9-1-1 Season 2 delivers a powerful message with Hen-focused episode

9-1-1 -- Cr: Jack Zeman / FOX. -- Acquired via FOXFlash
9-1-1 -- Cr: Jack Zeman / FOX. -- Acquired via FOXFlash /

9-1-1 Season 2, Episode 9 delivered a powerful message in Hen’s “origin” story. There are plenty of lessons we can learn and Aisha Hinds is a force to be reckoned with.

“Hen Begins” is one of the most powerful episodes of 9-1-1 and certainly one of the most necessary. While 9-1-1 Season 2 hasn’t taken its foot off the gas when it comes to intensity of calls, it was nothing about the call outs that pulled viewers in with this episode. It was all about Hen’s “origin” story.

And I call it an “origin” story because it’s how she got started as a firefighter paramedic. After quitting a job as a pharma rep (can you believe Hen was a pharma rep?) and hearing her calling to save people again, she decided it was time to become a paramedic with the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A woman in a ‘man’s role’

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This started the storyline of how she faced racism, sexism, and bigotry. The one person who should have welcomed her and helped her find her feet was the one to bully her. Yes, the captain. Of course, that led to others alienating her, although Chimney tried his best to welcome her in.

As she faced the negativity against her and the attempts to crush her spirit, Hen tried her hardest to remain focused and positive. She knew her calling was to help people and she tried her hardest to find a way to stay there.

Chicago Fire did attempt this sort of storyline. When Gabby first looked at becoming a firefighter, there was a debate in the firehouse. Herrmann was initially against it with the same reasons as the captain in 9-1-1. Women are naturally weaker and smaller and that could cause problems.

But as Chimney and many others have pointed out in Chicago Fire, if someone can pass all the testing, surely that means they’re good enough. It’s not like the full tests are changed for a woman.

Plus, Hen sums everything up perfectly. It’s not about the fear of dying because of a woman on the force but about a threat to a way of life. Bringing women in would no longer make it a boy’s club.

The difference that 9-1-1 offered compared to Chicago Fire was how much someone at a firehouse could get you down. Yes, again, Chicago Fire attempted it but it didn’t take long for Gabby to find her way back to her own firehouse with her friends around her. Hen had to face a firehouse with absolutely nobody she knew.

Through the eyes of Hen

In fact, she found companionship outside of the firehouse. It was Athena who offered Hen her card and became her friend because Athena knew exactly what it was like to be in a man’s profession as a woman (and a black woman at that).

This wasn’t about Hen telling her story to someone in her current firehouse. It wasn’t about someone else telling Hen’s storyline. 9-1-1 gave us Hen’s story through her eyes. She was telling us all about who she began. Everything that happened was through her eyes.

We saw the directed sexism she faced. Then there was the knowledge that someone was talking about her behind her back. The story allowed us to empathize with her adding another layer of power to this beautifully-crafted episode.

Of course, she was the hero of her story. We’re all the heroes of our own story. But she also pointed out the flaws in her thinking and the doubts that she started to face because of one man. I had hoped that Bobby would have been the new captain pulled in, but it was still a positive end. Her team had her back when she needed it the most, despite never really making friends with them.

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A positive message for all

We’ve seen this strong and confident Hen throughout 9-1-1 but never heard much about how she got started. There’s no denying the fact that she’s a minority as a black lesbian, but she has never really brought that up too much, except when it came to the firefighter calendar discussion.

This episode finally gave us the story we needed. It was all about Hen. There was no jumping back and forth between her in the now and in the past, but it was all about her begins as a firefighter.

One thing this episode gives is power and confidence to those who want to be firefighters. It doesn’t matter what you look like or what other people think. Never doubt yourself or your abilities.

If this is something you want to do, go for it. Although, you might want to let a friend in when they’re as sweet as Chim.

Next. 5 reasons you should be watching 9-1-1. dark

What did you think of 9-1-1 Season 2, Episode 9? Did you enjoy Hen’s “origin” story? What message did you take away? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

9-1-1 Season 2’s fall finale airs on Monday, Nov. 29 at 9/8c on FOX.