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9-1-1 season 7 episode 1 recap: keeping things fresh

 Angela Basset as Athena and Peter Krause as Bobby in 9-1-1 season 7.
Angela Basset as Athena and Peter Krause as Bobby in 9-1-1 season 7.

9-1-1 is back and on its new home on ABC, and there's plenty to talk about in the season premiere. Here's your recap of 9-1-1 season 7 episode 1, "Abandon Ships."

Athena (Angela Bassett) tells her therapist Bobby (Peter Krause) booked a cruise for their belated honeymoon. The therapist notices her distaste and anxiety about the cruise and wants to know the backstory. Athena says it all goes back to her watching The Poseidon Adventure (on ABC, a clever Easter egg) as a child. She remembers Shelley Winters, who was nominated for an Oscar for best supporting actress but didn't win (another clever  nod to Oscar loss Black Panther: Wakanda Forever). She's been having troubling dreams about what could happen to them on the ship.

Abandon ship

Two months later, Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) gets a 9-1-1 call from an Air National guard pilot who had to eject from his F-16 over the San Fernando Valley. He's stuck on a pole while his plane went on without him. It turns out that F-16s stop transmitting their location after the pilots eject, so where is the plane?

A disgruntled wife is trying to vacuum while her husband watches a program on the Battle of the Midway. She's sick of his old recliner, and she's also sick of him. There's a battle over vacuum noise and TV volume when suddenly a plane barrels through their house.

Hen (Aisha Hinds), Chimney (Kenneth Choi), Buck (Oliver Stark) and Eddie (Ryan Guzman) arrive on the scene. They quickly find the wife, who says her husband is stuck in his chair, as per usual. The plane's "dummy bomb" missile system is pinning the man to his chair so they have to disarm it prior to moving him. When it becomes clear the pilot might not be thinking clearly enough to give them advice about cutting wires, Chimney realizes he can recline the chair and slide the man to safety.

Aisha Hinds, Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman in 9-1-1 season 7
Aisha Hinds, Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman in 9-1-1 season 7

Back at the station, Chimney worries his relationship with Maddie could end up like the married couple, with "resentment and disdain," but he has an idea.

Eddie tells Buck that Christopher (Gavin McHugh) has a first date with a girl from his math class, so he has to stay home to chaperone. Buck reveals he broke up with his girlfriend, so Eddie welcomes him back to "the land of the living" (Buck’s ex was a death doula).

Maddie arrives home to find Chimney prepared a romantic date for them. He tells her about the couple they rescued earlier that day. Even though he and Maddie are engaged, he wants to make sure they never fall out of love, proposing they have date nights to keep things "fresh." He tells her that he wants "the honeymoon life."

The not-so-high seas

Bobby and Athena cut things up on the ship's dance floor and then sit at their table. He shows her a brochure with all of the things they can do now that she's got her "sea legs" (we see a quick flash to a panicked Athena going through the ship's safety drills).

They're interrupted by the couple sharing their table. Turns out that it's Lola (Romy Rosemont) and Norman Peterson (Daniel Roebuck). Athena arrested Lola for flashing morning traffic on a freeway overpass. Their lives were completely turned around by her arrest and they credit Bobby and Athena for saving their marriage. They're celebrating by living on the cruise ship. They introduce Bobby and Athena to Julian (Rick Cosnett), the cruise director, and the couple invites them to rent bikes with them on their next excursion.

Later, Athena tells Bobby she doesn't want to spend time with "a felon" but what she's not telling him is that she's afraid of spending quiet time with him. As she revealed to her therapist, so much of their relationship is built on emergency situations, she doesn't know what they'd talk about without something going on.

Chimney and Maddie explain to their coworkers that they’re going to do "forever dating" to keep their relationship fresh. Despite her enthusiasm, Maddie admits she's worried it's going to be a lot. But Chimney explains to Hen that it will keep their relationship from "calcifying."

During a call to put out a car fire, Eddie relates the story of Christopher's big date. Buck asks if any hearts were broken, which leads Eddie to explain he caught Christopher talking to another girl on the phone as soon as Penny left. Turns out, his son is a player. He's hoping Buck can talk to him because he's a "reformed player."

Relationships are work

Peter Krause, Romy Rosemont, Daniel Roebuck and Angela Bassett in 9-1-1 season 7
Peter Krause, Romy Rosemont, Daniel Roebuck and Angela Bassett in 9-1-1 season 7

Bobby wants to go on a biking tour but Athena says she has a migraine. As Norman and Lola arrive, Bobby says they're going to skip the adventure but Athena insists that they go together. After Athena leaves, Bobby sends the Petersons on their way but stays behind and goes to the ship's AA meeting, where he expresses his concern that his wife is trying to avoid being alone with him.

Station 118's next call involves a man with a heart condition who ends up passing out in a hot tub while getting busy with his girlfriend. She's "stuck" to him so Eddie has to make her relax so he can be pulled from the water. Naturally, Eddie's ability to turn a woman off becomes the fodder for many jokes.

Buck and Christopher have a conversation about his date. Buck asks about the other girls and Christopher admits he likes "to keep things loose." All of the girls are special, and knows they're going to leave no matter what he does. He equates it to how his mother left them when he was a baby. They loved her but she still left.

The ring

Angela Bassett as Athena and Peter Krouse as Bobby in 9-1-1 season 7
Angela Bassett as Athena and Peter Krouse as Bobby in 9-1-1 season 7

Bobby wakes up alone and goes to find Athena, who is having breakfast. He accuses her of sneaking out and avoiding him. Instead, she calls Norman over. When they ask about Lola he says she's resting, but they notice scratches on his neck. Athena immediately becomes suspicious, but Bobby doesn't want to think about it.

Bobby proposes they spend some time together by the pool. When Athena goes to change she sees the housekeeper in the Peterson's room, the housekeeper says no one is in there. Athena spots bloody towels. Bobby finds Athena in their room talking to Hen about her suspicions. Bobby texts Chimney and says not to encourage her. Hen ends the call and Bobby accuses Athena of stalling. He suggests they go find Norman and Lola "to prove one of us wrong." They find Julian, who tells them that Lola is in the buffet, so they head there. When they get there, they see Norman… but the woman with him isn't Lola.

Eddie gives Christopher a letter from his mother. He pretends to not care about the letter, but eventually he reads it to find that his mother did love them. It's what he needed to hear. Meanwhile, Chimney tells Maddie they should forget the forever dating plan to focus on their relationship by relaxing in their hot tub.

The ship's captain tells her crew that a storm will force them to turn around. Athena has arranged to have a police detective waiting for them. Norman comes in and Athena and Bobby start asking questions. He explains the woman with him is with a group of people who kidnapped Lola in Mazatlan. The gang knew their names and kept asking for his Bitcoin dongle, which Norman doesn't have. The captain heard about a rich retired couple using the cruise industry for smuggling, but Norman isn't rich, he's a retired dry cleaner. The gang thinks Norman is part of this crime ring and they’ll kill Lola unless he gives them the dongle.

While they're talking, the ship is overrun by armed men on three boats who board the ship and urge everyone to stay calm so no one gets hurt.

9-1-1 airs Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC, with episodes available to stream on Hulu the following day.