9-1-1 Season 4 premiere recap: The New Abnormal

9-1-1 Season 4 -- Courtesy of FOX
9-1-1 Season 4 -- Courtesy of FOX /

9-1-1 Season 4 is off to a wild start as earthquakes and a landslide threaten to obliterate the city of Los Angeles.

9-1-1 Season 4 wastes no time getting into the chaos of its premiere, as Los Angeles is hit with a series of micro quakes leading to an insane landslide. For the number of things that LA has been subjected to during the course of 9-1-1, pandemic included, you’d think it would cease to exist, but here it is, standing stronger than ever.

The episode plays out from various perspectives illustrating one day’s events as microquakes caused a dam to break, which then led to a landslide. And amidst all that, 9-1-1 Season 4 doesn’t hesitate to incorporate the coronavirus pandemic into the mix.

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It’s not overwhelming in the way Grey’s Anatomy does it, but instead, it shows folks practicing social distancing and following COVID-19 safety protocols. It’s more or less what we’ve become accustomed to this past year, as difficult as it is to think about.

There’s quite a bit to discuss about the 9-1-1 Season 4 premiere, so let’s get right to it!

Athena’s path to healing

In the season 3 finale, Athena (Angela Bassett) endured traumatic assault and barely made it out alive. When we catch up with her in the season 4 premiere, she’s looking much better and is at least physically back to normal.

However, mentally things aren’t quite where she’d like them to be. She’s taken a break from work while she was recovering, but is prepping for her first day back when this episode begins. It feels rather too early for Bobby’s (Peter Krause) liking, but Athena is ready to go back, at least for desk work.

As far as being out in the field goes, that’s not something she’s quite ready to jump back into. Unfortunately for her, she doesn’t have a choice in the matter when the quakes and landslides begin to threaten the city.

She’s asked to get out there as extra support, but the look on her face reveals the fear inside of her. And can we blame her? It’s all too much to handle, but like a champ, Athena gets out there. Naturally, she gets stuck with getting an agoraphobic woman who hasn’t left her house in seven years who refuses to evacuate from her house.

Athena almost succeeds in getting her out, but at the last minute, the lady changes her mind just as the landslide reaches her home and swallows both her and Athena. Seriously, 9-1-1?

Jannell’s heartbreaking story

One of the accidents that the 9-1-1 Season 4 premiere focuses on a woman named Jannell who is enveloped by a landslide while out riding her bike. We come to learn her story as flashbacks reveal that just a few months ago, she was living happily with her husband, who loved to bike.

But as time moved forward, her husband contracts COVID and eventually passes away due to it. It’s a very difficult time in Jannell’s life, and understandably she becomes rather reclusive, until the day she decides to get a bike of her own in her husband’s honor.

Of course, it would happen to coincide with the day the landslide hits. Luckily, Jannell’s life wasn’t taken even after she was hit with the landslide. Instead she ended up in an underground tunnel quite a bit away from Hollywood, and thanks to Maddie’s (Jennifer Love Hewitt) help, Jannell is found and rescued.

Maddie and Chimney

And while we’re talking about Maddie, we’d be remiss not to mention that she’s absolutely adorable with her baby belly. In case you’ve forgotten, we learned Maddie and Chimney (Kenneth Choi) were expecting during the season 3 finale, and now it seems Maddie is very close to her delivery date.

Unfortunately given Chimney’s line of work, he wants them to live separately and be as safe as possible for the sake of Maddie and the baby’s health. It’s incredibly thoughtful, but Maddie isn’t doing well without Chimney around, so here’s to hoping they move back in together soon.

The bus rescue

Last but not least, 9-1-1 Season 4 doesn’t fail to keep us on the edge of our seats as a bus crashes into a building after the dam water rushes into them from the side. It’s not one of 9-1-1’s craziest scenarios but watching the 118 scramble to save lives is always riveting.

Between attaching hooks to the bus and keeping it stable, pulling a man out from under the bus, and getting blown away from the fuel fire, there’s a lot going on here. Luckily, Bobby and the team did their best work as always and got everyone and themselves out of there safely.

I must say, I’m so glad 9-1-1 is back! I’ve certainly missed it and all the thrill it brings with it. It’s nice to see it didn’t miss a beat and I’m looking forward to whatever this season has in store for us.

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What did you think of the 9-1-1 Season 4 premiere? Share your thoughts below!

Catch up on 9-1-1 seasons 1-3 on Hulu now!