Monday, May 13, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Bobby, Buck and Athena Are Targeted by a Serial Bomber in 'This Life We Choose'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 2.18 "This Life We Choose"

The 118 responds to calls from a stunt driver caught in a hairy situation, a teenage social influencer who is bugging out and the city is on high alert after two mail bombs go off. Eddie's family comes to town. Buck faces a life or death situation.

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 season finale of FOX's 9-1-1.

"This Life We Choose" was written by Tim Minear and directed by Bradley Buecker

This is a perfectly fine though busy season finale. The previous hour established that a serial bomber is lurking around the city. Of course, the moment it was established that his first victims were a defense lawyer and insurance broker it seemed inevitable that this was all a quest for personal vengeance. In that regard, it's important that the show connects it back to one of the emergencies from earlier in the season that didn't go according to plan. In fact, the way the show incorporated origin story episodes allows several years to pass in the continuity. And so, the kid who was rescued from the restaurant fire when Bobby first became captain of the 118 is no longer the same person he was. He was angry that his father was arrested and sentenced to jail for blatant insurance fraud. And now, his father has died because of cancer. This kid is just choosing to blame the system instead of placing any responsibility on his father for destroying this family's life. So instead, he is causing even more pain and misery. He too will end up in prison. His third victim is the first to actually be killed. Sure, that happens offscreen so it's not a great escalation of tension. But there is the overwhelming sense that this is getting closer to home. First, a package is on Athena's doorstep with her kids getting home before her. And then, there is a bomb on the firetruck. That's absolutely chilling and horrifying to watch. It puts the main characters in danger more so than any of the emergencies they have responded to so far. In fact, the show highlights how the dangers outside of work can sometimes be even more life-changing than the various things they see doing this job. That too can be very precarious. Right now though, it's just important that Buck is injured in the line of duty. The truck is pinning him down. Bobby has to risk his own safety in order to disarm the bomber. Everything comes to a happy and peaceful conclusion. And yet, there is the open question as to whether Buck will be a firefighter again. He joined the firehouse long after Bobby and Athena interacted with the family at the center of this story. And now, Buck may be dealing with the most personal consequences. The firehouse will continue to support him. But he may also compromise his health and his relationships in order to get back to the job as soon as possible. He has so many people at the hospital rallying around him for support. It's great to see Carla back in his life caring for him. But he may still be that reckless guy who pushes his limits no matter how they might break him. That could be very dangerous in this situation. And yet, he is still there to support Eddie when he becomes an official firefighter. That's a major celebration after the recent tragedy in his own life. It's worth seeing the happiness between him and Christopher. Hopefully, their future will continue to look bright at 118 and in this city. And finally, the season ends with two major romantic developments. Chimney and Maddie decide to give their relationship another chance. That's very rewarding because it no longer feels like the tension is there. That could change quickly because they are no longer the same people they were earlier in the season when they flirted with this idea. And then, Bobby and Athena just have a courthouse wedding with her two children also there. That's all they really need in order to be happy. That too feels like a fitting ending. It ensures that the majority of this conclusion is uplifting with Buck being the only person whose fate is really up in the air at the moment.