Monday, October 28, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Buck Returns to the Firehouse Hoping That Everything Will Be Just Like It Was Before in 'Monsters'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.06 "Monsters"

Athena and the 118 respond to bizarre emergency calls on Halloween, including a flock of crows terrorizing a field trip, an office employee having a close encounter with an eight-limbed creature and a ghost-like girl wandering a neighborhood. Meanwhile, Maddie remains convinced that she is doing the right thing in taking a 9-1-1 call into her own hands.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Monsters" was written by Christopher Monfette and directed by Tina Mabry

Buck is fundamentally a hero. That's not a new or insightful revelation. It's just the predominant quality the show keeps having to show this season to balance the selfish and reckless choices he is making in his personal life. He still had the ability to be a hero even though he wasn't on the job as a firefighter. He could still make a difference in people's lives. Instead, he was fixated on what he didn't have. He felt slighted because it was cruelly taken away from him for no good reason. Bobby had a valid explanation and concern. He worried about the damage that could be done to Buck as a result of the blood thinners he is now on. Buck comes to the rescue at the end of this Halloween episode. In doing so, he gets a cut on his arm. For the first time, he truly sees how his body will now react as a result of this medication. That doesn't fill him with a new perspective on why everyone has been more concerned about him. Instead, it's played as simple redemption with the ultimate action showing that he can still do this job without anyone needing to worry about his ongoing health. That may not be the right message. Bobby is willing to support him at the firehouse once more because he trusts that Buck understands just what his body is now capable of. That takes a lot of trust. Bobby certainly has that with Buck. He is a loyal member of the firehouse. And yet, Buck feels alienated when he returns. He isn't celebrated like he thought he would be. He thought his friends would have a cake and party for him like the previous times Chimney has returned to the job after an accident. And yet, the firefighters feel hurt and betrayed by him. He truly didn't understand the extent of the damage his lawsuit with the city would cause. Hen believes that Buck should get some credit for turning down the money the city was offering him. He wanted to be a firefighter even though he easily could have escaped to a life of luxury. This isn't about an adrenaline rush for him. He feels the call to run into dangerous situations knowing that people need help. That's what makes him part of the team. He isn't a thrill seeker who is too reckless in the field. Buck still makes bad decisions though. People are still willing to forgive him. Eddie does so mostly because he now understands the impulse to want to punch something because he doesn't have control over his life. He connects with that mentality without needing to explain further. Sure, more people probably should be concerned about the bruises that are now appearing on his body. He doesn't really share his new extracurricular activity with anyone. This hour has the feeling of the team reuniting once and for all. But again, it goes through the motions to make it feel like Buck is redeemed and has made up for the error of his ways. It doesn't quite feel successful in that endeavor though. It concludes with Bobby rushing to the hospital to provide his ongoing support for Buck as a friend. He truly doesn't want anything bad to happen to him. That's what has been driving his decisions as captain of the firehouse. Buck thought he was being punished. And yet, he is allowed to save two lives after Bobby lets him leave work a couple hours early. Buck needs to reflect on the choices he has made and learn how to better understand and empathize with what others are feeling. But again, the Buckley family has become prone to making reckless decisions that could easily cost them everything. Maddie has already been exposed for embedding herself in this possibly abusive marriage in order to offer the perspective she has on the situation. It may be harsh that Chimney compares Maddie to her ex-husband, Doug, for trying to control what others do with their lives. That highlights how the trauma is still lingering for her. It's probably smart for her to start seeing a therapist. There should be no shame in that either. Making sure one's mental health is strong is so important especially for these heroes who throw themselves into dangerous situations to save lives. Right now, everyone fears that their perception is tilted because it's Halloween. Spooky and gory things are happening all over the city. And yet, the first responders still need to act quickly to save children terrorized by crows, rescue children from abusive parents and help a man stuck in a windshield for over two days.