‘9-1-1’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 16 “May Day”


This week’s episode of 9-1-1 focuses on an emergency that hits close to home, a fire that breaks out at the 9-1-1 Call Center. As the 118 responds to the call, everyone is at risk with the building up in flames.

Fire at the 9-1-1 Call Center

Jack Zeman/FOX

The 9-1-1 Call Center is in the midst of system upgrades in both going paperless and the new fire suppression systems. Things go horribly wrong when the independent contractor, Carson, doesn’t hook things up properly and the system experiences a power surge and sparks a fire. The room, which consists of a system that sucks the oxygen from the room to suffocate the fire, activates with Terry in the room. Eddie busts his way in and realizes one room is already engulfed in flames. With the fire systems offline in the building, Eddie calls over the building-wide radio for an evacuation, and the 118 and 133 arrive on scene.

Sue informs them that everyone is evaculated other than senior dispatchers, and Bobby quickly confirms May is safe. It’s then that Sue realizes she’s left May and Claudette in the quiet room, so Bobby and crew jump into rescue action.

May’s Day

Jack Zeman/FOX

The day before the fire breaks out, May once again butts heads with Claudette. A high speed chase breaks out and May suggests the officers take an alleyway to cut off the fleeing suspect. Claudette tells her “not now” and dismisses her expertise. However, when that exact scenario is needed, Claudette informs officers of the cut off and casually says, “Seemed like the obvious choice” when congratulated by a colleague. May is furious she didn’t get the credit and says as much to Bobby and Athena the next morning.

May has finally had enough of Claudette, and a heated argument breaks out on the floor. Claudette constantly belittles May, and May is angry she isn’t a team player. Sue takes them off the floor to the new quiet room which is meant for anyone who needs a breather (or for two dispatchers who need to work their differences out). She leaves them in the room to calm down with the intent to return. However, when the fire breaks out, she forgets the women are in the room and only realizes when Bobby asks about May. Inside, May and Claudette both notice the room is warm, and May points out the floor is too hot on one side. She opens the door to find the hall engulfed in flames.

Upon seeing the raging fire, Claudette begins to show immense fear. It’s only after May jumps into action and asks for Claudette’s jacket that she learns why. Claudette has burn scars on her back; she was in a fire at some point in life. While they wait for help to come, Claudette comments on how burning bodies smell like cooking meat and boiling blood smells like copper. However, May keeps a level head, and when she realizes help is just on the other side of the wall, she uses Claudette’s own words and severe attitude to pull her out of her panic. The women get up just as Bobby comes through the wall. If May’s day isn’t rough enough, the ceiling collapses on her and Bobby as Bobby throws himself over her at the last minute. Thankfully, everyone is ok, and only Claudette needs minor treatment for smoke inhalation.

Eddie’s Back in Action

Jack Zeman/FOX

While not officially back at the 118, Eddie is thrust into the center of a call when he discovers a fire at the Call Center. With the fire suppression system and alarms down, Eddie calls a mayday over the radio system, prompting the evacuation of all but essential personnel. With everyone outside (except the five who remain on the floor to field calls), the 118 arrives. Bobby asks about May, and when Sue realizes she is still in the building, Eddie immediately grabs the extra set of turnout gear and races into the building alongside Bobby. Throughout the entire rescue operation, Eddie never misses a beat and proves (at least to me) that he might just be ready to rejoin the 118. He and Buck also find and save Carson who is still trapped with a nasty broken leg in the basement. (It’s a good thing, too, because he and Josh really seemed to hit off. I smell a date in the near future!)

Now that he realizes just how much he is meant for this job, perhaps he’ll dedicate himself a little more to completing his required mental health assessments so he can really get back to work!


Jack Zeman/FOX

Chimney takes Albert to view potential apartments, and Albert tries to tell him he’s questioning his career as a firefighter. Chimney dismisses him and tells him he’s still just finding his way in the field and will be great at it. Later, at the Call Center, Chimney takes Albert up to the roof with him where they and their team will vent the fire. However, things go south, and Albert very nearly falls into the fire when the room collapses underneath him. Thankfully, Chimney pulls him back up. It’s not until the Call Center that Chimney finally understands what Albert was telling him. Albert confesses he didn’t want to disappoint Chimney, and Chimney admits he liked Albert looking up to him. Ultimately, he tells Albert that he loves and supports him and he will find a job that lets him be 100% himself. Sadly, this means we’ll probably see much less of Albert (though perhaps we’ll still get a few Uncle Albert moments thrown our way!).

An Angel of Death

The most shocking moment of the episode happens at the hospital when Claudette is wheeled in with no pulse and Jonah doing compressions. She’s been down for 12 minutes and the ER doctor confirms her death. He casually says, “I can usually save them,” to Hen before walking away, and she finds his tone more than unsettling. She knows that Claudette was fine before being loaded into the ambulance, and now she’s beginning to wonder about Jonah. Hen suspects he could be what is known as an Angel of Death, a criminal offender who intentionally kills or nearly kills an individual in their care. Their motivations are typically for the power they feel over another’s life and/or the attention they garner from others for saving a life. If Hen’s suspicions are correct, Jonah may well be a serial killer if Claudette is only his latest victim.

9-1-1 airs on FOX on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Stay tuned for our continued coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more!

Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09

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