Exclusive “9-1-1” preview shows Bobby in tense moment with Malcolm-Jamal Warner's Amir

Peter Krause's first responder will "face" his traumatic past in emotional episode, showrunner Tim Minear tells "Entertainment Weekly."

The past is back to haunt Bobby on Thursday's upcoming episode of 9-1-1.

Malcom-Jamal Warner made his guest-star debut on last week's episode of the ABC first-responder drama, ending with an indication his character, nurse Amir, has a tie to Peter Krause's firefighter.

In an interview after the episode, showrunner Tim Minear confirmed that Amir is a survivor of the fire Bobby accidentally caused years ago that killed 148 people: "Malcolm's going to have a pivotal role in the final three episodes [of season 7]," Minear told Entertainment Weekly. "And you can probably take your cue from the title of the next episode, which is called 'Step Nine.' And step nine in Alcoholics Anonymous is to make amends to those that you have harmed. So it's really a story of Bobby having to take that step. And it's not just one step. He's going to have to go kind of a distance in order to try to fulfill that."

In a season 7, episode 8 preview clip exclusive to EW (above), Amir fittingly reveals his connection to Bobby at an AA meeting.

Minear says this storyline has been in the making since the three-part season 7 premiere in March: "In the cruise ship disaster, when Bobby thought that he was going to not be able to save Athena, he sort of went back to his primal wound, which is losing his first family and being the cause of it and not being able to save them," he explained in his episode 7 interview. "It's really a story of 'Does Bobby deserve this second chance? Does he deserve this new life? Does he deserve this new family?'"

Related: Angela Bassett mourns the death of 9-1-1 crew member: 'We're all rocked by it'

"And the one thing we had never really touched on before was.... He had his book with his 148 slots of the people who died in that fire, and he was going to try to save a life for each one of those people," Minear continued. "But what he'd never considered is that for every one of those 148 people, there are other people affected. There's a whole ripple effect of tragedy because of one thing. And so that was really what I wanted to explore with having Bobby have to kind of face that it's not just the people that died, it's the people left behind — and he's one of them."

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9-1-1 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.