Coming off of last week’s emotional episode, the newest 9-1-1 sees new parents Maddie and Chimney balancing their new lives and taking care of not one, but two “babies,” as a recovering Albert is living with them. Meanwhile, May meeting up with a girl from her past brings up some lingering feelings for Athena, and Hen and Karen struggle with Nia leaving to reunite with her birth mother.
Keep reading for a full recap of this week’s episode of 9-1-1, “Parenthood.”
Warning: Brief mentions of suicide and callbacks to the season 1 episodes, “Next of Kin” and “Worst Day Ever.”
It’s morning and Nia is getting ready to be with her birth mother. Denny gives her a blanket, telling her he didn’t like it when she took it off his bed, but he wanted her to have it so she remembers him. Denny proceeds to give Nia her stuffed unicorn as he knows he’s her favorite. Nia asks Denny if he can play later with her but Denny doesn’t think he can, which makes Nia sad. The social worker reminds Nia she’s going home to her mommy and Nia wonders if Denny’s coming with her. Not this time. Nia hugs Hen and Karen as they cry. Hen asks Nia what her unicorn’s name is and Nia says Denny. “For… for big brother.” He’ll look after her just like a big brother. Still sobbing, Hen tells Nia to always remember that they love her. Nia tells Mama Hen she loves her too and gives her a kiss on the cheek. Nia walks out with the social worker, telling Hen and Karen she’ll see them later. Hen begins to tell her otherwise but Karen interrupts her and tells Nia they will see her later.
New mother Maddie is telling new father Chimney that he’s going to be late if he keeps watching her. Not wanting to leave baby Jee-Yun, who is laying in her crib, Chimney asks Maddie if she’s sure she’s going to be okay on her own. Maddie assures him they’ll be fine. As if on cue, however, Albert’s falls down in a nearby room. Chimney checks on his brother, who is on the ground. He was trying to get something off the shelf and he lost his balance. Chimney wonders why he didn’t ask for him or Maddie. Albert mentions they already have a baby to take care of. “You don’t need two.” What they don’t need is Albert hurting himself because he’s too stubborn to ask for help. He should be better. Albert points out the accident was weeks ago. The doctor said there would be lingering issues, Chimney reminds him. Balance being one of them. “You just got to be patient. And quit trying to do stuff on your own. Let us help.”
The next day, Chimney finally gets home after a long shift and immediately plops onto the air mattress. Maddie comes into the living room with a crying Jee-Yun and Maddie is frantic. Jee’s been fussy all morning and she cries every time she’s put down. Maddie gives Jee to Chimney and leaves for her first day back at the Call Center. Soon after, Chimney is struggling to take care of both Albert and Jee-Yun. Running back and forth. There’s a knock at the door and it’s Mrs. Lee. She comes bearing soup. Mrs. Lee goes over to a crying Jee and realizes she’s hungry. Chimney was just making her a bottle and Albert’s lunch, though he might need to make her another one. Mrs. Lee offers to feed the baby while he and Albert eat. She just wanted to see if the two of them needed any help. That’s sweet of her, Chimney says, but he thinks they’ve got it under control. Mrs. Lee looks at the schedule on the fridge, mentioning they are busy. They are but Chimney and Maddie are making it work. They don’t want to lose a second with Jee-Yun by leaving her with strangers. Chimney realizes what he just said and Mrs. Lee says she wouldn’t want to overstep. Chimney takes Jee-Yun back and he tells Mrs. Lee that’s not what he meant. Mrs. Lee and Albert leave as Jee-Yun is crying in Chimney’s arms.
May gets ready to stay with Michael and she asks Harry to pass her phone to her. Harry, though, checks her phone, rather than passing it and notices that Laila liked one of her Instagram posts. That mean girl that May went to high school with. Athena wonders why she’s talking to her and May admits Laila reached out to her a couple of weeks ago. Out of the blue saying she wanted to apologize for what happened. “And you told her, ‘Got to hell.'” May confesses she met her for coffee and heard her out. That’s it. Athena mentions Laila trashed her reputation on social media, said terrible lies about her and that’s it? No big deal? May feels like she at least owed it to her to listen. “You don’t owe her a damn thing.” May brings up that Athena did arrest her, or did she forget that part? Athena didn’t forget a single thing about that… incident. She can’t believe May didn’t tell her about this. May never knows how she’s going to react these days. She tells her mother she’s always worried about her – she doesn’t like her job, and apparently, now she doesn’t like her friends. Athena asks May what she’s doing, letting this girl get back in her head again. May says Laila’s changed, she’s changed. So she’s giving her a second chance. What’s wrong with that? “Because the last time you were friends with that girl you tried to kill yourself!” May just walks away after that.
Later that day, Athena gets flashbacks to when she found May and riding with her to the hospital. She keeps trying to get a hold of her but it keeps going to May’s voicemail. Bobby comes out, telling Athena it sounds like things got pretty heated. “That girl hurt my child. All bets are off.” Laila’s lucky all Athena did was arrest her. She’s sorry if she can’t just forgive and forget. Bobby says they were kids, they barely knew what they were doing. Oh, she knew what she was doing, Athena tells him. She doesn’t get it. Why would May want to have anything to do with her after what she put her through? Bobby doesn’t know, but he does know that Athena sometimes doesn’t agree with May’s decisions. She didn’t want her to take a job at the Call Center, she wanted her to go to college. Athena didn’t want May to take that job because it’s emotionally taxing. May’s been keeping up with her counselor sessions, it seems like she’s handling it. Bobby says she’s practically an adult now. Athena doesn’t have to like her choices, but they are her choices. If she says she’s fine talking with Laila, maybe Athena will just have to trust that she is. “That’s the mistake I made last time.”
Athena trusted May was fine and she almost lost her. She was right there living under her roof and she didn’t know what was going on. Athena was so wrapped up with her and Michael and the divorce that she didn’t even realize what was going on with her own daughter. Bobby says she was a teenager at the time and it’s their whole M.O. in life not to let their parents know what’s going on. When it happened, Athena assumed it was because of she and Michael splitting up, “but it was about something I had absolutely no clue about.” Bobby tells Athena she has to forgive herself. Does she know how many suicide calls he’s been on where nobody had any idea? She can’t take on that kind of blame. “I’m her mother. I should have known something was wrong. But I missed it.” Athena’s scared May hates her right now. But she’s more scared she’s going to miss it again.
Karen’s pacing back and forth and she tells Hen she thinks she did a bad thing. Ultimately good, but still bad. She found Nia’s birth mother. The two of them are at a nursing home and Karen tells Hen her name is Evangeline Gonzalez and she works there as a nurse’s aide. Hen wonders how she found her, and isn’t that completely against the rules? Karen may have hired a private investigator. She had to know. The not knowing was killing her, was killing Hen. She had to know if Nia was going to be okay. Evangeline is a single mom struggling to make ends meet. She got evicted and ended up living in her car with Nia. People saw her and they called child services, who placed her with them, temporarily, while she got her life back together. That was January and then the pandemic hit. She’s been at the facility since June, the residents love her. And there’s a day care down the street. She goes over on her lunch hour to eat with Nia every day. “Nia’s gonna be okay.” Karen tells Hen they did the right thing and Hen notices Karen wants to do this again. She loves Nia and she will always miss having her in their lives. But knowing that she’s with a mother who loves her, that they helped to give them a second chance, she’s so proud of them for that. “It’s gonna hurt like hell every time we do this.” And they’re going to love them like their own and then have to let them go. But Hen guesses they can take it.
May tells Michael she’s just tired of always fighting with her mother. She doesn’t think she can handle anything. But Athena knows May has a good head on her shoulders, Michael says. She’s just being protective and he can’t say he blames her. May tells Michael he didn’t act like a lunatic when she told him Laila reached out. And he wasn’t the one that found her, either. What difference does that make? Michael admits that when Harry called him that day, he said that she was sick, that she and her mother were going to the hospital. By the time he got there, he found out what really happened. “It was all so… just confusing and scary.” But May was alive. She wasn’t when Athena found her. She wasn’t breathing. “She thought you were dead. And she blamed herself for it.” They were her pills, pills that Michael told her to throw out. They both said a lot of things because they were scared. Then they got passed it. Michael says they realized what was the most important thing, and that was just being there for her. Not all this blame and guilt. It was pointless. He knows May thinks that her mom is made of steel. She’s not. “And I’ll never know what she went through when she found you,” and Michael’s kind of grateful he never will.
At the Call Center, May goes through the LAPD archive and finds the call from that night. It’s Athena telling the dispatcher that her daughter’s overdosed and she thinks she’s dead. Soon, her heart’s beating and Athena tells them to hurry. Athena has to do rescue breaths by mouth until paramedics arrive. Athena apologizes to May for not being there before but she’s there now. “Please, don’t leave me.” Later once home, May apologizes to Athena for not realizing what she went through and thanks her mother for everything.
Mrs. Lee ends up taking Albert in, telling Chimney he can stay with them as long as he likes to give the two of them their space. Life can be pretty boring when you’re both retired. Jee-Yun starts crying and Mrs. Lee tells Chimney they’re available any time he and Maddie need a night off. Mrs. Lee takes Jee while Chimney has to go pack and he tells his daughter Grandma’s going to hold her. The statement shocks Mrs. Lee, but Chimney says his mother would be so grateful to her. That she took in her kid after she was gone and loved him. “You finished the job she started.” Chimney’s not sure he ever said thank you for that. “We’re family. Nothing to thank me for.”
9-1-1 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on FOX, followed by 9-1-1: Lone Star! New episodes stream the following day on Hulu and the FOXNOW app.