‘9-1-1 Lone Star’ 3×07 Review: “Red vs. Blue”

**Spoilers Ahead**

Members of the 126 are back for the latest episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star and it was…a mixed bag to say the least. Although the latest episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star had enjoyable moments, it was back to the uneven pacing that fans have seen from the beginning. It’s a shame, because the third season has gone to some interesting places with stories and characters.

The premise of the episode was enjoyable enough. A baseball game between firefighters and police is exactly the kind of light-hearted fun this show needs. Owen (Rob Lowe) really led the 118 in saying ACAB…kind of. His quoting Sun Tsu was the perfect distillation of this wild character. We’re also left with the question, will Neal McDonough ever play a likeable character? Clearly, that day is not today. This entire scenario was reminiscent of Schitt’s Creek iconic baseball episode, and honestly the show just needs more of this.

Grace (Sierra Aylina McClain) continues to show how perfect she really is. The fact she was able to keep her cool while on the phone with a poor boy who was being attacked by his father who was suffering from a head injury. It was proof again that if you’re in the middle of an emergency and have one phone call to make, you want Grace to answer. Her humor is also incredibly on point through the entire episode, especially when being completely baffled by new dispatcher Dave (Dominic Burgess).

9-1-1: LONE STAR: L-R: Gina Torres and Rob Lowe in the “Red vs Blue” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, Feb. 21 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jack Zeman/FOX.

Let’s talk about Dave. Probably the funniest thing about this character was how much he rattled Grace. The two played off of each other incredibly well. Dave’s sense of humor didn’t always land, but there’s definitely potential there. What fell flat for me was the ending arc of his character, where he made up an incredibly tragic backstory and started sobbing on the phone with a distraught caller who was in need of a listening ear. It looks like he’ll be a fixture on the day shift, so hopefully we’ll get more shenanigans from him and Grace and less made up theatrics. 

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of this episode was that a lot of the crew weren’t given nearly enough screen-time. Carlos (Rafael L. Silva) got a great moment when he had to remove T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) from the brawl between police and firefighters. However, the rest of the cast got precious little screen time, which is always a shame. This ensemble has already established how talented they are as a group. Hopefully, the show can start giving individual time to the members of the 126 to showcase just how capable they all are of carrying their own stories in addition to being part of the group.

The one exception to this gripe was Nancy (Brianna Baker). This is a character we also need to see more of. Her lack of natural athletic ability was the perfect opportunity for the classic sports moment of rounding all the bases. She clearly definitely has potential as an athlete, even if a little less than graceful to start.  Even though she was tripped (we saw the show, we know what happened), she got her moment in the spotlight and it was more than earned. It gave her friends a chance to support her, and it truly is what she deserves. 

9-1-1: LONE STAR: Brianna Baker (R) in the “Red vs Blue” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, Feb. 21 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jack Zeman/FOX.

We can’t talk about this episode without talking about that ending. First, it has to be said that it was an incredibly jarring way to end out what was a joyful family moment for the 126. Immediately after this episode aired, Variety released that Lisa Edelstein would be exiting the show as T.K.’s mother and Owen’s former wife Gwyn. I’m not sure it totally worked to have the revelation that Gwyn died quite so suddenly added in as a way to end the episode. The choice was made, and now characters have to deal with the fallout of this storyline. 

Rubinstein has teased that next week’s episode is going to be an incredibly tough one as T.K. and Owen travel back to New York and begin to process their loss. This episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star was in many ways a return to form to a show that almost gets it right, has so much potential, and yet somehow struggles to hit a home run. 

9-1-1: Lone Star airs Mondays 8/7c on Fox.

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