The thing about the past is often what happens in the past is meant to stay firmly buried in the past.
You live, and you learn, right? You take the good with the bad, and you move onward. But sometimes, the past stays with you in a way that prevents you from moving forward.
9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 9 gives us some insight into Taylor's past, and it further cements Buck and Taylor as a solid 9-1-1 couple. Whether or not we want that is another question entirely.
Here's the thing about Taylor; the writers did the character a huge disservice by introducing her in the manner they did. For good reason, she was automatically viewed a certain way by the audience, and you don't have the luxury on television of escaping a bad first impression a lot of the time.
Especially not when you're a recurring character relegated to just being a main character love interest.
So, that's why it's extra frustrating now to see the way they're trying to rehabilitate Taylor and make us fall for this love story that lacks even a shred of credibility. Not only have we barely seen the relationship on-screen, what they've shown us is two people who don't seem to have a ton in common, nor much chemistry.
Bobby: Why does this keep happening to you?
Buck: Well, to be honest, I think...
Bobby: No, I'm gonna tell you why. Because you don't talk to the women you're dating. You just go with the flow and find yourself in a relationship, with no idea how you got there and what to do when things start to go wrong.
Eddie: Yeah. Who does that?
What Bobby said to Buck in the truck was spot on because Buck is not a great communicator. And after meeting his parents and seeing his childhood, it's very apparent why that is. But he does tend to just go with what feels good at the moment and doesn't think much beyond that.
A romantic relationship can only last so long when the two parties don't talk to one another.
It's clear the writers want us to forget all about the uglier aspects of Taylor's personality and now see her as a person with a tragic past she's been trying to outrun. And that's all well and good, and it's very easy to sympathize with her plight, but it just doesn't stop this pairing from feeling incredibly forced.
If the plan was always for things to end with Buck and Taylor happy and in love and the audience buying it, they should have started the Taylor absolution tour a long time ago. And even then, it may have been too late because the relationship falls very flat.
Concerning the actual storyline with Taylor's parents, she made the right choice for herself, and even though she left Oklahoma in pain, she could at least leave knowing she stayed true to her feelings and not what she felt like was expected of her by anyone.
Buck was there for her because that's who Buck is. Buck would take on the burdens of the whole world if it meant that people would be even the slightest bit happier for it.
But again, even their reunion in Oklahoma felt off, and emotions were high, of course, but I still kept waiting for something terrible to happen because their relationship is just so hot and cold.
On the flipside, a relationship that just gets better and better is Bobby and Athena. And what a welcome change of pace seeing them team up and have a little fun together.
No one needs me to stand on my soapbox again and lament all the shortcomings of 9-1-1 Season 5. But not only have things been up and down, but things have been heavy as well. And that's to be expected with a show like this, but 9-1-1 was always joyful, too.
There was always fun sprinkled in with the chaos, and that's been missing in spades this season. This was one of the first hours that gave us back some of that magic.
Bobby and Athena are the pillar for which all couples on 9-1-1 will be judged from here until eternity. I don't make the rules, but I sure do follow them.
The biker bandit case was an opportunity for them to work together and put their expansive knowledge to good use. And they also got to dress up and get out of the house for the night. So it was indeed a double win.
Side note, Bobby would make such a good detective. He's so good at picking up on little things, and he knows how to piece together clues and test out theories and hypotheses.
All he and Athena had to do was spend a little time on that casino floor, get the lay of the land, and sync the puzzle pieces together. A case long since buried and forgotten was suddenly solved in the blink of an eye, all thanks to the Grant-Nash household.
Athena: I mean, maybe they did do it on purpose.
Bobby: Inside job. Eliminate the impossible and only the improbable remains.
Athena: Oh yeah, Okay, Sherlock.
Give us more of this! Give us more of the best husband and wife duo solving crime and looking damn good while doing it.
Elsewhere, Hen was trying to get Toni back on the horse when she ran into her mother's old flame on a call. And even though Hen's heart was in the right place, Toni wasn't wrong to be put off on her daughter's meddling.
Toni never gave Hen any indication that she wanted to pick things back up with Clive. And Hen didn't even really know their history enough to know that Clive was what Toni wanted at this time.
In the end, it all worked, and Toni realized she still did want Clive in her life, but I liked that it didn't just end up there right away. Instead, Toni had her moment to talk it out and figure out if she was willing to leave the past in the past or bring some of that past into her future.
9-1-1 wasn't exactly breaking the mold with this story, but it was pretty much worth it to see the two of them reconnect all these years later and get to have some fun in the sun. They've lived a lot of life in the years they were apart, but they'd never forgotten about the past they shared.
Everything that happens in our past really does shape so much of our future. And that's not always a bad thing.
The past is truly prologue.
Odds and Ends
- May walking in on Athena and Bobby amid some adult shenanigans was the best scene of the season. It was relatable, funny, and just the perfect laugh-out-loud scene.
- And speaking of Bobby, Peter Krause has been criminally underused this season!
- There was only one emergency during the installment, and it drove home the idea about not being defined by our past. And the two girls sold the strangers trapped in a life or death situation, and there was a lot of oil which was visually cool. That's pretty much all there is to say about that.
- Do the writers remember Eddie exists? He broke up with Ana, and it's like they decided that was enough story for the WHOLE SEASON.
- So, Buck and Taylor are in love? Okay.
Somehow, we have reached the midseason finale, and I don't know what to think about that.
At least we're headed into the long hiatus coming off of two pretty decent installments!
Drop a comment below letting me know what you thought about this episode and how you're feeling about the season in general.
If you need to get caught up before the break, you can always watch 9-1-1 online via TV Fanatic!
Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.