Spoilers ahead for the April 20 episode of 9-1-1 on Fox, called "Eddie Begins."
9-1-1 delivered a heartbreaker of an episode with "Eddie Begins," but it was exactly what the show needed heading toward the end of Season 3, solidifying some relationships, and setting the stage for what comes next. The case of the week brought all hands on deck to rescue a boy who had fallen down an abandoned well, and Eddie took up the dangerous job of being lowered down a muddy hole in the middle of a rainstorm to try and save a life. All the while, he was flashing back to his time in Afghanistan. It was intense, emotional, claustrophobic, and ultimately cathartic. A+, 9-1-1!
Some of the greatest episodes of Season 3 have been, to me, the character-centric stories that delve into backgrounds and what made these people the way that they are. Athena's episode was great (and necessary), Maddie's was thrilling, and Eddie's will undoubtedly go down as one of the most memorable of the season, and not just because "Eddie Begins" had arguably the grandest scale of any episode since the tsunami.
Fans have been able to assume that Eddie's journey to becoming a good father to Christopher hasn't been easy; now, 9-1-1 has filled in some blanks about their past together. Eddie had the option of leaving his son, who barely even knew him, with his parents. Instead, he took the difficult path and worked to build a life with his son, even after the death of his wife.
Eddie's flashback montage of his time with Christopher when he was moments away from drowning after the tunnel collapse packed an emotional punch, and Buck more or less freaking out topside that Eddie seemed like he was either already dead or impossible to save added a real sense of urgency despite the fact that it was pretty unlikely that Eddie would actually die a couple episodes shy of the finale.
Seriously, give me an episode of Eddie, Buck, and Christopher hanging out with no natural disasters/risks of drowning, and I will happily tune in. 9-1-1 may be a procedural, but it really shines when it takes the time to deliver character-focused stories like "Eddie Begins."
Buck and Christopher do seem to be Eddie's strongest bonds on 9-1-1, and actor Ryan Guzman confirmed in an interview with TVLine that Eddie's "big date" on Friday was Christopher's show-and-tell, so he doesn't seem to be forming an outside romantic bond off-screen. Guzman went on to describe Eddie's take on relationships and how Buck can help:
Romantically, Eddie is kind of stunted. I still don’t know how one moves on after watching their wife die. Plus, he has a child who reminds him of her all the time. He gets a lot of help from Carla and a lot of help from Buck in trying to move forward, but it’s up to Eddie at the end of the day to decide if he wants to go for another person or not.
Buck (along with Carla) is able to help Eddie move forward in the aftermath of all his tragedies and traumas, which wasn't really the case when Eddie and Buck hit their rough patch earlier in Season 3. Is it any coincidence that the people most suited to helping Eddie (according to Ryan Guzman) are those who have incredibly strong bonds with his son?
Sadly, not many episodes of 9-1-1 are left before the final credits roll on Season 3. See what happens in the rest of Season 3 with new episodes of 9-1-1 airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. The good news is that 9-1-1 and spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star have already been renewed for the 2020-2021 TV season. Even if fans can only hope that production can begin sooner rather than later, at least more episodes are guaranteed to hit the airwaves at some point.