‘9-1-1’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 8 “Defend in Place”

12 Min Read
Jack Zeman / FOX.

This week’s episode of FOX’s 9-1-1 was an emotional roller coaster. As Michael makes a decision about his future with David, the LAFD respond to an explosion at the same hospital where David is performing surgery. And there is plenty of action and emotions to go around.

Keep reading to see all the moments that happened in the newest episode of 9-1-1, “Defend in Place.”

Jack Zeman / FOX

I Almost Do (Michael and David’s Version)

It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago that Michael met David in the elevator at the hospital. And now it’s almost as if the two of them are ready to take the next step. Though when they see the news of a hurricane hitting Haiti, David breaks the news to Michael that he is going there to help with relief efforts. People have reached out and asked him to. Michael doesn’t take the news lightly since he’ll be away for two months at least, maybe longer.

That in turn makes Michael make the announcement to Athena, Bobby, and the kids that David is going to Haiti to help and before he does that, Michael wants to propose. He realized that not only can he not spend two months without him, but he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life without him. May and Harry are happy for their father, as well as Bobby and Athena. But how does he propose? Cue a montage of Athena, May, and Harry trying to help Michael pick out an outfit, a ring (or a watch).

Michael arrives at the hospital, ready to propose and change his life. But once he gets out of the car and starts walking towards the entrance, there’s an explosion.

The Buildup

Like most major emergencies on 9-1-1, we are being taken back in time to an hour before the explosion. David is getting ready to head into surgery, trying to assure a worried wife that he’s going to take good care of her husband; an elderly patient, Rupert, is officially cancer free so he rings the bell; a little boy bumps into a janitor’s cart and knocks over some chemicals. And this is where it gets a little rocky.

David begins surgery. The little boy, Parker, meets his new baby sister but he doesn’t know exactly what to do with her, so he goes with the nurse as she does some tests on the baby. The janitor cleans up the spill as another nurse places some tanks in the medical storage closet. Though one drops on the ground because she fell, and when she tries to close the door, there’s an explosion.

“There’s been an explosion here. Send everything you’ve got. It’s bad. It’s really bad.”

The Aftermath

Jack Zeman / FOX.

Multiple units, including the 118, are called to the hospital as it was a multi-story explosion. The 118 arrive on the scene and they start helping with evacuation, starting with the nursery.

The Call Center, meanwhile, is getting bombarded with calls. They have a white board set up with local hospitals and available beds, keeping tallies.

Michael is getting checked out but all he wants is to know where David is. David, meanwhile, is still in surgery. He’s refusing to close up and not evacuate until someone tells them otherwise.

“Let’s hope they get that fire under control.”

The 118

Buck is in the nursery, carefully handing each baby to Eddie, who then hands it off to the next firefighter and so on down the ladder. Because seeing Buck with babies is basically all we really need. With the babies doing well, Bobby sends Hen and Ravi for evacuation assistance in the east corridor. A guy on a gurney stops Bobby and wonders where his kids are, his baby. His daughter wasn’t in the nursery, she was with his son, Parker.

Meanwhile, Hen and Ravi find Rupert but he won’t leave until he finds Callie, the nurse.

A Big Brother Saving His Baby Sister

Parker is still in the maternity ward and he sees the nurse who was taking his sister for tests dead on the floor. Baby Sofia is crying, surrounded by debris but she’s alright. Parker immediately takes her in his arms and yells for help.

Parker goes into a patient room and calls 9-1-1. Claudette tries to help him and he tells her they’re in Room 318. Buck and Eddie are on the move. Parker puts towels under the door, per Claudette’s advice, but the smoke is still coming in. He pours water on the towel that was in a pitcher and the line is cut off.

Buck and Eddie make their way to the floor but the fire is fully engulfing the halls. The two of them spot fire extinguishers and make their way through the corridor and it’s too much. Room 318 is gone.

Back on the ground, Eddie is near panic attack thinking about the little boy and his sister. Buck gives Eddie advice but it doesn’t work out too well. However, Lydia gets a call from Parker, wondering where help is. She radios for Eddie and tells him about Parker. Eddie realizes Parker was in the wrong room as he’s looking at his reflection in a sideview mirror, seeing “118” come out as “811.” 81E.

Buck and Eddie finally get to the room. Both Parker and the baby are fine. They are both soon reunited with their parents.

A Cancer Survivor That Just Wants to Help

Ravi and Rupert find Callie under a shelf, but her pulse is strong. They get Callie onto a gurney and Rupert can hear the ceiling collapsing so he pushes Hen and Ravi out of the way, risking his life and dying in the process.

After getting back to the tents, Ravi can’t let go of the feeling that he was supposed to save Rupert, not the other way around. Hen assures him he did everything he could.

Ravi and Hen find Callie and tell her that Rupert didn’t make it. And they wouldn’t have either if it wasn’t for him. They give her a letter that was found on Rupert and Ravi reads it. A final goodbye.

Dr. Hale’s Refusal to Leave

David is still doing surgery and still refusing to leave, despite the fire breaching the fire door and entering the oncology ward. They don’t have much time. He tells his team of doctors and nurses to evacuate as he’s staying with the patient. But they want to stay too.

Athena finds Michael in the parking lot and although Michael is fine, David is still in the burning building. There’s a complication during the surgery so it takes a little longer for him to finish up.

Michael and Athena search the tents for any sign of David but no luck. They bring Bobby over and Michael pleads with him to check on David. The lights go out in the OR.

Love Story (Michael and David’s Version)

Jack Zeman / FOX

Bobby finds David in the OR and tries to get him to evacuate.

“If I walk out of this room, this man dies, and I can’t let that happen. I promised his wife.”

And I promised your husband.”

Bobby tells David that Michael wants to be his husband, and he’s standing outside the hospital waiting to propose. David has to finish and Bobby does his best to give him 12 minutes. He goes over the radio to tell all available units to respond to OR Five for “defend in place.” The 118, including three other units, head over to OR Five.

Outside, the patient’s wife is desperately waiting for her husband. Athena and Michael take her hands and pray, as do surrounding citizens in the parking lot as the LAFD grab everything they can to block the door with a blazing fire before it. It’s a beautiful scene with the LAFD, the citizens, and David and his team. Bobby hoses down the fire and it’s just a matter of time before firefighters walk back out the doors.

Michael rushes to David when he sees him and the first thing David says? “Yes.”

Later on during dinner, Michael announces to everyone that he’s decided to go with David to Haiti. While he can’t save lives, he can help rebuild one. Athena still loves Michael, she always will. She’s happy for him but she is going to miss him. A montage of some of Michael’s greatest hits come across the screen, as it’s Michael’s official send-off.

Ravi Begins?

Sitting down on the engine, Ravi tells Hen he gets why Rupert did what he did. He spent practically his entire childhood in hospitals. Those doctors and nurses become your family. Chemo on the weekends instead of soccer tournaments but he was cheered on just the same. He gets why Rupert ran back into the building.

“To pay it forward.”

We finally got the start of a backstory for Ravi and it would be something to get “Ravi Begins.”

Jack Zeman / FOX.

This episode marks Rockmond Dunbar’s last as Michael Grant. Although it will be sad to see him go, hopefully this won’t be the last we see of Michael and David!

9-1-1 is off next week, likely due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but it will be back Monday, November 29 on FOX!

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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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