Monday, October 14, 2019

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Buck Continues to Clash with Bobby Over His Ability to Serve as a Firefighter in 'Triggers'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.04 "Triggers"

The first responders race to save workers in a high-rise during a fire drill; a mother and her sons involved in a perilous car accident; and squabbling siblings fighting over a family heirloom. Buck delivers surprising news to Bobby. Eddie helps Christopher cope with the trauma of the tsunami. Hen and Karen debate expanding their family. Maddie decides to take action against a possible wife abuser.

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.

"Triggers" was written by David Fury, Christopher Monfette & Tonya Kong and directed by Joaquín Sedillo

It was always likely that the recovery from the tsunami would last much longer than the actual natural disaster. The city is starting to rebuild. However, that shouldn't be seen as the sole source of drama and trauma for these characters. They were dealing with their own issues before that wave first struck the pier. Buck was in a depressive spiral because he felt he could no longer be a firefighter. He views the tsunami as the proof that he has the requisite skills to serve at the 118 once more. A wave of water struck him and the blood thinners he's on didn't impair his ability to save lives at all. Sure, he lost Christopher and was so distraught over that potential loss. However, everything worked out. The Diaz family doesn't have to endure any more trauma. Eddie may think that Christopher's nightmares stem from being all alone during the tsunami. However, it also connects back to the recent death of his mother. She too was taken from him way too soon. Even more tragedy in the world brings that death back to the forefront. He wants to protect his father to ensure that he doesn't get too sad. However, they are still grieving. They are still figuring out the right path forward. Buck believes that he can skip all of the work that he needs to do in order to be back on the job fully once more. He thinks that he is ready. He is in better shape than he has ever been in before. He is ready to embrace his career once more. Bobby has his doubts. He's the one who seemingly gets to make the determination. It's not a doctor who medically clears him for the job. Instead, it's Bobby voicing his concerns about the potential risk that Buck's blood thinners would place on the rest of the house. He makes it seem as if getting off those drugs is the only path back to this job. He doesn't present a way for Buck to take full responsibility over his health while in the field. Instead, it's Bobby making a call and expecting everyone to support it. Sure, it's fairly easy to support him in that decision. He and Buck may go about things the wrong way. Things are heating up between them. Throwing a lawsuit into this mess ensures that it may not have an easy solution anytime soon either. It may only get worse and become more contentious. Buck wants to believe that Bobby now has something against him from serving. That's not true. Buck still has a great deal of love and respect for Bobby. He views suing the city as the only way to get what he wants. It has a ton of risk to it through. His ambulance-chasing lawyer notes that professions usually discriminate against those who have filed past litigation. It may mark them as people with chips on their shoulders who have a willingness to fight back. That is not an inherently bad or troubling though. Systems in this world do need to be challenged in order to ensure everything is functioning in a civil and appropriate way. Things are personal for Buck. However, he still has a career in the LAFD. It seems like he is risking a lot simply because he can't take things slow and allow himself to recover fully. He is ready to get back into the action. And yes, the drama of this world is just as intense here. A car falls off the edge of a cliff and is precariously holding on. That's a daring rescue. But the melodrama for the characters really takes the spotlight this week. Hen has a reasonable and mature conversation with her wife about the future of their family. Chimney extends that same respect and honest to Maddie as well. But the Buckley family proves to be prone to big reactions without fully thinking them through and what the potential consequences may be. That is also evident in a subplot where a 911 call pushes Maddie to befriend a woman she believes is being physically abused by her husband. Again, she has the standing in this world to know how to address a situation like that. She knows what's helpful. And yet, it feels like she is putting herself in harm's way once more simply because the show needs her to be doing more than looking at a computer screen and talking on the phone.