We’re three episodes into 9-1-1: Lone Star’s four-episode premiere arc. In contrast to the action of the first two episodes, this episode had a notably slower pace. While this gave us a chance to delve into some character work, it also impeded the overall story at some critical moments. With Texas still in a deep freeze, and characters in the balance, the family of the 126 is still digging out of the messes they’ve found themselves in.
Let’s not bury the lead, which is T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) continuing to be in a coma after the events of the last episode left him with a severe case of hypothermia. Even though they’re technically broken up (like that’s going to last), Carlos (Rafael Silva) holding vigil at T.K.’s bedside was so heartbreaking. Silva deserves so much respect for being able to convey such an incredible amount of emotion in the briefest glimpses.
T.K. ‘s storyline was also the venue for the return of T.K. ‘s mother Gwyneth Morgan (Lisa Edelstein). Rubinstein and Edelstein have such awesome chemistry, and their scenes with just the two of them were so dynamic. It’s such a sweet mother and son relationship to watch. Although it is always great to see the great Edelstein in action, it was an all-too-brief appearance, and it’s a shame we don’t get to see this character more.
The strength of this episode really was in getting to see the relationships between these characters develop. As Firefighter Paul Strickland (Brian Michael Smith) was recovering from his own bout with hypothermia, he was visited by his brothers-in-arms Mateo (Julian Works) and Judd (Jim Parrack). Hilarity ensued, and these three definitely deserve more screen time in this series. They play so well off of each other, and their riffs were so natural. This scene reminded me what makes 9-1-1: Lone Star so comforting when it’s at its absolute best.
The women of this series will also absolutely stand out and also what reminded me of the best that this show can be. Grace (Sierra Aylina McClain) comforting Tommy (Gina Torres) was so on brand, and was another testament to why we should see more of these two together. Nancy (Brianna Baker) is such an supportive and caring friend, who also needs more screen time of her own. All of their compassion for their friend and for each other was just so beautiful, and we all need this kind of friendship in our lives. The true highlight was seeing Marjan (Natacha Karam) be the absolute boss that she is, and spring into action at just the right moment. The balance between her action scenes and the quieter scenes with her jamming out with Owen (Rob Lowe) was perfect, and hopefully as the season goes on we will see more of this.
The weakest part of this episode, and of the season so far, was still the migrant storyline. It was just such an odd choice that was a terrible cross between overt horrific racism and white saviorism. It’s hard to tell what the endgame with this particular story is. It can’t be leading anywhere good. Aside from giving our team a chance to be in action, there just doesn’t seem to be any point to showing a snapshot of an all-too real horrific situation too many people currently face.
The episode’s ending was predictable, and anyone could see a mile away that Grace was going to go into labor at the absolute worst possible moment and get stuck in a storm. Although it was great to see her confront Billy (Billy Burke) and tell him exactly where to go, it was clearly a means to an end and unfortunately ultimately fell flat. It was a cheesy way to drum up tension for the final episode of this saga, and the show can clearly do better.
The third episode of this season didn’t quite live up to the first two episodes we’ve already seen. Although we got to see some characters in a bit more depth, the pacing of the episode got completely lost. Seeing Judd and Grace be parents is something we can’t wait for, and we’re obviously that much closer if Grace can just get out of the storm. We have one more episode left in the blizzard saga. We have stories to be wrapped up, and we desperately need T.K. to pull through. Hopefully the fourth episode can come back around, and give us a satisfying conclusion.
9-1-1: Lone Star airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.