9-1-1 Season 5 has felt incredibly long and short at the same time.
Who remembers that the season started with the hacker and Jeffrey’s reign of terror? That feels like a lifetime ago. While it simultaneously feels like Maddie left Los Angeles and Eddie quit the 118 just yesterday.
9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 18 was a finale that did its best to bring a very up and down season as full circle as possible, and it mainly succeeded as we leave the team in a much better place than we started.
Heading into this final hour, it was clear there would be a heavy focus on Bobby, who was understandably reeling from everything that happened with Jonah.
Bobby is a good captain, and he’s a good man. He goes above and beyond for his team, and he wakes up each morning trying to be the best version of himself for the people who love him and the strangers who need his help.
And that’s why he struggles so badly with realizing that he brought someone into the lives of his loved ones and people in need who could do so much harm.
Jonah and Jonah alone is responsible for his actions, but even while knowing that, it’s hard for Bobby to compartmentalize and give himself some grace. He was far from the only person Jonah fooled, as he left behind a trail of cities and other captains who are probably also questioning themselves.
What has always made Bobby such a terrific captain is his heart and how he champions his people. He treats them all like they’re his own, and he wants to protect them as much as possible. And his leadership, guidance, and warmth bring the best out of everyone.
But much like Jonah wasn’t a God, neither is Bobby. He’s a great judge of character, but he’s not immune to being human.
For every Jonah, who spent his life getting over on people, there are the tons of solid firefighters Bobby has brought into his family. A group that has saved so many lives and helped to make the world a little less terrible.
It felt fitting that Eddie was the one to have that conversation with Bobby, a nice callback to 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 11 when Eddie stood in that same living room and ripped Bobby apart. Back then, Bobby did what he thought was best for his family member, and it ended up being the right call.
Eddie wasn’t ready to come at that time, and he needed that space away from firefighting to work through many complicated emotions, and Bobby saw that. His actions helped Eddie get to a place where he’s getting healthier and healing from a lifetime of trauma each day.
You could tell Bobby was teetering on edge the entire hour, and I almost felt like I was holding my breath every time Bobby was on-screen because it really felt like he was one second away from making a decision he wouldn’t be able to take back. Seeing him pour the liquor down the sink was the moment to breathe finally.
Ending the season with him and Athena doing something for themselves and taking time away from Los Angeles felt like a great ending to a season that was hard on them both individually. Their relationship and the openness with which they love and support one another will always be one of the greatest aspects of the series.
Another wonderful couple is Hen and Karen, who’ve gotten some light and emotional stories to play out over the last few hours.
We haven’t seen much in the way of Toni lately, but she was back here and announcing her marriage to long-lost love Clive, bringing with it a torrent of emotions for Karen in particular.
Hen and her mother have a complicated history. Still, Toni’s time in Los Angeles has obviously been for the best, as she’s been able to forge a relationship with Hen and her family that may have once never seemed possible. But even though things are calm and steady now, it’s not easy to ignore the pain from the past.
Toni missing Hen’s wedding may be something Hen has made peace with, but for Karen, Toni asking to use the same wedding space to hold her own wedding was a little too much for her to handle in the moment. And it makes sense because what should have been a momentous day will forever be a little tainted by Toni’s absence.
But it was really lovely to see Karen and Hen communicate and talk through Karen’s feelings. Much like Athena and Bobby, these two are a team, always listening to one another and doing things together.
Of course, they were unaware that Toni would pull the wool over their eyes and organize a surprise wedding for them, which was incredibly thoughtful and an excellent way to create a new memory and a new cherished day for the pair.
They got to have Denny walk them down the aisle and stand beside Toni, and while it’s a day that won’t replace that first wedding, they will remember it fondly as a beautiful day in this phase of their lives.
Now that we’ve touched on some of the lovely relationships 9-1-1 offers let’s discuss the one on the opposite side.
I’m not sure anyone ever thought Buck and Taylor were the forever kind of couple, but even so, we’ve been dealing with this relationship for a long while now. And throughout this season, with all the ups and downs, these two somehow managed to stay together.
Until they finally reached their breaking point.
After Buck kissed Lucy, all signs seemed to point toward that being the catalyst to their split, but in the end, the kiss served no purpose whatsoever, and if there is one thing I would like to know, it’s what was the point?
Buck’s cheating had no impact on Buck and Taylor outside of him asking her to move in. And even then, they had a two-minute argument, moved past it, and vowed to work on their relationship.
Except we never actually saw them put any effort into strengthening their bond. Buck spent all of his free time with Eddie or Maddie, and the times we’ve seen him with Taylor have made it appear that their relationship went right back to the way it was as if Buck didn’t cheat on her and essentially trap her into living with him.
Even that conversation between Taylor and Lucy at the end of the 9-1-1 Season 5 Episode 16 meant nothing in the long run. Taylor seemingly never learned from Buck that Lucy was the person Buck kissed, and apparently, Buck and Lucy are at the point in their non-existent friendship where they can joke about their drunken kiss at work.
So, I ask again, what was the point?
Taylor’s Jonah story actually winds up being the thing they can’t overcome. The story brings the heat down on Buck and the others and puts everyone in an awful position. Because whether or not someone else was going to publish the story, the information shared with Taylor was off the record, and she promised Buck she wouldn’t run it.
Taylor wasn’t wrong when she told Buck that he knew who she was, but he also assumed that they were at a point in their relationship where they should be able to trust each other explicitly. Which I acknowledge is hypocritical because Buck broke her trust as well, but two wrongs don’t make a right, people!
The breakup is pretty subdued and a little boring, which has been typical of their entire dynamic. Taylor moves on with a smile, and Buck looks more relieved than heartbroken, which tells me that neither of their hearts was all the way in it.
The question for Buck now becomes, what’s next?
A single Buck should be the play here because he still has a lot of things he needs to reconcile with before he commits to someone else. His relationship with Taylor wasn’t dysfunctional per se, but it wasn’t healthy either.
Buck: This is literally our first argument all over again.
Taylor: Which is why we shouldn’t be having it. You knew who I was when we started dating.
Buck: I guess I thought I could learn to live with it.
Taylor: I don’t want to be something you have to learn to live with.
Buck: And I don’t want to keep on making the same mistakes.
If Buck doesn’t want to keep making the same mistakes, he needs to get to the root of what’s causing him to make certain decisions. And he won’t be able to do that if he jumps into something else right away.
They can keep throwing love interests at Buck if they want, but it becomes increasingly clear with each passing season that Buck needs someone with whom he can be his authentic self. A person who loves the person Buck is and wants nothing more to be by his side, whether the road is smooth and straight or crocked and rocky.
That person was never going to be Taylor Kelly.
Our final couple of the hour, Maddie and Chimney, are inching towards a reconciliation. I can feel it in my bones!
Poor Chimney was doing his best to act like he was okay with Maddie getting back into the dating world, but while his lips were saying he was fine, his face was saying something else.
Since their reunion, we’ve seen the two come together to be co-parents and friends first, which has been nice because when these two finally get back together, they will have this new, solid foundation underneath them.
The months they were apart changed them in many ways, but they’re getting to know and respect each other as they are now as friends who love each other above all else. And that’s going to do wonders for them in the long run.
This time apart will only make their relationship and partnership stronger.
May going to college sets us up for Maddie’s return to the call center, but I hope they’ll still find a way to incorporate May into storylines!
I will continue with my justice for Ravi campaign until the series learns to embrace him more instead of shoving him to the side to make room for other characters we don’t connect with.
The ending montage would make it appear that even with Eddie back, Lucy is sticking around, but I’m not seeing how she fits in the long term. She’s not bringing anything new to the team. And adding more people to the team takes away from the ones we already feel like we’re not getting enough of.
The emergency with the husband losing his memory was so sad, but the montage of their first meeting leading up to the day of the accident was so well done. Love really is climbing into the mess of it all with your person and staying by their side until you can hopefully climb out of the mess together.
Does anyone get in trouble after a whole fire truck gets destroyed?
Well, that’s the end of another exciting season of 9-1-1, folks! They were some highs and some lows, but the season ended on a good note. There are plenty of stories to carry over into next season and some new ones yet to be born.
What’s next for all our favorite first responders? We’ll just have to wait for next season to get the answer!
Let me know what you thought about the finale and the season as a whole in the comments. It’s been a pleasure covering another season!
Remember to watch 9-1-1 online during the hiatus, so you’re caught up!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.