911 Recap: Flashback to Young Josh in “First Responders”

By Michelle Gonzaba

This week’s episode begins like most others-we are introduced to some random Los Angelenos and then watch something horrifying happen to them. A man (Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry from Parks and Recreation) buys groceries while his wife waits in the car. Before he can make it back to meet her, he watches her run towards a car, yelling and waving her arms. Unfortunately, the car’s driver steps on the accelerator and hits her without stopping. When the paramedics arrive, Chim quickly recognizes the woman as Sue Blevins, the 911 call center supervisor.

After Sue is taken to the hospital, the show flashes back to 2006. We see a young Josh, 911 operator and constant listener of Maddie’s problems, working as a freelance stenographer. Exciting stuff! He settles into his temporary gig and spends all day typing with his headphones on. However, the headphones turn out to be a bit of a problem. Because of them, he doesn’t hear his coworkers run out of the building behind him.

Back in the present day, May tells her family she is ready to move out on her own. Surprisingly, Athena doesn’t freak out but is supportive of the decision. After some prodding, courtesy of Hen, Athena admits she wants to avoid any fights with her daughter. After last week’s episode, it’s clear she wants their relationship to be conflict-free. 

While Buck and his news anchor friend Taylor try to find out who hit Sue, the show takes us back to 2006. After calling 911, Josh is trying to escape the burning building with a younger Sue’s guidance. After carrying an unconscious woman and escaping the smoke, Josh is rescued by the LAFD. 

Sue’s accident isn’t the only major news story. Athena is investigating a missing person’s case that was mishandled. A mother reported her young daughter missing, but the police told her to wait for her to come back home. Rightfully angry, Athena begins questioning the young woman’s friends and co-workers. She finds out the missing woman was at a casino the night she disappeared. After watching the surveillance tape, Athena sees the woman was drugged and taken by a mysterious man. More tape reveals the man was driving the same car that hit Sue.

The LAPD puts out a kidnapping alert for Tracy Webber, the missing woman. The police eventually find the car abandoned at a container yard with blood on the seats. The non-Athena cops search the yard and quickly find Tracy, but she is barely breathing and still seemingly drugged. But just because they found her doesn’t mean the case is over, as the criminal is still in the yard.

The cops try to chase the suspect but they become lost while moving through the containers. Without eyes in the sky, Josh feels like he can’t help them. But after remembering Sue’s training, he goes full Rain Man and visualizes the possible paths the suspect could have taken. Josh is able to give the cops the right location and they pin him down before he can do any more damage. 

Luckily, Sue makes a full recovery and comes back to work pretty quickly for someone who was hit by a car. She is finally able to explain her actions that night: while waiting for her husband, she noticed a woman who looked out of sorts in said car. She tried to help her by waving the car down, but we all know what happened next. 

Athena, while still supportive of May’s decision to leave home, decides to have a say in her daughter’s new digs. Yes, she can still move out, but Athena has the last say on everything else. In a true show of maturity, May agrees. Now that’s what we call growth. 

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