Our firefighters band together to save one of their own
While you may have gone on with your week — working, spending time with family, not being trapped in a hotel parking garage under debris that could kill you at any moment — our favorite first responders have been stuck in that hellscape the massive 7.1 earthquake created in Los Angeles.
“Help Is Not Coming” picks up right where “7.1” left off: Bobby and Chimney are searching for signs of Hen, who fell into the hotel parking garage while looking for a little girl named Kat; Buck and Eddie are hanging sideways several stories up inside the hotel, attempting to bring a young woman to safety (her gross boss is a sidewalk pancake); Athena is attempting to keep the citizens of Los Angeles from losing their damn minds; and Maddie is still having the most traumatizing first day a 9-1-1 dispatcher could probably have. So yeah, everyone is doing great, mom.
To be fair, Maddie could be much more panicked than she is and everyone would understand. In addition to being very green, she can’t get any information on the whereabouts of her brother. Lesser dispatchers would crumble! Instead, she remains cool and calm while taking a call from a distressed man whose pregnant wife is both in labor and unconscious. A very bad situation! Maddie goes into nurse mode and talks him through a few steps before realizing that if it is going to take an ambulance over an hour to get to their location due to the aftermath of the earthquake, she should bring the victims to an ambulance. She has the husband drive his wife to a nearby fire and the E.M.T.s there help them out. Maddie is going to fit in just fine around here.
At least she’s dealing with real emergencies — poor Athena is saddled with a nuisance call. We know Athena is a woman of the people — remember when she freed that entire plane being held on board for hours by an airport cop? — so the outcome of her call to a local grocery store claiming to be overrun with looters, when in fact it is the owner causing problems, is pretty much a given. The owner is price gouging his customers — $100 for a case of water? I don’t think so — and when they refuse to pay, he kicks them out and keeps them out with a loaded gun. NOT TODAY, SIR. Athena gives him a lesson in the laws regarding price gouging during a state of emergency and makes him hold a special 50 percent off sale at the store for the rest of the evening. He obviously didn’t realize who would be called in when he dialed 9-1-1.
Back at the hotel, Buck, Eddie, and Allie (the victim) are slowly making their way down a dodgy stairwell to get back outside. The 16 aftershocks (and counting!) have made this rescue extremely difficult — and that’s not changing any time soon. They discover the stairwell is blocked. They need to climb back up and figure out a new plan.
While making their way to a different side of the hotel, the merry band of three comes across another injured person. This man has a spinal injury, so they tie him up real good to an ironing board, and decide the best way for all four of them to get out of the building is to repel down the elevator shaft. Don’t you love this show?
Obviously, this is T.V., so you immediately know that when Buck and Eddie say that everything will be fine and that the elevator hanging multiple floors above their heads will stay there, they mean that nothing will be fine and that elevator is definitely going to come careening down that shaft. When another aftershock hits, that is exactly what happens! Thankfully, everyone makes it out of the elevator shaft and onto a nice, safe floor before there is any elevator smushing. That’s a technical term, don’t look it up.
Thank goodness Buck and Eddie make it down to the ground because Bobby and Chimney are still looking for a way to get to Hen — they could use some help.
Hen is trapped in the crumbling parking garage and things are looking dire. She comes across another trapped firefighter, but the guy is in a bad way and as much as Hen fights for him, he knows he is going to die. And then he does. Hen is all alone again. As her situation grows more hopeless, she pulls out her phone and makes a heartbreaking recording for her wife. She’s so sorry she won’t be coming home. You know, I come to 9-1-1 for the ridiculous rescues, not for heartfelt moments that make me cry. Where is that dude with his head cemented in a microwave when you need him?
The recording does something wonderful, though — it pushes Hen to fight even harder. She starts digging her way through debris and ends up clearing a path for Paisley, the little puppy Kat was last seen with. Paisley gives her hope! She follows Paisley’s path and comes upon the little girl! Things are looking up!
Just kidding, the latest aftershock makes things very difficult for them.
But hope is not completely lost! The boys see that Hen’s GPS shows her on the move, so they change their rescue plans and head in the direction she’s going. When the commander calls for a complete evacuation, Bobby and Chimney send everyone out, but you know those two aren’t just leaving Hen behind. Come on!
Bobby and Chim end up in the parking garage on the other side of a wall made completely out of cars and cement compressed together. Hen must be on the other side. They’ll need to get through that wall but, hey, fun twist: They have no tools! They go through cars to find tools and rope and literally anything that might help. As they start pulling apart the wall, reinforcements arrive. First in the form of Buck and Eddie — as if they’d leave Hen in there either — and they are quickly followed by, well, everyone else. Including the commander! They’re not leaving one of their own behind.
Teamwork makes the dream work as they say, and all the first responders band together to make some kind of dent in the wall. Finally, Hen, Kat, and little Paisley come spilling out. Kat is reunited with her parents! Hen makes it home to her wife and she’s keeping Paisley! Maddie finally hears from Buck! Eddie hugs his son! All of our people are okay — it is very sweet.
Do you want to know what is even sweeter though? Athena is at home with her kids and Michael, all of whom have been beyond worried about her all day long, when she gets a call from Bobby. He needs to see her. She tells him she needs to see him too, but it’s not a good time what with her kids and also the earthquake that just ravaged the streets of Los Angeles. Bobby doesn’t care. He needs to see her — she needs to come outside to the front of her house.
You guys! Bobby drove through madness just to put his peepers on his lady. He didn’t want to knock on the door because he hasn’t met the kids yet, but he needed to hold her and make sure she was okay. He hasn’t had someone to worry about in a long time. It’s all just too much for my cold, dead heart to take.
But wait, there’s more. Michael comes out to find them embracing and starts talking about how ridiculous this all is — but he’s referring to the fact that Athena hasn’t brought Bobby inside yet. He tells the nervous couple that they have a plate ready for Bobby at the dinner table and the kids are eager to meet him. Athena and Bobby walk back into the house, hand-in-hand.
Now, if that’s not the best ending you could hope for at the end of an extremely terrible day, I don’t know what is.