9-1-1 Recap: Athena Fights For Her Life in Devastating Finale — Grade Part 1

911 Recap

Connie Britton is officially 9-1-1‘s new tsunami. Abby Clark’s long-awaited (and highly publicized) return to Los Angeles was saved until the final moments of Monday’s episode, and boy is she in for a train wreck of a season finale.

The penultimate episode of Season 3 ended with Maddie receiving an oddly calm phone call from a woman whose train de-railed on its way to L.A.’s Union Station from Phoenix. As the caller explained everything they would need to address the “mass casualty situation,” Maddie couldn’t help but note, “It seems like you’ve done this before.”

Then came the big reveal. “Yeah, but I was on your end of the line,” the mystery woman replied. “I used to be a 9-1-1 dispatcher.” And just like that, a sweeping shot revealed this caller to be none other than Abby. Honestly, I thought this was a pretty cool way to set up Britton’s brief return to the show, and I’m sure there were enough people who didn’t watch the promo to make this a decent reveal for fans.

Of course, Abby’s return was hardly the focus of Monday’s episode, even if it was what everyone was anticipating. No, this week’s MVP is Athena Grant, who came to blows with the serial rapist (played by Nikita‘s Noah Bean) we met last week. It was a brutal fight, one that everyone experienced in real-time as it played over Athena’s walkie. For a moment, I swear I thought she wasn’t going to make it — but then I slapped myself for ever doubting this absolute warrior. And I love that May insisted on taking pre-prom photos with Athena from her hospital bed; she really is one of TV’s better teenagers.

Elsewhere this week…

* The rollercoaster that is Michael’s brain tumor storyline threw me for an unexpected loop this week when his latest trip to the hospital ended with an elevator meet-cute. Thanks to a major power outage, Michael found himself “trapped” with a handsome gentleman who made it very clear that there’s no one “special” waiting for him at home. I’d say there were enough sparks between them to restore the power, but that’s really not how electricity works — even on this show. (That said, I can’t help shake Bobby’s ominous “the thing about bad news is that you never see it coming” line. What was that foreshadowing?)

* After noting a series of suspicious texts and credit card charges, Karen suspected Hen of cheating (again), enlisting Chimney’s help to expose her lying wife. But after a little investigating — and a lot of drinking — they learned that Hen was secretly preparing to take the MCATs and apply to med school! This came as bittersweet news to Chimney, who was relieved to know that Hen wasn’t cheating… but bummed to realize he’s losing his favorite member of the 118.

* While most of the dispatchers involved in the hostage crisis were able to submit written statements, the prosecution requested that Josh — as someone personally targeted by Greg — to deliver his account in-person. He initially resisted, shuddering at the very idea of facing his attacker, but Maddie convinced him that it might be the only way to get his power back. (And who would know better than her?)

Your thoughts on the first part of 9-1-1‘s season ender? Grade it below, then drop a comment with your hopes for Part 2.