Recap: Beware Technology in ‘9-1-1’ Season 4, Episode 3 “Future Tense”

16 Min Read

As always, this week’s 9-1-1 episode was jam-packed with action for some of our favorite first responders, and everything wrapped up with a few headed down to Texas. Let’s jump right into “Future Tense”.

The episode opens with a man, Anthony, in his smart home powered by Hildy, which is malfunctioning. The house is set to 34 degrees, the coffee machine overflows, and loud music blares. He jumps in the shower, where Hildy sets the temp to 99 degrees. However, the camera cuts to his ex-girlfriend, Justine, logged into his Hildy system and causing the malfunctions. She turns the water temperature to 140. Anthony slips and knocks himself unconscious. Justine calls 9-1-1, where Maddie asks questions and she confesses she’s logged into the system.

The 118 arrive, where Bobby simply rings the smart home doorbell and Hildy lets them in. Everyone is creeped out by its ability to recognize them. Anthony is still unconscious with first or second degree burns. Maddie keeps Justine on the line to collect additional information, typing “possible cyberstalking.” Buck mentions that any kind of smart device means someone can spy on you. Eddie comments that maybe he won’t buy that smart coffee maker he wanted now, and Hildy pops his face on the screen, “Hello, Eddie. Here are some popular coffee makers. Would you like to hear the reviews?” Eddie is freaked out and they quickly load Anthony up. Maddie dispatches the LAPD to the woman’s address, where Athena has a little chat about Justine’s digital activities.

At home, Bobby and Athena suspiciously eye the new robot vacuum May bought them. It bumps into Athena, then a lamp, repeatedly ramming it until it falls over, so Bobby (hilariously) puts it outside. Athena tells Bobby that May will be on real calls, and she’s still not happy with May’s choice, believing that it’s because of her. Or, Bobby suggests, May told Athena she’s doing the job to protect her because she knew Athena couldn’t argue back or yell about it. The robot repeatedly yells, “I am stuck” so Bobby walks over, looks annoyed, and asks Athena for her gun.


It’s dissection time in Hen’s medical training. She and a few trainees are around a cadaver as the instructor walks them through makes their first incisions. Trainee Luis is so shaky he can’t do it, and Hen’s other lab partner, Sydney, brusquely pushes Luis aside to do it herself. She gets half a cut in before fainting.

At Maddie and Chimney’s, Chimney builds the crib while Buck finishes baby proofing the house, at least until he starts suggesting sensors on the windows. “I just don’t want to underestimate the curious interiority of my nephew.” Maddie reminds him they don’t know the sex and discovers Buck put childproof cabinet locks on the top cabinets. Maybe overkill, definitely adorable. Chimney asks if Buck’s girlfriend has seen this side of Buck, and this is when Buck confesses he doesn’t have a girlfriend. The woman he’s been talking to is actually a therapist, and it’s not for work, it’s for himself. Chimney reassures him therapy is not a big deal, but Maddie seems worried and Chimney jokes parents should start therapy funds instead of college funds.

In class, Hen speculates with Luis that their cadaver died of heart failure when Sydney walks in suggesting they look at his chart. When Hen tries to ask why she’s not at a hospital, Sydney rudely says the paramedics are “medical Uber drivers. Their opinions don’t count.” Hen is clearly annoyed. They move on, Sydney stepping up to make the next incision and she realizes the cadaver has a port scar. He died of cancer. Hen tries to help when she seems upset, but Sydney shuts her down again.


At home, Buck answers a knock on his door to find Maddie. He just left her house so he’s surprised, but she says she wanted to talk more about his therapy, thinking he might not be comfortable sharing things in front of Chimney. He tells her there’s nothing to share. She called him sad and lonely, and it stuck with him. He sought help, because even after he said his piece to Abby, he still felt that way. He’s open and vulnerable with Maddie, a side of Buck we don’t usually see. She asks if he’s talked with their parents and seems relieved that he hasn’t. She’s extremely worried about something. He seems to strike a cord with her though.

MADDIE: You know that I’m here for you right? Whatever you need?
BUCK: Yeah. I just don’t think this is something you know how to fix.
MADDIE: Why not?
BUCK: ‘Cause I always felt like you were sad, too.

A man in a ball cap and face mask robs a local bank, where the clerk is unable to give any descriptive information because of the mask. On the scene, Athena and two officers check the security footage, where she’s able to read the license plate on the getaway car, so dispatch puts an APB on it. Not long after, Athena arrives on scene where the driver is handcuffed and says he didn’t rob the bank. He’s a rideshare driver, and Athena says he was the getaway car. He supplies the information for the man who ordered the ride, and Athena (with backup) arrives at his home to make the arrest. The man tries the run and is dumb enough to call a second rideshare in an alley behind his home. The LAPD pulls up and arrests him.

Later that night, Buck hangs out with Eddie and Christopher. He and Chris are battling playing a video game when Eddie disconnects the whole device. After the coffee maker incident, Eddie is still wary of technology, because everything he looks at gives him ads for coffee makers. Chris asks to go to Buck’s to play games, and Buck wants to give in, but Eddie gives him a look and Buck redirects telling Chris they might have to play old school games like Scrabble now.

Chimney wakes to find Maddie crying in the living room. She’s scared about being a parent because every decision they make will affect the child and who they become as a person. She doesn’t want to mess up their child the way her parents messed up her and Buck. (Seems like Buck’s comment really struck a nerve.) Chimney reassures her she won’t be like her parents, they are going to make mistakes but their kid will know how much they love them and will understand.

Hen finds Nia chasing Denny around, having colored on Denny’s face while he slept. “I make Denny pretty,” she says. Denny runs to answer the door and in walks Dierdra, the social worker. As they chat, another knock sees Sydney on the doorstep. Nia takes Dierdra to her room, Denny goes to clean his face, and Hen reprimands Sydney for showing up unannounced. Sydney asks her to tell Dr. Langford everything between them is fine. She’s on his radar in a bad way and doesn’t want to look bad. “Because it’s all about you,” Hen says and Sydney again talks down on Hen’s career shift at 40 and Hen’s inability to juggle her busy life. Hen tells her to leave and slams the door.

At the station, Chimney and Buck see the Texas volcano and wildfire on the news before Chimney asks Buck about his parents. He’s worried about Maddie, and Buck tells him their parents weren’t abusive, they were emotionally absent from their lives. “I just figured they liked each other more than they liked us.” Chimney asks about some dark, Buckley family secret but Buck assures him they were just the usual dysfunctional family.


Hen swings by Athena’s house to vent about the social worker and Sydney. Hen shares that the things Sydney said are the same things the voice in her head tells her. She can’t do everything, and she’s tired of having to prove herself. Athena reminds her she doesn’t have to, she’s already formidable. Athena says maybe Sydney’s got more going on than they know and tells her to think of her has a patient.

At home, Maddie calls her mother and gets in an argument about finding out the baby’s gender (and gives us an idea of how the elder Buckleys are). Maddie pushes past it and asks if they’ve spoken to Buck. She says he’s in therapy, and is cut off by her mom, then responds, “No, it’s not like that. He doesn’t know anything. But maybe he should.” Then, “I don’t know Mom. How do you tell somebody that you’ve been lying to them for their entire life?” It seems there is a life-altering family secret that Buck doesn’t know and Maddie is scared of what that truth will mean for him.

A woman does a guided meditation with her Hildy, and as she sits up she loses her vision. The 118 arrive on scene and rule out blood pressure and medicines. As they talk, Eddie spots a worm in her eye and they discover she’s been instructing goat yoga, where she was exposed to face flies which lay eggs in eyes. Hen removes all the worms (there are a lot), her eyes clear, and she asks if rabbits have worms. Hildy chimes in, asking if she wants that searched and Eddie panic yells, “No!” at it.

In the lab that night, Hen finds Sydney already there. She says Sydney makes her feel like she’s going to fail before she’s even tried, and always feels like she has to prove herself.

HEN: I’m a Black lesbian that joined the fire department at 30, that started med school at 40. You think I’ve ever walked into a room and not felt like I had to prove that I deserved to be there?

While they chat, Hen spots a patch on her arm for hormone replacement therapy, which can cause all the symptoms she’s seen. Sydney finally shares that she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation, and six weeks before classes she had a double mastectomy and surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. Both her mother and grandmother died before 35, so she’s determined to graduate and live beyond 35. Hen understands that drive, and it seems a new friendship might be on the horizon.

Eddie hears a knock at the door and finds a large box on the doorstep. Inside he finds a coffee maker with the note “A gift from Hildy”. As he panics, Christopher picks up the phone and says, “We got him.” Buck and Chris pranked Eddie, and it’s the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. Also, now Eddie has his new coffee maker.

Chimney anxiously welcomes Maddie home, telling her that he wants to be there for her. She’s unwilling to share whatever has her worried, and they sit down to watch the ultrasound together. As they watch, it’s revealed Maddie didn’t watch anything at her doctor’s appointment and together they discover they are having a girl. The emotions weigh on Maddie, and she finally tells Chimney she wants to get something off her chest, but Chimney isn’t the one she’s been trying to protect by keeping this secret.


May arrives home and tells Athena and Bobby that she stayed after work for a counseling session that’s required because of her age and record. Bobby says there’s no shame in therapy, and Athena reveals that she stopped seeing her therapist. Bobby is less than thrilled, but she tells him it was to prepare her for going back to work and now she has.

A news anchor details the raging fire in Texas and the need for additional aid. At the station, Buck and Eddie are packing up to head to San Angelo when Hen arrives to join them on the trip. They pack up and roll out.

The highly anticipated crossover event with 9-1-1 Lone Star continues the story of Hen, Buck, and Eddie’s trip to Texas. Be sure to check out our 9-1-1 Lone Star recap for the details. 9-1-1 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. CT on FOX.

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By Brianna
Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09
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