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.
Speaking of moving fast, please allow me to introduce my favorite character so far this season, Marvin The Pink-Haired Car-Stealing Parkour Teen, who made his debut in a scene set to “Dammit” by Blink 182 because apparently ‘90s pop-punk is the universal music of modern-day teens.
I love him. He is such a well-known teen car thief that Angela Bassett’s character was just waiting for him at home after a parkour-filled foot chase. And his whole excuse was, basically, “I’m just getting in all the crimes I can before I turn 18, lady,” which is delightful. He was in Angela Bassett’s car when the earthquake hit. One of the cars in front of them flipped and caught on fire with a dude in it. The fire extinguishers weren’t working so Angela Bassett decided they should grab a nearby cement truck and pour cement into the fire to put it out. But the cement truck drivers were out of the truck and the truck was off and the keys were out of it. How could they possibly solve this problem? If only there was a pink-haired parkour teen who could…
Hell yes. And it gets even better because Marvin is not only a pink-haired parkour teen car thief, Marvin is also… an expert on cement trucks?
Give my dude an Emmy. Give him five. See what I care. Or don’t and leave them in an armored car and he can just take them. Marvin for President. Once he gets out of adult jail, of course, because hell no, Angela Bassett will not let him off the hook for the car theft and hell yes, she’s still going to make sure he’s charged as an adult, cement truck heroism be damned. She’ll write a letter on his behalf, sure, but that’s it. Angela Bassett does not play. Never has, never will.