9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3 Review: Devil You Know

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9-1-1 has never shied away from some darker themes.

They are always ready to have those tough conversations and depict the most gruesome nature of the human race. 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3 is one of those hours that plays out interestingly via back-and-forth flashbacks.

The pacing, which can sometimes be questionable, works well here, but the acting brings everything together and makes this one of the more engrossing hours of the veteran series.  

Time To Investigate - 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3

One thing 9-1-1 has always excelled at is allowing things to come full circle. Things matter on this show, and Tanya Kingston's introduction was purposeful and came back around at an intentional time.

Athena's 9-1-1 journey has always been rooted in trying to do the best she can for those she cares about. She has a big heart and wants to help, but she's also not going to allow people to walk all over her.

investigation Together - 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3

She's made missteps along the way because she's a human being who can lead with her emotions, but at her core, she wants justice for those who deserve it.

And the Athena we know, the bright, brazen Sargeant who never met a case she wouldn't go to the ends of the earth to solve, was born that day Tanya Kingston disappeared.

The flashbacks here do a lot of shading in the information we were never privy to. We see a young Athena, rattled by the disappearance of a young girl who she's seen playing in the streets, like her and her friends.

She also sees her father that night, a little disheveled and unlike the well put together man she was used to.

Through these flashbacks, we start to build our suspect list, as in real-time, Athena struggles with the realization of everything she's learning.

Angela Bassett is a living legend in the world of film and television.

She's a marvelous actress, and while 9-1-1 is a procedural, which historically doesn't give actors a lot of room to explore, 9-1-1 has always bucked against that trend. From their 'Begins' episodes to the natural disaster arcs, they throw a lot at these actors.

And they're blessed with a cast that understands the assignment and always comes ready to deliver.

Bobby Calls It In - 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 15

Athena goes through so many emotions during this hour, from fear to rage and back again.

With her father under investigation, she shrinks away at first because that's a normal reaction. Athena adores her father, and of course, a large part of her being wants to conclude that he could never be capable of killing a young girl.

But she's also a seasoned cop. She's seen enough in her lifetime to know that anything is possible. And it's through the evidence, and only the evidence, that you can truly discover what people are capable of.

I liked that they had Athena share those fears and frustrations with Bobby and that he could present her with an opposing point of view. Sure, you can let the cops do their job, but Athena has never been content to watch from the sidelines.

Bobby: What is it? What are you so afraid of?
Athena: I'm afraid he could have done it.

And yes, she has a personal connection, but isn't that all the more reason to do a little digging and clear your family's name?

Talking Together - 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3

Bobby and Athena are couple's goals, and they always will be. There is deep respect and admiration between the two, and they genuinely listen to one another.

We get a lot of domestic Bathena, which is lovely and always appreciated, but it's also nice to see them both in their natural elements working together.

They make such a great team in the field. And here it's like we got a mixture of domestic and work since they weren't technically on the case.

Once Athena decides to look into things, they land on Tanya's doorstep, where they come face-to-face with a gun and a devastated woman.

Joanne has held onto a lingering pain for so many years, and you can feel it radiating off her as she speaks with Bobby and Athena, which adds a new layer to the story.

Your heart breaks for her because she's held in so much anger and discontent, but her admissions about that evening feel cathartic, and her demeanor noticeably changes once she can expel the lies.

The hour really shifts from this point onward, once Athena and Bobby are separated. Athena is off with Detective Dixon, who turns down the arrogance and offers a helping hand.

Once he lets Athena in, the two work together seamlessly and start to piece together the case in a few minutes. It's almost as if you want Athena Grant-Nash working alongside you from the beginning.

Calling For Assistance - 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 11

On the opposing side, Bobby stops at dark orange groves when he spots a suspicious vehicle, and bless his heart, but I was screaming at my screen for him to stay in that car until he had some backup!

But all this plays out amidst the devastating flashbacks that reveal what happened to Tanya the night Junior killed her, and to say it's frightening and disturbing doesn't feel like strong enough words to convey what watching these scenes felt like.

This beautiful, vivacious, and sweet girl was preyed upon by a killer. A killer whom she trusted. A killer who mutilated her and defiled her body to cover his crimes.

It's sickening and cruel and sad. And choosing to cut between Tanya running from her killer and Athena running after her killer gave me chills. It's such powerful imagery, and I don't think I breathed during the entirety of that montage.

Working The Case Together - Tall -  9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 15

Athena finally getting to solve this case, the one that sparked her desire to become a cop, should feel like closure, and it does, but it's so hard to feel relief when Tanya is still gone and countless other victims fell victim to this vile predator.

It's bittersweet for all parties involved, but it does feel like a chapter can be closed, even if the pain and raw emotions never leave you.

9-1-1 always has that innate ability to make you feel so many things that stay with you so long after the credits roll. And you'll be feeling the effects of this one for a long while.

Loose Ends

Athena Investigates - 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 11
  • Samuel was the first red-herring, but it quickly became apparent that Reggie was the second. But still, they did a decent job of crafting the story in a way that did allow the audience to ask their own questions and make their own conclusions; the hallmark of a good mystery.
  • Did anyone else cry when Samuel woke up to speak to Athena? It was such a heavy hour, but that moment literally brought tears to my eyes.
  • Angela and Peter Krause are just so perfect for these roles. They make a fabulous on-screen duo, and it's truly a privilege to see them work each week.
  • Three episodes into 9-1-1 Season 6, and I feel like this is a 180 from the previous season. Everything is firing on all cylinders, and it feels like there is genuinely some magic in the air.

There's a lot to unpack with this episode, and I'm curious to see what you guys thought, so please let me know in the comments. If you need a place to catch up on the series, you can always watch 9-1-1 online via TV Fanatic.

Devil You Know Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (87 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3 Quotes

Detective Dixon: Can I give you some free advice, though?
Athena: Can I say no thank you?
Detective Dixon: Let go of your emotional attachment. Let us do our jobs. Just be his daughter, not a police officer.

Athena: I'm a tough cookie. That's what Daddy always tells me.
Samuel: Just like her mother.