Monday, May 4, 2020

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - The First Responders Rally Around Athena as She Fights Against a Serial Rapist in 'Powerless'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 3.17 "Powerless"

The 118 races to rescue a little girl in a runaway hot air balloon and help with a city power outage caused by a hijacked tree-trimmer truck. Meanwhile, Athena's investigation into the serial rapist case puts her life in jeopardy.

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.

"Powerless" was written by Lyndsey Beaulieu & Kristen Reidel and directed by Kristen Reidel

One moment Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" plays as the 118 uses a defibrillator to rescue a man trapped inside a freezer during a power outrage. That is then followed up by the entire dispatch system listening in as Athena fights for her life against the serial rapist. That tonal mixture makes this show unique. It proves that it can approach these stories in so many different ways. Usually, the emergencies are absolutely crazy and ridiculous. They are still based on real events though. These are emergencies that field 911 calls every single day. But there is real danger to the stakes of what could happen to these first responders as well. Hen may be plotting a career change. However, that comes from a place of wanting to do more to save even more lives. It's a role she believes she can fulfill that will further enhance the system she is already working within. It's not a decision she makes because of something that has escalated to the point where she fears her ability to do this job. It's continuing her service. These characters are fundamentally proud of themselves. Sure, the audience can absolutely question Athena's decision to go into the storage facility by herself. A task force is assembled in order to handle this serial rapist case. Athena and her new federal partner even interview the sexual assault survivors for any more clarity. It's such a grueling experience for them. They have to figure out a way to assemble the evidence that connects this man to all these crimes despite possessing these videos. That is a little irrelevant in the end because of the attack on Athena. That fight for survival is enough for him to be arrested. The case may continue to build but this is essentially the resolution that Athena needs to feel like she did her job. It's still scary and precarious though. Too much of it may be framed around how everyone else is reacting to the fight as they listen in trying to get to the facility in time to help. It's over when the 118 arrives on the scene. Athena survives but has a couple of injuries. Her family is still proud of her though. May still wants her mother featured in her prom photos because it can be used as a symbol for all the good and life-changing work she does throughout this community. May celebrates her mother like that. Henry may be terrified about losing his parents. May has the necessary clarity to know all the good that the people in her life do every single day. Of course, it's still up in the air whether or not Michael's brain tumor has changed. He has an MRI but doesn't get the results back yet because he is stuck in an elevator. That teases a possible future for him with a new doctor. But he quickly has to rush off to be with Athena during her time of need. That's how these characters operate. They are more than willing to put their own personal lives on hold in order to rally around each other. Karen is still prominently featured though. She fears Hen is having an affair. She can't handle that and Chimney quickly becomes convinced of her guilt too. It's not true. Hen shares her thinking about the future. But the first responders will have to endure even more tragedies throughout the city. The episode ends with the surprising return of Connie Britton's Abby. She is actually on the scene of a disaster. It's a mass casualty event that immediately looks precarious and dangerous. She is placed in harm's way to give the audience an emotional connection into the story of a train derailment. Plus, it's bound to create some complications when Buck arrives on the scene and learns what Abby's been up to since she left at the end of the first season. It's all surprising. But it's still rooted around that service to help because the emergencies may only be getting more insane as human behavior can always be trusted to be erratic and contentious. That's what brings power to the friendships amongst the first responders. They are all just as invested in what happens to Athena as the audience is. Plus, it's just a blast to watch the more outrageous situations knowing that those are the moments to relax before the really dire situations present themselves for these characters.