This week’s episode of 9-1-1 was titled “Stuck.” It featured a number of people who were, you guessed it, stuck, both literally and figuratively. There was a heavyset security guard who got wedged between two buildings while chasing parkour graffiti artists, who were not even our first parkour-proficient criminals of this season, even though this season is only four episodes old. There was an attractive young woman, who got her entire head trapped inside the tailpipe of a giant souped-up truck and was saved because one of her horny drunk friends stopped hitting on the firefighters long enough to hand them a tube of lube from her purse. And there was an extended bit about a single dad firefighter, who is trying to navigate the government bureaucracy to get assistance for his special needs son. All in one hour. I repeat: Best show on television.
But that’s not why we’re here. We’re here because this happened toward the end of the episode and it may be the most incredible thing I’ve seen all year. Here, look:
Dear God, it’s beautiful. It’s one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen on television, right up there with a dog ruining a heart transplant on One Tree Hill and Judith Light doing cocaine at the rodeo on TNT’s short-lived Dallas continuation series. I can’t stop watching it. I’m going to give you some context via bullet point in a second but please feel free to ignore it. The GIF stands on its own, like a little tragic short story.
- He’s proposing with a Ring Pop because the last time he bought his girlfriend jewelry she pawned it and donated the money to charity.
- This guy dies.
- The fact that he dies is even more incredible because, historically, almost everyone who dies on this show is cartoonishly evil, to the degree that there was a two-part earthquake-related premiere that saw Los Angeles crumble to dust and our only confirmed on-screen deaths were a Weinstein stand-in and an awful woman who berated the hotel staff.
- It actually served a purpose, kind of, because the randomness of a silly escalator death caused one of the firefighters — Chimney, the guy who got rebar jammed through his skull last season, which is a real thing that happened, I swear — to have a breakdown about life and what it means to survive and how one should feel about all of that.
- Which is all well and good but I still can’t get over that guy wiping out on the damn escalator.
- It’s the best failed TV proposal since the one from Fresh Prince where Hillary’s boyfriend tried to propose while bungee jumping and went splat.
So there you have it. 9-1-1 remains the greatest, wildest, most nutty show on television, even if The Simpsons did kind of beat them to it this time.