Jennifer Love Hewitt is back on 9-1-1 — but Maddie is definitely still struggling.
In Hewitt’s last episode, which aired in October 2021, Maddie was struggling with being a new mom and dropped off her and Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) baby at the fire station — and left town. Not long after, Chimney packed up his car and the baby and set out to find her.
Alas, in next week’s episode, titled “Boston,” he finds her.
“Maddie’s return to the show will not disappoint,” Hewitt says in an exclusive sneak peek. “In this first episode when Maddie’s back, you will get the answers that you want: why she left, why she stayed away, where she’s been, what she’s been up to.”
We also see Maddie crying and confiding in someone: “Since having her I didn’t know what was wrong with me, so I guess now there’s an answer.”
One reason for Maddie’s extended absence on the show was the birth of Hewitt’s son Aidan James, her third child with husband Brian Hallisay, in September. (They are also parents to daughter Autumn James, 8, and son Atticus James, 6.)
Upon her return, Hewitt says she felt an added connection to Maddie.
“I was really impressed and excited that the show decided to go very deep into postpartum depression,” she says in the video. “I think it’s super important. I definitely personally had my worst postpartum after this pregnancy, so to come back so soon after that and be able to give those real things to Maddie has been very cathartic for me and really nice to be able to represent that for all the women out there.”
Shortly after Aiden’s birth, Hewitt opened up on social media about her need to take time for a “reset.”
“Self care, moments to breathe and feel yourself again. Even in small ways. So important,” she wrote. “I am also starting at least a week maybe two away from social media tomm. I need to reset. I need to take my scrolling time and make it active time. Workouts, breathing, manifesting, time with my kids and husband.”
She continued by admitting social media “makes me feel bad sometimes,” causing her to feel “like I’m not enough. Doing enough. Getting my body back fast enough. Giving enough. All of it. I only share this for that one person or maybe more today who need time. Just for them. And need to know it’s okay to take it. And in fact the taking of that time will make everything better. I promise. Sending love!”
Speaking of love, it’s clear Hewitt doesn’t feel all hope is lost for Maddie and Chimney as a couple.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen but I do know that their love is the real kind,” she says in the clip. “They’ve been through a lot, Chimney’s been through a lot as a person, Maddie’s been through a lot as a person.”
She adds: “I ultimately think that they will find their way, but it just may take some time.”
9-1-1 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.