9-1-1 delivered a top-tier episode in Season 5, Episode 12 ‘Boston’. This episode was a reminder of everything that makes this series great when it’s at its best. After an uneven season featuring sometimes bizarre storylines, it was a welcome change. This episode was proof that the characters in this show are more than capable of handling the spotlight, and should have it far more often.
Finally, finally, Chim (Kenneth Choi) and Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) are back. This episode, however, we catch up with them in Boston. The opening moments are so heartbreaking and devastating, they’re honestly hard to watch. It was a scene straight out of Grey’s Anatomy that set the stage for one of 9-1-1’s strongest episodes to date. Maddie has been through so much, and as difficult as it is to see her in so much pain, it’s good to see her getting the help she needs.
Before Maddie left, it was commendable that the show chose to focus on a storyline about postpartum depression, a serious condition that is still so stigmatized. Even though this episode pivoted slightly to focus more on an untreated thyroid condition (which is also real), it never shied away from showing this struggle in a very compassionate and honest light. It’s not a condition that’s easily resolved, nor one that can be faced alone.
Criminal Minds fans were in for a pleasant surprise seeing A. J. Cook as Kira, a mother in crisis and a support for Maddie. These two have such impeccable chemistry, and it was great to see them reunited on-screen. It’s hard not to feel for these characters so deeply. In a world that offers precious little tangible support to mothers, both of their characters were so clearly in the depths of suffering. These two gave a voice to so many mothers in particular who find themselves in these situations.
Chim’s life as a medical volunteer in Boston is chaotic, to say the least. At least he knows Boston is a Commonwealth and not a State, a common misconception. His persistence in searching for his wife and doing everything he can to reunite his family was so sweet. Their reunion, however, is so heart-touchingly authentic. There’s no fairytale here, just two hurt people looking to give their family a second chance.
The medical drama of the episode was centered around St. Patrick’s Day, perfectly timed for the celebrations that we are just past. It did strike this writer as more than a little bit stereotypical, however, from bagpipers playing ‘Scotland the Brave’ to speaking in strange accents. If you’re from Boston, leave a comment below, but this just episode did just seem like a giant stereotype of what so many people think of when they think of the city.
The show’s other characters were only present by phone this episode. Oliver Stark delivered one of the more emotional moments when he pleaded with his sister. Others made phone appearances as well trying to offer their support. Ultimately, though, this episode was proof that episodes that focus on one or two of the characters can be incredibly strong. Hopefully, this episode will lead to more characters getting the spotlight more often.
This episode was 9-1-1 at its absolute best. Chim and Maddie are two of this series’ most endearing characters. They have been through so much together, and it was such a joy to see them reunite and make the best of trying to move forward. It was also laudable that Jennifer Love Hewitt herself appeared at the end of the episode, to remind viewers of the US’s Suicide Hotline. I can do no less. If you are someone you love are struggling with thoughts of suicide, visit this link to find your local crisis and emergency contact information to be connected with professionals who can help. You are not alone.
9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.