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911 - All Fall Down - Review: A Lackluster Finale (Love is Letting Go)

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Spoilers ahead!

After watching the much-awaited seventh season finale of 9-1-1, lots of thoughts ran through my head. Most of them can be summed up as how the juxtaposition of Ashes, Ashes and All Fall Down reveals the best and the worst of this show.

Ashes, Ashes is the perfect setup for a finale: it plays all the right notes when creating chaos and drama for most of the main characters. It deals with Bobby’s (Peter Krause) sorrow and goodbyes, it deals with the dreadful situation faced by Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Karen (Tracie Thoms), it deals with Eddie’s (Ryan Guzman) life being ruined by his choices… But mostly, it creates tension and challenges the status quo: what would happen to the 118 if Bobby retired or died? It’s 9-1-1 at its best: fiery, sharp, brave, emotional, crazy.

"All Fall Down" — 9-1-1, Pictured: PETER KRAUSE as Bobby, ANGELA BASSETT as Athena. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

All Fall Down, on the other hand, wraps it up unfortunately too quickly… Or refuses to wrap it up, and that’s why it’s lackluster. One of these is true, I’m still thinking about it. But, indeed, all the tension and perfect chaos and interesting possibilities of episode 9 give place to a rushed, underwhelming ending. Honestly, it feels like this was written at the last minute (and this could be right because they wrapped filming two weeks ago, I think? Maybe it feels rushed because everybody working on this was in a hurry, with tight schedules and everything). Anyway, we had big moments in this episode, Bobby Nash finally alive and well, Mara (Askyler Bell) kind of reunited with Hen and Karen, Christopher’s (Gavin McHugh) life-changing decision to leave his dad and go to Texas, Buck (Oliver Stark) helping Eddie and Chris, Athena’s (Angela Bassett) investigation and Amir (Malcolm Jamal-Warner) in danger… I mean, a lot is happening, all interesting, all full of potential, but how it happens… It’s 911 at its worst: rushed, wasteful, uncertain.

While Bobby’s life is on the line, Athena decides to go after Amir. She thinks he started the fire, and she’s determined to avenge her husband. Angela Bassett and Malcolm Jamal-Warner are a blast working together — the scene in which they discuss their pains, Athena pointing a gun to Amir, the nurse trying to keep it cool, and they slowly understand each other better, that was such a nice moment. Anyway, there’s a twist in this storyline: Amir’s not the one to blame. The answer to “Who set the fire?” lies in episode eight, in Bobby’s adventure with Amir — those criminals related to the cartel people want revenge.

After setting the fire at Nash's house, they kidnap Amir intending to kill him. But Athena follows them and saves the day. While this twist was kinda lame, as this cartel plot did not receive the best development treatment, I enjoyed seeing Mrs. Bobby Nash setting things on fire and helping Amir. And the action scenes were good, the climax was nice, there’s good stuff here — it just feels like, with more time and care to stretch out things, this good stuff could be better.

"All Fall Down" — 9-1-1, Pictured: AISHA HINDS as Hen, TRACIE THOMS as Karen, ASKYLER BELL as Mara, DECLAN PRATT as Denny. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Anyway, this episode belongs to Athena and Amir. There’s a bit of the core four worried about Bobby, Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) helping Athena, Hen visiting Mara and discovering she’s unwell, Eddie’s parents visiting him after a call for help from Christopher, but it’s all very fast. By the way, Maddie and Chim temporarily adopt Mara, so this way she doesn’t have to live unhappy until Hen and Karen solve their problems with Olivia Ortiz (a really nice thing Madney did, such a beautiful moment… that could be even more beautiful if the episode built momentum to it).

Also, anyone did notice that Christopher said to his grandparents that he saw Eddie kissing Kim? But we didn’t see this happen last episode, we see a hug only. I know they filmed a scene in which they kissed, there’s a picture of it around the internet, but I think it was cut — this is important because catching your father kissing a woman who looks just like your dead mom definitely would add layers to this traumatic situation, but apparently that’s not what happened, so… Continuity issue? Anyway, Chris and Eddie’s final scene is emotional, and he’ll be missed. The problem is that even when he receives a storyline, he barely appears, which is a shame, but the final scene between father and son is good.

"All Fall Down" — 9-1-1, Pictured: GAVIN MCHUGH as Christopher, RYAN GUZMAN as Eddie. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Well, there’s a final twist… Bobby comes back to work, and the 118 is ready to welcome him back, but there’s a new (old) captain — Capt. Gerrard (Brian Thompson) is back. Bobby no longer works with the 118. This isn’t exactly a surprise to me, and seeing the status quo changing for once should be exciting, but instead, it makes me worried. Do you mean Bobby is already recovered and ready to work but didn’t even tell his boss he changed his mind about retiring? This should be a priority before coming back to work, right? The whole "Capt. Gerrard is back" makes so little sense when it comes to how it happened. By the way, this episode doesn’t seem worried to properly wrap up Bobby’s arc — he said goodbye to everyone, he was prepared to leave, and then he lost his house and almost lost his wife and life… I mean, there was so much happening, but apparently almost dying fixed it all for Bobby. And I know it didn't — it just felt that way.

"All Fall Down" — 9-1-1, Pictured: OLIVER STARK as Buck, RYAN GUZMAN as Eddie. Photo: ABC ©. All Rights Reserved

Probably these developments will happen in the next season. Bobby dealing with his decision to leave, Buck dealing with his discoveries, Eddie dealing with Chris’s absence and the fallout of his choices, HenRen fighting for Mara, Olivia as a possible big bad, Gerrard definitely as a big bad… A part of me wished that some of these plots stayed in season 7 and we had brand new, fresh plots for season 8. And the Gerrard thing doesn’t excite me that much… When it comes to antagonists, Councilwoman Olivia Ortiz (Veronica Falc√≥n) is the interesting one. But we’ll have to wait and see. 

Well, it's clear that this wasn't my favorite episode, but it wasn't bad either. I just think that it had the potential to be so much better — this season had some bold ideas, they just needed some work first. That's a wrap for now — thanks for joining me in these weekly reviews, it's been a pleasure to write about this rollercoaster of a show. See you next season!

Now tell me your thoughts! What do you think about All Fall Down? And what about season 7, how are you feeling after these ten episodes? Feel free to leave a comment with your impressions/theories, and thanks for reading!

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