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Some familiar faces return, as does the possibility of 911 making it so each episode has a theme to it.

Director(s) Kevin Hooks
Writer(s) Kristen Reidel
Air Date 10/15/2018
Characters Introduced
Gloria Christine Estabrook
Nathaniel Troy Winbush

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The Ballad of Gloria: Gloria, Maddie

Back when Addy was our 911 responder, we didn’t get to meet the other people in her office and understand the ins and outs of the job. We did get to hear, as Gloria, a senior responder, dead-end calls – in which you are with someone till they die, but with her mother taking up a lot of her time, the job was just an entry point. With Maddie, it seems they want to focus more on the daily routine, the challenges, failings, and consequences of said failings. Beyond someone dying.

Such is the case for Gloria. Someone who, many a time, was one of the best responders there was – even won an award for it. However, with time, and due to personal issues, she found herself wanting relief. It started with hanging up on a dead-end call and then a pattern of anyone who asked for too much being hung up on. Which the show, curiously, made seem normal but then flipped and made clear it was inappropriate.

Leading to Gloria being fired and it being noted criminal charges could be brought up. All because Maddie told on her and things got investigated.


Gloria (Christine Estabrook) being escorted off the property.
Gloria (Christine Estabrook)

I know it isn’t the best method to learn about an occupation and the hazards from a show which may bend reality. However, first responders still remain quite the interesting occupation and while cops and firefighters have a million and one shows and movies to represent them, 911 responders? Not so much. So while the show definitely feels a bit different without Addy, her absence has led to a light being shed on what is a rather important job. Perhaps even inspiring people who want to help but may not want to get their hands covered in blood or deal, directly, with high-risk situations.

*Insert Representation Rainbow*

Not My Baby: Athena, Nathaniel, Eva, Hen, Karen, Michael, Bobby

With Athena moving on, and the kids liking Bobby, Michael does feel a tad insecure. Not in a dramatic way, to the point of talking bad about Bobby or anything like that, but he does express his worries to Hen and Karen. Two people who, not too long after he speaks of his insecurities, get a new strain on their relationship.

Said strain? Eva is back and she brought Denny’s father, Nathaniel, to help her interrupt the big happy family Hen has. For while Eva signed her rights away, Nathaniel did. Also, after Athena looks him up, while he does have a past, caused by his ex-wife’s ovarian cancer doing her in, he cleaned up. Now he is a manager at home depot, and his extracurriculars make him a model citizen.

Luckily for Hen, and her marriage, all the man wants is to be able to see his kid. He doesn’t seem to want custody. Then, in terms of Eva? Well, being that Eva knows how to get under Hen’s skin, she stalks her and seemingly wanted to confront her. Luckily, rather than try to confront Eva and possibly end up cheating on Karen, again, Eva is seen OD’ing.

Leading to a moment where Hen has to contemplate just letting Eva die but she has a thing called a conscious, so she does what she can and calls 911. Though, she also calls Eva’s parole officer too so Eva is going back to jail. So, while Hen did a good thing, she also got what she ultimately wanted: Eva out of her life.


Nathaniel (Troy Winbush) making it clear he just wants to know his son. He has no intention of disrupting everyone's life.
Nathaniel (Troy Winbush): You tell me what’s best for him and I’ll follow your lead.

Well, that was surprising. There were two storylines which could have been developed, for the sake of drama, and both were avoided. We didn’t get Hen living with the guilt of letting her child’s mother die for the sake of keeping him safe, and her marriage together, and Nathaniel was amicable about custody. Look at 9-1-1 maturing and not trying to make everything into a big to do.

Heck, even with the Bobby and Michael situation, we saw Michael welcome Bobby with open arms into the family and while a little insecure, he talks it out. Not with Athena, because that reaction wouldn’t be fun, but with Hen and Karen who get it. After all, they are in a similar situation. There is this looming outsider who can, and likely will someday, have a relationship with your kid that has nothing to do with you. Which is worrisome for whether you are talking about Bobby or Nathaniel, you never know what could happen.

But, can I just say, I also like that we now only get to see the Black people on this show create a little support group, but the queer Black folk also have their thing? For as much as I watch shows which feature queer characters, I really can’t recall the last time I saw lesbians and gay men interact. Especially Black ones. It’s like they exist in universes that never coincide for some reason.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. How long till Maddie’s ex-husband shows up?


  1. The Black Queer coalition meeting.
  2. Going a bit more into the stress, challenges, and potential issues of being a 911 responder.
  3. Hen’s storyline avoiding the very dramatic routes it could have taken.
  4. Though not mentioned above, it is always nice to see people give Athena her props. Especially when dealing with people who have different views, and are just plain ole

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