Monday, March 23, 2020

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Eddie Sees Parenting in a New Perspective While Maddie Supports Josh Through Tragedy in 'Fools'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.12 "Fools"

The 118 responds to a viral stunt gone haywire and an epic first date fail. Meanwhile, Athena investigates a woman who doesn't remember being shot in the head and Eddie is forced to have a difficult conversation with Christopher.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Fools" was written by Andrew Meyers and directed by David Grossman

Across three seasons, the drama has depicted many stories about the complexity of love and relationships. This hour begins with Josh and Buck telling Chimney and Maddie just how difficult it is being single in Los Angeles. That sets the template early on for the stories to come. And yes, the stories run the gambit of emotions as well. It just feels like material the show has already amply covered. This is the kind of episode the show can produce with no real effort. Sure, there are meaningful moments. It's always inspiring seeing Eddie parent Christopher and ensure that nothing can limit him. It's also devastating when Josh is assaulted. That is such a harrowing experience after all the buildup of wanting things to go well for him after previously writing off online dating. This is a significant story for Josh as well. He has only been a recurring character. He has helped populate the world of the 911 call center. That is appreciated because it gives Maddie another connection that she can rely on whenever the story demands it. It's important to show that she cares about him and can step up as a friend too. She runs to his side and supports his decision about how to handle the police report. She understands what it's like to be in this exact position. And yet, she is also a little baffled by the shame he feels in having these details in a police report. There is a lot of that skepticism going around. Athena just doesn't understand the decision Michael has made to cancel his surgery. She sees it as the only way he can survive and continue being the father their children deserve. She views it as him giving up. He isn't. He is still doing radiation and exploring other treatment options. He is still actively fighting the cancer. He just doesn't want to be believe that cutting open his skull and removing a portion of him is the best answer. He wants to stay alive for as long as possible instead of dying on the table. He does a better job at explaining that here. That is appreciated. These decisions have to be earned as well. Hopefully, this moment inspires a future of more character complexity for Josh. He can become just as important to the overall narrative as the other first responders. This story is certainly giving Michael an active story within the narrative. The same goes to Eddie through being a father to Christopher. That provides him with the most character definition. It's easy to be so invested in that relationship too because Christopher is an amazing kid. The audience wants nothing but the best for him. When the viewer overwhelmingly feels that way though, there runs the risk of him seeming too perfect. As such, it's important to add complexity to the character. That means he believes his father is a liar for saying that he could do anything despite the physical limitations on his body. The show still ends on an uplifting note as Eddie makes it possible for Christopher to skateboard. It just inspires a conversation about how Christopher will be great at so many things and fail in many others. That is a facet of life because no one is perfect. Right now, he just needs to trust his father who is humble enough to apologize after making a mistake. Those are the story beats that work well in this hour. The emergencies mostly just feel like they are filling time. They aren't the most exciting or bizarre cases the show has ever produced. There is a certain propulsive energy to Athena's investigation as well. And yet, it's not all that engaging because the audience is just waiting for Athena to come to a conclusion when all the clues aren't evident right away. It's odd and possibly removes the viewer from the sense of mystery. Meanwhile, people are trapped in compromising positions because of some version of love. Those don't quite exactly pair well with what happens to Josh especially. However, it's fun to see the stylized look at romance in a way that does feature happiness in the end despite the girl getting stuck while trying to throw her poop out the window.