In many ways, 9-1-1 is more of the same, as it delivers daring rescues and a slew of forgettable guest stars. However, more than ever, there is the vibe it wants you to see everyone get their moment in the sun with dedicated episodes.
|Genre(s)||Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Romance, Young Adult, LGBT|
|Maddie||Jennifer Love Hewitt|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
The 118 go through quite a lot this season. Eddie leaves the team, partly voluntarily but also after a blow-up with Bobby. Chim goes on a leave of absence after Maddie disappears, and new characters, Jonah and Lucy, take their place and shake things up. Alongside that, May takes Maddie’s place at the call center, which leads to her having more screentime than ever, and as for the rest? Honestly, it is a lot of the same things we’ve seen before, be it relationship issues, dealing with their past, or struggling with a recent decision that they are kicking themselves a little too hard over.
Eddie: Solely For Having A Storyline Since His Introduction
At this point, I would submit Eddie is the sole character who always has an active storyline going. There isn’t a huge gap like you see with many of the OG characters, or you feeling like when one storyline is over, that’s it. Whether we’re talking about the challenges of raising Christopher, especially after his mom died, PTSD, issues Eddie has with some family members, and more, you could argue Eddie is the lead character, or at least treated as such.
Having An Obstacle Beyond The Rescue
Between Jeffrey early in the season and Jonah later, 9-1-1 gave us the rare multi-episode case that wasn’t all handled in one episode. Jonah’s was shorter, but the build-up and aftermath you could submit were similar.
Either way, 9-1-1 doesn’t really operate as a show where any long-term adversary is anything beyond one’s inner demons. Be it Eddie’s PTSD and his guilt, Hen previously having issues because of her cheating on Karen, or Bobby’s alcoholism, which usually rears its head once every season. But as for people? Like someone trying to show that maybe the 118 or LAPD aren’t borderline superheroes who will survive and thrive no matter what? Only Jeffrey and Jonah pushed the possibility of that.
For as of now, you don’t see Taylor or someone else holding either accountable. There is no upper management who continually is on anyone’s ass about what they do or how they do it. Granted, it isn’t like Athena is firing off shots every episode or that the 118 doesn’t appear to do things by the book. But with the main threat always coming from everyone’s personal life and the show rarely focusing on all characters equally at once, it made having a central villain a welcome change of pace.
Building Up May
May had the best build-up and development of the few children on this show. Yes, Harry had his time in the sun early in the season, but May got to hang with the adults and really outgrow being Athena’s kid. From her not knowing about going to college, dealing with Claudette at the 911 call center, and really showing herself as growing up, she stepped up in such a way that it makes you wonder what is next for her? Never mind, with her deciding to go to college, we’ll she just pop her head in every now and again, or remain a constant in season 6?
The Utter Lack Of Threat Or Need To Fear
The issue 9-1-1 will have for as long as it is on is that it doesn’t present any real threat to the series leads. We’ve seen them get kidnapped, beat up, impaled, have trucks land on them, and more, yet all of that, at best, becomes anecdotes. After a certain point, it doesn’t affect their movement or their thinking. It is just stories the characters bring up every now and again.
This is fine, in some ways, but decreasingly makes it so any situation seems as serious as they are making it when there is a pattern that no long-term effects will be implemented.
On The Fence
We have such mixed feelings about Taylor. On the one hand, with her being so aggressive about getting stories, to the point it ended her relationship with Buck, you have to appreciate her being someone that is the rare consistent presence that isn’t likable. Yet, on the other hand, her whole backstory about her dad and mom? It felt awkward and forced, similar to the amount of energy put into Eddie when he first came on 9-1-1.
However, with Taylor clearly not being meant to evolve beyond Buck’s love interest, there is the need to question whether the time spent will be well invested in the long run?
Claudette Not Living Up To Her Potential
Claudette is a key part of May’s growth this season, for with both of May’s parents being first responders, she got a job far easier than it perhaps should have been. So Claudette acting as a reminder that May was a newbie, that not everyone is familiar with her parents, and thus will go easy on her, made her a welcomed addition.
However, the show didn’t really develop Claudette besides being what could be seen as a bully. Or rather, it waited until it was time to kill Claudette off to reveal she was in a horrific fire when she was younger, never mind she had a husband and more.
How Bloated This Show Often Seems
Ravi got introduced early in this season, and then it seemed he faded to the back. We then got Jonah and Lucy, and once the show decided to sideline Lucy and Buck being together until maybe next season, while she still got to be part of the action, her storyline stalled. But, in general, even with us focusing solely on Athena, when it comes to the cops and not going too deep into the lives of the 911 operators, this show feels bloated.
I mean, the fact only Eddie, maybe Maddie too, has a storyline that feels like it has been consistently building episode to episode, season to season, is terrible. For nearly all other characters, they get a short few episode stint, and then they pretty much are only seen to answer a 911 call. And mind you, this is with us not seeing all the 118 members under Bobby’s purview. So I can only hope that this show will stop teasing people dying or maybe leaving and actually follows through – beyond Michael, who only is gone because their actor doesn’t want to be vaccinated.
Maddie’s Individual Episodes
There are multiple ways to look at Maddie. You can see her as a lifeline for Chim since most of his storylines have involved her or their shared daughter. Also, considering what she has brought to the show regarding domestic violence and Post-Partum issues, there is no denying that, for a network show, she has brought issues that aren’t commonly seen and aren’t necessarily common topics on network shows.
But on the flip side, Maddie does feel like she is part of the bloat problem. Her storylines, increasingly, aren’t to aid the group. It takes Eddie away from the 118, does more for her than it does Buck, and outside of a handful of highlights, I wouldn’t say she is an asset to the show. Now, this isn’t to say she is an outright liability, but sometimes it feels that the people behind the show don’t think her, or even Eddie, have strong enough characters for a spin-off, yet don’t seem to realize the work put into those two eclipses the work put into other characters. Especially regarding impactful storylines that appear to have legs.
Our Rating: Mixed (Stick Around)
9-1-1 has the issue a lot of long-running shows do. It doesn’t really want to take legitimate risks anymore. It’ll feign a need to worry because of some psycho or mental health episode, but it all seems fine in the long run. Which, in some cases, it is good to see, like with Bobby, Maddie, and Eddie. However, as the show adds new blood to shake things up but doesn’t eliminate characters or have them reassigned, in the process, it becomes increasingly bloated.
Hence the mixed label. Between lack of risks, too many characters, and feeling only a handful get quality storylines on a consistent basis? That’s why 9-1-1 is a show we think is worth sticking around for but shouldn’t be high up on your watchlist.
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|9-1-1: Season 5 – Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)||9-1-1 is more of the same, as it delivers daring rescues and a slew of forgettable guest stars. However, more than ever, there is the vibe it wants you to see everyone get their moment in the sun with dedicated episodes.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 18 [Finale] – Recap/ Review||In its season finale, 9-1-1 wraps up a lot of storylines and decides to set things up so, in season 6, things can start fresh and with potentially less drama.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 17 “Hero Complex” – Recap/ Review||Hen and Chim have a major spotlight episode as they investigate whether or not Jonah has a hero complex.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 16 “May Day” – Recap/ Review||On top of being an emotionally charged episode, it is also one which sets up a criminal unlike what we have ever seen on 9-1-1.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 15 "FOMO" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||9-1-1 tones down the drama a bit and trades it in for mid-life crises and FOMO.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 14 “Dumb Luck” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Eddie and Lucy struggle with how lucky they may or may not be, as Chim and Maddie have a scare regarding their daughter Jee-Yun.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 13 “Fear-o-Phobia” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Buck and Maddie make it back to Los Angeles, and alongside all the surprises of what happened in their absence, they have a surprise for everyone as well.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 12 “Boston” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Chimney makes his way to Boston in hopes of finding Maddie, but has he arrived before she is ready to go back, and will she continue to evade him?|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 11 “Outside Looking In" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In the return of 9-1-1, three months have passed since episode 10, and Bobby is contemplating if it is time to find replacements for Eddie and Buck.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 10 "Wrapped In Red" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In its winter finale, another character of 9-1-1 seemingly will leave the show for a while – can you guess which one?|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 9 “Past Is Prologue” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Secondary characters get to step into the spotlight as Taylor and Toni, Hen's mother, have their pasts revealed!|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 8 “Defend In Place” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Another character might be taking a break from the show. Can you guess who it is?|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 7 “Ghost Stories” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Taylor, Harry, and Detective Ransome lead the episode as a three-way murder plot brings two together, and Harry finds solace in shared trauma.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 6 “Brawl In Cell Block 9-1-1” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In one of the most intense episodes of 9-1-1not involving a natural disaster, a prison break happens.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 5 “Peer Pressure” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As Buck worries about his sister and brother-in-law, he takes his anxiety out on the newbie. Meanwhile, May and Harry bond over the things which are making their lives hard.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 4 “Home and Away” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As Chim deals with Maddie's exit, Athena is trying to get Harry to open up, a new dispatch is introduced, and Hen makes an honest mistake.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 3 “Desperate Measures” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While you likely could predict how Harry and Jeffrey's story ends, you may not guess how "Desperate Measures" ends as an episode.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 2 “Desperate Times” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||We're onto day 5 of the LA blackout, and things aren't getting any easier, especially as backup systems fail and Athena learns Jeffrey Hudson is still on the loose.|
|9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 1 “Panic” [Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As it has done every season, 9-1-1 escalates the stakes by having the city hit with a major cyberattack and the man who attacked Athena on the loose.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 14 [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As to be expected from 9-1-1, no matter how dangerous things seem, everyone ends up okay. Well, all but one.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 13 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While storylines about doctor negligence, and Maddie's mental health, and Athena's relationship, dominate the episode, the ending is what truly leaves a grand impression.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 12 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||A writer decides to put Los Angeles into a tizzy over some buried treasure, which causes quite a few 911 calls.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 11 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In a way, "First Responders" could be seen as a minor "Josh Begins," as we learn why he joined the 9-1-1 responders.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 10 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Get your favorite tissue brand ready; it's time to shed some tears as we watch some kids say goodbye to their parents and bonding moments that will have you bawling.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 9 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||9-1-1 is back, and in its return, we meet Maddie and Chim's baby! However, with a life gained, will there be a life lost?|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 8 "Breaking Point" [Winter Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In the winter finale, we're reminded how much the first half of season 4 is about reunification with people that have been absent a long time.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 7 "There Goes the Neighborhood" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||With Buck dating again, and Hen's Mother coming for a visit, we see the beginning of old wounds healing.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 6 "Jinx" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As Buck evolves into Buck 3.0, Eddie might be evolving too as Christopher's former teacher, Ana Flores, returns to 9-1-1.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 5 "Buck Begins" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While the Daniel thing remains a bust, exploring Buck and Maddie's relationship, from 1996 to the present, will have you in tears.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 4 "9-1-1, What's Your Grievance?" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||So the secret Maddie is hiding comes out, and, well, it might disappoint you.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 3 "Future Tense" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Maddie has a family secret, which includes Buck, and Hen finds herself with a lab partner who pushes her buttons and nearly causes her to go off.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 2 "Alone Together" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||In the 2nd part of 9-1-1's season 4 premiere, multiple near-death experiences act as a wake-up call unlike any other rescues before.|
|9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 1 "The New Abnormal" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||9-1-1, as tradition, returns with a dramatic natural event, which this time is a dam breaking, thanks to earthquakes and a landslide!|
|9-1-1: Season 3 - Review/ Summary with Spoilers||In its 3rd season, “9-1-1” presents minor improvements, but due to being a procedural, which leads to some inconsistency, it often feels like more of the same.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 18 “What’s Next” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review with Spoilers||As with the finale of nearly every season of 9-1-1, the ending is a bit shocking – but this time in a good way.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 17 “Powerless” – Recap/ Review with Spoilers||While we may not see Abby until the end of the episode, a whole lot happens that makes it clear why they needed the season finale to be two parts.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 16 “The One That Got Away” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While not a Christmas episode, Buck meets the ghost of Christmas future and it shakes him to his core.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 15 “Eddie Begins” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While Eddie has been around for nearly 2 whole seasons, and heavily featured, “Eddie Begins” dives into his backstory father than ever before.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 14 “The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||Similar to the bank robbery episode last season, it’s all about the con in the latest episode of 9-1-1.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 13 “Pinned” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As Michael and his family deal with him possibly dying, Chim tries to bring new life to his relationship with Maddie.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 12 “Fools” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||As many struggle with the possibility of being alone, Christopher also deals with not being able to do anything like his dad always says he can.|
|9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 11 “Seize The Day” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||“9-1-1” returns with Chim’s younger brother coming to Los Angeles and triggering Chim’s childhood trauma.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 10 “Christmas Spirit” [Mid-Season Finale] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||Like a holiday movie, 9-1-1 mixes in a lot of sweet moments with a bit of darkness that some might see as devastating.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 9 “Fallout” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||Trauma, and methods of dealing with it, are explored as Eddie, Maddie, and Hen go into therapy to handle their new normal.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 8 “Malfunction” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||As Karen struggles with getting pregnant, Hen finds her focus off, and this leads to deadly consequences. Also, Eddie’s fight career takes a turn.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 7 “Athena Begins” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||We go deep into Athena’s past, to 1989 – 1991 to be exact, and learn of the second major loss that made her become and remain a cop.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 6 “Monsters” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||It’s Halloween on 9-1-1, and you know that means something freaky going down. Though, unlike past seasons, there are less shocks this time around.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 5 “Rage” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||As Michael experiences DWB, and his kids get the race talk, Buck learns the consequences of his lawsuit.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 4 “Triggers” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||From Maddie triggered by a domestic call to Chim and Hen taking note of kids they save, and Buck hearing the worst thing imaginable, this episode isn’t called “Triggers” for nothing.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 3 “Searchers” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||The tsunami arc comes to an end, with an explosion, someone losing an arm, and the fate of Christopher.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 2 “Sink or Swim” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||A tidal wave hits and between the initial wave and the surges which come after, we see more people die this episode than the entire series.|
|9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 1 “Kids Today” [Seaon Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||Surprisingly, despite being crushed by a fire truck, Buck seems like he may return to work. However, isn’t there always a catch?|
|9-1-1: Season 2 - Summary, Review (with Spoilers)||Season 2 of 9-1-1 avoids any sense of a sophomore slump by balancing the 911 drama you love and developing both new and old characters.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 18 "This Life We Choose" [Season Finale] - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||In the finale, after a bombing spree, many characters find their lives changed forever. One for the worse, many for the better.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 17 "Careful What You Wish For" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||In the penultimate episode of the season, Eddie returns to prominence as he reevaluates his relationship with Shannon.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 16 "Bobby Begins Again" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||In order to move forward, you have to the past, and in this episode, we learn what happened between the fire Bobby started and Buck being hired.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 15 "Ocean's 9-1-1" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||The team gets framed for a robbery and it leads to not only some of the best writing in a while, but one person’s job on the line.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 14 "Broken" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||Of course, with 9-1-1 taking some time off it means they have to come back with you on the verge of crying to the point being unable to watch.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 13 "Fight or Flight" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||We journey a bit into Doug and Maddie’s history and are left with an ending which ends a chapter in both of their lives.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 12 "Chimney Begins" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||As Hen did earlier this season, Howard Han aka Chimney, gets his due by having an episode dedicated to his backstory.|
|9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 11 "New Beginnings" [Mid-Season Premiere] - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)||9-1-1 returns, and it is like we never left as the drama picks up and kicks things into the next gear.|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 10 "Merry Ex-Mas" [Mid-Season Finale] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||While this is a Christmas episode, love is in the air like it is Valentine’s day. Though one person with unreciprocated love comes around to ruin things.|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 9 "Hen Begins" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)||The show decides to hand the reigns to Aisha Hinds and gives us something which almost makes you wonder, “Why wasn’t this the show’s pilot?”|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 8 "Buck, Actually" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 7 "Haunted" - Recap/ Recap (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 6 "Dosed" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 5 "Awful People" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 4 "Stuck" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 3 "Help Is Not Coming" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 2 "7.1" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 1 "Under Pressure" [Season Premiere] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1 - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 10 "A Whole New You" [Season Finale] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 9 "Trapped" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 8 "Karma's a Bitch" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 7 "Full Moon (Creepy AF)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 6 "Heartbreaker" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 5 "Point of Origin" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 4 "Worst Day Ever" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 3 "Next of Kin" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 2 "Let Go" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|
|9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 1 "Pilot" [Series Premiere] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)|