9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2 Review: Sink or Swim

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It's official. 9-1-1 has outdone themselves. 

We've seen some catastrophic situations over the years, but this tsunami has taken things to another level.

From the special effects to the harrowing rescues, 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2 was a classic piece of television from beginning to end. 

On The Way - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

Based on the few minutes we saw before the wave hit, there was no warning that the tsunami was coming. 

For Buck and Christopher, they're right by the water, and it's pure terror as they and the others on the pier tried to escape the impending rush of water. 

Related: 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 1 Review - Kid's Today 

Buck knew he wouldn't be able to outrun the wave, and when it finally tugged him under, the elongated scene showing his struggle to get his head above water was terrifying. 

When Buck finally emerged, there was a huge sense of relief, but you also couldn't help but think about all the people who wouldn't be so lucky.

Trying To Help - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

Multiple times throughout the episode they alluded to the death toll the disaster will bring, and there was even a scene in which the bodies of those who died were floating down the middle of the street. 

Lost sometimes in the amazing rescues and joyous moments is the reality that tragic losses like those come every day. 

This days gonna take a toll on all of us.

Sue [to Maddie]

While there will be lives saved and miracles happening, a day like this one will also bring a lot of sadness. 

An Embrace - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

Buck experiences every single emotion possible in a few minutes, as he was gasping for breath and simultaneously scared out of his mind when he couldn't find Christopher. The relief was palpable when he finally spotted Christopher and could take him to safety. 

Christopher is one tough individual. It's been said before, but the child has no quit in him. 

Even while the two of them were stuck on top of the fire truck all day not knowing what's going to come next, he managed to smile. 

He and Buck even shared a perfect moment amid all the tragedy when Buck reflected on how sorry he was feeling for himself by admitting his admiration for Christopher, who fights on and refuses to pity himself. 

I still maintain that Buck was allowed to feel defeated, but being around Christopher and experiencing the tsunami will allow him to see things in a different light. 

Things were going too well in terms of Buck finding Christopher so quickly that you knew it wasn't over. But even knowing that it was impossible to prepare for the feelings of utter agony that engulfs when Buck was screaming Christopher's name over and over again at episode's end. 

Related: 41 TV Characters With Slamming Hot Bodies 

That is just not acceptable! Christopher will be found immediately on 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 3, and there is nothing else to say about it!

Considering how calm Eddie was during the disaster, he doesn't realize that Buck and Christopher were at the pier when the wave struck. 

It felt like they were going to find Buck and Christopher at some point, but that never happened. Instead, they were tasked with saving the lives of two men who were pinned against one another with a massive antenna going through both their bodies. 

Prepared Eddie - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

Have you ever seen someone receive CPR underwater?

Every time you think you've seen the most unique rescue in the world, 9-1-1 hits you with something else utterly unfathomable. 

Chuck: She is the love of my life. He is the love of hers. Save...save him.
Bobby: Our job is to save you both, so that's what we're gonna do.

Bobby's ability to stay calm is what makes him such an effective captain. And he's also a great diver, as well. Who knew?

He and Eddie eventually made it out to the pier (or what's left of it)  just in time for that next wave to hit. And they meet fellow firefighter Ronda Rousey who is joining the cast this season.

Lending A Hand - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

The scene of them riding out to the Ferris wheel, which is halfway underwater was chilling. The entire pier is underwater. 

Athena wasn't near the beach, but that doesn't mean the tsunami wasn't affecting the rest of the city.  

With cars piled up all around and people injured, Athena did what Athena does best; she took control. 

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movie & TV shows with Amazon Prime Videos 

We don't get a ton of May within the series, but she's never been better than she was while helping a woman who was losing a tremendous amount of blood. Trying to keep her awake and alive took her mind off of school issues very quick.

A Massive Tsunami - 9-1-1

May was beside herself with fear, but instead of succumbing to it, she rebelled. Her tact may not have been for everyone. She decided to be strong and deliberate with Vicky, whereas someone else may have gone softer. 

But Vicky left the van alive, and that's all May could have hoped for. 

It can't be easy being the daughter of someone who seems always to have it all together, but as Athena says, it takes time to become that kind of person. She wasn't born that way. 

Experiences helped shape Athena into the headstrong person we know, and this experience will help do that for May, as well.

Looking Out - 9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2

Loose Ends

  • The special effects during this hour were unreal. 
  • Maddie's call with Jonas and talking to him as he passed away on the phone was as powerful as it gets. And to think about all the calls coming in from people who won't make it is devastating. 
  • Turning the abandoned VA hospital into a working hospital to house victims was a genius idea from Maddie, and it will be interesting to see how that all comes about. 
  • If you didn't cry at all throughout the hour, I need to know how. 

An event of this magnitude will stretch into the next episode and possibly beyond that as the repercussions will no doubt be felt for a very long time. 

This was one of the best episodes of the series to date. And while we wait to see what's next, let me know what you thought about this installment.

Can Maddie get the makeshift hospital up and running? 

Will Buck rescue Christopher? 

Drop me a line down below and watch 9-1-1 online right this minute! You won't regret it! 

Sink or Swim Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (16 Votes)

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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9-1-1 Season 3 Episode 2 Quotes

One wave did all of this?


Where did all the water go?

Christopher [to Buck]