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9-1-1 season 3 maddie jennifer love hewitt

Spoilers ahead for the March 30 episode of 9-1-1 on Fox, called "Pinned."

9-1-1 was more or less business as usual for most of "Pinned," with a couple of exciting/gruesome crises to bring out the heroes and a couple of storylines that advanced the development of several characters, including Maddie and Chimney. In fact, up until the very last scene of the episode, 9-1-1 seemed like it had aired an entirely adequate episode. Then the 911 call center was overrun by gun-toting men posing as law enforcement officers, and Josh recognized one of them as his attacker. Maddie's last move of the episode finally made me love her.

Now, as a disclaimer, I never disliked Maddie or had anything against her. She's just never been one of my favorites, even though she has had some of the meatiest and most compelling plots of the series. As part of 9-1-1 to me, she was perfectly... fine. If I had to pick my top three characters at any given time, she just wouldn't have been one of them. I could be engrossed by her arcs without being super invested in her. Then, in one fell swoop, "Pinned" made me love her.

Well-played, 9-1-1. Well-played.

In the final scene of the episode, when the call center was overrun by the men with guns, Maddie was on the phone with Chimney, who had confessed his love earlier in the episode. Understandably citing her history and how her experiences with saying those three little words meant that she couldn't say them now, she'd expressed that she loved him without actually using the L word. It seemed like a sweet but throwaway moment, but it came back with a vengeance when Maddie did something that may end up saving her life as well as the lives of everybody in the call center.

Maddie said this:

I love you, Howie.

With those words, Maddie said something that wouldn't have struck the armed men as suspicious, since she was scared enough to tell somebody on the other end of the line that she loved them but seemingly didn't give away that there was danger. It was good timing, really, that Maddie could use "I love you" to Chimney to tip him off that something was wrong.

Admittedly, this was a tiny moment in the grand scheme of Maddie's time on 9-1-1, and I will admit that it's kind of ridiculous that this is what has made me love her. Honestly, maybe it's just because this capped off an episode that really showcased Maddie and all the ways she's grown over the years.

She was able to use her skills as a soothing 911 operator as well as her skills as a nurse to help a woman in an emergency, she explained why she couldn't tell Chimney she loved him, she took full advantage of the comped room they earned with their heroics, and she spoke to me on a deep personal level when she started objecting to public proposals.

What can I say? I can relate to Maddie on this front of disliking public proposals, and if that's what it took to really open me up to loving her when she tipped off Chimney, then I see nothing wrong with it! In all seriousness, this cliffhanger was both suspenseful and out-of-the-blue enough that it's a solid way for 9-1-1 to head into a mini hiatus, as it won't be back with a new episode for another two weeks.

Here's what's in store when the show does return, with an episode called "The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1" on April 13:

Maddie fears for herself and her co-workers when the call center is taken hostage.

The episode description doesn't give a whole lot away about what's in store in "The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1," but it does indicate that the episode will be quite Maddie-centric. The two-week wait for the new episode might be hard for diehard fans dying to know what happens next; at least they can take solace in the fact that 9-1-1 is not one of the many shows cut off by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Connie Britton Returns To Fox's 9-1-1 For 'Unfinished Business'

The Fox drama reportedly finished filming its full third season before productions en masse had to halt for the safety of the cast and crew. For a rundown of the shows that couldn't quite finish their current seasons, check out our updated list of major TV show delays or ending early due to coronavirus. As for 9-1-1, the next new episode airs Monday, April 13 at 8 p.m.  ET on Fox.