Monday, December 2, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Bobby's Friends and Family Worry About His Health While Michael Acts Strangely in 'Christmas Spirit'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.10 "Christmas Spirit"

The 118 responds to holiday-themed incidents, including a shopper pushed over the edge, a woman who is literally having a "Blue Christmas" and a luggage handler accident on a tarmac. Maddie revisits her past to embrace her future. Bobby receives shocking news.

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.

"Christmas Spirit" was written by Andrew Meyers and directed by Alonso Alvarez-Barreda

Everyone is concerned about Bobby's health after his prolonged exposure to radiation. The show is probably hoping that may distract everyone from shifting their concern to another member of the ensemble who is confirmed to have a major health condition. Bobby gets the news that he is completely healthy. All of the testing over the last several weeks has remained stable. There is no longer any cause for concern. Sure, he gets a bloody nose after responding to a call at the airport. That has Buck lording over him with a thousand questions about any potential symptoms he may be having. It's his annoying version of payback. The season started with Bobby being worried about Buck's tolerance for blood thinners while on the job. That erupted into huge drama that involved lawyers. Things with Bobby don't get that extreme. All worry is essentially written off here. But the episode ends with the reveal that Michael has a tumor. This hour makes it a little too obvious that something is clearly going on with him. It's not wrong for the show to want to give him a weighty storyline at this point. He is the one character who doesn't actively work as a first responder. He simply remains a part of Athena and Bobby's family. Those are important relationships as well. They continue to care about each other. Those bonds have always remained strong. They are the most consistent things in Michael's life. He cares about his family and what happens to them. He may not have a personal life outside of that though. It may be difficult for the show to incorporate that given that it's a procedural that must feature some outrageous emergencies every week. This episode literally features a woman's skin turning blue because of the extensive amount of cream she used for a toothache. That's absolutely insane. But the show still hits that final beat in confirming that dark times may still be on the horizon. When Buck, Eddie and Hen gather for a simple play date before the holidays, they hope that they can leave this complicated and messy year behind them. They want to look forward to the greatness that could be awaiting them in 2020. And yes, there are many uplifting stories here. Things may have been complicated for Hen and Karen in their pursuit of expanding their family. But they find solidarity in their desire to become foster parents here. That is special because they know how much love they have to give to the world. They see it as an important journey they must do together. Meanwhile, Maddie finally feels like she can move past Doug and all the abuse she endured from him. She has said over and over again that she has processed it all and can move forward with her life. It was clear through her own stalking efforts that that wasn't true. It's traumatic to return to the place where he hurt her for the last time. She fought to stay alive out in the mountains. And now, she finally gets the peace she has long needed. That is powerful and meaningful. Everyone gets to celebrate their families during Christmas even though the staff at 118 is working the holiday. But Michael is still choosing to keep this tragic news to himself. He doesn't want to ruin the celebration. He wants a day of peace and happiness. He knows that it won't remain that way for very long. Athena already knows that something more is going on with him. And yet, he confides in Bobby. He does so because he respects his confidence and knows that he'll honor his wishes. He knows that his children will be loved by a father figure no matter what happens. That may be a depressing mentality though. Right now, Michael may only experience the trauma and tragedy that comes from the symptoms of this tumor. He knows that it exists now. He'll see a specialist to be better informed. He can't keep that to himself though. He needs to be open with his family about what's going on. Only then will he have the strength to fight this because the love that comes from Athena and their children will radiate so brightly. That's what is necessary for him to face this battle as strongly as he possibly can.