The latest season of 9-1-1 has come and gone, and to say it was a ride would be an understatement.
After a thrilling start, the season lost its footing, with a handful of hours toward the end that didn't quite feel as satisfying as those earlier installments. 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 18 especially had us spinning our wheels, with an ending that felt rushed and awkward at times.
But there was still a lot to love about the season overall and a lot to look forward to as the series found new life in the eleventh hour, and we will return for another season on a new network.
TV Fanatics and 9-1-1 enthusiasts Whitney Evans and Jasmine Blu chatted about the season, what worked and what didn't, and what they need to see when the series returns.
Dig into the chat, and let us know in the comments what word you would use to describe the season and anything else you'd like to discuss.
Whitney: The season started very strong, with hours like 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 3, but they struggled to stick the landing.
How would you describe this season in one word?
There were some memorable aspects of the season and then some forgettable ones. And it didn't keep the same momentum all the way through.
Whitney: I can agree with inconsistent. And it kind of goes hand in hand with my word: underwhelming.
I was so excited when the season started, and they had some really strong installments, and then somewhere in the back half, they lost their way.
Jasmine: Do you think the constant breaks contributed to that as well? At some point, I started to lose the plot of the season and couldn't definitively say where we were headed or what we were building to in the end.
Whitney: I'm so used to the breaks that it doesn't really add or take away from my thoughts on the show. When you said you started to lose the plot of the season, I agree entirely, mainly because the main characters got mini-arcs here and there, but only one character got a genuine, season-long journey in the end.
So, when we got to the finale, there weren't a whole lot of chapters that needed closing because not many chapters were ever written.
Jasmine: I think that's also part of it. That, combined with the abrupt and then lengthy breaks meant that there weren't any real overarching storylines spread throughout that would have me clamoring back and even remembering what was happening that season.
For most of the characters, it really was like individual storylines that didn't always carry through. I think Bobby and Buck benefited from more screen time and a concrete story compared to Eddie or, to some degree, even Hen.
All this time, you've been hiding in plain sight. Forty-five years. But I got you. I finally got you.Athena [to Junior]
Whitney: I'd add Athena into that, as well. She started the season dealing with the case from her past and her father's illness, but after that, besides one-off cases or helping Bobby with the Wendell situation, there were no other long-form storylines for her.
Jasmine: Yes! Athena was very much in a supporting role for most of the season in that way, and by the end of 9-1-1 Season 6, I was disappointed that they hadn't done much with her for most of the season.
Whitney: It's a hard season to even analyze because it felt very disjointed. The first half felt very different from the back half, and the final few episodes felt different from the whole thing. I should change my word to disjointed!
But before we get into more of what was missing, what did you like most about the season?
Jasmine: Yes! Disjointed is another good word to use. It had totally different tones as well.
Bobby will always have my whole heart, and they really delivered on some Bobby content this season. I was so heartbroken for him when he lost his friend during 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 9, and I thought the premise of them investigating it was wild, but it still had me hooked anyway.
And OMG, the Bobby and May stuff triggered all my allergies at once. I loved their dynamic during this season and how Bobby has really come to accept that he's still a dad.
I also loved the Bobby and Buck stuff, especially with 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 11, because I'm such a sucker for the Bobby/Buck dynamic. They really leaned into their father/son thing, and that's like catnip for me.
And they handle the found family things better than the real ones sometimes (Buckley parents, Chim's father, etc).
I'm also happy with where Madney is and how they had to earn that spot a bit. I actually loved that Hen was being a good friend and protective of Chimney over the whole engagement thing.
Hen: Maybe your nerves are trying to tell you something.
Chimney: Like what?
Hen: Like maybe you shouldn't be getting married!
Whitney: I thought they gave Oliver Stark a lot of juicy material, and he knocked it out of the park. The coma-dream episode, in particular, was a great showcase for him and a very memorable hour. I'm glad they took the risk.
Even though Athena and Bobby didn't get season-long journeys, everything they did get, I loved. Their relationship is just so secure and loving, and they always have each other's backs. So every time they got to work together was a standout for me.
They continuously prove why they're the heart and soul of the series, and I love that for them and us.
Jasmine: My parents!!! Bathena forever, honestly, because same.
Whitney: This is a nice segue into the couples portion of the conversation. What did you think about couples this season and the stories they were telling?
Maddie: We’re gonna marry that guy! Cheers!
I'll say that I loved Bathena. And while I loved Madney getting engaged, I'm still upset that they never had a proper conversation. The engagement saga went on a little too long, and it was bothersome that they kept having these huge and important conversations with everyone but each other.
Much like Bathena is settled, I love seeing that with Henren, as well. From the lab fire to everything with Denny and Nathaniel, it was nice to see them continue to be a united front. Their relationship is so special, and even though they just dropped that adoption stuff in at the 25th hour, that's a very exciting place to see them start 9-1-1 Season 7.
Here's to more chaos! And more love.Hen [to Karen]
I'll let you talk about Buck and Eddie first.
Jasmine: Bathena will always be the goal; I love everything about them. I love how much they support each other through everything, and they really have become the gold standard of couples on this series. I'm so thrilled they got to go on their cruise together, as they earned it.
And Henren is another couple who have really earned what they have, and just makes me so happy for them.
I agree that Madney needed to talk through things more.
What the hell is this with Eddie and Buck, though? I don't know which of their love situations bothered me more. Probably Buck's.
I feel like they really half-assed this thing with Eddie and Marisol, is it? I swear I barely remember her. And I was about as over everything as my darling Christopher.
And I feel like they're trolling us with Buck at this point. His love life has become a joke and a series of poor decisions, and I don't know why.
I'm more indifferent to the idea of Buddie than you are, obviously, but even from my perspective on this, I need them to do better with their romantic situations because I haven't been impressed.
Whitney: Eddie dating and figuring out what he wanted in a partner had so much potential. Eddie was sidelined for much of the season, and actually giving him space and time to date for himself could have been an exciting and lighter storyline for Eddie.
Eddie is actually a hilarious character, and dating around could have been a fun time, honestly. That brief montage during 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 17 proved that.
But instead, his aunt basically had to tell him he was lonely, and then he went on one non-date, and that was it. And then to bring back someone from a call (is there nowhere else for these guys to meet people?) and make it seem like it was fate or something just felt so bizarre to me.
The whole set-up fell flat, and if Marisol was always meant to end up in the finale, then why wasn't her introduction to Eddie back during that call framed in a way that foreshadowed her coming back again? Instead, she was another forgettable person from a call, which made her reintroduction even more odd.
Buck. Buck. Buck. I adore Buck, but bringing in a death doula after Buck has died and only using her to be a love interest was the weirdest misstep. They wasted a whole episode where we could have gotten to know Natalia on bringing back Buck's exes for what reason?
For him and Natalia to end up together in the end and Buck seemingly ready to embark on this new journey, they did a poor job of setting up their relationship. How does Natalia "see" him? What makes them so good for one another? How am I being sold on these two being a long-term couple?
Luckily, they have another season to try and flesh these out if they're meant to be more than just a coda to what very well could have been a series finale, but just throwing these love interests in at the very end of the season, with zero buildup, and even less time to explore, was certainly a choice that did not work.
Eddie: So, how’d you make it happen for you and Athena?
Bobby: We got called to a motorcycle accident. It was a bad one. I wasn’t at my best at the time. Needed to take a minute. She sat with me. Eventually, I asked her to go to church, and we prayed together.
Bobby: A few days later, we had dinner, things grew from there. Now, we’re about to have our fourth anniversary.
Eddie: So, you definitely weren’t looking for it.
Jasmine: They totally squandered the Eddie thing. It's almost like they don't know how to give him anything light and fun that isn't angsty. It had so much potential but didn't go anywhere, nor did they invest any time or energy into it. It felt like they scrambled to tie things back around to this or forgot about Eddie.
The Buck thing, they really didn't develop Natalia or what they're supposed to have at all and then just threw them together.
Both men have zero chemistry with their new love interests. I don't buy into these romances at all. They'll have to start from the groundwork level to sell us on this come next season. You can't be sliding into ABC without DELIVERING on ship goodness. I'm just saying.
Whitney: So true. One thing about ABC is they will give you those ships that get the people TALKING. The Meredith and Derek's. The Olivia and Fitz's. The Chenford goodies. As it currently stands, I need to start a new sentence because neither of those "romances" belong in the same stratosphere as those names.
It just feels like six seasons in, we're recycling the same story with these two and their love interests.
As Kelly Clarkson would say, 'Take a risk. Take a chance. Make a change. And BREAKAWAY.'
Jasmine: Not you quoting Auntie Kelly!
I can at least be grateful that the season delivered with its emergencies. I'm coming out of 9-1-1 Lone Star Season 4, where they were few and far between, and even with all the personal arcs this season, the action didn't slack. That finale was epic in that way.
Whitney: They had some good emergencies along the way. Standouts for me were obviously the finale, and the lightning strike with Buck was shot beautifully.
Jasmine: I literally gasped with the lightning strike, and yes, the direction and cinematography this season were top-tier.
Whitney: One other standout for me was the firefam feels, which were great this season. Everything in 9-1-1 Season 5 felt so off-kilter because Chimney was gone for so much of the season, but we had so many scenes of them at the firehouse chatting, joking, and just enjoying each other's company.
Even though they didn't stick with it, they had different dynamics this season. Like Hen and Buck hanging out more in 6A, Eddie going to Bobby and Athena during the whole curse fiasco, and he and Bobby going to the hardware store and talking romance.
Do you like it when 9-1-1 switches things up? Or do you prefer the dynamics we all know and love?
Jasmine: Yes! I'm always all about the family dynamics. I will take those 1000xs over the romance, honestly, and I'm so glad they upped the ante with those this season and switched things up.
The Buck and Hen content was among my favorite, and I swear, sometimes it felt like we were just watching Aisha and Oliver being besties.
Eddie is especially a good one because they tend to isolate him from the others so much that he usually only gets time with Buck, and I loved seeing that expand more. I also liked that Maddie interacted with more people this season too.
I need a mix of both. We are going to love our tried and true dynamics in this series, and they work. And so I need those.
But it's also a waste of a strong cast with great chemistry if they don't switch things up a little, either.
They have plenty of time and episodes to deliver both, so I'm happy that we are getting to see new dynamics, too, because that keeps things fresh, and they're new angles of the series unexplored. It's just heaps of potential.
It also means you get to see different sides of the characters because no one dynamic will be the same as another.
Like Hen and Chim is totally different from Hen and Buck, but both give me all the feels.
Whitney: I'm of two minds because I love those core dynamics. Give me a whole episode of Hen and Chimney, and I've never been happier.
So, I don't love when they get sidelined. But I agree that one of the best things about having such a strong cast with so much chemistry is that you can pair people up and still get amazingly rich stories and dynamics.
Maddie: Still doesn't seem real.
Athena: That it happened? Or that anyone survived?
Maddie: Both. And they all can't wait to get back out there again.
Athena: It takes a special kind of crazy to want to live this life.
Like Maddie and Athena are a great pair we don't get to see often, but when you do get their scenes, they're always fantastic.
Jasmine: What do you think about how they've handled things with the Buckley parents and Chim's father?
I've been surprised at how they've backtracked on things with how both have been awful parents just to work towards some storyline where each guy makes amends with their parents.
I especially had a hard time with the Buckleys because they were canonically awful, and now it's like they're giving us sweet grandparents who never did anything wrong in their life, and it bothers me.
It's okay to show that some relationships with toxic family members don't work out and shouldn't, but they've really forced this forgiveness narrative, and it rubs me the wrong way.
Whitney: So, just knowing 9-1-1, they don't really operate from a place where they will not try to find common ground somehow. With both sets of parents, I think the goal was to show that moving forward is possible and you can "forgive" people who wronged you for your own sake, not theirs.
I do think they've done a good job over the years of showing parental relationships that are confusing and complicated, but they rushed these reunions -- if you want to call them that -- and I'm not sure why.
Toxic family dynamics are a very real thing that people go through, and you're right in that they don't need to have everyone singing kumbaya and making amends because that's not always reality.
Did you have a favorite episode this season? Or something that stuck out for you that you'd like to highlight?
I'll go first.
It ended up basically meaning nothing in the grand scheme of things because they chose to forgo Buck's death journey in favor of a lady friend and did nothing with the new skill set, but the poker scene in 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 13 was so fun.
Buck and Eddie dressed up, schmoozing with the higher-ups, and just having a good time together? It's been 84 years since we saw that, and I was more than satisfied with that elongated scene.
I love that Buck and Eddie often get to have these intense and life-affirming conversations, but I also like when they just let their hair down together.
And I am once again waxing poetic about Bathena because they had so many cute moments here and there. They deserved their little hop and skipped toward that massive cruise ship to close out the season.
Jasmine: My parents going on that cruise was the best thing.
I know the episode was kind of controversial, but I actually enjoyed Buck's coma stuff. They did a nice deep dive into his character, and it was a great way of showing how far he's come.
I felt how he took charge during the finale also did that. I kept thinking about that risk-taking kid he was in 9-1-1 Season 1 versus commanding the scene in the absence of others, and it was just really great content.
Whitney: That was a great full-circle moment for Buck. With each passing season, he becomes more and more comfortable in his professional role. And he's well on his way to captaincy down the line.
I could talk about this ALL day, but what was the point of Bobby telling Buck in the coma dream that if what matters to him is how people see him, he hasn't learned a damn thing. Only for Buck to turn around and be excited to tell Eddie that Natalia sees him. Like, what is happening here?
Jasmine: Sometimes it feels like there's no comparison of notes, so certain things don't flow cohesively from one set of people to the next when it comes to the characters and moments.
Also, SHOW, not tell. Because I felt like the audience and Eddie were like that meme of Ms. Juicy on the couch looking confused because when did they show us that Natalia "sees" Buck? I kept feeling like I missed something. But let me stop.
Whitney: No, you're right, and you should say it. I see your Ms. Juicy meme and raise you the Nene painting and rolling her eyes gif because I imagine that was most us of trying to decipher when he was seen because it certainly wasn't ON the screen.
Okay, let's wrap things up with a nice, loaded question. What do you want to see in 9-1-1 Season 7?
Okay. I NEED them to figure something else out with Buck and Eddie's love lives because I'm tired of them with these women with no chemistry. They are two gorgeous, employed, kind men. Their love lives should not be this messy and tragic when they are surrounded by all these great examples of love.
The Henren adopting stuff came out of nowhere, but I'm excited to see it.
I need them to cover more in-depth conversations with Madney, but I'm also excited about wedding planning and stuff. I love a good wedding.
I would like to see Buck consider some avenues for climbing up in the ranks because he's shown how great he is in a leadership position. It would be interesting to see him focus more on his career now that he's more secure and confident.
Literally, anything and everything with Bathena will be right up my alley because I love them so damn much.
I really need some more individual Athena content, though. When I think of all the shenanigans Owen (a fire chief) gets into on Lone Star, I know they can let Athena do more, maybe an ongoing big case, catching a serial killer, or stopping an attack. Something! Like, put Mother to use!
I need them to figure out what they're doing with Eddie because, half the time, it does seem like they don't know what to do with him. Preferably something lighter. He doesn't need angst all the time.
Ravi: Uh, Cap? Can I just say if Buck needs to get the pregnant lady out of his apartment, I do have a two-bedroom that's about to be on the market. So...
Bobby: Thank you, Ravi. Maybe a discussion for another time.
Also, if they have Ravi back or something, I need them to make it worthwhile because they really waste that kid.
And definitely more of the dynamics. Will Hen be Chimney's Best Woman? And will things still be tense for Hen and Maddie sometimes? While also carrying on with some of the newer dynamics that they love exploring, too.
Whitney: Oh, that is an excellent list of things to explore, and I honestly agree with all of it.
I need them to figure out Buck and Eddie's love lives and present it to the audience in an interesting and unique way. We've seen them meet women on calls. We've seen women walk out on them. Give us something new!
As you said, you've got these sweet, radiant men, and it shouldn't be this difficult to find them an amazing partner who compliments them.
I am very excited about Madney's wedding planning, and I hope we don't have to wait all season to see it, but I would love a few episodes of wedding shenanigans. But also, because the engagement was so wonky, everything could go perfectly for the wedding.
The Henren adoption thing came deep out of left field, but again, it's such a lovely place for them to be next season and has a lot of potential.
I feel like a broken record with the Ravi stuff, but I need him integrated more. He's a valuable piece of the team, and he fits in seamlessly.
There was no reason he shouldn't have gotten a little montage at the end with the rest of the 118. It would have been a great place to pick up his story next season, showing us his life outside the station.
I would also really like to see all the couples doing something together. I don't know what, and I don't really care, but I would like to see it. Maybe it involves them working together, or perhaps it's just for fun, but I want it.
I would love an episode like the coma dream again that is just different and not something they typically do. Maybe the 118 gets trapped in a Walmart-type place, a la Dawson's Creek, and we get a whole hour of different groups and intense bonding.
Throw an emergency in there when the trucks come to make a delivery in the morning!
And I, too, would love to see Buck working towards more professionally. It does feel like the next step for him.
Bobby: You're a great firefighter. When you're all in, nobody goes harder than you. But being a good leader is about more than just the work. It's also about life experience, and I think you need some more of that before you're ready.
Buck: Is this cuz I don't have a couch?
Jasmine: Firefam feels. More love. And more new, fresh stories.
That is all stuff I can definitely cosign with you on.
I hope this move means they can get even bigger, better, and more ambitious with all their calls and other things. I'm excited to see how things may change a bit from them shifting from one network to the other.
Whitney: I'm excited, too. There is still a lot of story left to tell with this crew. A lot of meat left on the bone.
I need them to lean into the new and escape the old. Audiences have fallen in love with these characters, and we want to keep falling in love with them as they grow.
As we wait for news on when 9-1-1 will return, make sure you watch 9-1-1 online so you're all caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.