‘9-1-1’ Star Jennifer Love Hewitt on Maddie & Chimney as Parents and [Spoiler’s] Recovery
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 4, Episode 9 of 9-1-1, “Blindsided.”]
Maddie goes into labor at work in the April 19 episode of 9-1-1 — just as the dispatchers and first responders are dealing with a pile-up on the freeway. But Chimney makes it to the hospital in time to be there for the birth. And he’s touched and thrilled when Maddie reveals that she named their daughter after his mom, Jee-Yun.
In almost devastating news, Chimney’s brother Albert (John Harlan Kim) is injured in that major accident. Fortunately, the 118 finds him and he comes to in the hospital with Chimney by his side.
Hewitt tells us what’s next for the new parents and the baby’s uncles.
I love their baby’s name and the way Maddie came up with it and surprised Chimney.
Jennifer Love Hewitt: I know. I thought that was really, really sweet and I just loved the way Kenny plays that moment. You can tell that he’s very moved and grateful and it’s really cute.
What’s next for Maddie and Chimney now that the baby’s here?
Learning to be parents and all that comes with that: the sleepless nights, learning how to go back and answer those crazy 9-1-1 calls again, what that’s like to bring home things that you do during the day, and then see that little beautiful, sweet baby. Pretty much the rest of the season will be dedicated to just figuring all of that out for them.
When are we going to see Maddie back at work? Is there going to be a time jump at any point to move past her maternity leave?
Yes, there will be a little time jump and you will see her pretty quickly get right back into work.
We saw how much her job and helping people mean to her considering she wanted to finish her shift while in labor.
[Laughs] I know, I love that about her. That would totally be me, by the way.
What’s next for Maddie and Chimney as a couple? Are there wedding bells in the future? Is that a conversation that comes up?
It is not in anything that we’ve filmed so far, but we’re not done yet. I think that, like all things with Maddie and Chimney, [showrunner] Tim [Minear] really plays it out as it should. And so I have faith that that will be in the future. I just don’t know when. Whenever it is, it will be right and just the sweetest.
How is Uncle Buck [Oliver Stark] going to be with his niece?
Sweet. He’ll be great with her. Having babies around is always lovely. COVID makes it a little hard in the beginning for him to be around because there are different precautions that you have to take. There’s obviously that newborn period where you have to watch out for things, but then with COVID on top of it, that’s a little bit different. He’ll be great, particularly now knowing the backstory of the storyline with Daniel, the brother that he didn’t get to know.
Speaking of that backstory, how much did Maddie need the Buckley family secret to be out before having the baby?
I can only pull out my real-life experiences — I know when I was pregnant with my daughter, I became very hyper-aware of using that time to really do a crash course on who I was as a person and the things that I wanted to heal and not bring into being a mother, the things that I wanted to let go of and then the things that I wanted to work on and make sure that I felt better inside before she arrived.
That’s a lot of what Maddie did with that storyline. While being pregnant, you become hyper-aware: I don’t want to start my relationship with this human with secrets or with heavy things in my heart. Maddie obviously is going to have other things she’ll have to explain at some point. Also, Buck was in so much pain I feel like Maddie felt a responsibility to say, “No matter what it does to our relationship, I have to be the one to open this can of worms.” I’m really glad for Buck that she did because I feel like he got a lot of healing from it.
How about Uncle Albert’s recovery?
His recovery is going to be fine. Albert will initially be living with them and the baby, but eventually [taking care of him] will get a bit hard to do with the newborn, so other arrangements will be made.
We saw a bit of mentor Maddie with May [Corinne Massiah] at the dispatch center.
We didn’t get to do a lot of the scenes of that this season. I thought we would actually get to do more, but with Maddie’s pregnancy and all the craziness going on, they just didn’t get to do as much.
But I love that May came to work for the 9-1-1 call center. Maddie, at the end of last season, saw in her that real need to take care of people. She’s connected to [her mother, police sergeant] Athena [Angela Bassett] and [her stepfather, firefighter captain] Bobby [Peter Krause] much as Maddie is connected to Chimney and Buck. It’s hard being a 9-1-1 operator and knowing that you’re hearing all that they’re going through all the time, but you also do in a way get to at least experience and know when they’re OK or when they’re hurt. It’s a really beautiful way to get to watch after your loved ones who are also first responders.
What else is coming up for Maddie?
Mainly what people will see is her returning to work at the call center and learning how to balance work and being a new mother and the joy and the toll that takes. We always play things pretty real on this show. You will see the good in the heart about both of those things. I’m really happy to get to play that for working moms out there who are watching.
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox