In a turn of events, tonight’s 9-1-1 theme of “Be Careful What You Wish For” ended up applying to my actual viewing of the episode. For most of the hour, I was saying out loud to my sofa, “I wish something would happen. This episode could use some emotions, sofa.” And then the last seven or so minutes happened and I found myself saying, “Woman, what have you done?” I had fished my wish and immediately wanted to return to stories about men who had bariatric surgery and then fell into a giant vat of chocolate (see below). Sure it was offensive but I also didn’t have to feel anything. Same goes for the man who ruined his life by winning the lottery and decides to throw all of his money and himself off a roof…and survives. Great television, but still, very little ticked on the emotional radar. But then two extremely emotional moments go down as the episode ends and, yes, okay, next time I will be careful what I wish for.
No, one of those two moments does not include Maddie’s storyline. Maddie takes a call from a woman named Rachel, whose bipolar brother just called her to say he’s committing suicide. We never see Rachel, but Maddie keeps her calm until she arrives at the house…and then, in the chaos, Rachel hangs up. Not knowing what happened, if Rachel and her brother Sam are okay, drives Maddie crazy. It’s really getting to her that in this job, you never know how things turn out. When she was a nurse, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end with all of her patients. The only reason she stopped being a nurse was because she was hiding from Doug, and now he’s gone. She’s tired of being the one “who sends help” instead of the one who “gives help.” Maybe, she wonders, she should go back to nursing. But Josh and Sue will have none of this!
Josh meets Maddie for coffee and 1) it’s disconcerting to see these two talking to each other without uniforms on and 2) it’s not regular coffee, it’s a sort of “This Is Your Life Opposite of an Intervention” coffee. Josh and Sue have contacted a bunch of people Maddie’s helped over 9-1-1 calls, including Rachel—who along with her brother, is fine—and gathered them in the coffee shop so that they could tell Maddie how she saved their lives. Even Gloria, the other 9-1-1 dispatcher who was hanging up on people, is there! By the end, Maddie realizes she is making a difference and doesn’t want to give up her dispatch job just yet. I know it’s supposed to be poignant, but reader, I laughed! Are all 9-1-1 dispatchers this high maintenance?
Thank goodness I remained unmoved by Maddie being repeatedly told just how great she is because Eddie’s storyline this week takes A REAL TURN.
Eddie, Shannon, and Christopher are having a delightful day on the beach when Shannon decides it would be the perfect time to DTR (Define the Relationship). First, she ruined their marriage, now she ruins a perfectly good beach day. Get over yourself, Shannon! Anyway, Eddie is conflicted. He’s been enjoying having her back in his and Christopher’s lives, but he’s hesitant. He’s waiting for a sign. And then she drops a little ol’ stink bomb onto the conversation: She thinks, maybe, she might be pregnant.
Well, if that—and his and Christopher’s general happiness—isn’t a sign, what is? He takes Shannon out to a fancy dinner and gives her this big speech about how much he wants to be a family—to be a husband—again. It’s very heartfelt. Shannon responds by telling Eddie that she is not pregnant, just late. And also, she just isn’t ready to be a wife again. She needs to focus on being a mom. She needs to focus on Christopher. So, instead of Eddie and Shannon rekindling their marriage like Eddie hoped, they end their date by starting divorce proceedings. Shannon, everybody! (Obviously, I’m kidding and Shannon is making the brave choice by doing what she needs to do and hello, nothing is more important than Christopher. I mean that for all of us. Christopher is a precious gift and we should protect him at all costs.)
Eddie is bummed, but he also understands. On his next shift, the 118 is called to a car accident in which the driver, very disoriented when they find her, flew through a crosswalk and hit several people. One of those people, the one with the most severe injuries, turns out to be Shannon. I take everything mean I’ve ever said about Shannon back. I take it back, show!
Unfortunately, Shannon’s too far gone by the time they get there, and it’s clear she won’t make it. As they get her into the ambulance and Hen is about to intubate, Chimney stops her. He tells Eddie that once they put this tube in, it might never come out—he should take some time to say goodbye to Shannon now, while he can. IT’S SO SAD. They tell each other they love one another, and Shannon loves Christopher, and by the time they get to the hospital, she’s gone. The part where I really lost it, friends, is when Bobby, who is still suspended, shows up at the hospital at the exact right moment to hold Eddie in his big, capable arms. Bobby knows how this feels. Eddie has to tell Christopher, and then he reads a letter Shannon wrote to her son when she left all those years ago, explaining why she had to go and telling him to live a big, joyful life—and then Eddie has a good cry on the beach. You know, the beach where just days ago they were a happy family. I told you I regretted wanting something emotional from this episode and it is because I now feel all the emotions.
And we haven’t even touched on the Chimney-Hen of it all!
Since Bobby’s suspended, Chim has been put in charge as Interim Captain. It does not go well. The power immediately goes to Interim Captain Han’s head and everybody is annoyed. They individually show up at Bobby’s — who is using his suspension time (he’s still waiting on a verdict) to plan his and Athena’s wedding — to complain and ask advice because Bobby is everyone’s dad. We need him back at 118 immediately.
Even Chim comes to see Bobby. He knows everyone hates him and he can’t live up to Bobby. Bobby is The Most Dad here and tells Chimney to trust himself. It works—Chimney becomes less of a drill sergeant and more of a leader in no time. But after Shannon dies, he feels intense guilt. He stopped Hen from intubating—could doing that sooner have made a difference? DID HE KILL EDDIE’S WIFE? He’s wallowing in his apartment and contemplating the answer to that question when Hen shows up. She assures him that none of it was his fault—Shannon was gone before they even arrived on scene. He made the right call. He gave Eddie time with her.
She also tells him that she’s proud of him. He’s crushing this captain job like she knew he would. The only reason she was giving him a hard time about taking over for Bobby was that she was scared Chim would realize that he’s a great captain and wouldn’t be satisfied just being her paramedic partner. Chim is her best friend and she didn’t want to lose him. They promise that no matter what else changes, their friendship won’t, and also they’re both crying, and honestly, what am I supposed to do with all these feelings, 9-1-1? Take me back to Adult Augustus Gloop and the Chocolate Factory, would you?
We’ll obviously be dealing with the fallout of Shannon’s death in next week’s finale, but the bigger storyline will most certainly be the fact that Los Angeles has gotten its very own serial mail bomber. The 118 are sent on a call in which a woman, thinking her husband had finally surprised her on their 25th wedding anniversary, picks up a package left on her doorstep, only to have it explode in her face. It’s frightening, for sure, but it doesn’t become an actual situation until Bobby and Athena see on the news that another mail bomb has exploded in the city. Two in one week cannot be a coincidence. Things are definitely going to get worse before they get better. They always do on this show.