‘9-1-1’ 5×18 Review: “Starting Over”

**Spoilers Ahead**

The fifth season of 9-1-1 is in the books with ‘Starting Over’, and it was overall a mixed bag. We now know that Fox has ordered a sixth season, so there was no fear that the 118 wouldn’t return. In many ways, this season finale felt like a give-into fear that the series wouldn’t be renewed. It felt like a race to wrap up everyone’s arc’s with a satisfactory bow. 

Right from the beginning, with the white people in the pseudo-Hindu ashram, it was clear that 9-1-1 was going to dial up the chaos to the maximum. It’s an interesting question to ponder, how many fire trucks has the 118 has lost in the name of getting cool shots. It still looked cool here though, and no one ended up being the worse for wear. 

The Buck (Oliver Stark) and Taylor (Megan West) story had to be the most infuriating of the season. The constant news this season, a poor addition, only emphasized how misplaced these two were from the beginning. With the false stops and starts for these two, this looks like it is hopefully the definitive end for a couple that should have never been together. 

9-1-1: L-R: Aisha Hinds and Kenneth Choi in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

Toni (Marsha Warfield) is back, and she’s as iconic as ever. Her and Clive continue to be in love, and it’s so wholesome. She’s given a chance to confront the fact that she didn’t attend her daughter’s wedding. She takes this chance, and tries her very best to make amends. 

It’s Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Karen (Tracie Thoms) who end up hearing wedding bells, however. Aside from Karen’s abrupt 180 about Antonia’s past harm, it’s nice to see them joyful and in love and not in the middle of a crisis. This feels like a re-set for their relationship. Hopefully, this is the dynamic we can expect from these two into next season. 

Bobby (Peter Krause) is also back to the beginning of his story in many ways. The last couple episodes at least had set up the fact that he might be struggling with his sobriety. This was confirmed here. Unfortunately, it was an all-too-short journey for him. The show had a real opportunity to make a point that sobriety is not a linear journey and they didn’t quite get there. At the very least, he and Athena (Angela Bassett) absolutely deserve a vacation.

9-1-1: Aisha Hinds in the episode of 9-1-1 airing Monday, May 16 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Jack Zeman/ FOX. © 2022 FOX MEDIA LLC. CR: FOX.

Mae (Corinne Massiah) is moving on by going to college. Eddie (Ryan Guzman) is moving on by…resuming his position as a firefighter with the 118? There’s still no room for Lucy (Arielle Kebbel) anywhere, since she mostly just stands around and responds to people talking. If she’s going to stick around in the long term, hopefully she’ll be given something substantive to do.

All in all, the 9-1-1 season 5 finale was an odd mixture in the end. It was such a strange choice, to essentially put everyone back to where they started. It felt like a giant re-set for the team. In a way, the finale was a fitting end to a wild season. Hopefully, next season will feature more even storytelling, and character-driven arcs fans can cheer for. 

9-1-1 will return for Season 6 on Fox.

Leave a Reply