‘9-1-1’ 5×07 Review: “Ghost Stories”

**Spoilers Ahead**

9-1-1’s seventh episode of the season was full of ghosts from the past, and even more weird choices for the 118. Though this episode was billed as the Halloween-esque episode. All of the ghosts, however, were heavily of the metaphorical variety. 

It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating…9-1-1 is at its strongest when it focuses on the relationships between the characters of the 118. This season so far seems to be having such a difficult time in figuring out where these characters are going next, and are increasingly focusing on secondary characters. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it definitely makes the show’s overall direction this season very confusing. 

Peter Krause. ‘9-1-1’ Season 5 Episode 7. Credit: FOX

There was no Eddie (Ryan Guzman) this week, and we can only assume he was out taking Christopher (Gavin McHugh) trick-or-treating. The promos for this episode alluded to more Halloween fun, including someone with a ghost of a roommate. Sadly, there was very little Halloween content through most of the episode, and the main mystery features an incredibly bizarre case of a hired killer and love gone incredibly wrong. 

Hen (Aisha Hinds) saw the return of her past in the form of Eva (Abby Brammell), who informed Hen that she was leaving Los Angeles to get a fresh start. This caused a very emotional scene with Hen’s wife Karen (Tracie Thoms). It’s so frustrating that 9-1-1 can’t seem to ever let these two be happy. They’ve been through so much, and it would just be great to give them some joy. They deserve nothing less. 

‘9-1-1’ Season 5 Episode 7. Credit: FOX

I’ve mentioned before that we haven’t seen nearly enough of Buck (Oliver Stark) and Taylor (Megan West). We’re supposed to believe that this is Buck resolving his commitment and relationship issues, but we get precious little screen time to ever see their screen time in action. This week’s episode in particular had some very odd choices with their relationship, including Taylor playing detective and impeding an active investigation. The cliffhanger-ish ending with her character implies we may be getting a backstory on this character and…hopefully it’s worth it.

We also saw a brief glimpse of Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) journey to find Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Chimney has ended up in Boston. As Chimney continues in his search, another blast from the past appears. Eli (Mac Brandt), a paramedic instrumental in Chimney’s development in the profession. Their honest heart to heart about Chimney not recognizing the signs of postpartum depression in Maddie is all too brief, and seemed shoehorned into an episode that had Chimney make such a brief appearance. 

Oliver Stark. ‘9-1-1’ Season 5 Episode 7. Credit: FOX

The strongest storyline of this week’s episode had to belong to Harry (Marcanthonee Reis). Harry continues to process the trauma of being kidnapped several episodes ago. As his sister May (Corinne Massiah) so wisely points out, everyone in the family is talking about the events of Harry’s kidnapping with professionals (which is definitely an admirable response), they are having difficulty talking to each other about it. Michael (Rockmond Dunbar) is a father so traumatized by what happened to his son, he lacks the words to express it. 

Aisha Hinds. ‘9-1-1’ Season 5 Episode 7. Credt: FOX

The emotional high point surprisingly went to another returning character, Detective Lou Ransone (Sasha Roiz). Detective Ransone’s return from his horrific injury as the same man who kidnapped Harry is incredibly poignant. After this episode, it’s clear he would make an excellent addition to the main cast if he can hit these heartrending character beats. His moment with Harry, and his acknowledgement that he too continues to struggle to process the trauma he’s experiencing is such a touching reminder that Harry is not alone. Athena (Angela Bassett) gets her moment to show that despite all of her flaws, she is a parent there for her son when he needs her most. 

Decisions need to be made about where this season of 9-1-1 is going, and hopefully it happens sooner rather than later. These characters are so lovable, and there are essentially endless story possibilities for the show to explore. 9-1-1 is at its best when it returns to  its roots, a found family comfort watch. Hopefully it can get back there soon. 

9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.

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