Tuesday, April 23, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - An Elaborate Bank Heist Casts Suspicion Over All of the Main Characters in 'Ocean's 9-1-1'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.15 "Ocean's 9-1-1"

A going-away party for a bank manager turns into an emergency, and then a mystery, as the first responders are accused of pulling off a daring heist.

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.

"Ocean's 9-1-1" was written by Andrew Meyers and directed by Mary Wigmore

This is a fun episode. Sure, it's very dramatic because all of the main characters are accused of conspiring to commit a bank heist. But it's so entertaining to watch as the action first details the actual emergency before delving into it all being a ruse to pull off this elaborate crime. Buck can at times be too dim as a character. And yet, his reactions throughout this entire process are priceless because he is trying to keep up just like the audience even though it's absolutely outrageous. Plus, someone from within the fire department was actually involved in the crime. It was just Marty, the repair guy who had just fixed the ladder on the fire truck. He was previously introduced with no reason to be suspicious of him. His issues with arthritis are only introduced here with how he is coping with it. However, the story does such a compelling job in making sure that so many of the characters can be looked at with suspicion. The story calls attention to the fact that the bank manager is retiring and he always cleans his hands after touching someone. Meanwhile, there is the amusing commentary from the guy stuck in the armored truck to protect the money. He doesn't know what's happening but doesn't feel he can leave his post until ordered to do so. And then, there are all the elaborate things the firefighters have to do in order to break into the vault to help their two victims. They have to break through a concrete wall on the other side of the vault because the door is locked shut. They call in a special hazard team because they fear this could be a chemical attack even though they are only dealing with three victims. One of them just happens to be Hen. She is stuck unconscious in the vault. That gives all of this a solid emotional hook where the urgency is felt to get in there as quick as possible. Sure, it may be a cheap ploy to increase the tension by putting one of the main characters in harm's way. There is no reason to be concerned about Hen either. But the episode goes big by making the future uncertain for all of the characters. All of them are brought into the subsequent investigation because Madde took the initial 911 call, Michael got the building blueprints for Bobby and Athena is engaged to the man who could have crafted the entire plan. The lead investigators are broad character tropes who don't really want to listen to anything that the main characters have to say. It's amusing how Athena knows every move they are going to make and is waiting for them. She doesn't interfere with any of the police work. She does still work to prove the innocence of her friends. Sure, it means Hen doesn't get her big moment of declaring that scorpion venom was the poison used to trigger the emergency. But there are plenty of other moments where the audience is left guessing as to what happened and who is behind the actual murders. One person dies because he happens to be allergic to scorpion venom. That's insane but it ensures that all of this will lead to a major sentence for those found guilty. Meanwhile, the bank manager dies because he swallows all of the diamonds he was also trying to steal out of the vault. He was an active conspirator who tried double-crossing his former brother-in-law for a big payday after being passed over for a promotion. He knew exactly how firefighters would respond to this situation as well. He couldn't expect Hen's heroics but he did everything he could to get away with millions of dollars. It didn't work because his improvisations led to a fatal abdominal blockage. That's amusing to the characters even though they aren't out of the woods just yet. This season could be building to Bobby being removed as captain. The chief learns more of the details about what happened in Minnesota and sees Bobby as being deceitful in order to get his job. He may be a great leader who has grown so much in Los Angeles. But that may all be compromised because of that decision he made when he first came to the city. That too creates a very precarious future for all of the main characters.