Well, this felt a bit more like old times. Sort of.
9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 5 was a slightly less dramatic hour, but things still feel off. And look, we get it. This is a show about emergency rescues. There's going to be drama and sadness and tears, but so far, but what are we supposed to be looking forward to here?
It almost seems sad just for the sake of being sad.
By history, 9-1-1 has given us stellar rescues with a plethora of emotional beats, as well as some comedy. Some of the best episodes of the series have been able to find that perfect blend of all three.
The levity is much needed, too, because it's hard to hunker down each week and know that it's just going to be one punch to the stomach over and over again. But 9-1-1 succeeded in giving us very balanced hours throughout its run and a host of characters that we grew to love.
But 9-1-1 Season 5 is just all over the place. I'm not going to say it's bad, but it just doesn't feel quite like the old days.
For instance, here we honed in on Buck, who's reeling from Chimney's abrupt exit and Maddie's disappearance. As is typical for Buck, he's putting everything on his shoulders, and he's almost creating conflict where there isn't any.
But at this point, Buck has been at the 118 for five years. He knows his place, and he knows these people better than he knows his own family. His feeling overwhelmed by the sudden shift in normalcy rings true, but leaving the team?
That just felt like such a left-field moment that I honestly struggled to even watch it. And that's nothing against the acting or anything like that; I was just so confused about what was happening.
Were we supposed to believe that after a semi-tough day, Buck was ready to walk away from the firehouse and have someone else slide in and take his spot?
Forget about the fact that his literal best friend works there and the closest father-figure he's ever had as well; why would he want to start all over somewhere else essentially?
Blaming himself for Chimney leaving, I guess, is fine because of the way the events unfolded. Though Buck should know better than to assume what people are thinking and feeling at his big age. He knows these people too well, and he owes them more than a spur-of-the-moment speech over dinner.
It just didn't make sense why he would suddenly want to leave, and the whole storyline with Ravi felt disjointed. And also, we get that Buck is kind of a hardass at work. Can we give him another personality trait?
Not sure how long the plan is for Chimney to be gone, but you could feel his absence pretty heavily. Ravi is perfectly fine, but there's a familiarity and comfortability in knowing that Buck and Eddie and Chimney and Hen will be working a rescue together.
Though, I did enjoy the overall awkwardness that was Eddie and Hen trying to navigate a new partnership.
The Grant family is big-time battling right now, and this season seems determined not to let the specter of Jeffrey Hudson actually die.
Even in physical death, he has a grip over the family. Harry has undergone a traumatic event, and there's no blueprint on how to help someone deal with that trauma. And all you can do is your best to be there for someone as they learn how to cope with life post such an event.
Harry acting out isn't abnormal, and we know from 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 4 that Harry has a lot of unresolved anger towards both Michael and Athena. And unfortunately, the first real talk Harry has with his parents comes at a terrible time.
Hiding out at May's was obviously not the brightest idea, but you have to remember that Harry is a child. Just as his parents are doing the best they can, so is Harry. And honestly, Harry seems most himself with he's with May.
It feels like that is a safe space for him, but naturally, not letting anyone know where he's gone is going to rile everyone up.
And the minute Athena, Michael, and Bobby walked through the door, it was apparent things weren't going to go well.
Harry: And Jeffrey was only there because of you. But you were too busy being a cop. Too busy to protect me.
Bobby: Harry, that's not fair.
Harry: But it's true. Because that's what she cares about. Being a cop. Jeffrey was right about you. You're a terrible mother.
Harry isn't wrong to be angry with his parents. He's just not. You get to feel for your feelings, and people don't get to tell you you're not mad.
There's no justifying hitting Harry, and I'm glad that after the scene played out, it wasn't just something that was glossed over. Unfortunately, Athena lost her temper, and nothing was gained from hitting Harry besides a more significant divide.
Though that's, of course, not what she wanted to happen.
All of Harry's family wants him to get better, and they want to help him to get better, but it almost feels like they want all the answers handed to them. It may take a very long time to get to a better place, but you have to be patient, and you have to fight for better every single day.
You never give up on your children, and Athena nor Michael ever would. But Athena seems so exhausted and defeated already that talking to a therapist is not the worst idea in the world. She needs an outlet for all her anger and pain.
The whole family could use therapy.
May asserting herself against Claudette was one aspect of the hour that I did enjoy. I only because May has proven herself to be a very competent dispatcher since she started, and it's a shame that all it takes is someone with a more extensive pedigree to make her feel so small.
I've never much understood the idea of riding someone so hard because you think they have potential. You don't have to beat someone down to unleash their hidden abilities. You could also just be nice and offer guidance, not dominance.
You just need to learn how to stand your ground. Bullies don't back down unless you make them. The only reason she's dishing it out is because she knows you'll take it.Harry [to May]
It feels like this story will eventually come around to Claudette and May getting along and learning from each other, but I hope we get there quickly.
Because as it stands now, there is no reason for Claudette to undermine May at every turn when outside of her age, she's given her no reason to treat her any lesser than anyone else there.
Odd and Ends
- Buck and Taylor are still a thing. Why? No offense to anyone, but the chemistry is just not there, and she doesn't add much to the show or Buck.
- What article was Harry reading? It seemed to be an Athena hit piece, and that is wildly concerning.
- Athena wanting to go down to talk to Claudette on May's behalf was so Athena. May is an adult, but she's still her baby.
- How relatable was that exercising emergency? You think about dieting one time, and suddenly, it's on the television, your phone, and in your mail. That poor guy was powerless to all that marketing.
- Were we supposed to know where Maddie is? Or just Buck?
Another lackluster hour, but I'm still willing to give this show the benefit of the doubt because we know how good it can be. The beginning of season 5 just hasn't been consistent, and it's unclear what they want the identity of this season to be.
Luckily, there is still so much time to turn things around.
What did you guys think about the emergencies?
Did you understand why Buck wanted to quit?
Where do you think Maddie is?
Drop all your comments down below and watch 9-1-1 online right now so you're caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.