Last week in the premiere episode of season 4 of FOX’s 9-1-1, the 118 and the rest of Los Angeles’ first responders were faced with their latest epic disaster — a mudslide. The episode left off on a perilous cliffhanger as Sylvia’s house crumbled and fell down the side of the mountain, taking her and Athena with it. Keep reading to find out what happened in episode 2, “Alone Together.”
We open with a news report showing the flooding, destruction, and devastation caused to the Hollywood Hills area by the mudslide. Seemingly oblivious to the incoming danger, a group of three people are hiking their way up to the Hollywood sign for a photo op. 9-1-1 continues to offer up incredibly relevant social commentary as an argument breaks out, spurred on by the fact that Caleb didn’t even ask Dylan before asking Katie to move in with them in a pandemic-fueled decision. Moments after Caleb and Katie snap their coveted selfie, the earth begins to shake and the Hollywood sign starts to fall.
Meanwhile, Sylvia’s house has come to rest in a dangerous spot along the side of the mountain. Sylvia, being agoraphobic, makes a comment that this is why she doesn’t leave the house — bad things happen. Athena, however, is quick to reminder her that they hadn’t even left the house yet. The two find themselves in a tricky position, stuck inside the remains of the house without Athena’s radio or either of their cellphones.
The 118 are working with other members of the LAFD to look for survivors, and Bobby, Hen, and Eddie take off in search of the Hollywood sign hikers (and Chimney has already entered full dad joke mode — “I guess they should have bought a vowel”).
Over at the 9-1-1 dispatch center, May recognizes Athena’s patrol car in the helicopter footage on the news and convinces Maddie to page her over the radio. When she doesn’t respond, Maddie has to remind her that they all have people they love out there, and the best thing they can do for them … is their job. May clearly isn’t convinced, because she proceeds to try her mom’s cell (to no avail).
Chimney and Buck are making their way down a street where the mudslide has completely covered most houses up to their roofs. They stop when they hear the nearby sound of a baby crying and end up digging a baby monitor out of the wreckage. The problem? The baby is nowhere in sight.
Bobby, Hen, and Eddie find the Hollywood sign’s elusive missing H, which Caleb and Katie are hanging off of. Dylan, on the other hand, has found himself trapped in quicksand.
As Buck and Chimney attempt to figure out how they’re going to find the baby, they realize that the baby monitor is causing interference on their radios, meaning that they can follow it to the source. Find My iPhone is so 2019, 2020 is all about Find My Baby. As they amble around waiting for the sound of the interference to get louder, the two begin to bicker over the fact that Chimney is still living with Buck instead of going home to Maddie. Chimney argues that he’s just trying to keep Maddie and their child safe in the midst of the pandemic, while continuing to voice his self-doubt over the type of father he’ll be. When they finally find the right house, Buck and Chimney have one of their best exchanges on the show yet:
CHIMNEY: So how do we get inside?
BUCK: What? No, the chimney
Back at Sylvia’s house, she and Athena have begun crawling their way up through the house. They finally locate Athena’s radio, and she pages Maddie at the dispatch center. May listens in beside her nervously as Maddie puts a rush on sending a unit out to rescue them. Unfortunately, the house begins to shift, and Sylvia slides downward.
After a helpful delivery of plywood, Bobby, Hen, and Eddie attempt to rescue Dylan from the quicksand. They’re fighting against the clock, because he’s sinking deeper and deeper by the minute. As Bobby and Eddie attempt to gather more tools to get Dylan out, Hen finds herself in the middle of a dramatic love triangle confession. Aisha Hinds, your Oscar for Best Facial Expressions With A Mask will be waiting for you at the end of the episode.
As Chimney is lowered down into the chimney of the house where the baby supposedly is, he tells Buck that in the future, this will be the story of how he got his nickname. You can fool them, but you can’t fool us, Howie … we’ll figure it out eventually! Chimney finds who he assumes to be the mother of the child, but she’s deceased. He then spots a crib and finds the baby, who is thankfully alive and no more than a few days old. Then, in a truly wild twist, terrified shouts can be heard from behind a locked door. Chimney breaks it open to find that perhaps he doesn’t feel too terrible about the fate of the other woman, because she’s been keeping four pregnant women locked up in the room in order to steal and sell their children as a part of an illegal adoption ring. One of the women is the mother of the newborn baby outside the door. And although nobody is injured … one of the women is in labor.
At Sylvia’s, Athena manages to find her in the newly-shifted wreckage, but she’s trapped underneath a piece of the house. As Athena pages the dispatch center to get an ETA on the backup units, Sylvia urges her to go and save herself. May then learns a tough lesson about her new job when, speaking as her daughter and not as a 9-1-1 dispatcher, she tells Athena to get out of there. Maddie pulls May from the floor, instructing her to take a break.
Buck rescues three of the girls from the house, while Chimney takes care of the one that’s in labor. The two have a very eye-opening conversation as Chimney realizes how terrifying, dangerous, and lonely it can be when a pregnant woman doesn’t have a partner or support system.
Athena, never one to give up, finds a bar to use as leverage to help free Sylvia. She learns that the reason Sylvia won’t leave her house is because she and her sister were in a car accident. She was the one driving, and she survived, but her sister wasn’t as lucky. Sylvia gave up on herself and life. Athena reflects back on her attack and the way that she, too, blames herself.
We switch back and forth between two scenes of courage, strength, and determination — Chimney talks the girl through delivering her baby as Athena and Sylvia work together to pull her out from under the wreckage. Both teams are successful in two powerful moments of triumph.
At the dispatch center, Maddie goes to find May, who recognizes that she lost herself in the heat of the moment. She promises that it won’t happen again, and Maddie puts her back to work.
Chimney, Buck, Eddie, and Hen reconvene in the aftermath of their respective rescues, but Bobby is still working. He’s now up in a rescue helicopter, surveying the mud-ravaged neighborhoods from up above in search of Athena. Meanwhile, Athena and Sylvia have finally managed to make their way out of the house, but Athena’s flashlight beam is too weak to be seen from the helicopter. Athena spots her patrol car nearby and runs over to flick on the lights, which quickly manage to catch Bobby’s attention. After the helicopter touches down, Athena pages the dispatch center to confirm that rescue has arrived, and Maddie lets May take the call. Though the moment is emotional for all involved, May holds herself together as she speaks to her mother professionally as a true 9-1-1 dispatcher this time.
Back at home, Athena is surprised to find that Bobby, Michael, May, and Henry have put together a small barbecue to celebrate her first day back at work. Athena tells May that nobody will fault her if she wants to stop being a dispatcher after what she went through working through the mudslide. After all, she still doesn’t seem to be too impressed with her daughter’s decision to take a year off of school. May argues that she took the job because of her mom — on top of Michael’s brain tumor and everything else that happened that year — and she makes it clear that she isn’t planning on quitting.
Maddie arrives at home and is annoyed to see that Albert’s left his bags on the floor. She calls out to admonish him and heads into her room to change. When she walks out, she realizes that it was Chimney in the shower, not Albert. Chimney admits that he got carried away with all of his worrying, and he seems to have realized that it was finally time to come home. It’s better to be scared together, after all.
Michael and Athena have a bit of a heart-to-heart in the kitchen about her ex-husband’s new boyfriend before he takes off, leaving Harry to spend some time with his mother for the night. Later, David texts Michael to let him know that he just pulled into the garage and the two carry out their post-work domestic COVID routine. Michael starts up the shower, hangs a laundry bag in the doorway, and puts on a mask. David strips down in the doorway and takes a shower while Michael puts his scrubs in the washer. Then, Michael places dinner on the table as David walks out into the kitchen (and can I just say how much I love these two together already?)
At the Diaz household, we finally get to see Christopher, who’s cuddled up in bed with his dad. Carla is video chatting with them and she’s telling Christopher a bedtime story. When she realizes that both Eddie and his son have fallen asleep, she bids them goodnight before hanging up.
Karen and Nia wish Hen luck on her first day of orientation for medical school, which — COVID strikes again — is taking place at her kitchen table via video chat. Maddie and Buck appear to have swapped house guests; Uncle Buck and Uncle Albert are now living together in his apartment while Maddie and Chimney enjoy being reunited. Buck’s phone rings, and he excuses himself from the conversation. Maddie calls out after him to stop being so secretive about his new “lady friend.”
Buck hurries up to his room and answers a video call on his tablet, and we finally learn the secret identity of his “COVID crush.” Buck addresses the older woman that appears on the screen as Dr. Copeland, and we finally realize that this isn’t a crush after all … Evan Buckley is talking to a therapist. Given Buck’s questionable history with therapy in the past, on top of everything else he’s been through, it’s not surprising that he’d want to keep this to himself now that he appears to truly be taking it seriously this time. Buck then says something quite interesting — he’s starting to think that Dr. Copeland might be right in her observation that he hides his true feelings from others. We’re coming up on the arrival of the Buckley parents and the long-awaited episode “Buck Begins,” so hopefully we’ll get more of an explanation on what’s going on with Buck soon enough.
Though the 118, Athena, and the rest of our characters have made it through yet another wild disaster, season 4 still has plenty more in store. Next week, make sure to tune in for the highly anticipated crossover event! Episode 3 of 9-1-1, “Future Tense,” will air on FOX on Monday, February 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by 9-1-1: Lone Star‘s “Hold the Line” at 9 p.m. ET/PT.