Post Mortems

9-1-1 Finale: EP Talks Eddie's Fate, Maddie's Journey and a 'Major Complication' Coming in Season 5

Warning: We’re about to spoil Monday’s 9-1-1 season finale. Haven’t watched yet? You know the drill.

Despite last week’s seemingly fatal cliffhanger, 9-1-1‘s fourth season actually ended on a high note for most of the 118. Not only did Eddie survive his shot to the chest, but the sniper — a disgruntled former member of the LAPD SWAT team — was apprehended by Athena, who also came to a new understanding with Bobby and saved their marriage from imploding. (Is there anything she can’t do?)

Meanwhile, in addition to being named Christopher’s de facto guardian in case of tragedy, Buck finally made his relationship with Taylor official. Congratulations are also in order for Albert, who became a full-fledged firefighter in the episode’s final moments, and for Hen and Karen, who coincidentally reunited with Nia and met her (extremely grateful) birth mother.

On the flip side, things have been better for Maddie, who quit her job as a 9-1-1 dispatcher this week. “I’m not OK in here,” she told Chimney, gesturing to her head. “I feel like I’m losing my mind. I need help.”

Below, showrunner Tim Minear breaks down the biggest twists from Monday’s finale, offering a glimpse of what we can expect when the show returns next season:

TVLINE | You did it to me again. I really thought Eddie was a goner.
He’s too pretty to die, let’s be honest.

TVLINE | This we know. But the way he hit the ground last week… the look in his eyes… I was certain.
That’s what I wanted. I wanted the viewers to be in Buck’s head. I wanted them to be thinking what Buck is thinking.

9-1-1 Eddie AnaTVLINE | Before all of this happened, Eddie wasn’t sure how he felt about Ana. Might this near-death experience bring them closer together?
I don’t know. He appreciates Ana, and I think he has affection for her. But what Carla was pointing out to Eddie is that Ana seems like a really good thing for Christopher. He needs to make sure that he’s not committing to someone just for his kid. And I don’t know if anything is resolved there in his head.

TVLINE | At least Buck’s life is turning around. Between Eddie’s kind words and his new relationship with Taylor, will Buck be in a better place next season?
He’ll be Buck. Sometimes he’ll be in a great place, sometimes he won’t be. It was like that speech Bobby gave about how Buck is never going to change, and that’s not a bad thing. And Hen says it when they’re at the crane, too: “Buck’s gonna Buck.”

TVLINE | I was surprised how long it took for them to become official. You really made him work for that relationship.
A little bit, yeah. I guess it’s a thing I did a lot on these shows. I did it with Carlos and T.K. a little bit [on Lone Star]. They meet, they hook up, they drift apart, they come back together — I guess it’s a thing. [Laughs]

TVLINE | In addition to her relationship with Buck, are you going to explore more of the relationship between the media and the first responders?
I am very interested in that, and I have been since we created her. The character was invented for “Dosed” in Season 2. We had a whole story we were going to do about a tech millionaire who gets saved by the firefighters, thinks they’re really cool and wants to become friends with them. At the last minute, I came up with the idea that it was actually a reporter who would sort of weasel her way into the firehouse and do a story on it. That’s how Taylor was born. But I’ve always felt like there was an interesting element there that works in the universe of 9-1-1 with the media. It’s something we haven’t really drilled down on, or found the very specific unique way to tell a story using that element.

TVLINE | On behalf of the entire fandom, thank you for not breaking up Bobby and Athena. And for that big climax. I loved seeing her all suited up.
I loved that, too. It reminded me of Princess Leia working her way into Jabba the Hutt’s lair to rescue Han Solo.

TVLINE | On a less happy note, Maddie is clearly in a dark place. What can you say about her story next season?
It’s a story that I don’t want to give short shrift to. It will end up creating a major complication for Season 5.

TVLINE | The last time I spoke with Jennifer Love Hewitt, she predicted more drama for Maddie. She was right.
I always see tweets from the fans that are like “Can’t they just have a nice dinner?!” I’m not sure they realize what they’re asking for. If you want your favorite character to have a nice night in, it means they’re not going to be in the episode. “Tonight, on a very boring episode of 9-1-1…”

TVLINE | But yay for Albert becoming a firefighter! Was this always the plan, or was it an aha moment somewhere along the way?
Yes and yes. We had talked about Albert having a trajectory like that from the time we brought him in. But the idea of having that be a reveal at the end of the finale was something that [executive producer Kristen Reidel] came up with well after the script was written. It’s not a game-changing moment, but it’s something new that’s being suggested. If you only knew where I was going… but then I was talked out of it.

TVLINE | I also loved that Hen and Karen bumped into Nia and her birth mother. Does this mean Nia is back in their lives?
It could absolutely mean that. It’s like Nia’s birth mother says: “I don’t know what the rules are.” It’s not like Hen and Karen sought her out. Well, Karen kind of did earlier in the season, just to make sure Nia was OK. But there’s no law against it!

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