When a midseason finale doesn't quite feel like a midseason finale, that can be a good or bad thing.
The best midseason finales leave you wanting more. Ready to endure whatever time off before the show returns and follows up on whatever storylines they left unresolved.
9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 9 is everything good about 9-1-1. The emergencies are unhinged, the family feels sprinkled throughout, and a mystery brewing. But do all those things make it a top-tier midseason finale?
It's another busy hour for the series, but even though there are a lot of storylines moving around each other, it doesn't feel very frenzied. And that's the way it should be. You want all the content and all the feels without feeling like you had to run a mile to get there.
One of the best, if not the best, parts of 9-1-1 Season 6 has simply been having the 118 back together. Any and all moments spent with them hanging out will always be some of the best parts of an episode, and that's very true here.
What makes this series one of the best on network television is the balance between standard procedural and something more. Fans and viewers fell in love with the characters and their dynamics just as much as the action.
Here we get a dose of the wild, in the form of a naked sleep driver and severed fingers, along with a start to some very intriguing personal stories that are only just getting started.
Bobby's sobriety and recovery are a huge part of his identity. Recovery is a lifelong endeavor, and during that journey, you cross paths with so many people. Your support system becomes your lifeline in many ways, and your sponsor is a massive part of that system.
We, unfortunately, don't get to spend much time with Wendell and Bobby here, but it's clear they mean a lot to one another, and they know each other very well. Bobby is in Wendell's presence for only a few minutes, and he can tell something is wrong almost immediately, his spidey sense tingling that something isn't right.
Bobby is a very perceptive person with good instincts, and after Wendell passes, it's hard for him to wrap his head around the fact that he wasn't able to be there for a person who'd always been there for him.
We've already seen Bobby take on a lot of pain and anger and not channel it in the most proper way. And it's very easy to shrink in on yourself and not want to feel as if you're burdening others with your grief.
But Bobby quickly sets off into investigation mode, wanting to piece together how someone could end up burned to death in a field all alone when it's possible they were in the process of getting help. And he does it so fast that it almost feels like a coping skill.
When Bobby channels his inner Athena and puts on his detective hat, we're usually in for a treat. And it looks like he may be pouring a lot of himself into this investigation with this situation hitting so close to home.
From the outside, it looks like Wendell relapsed, but why did he die in a fire out in a field? How do those two things converge and leave Wendell deceased?
There are rightful questions to be asked, and it may all start and end with that couple, but with Bobby and potentially Athena on the case, there's an excellent chance they can answer those questions. There is definitely something extremely unsettling about his death.
For Hen, the first half of this season has been an emotional rollercoaster. And just when it finally feels like she's gotten her feet on solid ground again, Denny throws her a little off-kilter.
Even though a lot of things have been happening to Hen, her family feels the effects of it all. And coming off 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 6, which saw Karen very close to death, it's no wonder that Denny is questioning his life. Almost losing someone you love will get you thinking about people close to you that you never got the opportunity to know.
Denny is young, but he's not that young anymore. He's old enough to ask these questions about his biological parents and to want to know more about the people who created him. That doesn't take anything away from Hen and Karen; they know that, but navigating these conversations can still be tricky and scary.
The worst-case scenarios will start going through your mind, but at the end of the day, it's about Denny, protecting and loving him. And to do that, you have to be honest with him, which is what they try to do while recognizing that he's growing up, and there are still things his young mind can't process yet.
Hen: Can you imagine not knowing your own child?
Chimney: Is this about Denny?
Hen: I know this is normal. That he’s going to have questions. And the best thing that we can do is be honest.
Chimney: But you don’t want to be honest?
Hen: I want to tell him that we picked him out of a magical cabbage patch and never have to talk again about his biological parents.
Denny: He’s a smart kid. He didn’t fall for that story when he was five.
Hen: It’s just I spent so much time thinking about him as mine. I’m not sure I’m ready to share.
Chimney: He’s always going to be yours, Hen. No matter how many questions he asks.
I liked the progression of this story throughout the hour, with Denny feeling confident enough to ask the questions he wanted, Hen and Karen listening, and Hen sharing her fears. But I was caught off-guard by Denny traveling to a man's house whom he believed to be his father because I just got so worried for him.
This man is a stranger, and it goes without saying that a ten-year-old boy should not be going up to random strangers' houses!
But this is clearly the start of a larger arc that will continue the rest of the season, making me curious about the Wilsons and what comes next for their family.
From one family to another, Maddie and Chimney find a home that is in significant need of help to call there's, and I can't help but love how full circle this feels for them.
They have been through so much together, and that's to say nothing of what they endured in their lives before they met. But their love story has been built around protecting one another's hearts and picking up the pieces together. And what they find in this house is a painful past ready for a new chapter.
Who better than Maddie and Chimney to lend that house their particular brand of TLC?
Maddie and Chimney deserve all the good things, and it's lovely seeing their relationship flourishing and moving forward. Seeing them so stable this season feels almost strange because they've had so many ups and downs since they met.
But everything is coming along for them, and hopefully, this house will be a good decision for them. Chimney debunked the whole murder house thing, but that house was still a little creepy, even without the backstory.
Here's hoping for a smooth and easy renovation project!
There wasn't much of Buck's sperm donor story here, aside from the fact that Kameron is now officially pregnant, and I still have no clue what the endgame is here.
We still don't know exactly what Buck is getting out of this situation because we haven't been privy to conversations about what happens after Kameron has the baby.
The four-way phone conversation (which was brilliant, and I need more!) was pretty illuminating when Buck shared the good news, and no one knew exactly how to react because it's all very confusing when you don't know where Buck will ultimately stand in relation to this family.
Buck will always be the biological father, but will he be a part of the child's life?
We don't know what anyone in this situation wants because, to this point, the top priority has only been getting the sperm and then getting pregnant.
Well, now that those top objectives have been achieved, those three need to sit down and figure out what the future looks like for them because I fear there is real potential for Buck to get his heart broken if he doesn't start asking the hard questions.
- That initial emergency with all the severed limbs was such a great way to usher in an episode about the Santa Anas. Also, the use of 'HandClap' while going door-to-door looking for a handless person may be the best use of a song this season, which is saying something.
- The way the core five are their own little clique at ALL times is the funniest thing. Like they couldn't have merged with that other rooftop group to enjoy the hot cocoa and late-night LA smog together?
- The naked sleep driving was wild enough, but adding in the twist that she didn't even have a car made me gasp! How in the world did she come into possession of that vehicle?
- Maddie and Linda were wrong for making Josh work all those shifts like that as a prank!
Well, that's all she wrote for 9-1-1 in 2022! A lot to like about how this season started and a lot to look forward to when the series returns.
There are a lot of different stories to play with and expand further, and I'm sure there will be a ton of surprises we never see coming!
While we wait, let me know in the comments what you thought about the midseason finale and what you're looking forward to when the show comes back!
You can watch 9-1-1 online right now to catch up on the season!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.