Monday, April 1, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Maddie and Chimney Fight for Their Lives Against Maddie's Abusive Ex-Husband in 'Fight or Flight'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.13 "Fight or Flight"

The first responders rally together to search for a missing Maddie.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Fight or Flight" was written by Kristen Reidel and directed by Millicent Shelton

The show finally reveals whether or not Maddie and Chimney survived their brutal confrontation with Doug. The show has absolutely built up this cliffhanger by dragging it out a little bit. And yet, it's meaningful that this hour opens with Buck finding Chimney and immediately getting him the help he needs. It presents as if not a whole lot of time has actually passed since he was stabbed. He just has critical injuries because Doug knew exactly where to hit him. But Chimney once again pulls through a life-or-death situation. The rest of the firefighters even joke about this becoming an annual tradition for him. That is so tragic and depressing. Plus, Bobby notes just how eerily similar the parallels are. If Chimney survives the surgery, then Bobby has to go in and explain why his latest girlfriend isn't there by his side. Everyone is left in the dark about what happened to Maddie. Doug didn't kill her right away. That was never his intention. He was furious that she ran away and tried to start a new life for herself. He deluded himself into believing that they were always perfect together and that they were destined to grow old and die together. To him, they are the perfect love story. For a long time, Maddie believed in that as well. She was afraid to leave him because of what he would do to her. This hour also incorporates flashbacks to show what their marriage was actually like. It doesn't bother showing any happy memories though. It notes that it was all bad because Maddie lived in near-constant fear that any moment could turn into a brutal outburst from her husband. That is a terrifying way to live. And yet, she did manage to escape. She came to Los Angeles and built a new life for herself. She has so many people who will do anything to find her. They are holding onto the hope that she is still alive. Buck will break the law for his sister. Athena will take charge even though she's off duty. Even the folks at the call center are willing to do anything for her. Maddie came into this world and made such an impact on these people's lives. Athena is very optimistic about finding her alive because she knows that Maddie is no longer the person who was afraid to stand up to her husband during their marriage. She had the strength to file for divorce. She may not have expected just how far Doug would go in order to destroy her life and new happiness. But she still had the convictions to stand up to him and run away again and again. There is the fear that she could once again be forced into submission because her actions lead to an innocent man actually being killed. The gas station attendant sees that something is wrong but isn't able to overpower Doug with his gun. That's so terrifying to watch. Doug once again falls into the routine of blaming Maddie for his destructive behavior. That doesn't deter her from continuing to search for a way out of this mess. All of this takes a physical toil on both of them. She offers the advice to find a place to hide up in the mountains. Laying low could be the best strategy to ensure this doesn't end in disaster. Even then, Maddie is just waiting for the proper opportunity to disarm Doug and run away. She will do this again and again until it actually lasts. She is making that conscious decision to fight. That is very empowering. It's precarious to watch all of this result in a drawn-out battle over who will emerge victorious. Maddie ultimately stabs Doug to death. But it's so heartwarming to see her run into Buck's arms and know that she is finally safe. This is such a traumatic experience. But it has a fantastic conclusion with everyone being surrounded by love and the understanding that Doug couldn't take away anything of what is finally good in the world.