‘9-1-1’ Boss on Family ‘Complications’ After Michael’s Decision & Buck’s Journey

9-1-1 Season 3 Premiere Michael Tumor Surgery Buck Abby Return
FOX; Jack Zeman / FOX

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 11 of 9-1-1, “Seize the Day.”]

Is the 9-1-1 family about to lose one of its own?

Michael’s (Rockmond Dunbar) tumor hasn’t grown, but it didn’t shrink after radiation. The next step is a complicated and risky brain surgery, but he elects not to go that route for the time being. “I want to be focused on my life and what I have,” he tells his family.

Meanwhile, Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) half-brother, Albert (John Harlan Kim), unexpectedly shows up on his doorstep, and while he isn’t receptive at first, they eventually begin bonding over problems with their father. Chimney even agrees to let him stay with him. And the family affair for Chimney continues, as the episode ends with Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) meeting the people who raised him.

“There will be more revelations this season,” showrunner Tim Minear promises. Here, he breaks down the spring premiere and what’s to come.

Peter Krause 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 11 Bobby

(Jack Zeman/FOX)

How worried should we be about Michael electing to not have the surgery?

Tim Minear: I would be worried.

I really like that family unit together.

Yeah, we love that family. I would be worried if my loved one told me they weren’t going to do that. It’s going to cause some complications within that family unit, but ultimately, Michael has to do what he feels like he has to do.

I’ve enjoyed seeing how close Michael and Bobby have become, especially since you had Bobby be the one Michael confided in.

Yes, and you’re going to see an even deeper bonding of that relationship in Episode 14.

Maddie really got to meet Chimney’s family in the spring premiere. Is that a good sign for what their future holds, especially after everything they’ve been through?

It is an excellent sign.

9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 11 Maddie Chimney Relationship

(Jack Zeman/FOX)

Are we going to continue to see Chimney and Albert getting to know each other onscreen or will that be a bit more in the background?

You’ll see a bit of that. Albert’s around for a bit.

What did you want to do with Chimney by exploring this other side of him, especially to kick off this next group of episodes?

It’s interesting. Albert comes into Chimney’s world, and it’s a way for Chimney to measure his own growth, by having something to compare it to. Because Chimney had been a little bit of a satellite … and then found the 118. He even says in “Seize the Day” that he has been piecing together his own family his whole life and now he has one, but I don’t think even he realizes to what extent he has accomplished this. For me, his relationship with Albert helps ground who Chimney is and he will be discovering more in the back 8 episodes.

Speaking of family, let’s talk about Hen and Karen adopting, and I loved Karen’s talking points. What’s next for their family?

For Hen and Karen, it really is about them realizing that there’s a lot of kids out there who can use people like [them]. Fostering that child is just the first step, but what you’re going to discover going forward is that Hen is going to realize there’s more to her than she ever thought there was. Even in this stage of life, she can drill down deeper into who she is and what she can accomplish, and she will start to astonish the people around her.

Speaking of kids, we started off with that great Buck and Christopher storyline in the tsunami. Anything else coming up with Christopher?

Absolutely. There’s a great Eddie-Christopher story coming up in “Fools,” Episode 12, where Eddie’s going to have to sit down and have a very real conversation with his son, sort of in the way — but in a completely different context — that Michael had to sit down and have a conversation with Harry this year.

9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 12 Eddie Christopher Conversation

(Jack Zeman/FOX)

Then we will get to see in Episode 13 some of the back story of Eddie and Christopher and we’ll see what happened directly after Christopher’s birth and how Eddie handled that. We’ll really start to understand why they’re so bonded today. It wasn’t always that way.

And Buck has unfinished business with Abby, right? But he’s come a long way since they last saw each other. [Note: Connie Britton is not yet confirmed to be returning this season.]

Absolutely. Buck is always on a quest to discover who he is, and he has often measured who he is based on the relationships he’s in and what Buck is going to discover is that even when he wasn’t looking, he had grown into a very special kind of man and his journey is not over.

… Buck feels like Abby changed him, that Abby made him into a different man, and what Buck didn’t realize is he was always that guy, that Abby didn’t make Buck into who Buck is. Buck has been doing that himself. That’s what we’re going to discover going forward.

Looking ahead to the rest of the season, what kind of challenges can we expect to see the 118 facing? Anything as crazy as a tsunami or the bomber?

Yes. [Laughs] There are definitely some big challenges coming up for our people in the next few episodes that are going to have them rally around one another in ways that they always do and that they always need to. In particular, Athena is going to step into a very dangerous place that she may not come back from.

Angela Bassett 9-1-1 Season 3 Athena

(Jack Zeman/FOX)

Can you preview some upcoming calls?

We actually have the return of some beloved characters — I hope they’re beloved — from Season 2, if you remember those video pranksters that were in the season opener who cemented their friend’s head in the microwave. Those guys are back at the top of the episode, “Fools,” an apt episode for them. We recreate a viral video with a merry-go-round. It has eye-popping results.

There’s going to be at least two big events, one that encompasses pretty much everybody on our team. That’s a big surprising event you won’t be expecting. Finally, there is going to be an event that will affect the entire city.

Is that for the season finale?

It’s actually not. It’s the buildup to the season finale. It’s the penultimate episode of the season, which then hands off to a giant disaster of truly harrowing proportions for the season finale. … You should not expect [a cliffhanger].

9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox