I hate to break it to you, but last night’s 9-1-1 was almost entirely devoid of weirdness. There’s basically nothing for me to research! It was all a continuation of the earthquake storyline, as aftershocks continue to rock the city of Los Angeles and our first responders struggle to save lives in the aftermath. But… I still liked it? There were some tense moments, and a lot of emotions, and suddenly I’m super invested in Athena’s ex-husband, Michael — who just became a too-good-to-be-true character (and that’s without taking into account the fact that the actor who plays him, Rockmond Dunbar, has the world’s greatest name).
So let’s dig into the latest episode of the program that Dustin flat-out refuses to let me call “The Best Show On TV” for *airquote* reasons — but jokes on you, boss, I just did! Spoilers!
First things first: Eddie doesn’t die. I mean, he still could, I suppose, but he hasn’t yet. He and Buck are making their way through the stairwell of the seriously tilting hotel with Ali, the chick who almost got Weinstein-ed in the premiere. And at one point, Buck accidentally calls her “Abby” and it gets all awkward. And I’m just saying — there’s a non-zero chance he’s gonna end up banging Ali, I think. There was an unnecessary amount of chemistry going on, and she’s cute, and he’s Buck. Let’s see if she comes back in future episodes.
Because, oh yes, they do make it out just fine — though not without some effort. The stairwell, it turns out, is almost impossible to navigate — and that was even before the trio discovered another survivor in the wreckage. Only this one has a spinal injury and has to be strapped to a makeshift backboard (i.e. an ironing board), which makes everything more difficult. So naturally, Eddie and Buck decide to RAPPEL DOWN AN ELEVATOR SHAFT. One that has a 3-ton elevator suspended a few floors above them.
You see where this is going, right? In what was probably the most stressful sequence of the episode, Eddie and Buck lower the group down a few floors… and are caught when another aftershock hits, shaking loose that damn elevator. They manage to swing through to a lower floor juuuuuust as the elevator car crashes past them.
Meanwhile, Athena is out dealing with the general mayhem that has ensued. She responds to what at first appears to be a convenience store being looted, only to find out that the rioting customers aren’t trying to steal from the shotgun-toting clerk — they’re just upset because dude has jacked the prices on all the goods! So Athena cites the “price-gouging during a state of emergency is a no-no” law, and glares at him, and wouldn’t you know? The clerk decides to sell everything in the store at 50% off.
Nobody f*cks with a good ol’ Angela Bassett stare.
Maddie is still having a no good, very bad 9-1-1 operator training day, but her nurse skills come in handy when a man calls in for help. You see, his wife had gone into labor, but then fell and was knocked unconscious during an aftershock. She needs an ambulance, but… well, help isn’t coming. So Maddie tells him to roll her onto her side, and drive her to a nearby building that’s on fire. But hold on, it’s actually a great idea! Since there’s no way to get an ambulance to the woman, and the roads are blocked to the hospital, the best option is to get the woman to a place where Maddie knows there are first responders stationed with an ambulance. Hence: the fire. Good job, Maddie!
The main storyline of the episode is the rescue of Hen, who fell into a hole and was cut off from Bobby, Chim, and the rest of the responders working to clear survivors out of the hotel lobby. And honestly, it’s touch-and-go for a while there. She even finds another first responder, buried under a pillar near her… and then he dies while she’s trying to ease his pain. It’s, uh, not a good omen. It even inspires her to leave a heartbreaking last message for her wife (Aisha Hinds just CRUSHES this scene, btw). And then, because she’s Hen, she keeps fighting for a way out… and that’s when Paisley comes to see her.
Paisley, by the way, was that prissy little dog that was last seen with the missing girl, Kat. That’s right — THE DOG DIDN’T DIE! And neither did Kat! So now all three of them are safe, together… in the bowels of a structurally compromised building that’s still being battered by aftershocks. OK, so “safe” is a relative term, here.
On the outside, Bobby and Chim can see where Hen is based on her GPS, and they’re trying to open a path to free her. But after that last aftershock, the operation supervisor orders all the responders to clear out as the building is too dangerous. But Bobby’s all like “Nuh-uh!” and decides to defy that order. He and Chim make their way down to the collapsed parking garage, where Hen is trapped. They use the keys from the valet to unlock cars, looking for jacks and other tools in the trunks. They even use one of those super mega 4X4 trucks (from Utah, natch) to start towing chunks of debris. And that’s where Bobby and Eddie find them… followed by the rest of the responders, including the supervisor, because dammit — they protect their own. Working together, they eventually create a tunnel…
And out pops Paisley! And Hen, and Kat. BUT PAISLEY THOUGH.
So everyone is fine (except for that one dude that died earlier)— and just to prove it, there’s a whole montage set to that “We Could Be Heroes” song (but not the Bowie version) because there’s a message, dammit, and it’s that first responders are heroes. Kat’s family is happy, and Hen takes Paisley home with her, making HER family happy. And Buck sits down next to Ali because ABBY WHO, AMIRITE, and then he drives Eddie to pick up his son and they hug in slo-mo! And Maddie answers a call from someone who’s all like “what’s that light in the sky” and Maddie’s like, “Um, that’s the Milky Way, you can see it now because there’s no light pollution so CONGRATS I GUESS” and even she’s happy about it.
But I haven’t told you about Athena’s super sweet gay husband Michael yet! So — he’s been taking care of the kids this whole time, who are worried because their mom is a cop working during an earthquake and nobody has heard from her (she’s Athena — she’s FINE). So he takes them to volunteer at a local church and help survivors, to get their minds off things. But it’s also to distract him, because he’s worried! Because, like he told Athena last week — they’re still a family. He totally still loves her (just not like that).
By the end of the episode, Athena has made it home and Michael is cooking dinner and the everything is returning to normal. But then Athena answers her phone, and it’s Bobby. He says he wants to see her. But, like, RIGHT NOW — because, by the way, he’s standing in her driveway. So she goes out, and it’s cute, and they’re both talking about how they were worried about each other but had to put those thoughts aside to do their jobs and how even THAT is sort of a nice feeling, in a weird way. But Bobby doesn’t want to interrupt because, you know, maybe now isn’t the time to introduce the kids to the new boyfriend.
OH NO, MOTHERF*CKER — NOW IS DEFINITELY THE TIME TO DO THAT. Or at least, that’s what Michael thinks. He comes outside and shakes Bobby’s hand and invites him in for dinner, saying he’s already set a place for Bobby at the table and the kids are excited to meet him.
AND OMG Y’ALL IT WAS SO SWEET AND HEALTHY. Last year, Athena’s journey was realizing that the best thing for the sake of her family was for her and Michael to separate, and this season we get to see that truth bear out. They ARE stronger like this. It’s good for the kids, and good for them, and divorce doesn’t make them less of a loving family. And like, I watch this show for rebar-skulls and tapeworms and spontaneous yoga births. But every once in a while, I guess it’s OK if 9-1-1 wants to hit me in my feeling hole. Just don’t make a habit of it, alright?
Header Image Source: Fox