Things are broken on 9-1-1. Computers. Gas main pipes. Hearts. When the 9-1-1 computer system goes down, all hell breaks loose in Los Angeles. Our first responders have to go back to making rescues the antiquated way. You know, with walkie talkies and maps. ON PAPER. Buck’s pretty young, has he ever used a map on actual paper before?
Needless to say, it is an anxiety-fueled, chaotic day on the job.
Take for instance the nice 38-year-old woman named Sonia who decides to go into labor at the exact wrong moment. Just as she and her husband are leaving their apartment building, things get dicey. Her water breaks and she’s in a ton of pain. Unfortunately, our firefighters get sent to the wrong address—is GPS the single greatest gift on the planet? Discuss!—so it takes them much longer than expected to arrive. When they finally do, there’s not time to get mom to the hospital, she’s having that baby in her apartment lobby. It’s a very aggressive form of getting to know your neighbors and I do not suggest it.
Just as she’s about to deliver, Sonia freaks out. She can’t do this! They shouldn’t have had a baby! You know, typical TV pregnant lady stuff. Apparently, Sonia is married to a dope who makes no attempt to calm her down. Instead, it is Hen who gets Sonia through the delivery. Their son is born! Everything is great until Sonia crashes. Hen performs CPR as they rush Sonia to the hospital, but by the time they arrive it’s been 15 minutes and Sonia has no pulse. She is gone.
Now, you’d think this would be insanely tragic, but Sonia’s husband Roger rolls in with their baby to find his wife unexpectedly dead on a gurney outside the hospital and this DOPE cycles through all stages of grief in like three seconds. Seriously, you would think he’d be beside himself with shock, but nope, he’s already telling his dead wife that he promises they’ll be okay without her before the doctor even calls time of death. Then something AMAZING happens: Roger lays the baby on his wife’s chest and…Sonia’s pulse comes back! Buck calls it a true miracle. You guys, this is the dumbest thing that has ever happened on this show and it was only a few weeks ago that we had a shark accident on the Los Angeles freeway. Think about that!
The other big rescue of the evening is very compelling though. A gas main breaks in a small neighborhood and every house on the block goes up in flames. Chimney, still recovering from his stabbing at home, sees this on the news, notices that no responders have been dispatched there yet, and so calls Buck to tell him where they are needed. Chim is a hero even from the couch.
When they arrive on scene, the person most in need of their help is a young boy who just arrived to the neighborhood that morning with his dad and sister after losing his mother to cancer (we get a lot of backstory!). Alex is trapped in their new house—his dead mother’s dream house, mind you—a house that has just become an inferno. Buck hops on the ladder and gets up to the window, but just as he is reaching out for Alex the ladder, ahem, breaks.
Eddie won’t let an episode theme stop him and he pulls some true Firefighter Spiderman (a movie I would watch) moves and scales the side of the house, up the gutter, onto the roof, and swings himself through a window. Eddie may grab Alex, but there is one small problem: There’s no water available to put out the flames and Eddie and Alex are trapped. You guys, don’t sleep on Couch Chimney! He is crushing the game! He makes another call (is this Tommy from his flashback episode?) and just when all hope is lost, a giant plane carrying gallons and gallons of water passes overheard and douses the entire block. The fires are put out and the day is saved and Alex and his family will have to go look for a new home, I guess.
Tonight’s theme doesn’t just apply to rescues and machines: It also applies to our favorite people. First, there’s some trouble brewing between Bobby and Michael. Michael overhears Harry telling his friend how cool Bobby is and then Harry and his friend decide to be “heroes” and start a fire on the lawn so that they can put it out. Kids! Michael is, obviously, furious with his son, but he’s also angry with Bobby and he lets him know. He’s not raising his son to be like Bobby and as a quick reminder: Bobby is not Harry’s father. It’s a pretty tough argument to watch since up until now Bobby and Michael have really seemed to get along.
But as we know, Michael is a good guy. He eventually shows up at the firehouse to apologize. The two men share some pie and admit that they are both jealous of the other. Michael’s jealous that his son looks up to Bobby, that Bobby is the one Harry runs to when he’s upset. Bobby is jealous that Harry will never think of him as his father because he already has a father. Right now, Harry just sees Bobby as a friend, there’s no parental respect there. To make matters worse, Michael admits that he and his boyfriend have just broken up. Yes, the man Michael left Athena for, the man who he disrupted his entire family for, is out of the picture. Michael feels like a fool! The guys don’t hug it out or anything, but they do promise to be allies in regards to the kids. They are making this whole blended family thing look very easy. How nice!
The truly emotionally broken people though are Maddie and Chimney. I mean, of course, they are! They almost died at the hands of a psycho mere weeks ago! Most people are telling them both to chill out, but perhaps after facing death, neither feels like it is the appropriate time to chill. Maddie is back at work after just three weeks (that’s a good thing since she’s the one who figures out that the 9-1-1 computers are down not because of hackers but because of an electrical problem — Maddie is very versatile), and both she and Chimney are ready to get their date on. Their first date was so rudely interrupted by Death himself and they really want to get things back on track.
Maddie, when not working to save Los Angeles one map at a time, spends most of the episode trying to come up with the perfect date for a guy who almost died in an attempt to woo her. That’s a lot of pressure! She can’t come up with anything, but Chim is more than happy to host dinner at his apartment. Sadly, dinner reservations aren’t the only problem with this date. It becomes clear very quickly that neither Maddie nor Chimney are ready to date. They haven’t fully dealt with what happened to them and whenever they look at the other, they are reminded of, haunted by that night. It’s not a great way to start a relationship. Tearfully, Maddie says that whatever they were about to embark on that night is gone and they can’t get it back. They agree to press pause on the whole thing. It’s not officially goodbye…yet. The whole thing is actually quite heartbreaking—I was really invested in these two!—but alas, they are but broken people trying to figure things out. Aren’t we all?!