Monday, September 23, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Buck Suffers a Major Setback in His Recovery that May Force Him Out of the LAFD in 'Kids Today'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.01 "Kids Today"

Athena enlists the 118's help when a teenager speeds out of control on the freeway. Meanwhile, a routine traffic stop uncovers a shocking kidnapping and Buck struggles with his recovery.

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 premiere of FOX's 9-1-1.

"Kids Today" was written by Kristen Reidel and directed by Jennifer Lynch

Buck was introduced as the immature, hotshot firefighter new to Station 118. He burned bright but had the potentially of burning out fast as well. He was reckless and didn't always set himself and his loved ones up for greatness. He has shown tremendous growth over the years. His relationships with Abby and Maddie have helped him mature and understand that he needs to support and protect the people he cares about the most. He can be trusted to watch Christopher for the day. And yet, he also experiences an emotional repression following the accident that has sidelined him from the job for months. Now, the audience doesn't get to see his full recovery journey, which was apparently difficult on Bobby. The first time Buck is seen in this premiere he is maneuvering through the training course at the academy to see if he can return to active duty. It's a celebration because he has seemingly recovered fully. It's all just a mask though. He has pain in his legs that soon becomes blood clots. He throws up blood during Bobby and Athena's big party for him. His friends and family came together to show their support through this entire process. Meanwhile, he was too eager to get back to the job as soon as possible. Recovery takes as long as it needs to. He views this setback as the thing that can cripple his entire life and career. He may not inherently be wrong about that. Maddie wants him to know just how lucky he is to still be alive. If he wasn't surrounded by trained medical professionals when he collapsed, then he surely would have died. He is a lucky man who is now wallowing in the misery of what he can't do. Everyone else is trying to figure out the best way to seemingly parent him. That may not be the energy and approach he needs right now. Athena knows that children never fully grow up too fast because they always need their parents to a certain extent. She also understands that they need the freedom to make their own mistakes. Other people shouldn't be blamed for someone's previous mistakes either. Bobby may not want Buck to fall down the same path he did after the tragic fire that killed his family. But he shouldn't be expecting his friend to follow the same trajectory in life. Buck is his own person. Right now, he is energized to take Christopher to the pier for some fun and games. It does present as a wonderful day. Sure, Buck still fundamentally makes it about his existential crisis. He doesn't want to be relegated to desk duty at the LAFD. He views himself as so much more capable than that. Of course, that would provide him with purpose and something to do throughout the day. Right now, he isn't doing anything. Eddie makes sure that he doesn't keep that up for too long. And yet, there is danger approaching the pier as well in the form of a tsunami. That is very precarious. It may show that Buck still is in the right health to save lives. He may not have to be a firefighter to be a hero. This show highlights the many ways people can save lives during the most traumatic moments of their lives. It takes some creative minds to solve the problems that the fire station and Athena face in this premiere. Most of the personal drama may come from Buck's uncertain future. But it's also just as intense and engaging to watch that car speeding out of control on the highway as well as the search for the mother whose baby was just cut out of her. Those stories are engaging while the show also gets to have some fun with the flesh-eating STD running rampant through a nursing home. That too is very fitting of what this show does best. Plus, it's funny that everyone is still giving Bobby and Athena a hard time for not inviting them to their wedding or even having a proper celebration for it.