So maybe you were worried that 9-1-1 would dial it back in season two. Maybe you thought “Damn, there’s no way they can raise the stakes from the first season, seeing as the first season had plane crashes (plural) and emergency Valentine’s tracheotomies and an occupied bounce house floating off into the California sky like a giant technicolor bird.” Maybe you thought that.
Well, I am pleased to inform you that you were wrong. Very, very wrong. You idiot. The first episode of the two-part, two-night premiere featured a double-decker bus full of mansion-gawking tourists flying off a cliff and into an unoccupied mansion because their driver became overcome with road rage and a city employee’s arm getting blown off by a pressure-induced manhole explosion that ended with both the manhole cover and loose helicoptering arm splashing down in a pool full of SoCal partiers. And both of those things happened during a montage set to Billy Joel’s “Pressure” that took place before the opening credits. Yes, 9-1-1 is back.
Other things that happened during the first half of the premiere, which we will address via bullet point for reasons that will become clear shortly:
- A fake Logan Paul-type named Shay — “SHAY’S ARMY” — cemented his doofus friend’s head into a microwave while Fall Out Boy played, because if there are two things YouTube teens love its reckless shenanigans and pop-rock music from the year they were born
- A war memorabilia collector got a live grenade round embedded in his thigh and it had to be removed very slowly so as not to blow up him, the ambulance, and two competing hunk firemen
- We have competing hunk firemen, one of whom is our sex addict from last season who briefly settled down with Connie Britton, and the other of whom is a new military veteran hunk who we will later learn has a special needs child
Also, there was an extended arc about Angela Bassett’s character learning to love again after a painful divorce and a legit three-second fart by a mechanic who fell butt-first onto a pressure hose and puffed up like the Michelin Man. The show truly has something for everyone.
But all of that was rendered pointless because the first episode ended on a freaking earthquake cliffhanger.
Yes, 9-1-1, the show that started its run with a baby trapped in a toilet pipe, has now shaken its fictional version of Los Angeles so severely that large cracks have been ripped into the ground and a downtown luxury hotel is teetering at a 45-degree angle. Why would they do this?, you ask. Why would they open their season with a huge catastrophe that will hang over the rest of the episodes like a thundercloud and influence everything going forward? Great question. Two possible answers: 1) Why not? 2) The show launched a piece of rebar through a main character’s forehead last season and two episodes later everyone was celebrating his health at a party with a cake made to look like his head with a piece of rebar through it. There is a non-zero chance the earthquake plot ends and is just never mentioned again. This show moves fast, man.