Tuesday, April 27, 2021

REVIEW: '9-1-1' - May Faces Her Mother's Pain While Hen and Karen Deal with a Heartbreaking Loss in 'Parenthood'

FOX's 9-1-1 - Episode 4.10 "Parenthood"

The 118 responds to a series of calls dealing with parents and their children, including a disastrous birthday party thrown by a mommy blogger. Athena and Michael talk to May about her past suicide attempt. Chimney and Maddie adjust to life with their newborn. Hen and Karen are emotionally shattered as their foster daughter, Nia, is 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.

"Parenthood" was written by Lyndsey Beaulieu and directed by David Grossman

May has thrived this season as a 911 operator. Athena was worried about her because she understands just how emotionally taxing this job can be. She wasn't sure if her daughter could handle that pressure. May has grappled with it and emerged stronger. She carries herself well on this job. Her colleagues champion her every step of the way. The story notes that she still attends therapy. People see the value of that support as well. She is finding her way in life. Athena still worries about her though. That's her natural tendency as her mother. May pushes back for more independence. She doesn't understand why her mother can't accept the choices she makes. However, a change in perspective is all it takes to realize just how selfish and destructive her past actions have been. Athena is upset and lashes out when she learns May has befriended the peer who bullied her in high school. May is full of compassion. She is willing to offer a second chance. Athena can't accept that. She doesn't want anything to happen to her daughter again. She views this friendship as a slippery slope to another suicide attempt. Athena is still traumatized from the last one. May's well-being has never been in question following that moment. Nor has it defined her life's journey. It makes up one aspect of it. But she has gone on to do so much more as well. Those are equally deserving of defining who she is. In this instance though, Athena reacts based solely on that traumatic event. May presents as being more stable and compassionate now. She is grounded in her world. She seeks to better understand her mother's plight. All it takes is listening to the 911 call. She hears the terror in her mother's voice. May wrote off so much about this mistake. It has still endured as a trauma. That's true for her mother as well. Athena also needs compassion. This relationship can only thrive with that level of trust and respect. It gives and it takes. That too is common of so many parental relationships. That's the overall theme of this episode. As has been stated a million times already, the show is never particularly subtle with its thematic notes. This episode is all about parenting. Maddie and Chimney struggle to adjust to their new schedule of caring for Jee-Yun and Albert. Asking for help is all they need. People are more than willing to offer it as well. They are fully capable of succeeding as parents. They hold on tight while still adjusting to the necessities of everyone's well-being. Of course, these relationships can be full of dread as well. They may end in a tragic swelling of emotions. That is abundantly clear in Hen's overall stories. It's devastating when she and Chimney respond to an overdose call with their patient having absolutely clarity regarding her final wishes. She appreciates the sacrifices her daughter has made to care for her. She doesn't want to be a burden any longer. Her life has come to its natural conclusion. That's okay too. In this moment, they just need loving support. They need people to highlight the steps that must come next while offering guidance along the way. It's never easy losing a parent. It's also a part of life. Losing a child, on the other hand, is incredibly difficult. It's a strange and foreign concept. One that shouldn't naturally be accepted. Hen and Karen worked hard to foster a child. They love Nia. However, they also have to be willing to give her back to the parent who is now capable of caring for her. It's difficult on them. This heartbreak can absolutely destroy their worlds. Denny is concerned about his ability to stay with his moms. They offer him reassurance. They do that for each other as well. Karen needed the comfort of knowing Nia was returning to a safe environment. Hen and Karen didn't question the social worker's ability to do her job. They needed the peace of mind that came from answers. It's not an action to intervene. They still suffer this loss. They still have so much love to give as well. It will be devastating every single time they have to say goodbye to another child. However, they welcome in children who need it as well. That love is just as valid and inspiring. They can make an impact on so many who need that during these formative years. It may not always be easy. This family is prepared to do it. That steadiness is certain now.