9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3 Review: Capsized

Someone get the Bobby Nash upper body and core workout routine and send it my way.

With the cruise ship going full-on Poseidon Adventure, Bobby and Athena had to step up and lead a tattered and bruised group up and across the broken boat if they wanted any chance at getting off that floating death trap.

9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3 was the finale of the thrilling three-part premiere, and it was a pretty perfect conclusion to what’s been a refreshing start to the series’ seventh effort.

The scale of this hour is enormous. They pulled out all the stops to bring this upside-down cruise ship to life, and it could not have been easy.

The visual of everyone on the roof (standing in as the floor, mind you) and poor Norman strapped to a roulette table hanging above them isn’t something you’ll soon forget, as anybody who has spent years clinging to the three-parter’s inspiration knows.

Hanging on Tight - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

It’s just a tremendous set piece, and within those first few moments we’re back on the ship, it’s hard to fathom how any of them will make it off that ship alive.

And let’s call a spade a spade: without Bobby and Athena, there was a high likelihood no one would leave that casino.

Bobby went into immediate captain mode once he caught his bearings and saw that everyone was okay. Well, everyone except that man who wouldn’t leave the ship without cashing out his chips.

RIP to that man.

I’m not sure how Bobby devised the plan to get Norman down so quickly, but there was also only one hour to work with here.

Strapped In - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

I am again asking for Bobby’s workout routine because he was using all his upper body strength to navigate that room and then help guide Norman down to the roof/floor, though Julian and Wes were also helpful.

Athena: Wish Buck could have seen you do that!
Bobby: Honestly, I would have much rather seen Buck do that.

They could have spent so much more time in that room just trying to navigate such a large room, but in kind of rushing through the Norman rescue, they had more time to traverse through the ship.

It was a rather rag-tag group of people making their way up and across that ship, but everyone also had a role to play.

Bobby and Athena may have been the clear leaders, but at various points, they needed every single person in their little casino crew to not only carry their weight but step up at various times for the good of the group.

Everyone but Norman. He had to be helped along, but he also had a hole in his abdomen, so it was what it was.

Norman In Pain - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

I have to give it up to Norman, who could have easily been living the final hours of his life and still chose to keep every petty bone left in his body intact.

It’s impossible to say how you’d react in that same situation, and while Norman needed all the help he could get, it was also very relatable to see him shun Julian. Everything that happened is traced back to Julian’s (and Lola’s) decision, and no one was more affected by it than Norman.

At least in his mind.

If we never see Norman and Lola again after this, I’m glad they got little moments throughout the escape to talk. Nothing should have gone unsaid between them and ultimately didn’t, in the end.

The race to that hole in the boat was, of course, fraught with difficulties, and Wes’s death hit like a ton of bricks.

The Upside Down - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

9-1-1 has always had this uncanny ability to introduce a character and, even with limited screen time, give their inclusion meaning.

Wes was a security guard with a few lines here and there, but we didn’t have much time to get to know him. We didn’t know about his family or what he liked to do when he wasn’t keeping passengers safe on a cruise.

Yet, his death was the saddest part of the whole hour.

Considering the massive scale of this disaster, from the explosions to the hurricane and the capsizing, there was minimal bloodshed. And that’s just not reality.

Wes died a hero, though, because he was as helpful as anyone in getting the casino crew to that point. Still, he deserved better.

Bobby Makes His Way - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Cory also deserved better than he got.

I love an opening montage, and following the Harris family from house to ship was a clever way to introduce them and provide the set-up for the others on the ship that we hadn’t seen through 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 2.

We’ve naturally been hyper-focused on Athena and Bobby, Norman and Lola, Julian and the others, but there were thousands of other people on that ship. Other families and friends were also dealing with the scariest moment of their lives.

Cory was giving 21st-century Kevin McCallister vibes, except he wasn’t trying to make his family disappear; they just kept doing it.

How he survived that initial wave, we’ll never know, but his mother getting in her Rose DeWitt bag and jumping out of that lifeboat saved his life. If the crew hadn’t found the mother on the way out, they would have never realized that Cory needed to be rescued.

Looking Up - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Athena spent so much time since 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 1 trying to avoid Bobby, and then, in the end, all she wanted was to be next to him.

These episodes have given Angela Bassett and Peter Krause some fantastic material to work with and new ways to strengthen the bond between Athena and Bobby while introducing new layers to their relationship, as well.

They get to be soft with one another, even in the most stressful and difficult moments, and their scenes in this hour were perhaps some of the pair’s best, which is saying something because there have been so many beautiful moments over the years.

I despise when groups of people split up, but it was necessary here, as Bobby would never leave anyone behind, and they were running out of time.

It’s wild to think that if it hadn’t been for Hen, this story would have had a much sadder outcome.

Hen Reacts - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 2

God love Henrietta Wilson because when she has an idea, you won’t derail her from seeing it through. She’s so intelligent, has incredible intuition, and she’s determined.

Those three qualities have gotten her far in life and will continue to do so.

Hen would rather lose her job than sit by when she knew in her gut that something was amiss. And while I could understand Maddie’s insistence that she didn’t have to do anything alone, Hen knew she was going out on a dangerous limb and didn’t want to bring anyone down with her if she could help it.

Maddie going behind her back to alert Chimney was necessary here, if only because without doing so, it did not look like she would get a helicopter.

If you don’t remember Tommy Kinard, that’s okay because most people won’t.

Chim Makes A Call - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

He was at the 118 when Chimney, Hen, and Bobby arrived, but we’ve only ever seen him in Begins episodes.

Tommy wasn’t the nicest of characters; in fact, he was highly complicit to the racism and sexism rampant in the 118 house before Bobby took over. And he was still as brash and unappealing as ever in his stint here, though his intentions were in the right place.

Off topic, but with Tommy poised to make a comeback this season and then naturally continuing the redemption arc bestowed upon most characters who get to make various appearances (a few withstanding, of course) on the series, they’d do well to emphasize the changes he’s made and the growth.

And it should be shown on-screen.

Even then, it may not be enough for people to forget their first impression, and it doesn’t have to, but it should still happen. Ignoring his problematic past should not be an option.

Listening In - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Anyway, Buck, Chimney, and Eddie showed up to support Hen because, of course, they did, and mixed into the high stakes on the ship was some levity on that chopper as they flew out to parts unknown, looking for a needle in a haystack.

Hen and Chimney bickering like the best of friends they are, Buck and Eddie knowing just when to chime in and let the besties go at it — a collective ‘who cares!’ chant.

Chimney: You hear that, Tommy? That is the spirit of the 118.
Buck: Yeah, that should be our motto. Who cares!
Eddie: That’s not a very good motto.
Buck: Well, not if you take it out of context.
Tommy: I don’t think anyone should worry about getting fired right now.
Chimney: Because our cause is righteous.
Tommy: Because we’re flying into a hurricane. We’re probably all gonna die anyway.

Even Tommy couldn’t ruin the good vibes radiating out of that chopper.

The timing had to be perfect for them to spot the ship and the casino crew to be spotted. And luckily, it was when Athena got that flare gun off.

RIP to Julian, who was by no means a perfect person but certainly not the most despicable human being out there.

Julian Reacts - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Yes, he had a direct hand in the events that happened, but ultimately, he came through in multiple situations when he didn’t have to help others. You can accept that while simultaneously understanding that he still did a lot of wrong.

He deserved to go to prison, just like Lola. Not die at the bottom of the sea.

Saving the big rescue to the final moments meant we didn’t get to actually see how they pulled everyone out of that hole in the boat or how Buck and Eddie jumped aboard, but hey, this is network television and not a big-budget action movie.

Though it was genuinely hard to tell at times.

Buck and Eddie opened that door to reveal themselves to Bobby, which was poetry. Bobby had to be thinking how badly he wanted his team at that moment to have his back, and then, like a prayer received, they were there.

Distressed Bobby - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Everything about the end of this hour gave you all the fuzzy feel,s and maybe it wrapped up a little too neatly, but it felt flawless.

With Bobby back, Hen may no longer be captain, but she’s proven it’s in her future. Not to get all Neo in The Matrix, but she does feel like the chosen one.

And Bobby and Athena? They more than earned that slow-motion hug and kiss, that fast food, and the peacefulness that only comes when you sit down on the couch after a long excursion and you breathe in the familiar scent that is home.

Oh, and that laughter and sexy times? MORE than deserved after what they just went through.

To see them get that moment to relax into one another and feel at peace for the first time in days?

Buck At The Station - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

Bathena, you will always be famous.

Loose Ends

  • 9-1-1’s insistence on redeeming everyone should be studied. I understand that life is about growing and learning, but for as many people, there are who grow from their mistakes, just as many don’t.

  • Chief Simpson was the worst and a true politician. But his ambition will help Hen stay out of trouble, so we move on.

  • Everything in that helicopter was golden. Hen and her boys are so good together. Their chemistry is unmatched.

  • I can’t get over just how large this whole disaster was in scope, and I’ll keep talking about it.
Julian & Lola Talk - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3

  • Bobby Nash, MVP. Bobby Nash, Evan Buckley’s dad.

  • The ABC switch has done them so much good. The promotion alone has made 9-1-1 feel like appointment viewing in a way literally no shows do these days.

While the cruise disaster was a tremendous feat, now that it’s wrapped up, we’ll return to more character stuff, which is always exciting.

With a shortened season, it’ll be interesting to see what storylines open up and which ones continue to flourish.

When 9-1-1 is on its game, no other show on television can mix the action, humor, and emotional beats as well as they can.

And we’re expecting much more as the season progresses.

But as we close this opening chapter of 9-1-1 Season 7, drop into the comments and let me know what you thought about the hour and the opening disaster! 

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.