9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9 Review: Ashes, Ashes

9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9 Review: Ashes, Ashes
By: TV Fanatic Posted On: May 24, 2024 View: 9

There are cliffhangers, and then there are CLIFFHANGERS.

Something so intense that the word has to be split into two.

9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9 is left on the kind of cliffhanger that leaves you gobsmacked, jaw on the floor, and unable to think rationally. Because what in the hell did we just witness?

Dinner At The 118 - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

The hour felt like heartbreak after heartbreak, which was quite the departure from how things began when everyone was smiling at a medal ceremony that saw the 118 and all their plus ones having a grand old time.

Chief Simpson, the one who didn't even take Hen seriously, got deep in his politician bag while giving the 118 and Tommy medals for their courage and bravery during the cruise ship rescue, and it was a nice sentiment, even if a bit calculated on his part.

Hen Gets Her Medal - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Everyone was happy, enjoying their free buffet, cake, and rare afternoon where they could all be together, and then the hits just kept coming.

First, Captain Gerrard crawled out of his sewer to impart his neverending brand of racism and homophobia (why did we EVER need to see him again?), and Councilwoman Ortiz introduced herself to Hen in the most menacing way possible.

John Brotherton Talks His Role on 9-1-1

Kudos to 9-1-1 for casting the magnificent Veronica Falcon for this arc. She's a magnetic actress with a commanding on-screen presence.

She walks into the frame, the camera loves her, and you're drawn to her, no matter what character she plays.

Olivia Ortiz: You must be very proud of your hero wife.
Karen: I am.
Olivia Ortiz: Sadly, her heroics didn't extend to my son.

You could tell there was a little bit of sadness mixed with evil in the way she stalked over to Hen.

The longer she talked to Hen and Karen, the more apparent it became that the events of 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 2 were going to come back to haunt the Wilson family.

We've seen Hen and Karen try to expand their family for seasons now, and putting another hurdle in front of them feels cruel at this point.

Mara's a child with a life full of trauma, and she finally found herself in a position where she was able to let her guard down. She's found people who've accepted her, welcomed her, and who she's allowed herself to be vulnerable around.

Wilson Family Hugs - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Hen, Karen, and Denny have done everything in their power to extend their love to Mara, ensuring she feels it and allowing her to return that love at her own pace.

It's been lovely seeing Mara slowly come out of her shell and the patience the Wilsons have shown since they better understand who Mara is and what she's been through.

Councilwoman Ortiz is a grieving mother, but she's twisting her power and using a child to punish Hen, and it was devastating and, again, cruel to witness.

I keep using the word cruel, but that's the only word that does this whole storyline justice.

You can feel tremendous sympathy for the councilwoman; lord knows Hen does, but in trying to hurt and punish Hen, what she really did was further traumatize an innocent child who didn't deserve to be used in this manner.

When Olivia brought up Hen's past, I was quickly reminded of so many traumatic things from Hen's history at the 118.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Talks Amir's Decisions & Where Bobby and Amir Go From Here

She's been in some unfathomable predicaments, and there have been unfortunate mistakes and accidents, but to EVER question Hen Wilson's intentions?

Well, that's just someone who's exceptionally unwell.

Hen has devoted so much of her adult life to saving people and putting herself in danger to do so.

Smiles & Awards - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

She's a hero, not some liability. And certainly, not someone who deserves to have their family ripped apart just when they were about to become unbreakable.

Knowing there's still more time this season leaves me hopeful this won't be the last of the story, but it also wouldn't necessarily ring true for Hen to waltz back into Olivia's office and try to appeal to her again when it didn't work the first time.

She will need to aim for Olivia's job because she abused her power, simple as that.

It's a very complex and delicate situation, and many emotions are involved on both sides. But to use your authority nefariously can't go without a consequence.

Hen and Karen will have a battle before them, but Mara's family. They don't give up on their family.

Madney Reacts - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Seeing the fight for Mara will somehow have to exist alongside seeing Bobby fight for his life because the last image we see of Bobby will not be him lying on the ground, chest heaving off the grass.

That can't possibly happen.

During 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3, we watched Bobby and Athena fight for themselves in a different way. The elements were raging outside, and they were in an impossible situation aboard a literal sinking ship.

They had to fight to survive physically, and somehow, after everything they went through, they were rewarded with a house fire that nearly killed them both.

But before that tragic ending, the whole hour was a downer for Bobby, who was still reeling from the events of 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 8, and so much more.

Bobby sought to make amends with Amir when he followed him out to the desert and ultimately saved them both, but he was still stuck with the feeling that nothing he ever did was good enough.

It would never be enough to erase his history or bring back those he felt he couldn't save.

Amir Thinks - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

While it always seemed like the need to save others to make up for the apartment fire accident stemmed from that exact instance, we now know that Bobby's pain and sense of failure started long before that.

Bobby stayed alongside his father when there was no one else. He cooked for him and did everything he shouldn't have had to do as a child.

He should have been out being a kid, but instead, inside the walls of that home, he was forced to grow up and take care of a parent who was falling apart.

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It doesn't matter how many times or different ways someone tells you 'it wasn't your fault' when you feel like if you'd just made one different decision, everything could have changed.

Bobby stood by Tim, but the one time he didn't.

The one time he chose himself first (and rightly!) was the time Tim died. That's an impossible weight to carry, and Bobby's been carrying it every day since.

Meeting Amir and sharing that experience with him just brought up a lot of Bobby's old wounds and feelings that he's tried so hard to exist with.

Cake & Gossip - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Athena was right to worry about Bobby, who's always struggling a little bit but, with faith and the love and support of those around him, has always managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

But he was thrown for six with Amir. All his worst fears crept up on him so quickly that they just exploded inside him when presented with that medal.

Athena: And you're really sure about this? Walking away from the 118?
Bobby: I don't have anything more to give.

One thing I've always loved about Bathena is how in tune they are with one another.

Athena could tell immediately Bobby was uncomfortable and caught off guard by the honor in a way that perhaps everyone else could have chalked up to nerves.

It was a surprise, and he wanted to celebrate the team; surely, that was why Bobby reacted that way. But no.

Disappointing and Downright Offensive Character Departures

Not only did he feel undeserving of the honor, but he was also physically unable to put the medal around his neck—the weight of what he considered a lie too much to bear.

It's funny, in a highly non-funny way, that had anyone else at the 118 reacted the way Bobby had and impulsively quit right then and there while people were eating and loved up on their people, he would have been the first person to tell them they were making a mistake.

He would have urged them to take a beat, talk to the people closest to them, and then decide if quitting was still what they wanted.

Husband & Wife Moment - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

But Bobby decided without Athena, which harkens back to one of the issues they've always had in their marriage.

They've often made important decisions without consulting the other because, by nature, they're very independent people.

And they've grown to accept that about one another. Athena was less mad about him not telling her and more concerned about why he decided to resign.

Listen, I love Athena Grant-Nash with my whole heart.

But going to Amir, a man she barely knows with such a tragic past, and charging him with helping to save Bobby was just not it.

It was coming from the best of places, and I could understand when she was talking to Amir outside of the hospital why she felt so strongly that the only way he'd see reason was by seeing it through Amir's eyes.

But that puts a tremendous weight on Amir's shoulder that shouldn't be there.

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Amir has established himself as a kind-hearted person.

The simple fact that he heard Athena out and even went to their home to try and do what he could for Bobby says everything about his character and his soul.

Amir & Athena - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Not going through with it should not be a knock against him, even if it's easy to sit on the outside looking in and want him to help someone who truly needs it. It's not that easy.

None of this was easy for any of them.

I did not want to see Bobby and Athena fighting, especially since I knew they weren't okay right before disaster struck.

Athena was scared, so she went to Amir and pressed Bobby. She was scared that he would step off that ledge this time.

What an emotional hour for the couple, and then to have it end with the demise of their home! The one Athena raised her children in? The one that became a new home for her second chance?

It feels like Bobby and Athena have been saving each other since they met, and Bobby saves his wife before succumbing to a heart attack. A broken heart?

Bobby Gets Real - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Every member of the 118 has been in danger. Buck literally died for three minutes and seventeen seconds.

We've made it through all the scares, but this one felt different. I refuse to believe this is how we lose Bobby Nash like this. I simply refuse.

Even though Bobby was making his rounds and saying goodbye because he was leaving the firehouse, not the EARTH, it ended up being rather poignant that he got to spend time with his core group at the 118 and give them an extra nudge or reminder of their importance.

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I've lamented the fact that the series will trot out the Bobby and Buck's father/son dynamic when it's convenient for a story and then abandon it when I'd love more if we just consistently saw it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but their locker room conversation here may have been their first genuine one-on-one conversation all season. If not, my inability to immediately recall the others proves there hasn't been enough!

But Bobby's making a point to let Buck know he's proud of him, in his own words, was such a perfect goodbye for the pair, even if Buck wasn't aware that Bobby was doing that.

Buck Reacts - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Buck has come a long way from the guy we met in 9-1-1 Season 1, and while he knows that, as does everyone around him, it never hurts to remind someone that you see them. You see what they're doing, and it makes you proud.

It's never too late to bestow that blessing on someone.

Again, we better get more of those moments when Bobby pulls through!

Remember what I said about heartbreak earlier? Eddie got the biggest gut punch of all when his secret affair (?) became not-so-secret.

When we needed Frank the most, he was nowhere to be found.

Eddie was playing with fire, and deep down, he knew that, but the sheer rush of being with someone who reminded him so much of what he lost was too much for him to resist.

Happy In the Kitchen - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

No matter how you try to swing what Eddie was doing, he wasn't being fair to anyone, including himself.  

On the surface, you can understand that he saw this rare, what felt like a monumental opportunity to be in the presence of someone who physically looked like a woman he once loved and couldn't find it within himself to turn away from it while also recognizing that what he did hurt people.

Ryan Guzman Talks Eddie Entering 'Unknown Territories' & Buck and Eddie's Evolution

I shudder to think how long things would have gone on had he not had that conversation with Buck, who, in the gentlest of ways, helped him see that what he was doing was wrong on many levels.

And it's not like Eddie didn't know it was wrong, but it was obvious he couldn't bring himself to stop. He was lying to people even if he wasn't crossing any physical boundaries.

Buck: Does this poor woman know that she is a carbon copy of your dead wife?
Eddie: Hasn't really come up.
Buck: I'm worried about you.
Eddie: Yeah. I'm worried about me, too.

He was sneaking around and initiating a relationship with a woman who was entirely in the dark about Eddie's true motives for returning to the boutique that day.

I'm glad it was acknowledged that none of this was psychical for Eddie (though that doesn't mean he wasn't deceiving his girlfriend), but instead, it felt like stepping away from his life into something familiar.

He wasn't thinking about Marisol. Or Christopher. Or anything else in his life.

Eddie & Kim On The Water - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

He was sitting with Kim but looking at Shannon. And encased in that were twisted feelings that he wasn't willing to give up yet.

I was fully prepared for this to last into the finale, and it still will, but I'm surprised all it took was Buck telling him about himself to get him to come clean to Kim.

What would you have done if you were in Kim's shoes?

I think you're very careful about letting people into your life. Not because you've been hurt. I mean, who hasn't been? I think you're cautious because you have more to give than you think anyone can take.

Kim [to Eddie]

To be fair to her, she didn't owe Eddie anything. She thought she'd met this guy who liked her and wanted to spend time with her when, at best, he was projecting his late wife onto her.

She would have been within her rights to change her number and ensure she never saw Eddie again if that's what she wanted.

Instead, she decided to cosplay as Shannon after only seeing some photos of her so that Eddie could get "closure."

Row, Row, Row Your Boat - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

Eddie's 9-1-1 Season 7 storyline has felt like something straight out of a soap opera, and I'm not sure why I expected this to wrap up meaningfully.

Ryan Guzman does tremendous work with what he's given, and he's given years and years worth of anguish he must unburden from Eddie's heart to the face of the woman he's never fully forgiven.

What's always been interesting about Eddie and Shannon's relationship is that you can see how Eddie romanticized his relationship with Shannon as time passed. His perception of their time didn't quite match up with reality.

9-1-1 Heartthrob Evan "Buck" Buckley Discovers His Sexual Secret: Shock or Sham?

That's not to say he didn't love her or to take anything away from their relationship, but when you see it through that lens, it makes everything sadder.

Eddie spent so much of his time in Los Angeles trying to find his place and be the good father, friend, and firefighter. And to hear him tell the doppelganger that he was broken, how could you not cry for him?

Eddie's a good man underneath it all, but he needs help. He needs to get to the crux of his grief and loss, from not only Shannon but his time in the military and even what he's seen through his job, and find peace within himself.

Buck Cooks - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9

It's a stark reminder that because you're waking up every day and doing everything you're supposed to, it doesn't mean you're doing okay.

Christopher's seeing the doppelganger should force Eddie to take a good, hard look at what a mess he's made.

It should truly be the catalyst for him embarking on a new journey of figuring himself out and finding some inner peace within his life.

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Again, he's a good father. But Christopher walking in on that scene? I don't even have the words to describe the level of mess that was.

What he did just exposed Christopher to something highly traumatic, and that's to say nothing of how Christopher will feel about how Eddie's decisions impact his relationship with Marisol, which also impacts Christopher!

Eddie's decisions will have a ripple effect, and there will be consequences. How could there not be?

The real question moving forward is what those consequences will be.

Loose Ends

Smiley Buck - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9
  • Bobby reminding Mother Hen that she still has two other children to look after and immediately cutting to Buck and Eddie was phenomenal. Those two really are the children of the 118, and I say that with all the affection in the world.
  • The cut from Tim looking the same way he did just before he died to him looking cleaned up and telling Bobby to save himself was great. It's the little things like that which make the show so special.
  • Are they going to flesh out Buck and Tommy's relationship? The season is about over, and we're getting less and less Tommy and next to zero forward progress. I'm always Team Buck over here. Give us some Buck!
  • The Bathena house going up in flames is so depressing. That house has been a staple of the show since the very beginning.
  • Buck seeing Kim and bumbling through that conversation was so good. It was subtle, but Buck stalking around the back of the house so as not to blow up Eddie's spot in case Marisol was there was also excellent. He needed to protect his boy and figure out what the hell was going on.
Proud Wives - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 9
  • Bobby inquiring about Athena getting a medal for everything she did during the cruise disaster. How can you not adore that man?
  • I'm kind of missing the wacky emergencies! It feels like it's been so long since we had a funny, off-the-wall emergency.
  • Eddie and Kim's date was so picturesque on the open water. And the way she started to look more and more like Shannon until she was actually Shannon? Perfection.

My heart is still racing, and my brain is whirling at the possibilities as we wrap up a fascinating season 7.

There's a lot to unpack after this one, but we should also look ahead to the finale, which I'm counting on to be one hell of a final act.

Please share your thoughts below and let me know how you're feeling and how you think this season will end.

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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