Okay, Where Is Fox's 9-1-1 Getting All The Bobby And Athena Conflict?

9-1-1 treasure hunt athena and bobby fox season 4
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for Episode 12 of 9-1-1 Season 4, called "Treasure Hunt."

9-1-1 has gotten pretty heavy in the fourth season, and "Treasure Hunt" was a break in the heaviness as the various emergency responders were faced with a bunch of people getting stuck in dangerous situations to try and find a chest of buried treasure, and their work turned into teams trying to find the treasure themselves. Despite Athena not wanting to get involved in the hunt for most of the episode, she connected the dots for her and Bobby, and they beat almost everybody else to the scene to try and claim the treasure for themselves. It was a fun and funny and loving episode of Bobby and Athena, but conflict is on the way, and I can't help but wonder: why?

Sure, Athena didn't think much of Bobby's interest in tracking down the treasure, but she was more amused and willing to indulge his interest while waiting on French toast than anything else. And sure, Bobby was thrown when Athena revealed that she'd so flat-out dismissed the prospect of retirement after her brush with death that she didn't mention it at the time, but everything seemed to be just fine between them. Then, after the episode ended, Fox aired a promo for next week that revealed a downturn in their relationship that seems really, really, REALLY sudden to me. Take a look!

Bobby has evidently been keeping a secret and lying to Athena about something, and assuming he hasn't just been lying about drinking straight from the milk carton or something equally innocuous, Athena's anger seems like it'll probably be justified. At that point in the promo, I was surprised that something had risen up between them, but could believe that there was enough of a problem that Athena took issue with her husband. It was Bobby's response of "Who said this marriage is working?!?" that had me doing a double take.

Bobby looks pretty heated, so it's possible that he's mad about something too instead of just defensive, but it seems like any conflict between them escalated super fast once Athena made a mention of marriage. Everything about their marriage seemed to be working in "Treasure Hunt" other than Athena not intending to retire, with Bobby wanting to use the treasure to buy a cabin and set up a trust fund for her kids. Now, he's going to be shouting about their marriage not working? I'm not going to throw blame around when it's not yet clear what he lied about or why he lied, but it's not a good look on Bobby at this point.

The official episode description doesn't drop details about what the exactly issue is that comes between them, but it does shed a little more light on what's to come for Athena and Bobby in the next episode, called "Suspicion," as well as everybody else:

The members of the 118 make calls to save a bridezilla at a disastrous wedding and to a mother trapped on her balcony. Meanwhile, Hen plays medical detective when her mother, Toni (guest star Marsha Warfield), falls ill. Also, Eddie and Christopher receive a visit from Carla (guest star Cocoa Brown), Athena uncovers a secret Bobby has been hiding that puts their marriage on the rocks and Maddie struggles with adjusting to motherhood.

Bobby hasn't just been lying about something, but actively keeping a secret that puts their marriage in jeopardy. Now, if this secret and conflict are tied to something that happened on screen already in 9-1-1 Season 4 rather than something that will come up for the first time next week, then my guess is that Bobby starts making plans about retirement without mentioning it to Athena until she finds out in a bad way. Either way, the fun of "Treasure Hunt" doesn't seem to be the new normal in what happens in the rest of the season.

See what goes wrong for Bobby and Athena when 9-1-1 returns with a new episode on Monday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Not much time is left before 9-1-1 heads into hiatus, assuming that 9-1-1 will be renewed again for a fifth season. Check out our 2021 finale schedule when 9-1-1, spinoff 9-1-1: Lone Star, and more shows will wrap for the season!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).