughter - maybe his ex wanted nothing to do with him (although it makes little sense as to why she'd be sending him personal photos of her if that were the case), maybe his ex died young and her family raised Callie (which means that he left Callie for her extended family to care for rather her rather than taking care of his child who's lost her mother), but it's all a bit hand-wavy when this is fundamentally the premise of Afterlife and really it needs to make sense to all of the fans who have been following the character for 30-plus years.
Taking Afterlife as fact, you've got to re-assess the character of Egon completely and wonder about the man's motivations during both earlier films (and the cartoons and comics, etc.) During all that time, he never really came across as a jerk, but now that's what we've got to think of him as for Afterlife to work.
Then there's his behaviour between the events of GB2 & GB:Afterlife, when he seems to have just lost the plot completely. Again, from GB1 & GB2 we have seen moments where he is passionate, angry, frustrated, and yet he’s never completely lost it. I suppose having Ray not believe his theories might have pushed him over the edge, but to completely cut himself off like that when he must have known he couldn’t do it all on his own…
Speaking of which, how the hell did
he do it all on his own? Didn’t Ray do all the engineering of the equipment while Egon did the theoretical stuff? How did he make all that equipment without Ray’s assistance? Doesn’t that make Ray a bit redundant in the ghostbusters world?
And then there’s Janine – the one person out of all of them who Egon trusted to know where he was, to check in on him, to deal with things when it all went south, and to contact his daughter in the event of his death (which means that Egon knew his daughter’s phone number the whole time and didn’t try and contact her).
But he never married her. Their relationship is still a mystery, although it’s pretty obvious they had something going on. Canonically they had a relationship, but what that relationship entailed, how long it lasted and when it began nobody knows. Was it an affair? Was he still married? Did they break up before GB2? Did they get back together after GB2? Did they have any secret kids?
Yeah, I’m joking there… But partly not. Janine expressed a desire for children in GB2. We know Winston and Egon had kids, and I’m assuming Peter is Oscar’s step-dad, but what about Janine? She wanted kids but didn’t have any?
Seriously, if this movie was meant to be a love letter for the fans, I’m wondering if they were talking about the fans of something else, because what fits in the previous ghostbusters universe doesn’t fit in Afterlife.
I obviously enjoyed GBA more than even I expected to, but yeah, it's not the "real" future of the Ghostbusters to me either.
Me neither. There are waay too many unanswered questions for this to be any kind of satisfactory sequel. The film doesn’t do what it’s meant to, which is to allow the fans to move on from the originals. We’re still left with unanswered questions which is holding us back. It was meant to be passing the torch, not passing on a matchstick.
Who was Egon’s wife? What sort of business did Winston start? What happened to Oscar? Why didn’t Ray believe Egon? Questions linger about the original guys when we are supposed to be closing the book on the OG's and starting fresh with a new team.
I've been thinking of GB2 and the way it reintroduced all of the characters, and what GB2 did that Afterlife didn't was show, not tell. We saw the jaded lifestyle of Venkman as he worked his talk show. We saw the efforts of Ray and Winston in keeping the concept of Ghostbusters alive. We saw Egon's work studying human emotions in the Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research. We saw Ray working at Ray’s Occult. We could easily fill the blanks between GB1 & GB2 because was saw glimpses of their lives post-GB1 and it all fit with their characters. It worked.
A rushed phone call to fill in the 30-year gap between GB2 & Afterlife just doesn’t cut it, especially when Afterlife changes the backstory of one of the original characters.
I’m wondering if any further sequel will attempt to right some of this. Maybe they took out the scene ghostdiva linked to because they want to make Janine more of a motherly/grandmotherly type in the sequel. Maybe she’ll be the one to fill in some of Egon’s backstory to Callie and Phoebe. Maybe we’ll see more of Winston’s business and children. Maybe they’ll cast Oscar and he’ll turn up, and maybe Ray will expand on why he didn’t believe Egon. Maybe we’ll see what Oliver Cooper had filmed for Afterlife in its sequel.
For what it's worth, Phoebe is the one thing I like. I just dont like her origin story or her name. But she is a precious mini Egon and I wish I could pluck her out and put her in a decent film.
I think Phoebe and Podcast were just perfect. Trevor didn’t really make much of an impression.
I do think there was a decent film in there somewhere. It needed some tweaks, some show not tell, some original antagonists and Callie should have been Egon and Janine’s daughter. The dynamic between Janine and Callie is right there in that deleted scene – mother and daughter, and grandmother to Phoebe and Trevor. She acts like part of the Spengler family. She should have been. It would have made Callie’s character a lot less grating if she’d had this relationship with her mother and made her story more of a ‘picking up where dad left off’ rather than a ‘I hate everything about my dad’.
-1:50: Bts of final battle, Janine on porch of Farmhouse
I figured Janine was somewhere in the final battle when I saw the end-of-filming photograph which had Annie in it standing next to the body double of Egon. She was obviously on set to have been in that photo. But seeing that scene of her looking at what I assume is Egon’s Ghost… wow. Her expression is just... oh, my gosh. That’s a “goodbye, my love”. Wow.