September 23, 2018 at 11:00 AM EDT

Fox’s 9-1-1 premieres tonight with a two-part episode that concludes on Monday. One of the major developments this year is a massive, 7.1 earthquake that the team of first responders, including Angela Bassett’s cop Athena and Peter Krause’s firefighter Bobby, will face.

But more exciting to Bassett is getting to explore the new and surprising romance between Bobby and Athena that was revealed in the season 1 finale. “As this new season opens, they’ve been together, exploring each other and the relationship, for about four or five months now,” Bassett tells EW in the video above. “But it’s still very new and undercover — no one really knows about it.”

Meanwhile, Jennifer Love Hewitt joins the series as Maddie, the sister of Buck (Oliver Stark).

“She comes into the series pretty broken and on the run from a very abusive relationship,” Hewitt reveals to EW.

A former ER nurse, Maddie eventually becomes a 911 operator. “The thing that has been the most shocking to me, which I didn’t ever really consider and I don’t know why, is that the most heartbreaking part of being a 911 operator is that so often they never know how the story ends.”

Watch more in the videos above. Season 2 of Fox’s 9-1-1 starts after the NFL, and Monday’s episode airs at 9 p.m. ET.

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