No One Is Having A Crazier Year Than Angela Bassett’s Character On ‘9-1-1’


How is your year going so far? Yes, yes, I know. The news. The news is bad. There are all of the things happening. Too many things, some would say. But I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about you, personally, and your life. My year is going pretty okay so far. I hope yours is, too.

You know whose year is not going great? Athena Grant, the police officer played by Angela Bassett on Ryan Murphy’s new Fox show, 9-1-1. We’ve discussed 9-1-1 before. A few times, actually. That will happen when a series features a baby stuck in a toilet pipe before the opening credits of the first episode and a bounce house flies away with children in it a few weeks later. It’s a wild show and it shows no sign of getting less wild because this week’s episode featured a fireman pulling a seven-foot tapeworm out of some guy’s b-hole hours after the same fireman delivered two babies in a yoga class for pregnant women. Busy day for that guy.

But back to Angela Bassett. Her character is going through it, man. I think the best way for me to explain this is to give you an episode-by-episode rundown of what’s been going on with her. I can’t believe she’s on this show.

Episode 1

She was on the scene for the “baby in the pipe” thing, because she is on the scene for everything in this show. That will be a theme. It’s crazy. It makes me really worried about the staffing situation in this fictional version of the LAPD. It’s been seven weeks and I think we’ve seen like nine cops, total.

Her day didn’t stop at saving an infant from a toilet pipe, either. After that happens, she returns home, where her longtime husband comes out of the closet at dinner. And then after that, she tries to save a little girl who was home alone during a robbery. She flushes the robber out of the house with the help of a fireman (the same one from the tape worm thing above, who has also decapitated a snake with an axe and received an emergency tracheotomy on Valentine’s Day from Connie Britton, because this show never disappoints even once), and when the robber tries to flee on a motorcycle, she and the fireman disarm him like this.


Episode 2

Two things of note here:

  • She shows up at a house where a man’s dog is growling at him and has him cornered in the kitchen. She handles the situation and flirts with the man a bit, which is all well and good until she realizes that the man had actually been robbing the house and she let him go free. She eventually tracks him down and catches him because you do not cross Angela Bassett. Waiting to Exhale taught us this.
  • Her daughter attempts suicide and the episode ends before we find out if she lived or died.

So there’s that.

Episode 3

Her daughter survives and reveals that she was depressed because mean girls at school were bullying her. As the episode ends, Angela Bassett is sitting in her car outside the high school with a yearbook in her lap, attempting to identify the culprit and kind of stalking her. Which is pretty normal and a good sign things are going great.

Episode 4

She confronts the mean girl by marching into the girl’s back yard, in uniform, during a drug-fueled daytime pool party. It’s important to note here that this girl is very mean. Cartoonishly so. At one point the girl says “I haven’t slapped anyone yet today and I am so friggin’ high.” And when Angela Bassett confronts her and tells her about the suicide attempt she caused, she replies “Good.” Which leads to this.


Angela Bassett dumps out the girl’s purse, finds drugs, and arrests her, but gets in trouble and busted down to desk duty because “being a skanky ho” has yet to be recognized as sufficient probable cause for a search.

Episode 5

A slow day. Almost… too slow. The only thing that happens with her is that she has drinks with a friend and reveals that she’s getting reinstated, which seems like it happened pretty quick considering she stalked and confronted a teenager and called her names to her face before violating her Fourth Amendment rights. But it needed to happen to get us to…

Episode 6

It is Valentine’s Day. She responds to a call at a nearby home and whoooaaaa she is taken hostage by a crazy lady who murdered her boyfriend and chopped him up and wants to put him back together with her “good, kind heart” in his chest to replace his bad, cheating one. Like, her actual heart, the organ. She manages to escape and arrest the crazy lady, thanks to a stalling technique that involved a shockingly detailed history of Valentine’s Day from memory, but damn.

Also, in a development that has nothing to do with Angela Bassett but is still worth noting, a fireman who got in a car accident in episode three — one that resulted in a foot-long piece of rebar getting jammed into his forehead right between his eyes — returns home like nothing happened and is greeted at the firehouse with a lifelike cake depicting his head with a piece of rebar sticking out of it. Thought you should know.

Episode 7

Hmm. I’m not sure words can do this one justice. Let’s go with screencaps instead.


Damn, Angela Bassett, why you gotta one-up Connie Britton like that?

Anyway, yes, this is true and a thing that happened on this show. A disturbed man — who, it turned out, was not on bath salts but was just drunk? — was eating a homeless man’s face and he ripped the taser wires out of his chest when they tried to subdue him in a non-lethal manner, so Angela Bassett shot him in the face. A week after getting kidnapped and a few weeks after she got suspended at work for harassing an awful teenager who pushed her daughter into a suicide attempt.

Her explanation, you ask. Let’s just say it was justified. Either way, this lady needs a vacation, man.