Imagine being in excruciating pain or unimaginable danger, calling 911 and then hearing the line go dead.
Every single day there are emergencies all over the country, and some of those emergencies are life or death, and the dispatcher on the other end of the line is literally helping saves lives. To think anyone in that job could be so callous is frightening.
But that's what we saw on 9-1-1 Season 2 Episode 5, as Gloria went from hero to zero in record time.
Gloria seemed like a ball of fun in the beginning, but in the end, she wasn't the woman she appeared to be. While her incessant hangups are justifiably worthy of criminal punishment, there was a deeper meaning behind her actions.
The difference between someone like Maddie and someone like Gloria is when hope seems lost, Maddie is still going to be there. In the short time that we've gotten to know her, it's very clear that she is a fighter, and she's not going to just accept defeat.
Gloria, on the other hand, has been beaten down and experienced so much as a dispatcher that she shut down. With her personal life in ruins, she couldn't bear to sit on the line and listen to someone take their last breath.
And that's the side of the job that you don't always think about. You see the courageous rescues that Maddie has helped facilitate and Abby before her, but you don't always get to see or even think about the times the ambulance was too late. Or the person on the other end of the line couldn't escape the danger in front of them.
Gloria took that home with her for so long that she eventually snapped and decided it was better to let that person go and not even know their fate than try to help as best she could.
Lucky for her, Maddie is nothing like her.
Maddie is continuing to be a welcome addition to the show and having her interact with other characters besides Buck was nice to see. She had a great rapport with Athena and wouldn't you just love to see those two and Hen out on the town, grabbing some drinks and busting on the men in their lives?
Speaking of Hen, like Chim in 9-1-1 Season 2 Episode 4, she was confronted with a figure from her past: Eva.
Eva's reemergence came with a twist this time as she brought with her Denny's biological father. Hen and Karen have been through so much, and it was heartbreaking to see them process the fact that Denny could potentially get taken away from them.
While Karen was equal parts sad and angry, Hen was just plain pissed.
When she approached Eva's door, I didn't know what she was prepared to do. And she probably didn't know either what she was capable of.
Seeing her overdosing was jarring, as was Hen's reaction. I actually held my breath during that scene as I wondered whether or not she was going to help or leave her to die on the floor of a seedy motel room.
Hen is noble, caring, and kind. It's not in her DNA to walk away from an emergency no matter how she feels. Eva is no longer someone that she feels love for, but she is still Denny's mother and a human being. I was finally able to exhale when she called for help.
Eva: You saved me, Hen.
Hen: I save awful people every day. It's my job
This episode was chockfull of awful people, hence the title. From a racist man about to aspirate to a woman scamming people all over the city, there's no shortage of terrible people walking the streets of every town and city in America on any given day.
But when these people are in trouble, and they need help, the first responders are the ones who step up and deliver.
- While I'm glad Maddie got her time to shine, I missed Eddie, Buck, Chim and the whole dynamic of the firehouse. 9-1-1 is an ensemble drama, but it's very noticeable when key characters aren't as visible in an episode.
- Athena calling Bobby her boo and blowing him a kiss when they run into each other at work is just everything I never knew I needed from this show.
- More Abby talk this week, and frankly, I am over it. I haven't seen any news that Connie Britton is coming back, so I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish at this point.
- Michael is okay as a voice of reason and Athena's cheerleader, but they're going to give him more to do, right?
- How often do you think racism prevents people from seeking medical care? I've heard of instances happening, but it seemed like such a powerful scene that was played more for laughs than anything and brushed aside rather quickly. Then again, it's probably something all these people have experienced before.
Alright guys, now I'm turning it over to you! What did you guys think of "Awful People?" Were you surprised Gloria turned out to be the way she was? Do you like Maddie's addition to the show?
Make sure you leave a comment down below and watch 9-1-1 online right now, so you don't miss a beat!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.