In this week’s episode of 9-1-1, “Child Care,” Judd and Grace’s family expands yet again with a shocking surprise, Owen has earned himself a new nickname for his dating habits, and Carlos gets a taste of detective work as he tracks down the truth behind a house fire and a missing girl.
One Night Strand
Owen has earned himself a new name around the firehouse, much to his dismay — One Night Strand. Mateo comes downstairs one morning to find Captain Strand’s latest conquest after loud and enthusiastic evening, drinking orange juice straight from the jug (yuck). Afterward, Mateo gives him a hard time about it, saying that he’s probably trying to drown out the pain from seeing Gwyn with her new baby.
Later, Owen is pleased to inform Mateo that he’s trying to take his advice. He joined a dating app called Plow. Mateo tells him that he’s setting himself up to get scammed and then makes the mistake of mentioning Ascend, an exclusive dating app for famous people. In an attempt to leverage Marjan’s hefty social media following, Owen invites her over for a fancy dinner and asks her to put in a good word for him so that he can sign up. She’s hesitant at first, because she doesn’t want his short-term escapades to affect her status on the app, but he bribes her with the promise of no kitchen duty for two months.
Unexpected news for Judd
A young man named Wyatt shows up at the station in search of Judd, who’s unaware that he’s about to have a bomb dropped on him. Wyatt asks to speak with him privately and tells him shocking news — he thinks that he’s his father. Before Judd can peel back the layers of this unexpected news, Grace shows up with the baby. Wyatt, recognizing the position that he’s putting him in, suggests that they can talk about it another time, but Judd doesn’t want to keep any secrets from Grace. When Wyatt tells him that his mother’s name is Marlene, it doesn’t ring any bells for Judd until he tells her that she was a barrel racer and they would have met at at a stock show and rodeo back in 2005. The internal panic is clearly written across Judd’s face once Wyatt shows him a photo of his mom. Though Wyatt seems put out Judd’s response, Grace warmly asks for his phone number before he leaves.
Despite keeping her composure at the station, Grace is upset by the news. At home, she asks Judd what the odds are that Wyatt is really his son, and he says that they aren’t zero, because he was a different man back then. She acknowledges that this wasn’t necessarily a secret that Judd kept from her and knows that being angry isn’t rational, but she’s upset regardless for everyone involved. She spent so long dreaming of the two of them having a family, and it hurts to find out that he actually has another child so soon after their daughter was born.
Judd pays Tommy a visit to talk about the situation, and he reflects back on the night that he met Marlene. She was much older than him; he was only 22 years old at the time. He tells Tommy that he wants to do what’s right, but he also needs to figure out how to do that without hurting the woman he loves. Grace takes charge of the situation and contacts Marlene, inviting her over for dinner. It’s incredibly awkward when she walks in the door, but they manage to break the ice when Grace asks her if she wants to hold Charlie.
In today’s episode of the nightmares of technology: a hacked nanny cam. A mother puts her daughter to bed, and shortly after, a voice begins to talk to her over the nanny cam that’s sitting on her night stand. The voice tells Katie to look behind her curtains, where there’s lighter fluid and matches, and it encourages her to play with them. We cut to a raging fire that’s blazing through the house. The 126 manages to get the parents out, but the house starts to collapse before they can find Katie, and Captain Strand orders them to leave for their own safety. (They have to drag Judd out.) The next day, to everyone’s relief, they learn that the arson investigator didn’t find any remains. However, that means Katie may have been abducted.
Carlos is out canvassing the neighborhood in an attempt to find a lead when he notices that a house across the street has a doorbell with a security camera in it. Upon checking out the footage, he sees Katie run out of the house, and he’s convinced that she was running toward someone that he knows. The detective on the case isn’t so sure about his theory, and when he asks her if he can start looking into friends and family to see if there’s anyone suspicious, she tells him that she’s handling the case. Later, she brings him back over to show him that they discovered that someone had hacked into the family’s nanny cam. When they visit Katie’s parents at the hospital to find out who may have had access to their Wi-Fi password, Katie’s mom realizes that the abductor has been communicating with her through the nanny cam for months. It’s what she thought was her daughter’s imaginary friend, Mr. Whispers.
Carlos pores over the footage late into the night, prompting T.K. to come out to the living room at 3 in the morning and fall back asleep curled up on the couch beside him. He eventually puts the pieces together when he hears the abductor call Katie the same nickname that her old nanny, Danica, called her in another piece of footage. It’s not quite enough evidence to be fully incriminating yet, until Carlos also finds a traffic cam that shows Danica’s Jeep leaving the neighborhood two minutes after the fire started. They put out an Amber Alert.
A high speed date
Thanks to Ascend, Owen lands himself at a date at a fancy restaurant (which he’s been dying to go to) with the governor’s deputy chief of staff. They seem to be hitting it off quite well, ticking off box after box of things that they have in common, until the subject of Matthew McConaghey comes up and they hit a snag. Owen’s love for him seems to run as deep as his date’s hatred for the actor, and the two quickly ask for the check before they’ve even ordered their food.
When they step outside, Owen sees Danica’s Jeep driving by, and he hijack’s his date’s car to chase her down. She jumps in with him and threatens to call 9-1-1, not yet understanding what he’s doing until he explains that the car they’re tailing is the one from the alert. After zipping through the city and weaving in and out of cars, Owen manages to corner Danica. She gets out of the car and comes at him with a knife, but he pins her up against the hood with minimal effort. The cops arrive (at which point we get some “father-in-law” action with Carlos and Owen), and it appears that the date may be salvageable after all, because they hop back in the car to make another attempt at getting something to eat.
After bringing Katie to the hospital to see her parents, the detective praises Carlos for his work on the case, and she asks if he’s ever considered taking the detective exam. With T.K. making his big move to becoming a paramedic last season, it’s about time that we may be getting some exciting new career development for Carlos as well. We’re more than ready to see Detective Reyes in action.