With one more episode before a winter hiatus, 9-1-1 turned up the heat in a Valentines Day-adjacent episode that saw old flames rekindled, and new love sparked. As we get closer to the mid-season finale, we’re still hoping Season 5 can make some decisions about certain relationships and wrap up some lingering storylines.
The emergencies the 118 faced this week leaned slightly to the fantastical side. Bobby (Peter Krause) played detective, by trying to help Athena (Angela Bassett) try to solve a 30-year old robbery at a casino. While it was certainly a nice change to see both Bobby and Athena out of their uniforms and dressed up for a night on the town, absolutely nothing about this case had a nugget of reality. Although Bobby got a chance to play a supportive husband, he’d do far better staying in his lane fighting fires and leaving the detective work to his far better equipped wife to do the job.
On that note, it’s been a long time since we’ve gotten a chance to see Bobby and Athena act like an adult married couple, in love with each other. Although poor May (Corrine Massiah) was certainly embarrassed to walk in on her mom and Bobby’s “alone time”, it made for a really strong character moment. We continue to be told how in love Bobby and Athena are, it was nice to see it played out this episode. Even Bobby giving relationship advice was a callback to how the character’s been developed over the last four seasons, and it was nice to see this return to form.
The Buck (Oliver Stark) and Taylor (Megan West) show is getting a little tired at this point. We unlocked more of Taylor’s backstory, and we’re all left wondering…do we need it? There seems to be a lack of chemistry between these two actors, and every scene they’ve been in recently just seems very forced. Buck’s support of Taylor, by travelling to be supportive during an incredibly trying time was commendable. It was also good to see Buck called out by his friends for immediately panicking that Taylor was about to dump him, but the relationship itself simply doesn’t have enough to it.
This week we also got to see Hen (Aisha Hinds) unlock more of her mother Toni’s (Marsha Warfield) backstory. When Toni’s old flame Clive (Kim Estes) recognizes Hen after the 118 comes to his aid when his car repairs go wrong. Toni is an undeniably compelling character, and it’s too bad we don’t get to see more of her. She’s the best kind of mother, fully realized with her own story, and she deserves literally nothing but the best.
The remaining unresolved questions we have after this episode are about the revelation of Eddie’s (Ryan Guzman) love of the telenovela. He claims he watches them with Christopher (Gavin McHugh) as a way to keep up their Spanish, but we know that’s not true. Does he love La Reina del Sur, or the Game of Thrones-esque Señora Acero? Or maybe he watch re-runs of Yo soy Betty, la fea, on which the series Ugly Betty was based, definitely a more child-friendly option.
With all the emphasis on love, it was hard not to think of it as an early Valentine’s Day episode. It was frustrating, though, that two side characters who we’ll never see again, car crash and oil explosion survivors Gabi (Jordyn Chang) and Chloe (Justene Alpert) were the only hint of a relationship between two people who are anything other than straight. With the departure of Rockmond Dunbar, and the fact that Hen doesn’t get nearly enough screen time with her wife Karen (Tracie Thoms), 9-1-1 seriously lacks LGBTQ+ representation.
Next week’s episode will be the mid-season finale, and it looks like we’re getting the full holiday treatment. Christmastime has always had a lot of drama in store for the 118. Hopefully the half-way point in the season can be wrapped up in a nice Christmas bow before we break for the New Year.
9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.