That was a gut-wrenching hour of television.
For a show with heavy subject matter, 9-1-1 has always managed to straddle that line of pain and sadness with hope as well. But was 9-1-1 Season 4 Episode 10 heavy on the pain.
There was an overarching message as there always is, but man, was it just one emotional beat after another.
Coming fresh off of Jee-Yun’s birth on 9-1-1 Season 4 Episode 9, the theme of the week was parenthood and what that means. And surprise! There is a multitude of answers.
For Maddie and Chimney, they’re in those early stages where they’re trying to figure out how to be good, present parents while also making a living and trying to keep themselves sane. The early weeks are a time of trial and error and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
They also have the added stress of having Albert as a housemate, who’s doing his best, but he’s still not a hundred percent after his accident.
It’s natural to want to do things on your own and shrug off the help of others. For starters, it’s hard to leave your children in the hands of others, even people you trust. But there’s also the sense of not wanting to burden others as well.
The bottom line is Maddie and Chimney were struggling, and if the both of them made themselves sick by trying to do everything without any help, they’d be doing an even bigger disservice to their daughter.
It was lovely to see Mrs. Lee again and even lovelier to see Chimney open up to her and be vulnerable. He and Maddie can’t do it all. Having Albert stay with the Lees frees the new parents up a bit more and lessens the load on their plate.
And Chimney referring to Mrs. Lee as grandma? Cue the waterworks.
Hen and Karen are terrific mothers, and their decision to foster originally was born out of a need to give that love they have to children in need. And they did a fantastic job with Nia.
But having to say goodbye to her was a pain they weren’t prepared for.
Reunification is a genuine part of fostering and the way 9-1-1 chose to show it was very impactful. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s gutting for a family to have to give up a child they have welcomed into their family.
Hearing that many families are unable to do it more than once due to that pain isn’t at all shocking.
Hen grapples with that reality and at first decides it’s not something she feels like she will be able to do.
Karen tracking down Nia’s birth mother was all kinds of wrong, but it did help them both feel more comfortable about Nia’s future. And it ultimately convinced Hen that fostering children, while challenging, is also rewarding.
Whether it’s for a weekend of a year, there are so many children in need of a stable, loving home environment. And Hen, Karen, and Denny are just that.
Athena and May have been at odds all season. And you can partly chalk that up to May still being a teenager and Athena being an overprotective mom.
But finding out that May has been communicating with her high school bully wasn’t something Athena was just going to accept. And her reasoning made a lot of sense.
This girl was part of the reason May intentionally overdosed, and to just be okay with May reconnecting with her would be hard for any parent. Bobby’s advice about letting May make her own decisions is the right advice, but it’s still hard to hear.
Athena shoulders a lot of grief and shame about May’s suicide attempt. And those all come bubbling to the surface when she finds out about May’s new friendship.
Much like Karen hiring a PI to find Nia’s birth mother was wrong, May listening to Athena’s 911 call was probably not what she needed to do. However, it did seem to help her understand Athena more.
And that’s often where parents and children struggle. There’s a natural disconnect from birth because your parents are the ones who make the rules and decisions for so long. And there will inevitably be times you don’t agree with them, but it’s tough to place yourself in their shoes.
Sometimes, you don’t even get to a place where you understand your parents until you have a child yourself or someone you’re in charge of looking out for. It’s then you can sympathize and recognize that parents typically make decisions that are in your best interest.
And they’re often doing the best that they can.
That hug between May and Athena felt like a fresh start for them both. A new opportunity to continue listening to each other is the best thing parents and children can do.
Odds and Ends
- The first emergency with the Super Mom and her getting literally pinned to the donkey was probably funnier than it should have been, as was the crisis with the son breaking his legs trying to break into his parent’s home. Those were rather interesting moms!
- The emergency with Ellen dying to set her daughter free was heartbreaking. As was the montage with ‘Landslide’ playing over it. Devastation doesn’t even convey what Julia went through watching her mother pass, but it’s what Ellen wanted. And even while dying, she never wanted to leave her baby girl alone.
- Eddie and Ana are still dating. And they still have very little chemistry.
- Did I mention this episode was emotionally draining? Because it truly, truly was.
We only have four more episodes left this season! Wow. It’s been a crazy good season thus far, and I’m excited to see how things end!
What did you think about Maddie and Chimney’s storyline this hour? Are you happy they asked for help?
Which emergency was your favorite?
Will they ever address Michael living across from the Hotel Cecil?
As always, leave your comments down below and remember to watch 9-1-1 online via TV Fanatic anytime!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.