‘9-1-1’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 17 “Hero Complex”

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Jack Zeman/FOX

In the penultimate episode of 9-1-1‘s fifth season, Hen and Chimney dig deeper into Jonah following Claudette’s death, though it puts them both in danger. Meanwhile, a trip to Texas opens up old wounds for Eddie and his family.

Keep reading to find out what happened in “Hero Complex.”

Jonah Begins

The episode opens on a school bus, with a little boy drawing pictures depicting the French Revolution getting picked on. The bus driver has a heart attack at the wheel, making the bus swerve, hitting stop signs and cars until it rams into a gazebo. The kids go out the emergency exit, and the little boy does CPR, saving the driver’s life. People praise him, calling him a “hero.” He makes the news, receives the key to the city, and a check for $50,000 for college. Thanks to the check, we find out that the little boy is Jonah. In the present, he’s still taking pictures, and he’s asked by a woman what’s it like to be a hero.

“It’s freaking awesome.”

Detectives Wilson and Han At Your Service

Jack Zeman/FOX

Following Claudette’s funeral, Hen is still feeling uneasy about how it happened. She lets Chimney in about what she thinks, noting that Claudette was fine after the fire, then she coded, then she was dead. Hen tells Chimney about the spider call and how the guy coded after she left him with Jonah. She admits to looking through Claudette’s medicine cabinet at the post-funeral reception, and she had high blood pressure. Chimney believes her. There could be something more behind it.

During a call, Hen and Chimney sneak into Bobby’s office to look for the paramedic transfer forms Jonah submitted for Claudette and Perry, the spider bite pet sitter. Chimney suggests logging into the computer and looking up Jonah’s personnel file. Hen reads through the forms, where it describes Jonah pushing some drugs to restore normal rhythm. Meanwhile, the personnel file on Jonah states that he’s only been with the LAFD for 14 months, and before that, he was in Chicago, Miami, Dallas, and Denver.

The team comes back from their call, and Hen and Chimney try to act natural through the firehouse when Lucy and Ravi stop them. In the car, Hen starts to feel bad about the whole situation, but Chimney tells her that she might be right, so they have to find out before Jonah hurts anyone else.

Hen catches Karen up on the Jonah situation, telling her that a guy at the 122 told her that he and Jonah were responding to a fender bender. Nothing major. But when he left Jonah alone with the driver, he was in full arrest when he returned. He died on the scene.

“Once is a mistake. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is a pattern.”

Hen has yet to have any concrete evidence, so Karen talks her in to continue looking.

Mysterious Death

Jack Zeman/FOX

Hen meets with Chimney and tells him that people like Jonah always have an origin story. She shows him an article about little Jonah saving the bus driver. Once the attention goes away, Chimney figures he misses the adulation. So much so, he’d tried to recreate the experience over and over again. A malignant hero. He can only bring people to the brink of death and save them so many times until people get suspicious, so he moves towns and does it all over again. Jonah’s been hiding in plain sight.

The two show up at Buck’s place to talk to Taylor. They ask to see her footage from the Call Center fire. Buck and Taylor try to get more information from them, but Hen and Chimney are staying vague about it. The four watch the footage of Claudette and Jonah, and Hen spots a drug that Jonah is giving her, but they’re not sure which drug it is. Off the record, Hen and Chimney tell Buck and Taylor about Jonah. Buck’s not sure what to believe, trying to come up with reasons. Taylor thinks the reason is that he’s a serial killer.

Hen and Chimney show the footage to Bobby and Athena, who are trying to understand the situation. It’s not so much an angel of mercy killing; Hen thinks it’s more complicated than that. Jonah is bringing people to the point of death and using his skills to bring them back.

“When he was a kid, he got to play the hero. Now he wants to play God.”

Off the Record

Despite promising Hen and Chimney their conversation would be off the record, Buck finds out that Taylor has been digging into Jonah’s past. He doesn’t want her to do the story because then Jonah will know they are on to him, and it’s also horrible. Buck tells Taylor that Bobby will do something, but she wants to do something. He reminds her that she said off the record and to promise that she won’t run the story. She promises, but the look on her face says otherwise.

Dangerous Times

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Bobby receives word from the chief that they have opened an investigation into Claudette’s death. Jonah’s been put on light duty pending the results. Hen breathes a sigh of relief, and Athena warns her to be careful. Who knows what Jonah will do.

On the drive home, Hen gets a call from Jonah. He doesn’t think she gave him a chance to prove himself. To show her what he’s capable of.

“But, hey, I’m not a guy who gives up easy. So I’m gonna do that now. I’m gonna show you.”

Hen calls Karen and tells her to get out of the house. She’s worried Jonah’s going to do something. He sounded jealous. Karen realizes that she isn’t the one Jonah would be jealous of. Hen goes to Chimney’s apartment, but no one is there. She begins to text him, but Jonah comes up behind her and drugs her, knocking her out.

Hen wakes up to a beeping sound and an unconscious Chimney on a table. Jonah tells her he’s doing this because he can, having gotten medical equipment and drugs over the Internet. The real answer is that Hen gave him no choice. They’re supposed to be on the same team. Jonah gives Chimney some adenosine to stop his heart despite Hen begging him not to. He also gives Chimney epinephrine and shocks him back to a normal rhythm.

“There’s nothing like it, right? The rush of watching someone walk right up to death’s door and snatching them right back? It’s like being God.”

Maddie gets to the apartment with Jee and doesn’t see Chimney but hears his phone ringing and finds it on the ground. She answers the phone, and it’s Karen, worried out of her mind. Karen tells Maddie about Jonah, and Maddie sees a capsule from a drug on the ground. She tells Karen she thinks Hen and Chimney are both in danger.

Hen tries to reason with Jonah to let Chimney go, but Jonah gets the “wrong” idea and stops his heart again. He shocks Chimney a couple of times, and his pulse is going again. As Jonah talks to Hen about needing a new partner, Chimney slips his hand out of the cuffs and presses a button to make it sound like he’s flatlining. Jonah goes over to the table, and Chimney shocks him. Chimney slowly and painfully gets up, falling to the ground, and lets Hen free.

All’s Well That Ends Well

In the aftermath, Jonah is arrested as Lucy and Ravi watch on. Bobby wants to get in there, but Athena tries to stop him. “Tries” being the keyword, as Bobby successfully goes over to Jonah and punches him more than once before being pulled off by cops. Athena promises that Jonah is going away for the rest of his life. It was thanks to Karen that they were able to get there so fast.

Buck meets Maddie at the apartment after hearing what happened. He gets ready to stay with Jee while Maddie visits Chimney in the hospital. There’s a newscast about Jonah with the headline “Paramedic serial killer captured.” And, of course, Taylor is the one reporting on it. Buck tries to call her, but it goes to voicemail.

In the hospital, Hen and Chimney are doing fine, though they will be staying a little longer for observation. Karen rushes over to Hen, relieved that she and Chimney are okay. She admits she was preparing herself for the worst-case scenario. Karen breaks down, telling Hen she didn’t know where she was or if she’d even make it out alive. Hen assures her that everything’s fine.

A Visit with the Family

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Eddie tries to get ready to go to Texas, anxious about seeing his family for his dad’s retirement party. Buck tries to give him advice seeing that he’s also from a screwed-up family, but Eddie tells him his family is not screwed up. Just his dad. He’ll get in, get out, grab some cake, and say congratulations. Eddie’s plan is basically to avoid speaking to his family for the most part and hang out at the hotel.

Eddie arrives in Texas, and Abuela, who now lives in Texas, greets Eddie. She tells him that his mother has been doing all the cooking, she insisted, except for the tamales that Abuela made. Eddie tries to talk his mother, Helena, into taking a break, but she doesn’t want to. Ramon, Eddie’s dad, tells him he should visit more, but Helena says that they can make some trips out West now that he’s retired. Eddie barely speaks to his father, and when he does, it’s a snappy comment.

At Ramon’s retirement party, things for the Diaz family seem to be going well … that is until Ramon tells Eddie he was thinking about including a story about him in his speech, about how the car was a wreck when Eddie’s sister Adriana was born. Eddie tried to drive Helena to the hospital when her water broke, but Ramon didn’t quite see it that way, and Eddie hasn’t forgotten. It’s revealed that Ramon wasn’t really the best father Eddie grew up with, not being there for the family that much. Ramon collapses, and Eddie brings him over to a table. Eddie finds some medicine on him and makes his dad take it — Nitroglycerin. Helps open up his blood cells for circulation. Ramon admits he has three stents in his arteries. He didn’t tell anyone because of pride.

Making Up for Lost Time

Jack Zeman/FOX

Ramon is back to feeling normal, and Eddie admits that he recently had a panic attack. Ramon figures he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to seem weak.

“I spent my whole life trying not to be like you.”

Ramon tells Eddie he tried to set a good example and never understood why he was so angry with him, why he was punishing him. Eddie thinks he was punishing himself more, but he’s tired of being that guy. He’s going to be better for Christopher and himself. Ramon suggests they can both be better. He doesn’t want to miss out on any more of his son’s life.

Don’t miss the season 5 finale of 9-1-1 this Monday, May 16 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on FOX, followed by the season 3 finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star! Stay tuned for our continued coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more!

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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