9-1-1 returns this week for episode 5 of the season, and we’re still dealing with the aftermath of the three-part series premiere. Characters are having to reckon with the events of these episodes, and the series has taken some very interesting turns as a result.
This week saw Ravi (Anirudh Pisharody) cementing his place as a member of the 118. He has been in the background for a while so it’s nice to see him get his chance in the spotlight. He absolutely proved himself as a firefighter by noticing that water was the wrong choice for an out-of-control fire at a retirement home. As a side note, it was kind of nice to see the 118 actually fighting fires this episode. Not that the medical storylines aren’t interesting, but you know, they are technically a team of firefighters.
It was kind of fun to see the new dynamic between Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Eddie (Ryan Guzman) while Chim (Kenneth Choi) is away searching for Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt). They played really well off of each other, and it was absolutely delightful to watch continually put Eddie in his place after having established herself as the top medic of the 118.
As with previous storylines, there were some weird storylines with Buck (Oliver Stark) this week. Although it was good to see him push Ravi and ultimately recognize when he had established himself as a competent firefighter, it was an odd choice to have him have a storyline where he considers leaving the 118 because…people are mad at him? It was a strange moment that seemed wildly out of character and out of story.
It was also great to see Buck and Taylor (Megan West) together again, and it’s definitely satisfying to see Buck in a healthy relationship. It’s just so hard to commit to this relationship which we rarely see and don’t get to see developed nearly enough. We’ve seen Buck’s character develop this far especially in the context of his relationships, so hopefully we can see him living his best life with Taylor.
Collette (Vanessa Williams) is continuing to cause trouble for May (Corrine Massiah), this episode by completely taking over a call that May had under control. Although it was arguably unprofessional, it was a strong character moment for May to take charge and demonstrate how she has matured through the course of the series.
It was so triggering to anyone who has dealt with a bully or emotional abuse to see Collette claim that she was just treating May so horribly because she knows how much potential May has. On the other hand, it was also great to see at the end of the episode May standing her ground and standing up to Collette who has become a bully.
Of course the moment from this episode that everyone’s talking about is Athena (Angela Bassett) hitting Harry (Marcanthonee Reis). Although I still respect 9-1-1 for continuing this particular storyline and showing how trauma isn’t easily resolved in 1-2 50 minute network TV episodes, this episode had the characters making super weird choices.
For starters, it seemed completely out of character for Athena to actually hit her son, and her former husband Michael (Rockmond Dunbar) reminds Athena that they both promised that they would never hit their children. Athena also seemed so indignant when it was suggested that she herself seek professional support when everything about her character points to the fact that she would in fact come to a point of recognizing that need.
Finally, Michael, who normally is so supportive of Athena, was also so completely out of character and seemed to really put the blame for Harry’s kidnapping on Athena when he himself was also at least partially responsible. He used his former spouse’s house and resources (we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he was given permission at some point) and failed to keep an eye on his son. Michael and Athena normally have such a supportive relationship especially when it comes to their children, so this just seemed to be another very odd narrative choice.
9-1-1 has been off to an uneven start this season, and hopefully they can return to their roots by focusing on the characters we love which make the show an entertaining watch.
9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.