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9-1-1 – You Don’t Know Me

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Spoilers ahead!

After a week break that lasted forever, 9-1-1 returned with another episode focused on developing its characters. You Don’t Know Me brings Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Karen (Tracie Thoms) to the spotlights, as the couple gets to adopt a girl — but things end up different than they expect. Also, Eddie’s (Ryan Guzman) romantic life turns upside down when he discovers a thing about his girlfriend’s Marisol (Edy Ganem) past. Finally, Buck (Oliver Stark) deals with his newfound interest in men as he gets a chance to know Tommy (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) better.

But first things first: the episode opens with one of the most funny and unhinged emergencies this show brought to television. Terry (John Milhiser, in a hilarious performance), some sort of self-improvement coach, is giving his audience a lecture about self-control. While he states that we can be the masters of ourselves by simply acknowledging this, he loses control over his hand, which starts attacking him, seemingly having a mind of its own. When the 118 arrives at the scene, Hen states that Terry is suffering from Alien Hand Syndrome — a result of a blood clot in his brain. As they try to contain the hand, some unserious stuff happens until the limb is sedated and the man is taken to the hospital.

I laughed so much watching this opening. And the good thing about it, it’s not only a perfectly comedic emergency, but it also settles this episode’s theme: this time, 9-1-1 is talking about self-control. Or the lack of it. Or the sense of self. At least, that’s true when it comes to Buck’s first date with a dude, which is ruined after Eddie and Marisol enter the restaurant and Buck lies to their faces, stating that he and Tommy are only bros doing “bro stuff” (which will include some hot women at some point). Tommy leaves the date after this, as he thinks Buck is not ready yet.

“You Don’t Know Me” — 9-1-1, Pictured: OLIVER STARK as Buck, LOUIS FERRIGNO JR. as Tommy. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Upset that he lied to Eddie and that the date was ruined, Buck seeks Maddie for advice. He tells her that “it was like it was [his] voice, but someone else was talking. The lie just slid its way out of [his] mouth and [he] couldn’t stop it.” And accidentally he tells her that his date was a man, an information that is received with some surprise in a scene that is both hilarious and comforting. I was surprised to see Maddie that surprised — but I liked the gentle nature of the scene, it was a very sweet moment.

Near the end, Buck also talks to Eddie and tells him the truth, in a beautiful moment between these men who have been through a lot together. They hug, and Eddie guarantees that this won’t change a thing between them. I liked this scene as well, as the actors have great chemistry together, but I think we needed to see Buck apologizing to Eddie at some point. After all, Eddie’s ankle was sprained last episode, right? They don’t deal with this here, we never see them talking about it, which is a shame, as it was a big part of episode four. But I liked the scene, I’m always here for some Buddie moments — and while Maddie was shocked, Eddie doesn’t seem surprised at all. He seems surprised that Tommy could be gay, but that’s it, when it comes to Buck he doesn’t bat an eye, which is interesting. I wonder what else is in store for these two.

“You Don’t Know Me” — 9-1-1, Pictured: RYAN GUZMAN as Eddie, OLIVER STARK as Buck. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Eddie is also facing a problem in his relationship. After discovering that Marisol (who recently moved to his place) is a former nun novice, he finds himself unsure about many things. As he experiences what seems to be Catholic guilt, he avoids going back home so he doesn’t have to have sex with his girlfriend (because that would be weird after his discovery). However, after talking to Bobby (Peter Krause) about this, he’s reminded of his commitment issues — so it’s not the nun thing that is bothering him, he’s actually unsure about Marisol living with him and he’s also not sure about his feelings for her.

In the end, they decide to restart their relationship — Marisol goes back to her home, and they start again, this time getting to really know each other. This plot was something else — the absence of Christopher (Gavin McHugh) was felt, he’s been missing for some time and his say on this whole “girlfriend moving to the Diaz house” was important. Also, is it me or Eddie’s been acting strange? Especially in these last two episodes… Something shifted. But I liked the fact that his religious guilt and his past relationships are being discussed, and he gets to think about it all. I’m curious if this repression and these commitment issues will be explored again later this season — it’s an important part of who Eddie is and it has huge impact on his life.

Finally, after their plans of adopting a baby girl go awry, Karen and Hen are given the opportunity to adopt Mara Driskell (Askyler Bell), a 9-year-old girl who’s living in a group home because her parents are deceased. After they accept Mara in their family, Karen and Hen deal with a girl who refuses to talk to them, who doesn’t smile, who rips Denny’s (Declan Pratt) stuffed toy apart… And that besides waking them up screaming after standing silent near their bed, she also hurts Denny at some point.

“You Don’t Know Me” — 9-1-1, Pictured: AISHA HINDS as Hen, PETER KRAUSE as Bobby. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Hen is worried. Karen is worried. They both don’t know what to do. However, when they are ready to give up and send Mara back to the adoption system, Hen faces an emergency involving the dog Rosie, who was rescued from being a fighting animal and was going through rehab until her new tutors’ house caught fire. After attacking the firefighter who tried to save her, Rosie almost dies — but after seeing how much her owner cared for her, Hen doesn’t give up and saves the dog.

This whole situation encourages Hen to discover more about Mara’s past, in an attempt to understand her actions. With the help of Athena (Angela Bassett) and Maddie, Hen and Karen get to know that Mara’s parents died from a drug overdose. Mara was the one to find them, she was also the one to call 911, and she watched most of their drug abuse as she grew up. After understanding that Mara is deeply traumatized, and is (among other things) afraid that Hen and Karen will not wake up (the reason why she stayed near their bed watching them sleep), the couple finds a way to make their child feel at home. This leads to a beautiful scene in which Mara finally answers their “night night”. 

I’m always here for some HenRen plots, not only because Aisha Hinds and Tracie Thoms are so talented and so good together, but also because the way the show approaches adoption and family is so beautiful. I love that we got this storyline regarding adopting older kids, and how the moms found a way to deal with the child’s trauma. Also, Denny is such a good kid — he was super receptive to Mara, and he was also very understanding of the way she reacted, and this indicates how well his moms raised him. Hopefully, we’ll see more of the Wilson family and its new member soon.

“You Don’t Know Me” — 9-1-1, Pictured: AISHA HINDS as Hen, TRACIE THOMS as Karen. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

In the end, Buck gets another chance with Tommy. He apologizes, they decide to try again, and Buck invites Tommy to his sister’s wedding… Which will be the next episode, three weeks from now. We get a glimpse at it in the last scene. Maddie’s in her wedding dress waiting for the groom, Chimney (Kenneth Choi) — then Buck and Eddie appear (and they’re a hot mess, damaged clothes, some limping, the messiest mess) and tell her that they lost Chimney after the bachelor party.

And that’s a wrap! Now we have to wait until May 2 to watch a new episode — this mid-season hiatus until Madney’s wedding will certainly feel like forever. But it’s gonna be worth it.

Now let me know your thoughts. What do you think about You Don’t Know Me? Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite moments, and thanks for reading!

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