Monday, October 7, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Buck Desperately Searches for Christopher While Athena Finds a Captain in Danger in 'The Searchers'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.03 "The Searchers"

Athena, Maddie, Bobby and the 118 race to save lives after a massive tsunami hits the Santa Monica Pier. Buck fears the worst when Christopher goes missing.

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.

"The Searchers" was written by David Fury and directed by Chad Lowe

There shouldn't have been any real concern that the drama was about to kill off Christopher. First of all, his mother was killed at the end of the second season and that would create too much tragedy for Eddie. And second, Gavin McHugh was promoted to series regular this season. It wouldn't make sense for the show to make that move only to fool the audience into a false sense of hope. Plus, there is the fact that this hour continually fakes out Buck and the audience. It happens three times. Buck believes he has found Buck only for it not to be the case just yet. He hears a child is under debris and works to move it but it isn't Christopher. There is a child from behind that looks like Christopher but it isn't when Buck turns him around. And then, he hopes that Christopher's name is on the list at the makeshift hospital only to be pointed towards the death tent. It's at that point that he calls Maddie full of despair believing he has just killed the son of his best friend. He doesn't want to bear telling that news to Eddie even though he also happens to be at this facility. Again, the worlds are colliding throughout this hour. They were largely kept separate in the first part of the tsunami disaster. And now, the response is very collective with everyone helping each other and finding the victims who matter in each other's respective stories. It's not always a happy conclusion. There is so much tragedy in the world especially as it relates to the increasing number of natural disasters taking place. There is a wall to remember all of those who have died or are still missing from this disaster by the end of things. This won't be something the city can move on from quickly. However, Christopher is still alive. In fact, he first appears alongside other survivors who first interact with Athena. She doesn't see him uncovered though because he is being carried by a total stranger. But the show wants the audience to know in hindsight that Christopher always had someone willing to protect him. Buck may have lost him for a moment and is beating himself up because of it. However, Eddie still trusts him with his son more than anyone else in the world. That's the power of this friendship. It can survive all of this. That resilience is so strong. It's unbreakable. Buck may still be down but he can still enjoy the power of this friendship. It's strong storytelling. It's just one of the many stories happening in this hour though. The situation remains intense all over the place. People may be able to move more freely on land because the tide has reversed and gone back out to sea. But there is still plenty of danger. Maddie realizes that a building has a carbon monoxide leak that has knocked out its residents. She has to be clever and inventive in order to get the resources there. The problems and tension don't stop at that point either. It's only after the rescue effort begins that Hen realizes gas has been leaking into the water with the inevitability of the street going up in flames soon. Fortunately, Chimney comes in for the rescue. Again, that is the reassurance found throughout this world. Sure, the various circumstances may be dire. But the first responders are there to bravely face the unknown and rescue all that they can. Sure, that means Athena has to amputate the arm of a firefighter captain while Eddie and newcomer Lena have to do a freestyle jump into the ocean before the ferris wheel collapses. But it's ultimately a story about salvation and the human connection. There are plenty of moments to wallow in the despair and uncertainty. Plenty of people are left in the dark about what happened to their loved ones. But so many more lives are saved because of the first responders who put their own lives on the line to ensure that everyone has the potential of coming home to safety. They get to enjoy that as well. Athena and Bobby enjoy the bliss of life with their newly blended family at the end of the hour.