For the month of October, we here at Nerds and Beyond are revisiting some of our favorite Halloween-themed episodes of our favorite shows. FOX’s flagship first responder series, 9-1-1, took Halloween to the next level in last year’s season 3 episode, “Monsters.” From a callback to a classic Hitchcock film and a lost child, to a lady driving with a man in her windshield and someone nearly losing their job, the 118’s Halloween gets crazy, and not as emotional as the previous season’s. Keep reading for all things Halloween and spooky in this episode of 9-1-1.
Right off the bat, things get spooky. As a school field trip at a Harvest Festival is coming to an end, two kids wander off to a corn maze and majorly piss off a crow just minding its business standing on top of a scarecrow by throwing rocks at it. Realizing two of her most troublesome students are the ones who are not yet on the bus, a teacher notices a flock of crows flying around the maze and the kids try to run away from them. The 118 soon arrive at the festival and the scene looks like one out of The Birds, all silent, the crows just sitting and waiting outside a barn where the kids are in. “I think I’ve seen this movie.” After walking ever so slowly to the barn so to not provoke the crows, the crew get to the kids, one of them is cut up pretty bad but okay. Knowing that the crows are waiting for the kids, Bobby gives one of them his jacket and helmet while the other one lays on the gurney with his face covered. Chim has a standoff with a crow as the others get the kids to safety. Even when they get back to the station, the crow is sitting on top of the ambulance and Chim thinks they’re on to them. But when Hen turns around, the crow is gone, because nothing is scarier than a crow that just watches you.
Something else that is scary about this episode is the fact that a guy literally becomes a Halloween decoration. A guy flies through the windshield of a car and a woman gets a cut on her forehead, but she drives away, not knowing what happened. She gets to her house, parks in the garage and gets out, the guy is still alive but barely breathing. The following morning, a family out to eat notices the car and thinks it’s a Halloween decoration, but the guy moves, so the parents call 911, even if it’s not totally believed. It is Halloween, so anything can happen. The next night, Buck stops at a gas station after his shift and notices the car, thinking the guy is just a decoration but he sees him move and starts following the car, while also calling 911 in the process. Buck manages to stop her and checks out the woman and the guy in the windshield, who is still alive. The reason for the woman not noticing the guy is because of a brain bleed due to the bump on her head, but the guy soon goes into surgery and has a fair chance at surviving. If any show can pull this off, it’s 9-1-1.
Trick-or-treating takes a realistic and spooky turn when a little girl wearing handcuffs, bleeding and dirty, knocks on a door and faints. In the hospital, a doctor tells Athena what’s wrong with the girl; shackled, bruising, malnourished, slivers of glass in the cuts of her arms. Athena rounds up police officers so they can search the neighborhood, knock on every door and talk to every person on the street. With it being Halloween, she says to look for a house that doesn’t seem to be in the holiday spirit. Athena finds a house with no decorations and no lights. She looks through the house, messy, broken windows, insects. She hears coughing and checks in the basement, finding several children shackled and scared. They’re siblings; their parents did this to them. The parents come home and get arrested while the children are taken to the hospital.
Something else that is pretty scary is the fact that it’s Buck first day back at the 118 after his infamous lawsuit against Bobby and the department. His welcome is mostly unfriendly, with Hen being the first to officially welcome him back. Buck stays behind while the others go on the call. On Halloween, Buck again stays behind to entertain families; handing out candy, smoke detectors, and pamphlets. Bobby tells Buck to go home early and that’s when Buck finds the woman and the guy in her windshield. Bobby finds Buck at the ER, who just had to be checked out due to a cut on his arm and being on blood thinners, and he tells Bobby what happened. Buck jumped in there and saved him. Buck didn’t think. He just rushed in like he always does. The uniform is his costume. He puts it on and suddenly he’s brave and strong and he can make a difference. Without it, he’s not much of anything. He saved two lives without a uniform. It’s not a costume, it’s who he is. Doesn’t matter if Bobby isn’t ready, Buck is. The moments between Bobby and Buck are so special because Bobby is like that father figure to Buck that Buck didn’t really have much of growing up.
The Buckley’s seem to be having an interesting Halloween. When Buck is coming back to work, Maddie is risking her job. Maddie hangs out more with Tara, a gym trainer and whom Maddie suspects may be in an abusive relationship after she’s called 911 multiple times but hung up. She tries to get more information, getting Tara to open up by telling her about her past. Maddie says she’s proof there’s always a way out. On Halloween the following day before Maddie leaves the call center after her shift, Tara shows up, there to file a complaint that a dispatcher has been stalking her. She saw all the signs. Maddie wants to be her friend. She understands, but Tara doesn’t need help. She’s not one of those women. She tells Tara she has nothing to be ashamed of. Sue talks to Maddie, scheduling her a psychological assessment, telling her to not come back until it’s done. All Maddie wanted to do was to help since she’s been through the same thing.
Something fun about the episode is that throughout it, we’re going back to the crow from the beginning, the one that was just watching Chim and came back to the station. He sees it on the ambulance a few times, but has been the only one to see it so he thinks he’s going crazy. However, at the end when Maddie and Chim are talking at the station, Chim brings up the fact that he’s been seeing a crow; on the ambulance, on the table, anywhere really. But Maddie says she sees it too and Chim turns around and sees it on the ambulance. The crow drops Chim’s name tag and Chim is surprised. The playful moments take viewers away from the rest of the episode, aside from the lost kids and guys in windshields, the uncertainty of some jobs makes the episode fun.
When a show like 9-1-1 already has crazy and insane episodes, Halloween seems like just another day for the 118. But even the calls, mixed with the storylines of the characters, still make this Halloween episode crazy. It’s fun and weird, insane, but also emotional at times. It’s why it’s one of my favorite Halloween episodes. It takes the holiday to a different level and shows what first responders might deal with on the spookiest night of the year.
Read our full recap of 9-1-1‘s “Monsters” here and stay tuned for our next spooky installment of the series!