Monday, April 20, 2020

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Eddie's Love for Christopher Keeps Him Grounded Even in the Most Perilous Situations in 'Eddie Begins'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.15 "Eddie Begins"

Eddie's journey to rescue a boy from a well turns into a mission to save himself from his past.

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.

"Eddie Begins" was directed by Robert M. Williams Jr. with teleplay by Christopher Monfette and story by Robert M. Williams Jr. & Christopher Monfette

Eddie gets the flashback treatment here. The "...Begins" installments of the show have been some of the most emotionally rewarding and powerful. All of that charged and poignant drama is present in this hour as well. However, it doesn't exactly reveal anything new about Eddie's backstory before moving to Los Angeles. Those details were just always talked about and played out in rekindling his relationship with Shannon last season. And now, it's simply playing out onscreen. As such, the audience gets to see his service overseas and all that he endured there. It's an action set piece that once again highlights his heroism. It may be simple in its overall idea. However, the execution is quite strong. He refuses to leave anyone behind even if he is just recovering a body. He knows that his fellow soldiers deserve that dignity. They shouldn't be left behind. They have a right to be mourned with respect by their loved ones. It's a subject that Eddie doesn't like to talk about though. It's something referenced to in his past. It's not the thing that defines him moving forward. Instead, he is focused so proudly on being a father to Christopher. That's the most rewarding aspect of his life. He will do whatever in order to make his son happy and proud. It came because of his brush with death in combat. But again, it's drama playing out exactly as the audience knows it will. Eddie and Shannon leaving this family causes tension between them. They have the ability to work out their problems. They just have to communicate and be vulnerable with one another. They have to do everything in service of Christopher. Their respective families have a lot of opinions. They don't always respect the choices being made. At the end of the day though, it was Eddie's choice to move to Los Angeles with Christopher. He needed to be part of his son's life. He allowed Shannon that opportunity as well until she died. And now, the love Eddie has for Christopher helps save his life during a grueling and daunting emergency. That is the overall message of this hour. Christopher is Eddie's good luck charm. Having him in his life is the thing that keeps him grounded and safe. Yes, he absolutely is reckless in the field. He isn't as bad or impulsive as Buck is. However, he still makes that decision to cut his rope. That leaves the rest of the team above ground in the dark about what is going on with him. They knew he had to have made that decision for a reason. But they also have to act quickly and put another firefighter in a perilous situation in order to complete this rescue. And yes, it is the type of story that easily gets a lot of press coverage. There is a lot that could go awry. The fire department literally has to dig a hole in order to properly access this drain where a young boy has fallen into. Eddie is brave enough to go down there and save a life. He is heroic in that way. The thought of Christopher is just as powerful. Sure, it comes with the realization that there was another access point to this water system. The drain out wasn't too far away either. Eddie could ride the tide out without being unconscious for too long. He could make his way back to the team before they mount a dozen resources in a grid-based search for him. It's a powerful story. One that showcases how Eddie puts himself in these positions over and over again. He saves lives every day. He doesn't always see it as heroism. It's him doing his job. But he should be proud to share these stories as well. He is proud of Christopher but everyone should be proud of Eddie too. The action can be melodramatic and overwhelming at times without challenging the audience's notion of Eddie too much. But at the end of the day, it succeeds as an uplifting story of resilience and strength. One that finds Eddie digging in deep to his personal reserves of love and emotion for his son. That keeps him going no matter what. It's so effective because the audience loves Christopher as well.