‘9-1-1 Lone Star’ 3×14 Review: “Impulse Control”

This week’s episode of 911: Lone Star, “Impulse Control”, was infuriating for so many reasons. It’s a dubious honor in a season and a show that is known for so much uneven storytelling and character development. So many strange developments were thrown out into the Universe in this episode. Did all of them work? Let’s discuss!

The episode started off strong with a healthy dose of fatphobia because…reasons. Owen (Rob Lowe) of course immediately made the emergency about himself, in a new low even for him. While this may have been intended to show him empathizing with a patient, it just confirmed that his insufferability has finally permeated his professional life. Although we shouldn’t expect any different at this point, it’s still eye-roll worthy.

One high point of this episode in the midst of this chaos was seeing Tommy (Gina Torres) and Judd (Jim Parrack) as the sweet friends that they are. This friendship is so wholesome, and it’s a relationship the show doesn’t spotlight nearly enough. Both of these characters are among the strongest the show has to offer. It’s always great to see them in the show’s quieter moments, really supporting and caring for one another as good friends do.

9-1-1: LONE STAR: L-R: Jim Parrack and Natacha Karam in the “Impulse Control” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, April 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX.

This episode also unlocked a new character, Julius (Nathan Owens). Introduced as Tommy’s brother-in-law, let’s just say that twist was…unexpected. To be fair, 9-1-1: Lone Star has done a fantastic job of following Tommy on her grief journey. Initially, this story between her and Julius was set up to be a story of family reconciling, and supporting one another through their mutual loss. Everything about this episode really rushed things between them along, however. With the finale coming up, it will certainly be interesting to see where these two end up. 

Another bright spot in this chaotic episode was Marjan (Natacha Karam) calling Owen out in the most spectacular way. It’s rare enough that Owen gets called out, but for Marjan specifically to confront her boss, it was almost cathartic. It’s well past time someone who loves and respects Owen gave him a dose of reality. Of course therapy doesn’t come with a certificate. It’s an ongoing process of self-reflection and improvement. Only the Owen’s of the world think of mental well-being as a destination rather than a journey. 

9-1-1: LONE STAR: L-R: Julian Works and Brian Michael Smith in the “Impulse Control” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, April 18 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX.

I hesitate to even speak about the Owen and Catherine (Amy Acker) situation, because I don’t know why we’re still here. Based on Episode 13, it looked like this relationship was done-for, and fans everywhere could breathe a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, it was not to be. These two individually bring such a toxic energy to the relationship, and it’s clear that things can’t continue this way for long. 

The twist at the end of the episode was dark and unexpected. After getting to know this family for the whole episode, the ultimate conclusion to their story was heartbreaking. Of course, Owen immediately had to make the entire situation about himself and how sad it made him. It was also used as a ‘character moment’, that was undeserved to say the least. 

Finally, the ending featuring Nancy (Brianna Baker) and Mateo (Julian Works) was a strange one. There’s been a lot of will-they-won’t-they between these two. The show hasn’t seemed particularly interested in developing this relationship into anything. That’s why this brief moment of a hint at a budding romance came at the oddest time after the 126 had experienced such a horrific call.

9-1-1: Lone Star continues to struggle as it approaches the season finale. It’s such a shame that this show can’t tease out the characters and stories that make it so interesting to watch. Unfortunately, with all of the setup that’s happened so far, things don’t look good for the rest of the season.

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

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