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S05.E09: Past is Prologue

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The 118 race to the rescue when an abandoned oil well erupts and causes a massive sinkhole in downtown LA. Athena investigates a 30-year-old cold case involving a casino robbery. Buck fears his relationship with Taylor might be ending. Hen meets a man from her mother’s past.

Airdate: 11/29/2021

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One thing this show really does well is to make interesting, fully fleshed out characters even though you see them only for a minute. The opening scenes with the driver's ed teacher were great. 

I liked Bobby and Athena detecting. I've never seen any romantic chemistry between them, but this detecting chemistry was good. 

Marsha Warfield is just great. 

I had a big smile through the whole "Last Dance" scene. 

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During the ending montage, when the two women from the first rescue were in the hospital room, I was hoping that the driving examiner would wake up, look over at the other woman, and say "You flunked."   Just me?  Ok, moving on.  

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4 hours ago, Mediocre Gatsby said:

I liked Bobby and Athena detecting. I've never seen any romantic chemistry between them, but this detecting chemistry was good. 

Bobby does seem to enjoy his amateur detecting. This is the same thing he did with David and Michael last year when the neighbor was running a bootleg surgical clinic out of his apartment.

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I actually think this was the best episode they've had this season. I mean, I didn't really love the focus on Taylor, but we didn't have to endure her in the capacity that we did a couple of episodes ago, and I guess it was an ok backstory, although a little convenient that the show is making us sympathetic toward her after her actions when she was first introduced. I kind of wish they ended Buck/Taylor but I shouldn't be too surprised since they ended Eddie/Ana and probably didn't want another couple done. I still don't really know how much Taylor likes Buck compared to him being into her. He's always 100% in with his relationships, and I did like Bobby pointing out Buck's pattern in relationships, but she doesn't seem overly invested in Buck long-term, even before this backstory was introduced. It just seems like she's comfortable with him, but not in love with him. 

But maybe the show is getting to that point. 

I'm glad they established that Hen's mom's ex is not her father. I was worried that would be the twist so I'm glad Antonia made it clear that, even though this was an affair, he wasn't Hen's secret bio dad. But I did like Hen encouraging her mother to give her ex another chance. It was a nice subplot.

Athena/Bobby had a really strong storyline, one of the strongest in a while. Them sleuthing together was fun, and their sexual escapades was also fun.

The opening case with the driving examiner and the woman taking the test was very sweet. Once again, it's the first case this season that I felt genuine emotion for. This season has been so...bland and mediocre that this was the first one where I wasn't either utterly bored or utterly annoyed by.

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So were the driving instructor and the student supposed to be romantically attracted to each other? That's the impression I got since all the other couples in the montage were romantic couples. But when she was telling the driving instructor her life story didn't she say she had left a boyfriend?

I have to say, Angela Bassett looked fabulous in that red dress at the casino. She's seven years oder than Peter Krause, but you'd never know it. I also thought it was kind of funny that May walked in on them when they were roll playing. Not sure what solving a 30-year old mystery had to do with 911 calls, but whatever. 

The parts with Hen's mother and with Taylor felt too soap opera for me.

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25 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

But when she was telling the driving instructor her life story didn't she say she had left a boyfriend?

No. She consistently referred to her ex as "she".

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I was worried that the oil explosion would be the start of yet another big super dramatic disaster story, so I was relived when it turned out to just be the opening rescue/meet cute. I thought this episode was mostly pretty good, not a ton of melodrama outside of Taylor's backstory, the rest of the personal subplots were mostly cute instead of angsty. 

Bobby and Athena solving a cold case together was fun, Bobby seems to really enjoy mystery solving and Athena looked amazing in that red dress. Its especially nice to see Athena having some fun (complete with fireman costume!) after so much angst. We also had a nice little subplot with Hen and her mom, I am glad that she encouraged her mom to give her old fling a shot, even if the way they met was rather sketchy back in the day, and that Hen is very much not this guys daughter. This show already has so much melodrama this season we didn't need baby daddy drama. 

The opening case was really cute, this is why I miss their individual rescues, they always do such a good job at establishing strong characters in a short amount of time. 

Taylor's backstory was decent, but I am still not convinced that she and Buck are meant to be. I don't think Taylor is a bad person and she does care about Buck, but I am sure she will always choose stories over him, which would be really hard for Buck to handle given all of his issues. 

Not a bad episode, nothing super great but better then most of this season. It felt more back to basics, which makes me hope that we go more in that direction. Things like the Last Dance montage are why I like this show.

Edited by tennisgurl
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Athena looked nice in the red dress but she and Bobby looked stupid running back and forth in that casino.  Surely the writers could have come up with some other caper for them to come up with.

Not interested in Buck and Taylor.  Not interested in Hen and her mama.  Just let Buck and Hen do their jobs and keep the personal stuff out of it.  Actually, that goes for the rest of the crew, too.

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Is Chim still out aimlessly driving around the country? This is bullshit.

Agreed. I understand JLH had to go on maternity leave, but why write her off in a way that pretty much demands Chim disappear too? Couldn't she just be off visiting relatives or something? I wonder how Kenneth Choi feels about this. I'm sure  he's not getting paid for these missed episodes.

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What I'm confused about is out is why they decided to have Chimney go looking for her. JLH needing maternity leave and choosing this storyline to cover it, doesn't require that Chimney get written off too. Have him stay home and maybe Maddie communicates at a distance to discuss how her impatient treatment is going.

I hope Kenneth is off doing a cool project and asked for the time. It would be pretty shitty otherwise. 

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1 hour ago, Crashcourse said:

Athena looked nice in the red dress but she and Bobby looked stupid running back and forth in that casino.  Surely the writers could have come up with some other caper for them to come up with.

That has to be one of the emptiest casinos I've ever seen. I know it's COVID protocols and I want everyone to be safe so this isn't a complaint. I'm noticing this in a lot of shows. Scenes that would normally be packed with people aren't. I was watching Hawkeye and the big charity fundraiser that happens in every sci-fi movie/series was in this big opulent space but the number of people in the scene made it look like last call at the corner bar. Pre-COVID taping would've had that casino crowded and busy.

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9 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

Athena/Bobby had a really strong storyline, one of the strongest in a while. Them sleuthing together was fun, and their sexual escapades was also fun.

Athena has a healthy sexual appetite, which I like. Remember when she was dating someone and got handcuffed to his bed and she had to call Hen for help because she couldn't reach the key? And when Hen got there and got the key, she started to uncuff Athena and Athena was like "No girl, just leave the key on the dresser where we can reach it." Hen's "Well, all right now!" face was HILARIOUS. 

I think Angela Bassett and Peter Krause are sexy (she looked gorgeous in that orange dress) but they don't often let them be sexy together on this show, so I liked seeing that. You know after May left the first time Athena was like "Drop the blanket. Where were we?"

4 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

We also had a nice little subplot with Hen and her mom, I am glad that she encouraged her mom to give her old fling a shot, even if the way they met was rather sketchy back in the day, and that Hen is very much not this guys daughter. This show already has so much melodrama this season we didn't need baby daddy drama. 

"This ain't Maury Povich." I fell out. And look: life is long, people are complicated, and as Hen said, her mom was alone and unhappy for a lot of the time. I don't remember hearing about Hen's dad but apparently he wasn't much of a guy, so if her mother found some happiness, I am for it. I am also here for finding love at any age - go on and get it in your 70s!

3 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Taylor's backstory was decent, but I am still not convinced that she and Buck are meant to be. I don't think Taylor is a bad person and she does care about Buck, but I am sure she will always choose stories over him, which would be really hard for Buck to handle given all of his issues. 

I don't see it for them either. There's no there there for me. (Also when Hen said Taylor wasn't Abby or Allie, I had, and have, no idea who Allie is.)

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1 hour ago, Empress1 said:

(Also when Hen said Taylor wasn't Abby or Allie, I had, and have, no idea who Allie is.)

There's a reference to her (Ali Martin) on wikia. Buck met her in the earthquake episode (7.1).

Like you, I have no recall of her at all.

Edited by preeya
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On 12/1/2021 at 4:29 AM, preeya said:

There's a reference to her (Ali Martin) on wikia. Buck met her in the earthquake episode (7.1).

Like you, I have no recall of her at all.

she was barely in the show, they rescued her from the earthquake, they went on a date at the end of the "getting over Abby" episode and then she showed up again only in the finale to dump Buck.

which honestly is fine by me in terms of a love interest cause Buck/Taylor and the amount of focus they're getting isn't working for me. I liked Taylor when she was an edgy, slightly antagonistic side character but them as a couple are just boring. And Taylor's backstory somehow made me understand her less as a character.

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1 hour ago, KatWay said:

Taylor's backstory somehow made me understand her less as a character.

Yes. Nothing about the character of Taylor ever hinted at a dark past, but it seems the writers are completely morphing this show into a soap opera, so Taylor suddenly having a parent in prison fits with a show that they might as well re-title 911: Nights of Our Lives.

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I'm neutral on Taylor and Buck, but the show seems to be pointing to them as a healthy(ish) couple.  A first for Buck.  I'm glad her backstory played out quickly.  I was afraid it would turn into a multi-episode arc, and I was not interested. 

On 11/30/2021 at 6:21 PM, anna0852 said:

What I'm confused about is out is why they decided to have Chimney go looking for her. JLH needing maternity leave and choosing this storyline to cover it, doesn't require that Chimney get written off too. Have him stay home and maybe Maddie communicates at a distance to discuss how her impatient treatment is going.

I hope Kenneth is off doing a cool project and asked for the time. It would be pretty shitty otherwise. 

Good points. I hope he's doing something he wants too, whether it's another production or enjoying the time away.

On 11/30/2021 at 6:23 PM, marceline said:

That has to be one of the emptiest casinos I've ever seen. I know it's COVID protocols and I want everyone to be safe so this isn't a complaint. I'm noticing this in a lot of shows. Scenes that would normally be packed with people aren't. 

I thought it was so funny how empty that casino was, and I agree with your observations.  Whenever I watch pre-2020 films, there is a noticeable difference in the background scenes.     

On 11/30/2021 at 8:56 PM, Empress1 said:

I think Angela Bassett and Peter Krause are sexy (she looked gorgeous in that orange dress) but they don't often let them be sexy together on this show, so I liked seeing that. You know after May left the first time Athena was like "Drop the blanket. Where were we?"

Thank you for mentioning orange, because that's how it came across my screen.  There were other references to red and I was confused and wondered if I needed to adjust my TV settings. 

I always enjoy the group conversations, especially about Buck's love life.  And then Hen outed Athena and Bobby's sexy times, and Bobby's "no fucks given" reaction!  I really missed Chim there, as Choi has great comedic timing.  

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26 minutes ago, ribboninthesky1 said:

And then Hen outed Athena and Bobby's sexy times, and Bobby's "no fucks given" reaction!

I liked how both he and Athena were like “yeah, we are a married couple that has sex. And?” Like when May was  embarrassed, Athena was like “I’m good!” I think they probably would have responded differently to Harry since he’s a kid, but with May they were basically like “we’re all adults here.”

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And she doesn’t live there anymore. I know it’s awkward.  I shared a wall with my parents.  But you move on.  She should have had a mail forwarded. It looked like her Amazon orders were still going there even.  That’s just lazy.

One thing I love is how they are working the new guy into the crew.  I look forward to learning more about Ravi, and hope he stays long term.  When they were heading out on that call, I did wonder who was driving the Ambulance with Hen and Eddie in the truck with the rest.  I guess it was the nameless of the 118.  Some day we will see them.

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On 11/30/2021 at 6:18 PM, iMonrey said:

I wonder how Kenneth Choi feels about this. I'm sure  he's not getting paid for these missed episodes.

TV contracts don't work like that. He's a regular and therefore he's getting paid whether he appears or not.

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19 minutes ago, methodwriter85 said:

TV contracts don't work like that. He's a regular and therefore he's getting paid whether he appears or not.

I hope that is true.

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Chimney was a main character before Maddie showed up. It's weird that they totally sidelined him when she went on leave. Unless he also wanted time off, it just doesn't make sense.

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12 hours ago, possibilities said:

Chimney was a main character before Maddie showed up. It's weird that they totally sidelined him when she went on leave. Unless he also wanted time off, it just doesn't make sense.

I think I read somewhere that Kenneth Choi is filming something. Because yeah he wouldn't have to be written out just bc Maddie isn't there, they could just change her storyline into checking into a facility and she's off screen while he can do his job normally. The way they wrote the story indicates they wanted both of them away for a time. And the storyline is really clumsy so I doubt they just wrote it this way cause it's such good drama...lol.

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On 11/30/2021 at 1:19 PM, tennisgurl said:

The opening case was really cute, this is why I miss their individual rescues, they always do such a good job at establishing strong characters in a short amount of time.

Not a bad episode, nothing super great but better then most of this season. It felt more back to basics, which makes me hope that we go more in that direction. Things like the Last Dance montage are why I like this show.

After that first rescue, I was "yeah, back to what I liked about this show." The other stuff was pretty decent too, but I really like the random rescues in bizarre situations.

On 11/30/2021 at 3:21 PM, anna0852 said:

I hope Kenneth is off doing a cool project and asked for the time. It would be pretty shitty otherwise. 

Me too. I miss him.

On 11/30/2021 at 5:56 PM, Empress1 said:

"This ain't Maury Povich." I fell out. And look: life is long, people are complicated, and as Hen said, her mom was alone and unhappy for a lot of the time. I don't remember hearing about Hen's dad but apparently he wasn't much of a guy, so if her mother found some happiness, I am for it. I am also here for finding love at any age - go on and get it in your 70s!

I loved that line! And yeah, I'm all for finding love late in life.

On 12/2/2021 at 4:04 AM, KatWay said:

she was barely in the show, they rescued her from the earthquake, they went on a date at the end of the "getting over Abby" episode and then she showed up again only in the finale to dump Buck.

Did she dump Buck while he was injured - or am I conflating this with Chim's story?

Edited by Clanstarling
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I'm assuming Chimney is driving back across the country, and it takes awhile with a little baby. After all, Eli the Wise (we never found out how he got to Boston) gave him the advice to wait for Maddie to return to him, and exposited a lot of helpful stuff about depression.

I don't mind Taylor and Buck together, because she's a LOT smarter than he is and calls him out on stuff, and while he is dumber than a box of rocks, he's utterly loyal and when he gives his heart, he GIVES it. They kind of work, and if they have kids, one hopes they get Taylor's intelligence.

"I'm going to need some vodka in this club soda." You tell 'em Athena.

Also: "I didn't know we could take our gear home."

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