Monday, May 6, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Eddie and Shannon Struggle to Define Their Relationship in 'Careful What You Wish For'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.17 "Careful What You Wish For"

The first responders deal with a calamity at a chocolate factory and a mail bomb explosion. Eddie receives some surprising news from Shannon. Maddie contemplates her future at the call center. Tragedy strikes the 118.

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.

"Careful What You Wish For" was written by Matthew Hodgson and directed by Bradley Buecker

There is a fair amount of tonal whiplash going on throughout this hour. It's just odd for one moment to be about the cheesiness of Maddie seeing the good she has done as a 911 operator to the tragedy that changes Eddie and Shannon's lives forever. Both are compelling moments that feel at home tonally with the show. The pairing of them back-to-back though is just a little puzzling. There is actually a fair amount of comedy that takes place in this episode as well. One of the emergencies is a man falling into a vat of chocolate with the first responders needing to mix in other ingredients in order to get him out of there. That's absolutely insane. It's all played as this guy having no self-control after losing a lot of weight recently. Meanwhile, the opening emergency is all built around the punchline of it possibly not being a good thing to win the lottery. One former winner is willing to toss the money out of the window before taking the jump himself. He miraculous survives but it's all played as a lesson that should be learned about the dangers of this kind of gambling and sudden fortune. Plus, it's amusing to watch as Bobby gets constantly interrupted during his suspension while trying to plan his wedding to Athena. He wants to tackle the planning now that he has this free time. Instead, he is trying to ease the concerns of everyone at the firehouse about Chimney being the new acting captain and how the power is somewhat going to his head. Chimney doesn't really have any confidence in what he's doing either. These are all moments of great levity. And then, there is the seriousness that comes from Eddie and Shannon needing to better define their relationship. That personal drama hasn't been all that engaging this season. Eddie has been better utilized as a character when it comes to him being a father to Christopher or being Buck's new best friend. With Shannon, there was just way too much melodrama that came from both of them leaving their family at various points for vague reasons. It's meaningful that they are back together now. But they go from planning on having another baby to being torn apart by a tragic accident in the span of one hour. That's absolutely devastating. Firehouse 118 just happens to be called to the scene as well. Eddie doesn't even notice Shannon as the victim at first. But that's what the entire focus ultimately is for this story. It's about the tough call Chimney has to make regarding the amount of medical care given to her. Her injures are gravely severe and likely fatal. If she is intubated, she may never be able to say her goodbye to Eddie. And so, Eddie is given that moment knowing it's the end. It's tragic. But it's even more so when Eddie has to reckon with all of this and inform his family about what has just happened. That is all narrated through the note Shannon left behind the first time she left her family. It is a clarifying moment for her about what she wants and believes she is capable of giving. She didn't know if she could be a good mother or wife. That made her go back-and-forth on whether she wanted more of a commitment with Eddie. They ended with the discussion of getting a divorce. But the accident brings them back together for the end. It's very sad and unfortunate. And yet, its effectiveness mostly comes from everyone's reaction to it afterwards instead of Shannon shockingly being killed off at this point. Meanwhile, the show is setting up a major story for the finale in which mail bombs are being delivered onto porches. That's absolutely terrifying and leaves the city on high alert.