Monday, October 1, 2018

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Hen Fights to Survive Underneath a Crumbling Building in 'Help Is Not Coming'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.03 "Help Is Not Coming"

The first responders continue to deal with the fallout of a massive earthquake and its deadly aftershocks. Athena tries to keep the peace as Bobby and team continue to rescue victims from a collapsing high-rise hotel, both under the rubble and high above the ground. Maddie's first day on the job involves helping a pregnant couple deliver their baby safely.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Help Is Not Coming" was written by Zachary Reiter & Tim Minear and directed by Bradley Buecker

"Help Is Not Coming" may actually be the best episode of 9-1-1 so far. All of the emotions it deploys across this hour feel earned. The show addresses all of these real situations in a way that remains grounded and not too melodramatic. Sure, there are moments where things start to seem a little too scattered. Michael and the kids are worrying about Athena's safety because they haven't been able to talk to her since the earthquake. That's uncertainty in their lives that isn't reciprocated by the audience. We know exactly where she is. She's not even in a life-threatening situation either. When the earthquake first hit, she was just a few feet away from dying. Then, she was rescuing someone from a burning car by pouring cement on it. And now, she's just trying to prevent looting and price gauging in the city. As such, it's a rather victorious episode for her because she gets to walk away with a candy bar for only fifty cents. Her story is actually used to alleviate some of the tension and drama elsewhere. There are real moments of uncertainty. Buck and Eddie find themselves having to mount a daring escape through the elevator shaft. Of course, it's when they are making that descent that another aftershock hits and sends the elevator crashing down on top of them. Yes, it's ridiculous. But there was also no cause for concern either because both of them are very good at their jobs. The audience is still just getting to know Eddie. But it's still rewarding to see him and Buck working together well. Meanwhile, Maddie is thrown into the deep end at the 911 call center. Her drama happens early on in the hour and doesn't connect with any other story currently happening. And yet, that's still absolutely invigorating for her. It's still just a lot of dramatically reading lines at a computer screen. That can only be so interesting. But it's still rewarding when everyone from the fire station comes home safely. That wasn't a guarantee. Things are the most precarious for Hen. She is now trapped under the rubble of this crumbling building. She is fighting to stay alive. She is also trying to rescue the young girl who is still missing. She manages to do both of those things. She survives because Bobby and the team are willing to sacrifice their lives to save hers. It proves just how much this station loves each other. They are willing to defy direct orders and even die in order to rescue Hen. They know that she is alive. Her position keeps moving and the aftershock complicates things. And then, the ultimate rescue turns out to be rather easy. She is just trapped in a parking garage where Bobby and Chmney are able to search for a bunch of tools that they can use for this rescue. It's also just meaningful to get that update on Hen's family life and know that she is still loved. She has something worth fighting for and returning home to. She does exactly that as well. Everyone does that. Moreover, Athena's family gets to meet Bobby for the first time. That's another step forward proving just how stable they are growing as a couple this season.