‘9-1-1 Lone Star’ 3×18 Review: “A Bright and Cloudless Morning”

**Spoilers Ahead**

The third season of 9-1-1: Lone Star has come to an end with ‘A Bright and Cloudless Morning’, and it couldn’t be at a better time. This season has featured wildly uneven storytelling and inexplicable character choices. Sadly, this finale was emblematic of the problems with this series as a whole. In a way, it was instructive. 

Discount Elon Musk is back, and even in the middle of an emergency, he’s incredibly irksome. Judd (Jim Parrack) was last seen in peril, which was unacceptable. Discount Elon came around, however, and the man who should be the Captain of the 126 lived to fight another day. This is arguably the best story of the finale, and the whole seasons, the Ryder family coming together in a spectacular way. 

During finale season, a lot of familiar faces re-join their former cast mates in their former shows. Lisa Edelstein returned in the finale, reprising her role as Gwyn, T.K.‘s (Ronen Rubinstein) mother and Owen’s (Rob Lowe) former spouse. It was ultimately too little, however. This episode teased Owen getting a chance to reflect on the events of 9/11.

9-1-1: LONE STAR: Rob Lowe in the “A Bright and Cloudless Morning” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, May 16 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.© 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX.

With the exception of a look at the beginning of that day from Owen’s perspective and flashback/dream sequences, this storyline ultimately came to nothing. It just led to the overall feeling that this was another Owen-centric episode in a season that has given him too much of the spotlight. 

T.K. and Carlos (Rafael Silva) are officially engaged, and it was incredibly endearing how it all came together. Unfortunately, these two haven’t gotten nearly the screen time they deserve this season to dig into their stories and their relationship. The engagement itself, then, ultimately feels rushed along even if that’s where this story was always going. 

The show still hasn’t addressed T.K.’s struggle to regain and maintain his sobriety despite reading this as a major plot point. If there was a silver lining, it was seeding T.K. and Carlos be in love and also hilarious. They are truly the underrated comic relief of this show.

9-1-1: LONE STAR: Rob Lowe in the “A Bright and Cloudless Morning” episode of 9-1-1: LONE STAR airing Monday, May 16 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.© 2022 Fox Media LLC. CR: Jordin Althaus/FOX.

Unfortunately, this episode had no Nancy (Brianna Baker) and Mateo (Julian Works), despite setting up their relationship. There was also not nearly enough Tommy (Gina Torres). It seems like there’s a trepidation here, and that the show really doesn’t know where to take this character next.

Even Marjan (Natacha Karam) and Paul (Brian Michael Smith) weren’t able to get a final chance in the spotlight, after being in the background for so much of this season. Grace (Sierra McClain) was her typical, amazing, cool-under-pressure self. Even her, though, got precious little time on screen. The entire episode was a reminder that this show features such a phenomenal ensemble cast that always gets put to the side in favour of Owen. It’s disappointing, to say the least.

Ultimately, the season 3 finale setup of 9-1-1: Lone Star was better than the execution. This could have been an opportunity for Owen to reflect on his past in earnest, and to give at least one other member of the 126 a character-driven story to come alongside. This season has had some heartwarming, dramatic, and satisfying moments. Unfortunately, these are too often over-shadowed. Since we know the show is coming back for season 4, perhaps that will be a turning point.

9-1-1: Lone Star will return for Season 4 on Fox. 

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