‘9-1-1’ 5×11 Review: “Outside Looking In”

**Spoilers Ahead**

9-1-1 returned from it’s mid-season break with an episode that left so many questions, and maybe more head-banging for fans. It was a confusing start to the second half of the season to say the least. Characters were taken backwards, and others…well, let’s just say they’ve far overstayed their welcome. 

Eddie (Ryan Guzman) is off of the frontline, and honestly, the 118 is no worse for wear. This writer, too, has made the transition from frontline shiftwork to the 9-5 grind. It’s a challenge, but Eddie’s whininess made it look like torture. There’s much to written about Guzman’s character, which he has repeatedly displayed during the hiatus. All of that aside (which it shouldn’t be), this character has nowhere else to go logically. Perhaps a transfer would benefit this character, and fans of the show.

The fact that Eddie thought he could challenge Bobby (Peter Krause) in a physical way was laughable. Luckily, Bobby stood his ground and pushed back, making Eddie realize he can’t just flip-flop on a decision to be a part of the 118. Arguably the only positive part of this entire storyline was dispatcher Josh (Bryan Safi) put Eddie in his place in a spectacular way. Fans deserved that much. 

9-1-1: Aisha Hinds in the “Outside Looking In” episode of THE 9-1-1 airing Monday, March 21 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

Athena (Angela Bassett) actually got to do some police work, which is always good to see. Even though the case may have been fairly obvious (a creepy next door neighbour making bombs), she’s always a badass. This is the lane in which she thrives. Hopefully the second half will feature more Athena, since the show desperately needs her.

Hen (Aisha Hinds) has trouble adjusting to her new paramedic partner, Jonah. This was among the most confusing storylines introduced this episode. We know Kenneth Choi and Jennifer Love Hewitt are returning this season. Why is there such an emphasis to replace their characters or effectively write them off the show?

By far the worst that this episode was Buck’s (Oliver Stark) storyline. Before realizing that she’s joining the team, he kisses new firefighter Lucy (Arielle Kebbel) after having too much to drink. Not only does he debate discussing this with his girlfriend Taylor (Megan West), he ultimately decides to ask her to move in with him.

9-1-1: Angela Bassett in the “Outside Looking In” episode of THE 9-1-1 airing Monday, March 21 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: FOX © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

This is a problem for so many reasons. Buck has been on a journey to re-connect with himself after his many issues have manifested in unhealthy relationships. This whole situation was a massive step back for the character. Although the show has never really known what to do with Taylor, it seems supremely unfair to put her in this position. I understand from a practical standpoint that this character was given a more prominent role in the season’s first half due to other actors not wanting to be on set as frequently considering COVID-19 safety. However, this storyline has now gone on far enough. Buck needs to break it off or come clean and let things play out however they will. 

Ultimately, this episode was the worst 9-1-1 has to offer. The plots left much to be desired, and characters were made to go in baffling directions. This episode did not bode well for the second half of the season. There is precious little time for the season to right itself, and put its characters on courses worth watching.

9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.

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