[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the 9-1-1 Season 6 fall finale “Red Flag.”]
For the most part, 9-1-1 leaves its first responders in relatively good places heading into a break until the spring.
Buck (Oliver Stark) finds out the friends for whom he’s a sperm donor are having a baby. Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Karen (Tracie Thoms) navigate Denny asking about his biological mom (but don’t know he’s gone to see his biological dad!). However, Bobby’s (Peter Krause) sponsor dies, and the captain is now investigating the rehab facility near to where his body was found.
“One of the challenges that we have in a fall finale is that there’s usually a time jump for the spring. We wanted to settle everybody and put them in a relatively good spot so that when we come back, we can kick things off. Bobby obviously has a very big thing that’s hanging out there for him,” executive producer Kristen Reidel tells TV Insider. She spills what’s to come.
With the time jump, how deep into his investigation will Bobby be? How worried should we be about him becoming obsessed?
Kristen Reidel: He’s pretty deep into it, but he is not into it alone. What you’ll see in the back half of the season is that it’s become a little bit of a family project — Athena’s [Angela Bassett] involved and even May [Corinne Massiah] is involved. They have been looking at this rehab facility. They have been investigating it. What they’re finding is it’s actually a very difficult place to take down: They’ve had complaints, they’ve had other deaths, and the place is still going. And so he is definitely driven to figure out what really happened to Wendell. But he is not alone in that search, which I think is a healthy place for him.
Oh, good. I love seeing Bobby and Athena investigate together.
We call them our Nick and Nora. I feel like it shows a progression in their relationship that they trust each other and lean on each other in these moments as opposed to keeping secrets from each other. It’s just a sign of how that relationship has grown, that their first thing is to turn to each other now.
Will this mystery run through the end of the season?
Not through the end, but we will definitely have a couple of episodes when we come back. Bobby will learn what really happened to Wendell. Also, the audience will actually get to know Wendell post his death and understand a little bit better who he was and what his role was in Bobby’s life. You’ll get to see a bit of that relationship.
How will Bobby be doing after Wendell’s death? Should we be concerned about him possibly drinking?
In this case, no, not at the moment. Bobby is a guy who does well when he has a plan and a vector. While losing his sponsor does shake him, I think that that search for what happened to him and being able to figure it out with his family will help him.
What else is coming up for Athena?
She’s going to help someone solve their own murder. Her relationship with her family and with Bobby will be a huge part of the back half.
Buck is going to be a father, but not. He says he thinks he’s good with the role he does actually have, but is he?
The question for Buck is really what is that role? He became a sperm donor, and it’s not like an anonymous donation. He is aware that there is now going to be a child that that has half of his DNA. Some of the things that we’ll explore in the back half with Buck is, what was it that made him say yes? What does he want his role to be? Because obviously every circumstance is different. Some sperm donors never know their kids, their kids never know them. Others, they do. There’s gonna be a little bit of navigating that and Buck maybe asking some questions he probably should have asked before he said yes. But now he’s faced with the reality of “there’s going to be a child and I gotta figure this out.”
What does that mean for him going forward in terms of how he’s looking at what he wants in his own life?
It’s all sort of a bit of the same puzzle, right? Buck has this question of, who am I, what is my role in this world, and what do I want? He was struggling with it in the first half of the season and then some stuff is gonna happen in the back half that will cause him to ask those questions more urgently and hopefully by the end of the season kind of come up with the answer.
It seems like it’s been good for him that he’s been single.
Yes. That’s a big part of it. He’s always been a person that sort of defines himself by how others see him. The question this season is how does Buck see Buck? Who does he want to be? [He’s] putting aside what everybody else thinks and getting into a place where he feels like “I know who I am and I’m good with that.”
I love the idea of Dr. Hen Wilson, but at the same time, I’m really happy that she’s staying at the 118. Will she question that decision at all?
No, in that moment, she knew that was the right decision. I don’t think she looks back and questions that because she felt like that was the right thing for her and for her family. She’s happy to be at the 118 saving lives that way.
Hen and Karen might have some troubles in their home life, however, with Denny going looking for his biological father. How are they handling that?
Karen was always worried about this day. She always knew this day was going to come from the moment that Hen first said, let’s adopt this kid. And so in a lot of ways, I think Karen is better prepared for this than Hen is because Karen’s already [thought] out the worst case scenarios in her mind. It’s definitely going to be a difficult time, as part of Denny’s journey of wanting to know who he is and where he comes from, but the two of them can band together and help him on that journey.
I loved Hen and Karen’s origin story.
We did too. It was one of my favorite episodes of the season. It was great seeing who they used to be and how they changed each other in good ways.
It’s definitely a question that is raised in the back half of the season. Where it ends up, you’ll have to tune in and find out. But it does certainly seem like they are gradually kind of settling into this life and it’s like, what is the next step?
I just want to see something that celebrates their relationship after everything they’ve been through.
Yeah, they’ve been through the wringer and so them getting the house was a positive turn for them. We’re gonna have some good stuff with them in the back half.
Will we see more with the dispatchers? The stuff in this episode was so much fun.
The dispatch center is a huge part of the show. Whenever we can find stories that are at the call center and with those characters, we always like to jump on those because it’s a great crew. They’re a lot of fun and it’s also fun to see Maddie at work outside of just the emotional drama in her personal relationships. It’s always great to have those kind of fun call center stories and we definitely want to do more of those in the future.
Will we see Josh (Bryan Safi) with the members of the 118 and Maddie outside of work again?
We will see Josh with at least one member of the 118 in the back half. We have a fun thing in the back half where it’s a little dinner party at Maddie and Chimney’s new house and Bobby and Athena come over.
What’s coming up for Eddie (Ryan Guzman) now that he’s settled back at the 118 and watching his son grow up? That school dance was adorable.
The next logical step for Eddie is, is he ready to start looking for a new romantic relationship? Is it time for him to start dating? [That] is something that honestly, he didn’t really do after Shannon died. Then he met Ana [Gabrielle Walsh] and then they kind of got very serious very fast. But I think it might be time for Eddie to dip his toe into the dating waters.
What else can you say about what’s coming up on 9-1-1?
We have some big stuff. Our midseason premiere’s going to involve a lightning storm without rain and we’ll see some crazy emergencies that come of that. One of our people will get caught up in that and we’ll deal with the fallout and aftermath of that. We have a bunch of interesting, kind of offbeat episodes as well that I think are gonna be fun.
Should we be concerned about the 118 potentially losing a member this season?
It’s always a concern, but we’ll see how the season shakes out.
Are there any characters returning that we haven’t seen this season or in a while?
The hope is that we will be seeing Ravi [Anirudh Pisharody] at some point in the back half. The actor was off doing another show [Big Sky] but the hope is to bring him back into the fold.
Will there be any crossovers with 9-1-1: Lone Star?
Not at this point. The shooting and airing schedule has made it a little tricky and so we have not yet been able to figure out how to make that work, but if there’s an opportunity, we’ll all be happy to jump on it.
9-1-1, Returns, Spring 2023, Fox
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