‘9-1-1’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 1 “Panic”

15 Min Read
Jack Zeman /FOX

The time has finally come! The season 5 premiere of 9-1-1 is here and it kicks off a three-episode event! Following a ransomware attack on the City of Los Angeles, the 118 find themselves in the middle of all the chaos. Meanwhile, Athena reopens some old wounds involving the realtor serial rapist, Eddie has a health scare and Maddie is gradually dealing with her postpartum depression.

Keep reading to find out all the best moments from the season 5 premiere of 9-1-1, “Panic.”

Elephants, Giraffes, and Monkeys, Oh My!

Jack Zeman /FOX

It’s been known that the 118 would be dealing with zoo animals on the loose since filming began, and since then fans have been anxious to see what would happen. And the beginning of the episode immediately clues fans in. We open on a deserted Hollywood Boulevard, by the TCL Chinese Theatre, the Dolby Theatre, El Capitan, Hard Rock Cafe. Cars are abandoned, paper on the streets. As the 118 makes their way through the street, they start passing some zoo animals. Birds, emu, a giraffe, monkeys on the Chinese Theater, wolves running around the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center, camels in the center, and an elephant that knocks over a Starline Tours ticket booth.

“I really thought this year was gonna be different.”

The episode then takes fans a week prior, and that’s the last we see of the 118 with the zoo animals, at least for this episode. It’s sad, because I really wanted more, but hopefully this just means that the next episode we’ll see a lot more of it.

Maddie’s Postpartum Worries

Maddie seems to be doing a little better, now that she has Chimney to help. Maddie’s oversleeping, which means that Chim gets to have some breakfast with Jee-Yun. She’s seeing a therapist, planning lunch dates with Josh. Chimney, being the caring boyfriend and father of her daughter, knows how tired Maddie has been lately ever since they switched her to the duloxetine. He offers her help but Maddie tells him it’s not his job, though making sure she and Jee are happy and healthy is his most important job. Chimney’s not sure he knows how to not worry. Maddie promises she’ll talk to the doctor.

Maddie has overslept once again, as she wakes to a call from Josh about lunch. Luckily she’s running behind schedule and totally missing her doctor’s appointment. Josh briefly mentions the self-aware cell phones, then the airport was it and now it’s the apocalypse. Maddie has no idea what’s going on and after getting off the phone, she turns on the news and tells baby Jee that daddy’s going to be pretty busy.

The Ransomware Attack

What started off as a somewhat harmless string of alerts turned into something much bigger. The 118 got alerts for an earthquake, tsunami, mudslide. Even though they don’t feel anything and the bell at the firehouse isn’t going off. And evidently, Hen is calling 9-1-1.

“It’s like our greatest hits.”

Meanwhile, the call center is getting hit with 9-1-1 calls that are mostly accidental. Josh assures the staff that they didn’t get hacked. It’s due to a phone provider. Much of the call center deals with emergency calls that aren’t really emergency calls, until one woman who called a couple times on accident calls with a real emergency this time: Her GPS went haywire and she ended up driving into the water and she’s sinking, fast. Luckily, the 118 come to her rescue, with the help of May who was on the call with the woman, though this is only the beginning of the attack.

Taylor figures out that the navigation app’s last update was two weeks ago, which means that there was no bug and the company lied. Karen, when at a get together at Karen and Bobby’s, figures it was a ransomware attack, courtesy of a guy she knows that works at that navigation company, GoGo Anywhere. Multiple other states have been hit. Denny and Harry come out to the dining room to tell everyone their game just froze and it won’t even load. Cell phone carriers, GPS navigation, and now video games? What’s next?

“The end of the world as we know it.”

The ransomware attack continues, this time it’s at Air Traffic Control at LAX. The staff start to lose contact with the planes, and all radar is lost. One of the planes comes back online, though there’s still no radio. According to the radar, the plane is on a collision course for the tower. It’s headed right for them. Everyone in the tower braces for impact, but it never comes. They get confirmation that all the planes have landed at a nearby airport. After the 118 come to take care of a few of the staff, the computers start back up but, not for long. As a virtual slot machine comes up on the screen, with the words “YOU LOSE” and an automated voice saying to give him 25 million dollars if they want their system back.

As the court house is the latest to be attacked, Athena tries to follow Jeffery out into the streets. Traffic lights, cars, ATMs, are all going nuts. There’s multiple explosions on the street and everyone is running around in a panic.


Willing to lend a hand, the 118 helps out at the hospital, because boy do they need it. Soon, the entire city experiences a blackout.

“Because of course.”

The Return of the Realtor Rapist

The Realtor Rapist, Jeffery Hudson, from season 3 returns, as Athena and some of his victims testify in his trial. He even has a fan club, which is disgusting. Before the trial gets started, Jeffery fires his attorney, Lila, as he wants to represent himself. The victims are not too keen on being questioned by their abuser, though Athena tells them they are all stronger than he thinks. They soon get the news that the judge is going to allow Jeffery to represent himself, so Athena reminds the women that he can’t hurt them.

“Just stay strong.”

The lawyer, Decker, also tells them Jeffery filed a motion to suppress all evidence found at Studio Self Storage. Athena reminds him those trophies are all that they have linking Jeffery back to his victims. Not only is the judge considering this but she let him call his first witness: Athena.

Athena wakes up to a sound outside and she grabs her gun from the safe. She searches the house, but as she makes her way back to bed, Jeffery shows up and starts attacking Athena. Just as he shoots her, Athena wakes up. Later that day, Jeffery questions Athena about that night at the storage facility, and her being put on restrictive duty for misconduct. Athena justifies her actions, but he still wants the evidence to be suppressed as it was obtained from an illegal search by a “rogue cop with a history of misconduct.”

Continuing with the trial, everyone’s phones start going off, even though most phones were already off. Prisoners, led by guards, come into the courtroom, as the system said it was time to bring them up. The prisoners are fed up, as they want their day in court, and they start attacking. The guards get them quickly, though and the courtroom is cleared. However, Jeffery made it out during that brief stint of chaos. As everything is getting chaotic by security, Jeffery slips out and escapes.

At the police department, Athena breaks the news to two of the victims that Jeffery escaped. She suggests to them that they don’t go home. They should stick with friends, family, she’ll let them know when it’s safe. Meanwhile, Detective Ransone talks to Jeffery’s former lawyer, trying to get any information on his whereabouts. Athena comes into the room, asking about his “fan club” and if there’s any chance one or more of them would shelter him. Any of them in a heartbeat, Lila says.

Athena and Ransone split up to check out the girls from the fan club. However, they all seem to be clean. A little psychotic, but clean nonetheless.

Jeffery shows up to Lila’s house, still upset with how badly she treated him. He wonders if she has any cash and leads her outside, though before Jeffery has the chance to take her, Ransone shows up and arrests him. He tells Athena the great news and it’s like she can breathe once again. She calls the girls and tells them the news, though as she does, Lila comes up behind Ransone and slits his neck. She and Jeffery, who is in the police car, smile at each other.

“It’s over.”

That ending was NOT what I expected, and boy was it something. I’m still not over it. Knowing that this story isn’t over is giving me chills, but just what will happen when it’s found out what happened with Ransone and Jeffery and Lila? Hopefully we’ll find out more next week!

Eddie’s Health

While Eddie, Ana, and Christopher are looking at new suits for Ana’s sister’s baby’s christening, Eddie starts to feel a little woozy. Ana is with Christopher and Eddie collapses. She runs over to him as Christopher can be heard in the background calling out for his father. Ana tells someone to call 9-1-1.

At the hospital, Eddie is told by Dr. Salazar it wasn’t a heart attack, but it was a panic attack. Christopher brings up the fact that Eddie got shot and Ana tells Salazar about what happened. While the sniper is dead and Eddie’s not, the doctor suggests it’s repression.

“Or just moving forward.”

Salazar gives Eddie an informative pamphlet that outlines what he needs to do if he experiences any symptoms again and though he’s reluctant to take it, he ends up doing so.

“I don’t panic.”

While bringing patients into the ER, Eddie passes Dr. Salazar who is surprised to see him back to work so soon. Buck, ever the concerned best friend, looks at Eddie, who tells Salazar he’s good.

While helping out at the hospital, Buck looks back at Eddie and wonders about why that doctor asked if he was okay. Eddie tells him that he wasn’t feeling well so she checked him out. Buck is grilling him about having a heart attack, not having a heart attack, he’s just worried.

Insane Calls

Jack Zeman /FOX

Thanks to the ransomware attack, there were plenty of insane calls that the 118 went on that just has to be talked about. Check them out!

  • Following the near-impact at the control tower, two of the staff members start to have panic attacks. I almost thought it was going to be one of those moments where slowly it starts to get to everyone, but luckily, it was just those two. That is until the system is officially taken over by a hacker and the supervisor goes down.
  • A helicopter delivering an organ for a transplant at the hospital nearly makes it to the roof, though because of the blackout, the helicopter misses the pad because it’s too dark. The controls start going haywire, and soon, the helicopter is barely dangling from the roof.

What a way to begin the season and end this episode! Between the ransomware attack, the blackout and more, the City of Angels has its hands full. What will happen next? Catch new episodes of 9-1-1 on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on FOX, streaming free immediately after on the FOX NOW app and the next day on Hulu.

Check out our other 9-1-1 coverage here.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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