Let it never be said that I don’t listen to my readers. Someone anonymously requested I do more Are You Afraid of the Dark? reviews on Tumblr, so here’s another. I figure if I might as well make a blatant attempt to boost site traffic with this and go with the episode that has current Hollywood heart throb, Ryan Gosling, in it. Granted, he’s like 15, but it still counts. He’s also not even the actual guest star of the episode, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
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We start out with Tucker’s friend Stig, still trying to get admitted into The Midnight Society. This means he still has to be blindfolded when he comes to the meetings and he’s not allowed to touch the magic powder. If you’re a fan of the series, you know it’s ridiculous that Stig didn’t get admitted after his first story, consider it’s one of the most memorable episodes of all time. Anyways, Stig has the group all bring radios and turn them on at the same time. It’s supposed to demonstrate that there are thousands of radio signals flying all around us at all time. For some reason, he couldn’t just say that. Let’s just move this along, Tucker tosses some cumin onto the fire and Stig begins. Submitted for the approval of The Midnight Society, he calls this story…
Meet Chris, he’s obsessed with death. As in, lies around like he’s at his own funeral obsessed. I’d venture to guess he thinks that no one understands him.
Well, it certainly does seem like his family doesn’t understand him. Sure, you can tell they’re all hoping it’s just a phase, but when he spends dinner entombing shrimp in mashed potatoes and talking about being buried alive, you can tell they’re a bit worried. Of course, these people are serving shrimp with mashed potatoes, so it’s not like they aren’t a little strange as well. Point being, Ryan Gosling plays his brother, Jamie.
Jamie thinks his brother is deranged, and at the urging of a mechanic who works at the car repair shop the family apparently owns, decides to try and set him straight. He does this by telling Chris about a hearse that just came into the shop, getting Chris super excited. Jamie then locks him inside the hearse, and starts it with jumper cables.
Chris turns off the car, but the radio remains on, tuning itself to 109.1, radio for the “dimensionally challenged.” The DJ mentions that anyone who can’t find their way home should simply follow his voice. Meanwhile, as Jamie is walking back to his house, he encounters an old man, who asks him if he could please help him find the way home. I wonder if these things are connected! Jamie refuses and walks away, because Ryan Gosling was a jerk at 15. The old man then disappears.
The next day, Chris has miraculously escaped the hearse and is now listening to 109.1. Seems like Jamie’s plan backfired a little bit. Chris tries to find out more information on 109.1, but finds that no station by that name currently exists. He looks up the last location of the station, and decides to check it out. I should mention he does all this research using the hilarious 1990’s internet.
Chris, surprisingly out in the sun, looks for the location the station was last broadcast from, but doesn’t find much, aside from a gaggle of lost elderly people, all searching for the way home.
Eventually he stumbles upon the station’s old headquarters, and enters to find it still surprisingly lively. Alright, that’s not entirely true, it actually seems like a large waiting room, but hey, there are people inside and it was supposed to be abandoned, that equals lively in my book. Chris asks around about whether or not this is the radio station, but none of the people inside, so he knocks on the receptionist’s window, despite there being a sign that discourages such action. As a result, he’s chewed out by the episode’s real guest star…
Yes, it’s Gilbert Gottfried, everyone’s favorite squinty-eyed screaming comedian. He tells Chris DO NOT KNOCK ON THE WINDOW and then advises Chris that he should try WAITING IN LINE. Chris ignores this and ultimately Gilbert talks to him, but first he fits him with a slap bracelet that Chris can’t seem to remove. Gilbert explains that the bracelet severs all ties to the physical realm and that Chris is now ready to move on to the next life.
Chris is confused, and tries to explain that he heard the radio station in the hearse, but this only prompts Gilbert to assume he’s Daniel Carpenter, a recently buried man. Chris tries to argue more, but is interrupted by a man whose number has been called. This man hysterically claims that it’s not his time, and he’s corralled by two hooded figures and tossed through a door into a blinding white light. Gottfried comments that the man led a nasty life, and will lead an even nastier afterlife. He then laughs maniacally for no discernable reason.
Chris flees the radio station and heads home, looking for Jamie. For some reason, the first place Chris looks is in his own room. Apparently he’s onto something, as Jamie soon walks in, but ignores Chris completely. Chris continues to try and get Jamie’s attention, but when he goes to grab him his hand passes right through him. Chris vows not to leave the house, but when he exits a room, he finds himself right back in the radio station. He tries to leave again, but finds that he’s locked in. Chris enters a back room and finds Gilbert doing a radio show, using the much more subdued voice he heard on the radio in the hearse.
Chris tires to explain to Gilbert that he’s making a mistake. Gilbert then muses about how it would do him no good if he had a dime for every time someone told him he made a mistake, because he’s dead. He then informs Chris that he DOESN’T MAKE MISTAKES AND THAT WHEN HE WAS ALIVE HE WORKED FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES. I’d say this instantly makes him the most hated villain in Are You Afraid of the Dark history. Chris hijacks the radio equipment and broadcasts during Jamie’s favorite radio show, asking him for help. Jamie assumes Chris is joking and leaves the hearse, only to run smack dab into the real Daniel Carpenter, who is incidentally the same old man Jamie refused to help earlier in the episode.
Carpenter then harasses Jamie by appearing wherever he goes, prompting Jamie to hide in Chris’ room, where he finds the information about the radio station. Carpenter appears again, begging Jamie not to run away, claiming once again that he needs help, and so does Chris. Meanwhile, Chris gets yelled at by Gilbert and chased out of the broadcast booth and Chris hides in a back room. It’s no use, because Gilbert tell him to FORGET THE NUMBERS and that because he’s gotten on his nerves, HE’S GOING NEXT. Chris is then immediately seized by the hooded figures from earlier.
Luckily, Jamie and Carpenter arrive at the station in the nick of time. Actually, they’re a few seconds late, because Gilbert doesn’t believe and tosses Chris through the door into the afterlife anyways. Thankfully, heaven apparently doesn’t want Chris and spits him back out. Chris takes the slap bracelet off and puts it on Carpenter, who then crosses over to the other side without a problem, because he led a good life.
The episode ends with Chris no longer dressing in black, and Jamie no longer harassing him. He finally got his brother’s acceptance, and all he had to do was die. And change everything about himself. I imagine there are a decent number of women who’d do the exact same thing for Ryan Gosling’s approval.
The Midnight Society then accepts Stig, which is long overdue. It’s short lived anyways, as that cast only sticks around for one more season. When Tucker revives The Midnight Society with new members, he doesn’t bring Stig along. Poor Stiggleton can never catch a break.
The Tale of Station 109.1 is memorable because most things that strongly feature Gilbert Gottfried are. Despite dealing with death, it’s one of the series’ more light hearted episodes, but Gottfried still manages to keep it creepy when he needs to. Now it’s more memorable for being one of Ryan Gosling’s early television appearances, and Gosling is quickly becoming the biggest star to ever get his start on Are You Afraid of the Dark. If you’re looking for more Are You Afraid of the Dark, be sure to check out the Review Index, for all the episodes I’ve covered so far.