‘9-1-1’: Jennifer Love Hewitt on That Call Center Betrayal, a Maddie & Chimney Wedding
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 5, “Home Invasion.”]
Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) says goodbye to a couple of new people in her life in the latest 9-1-1 episode, one as a result of the other.
First, she finds out that one of the new dispatchers, Noah (Alfonso Caballero), used her log-in to help a team of robbers scope out homes that would be empty with their owners in the hospital after 9-1-1 calls. Then, after that case is wrapped, she goes home and fires Magda (Dendrie Allyn Taylor), the nanny — sorry, house manager — who has been taking over her and Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) home and lives.
Hewitt breaks down the episode and teases what’s ahead — including why she’s not too eager for a Maddie-Chimney wedding.
Maddie was really tested with bringing new people into her life in this episode. First, let’s talk what happened with Noah. How is she doing after that betrayal? Here was this person she was showing the ropes at work, and as she pointed out, he could have come to her for help.
Jennifer Love Hewitt: It’s funny, when [Caballero] showed up the first day for his first episode, I joked with him, “Oh, you’re going to end up to be bad, I just know it. There’s no way you’re coming in here with that sweet face, and you’re going to end up being good for any of us!” He was laughing and was like, “I actually don’t know if I’m going to end up being bad.” I was like, “Well, you are. You trust me on this one, I know it.” Alfonso was great, and we had a really fun time playing it.
[Noah] was not a good guy, but he wasn’t terrible, you know? I think he was trying to do something helpful, but I think for Maddie, it was a big blow because the call center is her sacred space. Really since she’s come on the show, it has been the one place — other than the hostage episode — where it’s OK there, and she can trust the people there, and it is a safe place. So I think having it sort of infiltrated with this liar and then ultimately putting her at real risk for a job that she not only has fought to keep more than a few times in the show so far but also fought for her life to get back to, was a big blow for her.
Where the audience will see growth is she’s not going to carry it with her. Maddie has done a lot of healing and isn’t going to assume from here on out that every person she meets is a liar, but I do think that it is the catalyst for going home and saying, you know what? There’s something about this house manager that feels off to me or something about the way that this is going that feels off to me, and so I’m going to trust my gut, and I’m going to pull back a little bit, and I’m going to regroup on who I trust, which I think is really smart for her to do and to handle it that way. But yeah, the Noah thing is big because the call center’s so sacred.
And we got to see Maddie show off her acting skills [by tricking him into confessing while she wore a wire]!
[Laughs] I know, that was really funny. I was like, “Guys, I don’t know how to act not acting?” I was like, “This is very strange.”
I did like that this investigation gave us that too brief Maddie and Athena (Angela Bassett) scene. I need more of those two together!
I know, it’s really funny, we were just having this conversation. My scenes with Angela, that’s the first time I’ve seen her in two seasons because we just have not been onscreen together, and our days are totally opposite, and I’m leaving as she gets there or she’s gone as I’m getting there or she’s not even in that episode, or I’m not in that episode or whatever it is. So it was fun to see each other again and get to do those.
It’s been a couple of rough episodes for Maddie at work. This, and the domestic violence call. It feels like she needs a break at work, but she can’t get one because of the nature of her job.
Yeah, I think that’s where she’s comfortable, taking what she knows from her own trauma and pain and being there to support other people. Really, without that, Maddie is completely lost, which is a big reason postpartum and all of the other things, why I think she lost herself so deeply in those few episodes because she wasn’t at the call center. She didn’t have that grounding. She’s a real empath by nature, and I think she needs those people. She needs to be there for them, and when she’s not, it’s hard.
While it was annoying for Maddie and Chimney at home, it almost felt like she needed that light-heartedness.
Yeah, it was really fun. We don’t get to do a lot of that. And the actress who plays Magda, she and I have worked together a lot over the last 20 years, and I just adore her, so it was fun to have her there. I loved getting to be in the bathtub drinking wine. That’s not a Maddie we got to see before, but I feel like that was my nod to so many moms out there in the world. They were like, “Where do you want to hide?” I was like, “in the bathtub with a bottle of wine.” They were like, “a glass of wine?” I was like, “no, no, give me a bottle.”
Speaking of that, what do you think they need in a nanny when they’re ready to find one again?
I don’t know. My husband and I have gone through this in our own life, and I think you know when you know. It’s a big deal to trust people with your children and to invite another personality into your home and all of that, and so I think everybody has to be ready, but it’s a delicate thing. I think Maddie and Chimney will know when they know. The biggest thing for them we’ll deal with coming up is — and it’s been a situation for a while — they’re three humans living in a very small bachelor pad, and that’s going to be more of the issue than even finding help.
It is really good to see Maddie and Chimney back together. How would you describe their relationship this season? Are they as stable as we’ve seen them because they’re now communicating?
I think so. I always think of Maddie as coming out of the fog. She is every day stepping more and more into the light and the goodness and her power as a person and feeling healthy and like she’s able to put all of the things she’s been through behind and move forward in her life. I feel like Chimney is willing to do the same and is also doing that. I think having Jee helps them a lot with that because kids remind you on a daily basis that there’s just no room for all your heavy stuff. You gotta keep it rainbows and sunshine and create a life and goodness for a little person, so I think that’s really positive for them.
And I feel like their relationship is in a really honest place. They’ve been through a lot. If you look at the characters separately from each other, they’ve been through a lot, and then you look at them together, and they’ve been through a lot, and I think Maddie and Chimney this season are just fighting for good days. I think they’re just waking up, just trying to have some goodness, and I think they deserve it. That’s what the audience is seeing. There’s stuff going on around them, obviously, because they’re first responders, and that’s the show, but I think everybody’s fighting really hard to keep what’s happening between Maddie and Chimney light and happy and moving forward.
Because of that, will marriage come up? Or do they not want to shake things up right now?
I don’t know, and I go back and forth on it in my mind. If you had asked me two seasons ago, I would have said Maddie and Chimney have to get married. I don’t know. I kind of feel like they’re in a place right now where it’s like, do they need another thing to rock the boat? Do we want to put more pressure on Maddie? Because as we’ve seen, when Maddie’s under pressure, she breaks, god bless her, but she’s not great at pressure, so I don’t know. I think if that happens, it will be in a perfect Maddie and Chimney way, I’m sure, because we’re always very conscious of that, and we’re always wanting to give the audience what they want. But honestly, I can see Maddie and Chimney being like a Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, just going the distance and never having to do that and being together. So I don’t know where it’s going to go.
I just want something to celebrate their relationship, but then at the same time, because of their history, something would go horribly wrong.
I know, right? That’s what I think, too. Maybe I have more trust issues than Maddie does. I’m the same. I’m like, “oh, it would be so fun,” and then I’m like, “oh god, don’t do it.” [Laughs] “Everything’s fine. Don’t do anything. Nobody make any sudden movements!”
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox