9-1-1′s Cruise Crisis Concludes: Who Made It Out Alive? And Who Almost Came to Bobby and Athena’s Rescue?

9-1-1 fans can breathe a massive sigh of relief after Thursday’s conclusion to the season’s three-part premiere, now that Bobby and Athena are finally back on land — and back in the saddle. (Bow-chicka-bow-wow!)

Of course, not everyone fared quite as well as the 118’s Mom and Dad this week. For starters, remember that guy who “just wanted to cash out” on the ship? Well, he cashed out all right… from life. He was the episode’s first official victim, leaving just a handful of survivors to make their way off the boat.

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A security officer named Wes was the next unfortunate victim. “Tell Colleen and the kids I love them,” he said before taking his last breath. (Uh, does anyone Colleen’s number?) But the biggest death of the hour belonged to cruise director Julian, whose reluctant heroics these past two weeks almost made up for the fact that this entire situation was his dumb, beautiful fault. How could someone with such great hair be so evil?

Back on land, Hen was determined to promote the rescue efforts, even if she had to take some back channels to get there. But even she wasn’t expecting to run into former 118-er Tommy Kinard (played by Lou Ferrigno Jr.), who played along without hesitation and got Hen on an LAFD helicopter down to Mexico. And Hen was even more surprised to find Buck, Eddie and Chimney already seated in Tommy’s chopper; they weren’t about to send her into a hurricane all by her lonesome.

“Originally, when the 118 needed a pilot to get them to that overturned cruise ship, Lucy was my first thought,” showrunner Tim Minear tells TVLine of Arielle Kebbel’s character, now a member of the LAFD’s air support team. “But she couldn’t be my pilot… because she got a pilot,” he adds, referring to Kebbel’s casting in the Fox lifeguard drama Rescue: HI-Surf.

Minear still needed a pilot, and he “didn’t just want it to be some generic pilot guy that they enlist.” He wanted it to be somebody “who had a connection to the lore of the show.” That’s when Tommy popped into his mind.

And what would a deadly rescue mission be without at least some comic relief to break the tension? As the 118 flew directly into the storm, a less-than-optimistic Tommy predicted that they wouldn’t make it out alive, to which Buck suggested a new motto for the 118: “Who cares?” (It made more sense in context. … Actually, no it didn’t. Buck is officially off motto duty for the foreseeable future.)

In the end, Athena sent up a last-minute flare, alerting the 118 to her location and ensuring that no one else’s life would be lost. Yes, that includes Norman, who somehow managed to survive this ordeal despite bleeding out from a gunshot wound for two straight episodes. Then again, we’re more surprised that his marriage with Lola remained in tact after all of this.

So, what’s next for the 118 after this harrowing ordeal? Next week marks the show’s buzzy “crossover” with The Bachelor, with several of the firefighters responding to an emergency at the reality show’s iconic mansion.

And we can also expect to see more of Tommy. “He’s going to be around for a little bit,” Minear tells TVLine. “He’s not going to be a member of the 118 again, but he is going to be involved in some stories.”

Your thoughts on the 9-1-1 premiere’s dramatic conclusion? Grade it below, then drop a comment with your hopes for the rest of the season.

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