This week’s episode of 9-1-1 was a lot to take in. As Hen’s mother pays her a surprise visit and gives her news she wasn’t expecting, Michael’s new hobby turns dangerous. Keep reading for a full recap of “There Goes the Neighborhood!”
At Hen and Karen’s, there’s a knock at the door and it’s Hen’s mother, Toni, completely surprising her daughter. Hen tells her mother they’re in the middle of a pandemic, she can’t just show up at people’s houses. “You’re not people. You’re my family.” Toni says she’s settled in her new place, an Airbnb right in the neighborhood. until she can find something of her own. Hen asks how long she’s staying and Toni says she’s moving back. Denny shows Toni his room and Hen and Karen are still processing the news. It’s great. Is it?
Athena drops Harry off at Michael’s and Athena notices all of the windows that were not there before, getting a perfect view of the haunted Hotel Cecil. As Athena recalls, Michael was not on the best of terms with the Homeowner’s Association. Harry tells Athena that Michael is HOA president now. “Well, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Now that he has more time, Michael felt like he would take a more active role. Athena sees the telescope, asking what it is. “Dad’s other new hobby: spying on the neighbors.” Athena takes a peak, saying it’s an interesting view. Michael tells her who knew that people watching could be better than TV? He shows her multiple people he’s been watching and their daily habits, making up names for the neighbors.
Athena tells Michael he is watching a lot but he says that Harry’s got a handle on the homeschooling so he doesn’t need him hovering over him as much. And David is back to doing his surgeries again. Athena wonders about Michael’s work and he says it’s at a standstill. Not a lot of calls for new shopping malls or office buildings, maybe never again. Michael says it’s not just that, he made a list. When he found out about the tumor, people told him he should have a bucket list. Ended up being a short list, because the only thing he ever cared about was his kids and preparing them to be without him. But he got better and he’s still better. When Michael got news that the tumor was shrinking, he created a new list. Of things he wanted to do, places that he wanted to see. Athena gets that he hasn’t had a chance to do any of it. Instead, Michael just sits there and looks at the world from a distance.
Michael is doing more people watching that night, seeing “Slim” with more trash bags. May calls him wondering what he’s up to. Michael tells her he’s working around the house, doing laundry and making dinner soon. May asks him what he’s making, suggesting she can come over. Michael gets the idea, wondering if her mother put her up to this. May says no, she had a free night and she thought it’d be nice to spend it with her dad. Michael notices Slim washing his hands, wondering if that’s blood on them. He tells May he has to go, he’ll talk to her later and he hangs up. May tells Athena she thinks he’s on to them and Athena says they have to go to Plan B. Plan B isn’t a what. It’s a who.
Later, Bobby is at Michael’s for dinner and Michael tells him to thank Athena for forcing him to bring dinner over. Bobby says she didn’t force him, but she did think Michael needed someone to talk to. She mentioned his new hobby. Bobby starts to walk over to the telescope as Michael tells him it’s really just a way to pass the time, considering how much he has of it lately. “But, you know, there is something weird going on across the street.” Bobby is looking through the telescope, wondering if he means the guy with all the women young enough to be his daughters. There is so much foot traffic, Michael points out. Younger women, olden women, a few men, in and out all the time every day. He’s seen some of them with bruises and a couple of them have bandages. Bobby’s still watching, telling Michael he thinks the guy is giving them money. Personal injury attorney, underground boxing instructor? That still doesn’t justify all the trash, Michael says. What about the trash?
Athena is over at Hen’s for dinner and afterwards, Hen tells Athena her mother is spoiling the kids rotten and Athena says she’s their grandmother. She thinks that’s Toni’s contractual obligation. Athena asks if it’s really been that bad having her back in town. Honestly, Hen says it’s been kind of nice. She goes to check on the coffee that Karen and Toni are preparing and Hen overhears them talking. Karen is telling Toni about Hen putting her hand inside a man’s chest — Fast Hands Hen. Soon to be Dr. Fast Hands Hen. Guess Karen knows where she got that from. Toni asks if she’s okay with medical school, they have a good, stable life there. “You don’t worry that it might be a mistake?” Isn’t Hen a little too old? Karen doesn’t think so, and the program Hen is in is accelerated. Hen goes back to the living room, having heard enough. Athena tells her she looks like she just got run over “by a bulldozer.”
As Michael and Bobby are still spying, David comes home, turning on the lights. Michael and Bobby tell him to turn them off and he does and the two get back to watching “Slim.” David comes over to them, wondering what’s happening. Bobby thinks Michael’s onto something here. David tells him they talked about this and Michael says it’s too much trash. “Everyone has too much trash.” The guy lives alone, all manner of folks come in perfectly fine and Michael says they leave battered and bruised, so whatever’s going on over there isn’t innocent and it probably isn’t legal. Bobby suggests all that trash is him dumping the evidence. Michael wishes there was a way to see what was inside of those bags. Jokingly, David says they could always look through the dumpster. Michael and Bobby think that is a great idea, pointing out where the dumpsters are. Bobby tells Michael to stay there, keep an eye on their shady friend. He tells David they are going to need surgical gloves.
With sneaky jazz music playing in the background, Bobby and David make their way to the dumpster across the street. The music, which sounds like it’s from a buddy/cop comedy, paired with Bobby and David going through the dumpster and Michael just watching them gives a somewhat serious scene a comedic feel to it. Bobby and David start sifting through the trash as Michael keeps an eye on Slim, who leaves to take out more trash. Michael calls Bobby but Bobby lost his phone and then he tries to call David but he left it in the apartment. Bobby finds his phone, noticing Michael tried to call them and tells David they should call off the search. David thinks they found what they were looking for. Used surgical supplies. Bobby calls Michael and Michael tells him they need to get out of there, he’s coming downstairs with more trash. Bobby and David leave, carrying a trash bag, and Bobby tells Michael it looks like Slim is operating some sort of illegal surgical suite out of his apartment. Michael doesn’t answer and when the two get back to the apartment, he’s gone.
David looks through the telescope, finding Michael in Slim’s apartment. Michael sees surgical scissors, blood, hearing some clattering behind a door. He opens it and finds a woman on a table, like she’s prepped for surgery. She wakes up and tells Michael to please help. Michael calls 9-1-1, telling the Dispatcher there’s a woman and she’s hurt, bleeding pretty badly. He begins to tell her where they are but he gets knocked out.
Michael comes to and he’s still in the room, though David is now by his side. Athena tells Michael that is nothing compared to what she’s going to do to the three amateur detectives. Michael asks Athena if the woman is okay as David is checking him out. David wonders what woman and Michael says the woman that was on the table, she was right here. David tells him there wasn’t any woman when he got there, nobody at all, just Michael, unconscious. There was a woman there and she was not okay, Michael says. She looked dead and she asked for his help. Athena tells him they’re checking all the cameras out on the street. Michael describes her and Athena tells him to give her a minute.
At the apartment, Bobby tells Michael there’s no word from Athena, she keeps checking the cameras but it’s just their fake doctor leaving the building with a bag. Athena said it was a pretty small bag, however, Michael remembers there was no bag. The woman; he saw her clothes and her shoes, but there wasn’t any bag. She didn’t have anything, not a wallet or a phone, just a keychain. But no one saw her leave the building. “Because she lives in the building.” Bobby calls Athena and soon, multiple units are checking the building, knocking on every door. She knocks on a door, but there’s no answer and she realizes this is it. They knock it down, and Athena spots the woman sprawled out on her couch, bloody. David checks her out and she’s soon taken away in an ambulance. Athena calls Michael, telling him they got her.
Hen is angrily putting dishes away and Karen tells her that whatever she’s mad about, she’s pretty sure it’s not the mugs’ fault. “My mother.” Karen tells her they should talk about her and Hen says that woman turns the world upside down wherever she goes. “And we just have to hold our collective breath and wait for the storm to pass.” Hopefully it heads back to Nevada soon. Karen asks if she’s talked to her about why she’s here, Karen thinks it’s something she isn’t telling them. Hen tells Karen her mother’s not somebody that holds back, bringing up the fact that Toni asked Karen if she thought Hen was too old to be going to medical school. Hen’s not sure what’s worse. “That she doesn’t believe in me or that she thinks she has the right to judge.” Karen tells Hen that Toni is just worried she’s taking on too much responsibility. “From the woman who doesn’t even know the meaning of the word?” Karen just thinks with her dad gone, she just probably felt like she had a lot to make up for. That’s what Hen thought this was. Her moving back, these past few days, Hen really felt like they were fixing what was broken between them. And now, it just feels like another scar.
The next morning, Hen gets a missed call from Karen but she walks through the front door with Denny and Nia. Karen asks if she’s talked to her mom and Hen tells her not since the other night. Nia mentions they saw her by the park and Denny says they wanted to say hi but she was sleeping. Denny and Nia leave to wash up and Hen asks Karen where her mother was sleeping. Hen finds her mother sleeping in her car and she gets in. She and Toni talk about everything, and soon, Toni comes home, officially moving in. “Our neighbors help us define and redefine our concept of family.”
It’s simply impossible to include everything that happened in the episode, however, one moment we couldn’t leave out was when the 118 were on a call where a turkey was on a rampage in a neighborhood. Buck and Eddie find it, or it finds them, and the scene was just too hilarious, between the western music and the slow motion capture of the creature!
The winter finale of 9-1-1 airs this Monday, March 8 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on FOX, followed by the winter finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star!