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The Athena Scene That Went Too Far On 9-1-1

Co-created by TV mega-producer Ryan Murphy, Fox's "9-1-1" follows the personal and professional lives of Los Angeles dispatchers and first responders. The cast members at the center of this series include a variety of interesting characters. Some of the most notable people on this cast list are Athena Grant Nash (Angela Bassett), an LAPD patrol sergeant; Bobby Nash (Peter Krause), an LAFD captain who later becomes Athena's husband; and Howard "Chimney" Han (Kenneth Choi), a firefighter and paramedic (via IMDb). 

While some of the most cinematic moments in the series see the first responders forced to deal with emergencies ranging from weird to horrific, others are more intimate and personal. Indeed, each character often struggles with their own set of private issues, such as Athena's discovery that her first husband, Michael (Rockmond Dunbar), is gay (via Facebook).

As played by Bassett, Athena is a brutally honest, professional cop who works hard and also loves her husband and children deeply. However, like many of the most interesting characters on television, she doesn't always follow the rules. In fact, Athena's tendency to go against the grain has led her into hot water on more than one occasion. Here's one time Athena really crossed the line on "9-1-1."

One Reddit user really didn't like this slap

In "9-1-1" Season 5, Episode 2 ("Desperate Times"), Athena's youngest son, Harry (Marcanthonee Jon Reis), is kidnapped by serial rapist Jeffrey Hudson (Noah Bean) in retaliation for his arrest. Athena kills Hudson and rescues her child, but afterward, Harry remains quiet and distant around both of his parents. While it doesn't come as a surprise that Harry's kidnapping has affected him in a big way, Athena is shocked at the particular way that Harry's trauma eventually manifests.

In the next episode, Harry is suspended from school for fighting and showing a bad attitude. He runs away from home to his sister's house, where Bobby, Athena, and Michael later arrive to confront him. Athena is understandably upset that he'd leave without telling anyone. However, she becomes even more upset when Harry reveals that he blames his parents for the kidnapping. Even worse, Harry says that his kidnapper was right when he said that Athena is a terrible mother. Instinctively, Athena slaps Harry across the face. Sadly, this response simply serves to push Harry further away. 

As usual, the "9-1-1" Reddit page serves as the chief land of the opinionated. One thread shows that more than a few people have complained about Athena's character, including one user who selected this moment as particularly troubling. "I hate that Athena hasn't really dealt with her HITTING HER TRAUMATIZED KID and then complaining he doesn't feel safe to tell her about his struggles," u/PuzzledSeries8 wrote in a post to the series' official subreddit. "The lack of accountability is seriously upsetting."