Harold Biddle’s scrapbook is floating in a puddle outside of a rest stop, which means the teens trapped inside have found themselves in a world that is literally washing away. We find out what happens next in Episode 8 of Goosebumps, which borrows its title from the 15th book in R.L. Stine’s classic series, “You Can’t Scare Me.” That story was about kids trying to pull a prank on an unflappable peer (and also mud monsters), which bears little resemblance to this episode’s continuation of the Slappy saga. Reader beware…
Episode 8: You Can’t Scare Me – Written by Nick Adams
Mr. Bratt (Justin Long) is sitting in his car outside of a general store, looking out the window at the scrapbook lying in a puddle. He seems to have control over the left side of his body, and he knows he has to get to the scrapbook in order to save the teenagers. But Harold Biddle (Ben Cockell) has control of the right side of his body and is fighting for full possession at any cost. In the struggle, Mr. Bratt’s body ends up on the gravel road next to the puddle.
Inside the scrapbook, Isaiah (Zack Morris), Margot (Isa Briones), James (Miles McKenna), Isabella (Ana Yi Puig), and Lucas (Will Price) huddle together as the Biddle living room begins to wash away. They fall into a memory of the Port Lawrence High School chemistry lab. Isaiah tries to say something important to Margot as the teens freak out. But before he gets his words out, that environment washes away, and they fall into another page, the Biddle basement. Harold’s parents, Perry (Jonathan Silverman) and Georgia Biddle (Georgia Biddle), are trapped there.
Mr. Bratt pinned his left hand between his legs, using his right arm to get closer to the puddle to pull the scrapbook out. He pulls a pen out of his pocket and draws a door in the book…
… A door appears in the basement, with blinding white light pouring in from it. The teens rush toward it. Perry asks Margot to tell Harold they forgive him. “And he’ll always be our Hare-Bear,” he adds, his nickname for his son Harold. The teens find themselves back in the real world, still sitting on a couch in Mr. Bratt’s living room. Lucas bolts up, declaring that they need to go find his mom.
Harold Biddle wins his fight for full control over Mr. Bratt’s body. Mr. Bratt’s consciousness is back in the scrapbook version of the Biddle living room. He calls for the teens, but it is revealed that they’re not there, which means they’re back in the real world. He seems hopeful that they will be able to free him.
Nora (Rachael Harris) is driving to her mountain cabin. She has to stop at a road barrier where park rangers are warning of an incoming snowstorm. She gets to her cabin and turns the furnace on, pulling out a storage bin and unpacking her winter wear. After changing into her snow boots and suiting up, she gets a knock at the door. A Park Ranger (Larry Joe Campbell) is making the rounds to warn residents of the storm in case they want to head down the mountain before it arrives. Nora was holding a shovel when she opened the door, and she looks anxious. He sees a duffel bag on the table with what looks like human hair hanging out. He insists on seeing what’s inside, and Nora spills out the contents, saying it’s her puppet. All of Slappy’s pieces fall to the floor. After the park range leaves, Nora is shocked by another voice in the room. “I thought he would never leave,” Slappy (Chris Geere) says.
“I was following a friend, and I lost her,” Harold (in Mr. Bratt’s body) tells the park ranger when he’s stopped trying to go up the mountain. He describes Nora, and the ranger tells him exactly where her cabin is, but adds that he can’t let the red car through without chains on the tires. Harold skids away in frustration after the park ranger tells him about a general store down the mountain where he can get some tires. Instead, he plows the car into a snowbank and proceeds towards Nora’s cabin on foot.
“You’ve always been special,” Slappy tells Nora, who grabs a roll of Duck Tape and uses it to silence the dummy. She promises to hide him where nobody will ever find him.
James drives his Jeep towards Nora’s mountain cabin, with Lucas in the passenger seat to give directions. Isabella sits uncomfortably between Isaiah and Margot, who are texting each other. Margot wants to know what Isaiah was going to tell her back in the scrapbook, but he says he thought they were going to die and no longer wants to say it because Margot’s boyfriend is in the car. She tells him that Lucas isn’t her boyfriend, but doesn’t deny that there’s something going on between them. Their text chain is interrupted when Lucas passes Mr. Biddle’s red car, abandoned in a snow bank with snow already accumulating on top. The teens park and rush out, noticing footsteps leading away from the car and into the wooded mountain. Lucas starts to rush in their direction, and Margot wants to go with him. Isaiah tries to pull her back, but when she insists, he decides to join her. Lucas and Isabella wait with the cars.
Nora steps outside of her cabin with a duffel bag full of Slappy parts. She is shocked to see Harold (in Mr. Bratt’s body) outside, grinning at her. She’s closer to her station wagon, so she makes a run for it. She gets in and locks the doors, but the engine won’t start. Harold begins to bang on the windows, cracking her windshield before breaking her driver-side window. The car starts just in time for Nora to shift it in gear, sending Harold flying. But the station wagon stalls, and Nora can’t get it to turn over. She grabs the duffel bag and takes off on foot. Harold gets up, but Mr. Bratt’s ankle appears to be sprained, and he’s limping, frustrated by the slowdown. He keeps screaming Nora’s name as he follows her footsteps into the snowy woods.
Lucas rushes past his mother’s station wagon, checking to see if she’s in the cabin. It’s empty. Isaiah notices the footprints in the snow leading into the woods. The teens follow them.
Nora finds a dark thicket of pine trees to hide in, trying to keep her breathing calm so that Harold doesn’t hear her as he moves past, calling her name. When she thinks he’s gone, she makes a run for it. But Harold set a trap, grabbing Nora’s ankles and pulling her down. She fights back and breaks free, taking off at a run, but he is in close pursuit.
James and Isabella talk as they wait by the cars. He points out that he knows she has a crush on Isaiah, and adds that he and Margot will never get together. Their conversation ends when a car pulls up. It’s the rest of the parents, with Eliza (Laura Mennell) asking for confirmation that James is her real son (after encountering what is presumed to be the last dupe in the previous episode). Isabella’s mom, Victoria (Francoise Yip), is there, too, along with Ben (Leonard Roberts) and Sarah (Lexa Doig). “Nora went up there with Slappy,” James tells the parents, who are shocked to learn that their kids know about their past. “There’s something we need to tell you about Mr. Bratt,” the teens say as they follow their parents along the tracks in the snow.
The snow is coming down so strong that it’s becoming hard to see. But when Nora hears her son calling for her, she yells back in the direction of his voice. She can just barely make out his silhouette as she gets closer. But once she’s close enough to see who it is, it’s too late. Harold Biddle set a trap, and this one worked. He not only gets the duffel bag full of Slappy parts away from Nora, but he also pushes her into a shallow ravine. Nora is knocked unconscious. “Now, if you just go ahead and die down there, that’d be great,” Harold Biddle says to Nora’s body as he empties the duffel bag and reassembles the dummy. He replaces the dummy’s eye before removing the tape from his mouth. “Hello, old friend,” Slappy greets his servant.
Lucas leads Margot and Isaiah through the woods. It’s tough to see, and with his right arm in a cast, Isaiah ends up trailing behind as they go over hilly terrain. He can’t see where he’s going, and he takes a wrong step, falling off the ledge of a cliff. His left hand, his only good one, clings to the exposed roots of a tree. It takes a bit for Margot and Lucas to realize that Isaiah has gone missing. They can’t hear him screaming for their help, but they turn around to head back the way they came, which results in Lucas discovering his mother’s empty duffel bag. And then he sees his mom, unconscious in a shallow ravine. He jumps down to help her, and she regains consciousness. It’s a tearful reunion, with Nora not wanting her past with Harold to affect Lucas. He hugs her, and they agree not to keep any more secrets from each other.
Isaiah overcomes the pain in his right arm to try and pull himself up despite the pain under his cast. He’s almost up to the ledge when he hears a creepy voice say, “Hello.” He looks up to see Slappy staring down at him. “Did we scare you?”, Harold asks (in Mr. Bratt’s body). He has a large rock in his hand, which he raises above his head, ready to strike Isaiah’s left hand and send him crashing to his doom. “Your dad is the last person I saw before I died, so it’s kind of like we’re paying it forward,” Harold says. But before he can jam the rock against Isaiah’s hand, Lucas grabs it and pulls Harold back. Nora pleads with Harold, saying this isn’t who he is and he’s under Slappy’s control. “Harold, it is who you are,” Slappy counters. Margot tells Harold she talked to his parents. “My parents are dead,” he responds, but Margot says they were in his scrapbook. He doesn’t believe her until she calls him “Hare-Bear.” Mr. Bratt’s face begins to change into Harold Biddle’s as Margot breaks through to him, just as the rest of the parents find them. Ben sees that his son is in peril and apologizes to Harold, begging him to save Isaiah’s life. Slappy tries to tell Harold that he can’t trust them, but it seems his spell has been broken. Harold turns around and helps pull Isaiah back up, who is reunited with his father in a tight embrace. “What are you doing?”, Slappy demands as Harold picks the dummy up. “I didn’t murder my parents; you did,” Harold declares as he throws Slappy over the cliff, sending him plummeting.
Mr. Bratt’s body collapses as the ghost of Harold Biddle exits. He stands, facing the parents in his burnt form. But as Sarah smiles at him, the burnt exterior vanishes. Harold Biddle looks just as he did in Sarah’s happy memories of getting to know him at school. “Hare-Bear,” he hears, turning around to see both of his parents’ ghosts waiting for him. He goes to them, and they hug, standing in scattered beams of sunlight through the trees as they disappear. Nora rushes to help Mr. Bratt, who is now back in his body, although shaky to be back. The teens help Mr. Biddle back to the cars, as Nora and the rest of the parents look over the cliff into the deep forest below. “It’s finally over,” Nora breathes a sigh of relief. Victoria apologizes as the other parents thank her.
In the final scene, we travel over the cliff to the forest below. Slappy has broken into pieces again, his parts strewn about the snow. His head is on its side, half-buried. The camera zooms in close the dummy’s closed eye. And just before the credits roll, it opens.
This isn’t the end, dear reader, with two more episodes on the way. I’ll be back next Friday, November 10th, with a recap of the 9th episode, but here’s a sneak preview of what comes next.
Episode 9 – Night of the Living Dummy: Part 2
The teens go on a road trip to Seattle to stay with Margot's mom. Meanwhile, Mr. Bratt is on the verge of selling his story, a fictionalized version of the real events that happened in Port Lawrence, but he needs to find his perfect ending and will go to great lengths to find it.
Songs Featured in This Episode:
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