Monday, April 19, 2021

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - Chimney and Maddie Work Through a Pile-Up on the Freeway Until Her Labor Begins in 'Blindsided'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 4.09 "Blindsided"

Athena and the 118 race to save lives after a drunk driver causes a deadly pile-up on the freeway. Maddie goes into labor. Hen and Karen are devastated as they prepare their foster daughter, Nia, to be reunited with her birth mother.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Blindsided" was written by Andrew Meyers and directed by Marcus Stokes

"To Build a Home" is a song that has been utilized way too many times on television during an emotionally stirring and fraught moment. And yet, it's still incredibly effectively. Similarly, too many shows place one character's life in danger at the precise moment that another character is giving birth. It buys into the inherent drama of a life entering and leaving the world at the same time. It's a familiar construct. It too can be effective and moving. Both of those devices are used here. Maddie goes into labor. While she and Chimney are at the hospital celebrating this magical moment, Albert is fighting for his life after the 118 learns that he was involved in the multi-car pile-up on the freeway. The song plays as the action intercuts between Maddie giving birth and the crew pulling Albert out of the wreckage. It's also another instance of the Han family going through a major life-or-death accident around the midpoint of the season. That didn't happen in the third season. It did in the first two though. Chimney's life was put in danger. He survived miraculously both times as well. The viewer should appreciate the show having that memory and honoring it when he rushes to be by his brother's side. Of course, the audience can also infer that will mean Albert will heal just as quickly as Chimney has always done. This family is full of super healers. It was just as likely that he would have died from this accident though. This season promoted John Harlan Kim to series regular. Albert hasn't particularly been an active character who has provided any ongoing source of drama. He's simply another person to fill up the lives of the Han and Buckley families. The uncles share an apartment. Buck has a visible reaction upon learning Albert is in danger. That connection is genuine. But the audience doesn't have the same emotional attachment to him. As such, the viewer probably isn't fighting hard for him to survive. He does though. This has the potential to make his story more engaging in the future. It offers something new for him. It all contributes to this being the perfect day for Chimney. His daughter is born. His family is happy and healthy. Albert doesn't die. They have fun together. They go through these traumatic times together as well. They haven't been broken by life yet. That's the lesson Bobby hopes to pass along to the other members of his AA meeting. He sees his past choices mirrored in real-life once more. An alcoholic got behind the wheel of a car and endangered many lives. People die as a result of her actions. Her son had to make that terrifying call for help. It's scary. It brings Bobby right back to the night that his family died in the apartment fire. He has come such a long way from that moment. His sobriety is still something he has to maintain on a daily basis. The temptation is always present. The show reminds the audience of that here. The narrative hasn't told a lot of stories about his addiction. It has important early on. He has had a stable family life for awhile now. That may actually make this the perfect time to bring this aspect to the forefront once more. He still has good days. He still feels tempted as well. He sees the error and selfishness of his ways. Athena can apologize for a comment she makes in the heat of the moment. That's still how she genuinely feels though. She offers that support while Bobby seeks solace in his meetings. That's important to him. It's a way for him to address all of these emotions. Meanwhile, Hen and Karen have each other as they grapple with the idea of losing their daughter. They have bonded with Nia over the past year. And now, they get to play no role in determining whether she can return to her birth mother. It's a process where they are kept at a distance. Hen needs information. She needs to understand and fight. Karen simply needs her support. They clash. They need each other in order to get through this ordeal though. It remains scary and unknown. Their family is changing in a way that makes them feel powerless. They could lose hope. They won't because of the love they share. That has to be powerful and resilient. Otherwise, only more damage would be done later on.