Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Return to ‘9-1-1’: Will Fans Accept?

Jennifer Love Hewitt’s Character’s Journey in 9-1-1

On the hit TV show 9-1-1, Jennifer Love Hewitt plays the character of Maddie Buckley. Maddie’s relationship with Chimney, portrayed by Kenneth Choi, has been nothing short of complicated. Fans of the show eagerly awaited her return after a six-month absence, dubbing Monday as “National Maddie Day.” In real life, Hewitt took a maternity leave from the show, but the understanding and forgiveness from the fans have been heartwarming. However, there is a concern that viewers may hold resentment towards Maddie for her absence, questioning if her explanations will be enough.

Maddie’s Journey of Recovery

In the recent episode, it is revealed that Maddie spent the last six months seeking treatment for postpartum depression. She even reached a point where she almost took her own life by walking into the ocean. It was a harrowing experience, but ultimately, Maddie receives a diagnosis of postpartum thyroiditis, marking the beginning of her path to recovery. This journey leads her to an unexpected reunion with Chimney and their daughter, finally bringing a glimmer of hope to her tumultuous life.

Exploring the Importance of Maddie’s Storyline

This particular episode gave Jennifer Love Hewitt an acting exercise that she deeply appreciated. Not only did she have the opportunity to shed light on postpartum depression and its impact on mothers, but it also allowed her to delve deeper into Maddie’s character. The episode reveals snippets of Maddie’s troubled past, including her abusive marriage and traumatic family experiences. All of these factors culminate in her battle with postpartum depression, bringing to light the underlying issues she has faced throughout her life.

Hewitt felt a significant responsibility to portray the reality of what mothers with postpartum depression go through. The storyline aims to address the questions fans had about Maddie’s prolonged absence. It emphasizes the importance of taking the necessary time for healing and seeking treatment, even if it means being separated from loved ones for an extended period. Maddie’s struggle becomes a metaphorical portrayal of her constantly being on the run, constantly adapting to new circumstances in an effort to be better. However, in Boston, she strives to break free from that pattern.

Reception from Fans and Reunion with Chimney

The reactions from fans regarding Maddie’s absence were mixed, with some expressing confusion about her prolonged time away. Hewitt explains that providing realistic representation of treatment for someone battling postpartum depression requires time. It highlights the fact that healing is a gradual and ongoing process. While the notion of being away from her child, loved ones, and coworkers at the 9-1-1 call center for six months may seem long, the reality is that Maddie needed that time to focus on herself and her recovery.

Maddie’s reunion with Chimney takes place in the midst of a crisis, as their friend Tara (played by A.J. Cook from Criminal Minds) is in distress. At first, Hewitt and Choi were unsure about how this critical moment would play out, but it ultimately felt right for their characters. Maddie has always gravitated towards helping others, constantly seeking ways to be there for people in need. This inherent aspect of her personality shines through, even in her darkest moments. Maddie and Chimney’s reunion showcases their strength as first responders and their unwavering compassion.

A Heartfelt Bench Scene and Uncertain Future

One memorable scene occurs on a bench where Maddie finally gets the opportunity to explain her departure to Chimney. Both Jennifer Love Hewitt and Kenneth Choi found themselves emotionally invested in this powerful moment during rehearsals, even shedding tears. It marked a pivotal point for their characters, given the long journey they had individually experienced. However, there is uncertainty surrounding whether Maddie’s words will be enough to gain the audience’s forgiveness. While Chimney comprehends her struggles and the reasons behind her departure, it remains to be seen if the viewers will be equally understanding.

Maddie’s Future as a Mother

Maddie’s role as a mother takes precedence as soon as she gets the opportunity to embrace motherhood once again. The show emphasizes that being a mother will be her top priority moving forward. This aspect resonates with Hewitt on a personal level, aligning with her own experiences as a real-life mom. It was crucial for her to believe that when Maddie regained the chance to become a mother again, she would seize it wholeheartedly.

Uncertainty Surrounding Maddie and Chimney’s Relationship

While Maddie and Chimney’s reunion brings hope, the status of their relationship remains complicated. Hewitt likens their situation to a “relationship status: complicated” on social media. After undergoing treatment and emerging on the other side, Maddie needs time to readjust and find her place in life. It will be a gradual process for her to reintegrate fully, especially considering the profound struggles she has faced. Maddie and Chimney’s future requires space and time to unfold, but rest assured, the show promises not to leave fans hanging indefinitely.


The recent episode of 9-1-1 featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character, Maddie Buckley, delved into her journey of recovery from postpartum depression. While fans initially questioned her long absence, the episode shed light