‘9-1-1’ Boss Takes Us Inside the Spring Premiere’s Big Rescues
When L.A.’s first responders report back to duty on their third season, it’s bonkers business as usual.
Among the freaky mishaps testing the 118’s mettle: a sickening showdown between an angry homeowner with a construction vehicle and the bank rep serving him foreclosure papers. The sequence (with, above, from left, guest star Riley Schmidt, Ryan Guzman, and Kenneth Choi) is based on a real case where “somebody got trampled by heavy equipment,” previews 9-1-1 showrunner Tim Minear. “Their internal organs went out through a baseball-size hole in their back, so their insides were on the outside.”
As if that weren’t enough to have fans requiring CPR, a Mission: Impossible–caliber rescue requires firefighting besties Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark) and Eddie Diaz (Guzman) to “surf” atop a speeding vehicle in hopes of saving a skydiver trapped underneath a plane. And those are the actual actors performing the bulk of the stunt.
“Oliver and Ryan were standing on top of a moving fire truck going down the runway, yup,” confirms Minear. “I’m not a big fan of throwing my stars in front of a green screen and having them play [a scene] against CGI. [We] put the actors into physical environments where they can interact with actual things.”
The drama’s return, which picks up about three months after the winter finale, also hits the emotional side of life in the fire lane. Now that LAFD captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) has a clean bill of health following his cancer scare, he and LAPD sergeant wife Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) try to help her gay ex-husband, Michael (Rockmond Dunbar), deal with his own recently discovered tumor.
“We’ll find out exactly what that diagnosis is and what his options are for battling it,” Minear says. Going forward, he notes, Michael’s choice regarding his treatment will drive “a big part of the story” for all three.
At least there’s definitely good news for 9-1-1 operator Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and her love interest, paramedic Howie “Chimney” Han (Choi), now that she’s forgiven herself for killing her abusive ex. Says Minear: “We like giving our characters, if not happy endings, long stretches of happy.” We’ll take it.
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox