Sunday, January 23, 2022

‘9-1-1’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 9 “Past is Prologue”

FOX’s 9-1-1 is back this week after a brief break, and the menu for this episode is full of stories of old and new love. Two strangers connect in an unlikely situation, an important figure from Hen’s mother’s past resurfaces, a long-forgotten casino robbery is solved, and Taylor Kelly’s dark family history is revealed. Keep reading for a breakdown of the major events from “Past is Prologue.”

A driving test with a side of oil and romance

The episode opens with a woman, Gabi, who’s taking her driving test with a proctor named Chloe. While Chloe initially tries to maintain a professional demeanor, she begins to warm up to Gabi as the other woman talks about breaking up with her girlfriend and making the decision to move to LA.

Out of nowhere, an abandoned oil well underneath the road erupts and causes a sinkhole to open up right underneath their vehicle. The 118 responds to the call. While Gabi is okay, Chloe is a bit worse for wear. The two may have only just met, but the connection between the women is clear as Gabi frets over Chloe and refuses to leave her side. Later, during a romantic montage featuring some of the show’s couples, we see Gabi waiting for Chloe to wake up in her hospital room.

Toni’s long lost love

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The 118 respond to a call where a man electrocuted himself while attempting to charge his car battery, ending up on his back in his driveway. The man, Clive Wexler, takes notice of Hen’s nametag while she’s checking him over, and he says, “Antonia Wilson? What year is it?” He explains that he and Hen’s mother, Toni, were good friends a long time ago. He doesn’t go into detail, and neither does Hen’s mother when she asks her about him later.

Eddie and Buck begin to speculate with Hen as to whether Clive is a long lost love of Toni’s, so Hen sets up a surprise lunch date between them. Clive is waiting at the restaurant with roses, but Toni leaves shortly after she sees him. Later, she explains to Hen that she and Clive had an affair while she was still married to Hen’s father. Despite her shame, Hen is more than understanding, given her parents’ rocky relationship.

Toni tells her that she was going to run away with Clive in 1978, but she stood him up, and she hasn’t seen him since. Hen does the math and realizes that her mother didn’t want to leave because of her. She leaves Toni with Clive’s number, and the two finally reconcile and go for a long overdue drive.

Solving the Fairwell Casino robbery

Athena gets a call about a robbery at the Fairwell Casino … but she’s about 30 years too late. Back in 1987, someone on a motorcycle walked into the casino, drew a gun on the dealer, and walked out with 1.2 million dollars in chips. They were never caught. However, someone just tried to cash in one of the stolen chips that morning.

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Later, Hen’s mom — who used to be a dealer at a casino — mentions to Athena that they would never have that many chips at a table unless a special request was put in. With that freshly planted seed of suspicion in mind, Bobby begins to pour over the old security footage. Then, he and Athena take a trip to the casino to act out a more PG version of their new role playing hobby (sorry May) to see if they can figure out the inconsistencies that they saw on the tape.

The two come to the conclusion that the person who entered the casino for the robbery was a different height than the person who left. Athena pays a visit to the man who tried to cash in the stolen chip and learns that it belonged to his uncle, who was a regular at the casino at the time of the robbery. He gives her a photo of him that he found, and the woman that’s the current manager of the casino is standing next to him. They had been dating at the time, and she was a blackjack dealer. Better late than never, Athena solves the case, coming to the conclusion that it was an inside job.

Taylor Kelly’s dark family history

Buck notices that Taylor has been acting weird and distant toward him. He tells the 118 that he’s worried that the inevitable breakup is coming, thinking back on his dating history with Ali and Abby. Bobby chimes in that Buck’s problem is that he needs to figure out how to talk to Taylor, tell her how he’s feeling, and find ways to reconnect.

Buck does exactly that when Taylor evasively tells him that she’s going out of town for a couple of days. We learn that the news article she was looking at in a previous episode — “Local doctor proclaims innocence after murder conviction” — was about her father, who is in jail for killing her mother. Initially, the coroner ruled her death as a suicide, but the police later came for her father eight months later when suspicion arose after further investigation. While the first jury was split on their feelings, the second jury convicted him. Taylor has complicated feelings on the matter, because he’s her father. Now, he’s up for parole, so she’s going to travel to Oklahoma to help convince the jury that her dad is a good person.

Even though she tells Buck not to come with her, she finds him at the prison waiting for her. Taylor tells him that she couldn’t do it, because she isn’t sure if her dad deserves a second chance. He was angry with her, and Buck comforts her. Back in LA, they find common ground in the fact that they both have complicated family dynamics, and in sharp contrast to what Buck was initially thinking early on in the episode, they both say “I love you” for what appears to be the first time.

Honorary mention: Ravi breaks Buck’s coffee run record

And he even remembered the oat milk.

Watch the midseason finale of 9-1-1 next Monday on FOX at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and catch up on all of our coverage on the show here.

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