Since her introduction, Lucy has been a breath of fresh air on an otherwise dreary season of ‘9-1-1.’

After both Chimney (Kenneth Choi) and Eddie (Ryan Guzman) took their leave from the firehouse during FOX’s 9-1-1 Season 5, two newcomers joined in their stead: Lucy Donato (Arielle Kebbel) and Jonah Greenway (Bryce Durfee). Jonah turned out to be a dark force causing chaos and death under the guise of saving people, which Hen (Aisha Hinds) and the gang discover after Claudette (Vanessa Estelle Williams) dies, despite her being in stable condition before the ambulance left for the hospital. However, even though Jonah turned out to be a bad egg, Lucy has been a breath of mostly fresh air for the show in an otherwise painfully dreary season.

Honestly, Lucy didn’t get off to the best start on 9-1-1 Season 5. Her firehouse assisted the 118 with a call to save a family stuck in a car that had a bomb planted under it — with sensors to make sure the driver didn’t remove his foot from the gas pedal or go under a certain speed. Lucy made a bold move, using an item to jam the gas pedal down and remove the driver before the vehicle exploded. This helped to “earn” her a spot on the 118, but not before some tension with the one and only Buck (Oliver Stark). After their shift, Buck and Lucy, amongst others, went to a bar to celebrate, where Buck and Lucy shared a kiss… despite Buck being in a serious relationship with longtime girlfriend Taylor Kelly (Megan West). This created tension between Buck and Lucy after she joined the 118 because Buck thought he wouldn’t have to face that slip-up, which threw his relationship with Taylor through a loop. Thankfully, since this kiss, any indication of romance between Buck and Lucy has faded away… aside from Taylor’s obvious jealousy in “May Day.”

Since the ill-fated kiss, Lucy’s presence on the 118 has been quite enjoyable. It’s interesting to see someone else join the team and learn how being a part of this particular firehouse differs from the rest. She’s seen how close everyone is, and has slowly started to feel more at home with her new family. She’s faced some unbelievable things already, like her lucky catch of the woman dropping from a high rise, saving the woman’s life in a way that could never be repeated. Watching her struggle to accept that, while trying to figure out how to ensure she could do it again — as we do in Season 5, Episode 14 — is an exciting new way to show Lucy as someone unique. She’s not able to just accept the ridiculousness and lucky breaks. But, it’s because she is so focused on giving it her all to save everyone. It’s a fresh way of showing the toll that being in this line of work can take on someone, and what they’re willing to do to keep going forward. She’s already proven herself a true hero, and as someone willing to do whatever it takes and think outside the box to save someone who needs her.

Even though Lucy has only been around for a few episodes now, she’s already shown she would make a great addition to the 118. Seemingly getting rid of the potential romance between Buck and Lucy was the right call to make, and it helped show Lucy as someone more than just a one-off character brought in to cause drama. She has been tested as a firefighter already, which has given us an idea of how much this job means to her. Taking it slow with introducing us to Lucy helped ensure we wouldn’t grow tired of her, and it also made her entanglement with this established team more believable. The 118 is closer than most, which means they aren’t easily able to let others in. She’s struggled since joining the team, confiding in Jonah… unfortunately… about how the 118 is just so different from anything else she’s experienced, but she’s certainly never given any impression to suggest she wants anything other than to be a part of this beautiful family.

Lucy hasn’t interacted too much with the other firefighters yet, but the platonic (so far) relationship between Buck and Lucy has been intriguing to watch. Before Lucy’s introduction, she was described by the powers that be as the “female Buck” (which probably wasn’t the right way to go about things, as Buck is truly one of a kind). That lasted for about one episode, and then it seemed like the writers took a different approach. Lucy doesn’t feel like any other character we’ve seen in the 9-1-1 universe. She’s different, unique, and has her own — still unknown — motivations for stepping up to protect others. She’s special, dedicated, and determined, which is what makes her the perfect character to finally expand the 118 for the first time since Eddie joined during the second season. Plus, the team is in desperate need of more women. Hen has been the only woman in the firehouse since the beginning of the show, and it’s beyond time for that to change. The fifth season has cut back on the time at the call center since Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) quit her job, but even what time we did spend at the call center had a lot of Josh (Bryan Safi) and, as of late, Eddie. There’s been a lot of focus on the men this season, so Lucy’s energy has been very welcome in the midst of that.

9-1-1 has created a character with quite a bit of potential in Lucy. If she’s allowed to continue on as a full-time member of the 118, she could be an invaluable asset to the show going forward. She has the potential to bond with every member on the team, and changing her into someone else instead of the “female Buck” allowed for her to be someone unique that wouldn’t feel like a replica of another character that has already been hanging around. With Eddie most likely returning to the team soon, Lucy’s future is up in the air. She was brought in to fill the void he left. The trailer for the Season 5 finale sees Bobby (Peter Krause) and Lucy in danger together, giving her another chance to prove her worth and her skills, offering a perfect opportunity for her permanent placement on the 118.

9-1-1 continues airing Mondays on FOX.

May 14, 2022  •  Joshua

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