9-1-1 season 2, episode 9 recap: Hen Begins


9-1-1 takes us back in time this week to Hen’s origin story–and it’s pretty darn inspiring!

9-1-1 gave us an amazing episode this week as it focused solely on Hen and her journey to becoming a first responder. It was everything we imagined it would be and more, and I’m so glad that the series decided to focus on one character and even happier that it was all about Hen. Honestly, what other show could pull off doing an episode like this in the middle of the season?

We know quite a bit about Hen’s current life and her marital woes and we know that she was inspired by the paramedics that saved her when she was shot in the leg at 16 years old. But we don’t know a whole lot about the path she took to get to the person we know her as now.

Turns out Hen had to work her ass off and fight against the patriarchy to make a place for herself, and it proved to be rather difficult. Even more surprising? When the episode of 9-1-1 begins, the Hen we see is not the Hen that we know now. In fact, the scene opens up to Hen at a meeting wearing a dress and heels where she looks absolutely miserable.

Before she was saving lives and jumping into fires, Hen was a pharmaceutical rep and had to deal with grimy men always trying to get into her pants er dress. When one of the doctors tries to hit on her, she threatens him with a knife, and it’s at that moment she realizes that she doesn’t like this job, and this life is not for her.

While meeting with a life coach, she tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life, and she can’t seem to pinpoint a purpose or a path. But then something odd happens–her life coach has a heart attack. While calling 9-1-1, Hen begins performing CPR on her while the paramedics arrive, and essentially saves her life.

Credit: Fox

Just like that, Hen figures out exactly what she wants to do, and she has a calling for it. Remember Eva? Well, at this point in time Hen is dating her and she’s not as awful as she will become. When Hen tells her that she wants to become a paramedic, Eva is a bit hesitant and feels Hen will have a difficult time as a black lesbian woman. But Eva is determined and ain’t nothing getting in her way.

Hen dives headfirst into the training and proves herself worthy over the course of rigorous training and obstacle courses that push her to the limits. She never gives up and gets through it with flying colors, but that of course, is the least of her concerns.

When she arrives at Firehouse 118, she meets Captain Girard and the rest of the team, which has no familiar faces except for Chimney. Basically, Girard is the worst, and his sexist and racist attitude make Hen’s life as a paramedic extremely difficult. He demeans her any chance he gets and puts her down every step of the way.

Girard doesn’t believe in Hen at all and thinks she will make 118 fail simply because of who she is, and it makes us miss Captain Bobby Nash so much, but knowing that he will be there down the road makes us feel a little bit better. Chimney’s presence makes Hen’s life a little easier, and it comes as no surprise that they are so close in the present.

As an Asian man, Chimney understands what it means to be different amongst a group of white men, and while he can’t relate completely, he does get her struggle and is there to help her every step of the way. As the episode goes on, Hen is subjected to all of Girard’s ridicule, and no matter how amazing she does, it’s never enough for him.

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While on duty, she meets Athena and strikes up a friendship with her. And thanks to Athena and a night out with some other folks, Hen gains some confidence to stand up for herself against Girard and anyone else that supports him. And boy, was her speech glorious.

She goes back to 118 and tells the team that they need to see her for who she is and that she is just as much a member of the LAFD as all of them, and being a black lesbian woman does not take away from that.

And if anyone has a problem with her presence, then they can ask for a transfer. MIC DROP.

Of course, Girard could care less, but don’t worry because what Hen does next blows his inflated ego out of the water. After a limo gets in an accident, the team heads out to handle the situation and Hen begins to suspect another car was involved. Of course, Girard doesn’t believe her but she defies his orders and goes to check anyway, with Chimney by her side.

Not only do they find another car, but they find it’s submerged under the lake and there is a boy in the water. Hen saves the boy’s life by doing CPR and becomes emotional when he actually survives–it’s a beautiful moment for an amazing character.

Back at the firehouse, Hen is praised by some of the other guys on the team who are impressed with what she did. She starts to doubt everything when she is called in by the Captain, assuming that she is about to be fired. Instead, she meets a new Captain and is told that many complaints have been filed regarding Girard’s behavior towards her.

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There is a new interim Captain and it’s not Nash just yet, but it’s a start to better days at the firehouse! And how amazing is it that her co-workers defended her honor and did the right thing? And funny enough, Chimney knew all along but didn’t tell Hen what was about to happen. Aw, the start of a great friendship.

They are #friendshipgoals and seeing how it all began made us feel all the feels. Not to mention, it made us appreciate Hen more than we already did. Is it possible for 9-1-1 to do more origin story episodes? Because that would be absolutely wonderful!

9-1-1 airs every Monday on Fox at 9 PM EST!