9-1-1‘s fifth season kicked off with a major event that saw power outages, escaped killers and more as all of LA battled the blackout. Last week saw the end of that major catastrophe, and “Home and Away” sees the 118 moving forward with “regular” (if we can call any emergency on 9-1-1 regular) calls and dealing with the aftermath of the first three episodes.
Chimney Struggles with Maddie Leaving
Chimney obsesses over Maddie leaving to the point of making farfetched claims to Buck, who checks in on him (maybe Doug isn’t dead, maybe Maddie’s under duress). Chimney even calls off work because his head isn’t in the right place to be on calls. Both Buck and Albert check in on him and try to ease his fears, but nothing helps. As he sorts through bills, he uncovers Jee’s ER visit, and the pieces of the day before Maddie left start to fall into place. Chimney finds the doctor who treated Jee at the hospital and emotionally unloads everything going on. (Please give Kenneth all the awards for this incredible performance.) He’s wracked with guilt over not checking in on Maddie more during the blackout and is sick with concern knowing she’s suffering from postpartum depression.
The doctor tells Chimney Jee’s bathing incident, and Chimney goes to Buck with this news only to realize Buck’s too calm reactions. Buck knew Jee almost drowned, Buck knew Maddie was leaving, and Buck didn’t tell Chimney anything. In a moment of betrayal and rage, Chimney punches Buck and storms out. Buck confides in Eddie about everything, who tells him there was no winning for Buck in this situation. He wanted to help Chimney and Maddie.
Meanwhile, Chimney loads up Jee in the car, intent on tracking down Maddie. He calls Hen to tell her the plan, but she’s already outside to check if he wants company on the road trip. He declines the kind offer and promises to be safe.
The Aftermath of Harry’s Kidnapping
Athena and Michael take Harry to therapy, hoping to help him work through the psychological effects of the kidnapping. He’s been staying with Michael, but the therapist wants him to go home. Harry’s distant when Athena and Michael talk with him at dinner, and Athena is hesitant to force him to come home as suggested by the therapist. It’s clear she doesn’t feel home is safe yet (and we don’t blame her one bit) and spends a night scrubbing the house down. It seems Harry isn’t the only one struggling to cope. Athena breaks down when talking to Bobby. For her, all the good memories are overshadowed by Hudson taking Harry.
Harry’s silence throughout the episode brings a stark reminder that the parent/child relationship can sometimes enter rocky territory, but a sibling bond is often just the outside perspective needed. May brings ice cream and talks to Harry about her day, about their parents, and about the kidnapping. Harry finally opens up. He’s mad at them for hovering and with some teasing from May, he also says he’s mad at them for not stopping the kidnapping. May offers some sage advice, “Don’t bottle up your emotions and put on a happy face for other people. That never works, and it will never make you feel better.”
There’s a New Dispatcher in Town
Claudette Collins arrives at the dispatch center and takes her first call back as the other dispatchers watch, enthralled by her efficiency. It’s a complex call as she oscillates between the child caller, the EMTs, and the police to save the child from the suspect. The whole things goes perfectly, and we learn a little more about this new, very confident (dare we say self-absorbed?) character. Claudette doesn’t wear her uniform shirt so as not to look “lame,” then promptly steals May’s coffee and fully dismisses her as a serious dispatcher. (We’re not thrilled with her attitude.) She’s one efficient dispatcher though.
Claudette reprimands May during the big call of the episode for estimating a time with a caller. These first encounters have May feeling like Claudette doesn’t like her. She tries to smooth things over as Claudette leaves for the day, who is again fairly dismissive once again.
A Devastating Call
The major call of the episode sees a delivery truck driver’s brakes fail, sending him careening into a high school homecoming parade. His truck slams straight into the Mustang on which two teenage cheerleaders, Michaela and Cassie, are riding. Claudette effectively takes over the mass injury event as the 118 arrive on scene. Eddie and Hen treat one of the two girls, who mumbles “Makayla” when Hen asks her name. The other girl, presumably Cassie, is dead on the scene, and Makayla’s parents rush to the hospital to be with her.
Bobby and Buck focus on Mr. Foster, a science teacher trapped under collapsed bleachers and suffering a possible spinal injury. It’s slow going as Buck cuts through the metal surrounding the teacher; the team must be careful not to further damage any internal injuries. Things aren’t helped when the overturned truck nearby begins to smoke.
The truck was hauling chlorine gas and is now on fire and dispersing chlorine throughout the area. They rush to get a mask on the trapped teacher and finally free him from the wreckage while working to put out the fire. Thankfully they are successful on both fronts.
After the call, Eddie and Hen are finishing up paperwork at the hospital when Makayla’s parents find them and thank Hen for saving her life. Cassie’s parents arrive and are understandably distraught. Eddie offers to take them to see their daughter. In the morgue, Cassie’s body is uncovered only for the parents to realize that’s not Cassie. The girl is actually Makayla. Hen chooses to break the news to Makayla’s parents herself. It’s a devastating moment as the two sets of parents break down together.
This week’s episode was undoubtedly an emotional rollercoaster as every storyline delivered punch after punch (in the best way). 9-1-1 airs Mondays on FOX, be sure to catch all our coverage of the show as you await next week’s episode.