This week, 9-1-1 truly returned to form with an installment chock-full of lunacy and feelings. So many feelings! In fact, let me tell you about the feelings first, before I get to the drugged brownies and roach-eating competition and the high heels-as-weapons …
Yeah, you heard me.
The Plot With All The Emotions In It
Bobby’s crew responds to a malfunctioning traffic-cam helicopter, which has somehow gotten tangled in some bleachers. Obviously, they save the day — though the traffic reporter, Taylor Kelly, isn’t too eager to fly the next day. So instead, she comes up with a plan: get her station to let her try her hand at on-camera reporting, as she follows Bobby’s crew to tell the stories of real-life heroes! And also so Buck can flirt with her, because making Buck innocently flirt with victims — thus dangling the potential that he’ll finally get over Abby — seems to be this show’s new favorite pastime. Anyway, everyone is happy to talk to Taylor about why they’re working as first responders. Chim shows off his hot firemen calendar, and Hen opens up about the time she was shot when she was a teenager, and Diaz reveals he’s in it for the camaraderie. Buck shows off the table full of baked goods they receive from their appreciative community (CARBS!). But Bobby is the one hold-out — partially because he’s not interested in the distraction, and partially because he’s feeling a little less than heroic generally.
Remember how Bobby, uh, killed his family along with an entire apartment building in a fire that one time, and has been sober ever since? Well, it would be his daughter’s birthday right about now, if that whole thing hadn’t happened. And he’s having a hard time coping — especially as he watches Athena get her daughter ready for her big homecoming dance. And while I may like to lightly poke fun at how COMPLETELY INSANE that entire backstory is, credit where credit’s due: Peter Krause is the only thing that makes it work. He just sells the absolute hell out of it, and makes Bobby a guy you still want to root for no matter how hard the writers assassinate his character. Of course, it helps that we also now get to see him through Athena’s eyes, and seriously — who are we to tell Athena her taste might be bad? But more on their relationship in a bit…
What I’m REALLY here to share is a romantic development that I’m 100% on board with. Maddie has the hots for Chim! In general, everyone should have the hots for Chim (I mean, he’s Mr. April and survived a piece of rebar in his skull), but in this specific case, it instantly made me appreciate Maddie’s character in a way none of the previous episodes had. It starts when Chim helps install some fancy surveillance/ home security equipment in her new apartment, and ends when he brings her a DVD of Mission: Impossible as a housewarming present and they decide to watch it together. Their little mutual crush bookends the episode, but I already ship it HARD. I hope it leads to a big showdown with Maddie’s abusive ex whenever he finally comes to town, and Chim just punches the crap out of him.
But enough about my hopes and dreams! Let’s talk about the weird emergencies Taylor’s crew got to witness this week!
Sandy’s Exotic Creatures Don’t Go Down Easy
Sandy is a dippy older woman who sells exotic pets — an occupation that should be rife with trouble, but that’s not why she needs responders on the scene. Nope, the REAL problem is that she decided to host a, uh, bug-eating competition? And one dude started choking on crickets. Though if you ask me, he made it out easy, because the OTHER contestants were eating live roaches. People just coughing up bugs everywhere… is why I keep coming back to 9-1-1! And do you want to know WHY these fictional people were chowing on bugs? They wanted to win the grand prize: $500 cash, and a freakin’ monitor lizard.
So clearly this is inspired by real events. In 2012 a man choked to death on insect parts after participating in a roach-eating competition at a reptile store in Florida, all in an attempt to win a python. That’s really all there is to this emergency, but please keep Sandy in your thoughts…
The Bodybuilder Got Stuck Like That!
Talk about a Charlie Horse! The next call brings our responders to a bodybuilding competition, where one poor, unfortunate-yet-beefy contender suffers a muscle seizure… which locks him in a double-bicep pose. He’s on steroids, which complicates the treatment, but frankly, this entire scene is just a backdrop for Bobby to yell at the film crew to get out of the way. Worse, I couldn’t find any real-life cases that mirror this situation. All I found were articles, videos, and images of bodybuilders suffering EXPLODING MUSCLES and steroid-abuse complications and… I’m not sharing them. I have a strong stomach, but I’m not inflicting that stuff on anyone. Moving on.
I’d Eat All The Brownies Too
Chim, Buck, Diaz, and Hen meet Athena at the site of a, I think, kiddie beauty pageant? Either that or a SUPER bedazzled kindergartener’s birthday party. One mother has a spike-heeled shoe sticking out of her face, courtesy of another mother — and yup, that’s a thing that really happened! But again, that’s all just fancy set dressing for the real action: Chim and Athena discovering that Hen, Buck, and Diaz are all high and hallucinating their faces off!
Turns out they ate some gifted brownies that were a little more special than they’d anticipated, and can no longer function. Worse, Athena realizes that Bobby also ate some — and she arrives back at the station to find him tripping balls on the roof, talking about how he can see his dead daughter. The good news is that this incident maybe gives him a chance at some closure. The bad news is that it wrecks his sobriety, and as he later admits to Athena — it just makes him wanna get high again.
And the WORSE news is that Taylor’s news crew captures all of it — though her bosses luckily decide not to let her include any of the embarrassing footage in her report. What does make the cut? Footage of dippy lizard lady Sandy talking about how she wants to thank the responders and provide them all with some “clarity” after the way they helped her bug-mouthed victims.
Yup, she’s the brownie-dosing culprit! Bobby and Athena confirm it when they go to her shop and find her tripping and snuggling with some giant lizards. I LOVE THIS SHOW.
Things do end on a positive note for Bobby, though. He joins Athena at a family get-together to celebrate her daughter going off to the homecoming dance, and ends up being invited by Michael to join in on some family photos. It’s so sweet and well-adjusted and dang it, Michael is still WORLD’S BEST EX!
Header Image Source: Fox