‘9-1-1’ Recap: Get into the “Christmas Spirit” in Season 3, Episode 10


The Christmas season is upon us, and so is the midseason finale of 9-1-1. It’s time for Santa, presents, and a whole lot of emotions. Michael is feeling lonely on his first Christmas without a special someone, Maddie is finally finding closure after Doug, and some of the 118 crew are finding it hard to be away from loved ones on the special holiday.

Find out what happens in the newest episode of 9-1-1 in the fall finale, “Christmas Spirit.”

Michael, May, and Harry are putting up Christmas decorations at Athena and Bobby’s house. May wonders if they should even be doing this without them since it’s Athena’s thing. Michael says it usually is, but since when has Athena waited this long to put the tree up? May tells him that she’s been through a lot this year and isn’t feeling the holiday spirit. Michael says it’s why they’re spreading some holiday magic. Michael tells the kids this is Bobby’s first Christmas with his new family, and they are going to do everything they can to make it special for him. While going through decorations, Michael finds an old photo ornament of him, Athena, and the kids with Santa Claus. Athena and Bobby come in, completely surprised by the Christmas tree and decorations. Athena tells them Bobby isn’t entirely in the clear, but this was the last test for now. The doctor has no reason to think it’ll get worse; once they get the results, they can breathe. Michael starts tearing up and tells everyone he’s leaving; he has a lot of work to do.

Eddie and Hen are talking while Christopher, Denny, and Buck are having a playdate. Eddie tells Hen after he told Christopher he was working on Christmas, he went straight to his room and wouldn’t speak to him for the rest of the night. Last Christmas was special, while this one is harder. Christopher asks Buck if he can spend Christmas with him, but Buck tells him he’ll be working on Christmas with his dad. Buck wonders if it’s just him, or does Christmas suck this year? Eddie says it’s not just him, while Hen says it’s been a rough year for everyone. So she’s happy to immerse herself in the magic of Christmas and looks forward to putting the year behind her. Buck says he wouldn’t be surprised if there’s just one more smack in the face to come.

Maddie and Chim are meeting with a lawyer, Donna. Maddie gets a check for nearly $500,000. Donna tells Maddie it’s her share of the marital assets; she’s entitled to every penny of that. Maddie wants to know how she thought she wasn’t entitled to anything legally. Donna says The Slayer Statute only applies to murder, and Chim says which she didn’t commit; it was self-defense. That money is the least that Doug owed her. Donna says she can do what she wants with the money; keep it, donate it, burn it. According to the State of Pennsylvania, that money is hers.

While on a call at LAX, Buck notices Bobby’s nose is bleeding. Bobby tells him it’s just that. Back at the station, he tells Buck it could’ve been allergies, Santa Anas, or how cold it was on the tarmac. Buck asks him if this was his first nosebleed, if his gums were bleeding, if he has a rash anywhere he can’t see. Bobby asks him if he’s diagnosing him while Buck continues, saying he hasn’t noticed any shortness of breath or bruising. Still, he could be hiding symptoms like a headache, dizziness, and irregular heart rate. Bobby tells Buck he’s not hiding any symptoms because he’s not having any symptoms of whatever it is he thinks he has. Buck says that tunnel fire; he was in there way too long. That much radiation exposure can cause aplastic anemia. Bobby tells Buck he appreciates his concern, but he’s okay. The real problem is a tie for Christmas dinner, between burgers and Chinese. Bobby says he’s going to switch his vote to Chinese since he’s not up to cooking.

“Fatigue! Another symptom.”

Bobby tells Buck he knows he’s worried, but there is nothing to worry about yet. Buck says he knows he does dumb things sometimes, and it generally drives him crazy, but he’s an important person in his life, one of the most important. He doesn’t know what he would do if anything were to happen to him.

Maddie is talking to Frank, saying how she thinks she’s moved past Doug, and then something happens, and he’s right back in her life, in her head again. Frank says she’s made a lot of progress, but on some level, it feels like she’s still defining herself through Doug. “Old habits, I guess,” Maddie says she was 19 when they met; most of her adult life, he was her life. Frank asks her if it’s time for a life that’s purely and only Maddie’s. Not a life after Doug, but a life without him. Maddie admits she thinks she doesn’t know the difference. Doug’s dead, but Maddie is still the one holding on. Frank asks Maddie if she’s been back to where Doug died since that happened, and Maddie asks why; to relive that nightmare? Frank says he wants her to return to where he hurt her the most and talk to him out loud, let him go.

At night, Athena is sleeping, and she feels someone get in bed with her; assuming that it’s Bobby, she tells him she thought he had a shift. Turning to the other side, she realizes it’s Michael, who is fast asleep. In the morning, Bobby comes home and finds Athena on the couch. He asks her what she’s doing out in the living room, and she says her ex-husband snores. She tells Bobby Michael’s in their bed. Michael walks into the living room, looking just as confused as Athena and Bobby. He tells them he doesn’t even remember coming over last night. He admits he’s been having trouble sleeping, and his doctor prescribed sleeping pills. He said one of the side effects could be sleepwalking. Bobby tells him he could have Parasomnia. It’s a type of sleep disorder. Bobby tells him he should talk to a doctor because if that’s what that is, it could be dangerous. Michael gives back his key, saying he doesn’t want to be barging in at night again.

Frank and Maddie get to Big Bear, where it happened. Maddie looks at the cabin where they stayed, the path along the lake where she was running, the forest where she was running and almost died, and where she killed Doug, reliving all of it. By herself, she tells Doug she never wanted him to die, but she does forgive him, and she forgives herself for loving him too much, for staying too long, and for not dying right next to him. She’s going to leave him there.

“I am going to run out of these woods, and I am going to live. I survived you, Doug. And I will never be sorry for that.”

Maddie finally gets the closure she’s been needing.

Michael is walking through the store and stumbling, his vision blurry. He walks through a glass window. Athena visits him at the hospital and asks him what the doctors said. They’re sending him home. Athena wants an explanation as to how he ended up walking through a plate-glass window. Michael tells her he got dizzy, but Athena knows that’s not the full truth. He’s distracted, stressed, and hasn’t been sleeping, except when he drove to the house to get into bed with her. Now he’s getting dizzy and walking through plate-glass windows. Athena thinks they’re related, and Michael thinks so too. Before Athena leaves, Michael tells her this is his first Christmas alone. Athena assures him he’s not alone; he has a family that loves him, and she loves him. Michael says he doesn’t want her to worry; he’ll get a full check-up after the holidays, he promises. Michael thanks Athena for coming to get him.


Athena is in bed, and Bobby gets in, telling her his results were posted. Clear across the board. Athena says she can finally breathe again and wishes he wasn’t working the next day, on Christmas. She might feel like celebrating the holidays. Between weekly trips to the hospital and whatever’s going on with Michael, she was about ready to fast-forward to January. Bobby says he doesn’t mind working the next day; Christmas Eve has become a much more important holiday now. It’s the night Athena said yes.

At the station, Bobby is directing the truck as it’s backing up. Athena surprises Bobby, and he asks what she’s doing there. “We came to save you.” She tells Bobby someone told her they were ordering takeout for Christmas dinner, and she couldn’t let that happen. The crew gets upstairs and finds their families waiting for them. Denny runs up to Hen, and Eddie runs to Christopher and Abuela. Buck hugs Karen and Hen says she can’t believe he did that. Buck says she inspired him, and he thinks they should all get to immerse themselves in the magic of Christmas. Karen says she and Denny brought a few gifts for dinner. She convinced a social worker to bring a group home to the station so that kids could have a real Christmas. She tells Hen they have an appointment with a social worker in the New Year. Chim greets Maddie downstairs, who has a mom the station saved. The mom’s kid runs up to her, happy they get to spend Christmas together. Chim asks Maddie how the trip went, and she says it wasn’t easy, but she’s glad she did it. She finally feels free.

After Christmas dinner, May and Harry bring the group home kids presents, and Buck brings Christopher a gift. Bobby tells Athena he can’t believe she pulled it together without them knowing, and Athena tells him Santa isn’t the only one who has elves. Athena thanks Buck for helping her, saying that his resolution should be to use that head of his for good instead of evil. Bobby goes over to Michael, and Michael says this is a nice Christmas. They’re both looking over at May, Harry, and Athena. Michael tells Bobby they mean the world to him and he to them. They are pretty damn lucky to have all found each other. Bobby knows something is off. Michael admits when he fell, they did some scans. They found a mass. Headaches, the fall, ending up in the wrong bed, it’s a tumor. Bobby asks Michael what he can do, and Michael pleads not to say anything, at least not right now. He’ll go to a specialist the next day. Michael wants to have this Christmas.

9-1-1 is officially on hiatus and will be back for its Spring premiere in March. However, you don’t have to completely be without a dose of 9-1-1 at the start of the New Year. The Rob Lowe-lead spinoff, 9-1-1: Lone Star, will premiere Sunday, January 19, 2020, after the NFC Championship Game at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT, continuing the next night, taking its predecessor’s Monday 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT time slot on FOX. 9-1-1: Lone Star also stars Liv Tyler, Jim Parrack, Ronen Rubinstein, and Sierra McClain.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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