Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!
There’s some new blood in the 118 on “9-1-1,” but change isn’t always welcome.
The series’ Season 5 midseason premiere, “Outside Looking In,” introduces actress Arielle Kebbel’s new character, Lucy Donato, who is poised to shake things up for the team, specifically Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark).
In the episode, the team is struggling to fill staff gaps after Howie “Chimney” Han (Kenneth Choi) and Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) decide to take some time away from the LAFD. As Captain Bobby Nash sifts through resumes to find people who won’t throw off the team’s rhythm, a headstrong firefighter from the rival Ladder 147 gets a chance to prove herself.
While driving down the highway with their kids, two parents get a call from a crazed bomber who tells them a bomb will explode if they drop below 50 miles per hour. That’s right, it’s a “Speed” homage.
Lucy and Buck are the lucky ones chosen from their departments to jump on the moving vehicle and begin extracting the family. Unfortunately, they discover a pressure-sensitive device on the gas pedal, which prevents the dad from exiting the vehicle without it blowing up.
Once the rest of the family is clear, and with just one mile of freeway left, Nash orders the duo off the car. Lucy disobeys that order and props an axe on the gas pedal, which allows the father to escape seconds before the car crashes and subsequently explodes.
After that action-packed introduction, they all get celebratory drinks at the bar. There, Lucy reveals she’s a Los Angeles native who comes from a family of police officers, making her the black sheep of the family for deciding to become a firefighter. She and Buck hit it off as the resident daredevils of their respective firehouses.
In fact, they hit it off so well that they share a kiss, which is fine for her but sends Buck into a tailspin about his relationship with Taylor Kelly (Megan West). Sure enough, the episode ends with Buck in the hot seat as he learns he’ll be working with Lucy — because she’s joining up with the 118.
Following Lucy’s explosive debut, “9-1-1” producer Kristen Reidel told “Entertainment Weekly” that fans of the series can expect a lot more from Kebbel’s character going forward as she joins the cast in a recurring role for Season 5.
“Lucy actually really likes being at the 118. It's a good crew, it's a good captain,” Reidel says. “And because Bobby [Peter Krause] has spent so many years dealing with Buck, when Lucy comes along, she's just like, ‘Oh, a captain that doesn't yell at me all the time? This is great.’ But we talk all the time about the 118 being a family, so what's it like coming into that family, with their inside jokes and everything. Lucy may be feeling like she has to prove herself to be a good team member.”
Reidel also revealed the main reason the writers brought in a new character was to inject some levity into the series.
“All of our characters are going through varying degrees of trauma, and we wanted somebody to come in without baggage, without history, and kind of inject a little bit of levity and fun and joy back into that firehouse,” she explains.
Those curious to see how the 118 got to where it is in the latest episode can catch up on past episodes of “9-1-1” every Thursday on USA.
USA Insider is your source for all things USA, from behind-the-scenes access to breaking news, information about USA’s original shows, and much more. Sign up for USA Insider and be the first to get extras and updates on your favorite shows.