WARNING: This recap contains mentions of attempted suicide.
In tonight’s episode of 9-1-1, “Boston,” Maddie, Chimney, and Jee-Yun finally make their way back onto our screens. It’s a heartbreaking affair that dives into the deeper story behind Maddie’s departure, where she went, and her and Chimney’s long-awaited reunion.
Maddie’s inner battle
We open with a flashback to six months ago when Maddie nodded off for a moment and accidentally let Jee-Yun slip under the water while giving her a bath. It was an accident, but it terrified Maddie to no end and left her wracked with guilt. Previously, we knew that Maddie had dropped Jee-Yun off at the station and left Chimney a video message saying that she needs to leave.
Now, we learn what really happened. Maddie drove out to a beach and sat there in the sand for a while, looking absolutely broken. She eventually walked out into the water fully clothed with no intentions of coming back to the shore. However, when her thoughts turned to Chimney and her daughter, she swam back to the surface, gasping for air. She wanted to survive.
Maddie goes cross country
Three days later, Maddie makes her way to Massachusetts Regional Hospital in Boston, which is where she trained to be a nurse. During an evaluation with a doctor, Maddie talks about her recent suicide attempt and the fact that she’s had depression on and off since the the death of her brother, Daniel (who we learned about in the season 4 episode “Buck Begins”).
During her stay at the hospital, Maddie finds out that she is suffering from postpartum thyroiditis, which can be addressed with hormone therapy. She cries in relief, because she hasn’t been able to understand what’s been wrong with her ever since Jee-Yun was born. They move her to the outpatient program at the Women’s Center. Maddie begins attending group therapy and becomes friends with Kira, a woman trying to get sober after receiving a DUI while driving with her son in the backseat (who she can’t see until she proves that she’s not a danger to him).
At this point, Chimney’s road trip to find Maddie has begun, and he’s sending her video updates of Jee-Yun via email. Maddie calls Buck to ask him why Chimney is in Utah, and Buck hears the Old North Church bells in the background (which is how Chimney knew where to find her).
Chimney arrives in Boston
As seen earlier this season, Chimney managed to run into an old friend and coworker — Eli — when he arrived in Boston. He ends up staying in his basement so that he can continue to search for Maddie in the city. Chimney puts up missing posters at the hospital, and a nurse suggests that he try the Women’s Center, because they specialize in postpartum depression. Chimney spends months sitting outside on the bench across from the doors with Jee-Yun every day, waiting for Maddie to come out.
St. Patrick’s Day
Eli convinces Chimney to put himself to work while he’s in the city instead of sitting outside of the hospital every single day, which is how he finds himself working as a volunteer medic at Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade … and he thought Cinco de Mayo in Los Angeles was wild.
Meanwhile, Maddie and Kira’s friendship hits a roadblock when Maddie announces that she’s ready to go home during a group therapy session. Kira is drunk, and she’s also worried because she has a supervised visitation scheduled for that afternoon. Maddie brings her to the hospital to try to help her sober up, and Kira notices the missing poster that Chimney hung up on the bulletin board. She’s furious, because all this time she thought that they were in the same boat, when in reality Maddie could have gone home any time she wanted to. And yet Kira can’t see her son. She leaves, telling Maddie that she doesn’t need her anymore.
An unplanned reunion
As they make their way down the street through the parade festivities, Chimney admits to Eli that this is the best that he’s felt in a year. However, they’re soon interrupted by a man with an axe lodged into the back of his head thanks to an axe throwing incident.
Maddie is frantically searching for Kira when she receives a call from her phone. It’s a bartender at a pub, and he tells her that he thinks her friend needs some help. They carry Kira outside when she gets there, and Maddie suspects that she’s beginning to aspirate. The bartender calls 9-1-1, and luckily there’s an ambulance nearby … which just so happens to have Eli and Chimney inside of it. Eli rushes over first, and Chimney follows shortly after. Both Chimney and Maddie are stunned when they see each other … cue the waterworks.
After bringing Kira to the hospital, Maddie finds Chimney waiting for her outside. He knew that if he waited on that bench long enough, he would finally find Maddie walking out through those doors. Chimney begins to tell Maddie that what happened with Jee-Yun in the bathtub was an accident, and she shocks him as she says that trying to take her own life wasn’t. Maddie explains the details of her suicide attempt to Chimney, and she tells him that she got out of the ocean for him and their daughter, and she came to Boston to get better. She assures Chimney that what happened wasn’t his fault, but Chimney still feels responsible, because he should have taken the warning signs more seriously. They both agree that they need to be honest about what they feel and what they want moving forward. And what does Maddie want right now? To see her daughter.
Chimney brings Maddie to Eli’s to see Jee-Yun, and she immediately freezes when she sees how big she’s gotten. Maddie doesn’t want to hold her, because it’s been so long, and she knows Jee-Yun doesn’t like strangers. She begins to sob as she realizes how many of her daughter’s milestones she has missed over the course of six months.
Later, she goes to the hospital to visit Kira, who now has to go back to detox, followed by another 60 days of outpatient. The two have a heart-to-heart as Kira reminds Maddie that she can still be there for all of the other important moments coming up for Jee-Yun; she needs to forgive herself.
It’s time to go home
Chimney arrives at the place Maddie is staying at with a crying Jee-Yun in tow. Things are awkward for a few moments until Maddie says that she wants to try something. She begins singing to her, and she settles down. Jee-Yun then makes her way over to Maddie and says, “Mama.” Maddie tells Chimney that she wants to go home.
If you or someone you care about is contemplating suicide, help is available. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.