In The Sphinx, a Sphinx targets intellectuals and educators around New York City while Egon and Slimer struggle with their old age.
In the evening at building on New York State University campus, a professor recorded himself as he spoke about myth and its role in modern day society. A beast entered the building and crept up into the professor's office. A gust blew the professor's papers. He turned and came face to face with the beast. The beast remarked, "So I think you're pretty smart, don't you" before grabbing the professor.
In the rec room of the Firehouse, Eduardo played a video game, Kylie studied her Tarot cards, and Garrett lifted a free weight. Roland arrived in and presented his latest discovery, a book titled "1001 Riddles for All Occasions." He asked everyone, "What does a man do standing up, a woman sitting down, and a dog on three legs?" Kylie asked what it was. Roland answered, "Shake hands." Roland chuckled at the joke but everyone stared silently at him. Garrett pretended to find it humorous but Roland saw through it. Down in the basement, Egon was up on a ladder while Janine was at the desk. Egon suddenly felt a cramp and fell off the ladder. Janine moved a chair over to Egon for him sit down on but was unaware Slimer was asleep on it. He woke up just as Egon sat on him. Janine pointed out he was running around quite a lot the past two weeks. She suggested it was the right time to settle down and let the team do the leg work. Egon refused to concede he was too old. Janine reiterated he could give up field work in favor of research. Janine offered to help him out with the research. Egon stared and still didn't back down. The alarm rang. Garrett entered from the top of the stairs and informed them a call came from a janitor at the University. Garrett asked Egon if he was coming. Egon stood up and hobbled to the stairs.
Egon took the helm and drove Ecto-1 erratically as he ran a red light. Garrett joked he should drive instead. They arrived at the University as he got out Egon reminisced about when he used to work there with Ray but got fired in 1982 for attempting to reanimate the dead. Garrett remarked he was three years old back then annoying Egon by the implication. No longer paying attention to the road, he drove right over the parking lot spikes. Roland surveyed the damage and sulked remarking he just rotated the tires. Egon noticed the warning sign and remarked it should be made easier to see. The team entered the Department of Philosophy building. Kylie got a hit on her P.K.E. Meter almost immediately. Egon pushed his way to the front and showed them how it was done 'back in the day.' He kicked open a door into an empty office. He did the same for the next and surprised a professor. Egon accidentally fired his thrower. The professor looked up from his desk in confusion. Egon apologized and left. A bust fell from the broken shelf onto the professor's desk. Roland advised Egon to take it easy. Kylie got a solid reading from Professor Barthes' office. They found the professor listless and babbling in his chair. Egon snapped to it and ordered Roland and Kylie to look for tangible evidence, Garrett to take readings, and Eduardo to check the computer.
Eduardo wasn't impressed by the recording. Garrett affirmed the beast was at least a Class 6. Roland found some strange fibers. Professor Barthes was taken back to the Firehouse for further study. Meanwhile, Slimer examined himself in the mirror and saw a self-help book titled, "Thirty Pounds in Thirty Minutes." He unpacked a Super Abs TV box. Slimer ate the instructions and attempted to assemble his new rowing machine. Upstairs in the lab, Roland noticed Barthes' brain waves showed no activity what so ever. Kylie remarked it sounded like something wiped out all of his Theta waves. Roland wasn't familiar with the term. Kylie explained Theta waves were cosmic waves emitted by the inner recesses of the mind's eye. Egon placed the feather sample Roland found under an analyzer. The print out intrigued him. Egon concluded the beast was a composite creature made up of several animals. He read off the findings to the team, among the sample was a dog hair, a lion hair, a snake scale, and a strand from a bird wing. He was still perplexed by the gray hair. Garrett pointed it was from his head. Egon flicked the hair aside and continued the creature could be a Griffin, Basilisk, or a Sphinx. Garrett joked about the Sphinx from Egypt. Egon became upset and asked if anyone knew their classic mythology. Garrett replied he saw "Clash of the Titans" when he was a child. Kylie bopped him in the head with her book. Egon informed them in Greek mythology, the Sphinx asked everyone he met a riddle. If the person couldn't answer the riddle correctly, they were in big trouble.
Egon grabbed his "Bestiary" book and flipped through it. Roland asked him to elaborate on 'big trouble.' Egon revealed the Sphinx was responsible for systematically wiping out half of the entire population of Thebes, leaving pestilence, plague, and horror in its wake. Egon showed them pages from the book. The beast continued skulking about the city, seeking out intelligent people to answer his riddle. A trio of intellectuals were gathered for an episode of "Jeopardy." The host stated the Four Horseman of Apocalypse. The intellectuals easily answered "Death, War, Famine, and Plague." The beast appeared to them. The TV went out and the room rumbled. The trio examined the beast. One man thought it was a Griffin. The woman thought it was a Basilisk. The beast grew annoyed and declared he was a Sphinx. One of the men asked what he wanted from them. The Sphinx replied he just wanted to ask a simple riddle. The trio were intrigued and agreed to hear it. The Sphinx asked, "What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?" The trio conferred but the Sphinx growing increasingly impatient. One of the men replied a "dancing bear." The Sphinx announced that they were wrong. He removed his mask and revealed his hideous true form. Tendrils grabbed all three intellectuals and rose them up into the air. They were reduced to the same state as Barthes.
The Ghostbusters investigated the room occupied by the trio. Kylie got a reading while Garrett spoke to a pizza delivery boy. The boy remarked he was delivering a sausage and mushroom pizza when he saw the Sphinx fly off. Garrett offered to take the pizza off his hands. The boy refused until someone paid him. Garrett pointed to one of the victims and took the pizza. Kylie was amiss they missed the Sphinx by 20 minutes. Eduardo raised up the television set and realized they were watching an episode of "Jeopardy" before the Sphinx attacked them. Egon hobbled down the stairs. Garrett took notice and asked what was wrong. Egon downplayed it as a football injury. Garrett didn't believe him. Egon took over the interview and asked the boy if he could recognize the creature if he saw it again. The boy was pretty sure he could. Egon laid down several pictures. The boy instantly recognized the Sphinx as the beast. As the team drove, they listened to Nancy Morrison report several of the city's prominent scientists and educators have been struck with an unexplained illness. Slimer watched the same news report as he weighed himself. He broke the scale. The Ghostbusters entered the New York Public Library and found the reading room full of victims of the Sphinx. They checked a classroom and found two teachers in an incoherent state.
Next, they checked on Mensa headquarters. The entire building was full of Mensa members attacked by the Sphinx. Eduardo snatched up a Rubik's Cube from a victim and wasn't impressed. Kylie remarked members needed an IQ of at least 132 to join. Egon revealed he used to be a member. Eduardo remarked they all had collective IQ of 10 now. Kylie theorized the Sphinx was absorbing everyone's intellectual energies to become a super smart being. Roland believed knowing what the riddle was about was the key. He asked Egon what it was. Egon became irritated by the question and answered that nobody knew what it was. Garrett remembered something and gave Egon a cane to help with his bad leg. Egon denied there was anything wrong with his leg and became annoyed with Roland's fiddling. Roland was only trying to modify the power flow. Egon snatched it away and removed the Surge Inhibitor to more than double the blaster's firepower. Roland asked what the Inhibitor was for but Egon became rather agitated. Kylie broke them up and reiterated they still had no idea where the Sphinx was going to strike next. They listened to Morrison again and learned there was a world peace conference going on at the United Nations headquareters and leading intellectuals from around the world were in attendance.
Ecto-1 arrived at the U.N. building. Egon warned everyone to use stall tactics and play dumb if they ran into the Sphinx so it wouldn't ask the riddle. Garrett couldn't resist and told Eduardo it would be an easy task for him. But of coursem the security didn't believe the story and threw them out. They regrouped and entered through the loading bay. As they walked to the elevator, a guard saw them and stopped them. Roland announced they were off to repair the air conditioning system. Eduardo added to take care of mysterious fumes. Kylie asked the guard if he smelled them. The guard didn't. Kylie recalled that was part of the advance symptoms and brought out the P.K.E. Meter. She advised the guard to check into a hospital before his brain crystallized. The guard became frightened and ran off. Kylie told the others the Sphinx was up on the sixth floor. Garrett waited for the elevator while the others hiked up the stairs. Eduardo suggested to Egon to go with Garrett. Egon agreed with the idea. He and Garrett could provide back up.
Roland, Kylie, and Garrett found the Sphinx but it was too late. The intellectuals were already rendered brain dead. They spread out and fired but the Sphinx dodged and scaled the ceiling. It dropped down and asked them if they thought they were smart. They dodged the issue and shot at him again. The Sphinx wasn't buying their lies. Eduardo remarked Kylie and Roland thought they were smarter than him. The Sphinx focused on them. Eduardo opened fire and blasted him. The others joined in but the Sphinx managed to escape the streams. The power went out. They noticed their throwers had melted. Now they knew what the Surge Inhibitors were for. The elevator stalled and Egon and Garrett fought over who was going to get them out. Egon called Garrett "Ray" in frustration. Egon finally admitted he was old and a has-been. He was killing himself just trying to keep up with the team, who were young, bright, and energetic. Garret calmed him down with a pep talk. Garrett assured Egon the team needed him for his experience, knowledge, and wisdom. Egon perked up and together, they opened the doorway.
Meanwhile, the others searched in the halls for the Sphinx. Kylie admitted she was curious what the riddle was. It could be an enlightening experience. Eduardo strongly disagreed. The emergency power kicked on. The Sphinx dropped down from the ceiling and asked if they liked riddles. Egon stepped up and took on the challenge of the riddle. The Sphinx asked the riddle once more. Egon thought about it and jotted down something on his notepad. The Sphinx grew impatient like before. Egon answered, "Man." He walked on four legs as a baby, two as a grown man, and with his own cane, points out three in old age. The answer was right and the Sphinx was baffled by someone finally got the riddle right. His feathers began falling from the shock and stress of it. He tried asking another riddle but Garrett sneaked up behind him and blasted him. Kylie threw out the Trap and captured him.
Some time later, at the Firehouse, Garrett was miffed the incident at the U.N. building was covered up as mysterious fumes from the air conditioning system. Down in the basement, Egon looked at himself in the mirror and proposed dying his hair. Janine answered that she thought he looked distinguished. Slimer flexed and showed off his new set of muscles. Janine presented dinner, sub sandwiches. She even put out Slimer's usual. Slimer was conflicted with eating it. Egon declared he learned with age came wisdom and it was okay to grow old. Slimer was relieved and ate his sandwich. The self-help book was tossed into the trash.
|Egon: Look, just because my hair is turning grey, and I'm getting flabby, my eye sight and hearing have diminished, my metabolic rate has slowed down, and I'm no longer producing brain cells, doesn't mean I'm getting old.|
|Egon: Step aside. Let me show you how we did this in the old days.|
|Kylie: Oooh, this is bad. Now, you better check into a hospital before your brain crystallizes completely.|
- "The Sphinx" aired last in many markets, but it was actually the first script to enter the production phase. For whatever reason, it got completed much later than the others. The episode's first Production Supervisor was called back to work on "Jumanji" and as a result, the episode languished for a bit.
- In terms of continuity, Egon was supposed to experience this mid life crisis right after the team formed in "Darkness at Noon, Part 2".
- Egon mentions he and Ray Stantz were kicked out of the New York State University, the one the Extreme Ghostbusters investigates in the episode, in 1982 for trying to reanimate the dead.
- Garrett was 3 years old in 1982. Since Extreme Ghostbusters takes place in 1997, Garrett turns 18 by the end of the year and was born in 1979.
- Roland mentions he's interested in transferring to New York State University someday.
- The first victim of the Sphinx is named Professor Barthes in the Department of Philosophy. This seems likely to be a reference to the 20th century philosopher Roland Barthes.
- When the Ghostbusters study the fibers of the Sphinx, Eduardo references Barnum & Bailey's, a famed animal act merged with the Ringling Brothers Circus.
- Garrett mentions the Egyptian Sphinx.
- Garrett mentions he saw "Clash of the Titans" when he was a child.
- "Clash of the Titans" released in theaters on June 12, 1981.
- Egon mentions the city of Thebes was visited by the Sphinx.
- It is said Oedipus correctly answered the riddle of the Sphinx and became king of Thebes.
- The trio of intellectuals listen to the game show "Jeopardy!".
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are mentioned on Jeopardy.
- When the Ghostbusters arrive at the scene, the TV is then implicitly playing an episode of "Wheel of Fortune," when a contestant asks Pat [Sajak] to buy a vowel.
- While not confirmed in dialogue, it appears the building the three intellectuals were in was 550 Central Park West. This is visually possible due to the church next door resembling Holy Trinity Church, famously stepped on by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in the first movie.
- When Egon shows the pizza boy photos of ghosts to confirm that he saw the Sphinx, Tempus is in the photo at the top of the stack.
- The Mass Energy Equivalence equation (E=mc squared) is written above one of the professors on the chalkboard during the montage.
- Eduardo takes a Rubik's Cube from one of the victims in the Mensa headquarters.
- Egon mentions he was a member of Mensa until he was kicked out after being disbarred by the American Science Association.
- Egon remarks no one knows what the riddle of the Sphinx is. However, in reality, the man riddle is well known.
- While in the elevator, Egon calls Garrett, "Ray."
- Egon admits old age at 39 years.
- Garrett reassures Egon the team needs him for his experience, not to act like Rambo.
- Fil Barlow deviantArt "XGB: Ep02: The Sphinx" 2/3/14
- Shannon Muir Production Supervisor Tidbits, Ghostbusters HQ
- Shannon Muir Production Supervisor Tidbits, Ghostbusters HQ
- Egon Spengler (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 03:48-03:54). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "Boy, this sure brings back memories. Ray and I were kicked out of here back in '82 for trying to reanimate the dead."
- Garrett Miller (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 03:54-03:56). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Garrett says: "I was only three years old back then."
- Roland Jackson (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 04:50-04:54). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Roland says: "Say Egon, could you go a little easy? I'd like to transfer to this school someday."
- Eduardo Rivera (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 06:45-06:46). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Eduardo says: "What are you saying, Barnum & Bailey's run amok?"
- Garrett Miller (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 07:03-07:04). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Garrett says: "Oh, like the Sphinx in Egypt?"
- Garrett Miller (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 07:09-07:11). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Garrett says: "I saw Clash of the Titans when I was a kid."
- Egon Spengler (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 07:23-07:30). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "It systematically wiped out half the entire population of Thebes, leaving pestilence, plague, and horror in its wake"
- Jeopardy Host (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 07:45-07:49). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Host says: "And that ends the round, stay with us for Double Jeopardy where anything can happen."
- Eduardo Rivera (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 09:49-09:51). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Eduardo says: "20 minutes, huh? They must have been watching Jeopardy."
- Contestant (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 09:47-09:48). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Contestant says: "I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat."
- Egon Spengler (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 11:15-11:20). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "I used to be in Mensa. They kicked me out after I was disbarred from the American Science Association."
- Egon Spengler (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 16:22-16:24). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "I can handle this, Ray!"
- Garrett Miller (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 16:25-16:26). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Garrett says: "I am not Ray!"
- Egon Spengler (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 16:48-16:49). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Egon says: "39!"
- Garrett Miller (1997). Extreme Ghostbusters- The Sphinx (1997) (DVD ts. 17:07-17:11). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Garrett says: "We don't need you running around like Rambo kicking down in the doors and barking out orders."
Episode Screen Caps
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