9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14 Review: The Taking Of Dispatch 9-1-1

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That was a pretty wild hour. 

9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14 was tense, emotional, crafty, and at times a little confusing, as the call center was under siege, and the outside world was completely delirious.

As Maddie and her fellow operators were held hostage, they were oblivious to the bigger plan unfolding around them.

Alert Maddie - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14

When 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 13 ended, we saw the man who assaulted Josh taking over the call center with a gun in hand. But it was unclear what exactly the motive was in taking control of a 911 call center.

It became clear early on that a bigger plan was in place and the way the episode was structured allowed the audience to find out piece by piece what was happening, and not in some long, drawn-out soliloquy from one of the characters.

The band of criminals was a hodgepodge of characters, with the leader, Greg, clearly a man who was not all the way respected by his underlings. Greg was the man who targeted Josh, and while he was labeled the captain, and the one barking out the most commands, he was hardly the coolest one when the pressure started to mount.

His lieutenant, Ellis, was much calmer under pressure, and he seemed to have a lot of knowledge about the way the call center operated in general. It put him at odds with the artilleryman, Foster, who was prepared to shoot first and ask questions later.

Frightened Maddie - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14

Most of the action took place in the center, but it was arguably the team-up of Athena, Chimney, and Buck that was the most intriguing part.

You knew that things were going to come together eventually, but how they were going to come together was the part that kept you guessing.

I’m not sure there has ever been a Chimney-Athena centric arc, where the two worked together, but it’s always nice to see different pairings on the show.

Chimney was kind of regulated to second fiddle, as Athena took the reins, and they reluctantly included Buck, who was prepared just to go solo into the center to find out what happened to his sister.

On The Scene - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14

Athena did her Athena thing and followed her instincts, which never let her down. But when she entered the building, sans backup, you couldn’t help but catch your breath because it wasn’t totally clear what these men were capable of.

They didn’t necessarily come across as killers, but they had guns and bad attitudes, so anything goes.

Those seconds between Foster giving the order to shoot Athena, and Sue calling her away, were so very long. That whole sequence could have ended disastrously, but luckily all it did was convince Athena that something was amiss.

A lot of times in hostage situations, the hostages know that the police are aware of what’s happening because typically the people holding others hostage are looking for something in return. They’re looking to strike a deal and make their demands.

But that wasn’t the case here, and having the operators blind to what was going on outside left them in a pretty precarious spot.

Buck: I know you're worried, okay? I am too. But Maddie is smart. She can take of herself until help gets there.
Chimney: That's what I'm afraid of. Nobody inside that building knows we're coming for them. What if they get tired of waiting?

Chimney said it best, how long do you wait to make a move?

And that question becomes exponentially important when the team of criminals holding you hostage is falling apart at the seams.

Maddie and her co-workers were scared and disoriented, but they picked the right time to strike. And they also picked the right person to strike against.

Taken Hostage - 9-1-1

Greg was a jerk, a very loud, awful human being, but he was the most vulnerable. It was his operation, and it was slowly dovetailing into a colossal failure. The indecision and doubt were dripping off him, so striking against him while he was by himself was the smartest thing to do.

Faking an allergic reaction was smart, and knocking Greg down opened the gates for everything else that followed.

Josh’s trauma has been touched upon briefly since it happened, and there’s so much action every week, that we don’t get to spend as much time with each individual story as we may want to.

His insistence that Greg did not die in that manner was such a powerful scene, buoyed by the pain and sadness you could see in both Josh’s face and his voice. This man was not going to die on Josh’s watch.

Turning Around - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14

He was going to be punished for the crimes he’d committed.

The story got much more convoluted when all the moving parts were explained, and the real mastermind was proven to be the driver all along.

It was a clever ‘gotcha moment’ but then when they introduced the boyfriend and everything else it just got to be a lot.

Wow. I guess there really is no honor among thieves.


Harry came through with the wise words, as at the end of the day, none of these people had loyalty to anyone else. They wanted to turn a profit, and they were willing to backstab whoever got in their way.

Putting the operators literally into the action was an exciting twist and a great example of 9-1-1’s ability to think outside the box and give us compelling stories that you’ll be hard-pressed to see on your average procedural.

Chatting Over Beers - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14

Loose Ends

  • If you were able to keep track of all the names of the bad guys and who was who as the episode unfolded, you get three cookies!
  • It’s understandable that there will be episodes that don’t include the full cast, but it always feels like something is missing when we don’t get to see everyone. Even if they only show up briefly.
  • Having the new operators coming in to answer the calls as the SWAT team is rounding everyone up was a prime example of the show must go on.
  • Buck stepping aside to let Maddie and Chimney have their moment was sweet, and it made me want Buck to have his moment. So, when is Buck going to get his sweet, perfect moment with the person he loves?
Bucks Ponders - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14
  • Speaking of Maddie, will she ever catch a break?

Alright, fanatics it’s time for you guys to let me know what you thought about the hour!

Did you see the twist ending coming?

Did you like seeing Athena and Chimney work together?

Drop all your comments down below and make sure to watch 9-1-1 online right now so you can join the conversation! 

The Taking Of Dispatch 9-1-1 Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 14 Quotes

You guys like saving lives, right? Why don't you start with your own?


Linda: My Epipen. I'm allergic to bees.
Foster: Bees are the least of your troubles today, sweetheart.