9-1-1 Post-Mortem: Malcolm-Jamal Warner Talks Amir’s Decisions & Where Bobby and Amir Go From Here

Spoilers

Bobby Nash’s story is one filled with sadness, and during 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 8, we got a much deeper look into his past and present.

Amir is someone from Bobby’s past, though Bobby was only aware of that when Amir revealed at an AA meeting that the two had a deep history.

From that meeting forward, the hour unfolded in typical 9-1-1 fashion. It was emotionally charged and incredibly dense, as Bobby’s plea for amends found the two men, once strangers, relying on one another for survival.

Esteemed and multi-talented actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner joined the cast for 9-1-1 Season 7 in the role of Amir, and he’s already made quite an impact.

Bobby and Amir found themselves in a very precarious position, with threats in the form of people and the elements to contend with as they looked for help in the middle of the desert. Still, the two found a way through the grueling day together.

Going through such an ordeal together doesn’t mean everything’s going to come up roses for the pair when there’s still a mountain of grief and pain to cope with.

Warner spent five seasons on the dearly departed medical drama The Resident, which used to air alongside 9-1-1 when the show was formerly on FOX.

But the veteran actor wasn’t very familiar with the first responder drama.

Amir At Work - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 7

“I know that we were on the same night when we were on FOX, and I knew they were also with Disney,” Warner said when asked how much he knew about the series before joining. “That’s really all I knew.”

Since joining the series, he’s gotten to spend time on-screen with Peter Krause, whom he was a fan, and Jennifer Love Hewitt, whom he previously shared screentime with.

“I was a Six Feet Under fanatic,” Warner exclaimed when asked about working with the two veteran actors. “So, I had to temper my fanboy, my inner fanboy. It was great. Being such a fan of his for such a long time and then being able to do good work together is a treat.

“It’s funny. Jennifer and I realized that we met when we were kids during the whole Kids Incorporated thing. We had both totally forgotten about that.

“So, I have a particular affinity for young people who have been able to navigate the murky waters of this television industry and come out as healthy adults with their heads and souls intact. It was also a treat being able to work with her.”

Working Together - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 8

Even though Warner wasn’t terribly familiar with the series, he made it a point to familiarize himself as he prepared to play Amir, someone whose presence profoundly impacts Bobby Nash.

Warner talked with 9-1-1 showrunner Tim Minear and watched some episodes after taking the role.

“Tim and I talked at length even before he was writing the episodes,” Warner replied when asked what he did to prepare for the role. “So we talked a lot.

“I went through a lot of episodes to familiarize myself with the tone of the show and, of course, with Bobby’s background. So, in terms of my prepping and coming into the show, the fire that happened ten years prior was very fresh in my mind.”

The audience was introduced to Amir during 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 7, solely as a nurse on the burn unit helping a patient with whom Maddie and the LAPD had ties as they were looking for her missing baby.

It’s only known at the end of the episode that there may be history between Amir and Bobby when Amir’s face lit up with recognition when he saw Nash emblazoned on the Captain’s turnout jacket.

Amir & Romero - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 7

“I think there’s processing, there’s initial shock,” Warner said when asked about the emotions Amir was feeling in that moment. “There was so much going on because Amir spent the last ten years in his process of healing, also stuffing down these feelings of resentment and anger.

“So, for all this flood of emotions going on, it was just trying to steady himself, if that makes sense because there’s a lot hitting him at once.”

No words were exchanged between the pair at the hospital, and Amir then had time to figure out how he wanted to proceed after such a surprising moment.

He eventually ended up at the same AA meeting as Bobby, but when he first saw the firefighter at the hospital, he didn’t necessarily know that the next time he saw him would be in a public place.

And that he’d speak up when he did.

“I think he sat with it for a bit, and even when he came to the meeting, I don’t think he was 100% sure what he was going to do,” Warner said.

Amir In Trouble - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 8

“I think it was really about just trying to see how does this guy live? Does he hold any remorse? Does anyone know? Did he come out here and create a brand-new identity?

“I think there were all of these elements that Amir was really curious about. It wasn’t until the end of the meeting that Bobby started talking about his great life and being grateful. I think that was the point that it was just a little too much for Amir to just slide by.”

But did Amir really attend the meeting to size Bobby up, or was there more to his decision to confront his past?

“I think it was an ‘I see you’ moment. He was fine with that. You can fool these other people or not let them know, but ‘I see you, and you have to hold that.’ And then, as far as Amir was concerned, he was done.

“I don’t know if Amir ever would’ve come back. That may have been enough for him because if he came back, he might get even more angry. For him, the ‘I see you’ was really important.”

During the hour, we learned that Amir had gone through a lot in the ten years since the apartment fire, including a career change, but even amidst tragedy and change, Amir’s kindness rang true the first time you met him.

Recognition - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 7

How was he able to keep that spirit?

“A lot of work,” Warner said when asked just that. “And I think, again, the healing. His process of healing was more of a stuffing down of the emotions than really facing the emotions head-on.

“As we so often do, we tend to bury ourselves in our work as a distraction from really dealing directly with a particular issue we need to deal with. So, I think for all that resentment and rage to come back up so easily, I feel he was doing more stifling of his emotions than dealing with them head-on.

“The healing was not as upfront. His job is to help heal other people, and so often, it’s easier for us to help somebody else with their stuff than deal with our own.”

After Amir and Bobby were saved in the desert, Bobby was able to make his amends, while Amir listened but didn’t extend him forgiveness.

Hiding Out - 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 8

That begs the question, where do the two go from here?

“Well, I think what we are going to find out is that storyline will not be tied up in any way,” Warner said. “I think the next couple of episodes will be, I would just say, fun. We will definitely see Amir being taken to his limits.”

***This interview has been edited for length and clarity***

You can watch 9-1-1 on Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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