FOX’s 9-1-1 is a procedural television series full of high-stakes action, nail biting drama, heartfelt moments, and just enough comedy peppered in to make you laugh through the tears. The show follows the high-pressure experiences of a group of first responders, with a heavy focus on Station 118 of the Los Angeles Fire Department, along with what goes in on their personal lives when they’re off the clock.
With three seasons, 46 episodes, and even a spin-off series under its belt thus far, 9-1-1 has had a wealth of incredible plot lines that have made us yell, laugh, cry, celebrate, and sigh in relief, be it the multi-episode disasters or the quietest moments that pack the biggest punches.
As it looks like the wait for the highly anticipated fourth season will be a long one, with an expected release in 2021, we’ve taken this downtime to reflect on some of our favorite moments from 9-1-1. Today, we’ll be taking a look back the most memorable events from the absolute whirlwind that was season 3.
The Disastrous Tsunami (Episode 2, “Sink or Swim” and Episode 3, “The Searchers”)
The tsunami story arc was not only a huge way to start off season 3 in terms of storytelling, but it was also largely impressive from a visual standpoint as well. Though 9-1-1 has had its fair share of wild accidents and disasters, especially including the catastrophic earthquake in the beginning of season 2, the tsunami truly kicked things up to an entirely new level. The event spanned multiple episodes and didn’t shy away from showing all sides of the disaster, such as the monstrously terrifying rush of the first wave; Buck, Christopher, and the other survivors fighting for their lives in the flood waters; first responders making rescues by way of Zodiac boats; traffic pileups; a death-defying ferris wheel rescue from the entirely submerged pier; the aftermath of the destroyed neighborhoods; and the field hospital that was set up to address the mass amount of casualties. Overall this plot was pulled off remarkably well from start to finish, and makes us look forward to what other “big events” the show will have up its sleeve in future seasons.
Athena’s Search for Emmett’s Killer (Episode 7, “Athena Begins”)
This was such an incredible episode overall because while Athena Grant has been a regular since episode 1, we never really had the opportunity to see how she got started in her career or where she came from. Most other main characters have received their “origin” storyline (though Eddie’s came later in the season, and Buck’s is still to come in season 4), but Sergeant Athena Grant had yet to have her moment. “Athena Begins” shows the story of how she met her first love, how and why she became and continued to be a cop, and the heartbreak she went through after Emmett’s murder. The audience finally was given a chance to see who she learned from and how she became the officer that she is today. And most importantly, were able to watch her finally find closure (while taking charge of the investigation despite how much it hurt her) on an untold part of her history as her family rallied around her.
The Christmas Party (Episode 10, “Christmas Spirit”)
Some of the best moments of 9-1-1 are when everyone in the 118 is together and they all get to play off one another, as an actual family does. Christmas is a time for joy and for being around those you care for, but being a firefighter doesn’t mean you get holidays off. During this episode, Eddie had to cope with not spending Christmas with Christopher, Hen and Karen felt for a little boy who wasn’t going to be able to spend Christmas with his mom due to a health emergency, and the rest of the 118 just weren’t in the spirit. Thankfully with the help of Athena and some of her elves (*cough* Buck *cough*), the station was transformed into a Christmas dinner miracle with everyone’s loved ones and more. The Christmas scene showed families reuniting, caring and sharing with others who weren’t as fortunate, and new beginnings the first half of season 3 came to a close.
When the Call Center Was Taken Hostage (Episode 14, “The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1”)
Very rarely in procedural shows do you see 9-1-1 dispatchers and how they handle situations, but 9-1-1 provides viewers with that behind-the-scenes look. When Maddie’s call center was taken hostage by Josh’s fake date, Greg, and his band of merry men/women/criminals, fans watched in fear and anticipation to see what would happen. Maddie had been talking to Chim on the phone when Greg pulled out his gun and she subtly told him that she loved him, despite her saying the previous night she wasn’t comfortable saying those words. Chim and Buck became suspicious and concerned, and luckily Josh was able to send police over to Chim’s place (confirming that something was indeed wrong!) when he was taking a call by changing the address. Athena teamed up with Buck and Chim to find out what was really going on. Then once Sue found a way to give Athena a code for an ambush, the LAFD and LAPD set up camp. Next, Linda pretended to have an allergic reaction and Maddie grabbed her EpiPen, stabbing Greg while the other dispatchers took down the remaining criminals before the SWAT team came in to rescue them. Viewers all breathed a sigh of relief and shed a few tears upon seeing the dispatchers walk out of the call center, and when Chim and Maddie were reunited. This was one of the many episodes that kept fans on the edge of their seats the entire time and did an excellent job of showing the 9-1-1 dispatchers on the other side of the emergency calls.
Eddie’s Escape (Episode 15, “Eddie Begins”)
“Eddie Begins” was a very emotional episode from start to finish, as we were finally given insight into Eddie’s past with Shannon, his absence during Christopher’s childhood, his time in Afghanistan, and his struggles with his family after his return. In real time, Eddie had not only volunteered to be the one to go down into a very deep hole to save a trapped child, but he also made the decision to cut his line mid-rescue, refusing to let the team reel him back up without the boy despite the lack of time and the dangerous weather. Though Eddie did accomplish what he set out to do, as Chimney propelled down and brought the boy back up after Eddie dug him out, a lightning strike led to catastrophe as the tunnel caved in and began to fill with water. And in that moment, we were all Evan Buckley, screaming Eddie’s name and clawing frantically at the mud in hysterics. The emotions continued to ramp up as Eddie’s mind flipped through a montage of his happiest moments with his family (both blood and the 118) while he struggled underwater. However, as firefighters are required to have the innate ability to remain calm in emergencies, Eddie was able to gain enough mental clarity to remember the discussion about the tunnel system, and he miraculously managed to find a way out and resurfaced in a nearby body of water. The absolute joy on his team members’ faces as they ran to his aid and helped carry him to safety was truly a moment for the books.
The Train Derailment (Episode 18, “What’s Next?”)
9-1-1 is known for its massive calls, so when the season finale aired, it was no disappointment. Season 3 ended with a huge train derailment, showing a preview of the accident at the end of episode 17, including the return of Connie Britton’s Abby Clark. Episode 18 kept fans on the edge of their seats as rescues took place both on ground where Chim and Hen were saving a little boy who had been in the trailer park that got hit, and up high as Bobby, Buck, and Eddie tried to save Abby’s fiancé and another passenger who were both pinned by the same beam in a train car. All three victims, luckily, made it out alive. Chim and Hen saved the boy while Buck made the decision to go to the outside of the train car and cut it open in order to save both passengers. Buck also finally got the closure he needed after talking to Abby; it was clear they still very much cared for each other but their lives had taken different directions.
- Chimney accepts his half-brother (Episode 11, “Seize the Day”)
- Hen and Karen become foster parents (Episode 11, “Seize the Day”)
- Chimney introduces Maddie to Mr. and Mrs. Lee (Episode 11, “Seize the Day”)
- Christopher skateboards with the help of Eddie and Buck (Episode 12, “Fools”)
- The firefighter salute for Red (Episode 16, “The One That Got Away”)
- Maddie tells Chimney that she’s pregnant (Episode 18, “What’s Next?”)
Season 4 of 9-1-1 will premiere in 2021.