Wow. Talk about a wild hour.
9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 2 took you on a ride, as each storyline this week was a bit gut-wrenching and made for a rather emotional hour. From Hen’s struggles to Athena and Bobby’s trip and Buck’s awakening, my emotions were all over the place.
It may be too early to say this, but it feels like 9-1-1 is back.
Now, you may be thinking, but 9-1-1 never left? And you would be correct because we’ve gotten episodes, emergencies, character arcs, and the like. But 9-1-1 Season 5, in many ways, didn’t feel like the series we fell in love with.
It had some highs, but there were also a lot of lows. Thus far, 9-1-1 Season 6 feels like a fresh start.
They’re back to focusing on the core characters and their stories. And that’s always been when this series was at its absolute best.
This is a heavy Hen hour, and when you give Aisha Hinds the room to do what she does, she will always knock it out of the park.
Hen’s desire to be captain made sense because she knew she was qualified. Bobby knew she was qualified. And she knew that she could do the job. But she underestimated just how difficult it would be to juggle all her responsibilities.
It was hard to watch Hen struggle as the hour went on because you could see the toll it took on her to be so many different things simultaneously. She was on her game at work, ever the professional, but she wasn’t taking care of herself. She was neglecting self-care in favor of index cards, which will eventually catch up to you.
The writing seemed to be on the wall as far as her finals were concerned when we saw how much she struggled leading up to taking them. And while it’s upsetting to see what ultimately happens, it did feel realistic in many ways.
We all know Hen is a fantastic person and smart as hell. But she’s also human.
She has flaws just like everyone else, and she doesn’t always have every single answer at her disposal. But failing her final wasn’t from lack of effort. People fail sometimes, but what you do in the aftermath and how you pick yourself back up to move forward ultimately matters the most.
You can’t blame Karen for telling Hen she has to choose because she’s currently in a very unhealthy place. Even once Bobby returns, and she’s back to being a paramedic, she will be too busy to commit firmly to her job, medical school, and family.
Sometimes things work until they don’t any longer. And it’s important to recognize that and make the necessary changes.
I hate that the story has taken us here because I’ve always thought Hen would be such an amazing doctor, but they’ve been building to this in subtle ways, and I can’t hate that this is where the story took us. And it’s not over!
I would never count Hen out or doubt her ability to go after the life she wants.
Speaking of going after life, let’s talk about Buck.
This will clearly be the season of Buck trying to discover what he wants out of life. Bobby’s words in 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 1 stuck with him enough that he’s still trying to figure out how to be at ease and escape all his fears.
Everyone at some point probably has those questions about life and what it all means. Why are we here? What is our purpose?
The collapse at the Happiness Convention was an intelligent way to continue invoking those questions in Buck as he spoke with Lev in his final moments.
Anytime someone passes on a call, it’s heartbreaking, and this was no different. Three best friends attending a convention about happiness and achieving it suddenly being trapped underneath rubble and on the verge of death is depressing. You start to transition to the next phase of your life, and now suddenly, you’re gone.
But Lev seems to take those final moments as a time to make peace and gain clarity. He wanted the team to save Frankie, and even though he may have ultimately passed, he was able to see that moment and decision for what it was; a way to help someone else in this insane life.
Lev: You saved the kid?
Hen: You’re next. You’re next, Lev.
Lev: It’s okay. I got what I came for. I think I get it now.
Buck’s had this incredible journey throughout the series, and it’s nice that we’re getting to this place where Buck is acknowledging that there is still room for continued exploration. He’s not content to stay stagnant right now, which is essential to being your best version. You can always continue to grow.
This storyline moving forward could mean many things for Buck as he tries to figure out his purpose beyond his identity as a firefighter, what he has to offer others, and what he ultimately wants for himself.
I love him doing this while single because I hope this will open his eyes to ultimately figuring out who the right person is for him. As he works to understand himself better, it should become increasingly clear who understands him in return.
Bobby left the 118 in good hands as he and Athena traveled to Florida to be with Beatrice and Samuel. And a parent’s illness will never be an easy thing to navigate.
Athena and Beatrice have a complicated dynamic at times, which can manifest in misunderstandings. Parents will forever think they know best, and sometimes they do, but it’s often hard for them to relinquish control to their children.
You raised them, and then suddenly they want to tell you what’s right? It can be a hard pill to swallow.
I felt for Beatrice because it’s naturally difficult to wrap your head around your significant other being ill and things changing, especially when it happens so unexpectedly. One second Samuel was smiling, and the next, he was in a coma, with no timetable on if he’ll wake up.
Beatrice is understandably afraid, and change of any kind is scary. Athena isn’t there to swoop in and take over; she’s trying to help and make things easier. But it’s hard to see things clearly amid unimaginable grief.
Athena had Bobby with her every step of the way to listen when necessary, step in when needed, and lend a hand when called upon. Chaos can consume these two, but their love and respect for one another will always be resent.
The ending of the hour is a shock, if only because it feels so out of left field. They introduced us to the Tanya tragedy so long ago, and it takes a second for your brain to remember all the details. But once you do, your jaw drops.
Why would her body be under Athena’s parent’s house? What happened to her? Was Samuel involved? Maybe Junior’s dad?
My brain is running wild, but it looks like we’ll soon be tagging along as Athena and Bobby look into a cold case that’s VERY personal to Athena.
- The underground love tunnel is BONKERS. Imagine crawling underground daily to have an affair, and then, instead of confronting your cheating spouse, you blow up your backyard instead.
- Hen not wanting the team to call her Cap, probably because it’s temporary and they already have a Cap, was one of those little things I love about the series. They add these little details that help you appreciate the characters even more.
- We may already have a top 118 moment of the season, with the boys lovingly showering Hen with popcorn. I’ve missed them so much!
- Mentor Maddie is great, and Noah is just a cute bean who wants to be the best dispatcher. I hope he keeps that positive attitude!
- Eddie doesn’t have a storyline yet, but the lightness surrounding him is so lovely to see whenever he pops up onscreen.
This was a powerful installment, and I’m curious how you guys feel about the season thus far. So do jump into the comments and let me know what’s working for you and what’s not.
If you need to catch up, you can always watch 9-1-1 online on TV Fanatic to get your fill!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.