Talk about brutal.
This is a show about first responders, and there have been countless sad stories over the years with miserable endings. But there was something about 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 4 that sets it apart as just an overall melancholy hour.
And that's not to say it was terrible, but can you pass the tissues? Because I'm still upset.
Starting things off with Chimney basically in full spiral mode should have been the first sign that it was going to be a rocky installment.
Naturally, he was spinning his wheels trying to figure out why Maddie would leave, and in trying to stop himself from being angry with Maddie, he decided to come up with his own conspiracy theories about why she left.
And you can't blame him for that. He's lost and confused as to why the person he loves and the mother of his child would leave with barely an explanation.
But it makes you wonder just how much they've talked since Jee-Yun's birth about Maddie's mental health.
He's aware she has postpartum depression, but it doesn't appear like he knew just how bad it was. And I guess that's obvious when you consider he was OK to leave Maddie with the baby for long periods, even when she was very much exhausted and not herself.
We simply haven't gotten enough scenes of Maddie or the two of them together to really understand what's going on in their relationship, outside of knowing that Chimney is totally out of the loop.
Chimney was just a ball of emotions all hour, and his talk with the doctor outside of the hospital was heartbreaking on every level. Kenneth Choi was fabulous in that moment, as a father just barely hanging onto his sanity and wanting to be let in on the secrets about his family.
He poured his heart out and laid himself bare, and what a devastating thing to have to do to a stranger.
Maddie has put him in this impossible situation, and it only gets worse for Chimney once he realizes that Buck knows more than he does.
You can't fault Buck for not saying anything because his loyalty will always lie with Maddie because that's his big sister. They have an incredible bond, and he will always want to trust her and believe in her.
But here's the thing with both Buck and Chimney right now, this isn't the Maddie either of them knows. Not really.
Maddie is suffering, and she's mainly been doing it in silence. Does she need help? Of course, she does, but should Chimney be respecting her wishes to stay away?
And will Maddie be fine? I like to hope so. But is that something Buck should be so sure of given her abrupt departure?
The decision to go after Maddie feels rash, and it's not well thought out, especially considering he brings Jee-Yun along for what amounts to an honest to God wild goose chase, but it does feel like an earned reaction.
Chimney feels slighted, scared, and like he's lost complete control. Searching for Maddie gives him a little bit of power back in a situation that is slowly descending into madness for him.
Madness is an apt description for what happened to Harry in 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 3, and as things have calmed down, Michael and Athena are trying to help him move toward a sense of normalcy. But what is normal after such a traumatic experience?
Harry's reluctance to talk at first seems like an immediate reaction to his trauma, which still holds true. But it's the resentments toward his parents that seem to be guiding his anger more than anything.
Getting into whether or not Harry has a right to be angry at them feels like an exercise in futility because whether or not he has the right, it's what he feels. He's a kid put in a life or death situation, and he feels like his parents let him down.
Athena: So much for not sharing our anxiety with him.
Michael: Worst parents ever, or just honorable mention?
Athena: We got him back in one piece.
From the minute you're born, your parents are your first protectors. They are the ones meant to keep you sheltered and safe. But for Harry, he was taken from his safe space by a man who did it solely because of something his mother did.
Athena nor Michael wanted anything to happen to Harry, and deep down, Harry knows that. But that doesn't make his anger any less. Nor does it make his anger any less valid.
But as May pointed out, his silence right now is only going to hurt him further. Keeping that kind of rage inside will only make you feel worse, though he may think he's doing his parents a solid by not telling them exactly what he thinks about them.
Talking to them and being honest will ultimately be the only way they can start to move forward as a family.
In continuing the gloomy narrative, the primary rescue was both sad and horrific. Imagine thinking your child survived a horrible accident and then hours later realizing it was a mistake and they were actually deceased.
It's every terrible emotion you can imagine, and it's just such an all-around devastating for both sets of parents when the truth sets in.
Hen makes a point to Chimney when she mentions the life lessons they're always learning on the job, and we, as an audience, are often learning through the stories and the cases as well. It's what makes this show so powerful, and it has always been one of its strongest parts.
Alongside the characters as well.
But something about this season has felt a bit…off? Moving beyond the blackout was necessary, as three episodes may have stretched things a little too far. And while this post-blackout era starts fine enough, things feel different in 9-1-1 Season 5.
It's early though, and there is still plenty of time for things to be corrected. And perhaps I am all alone in this thinking, but I am excited to see where things go next with many of these stories.
So, at least there is something to look forward to.
Odds and Ends
- Claudette was certainly a pistol. She was VERY dismissive of May for no good reason, and hopefully, they explore that more because it seemed odd and unnecessary. May isn't a threat to her, so why the bad vibes?
- I didn't cry at all until Hen and Chimney hugged at the end. It was just too sweet for words. They adore each other so much.
- Chimney knows how to throw a punch. Buck's eye looked horrendous.
- Over/under on how long before Albert joins the 118?
- Athena cleaning and purging her house was relatable. As were her fears over whether or not she could ever make her home into the sanctuary it always has been for her family.
Alright, guys, that was a pretty decent installment, and it does set us up for some future storylines.
Do you think Chimney was right to go after Maddie?
Were you a fan of Claudette?
Was Buck right to keep Maddie's secret from Chimney?
Drop all your comments down below, and also let me know what you think about the season thus far. Perhaps my feelings are unique, and you are all loving it!
Remember to watch 9-1-1 online anytime your heart desires via TV Fanatic.
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.