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9-1-1 heist.png

'9-1-1' Recap: A Bank Heist? Sure, Why Not

By Tori Preston | TV | April 23, 2019 |

By Tori Preston | TV | April 23, 2019 |

9-1-1 heist.png

This week, our favorite first responders are summoned to a possible chemical attack at a bank, only to come under suspicion of conspiring to commit an elaborate bank heist. It was a fun and stylish episode with plenty of twists — fully deserving of its title, “Ocean’s 9-1-1.” But even more exciting than its obvious homage to those fictional robbers was the fact that it was inspired by real life events… and it wove its inspiration directly into the big reveal, so I wouldn’t have to do as much research. It’s like they did it just for me!

DON’T RUIN IT FOR ME, ATHENA. Ahem. The episode starts at the retirement party for a (rather suspicious and bitter) bank manager named Franklin, celebrating his last day on the job. An armored truck arrives with a cash delivery, so he opens up the vault to let the courier in. Then the manager and the courier both start foaming at the mouth! When Bobby’s team arrives, Eddie suspects it could be some sort of nerve agent, so they call a Hazmat team and start decontaminating people. But more importantly, Hen goes to treat the manager, who collapsed inside the vault… and then the vault closes because the door was on a timer. Bobby witnesses her collapse with the same symptoms, thanks to the security cameras, so now his team has to figure out how to literally crack a safe to save their friend. But while they’re chipping away at the outer wall, the safe door is unlocked remotely and the crisis is averted — only for their real troubles to start.

Detectives arrive at the fire station and find $300,000 stashed in one of the fire trucks, so now everyone involved in the rescue is a suspect. Someone in a Hazmat suit robbed the armored truck and hid the money in the nearby engine, which means the events inside the bank were just a distraction. Or at least that’s how it appears, until a review of the vault contents reveals that a safe deposit box full of diamonds is also mysteriously empty.

So, here’s what happened: Remember Marty, the dude who fixed the broken ladder on the truck last week? He’s back, and bragging about how some hippy-dippy alternative medicine has cured his arthritis. Turns out that “cure” was scorpion venom, which happens to be the substance that brought down the manager, the delivery guy, and Hen. Only Marty wasn’t working alone. The bank manager is his ex-brother-in-law, and together they knew all they needed to know about rescue protocols AND bank procedures — with some inspiration courtesy of some vault rescue stories that were in the news. Franklin had Marty’s scorpion venom hidden in his hand sanitizer, so he could expose anyone he touched. It shouldn’t be lethal, unless you have an allergy — which the unfortunate delivery guy did, and he died at the hospital. But what Marty didn’t realize was that Franklin planned to double-cross him, by tipping off the cops about the armored truck robbery and setting him up while Franklin escaped the country with the diamonds. And what Franklin didn’t anticipate…

… Was that he wouldn’t be trapped alone in the vault, because Hen got locked in with him. So he knocked Hen out with the toxin and stole the diamonds, but he was under more of a time crunch and had to improvise a way to smuggle them out of the vault undetected. So he swallowed them. And when the cops arrive at his home to question him, they find him dead — because the diamonds gave him indigestion!

So we know the scorpion venom as arthritis cure is a real thing — albeit slightly unbelievable, since scorpion venom is the most expensive liquid in the world, clocking in at $39 million per gallon, so why rob a bank if you’ve got that handy already? And I looked up the vault rescue stories that flashed on screen, such as the boy in Florida who got trapped in a vacant Bank of America last year, and that checks out as well. Rescue workers tried to dismantle the vault door, only for a former bank employee to give them the digits to unlock it, not unlike how the played out in the episode. But what about the internal jewel blockage? Turns out that smuggling gems by swallowing them is hardly unusual, and can cause some rather uncomfortable complications because of their hard edges. But I wasn’t able to find any stories about people dying from eating diamonds — though, in 9-1-1’s defense, I didn’t see any stories involving people who ate an entire safe deposit box full of the stuff. So I’ll let them have this one.

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Tori Preston is deputy editor of Pajiba. She rarely tweets here but she promises she reads all the submissions for the "Ask Pajiba (Almost) Anything" column at [email protected]. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba

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