Friday, January 28, 2022

‘9-1-1’: Our Biggest Questions Following the Season 5 Winter Finale

FOX’s hit first responder series 9-1-1 wrapped up the first half of season 5 with a Christmas bow but left us with a shocking twist, and many questions. As we wait for the return of the series in March, here are the biggest questions we’re left with after the winter finale.

Where are Maddie, Chimney, and Jee-Yun?

FOX

Season 5 has been a rough one for Maddie and Chimney. The season began with Maddie’s ongoing postpartum depression struggle for three painful episodes. Seeing no out, Maddie leaves Chimney and Jee-Yun in LA with no indication of where she’s headed. Episode 4 dealt with the aftermath of her absence for Chimney and he decides to pack up Jee-Yun and follow Maddie. We’ve had precious few check-ins with either of them since that decision. Episode 7 gave an update on Chimney and Jee-Yun who found themselves in Boston hoping to locate Maddie. While Chimney reconnects with an old friend there and gets some sage advice, that’s the last time we see them.

Their departure has left a gaping whole in the 118 (and in our hearts). It’s known that actress Jennifer Love Hewitt took maternity leave from the series, prompting Maddie’s departure, so we anxiously await her return. We’ve been robbed of excellent opportunities for the crew to coo over baby Jee-Yun and what we’re certain would be excellent Uncle Buck content. However, the show has the entire second half of season to bring us said content and deliver a satisfactory answer on where Maddie went and how Chimney convinces her to come home. (Plus we still have our hopes up for a Chimney and Maddie on screen wedding!)

Henrietta Wilson, M.D.

Aisha Hinds in 9-1-1
Jack Zeman/FOX
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Season 4 heavily featured Hen’s journey as she embarked on a new life goal, becoming a doctor. Fans watched Hen attend her first year medical school courses alongside work and balancing her home life. It’s safe to say Hen’s plate was full in season 4. However, there’s been no major on screen time and only the briefest of mentions of her ongoing classes this season.

Is Hen still passionate about her plan? Is she struggling or thriving with the challenges of med school? We’d love to see more of her learning the ropes and gaining confidence incorporated in the remainder of season 5.

Is Eddie Leaving the 118?

FOX

Perhaps the biggest question on our minds is that winter finale cliffhanger; will Eddie really leave the 118? With the characters introduction in season 2 and phenomenal growth throughout the years we’d be hard pressed to imagine the 118 without Eddie Diaz (and 9-1-1 without Chris!). The show has grappled with what direction to take Eddie’s character, first he joined a literal fight club, then got serious about dating, then ended that relationship after suffering panic attacks at the idea of staying with Ana. It’s been a whirlwind of trauma for him so could his story be coming to a close?

Eddie’s an endearing anchor of the 118, often paired with the lovable Buck and producing a beautiful friendship between the characters that is hard to imagine the show ending without severe reactions from fans. It’s worth highlighting that the show has slowly introduced a new character, Ravi, who could be poised to take Eddie’s place on the 118 should he truly leave. Whether it’s a permanent move or we’ll see Eddie in a new capacity (perhaps only as an EMT or another “safer” role like dispatch), we remain hopeful this won’t be the last of Eddie and Christopher Diaz on our screens.

Hen and Karen’s Foster Journey

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Hen and Karen’s foster parent journey is another beautiful season 4 storyline we’ve yet to revisit in season 5. The couple was put through the wringer of emotions as they grappled with fostering Nia, loving her, and then returning her to her mother. It’s a best case scenario moment for Nia and her mom, but a painful loss for Hen and Karen. They get closure when they see Nia and her mother at a park and after some conversation agree to continue fostering.

However, Hen and Karen’s home life has seen little screen time this season and it’s left a big question mark after their journey was featured so heavily. Will they foster again? Are they simply waiting for a child that needs a home? We hope to see more of this storyline in the second half of season 5.

So, Where is Karen?

Speaking of Hen and Karen, we’ve only seen Karen a handful of times this season. After heavy story developments in Karen and Hen’s lives these last seasons, Karen’s absence feels sudden and noticeable.

Actress Tracie Thoms has also been a guest star on Station 19 likely prompting Karen’s minimal screen time this season. We miss seeing our powerhouse couple of (soon to be) doctors on screen together and growing as a family. Our fingers are crossed that she will return regularly in the coming episodes for further details on the above changes to Hen and Karen’s lives!

Chris’ Two Dads

Jack Zeman/FOX.

9-1-1 is known for its amazing season openers and finales, so we were all moved when Eddie’s season 4 near death experience resulted in his telling a very worried Buck that should he die, Buck will legally become Chris’ guardian. It was a special moment that highlighted the profound bond between Eddie and Buck.

It’s been jarring to see a special moment like this glossed over in season 5. Neither Buck nor Eddie have mentioned it again and we still don’t know if Christopher himself is even aware of this arrangement. Adding insult to injury, we’ve seen far less Buck and Chris content this season, which is often some of the show’s most heartwarming moments.

Taylor “Why Is She Here” Kelly

Jack Zeman/FOX

Taylor Kelly first arrived on the show as a traffic reporter bent on breaking into headline news and chasing down the best angle for every story. She spies that opportunity when the 118 rescue the traffic crew from a crashed helicopter and she pitches a first responder coverage story. She and Bobby butt heads repeatedly over it, and Taylor fights to include Bobby’s accidental LSD-induced confessions in her piece. From here, she and Buck strike up an interesting friendship that slowly transitioned into a romantic relationship.

Season 5 took the time to dive into Taylor’s backstory and further develop their relationship (hello very first “I love you”s), perhaps hinting at Taylor as a more permanent fixture for the series. Alternately, the season could be setting up another crushing break up for Buck and a subsequent Buck 3.0 character arc development. Either way, we’re curious to see what the second half of season 5 has in store for Taylor and Buck.

Dispatch Developments

Jack Zeman /FOX

With Maddie’s absence, May is our only look into the dispatching world, and we’ve seen less of it this season. May faced some office drama with the “return” of Claudette in season 5. Claudette talks down to her, is the exception to the rules in many ways, and the two butt heads as Claudette takes over her calls. The character calls back to May’s earlier experiences with high school bullies and allows her the chance to grow as a character when she confronts Claudette.

It felt natural to introduce a new character as we wait for Maddie to return, however once they settle their differences, Claudette seemingly disappears from the scene. On a shown known for keeping its characters with big personalities, Claudette’s sudden absence is noticeable. When Maddie returns, we’d love to see how Claudette and Maddie interact! We’ve also seen much less of Josh this season, something we hope is remedied with Maddie’s return as well.

ALBERT, MY LOVE, COME BACK FROM HORSESHOE BAY

Of all the secondary characters to come and go on 9-1-1, none have quite stolen our hearts like Albert Han. His happy go lucky attitude and determination to escape the crushing pressure of his and Chimney’s father (something Chimney understands well) endeared him to us immediately. For 17 episodes we watched as he couch hopped, struck up friendships with the 118, and ultimately pursued his own career as a firefighter in the season 4 finale.

We’ve seen Albert only once in season 5, only via FaceTime with Chimney, and we sorely miss him as a recurring character. Actor John Harlan Kim took on a recurring role on the third season of Nancy Drew, playing the suave FBI Agent Park (and a love interest for title character Nancy). With filming for Nancy Drew wrapped in early December, there is a chance for Kim to reprise his role as Albert in the latter half of 9-1-1. Albert has become part of the 118 extended family and though he’s been absent in season 5, we’re certain fans would welcome his return with open arms (hopefully soon!).

It’s safe to say that we’re excited to see what 9-1-1 has in store for our favorite first responders when season 5 returns in March 2022. Check back with us for more coverage including episode synopses, photos, and more as they become available.

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