‘9-1-1’ 5×17 Review: “Hero Complex”

**Spoilers Ahead**

The penultimate episode of 9-1-1’s fifth season is here, with ‘Hero Complex’. In many ways, this episode played like a finale, wrapping up stories and giving the members of the 118 a chance in the spotlight. The drama that was set up previously all came to a head in the most satisfying way. While not totally perfect, there was a lot to love in the last episode before the season finale.

The May (Corinne Massiah) and Claudette (Vanessa Williams) story may not have had a satisfactory conclusion, but it set the stage for the drama that unfolded here. May is so fortunate to be supported by loving parents, including Athena (Angela Bassett) and Bobby (Peter Krause). May has come so far, especially this season. It’s been heartwarming to watch.

 We now know Jonah’s (Bryce Durfee) backstory, and I can be forgiven for asking…what was the reason? This character has largely been in the background since he was introduced this season. The set-up has been minimal, to say the least. The MO had to be tied back into the spider story from earlier this season, which was so odd. Regardless, now we all know why’s he’s kind of an angel of death.

9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds and Kenneth Choi in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

The Jonah story did provide an opportunity for Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Chim (Kenneth Choi) to shine. With Chim being gone for so much of this season, this friendship hasn’t been given nearly the amount of screen time it deserves. They make great detectives. Well, Hen makes a great detective, and Chim makes a great wingman and cheerleader. Although it was horrible seeing Chim in peril, it was always clear Hen was going to swoop in and save the day. That enigma reference just put everything together in the best way.

I for one am also loving the trend of seeing Hen and Karen (Tracie Thoms) together more often. 9-1-1 has too often decided to show these two in moments of crisis or conflict. Even though there was tension here, they were actually allowed to be on the same page, and, you know, be in love like a couple should be. Though they’re not on screen too often, the moments they’re together absolutely radiate loving energy. Hopefully, if 9-1-1 returns, we can get more of the same for these two who deserve better. 

The Eddie (Ryan Guzman) family issues kind of fell flat to be honest. Although it was certainly educational to see more of his family and where he’s come from, the fact that he’s basically turned out exactly like his father is hardly a groundbreaking revelation. Hopefully, this story will pave the way for this character’s exit from the show. If he does, it will have all been worth it in the end.

9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds and Kenneth Choi in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 9 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

The weakest element of this episode, as has so often been the case this season, was the Buck (Oliver Stark) and Taylor (Megan West). The will-they-won’t-they, what’s happening dynamic between these two has not served 9-1-1 well at all. Again, hopefully, this story means the beginning of the end for these two, rather than the false start from earlier in the season. It’s clear the powers that be have struggled to write these two. They need to be let go as a couple.

Although the energy in this episode read very much like a season finale, 9-1-1 clearly isn’t finished yet. There are definitely more character stories to tell as the season comes to a close. That has always been where this show shines – focusing on the relationships and teamwork of the 118, along with fighting some actual fires along the way. 

9-1-1 airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox. 

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