9-1-1 is usually at its best when their hours are contained to one emergency.
Some of the best episodes throughout the first five seasons have been the ones where all faucets were working together on a single mission, from the dispatch to the 118 and Athena as well.
While 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 6 had that, it did come up a little short overall. But even having said that, it was one of the stronger installments of this season thus far.
One of the most significant issues with the hour is that it feels like it wants to be an action-thriller feature film, but there were only forty-three minutes to make that happen.
Certain parts felt incredibly rushed, and while you could see the intention behind it, there just wasn’t enough time for things to play out.
The Buck and Eddie hostage situation could have honestly been the whole hour, and that may have been for the best because there was so much to unpack. We don’t even find out what’s going on with Mitchell until nearly the end of the episode, which is a shame because it’s by far the most exciting plot.
For all we know for most of the time, Mitchell and Dominic are just trying to break of prison for the hell of it. On the surface, you can’t tell what the motive is beyond two guys just wanting to escape the cinderblock walls.
Eddie: So, you think saving him, what redeems you?
Mitchell: No. But me dying and him living maybe makes this world a better place.
But there’s a much deeper reason why Mitchell is so desperate to get out, and the revelation that he wants to try to save his son’s life but essentially can’t just isn’t given enough time to breathe. It flips the whole story on its head, and it makes for a much more intriguing journey than what we first assumed.
This is an excellent Eddie showcase, as he’s every bit the man in charge during the whole ordeal, tending to his patient, trying to calm Buck and save lives in the process. Eddie can sometimes be relegated to background player, but when he gets the opportunity to show up, he reminds you why he’s such a valuable member of the team.
And being a father, you could see the wheels turning when he realized what Mitchell was after. There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do for Christopher, so he could understand what Mitchell was trying to do in that respect.
Although he obviously went about things in a horrendous fashion.
He was at the end of his ropes, feeling like he failed all around, and I did believe that he wanted to do the right thing for his son. He seemed to recognize that if there was one thing he could get right in his life, it would be saving someone he loved and someone good.
Even though it was apparent he was going to sacrifice himself once Eddie got out of the ambulance, it was still a bit of a shock.
And sidenote, 911 writers! These gut-wrenching instances that Buck and Eddie find themselves in together are just cruel at this point.
Buck has almost lost Eddie how many times now? And he’s been right there, too. Eddie’s been buried underground and shot right in front of him, and now he’s held hostage with the man and made to think for a few seconds that he may have been attacked again.
Per usual, Oliver Stark does a tremendous job in five seconds of making you feel every bit of the agony he feels at the prospect of losing the most important person in his life.
But can we get some happy Buck and Eddie content soon? I miss those days.
The 118 rallying around Nolan’s mother and waiting to hear that he made it through surgery is peak 118. They’re a family, and they’re there for everyone else who needs a family to be there for them.
For Bobby and Ravi, they end the hour together, and it was nice to see that moment between Captain and probie, as Ravi was struggling with what had happened back at the prison.
He stepped up in a big way to walk around that prison wholly unprotected, and to think you can just walk away from that and be perfectly fine is unrealistic. Being a firefighter means putting yourself into extremely dangerous situations at the drop of a hat and being okay with it, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t trauma that comes along with that.
Bobby has always been great, reading his people and knowing when to push and back off. He saw Ravi and didn’t push but simply offered his companionship after a very long and exhausting ordeal.
It was a quick little scene, but it was beautiful.
Hen discovering more about herself and continuing on her path to becoming a doctor is still such a treat to see. And uncovering her passion for surgery? We love to see it.
It makes a lot of sense for Hen, as she has a sure hand and she’s very steady under pressure. She will make a fantastic surgeon one day.
Hen: I'm not a doctor. Not yet.
Doctor: He doesn't need you to be a doctor. He needs you to be my hands. He needs you to help me save his life.
There was a nice nod to Chimney (who continues to be sorely missed) during the scenes with Hen and the doctor, and it’s a little curious that we got the cliffhanger at the end of 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 5, and it was dropped entirely.
How much longer will both Chimney and Maddie be gone? Their absence is apparent, especially Chimney’s. And while Ravi is an acceptable replacement, the team just feels incomplete without everyone.
Odds and Ends
- So, Taylor is totally going to run the story about Mitchell after what Buck told her, and it’s going to fracture their relationship. There was no way both Ana and Taylor were making it through this season, so I predict the end of Buck and Taylor coming very soon.
- Is there an existing California law about death row inmates not being able to donate organs? This is a much larger conversation than we can adequately have in the review of a fictional drama, but if anything, it feels like there should be an exception for family members.
- Pouring in laughing gas was such a wild thing to do, but it worked in the end so let’s not get into how ridiculous it was.
- The Christopher and Eddie scene was the perfect way to cap off an emotionally taxing hour. That little boy and that father/son relationship always brings the feels in the best possible way.
Was this the best episode ever? No, but it was enjoyable and had a lot of solid parts. Hen, Ravi, and Eddie all stepped their games up, and it was a reasonable effort overall.
This may have been a bit of a filler hour, but you can see the set-up for Buck and Taylor, Ravi, Hen, and even the eventual return of Chimney on the horizon. There is hope for this season to turn things around, and this was a great step in the right direction.
Were you impressed with Hen’s ability to jump right into surgery?
What did you think about Mitchell and his quest to save his son?
Will they ever give Buck and Eddie fun scenes again?
Let me know all your thoughts down below and watch 9-1-1 online right now so you're all caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.