Well, it looks like Station 118 has a good ol’ fashioned bank heist on its hands. No, seriously. I’m typically down for 9-1-1 trying out experimental episode formats, and although some of this stylized episode was fun, mostly, it felt tedious. The main problem was that most of the “suspects” were the main cast, and we knew none of them were going to up and rob a bank while on the job. The stakes were low…well, up until those few final minutes WHICH WE WILL GET TO. First, let’s set up this heist situation.
It’s Franklin Prentice’s last day as bank manager before his retirement. Calling it quits seems like a good idea, since maybe Franklin’s not built for a job where he’s interacting with so many people—the dude uses hand sanitizer like he has an unlimited supply. Before he can officially retire though, he has one last armored car delivery to get through. There’s a lot of protocol as the very nice delivery man, Billy, delivers bags and bags of money to the bank’s vault. Not in the protocol? Billy foaming at the mouth and seizing on his way out. Immediately followed by Franklin foaming at the mouth and seizing inside the bank vault. Apparently, Franklin’s retiring in a blaze of glory!
When Station 118 arrives, Eddie looks at the victims and thinks there’s a possibility it could be a nerve agent. Immediately, the place is put on lockdown and a hazmat team is called in to decontaminate everyone and everything. And just when you think things can’t possibly get any more chaotic, the bank vault, which is on a timer, begins to close with Franklin inside it. What does our fearless Hen do? Well, she runs inside the vault before it can close, so as not to leave the victim trapped alone, and ends up trapped herself. The rest of the team watches in horror on the vault security cam as Hen also begins to foam at the mouth and pass out after being in the enclosed vault with Franklin. So, you know, just your very typical work day all around.
Hen passing-out puts 118 into high gear (well, they’re always in high gear, so maybe we’ll call it the highest of gears). Their first priority is to get some more oxygen inside the vault. They shut the power off so that they can drill a small hole through the vault door without causing an explosion and then pump fresh oxygen through the hole. Great, at least one thing is going their way.
Next, the team needs to, well, they need to break into that bank vault. No one dons a Danny Ocean tuxedo to do this and that seems like a real missed opportunity. No, instead, Bobby calls a contractor he thinks might be able to help: Michael Grant. Thank goodness those two made up last week otherwise there’s no way Michael would agree to help. But they did makeup and Michael will, FOR HEN, help. In a very fortunate not at all contrived coincidence, Michael does in fact know the company who put the vault in that bank and can get some blueprints for Bobby as 118 figures out a way to get inside and get to Hen. He’s a little ticked that he has to agree to go on a date with Chuck, the dude who has the access to the blueprints, but honestly, a night at a Sondheim concert at the Hollywood Bowl sounds lovely. Quit complaining, Michael!
The blueprints prove helpful, and the guys figure out that they can knock down the wall from the outside and make a giant hole right in the side of the vault. It happens just in time, too, because over at the hospital, Billy the Money Delivery Guy succumbs to whatever “nerve agent” this could be. That’s going to be some tough news for Billy’s work partner, who is currently stuck in the armored car because protocol dictates he is not allowed to leave the truck — he is already freaking out watching the entire insane scene unfold. The news also makes 118 panic a little—they want to get to Hen ASAP. Well, they knock a huge hole in the wall…although much of the fun is taken out of that little adventure because at the same time, the vault company is able to disable the vault lock remotely. I mean, we should be focusing on the fact that we get to save both Hen and Franklin, but the boys do seem a little bummed that their thunder was stolen.
So everyone (except for poor, dear Billy) is fine and we move on to the next rescue, right? No! Because just as 118 is returning to the firehouse, the cops show up. They’ve been tipped off that there is $300,000 in bags inside the firetruck. And you guys, there is $300,000 in bags inside the firetruck. Our firefighters have some explaining to do!
And thus begins the interrogation montage where we learn so many things! There’s the fact that Maddie apparently took the bank 9-1-1 call, sent 118 out to answer it, and then immediately texted Buck saying something about their money problems going away. In reality, it’s because she got out of her apartment lease and her landlord is giving her back her security deposit, but you can see why it looks a little fishy to the detectives. We also learn that Hen’s wife lost her job and that Eddie is taking on extra shifts to pay for his son’s medical needs and life in general. Finally, the cops bring up the fact that Bobby’s only been in Los Angeles for a couple of years since relocating from Minnesota, and maybe he doesn’t know his team at all. That last thing seems weird, but it will be important later! Perhaps most importantly, we learn that the money found in the truck wasn’t actually from the vault, it was from the armored car. The cops think the stuff in the vault was just a distraction so that someone could rob the armored car. It’s all getting very confusing!
Hen is over being interrogated and wants to figure out what really went on, so she and Athena return to the bank to check a few things out. Once there and back inside the vault, Hen remembers that when she first ran back into the vault, Franklin grabbed her face. When she gets back down on the ground, she finds Franklin’s bottle of hand sanitizer stuck under one of the cabinets. It must have been Franklin! He must have used whatever is in that bottle to cause Billy, Hen, and himself to have that reaction. Also, the ladies learn that Franklin was recently reading up on a story about a child locked in a bank vault and so he knew that the firefighters would turn off the power to the building and smash a hole in the wall. Oh, and also, there are a whole bunch of diamonds stolen from one of the safety deposit boxes inside the vault—a safety deposit box only Franklin would know how to get into, and could have gotten into when the power (and security camera!) was cut while the firefighters worked on getting through the vault door. IT WAS DEFINITELY FRANKLIN.
When the cops arrive at Franklin’s house, they find him dead on the floor. He is conveniently holding his passport, signaling that yes, he was going to flee the country because he is guilty. But alas, the diamonds are nowhere to be found. Did someone murder Franklin and take the diamonds? Did he have an accomplice? The detectives get search warrants for everyone involved, including poor Michael, bless his heart, he was only trying to do a favor for Bobby! The searches don’t turn up anything.
It’s not until Hen gets her tox screen back and learns that she was infected with scorpion poison—scorpion poison that, yes, was also in Franklin’s hand sanitizer—that she puts it all together. She knows who the accomplice is.
Hey, do you remember that guy named Marty whom Bobby enlisted to fix the ladder on the truck after it broke last week? MARTY DID IT. Hen remembers a conversation with him when he stopped by regarding some “alternative medicine” he’s been doing for his arthritic hands. She figures it must be scorpion poison because, sure, and she’s right. I mean, good for Marty for turning a bit firetruck ladder repairman role into bank heist mastermind.
As it so happens, Marty and Franklin were brothers-in-law at one time. Since Marty knew everything regarding fire rescue protocols and Franklin knew everything regarding bank stuff, they teamed up. Franklin caused a hazmat-required medical emergency inside the bank so that Marty could easily rob the armored car outside the bank and sneak it onto the firetruck until he could get it later. Marty did not account for being double-crossed by Franklin, who decided to go rogue, steal the diamonds, and call the cops on the firefighters, throwing all the suspicion away from him while he escaped the country. What Franklin did not account for was that his preferred method of getting the diamonds out of the bank—swallowing them—would ultimately kill him. Like I said, Franklin was retiring in a blaze of glory.
But wait! Just when you think we’re in the clear and have moved on, Bobby gets a knock on the door while having Athena over for dinner. It’s the Captain of the LAFD. Apparently, Bobby’s interrogation threw up some red flags: He hasn’t been all-together truthful with everyone as to what happened in Minnesota and the Chief is investigating the matter further. Oh, Bobby.
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