WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS from Goosebumps Episode 9.
Disney’s Goosebumps television revival has emerged as a notable series, captivating audiences with its blend of supernatural elements and intriguing narrative twists. The show, available on both Hulu and Disney+, has recently garnered attention for its ninth episode, which featured a unique cameo that has both fans and critics talking. At the heart of this revival is the story of Harold Biddle, portrayed by Ben Cockell, whose narrative arc reaches a climactic end in the eighth episode. This conclusion saw the resolution of the supernatural chaos that plagued the central characters, a chaos born from the secrets harbored by their parents. Despite this seemingly definitive closure, the series, scheduled for ten episodes, hinted at more surprises to come.
In a recent TheWrap interview, Nicholas Stoller and Rob Letterman, executive producers of the series, revealed details about R.L. Stine’s surprise cameo, the author behind the original Goosebumps series, in the ninth episode. They revealed how the cameo was initially intended to be an in-person appearance. Stine was to play an editor at a fictional publishing house, delivering a crucial line that would have added a humorous twist to the episode.
However, logistical challenges, primarily Stine’s inability to travel, necessitated a creative workaround. The solution, as envisioned by showrunner Hilary Winston and co-executive producer James Eagan, was to feature Stine in a podcast within the show. This pivot allowed Stine’s voice to be integrated into the narrative seamlessly, offering a unique and inventive way to include his cameo.
“The original plan was [Stine] was going to be the editor at our fake Scholastic publisher that reads Bratt’s book. It was going to be him in the office going, ‘It needs a twist!’ That was going to be the thing.”
“We were wracking our brains and then [showrunner] Hilary [Winston], and [co-executive producer] James Eagan came up with the save, which was: What if [Stine] has a podcast. [We] just got on with Bob and had him read a podcast that plays in the car, and it just worked out.”
In the ninth episode, titled “Night of the Living Dummy: Part 2,” and penned by Mariko Tamaki with Erin O’Malley at the helm, the storyline pivots to Mr. Bratt, played by Justin Long. Bratt, having been possessed by Biddle, seeks to channel his experience into a novel. However, he struggles with crafting a compelling ending, a dilemma underscored by his interaction with a less-than-impressed publisher. This struggle continues until an epiphany arrives while he listens to Stine’s podcast, “Let the Write One In,” which poignantly remarks that “true creation comes from darkness.”
This moment of realization for Mr. Bratt sets the stage for the final episodes of Goosebumps. The storyline takes a darker turn as Bratt, in search of inspiration, mistakenly frees the spirit of Slappy, the notorious evil dummy. This act inadvertently resurrects Slappy’s human form, leading to a series of sinister events where humans are turned into puppets. This development not only escalates the narrative tension but also perfectly sets up what promises to be an exhilarating finale.
The Goosebumps revival, through its clever integration of cameos, nuanced storytelling, and the ability to blend humor with horror continues to captivate its audience. By adopting a distinct narrative style, especially in the final episodes before the last, the show demonstrates a profound grasp of both the Goosebumps franchise’s heritage and the genre. With the conclusion of the series on the horizon, viewers are keenly awaiting the tying together of the narrative strands, hoping the final episode will be as surprising and captivating as the series’ progression.