Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Things You Forgot Happened In Season 1 Of 9-1-1

When it comes to television, shows like "American Horror Story" and "Glee" have demonstrated that Ryan Murphy and his colleagues have the magic touch. As such, it is not a surprise that their Fox procedural "9-1-1" has become a massive hit. Season after season, "9-1-1" has continuously proven that shows about first responders need not be typical. The series features unique (sometimes outlandish) cases, interesting relationship dynamics, and compelling yet often flawed characters. There is even a bit of quirky humor and campy fun –- after all, this is a Ryan Murphy show.

So much has happened on "9-1-1" that it is easy to forget where it all began. Things look quite different back in Season 1 when Buck is a newbie, Bobby is a mystery, and Athena is married to Michael. While we love where the entertaining and imaginative place "9-1-1" ends up, we want to look back at that original season, which provides the foundation from which the show was able to blossom. Here are some things that you may have forgotten happened in Season 1 of "9-1-1."

Buck and Abby start a love connection over the phone

Connie Britton is a fantastic actress, but she has been gone from "9-1-1" for so long that it is easy to forget she was even on the show. She was, after all, only around for Season 1. Still, Britton's Abby Clark made her debut in the first episode, and she was an integral part of the show's early success. Not only was Abby a great dispatcher, but she also allowed us to see a softer side of Evan "Buck" Buckley (Oliver Stark), who started off the show as kind of a jerk.

Buck and Abby started their flirtation on the phone, beginning in the second episode, "Let Go," but they did not actually meet until "Point of Origin," the fifth episode of Season 1. They started dating in the following episode, and it feels like things moved at warp speed after that. Their phone friendship certainly helped their in-person love affair move quicker, and perhaps the way they met is what allows them to overcome their considerable age difference so quickly, considering that Britton is nearly 25 years older than Stark. Though short-lived, the romance between Abby and Buck is a highlight of Season 1. Had Buck not had this experience, he likely would not have been emotionally ready for his current relationship with Taylor.

Chimney gets a pole through the head

Howard "Chimney" Han (Kenneth Choi) is one of the most lovable characters on "9-1-1," and we find it nearly impossible not to root for him at all times. The character is the ultimate underdog, overcoming everything from a crappy family to a terrible Season 1 relationship. In fact, Chimney's awful girlfriend Tatiana shows her truest colors in the same episode where Chimney gets a pole through the head. The outrageous storyline very much set the tone for the show in terms of the type of injuries we should come to expect and the fact that no lead character would be off-limits.

In "Next of Kin," Chimney proposes to Tatiana, who is much more into the fact that he is a firefighter than the fact that he is Howard Han. When Tatiana does not say yes to his proposal, Chimney takes off in his car and gets hit by a truck after losing control of his vehicle. Since, again, this is a Ryan Murphy show on which crazy things happen, he survives receiving spike through the head. "Somehow, Chimney survives  —  because his brain isn't located in his head, I'm guessing?  —  and they rush him to the hospital where some brain surgeons carefully remove the spike and put him in a medically induced coma," wrote The Ringer in their recap. "These are some good doctors!" Chimney's injury is hardly ever mentioned, but we can still picture the look on his face when Buck uses his phone to show Chimney his perforated forehead.

Michael comes out as gay

Michael Grant (Rockmond Dunbar) and his doctor fiancé David (La Monde Byrd) were abruptly written off the show in Season 5, reportedly due to Dunbar's unwillingness to comply with COVID-19 vaccine mandates, per Deadline. Micheal leaves the show after a deadly explosion almost claims David's life, prompting the two to travel to Haiti, where they help with hurricane relief. Though Michael clearly loves David, it seems quite out of character for the devoted father, whose son was recently abducted by a psycho killer. The ease with which the show deals with Michael's sexuality makes it easy to forget that the character struggles with his sexual identity in Season 1.

When we first meet Michael, he is married to Athena (Angela Bassett), and the two are going to couples therapy to try to maintain a marriage without sex. In the first episode of the show, Michael reveals his homosexuality to his two children, May and Harry. "I want to tell them," Michael tells Athena at the kitchen table after the kids ask about whether their parents are getting divorced. Athena says she is not ready, but Michael makes the disclosure anyway. The kids – particularly May –- do not take the news well, though they have been shown as nothing but supportive in recent years.

May attempts suicide

It is really cool to see May Grant (Corinne Massiah) excel as a "9-1-1" dispatcher, not only because she seems to have found her calling but also because of how hard her path there has been. May is accepted to the University of Southern California but decides to take a gap year to work as a dispatcher after high school. Her mother, Athena, is not all for it at first, and we think her hesitations are valid, given May's past issues.

In Season 1, May attempts suicide by overdosing on pills she finds at home –- something she does because of bullying she is experiencing at school. It is a devastating storyline and a wake-up call for Athena, a control freak who realizes she does not have command of the situation. Of course, Athena attempts to regain control by completely going off the rails in the next episode, utilizing her position as a patrol sergeant to take revenge on May's bully. "My baby was in the hospital because of you. She nearly died. What do you have to say to that?" she angrily whispers in the girl's ear before arresting her for the drugs in her bag.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Bobby relapses into alcoholism

Early into the run of "9-1-1," we learn that Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) –- captain of the Los Angeles Fire Department Station 118 -– struggles with an addiction to alcohol. In the fourth episode, "Worst Day Ever," Bobby gets drunk after a harrowing case involving a malfunctioning plane. This is also the episode where we get our first glimpse into Bobby's past, though the show did not fill in all of the details until his confession the following episode.

Though Bobby's dark demons are not immediately apparent, the way that he misuses alcohol in the face of tragedy is a big sign that something is off with his mental health and ability to cope with the stress of firefighting. Luckily, he seems to have quickly overcome the temporary fall off the wagon and ultimately found a healthier coping method, as his alcohol misuse is rarely mentioned in later seasons of the show.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Bobby makes a tragic confession

In the fifth episode of Season 1, "Point of Origin," we learn why Bobby fell off the wagon in the previous episode, and it has to do with the overwhelming sense of guilt he carries due to a past tragedy. We learn all about this when Bobby confesses to a priest (Gavin Stenhouse), which he does multiple times during the episode. In the first instance, we find out that Bobby's addiction to alcohol and painkillers started long before the tragedy, and it even got him kicked off the job for a while. But this is just the start of the story.

Through a combination of confessions and flashbacks, the audience learns the full truth of what happened to Bobby. Years before, in Minnesota, Bobby kept a separate apartment from his family so that he could engage his addiction. One night, he accidentally leaves a space heater running in his family's unit before heading back to his private apartment. The space heater starts a fire, as the building is made from flammable materials and not kept up to code by the landlord, leading to the tragic death of 148 people, including Bobby's wife and two kids. The only reason Bobby is spared is because his wife kicked him out of the home when he returned under the influence. It was an incredibly emotional episode, and Peter Krause does some stellar work, showing once again the emotional range he demonstrated on "Six Feet Under."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Hen cheats on her wife

Henrietta "Hen" Wilson (Aisha Hinds) is a competent and dedicated first responder with a great family and a strong head on her shoulders, making her a fan-favorite character. She is even going to medical school, on top of being a member of Station 118. While Hen is often the most grounded character, she is nonetheless a flawed one. Hen and Karen are on pretty solid footing nowadays, but this was not always the case. If you started watching "9-1-1" after Season 1, you might be shocked to learn that Hen once cheated on her wife, Karen (Tracie Thoms).

We first learn of their conflict in the fifth episode of Season 1, when Hen's ex-girlfriend Eva (Abby Brammell), the biological mother of her son, Denny, asks for help with her parole, upsetting Karen. Later, in "Full Moon (Creepy AF)," Hen sleeps with a recently released Eva, which Eva later attempts to use as leverage in her attempts to regain her parental rights of Denny. When Karen finds out about the infidelity, she takes Denny and splits. Eva never gets custody (she goes back to prison in Season 2), and Hen and Karen were, thankfully, able to work through the betrayal. Eva made a brief return in Season 5 to say goodbye before moving to Oregon, in an episode where Karen confronted her face to face.

Athena gets divorced

Athena starts Season 1 thinking that she could remain married to Michael, even though he had just revealed himself to be gay. The couple was going to marriage counseling, hoping that they could have a marriage revolving around love with the absence of sex. That does not last long, as Michael quickly meets a man he wants to date. That man, Glenn, does not last long, but he is the catalyst for the couple's separation.

In "Karma's a Bitch," the eighth episode of Season 1, Athena has a talk with her children in which she learns how unhappy they are with their weird home situation. She then decides to hire a lawyer and pursue a divorce, knowing that Michael is dating and that it would be the only way for them to maintain a peaceful and respectful co-parenting relationship. It is clear that divorce was the correct choice for everyone, and both parties seem to be much happier with their current partners.

Abby saves Buck's life on their first date

The entire Season 1 relationship between Abby and Buck is super weird. First off, they are nearly two and a half decades apart in age, which is not a problem in theory but certainly feels like a mismatch given Buck's immaturity and Abby's seriousness. Secondly, Abby gets Buck's number off of paperwork so that she can call him to "check-in" after speaking to him once on the phone and then seeing him on TV. That's a bit creepy, no? In any case, nothing gets weirder than the couple's first date, upon which Abby ends up saving Buck's life.

In the Season 1 episode "Heartbreaker," Buck finally takes Abby out -– on Valentine's Day, of all days. They go to a fancy restaurant, where a suited-up Buck chokes on some bread. Abby quickly reacts, and the waiter does the Heimlich, but to no avail. When Buck stops breathing, Abby gets on the phone with "9-1-1" and takes matters into her own hands, performing an emergency tracheotomy in the middle of the restaurant. So, yes, it was a disaster of a first date, but once someone cuts into your throat to save your life, you kind of need to keep dating them.

Bobby finds out he blood that can save lives

In the same Season1 episode where Abby saves Buck's life, "Heartbreaker," Chimney organizes a blood drive that brings out the other members of the "9-1-1." With some urging, Bobby decides to donate his blood despite being incredibly afraid of needles and later receives a call from the hospital asking to speak with him. He assumes something is wrong but then learns that he has "superior" blood that can cure people of rhesus disease. According to March of Dimes, rhesus disease, or Rh disease, is a "dangerous kind of anemia" that develops when a mother's blood type does not mix properly with her baby's blood cells.

At first, Bobby views this new information as a curse, as he feels a newfound obligation to stay alive in other to save others. Earlier in Season 1, we learn that Bobby wants to take his own life once he has saved 148 people -– to compensate for the deaths that resulted from the fire he accidentally started –- and that he keeps a list of his saves in a journal. Once Chimney convinces him of the positivity of the news, Bobby realizes he no longer needs to keep a list of names, as he will save far more people than the 148 lives lost in the fire.

Bobby and Athena go on their first date

Since Season 1 starts with Athena in a marriage and Bobby in crisis, we do not see their romantic pairing coming. Now, seeing how in love they seem to be and how well Bobby integrates into Athena's complex family unit, we are won over by the coupling. It all begins in the final episode of Season 1 when Bobby asks Athena out on a date after she comforts him at the scene of a tragedy where a man dies. They then date in secret for a while before sharing the news with others at the start of Season 2.

That does not mean that it is all smooth sailing for Bobby and Athena after Season 1, as the two have their fair share of fights before eventually tying the knot. Still, the actor who portrays Bobby, Peter Krause, has strong feelings about the pair and why they sometimes butt heads. "Bobby has grown a lot during his relationship with Athena," Krause told TVLine in an interview about the couple's Season 4 blowout fight. "He's becoming more vulnerable and desiring more intimacy, so when Athena doesn't include him in some of these big life decisions that she's making, he feels a little left out. It's difficult for him to bring that up in a conversation, which is why it sort of spilled out in this episode."

Abby leaves town after her mother's death

It is kind of hard to forget that Abby left the "9-1-1" call center since Connie Britton is no longer on the show. That said, many may not recall exactly where she went and why she went there. Britton has only returned once since her departure — for two episodes at the end of Season 3. She is very rarely mentioned, despite changing Buck quite a bit (for the better, we might add).

As the caretaker for her mother, Patricia, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Abby is shown dealing with a lot of stress in Season 1. So when Patricia dies from a pulmonary embolism, it is easy to understand Abby's decision to leave her job and take off to Ireland to start a new chapter. She is still dating Buck when she leaves, and while he waits half of Season 2 for her to come back, things eventually end when it becomes clear that the Atlantic Ocean was not the only thing dividing them.