911 Season Premiere Review: “The New Abnormal”
By Michelle Gonzaba
The season premiere starts on an oddly positive note. Although there have been numerous microquakes in Los Angeles, a woman cheerfully rides her bike towards the Hollywood Hills. Unfortunately, her ride quickly goes south; a rush of water crashes down the hills towards her. Before she’s overtaken by the water, she is able to call 911 with her location.
Before we see the damage of the dam, the show takes us back two hours to show us how the main crew are handling their lives as first responders during the pandemic. Maddie and Chimney are excited about becoming parents, but Chimney is reluctant to physically be around Maddie. Luckily, Chim’s brother is staying with the mother-to-be. Bobby is still Bobby, but Athena clearly has PTSD from last season’s attack. While Bobby is worried for her, Athena says she is ready to move on and return to work. But Athena isn’t the only one starting anew: her daughter, May, has decided to forgo college and become a 911 operator. Would I trust an 18-year-old to handle my 911 call? Probably not, but it definitely takes guts to do the job, especially in this version of LA where the weirdest accidents happen on a daily basis. She certainly picked quite a day to start her new job: she has to handle a busted dam and a bus crashing through an office building. Welcome to adulthood, May!
With the audience caught up on everyone’s situation, we are taken back to the moment the dam broke. The passengers of the doomed bus are just normal people going about their normal business before they are swept by the dam waters into the office shown earlier. What we didn’t see before was that this office is several floors above the ground. So there’s a bus sticking out of an office building during a pandemic with multiple microquakes shaking the ground? Send in Station 118!
Inexplicably taking the elevator instead of the stairs, the crew splits up: Bobby, Hen, and Chim stay with the bus while Buck and Eddie head up to the roof. While Buck and Eddie secure the bus, the rest of the crew rescues the bus passengers and office employees. Although most suffered minor injuries, the crew must also deal with a brain hemorrhage and a person stuck underneath the bus. As usual, they come up with an insane idea that works perfectly and suffer no casualties. The bus literally blows up but Bobby walks out like it didn’t even happen. Classic Bobby.
Janelle, formerly known as the “woman riding a bike”, is alive but stuck inside a storm drain with a busted ankle. She didn’t always ride but picked up the sport after her bike-obsessed husband died of COVID a few months before. “This is what I get for starting a corona hobby,” she cries, which is exactly what I said after buying my fifth plant only to watch it wither away. Even though she’s ready to give up, Maddie’s 911 motivational talk encourages her to break open the call box in the drain, hit the call button, and be saved.
While the 118 deals with the bus and Janelle regrets ever even looking at a bike, Athena is called back into the field to assist with neighborhood evacuations. Because of the dam breaking, there is a strong chance of a landslide. Most of the residents quickly leave their homes, but one woman refuses to come out. Eventually, Athena is able to speak to the reluctant homeowner. Sylvia, a stay-at-home medical consultant, says she physically can’t leave her home; she hasn’t stepped foot outside for seven years! With a landslide looming, Athena tries to relate her fears of going back to work to those of Sylvia. It seems like her speech is successful, but Sylvia freezes and runs inside at the last minute. Before Athena can speak, the landslide knocks the house down the hill with both Sylvia and Athena inside.
A house caught in a landslide falling down the Hollywood hills?
Sounds like a job for the 118.