Athena Carter (married Nash) is a character on FOX's 9-1-1 who works as a field Sergeant in the Los Angeles Police Department. She débuts in the first episode of the first season of 9-1-1 and is portrayed by starring cast member Angela Bassett.

Before the series began, Athena had been a successful law student at Stanford, who was convinced to join the police force by her then-boyfriend Emmett Washington in 1989. They eventually fell in love and became engaged. Things turned tragic, however, after Emmett was killed during a robbery, a case that would haunt her and convince her to remain as an officer, driving a rift into her relationship with her mother.

Athena was married for 14 years[3] to Michael Grant and has two children, Harry and May. However, their relationship deteriorated as a result of him coming out to her as gay. Despite both their efforts to keep their family affairs normal fail, Athena decided to divorce Michael in Karma's a Bitch, although they remained close friends.

She began dating Bobby Nash after comforting him in A Whole New You and they grew closer to each other, eventually becoming engaged in Merry Ex-Mas. They later secretly wed happily in a small ceremony attended by Harry and May in This Life We Choose.

History

Early Life

When Athena was 9, her father, Samuel Carter and the rest of her street she lived on helped look for a missing girl, from the Kingston family who was in the grade below Athena. The little girl had been kidnapped from her bed. The only trace of the girl they found was a hair clip in the woods. Athena saw how hard losing a child hit the little girl's parents and vowed to become a police officer so that she could find the little girl and reunite her with her parents.

College Life and First Engagement

As an adult, she later attends Standford University in 1989 studying law instead of her previous desire. At a job fair, she finds it a waste of time, refusing the idea of someone upending of whole life just because someone hands them a flyer. They approach a table being run by LAPD officer Emmett Washington, telling them about the opportunity of becoming an officer. The three deny, agreeing on the idea that cops are hated more than lawyers and decide their own career paths are set. Before leaving, Emmett gives his number to Athena, in case they changed their minds.

Later that night, Athena has dinner with her mother Beatrice, who had come all the way from Florida to visit her. Beatrice tells her about her desire to want to move to California in order to stay closer to her, and Athena could help to convince her father by promising grandchildren. Athena stops her, letting her know that she wanted to finish school first, get a good job, then get married and have kids much later. Beatrice also lets her know that Mrs. Kingston, the little girl's mother that had gone missing has passed away. She also believes that she died from heartbreak, as she had never gotten over her daughter going missing. Remembering her desire, she decides to meet up with Emmett for dinner on the recruitment. Emmett tells her the department's goal was to get 20% female officers and there was only about half now. Athena worries that she will stick out, but he reassures her she will stand out regardless. Emmett begins to tell her how he decided to become an officer, on making a difference in the world which inspires her. Six weeks later, she quits law school and begins dating him shortly after. [4]

Athena on her first day

On her first day, she is partnered with Officer Brogan McCluskey, who is reluctant about her efforts due to many of the female recruits he has trained leave the force after getting married and have children. Athena assures him that she will do her job well and takes on the challenge. She impresses him with her efforts the first day but gets in trouble for denting one of the cars. As time goes on, McCluskey and her grow into a close partnership and her efforts help lower the number of incidents in officer-involved shootings in the decade.

Athena accepting Emmett's proposal.

During a New Year's stop with McCluskey, Athena is approached by Emmett, who tells her they were not in their sector. He asks her out to dinner that Sunday for a surprise and she accepts. While getting ready for dinner, Emmett tries to find the phone to call the restaurant as they were running late. Athena helps look for the phone and finds it, but accidentally finds an engagement ring under his clothes as well. Surprised, Emmett decides to propose to her in the room and she happily accepts.

Athena in her wedding dress.

Sometime later, Emmett calls Athena later on what kind of dinner to pick up for their meeting with Beatrice. Athena asks him for a favor to pick up cream for her mother's coffee as well, to which he accepts, thinking he would "rack up future son in law points". After they hang up, she tells Beatrice it bought them more time, as in reality, she wanted more time to look at her wedding dress with Beatrice helping her. Happy for her, Beatrice tells her Emmett is a good man and she knows they will have a wonderful life together.

A little while after that, she receives a phone call that leads her to a convenience store, where she finds Emmett's body, having been gunned down in a "wrong place, wrong time" robbery. Devastated, she goes off herself to be the one to break the news to his mother, whom she had grown close with.

Athena standing up to Beatrice.

The case itself and the identity of the killer would haunt her for the next thirty years and it convinces her to remain as an officer, along with seeing footage of Rodney King's arrest and the riots that resulted from it. She expresses these wishes to Beatrice, who is angry at her choice and believes that she will follow Emmett into the grave if she continues, and the reason she joined was because of him. Athena rebukes this, telling her she was staying, because more cops like herself would be there, and less like the bad ones. She tells Beatrice it was not her decision, and neither her business as well. This drives a rift into their previously close relationship as well.[4]

As a result of Emmett's death, Athena began to throw herself into her job, focusing on all her efforts to make a difference in the world and the department as a way to honor him. Even years after becoming a cop, Athena still was unable to find the missing Kingston girl.[5] She later built her career up, eventually becoming a Sergeant. She later applied for a lieutenant position, but as her captain was sexist, she was unsuccessful. Athena tried applying a total of 4 times before giving up on the idea.[6]

Her Husband's Secret

Athena eventually marries Michael Grant and has two children, Harry and May together. Fourteen years later, he comes out to her as gay and she had trouble coming to terms with it especially when she was told that he was seeing someone behind her back. This came as a shock to her, as she had recently turned down someone even though she knew that her husband was gay. [7] Going to couples therapy together, Athena went in there with the hopes that the two could continue their marriage as they both still love each other even though that meant that they would have to live without sex. Michael however, didn't feel the same, especially as he has met another guy.

Another day, Athena prepares the kids for school when her daughter was apparently sick. Going into her room to see about her, she found that she had taken some pills that belonged to her.[8] Panicking, Athena called 911 and May was rushed to the hospital where she recovered and told her parents that it wasn't just because of Michael coming out of the closet, it was also due to her life at school as she was being bullied. With the addition to the chaos, Child services arrived and told Athena and Michael to leave as May was being assessed due to her suicide attempt.[9]

A tearful Athena telling Michael divorce is their best option.

Realizing it was what was best for them and the entire family, she divorces Michael, not before telling him she does not regret marrying him. They maintain a close friendship afterward, often giving each other advice.

Meeting Bobby

Athena first met Bobby in 2014 when they both discovered that a fire at a restaurant earlier that week had been actually arson by the owner to collect insurance money. They later would often work together as emergencies went along. [10]

Athena comforting a distraught Bobby

After an incident in "A Whole New You" where Bobby was unable to save and witnessed a man dying and him bidding farewell to his son on the phone, the reminder of his own past shakes him and he leaves the scene, afraid that his reaction may look unprofessional. Athena, at the scene, approaches him and comforts him, relating the struggles they all go through making them a different person. After this, Bobby asks her to dinner, and they begin dating in secret.

Athena and Bobby on their first date.

A few months later, Bobby wants to let everyone else about their relationship, but Athena refuses, afraid of embarrassment, how long the relationship would last, and being hurt again as a result of feeling her marriage to Michael was a failure. After talking it out with Michael's advice to urge her to try again at love, she apologizes to him and reveals their relationship to the other members of the 118. [11]

Athena accepting Bobby's proposal.

Athena and Bobby getting married.

As the months pass, they grow closer and in Merry Ex-Mas, Athena asks Bobby to move in. He reacts with surprise at first, and she tells him she wasn't trying to pressure him, but that she was open to having him in her life in an even closer way. After thinking it over for a while, Bobby instead later proposes to her, which she accepts quickly. Their wedding plans, however, run into a couple of issues, ranging from her still strained relationship with Beatrice when she visits, along with the threat of a mail bomber running amok town. Ultimately, Bobby realizing there was a lot of pressure around them, they decide to marry quickly in a small ceremony in the church attended by Harry and May.

Personality

Athena is blunt, devoted, tough, unsure, and able to think outside of the box. She's very accomplished and professional. She sees things as black and white; either it's right, or it's wrong. She never gives in on the job, and she's described as working too hard for her own good. At home, she's more stable. She's motherly and caring, and has shown again and again she cares for her family and children.  She thinks quickly about how to settle or neutralize a situation, and it may not be straight by the book.

Relationships

Michael Grant

Robert Nash

Henrietta Wilson

May Grant

Harry Grant

Evan Buckley

Howard Han

Edmundo Diaz

Trivia

  • She is the only character on 9-1-1 who so far has appeared in every episode of the series.
  • Before the series aired, there were multiple press releases where Athena was credited as a detective instead of an officer.
  • Athena's badge number is 1275 (a reference to I-275, the freeway that runs through Angela Bassett's hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida). Sgt. Grant's unit number is 727-L-30 (727 is St. Petersburg's telephone area code).[12]
  • In "Trapped", Athena mentions that she is 50.

Appearances

Season One
"Pilot" "Let Go" "Next of Kin" "Worst Day Ever" "Point of Origin"
"Heartbreaker" "Full Moon (Creepy AF)" "Karma's a Bitch" "Trapped" "A Whole New You"
Season Two
"Under Pressure" "7.1" "Help Is Not Coming" "Stuck" "Awful People" "Dosed"
"Haunted" "Buck, Actually" "Hen Begins" "Merry Ex-Mas" "New Beginnings" "Chimney Begins"
"Fight or Flight" "Broken" "Ocean's 9-1-1" "Bobby Begins Again" "Careful What You Wish For" "This Life We Choose"
Season Three
"Kids Today" "Sink or Swim" "The Searchers" "Triggers" "Rage" "Monsters"
"Athena Begins" "Malfunction" "Fallout" "Christmas Spirit" "Seize the Day" "Fools"
"Pinned" "The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1" "Eddie Begins" "The One That Got Away" "Powerless" "What's Next?"

References

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