Monday, October 29, 2018

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Eddie, Buck and Hen Deal with the Ghosts That Lurk in Their Pasts in 'Haunted'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.07 "Haunted"

Halloween finds the first responders racing to the rescue at a cemetery, a haunted hayride and a spooky Hollywood parade. Maddie thinks she has received a "ghost" call from a missing hiker. Hen finds herself facing a life or death situation with the father who abandoned her. Eddie reconnects with his estranged wife.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Haunted" was written by Erica L. Anderson and directed by Loni Peristere

9-1-1 can at times be really blunt with theme. That's absolutely on display throughout this hour when the characters explain over and over again about how they are haunted by the ghosts of their pasts. The show doesn't use that as an opportunity to address some of its heavy topics like Bobby's alcoholism or Maddie's experiences with domestic abuse. But it's still a pretty pivotal hour for Buck, Hen and Eddie. They are the ones who are realizing that they have made mistakes in their lives and now have to find a new way forward. Eddie is accepting that he did push his wife away for not always being there for her. He wants to believe he came to Los Angeles to start over with Christopher. He has found a school that may actually be great for him. However, he is also realizing that he has to be willing to apologize and forgive what happened in his past. He seems to be able to do so though. Of course, his story may not be as engaging as Buck or Hen's simply because he's still a new addition to the show. However, Buck's realization that he needs to move on from Abby has been a long time coming. The audience knew that she wasn't coming back because Connie Britton only had a one-year deal with the show and has moved on to a new opportunity on basic cable. There was always the idea that Abby would one day return but not be willing to start her relationship with Buck again. And here, the focus remains on the character actually left behind whom the show still has to tell ongoing stories with. He is accepting that he needs to move on from this relationship. He is very appreciative of all that Abby did for him. He hopes that he was able to make an impact in her life as well. But he also has to figure out who he is in this world instead of being the guy waiting for his somewhat girlfriend to return to the life that was actually pretty difficult for her. It's easy to see why Abby wouldn't want to come back to the city where her mother died with nothing but a possible romance keeping her going. Meanwhile, Hen is reunited with the father who abandoned her a long time. No, it's not a traditional story of him cutting Hen off after she came out. Instead, he left the family when she was nine years old. She grew up never knowing what happened to him. She had a relationship in her head with him. She wrote him letters that were never sent out. And yet, she doesn't know the man who is in the hospital and unable to make a meaningful recovery. She has to be the one to pull the plug on his life. She believes it's the compassionate thing to do. It's in his best interest. But she is now entering into a world that is haunted by the idea of what kind of relationship they could have had if he simply reached out sooner. It's the agony that comes from the life not lived. And finally, Athena puts her detective skills to good use to help a family get closure with a cold case. She understands the importance of finding out what happened to these remains found on the side of a precarious cliff. The firefighters were able to save the man in danger right now. But it's up to Athena to notify the family who always wondered what happened to their loved one. He died in an accident instead of abandoning them for a different life. It's bittersweet. But it also closes an episode in which there were a number of really amusing and ridiculous calls that the firehouse responded to.