9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 10, “Sellouts,” keeps the series on the right track with a balance of heart and humour. While the season has struggled to maintain this balance so far, there seems to be a positive trajectory developing. This is the most recent episode that proves that the powers that be on this show do, in fact, know what to do with Owen (Rob Lowe) as a character. This episode sets up the rest of the season to be very fun, indeed.
The Owen Show continues to take a break. Yet, this episode is a perfect example of how to use this character. Owen is someone with a stunningly serious case of main character syndrome. Whenever the series can regulate this character to the background, even temporarily, everyone wins. He makes a very strong supporting character to this even stronger ensemble. Too often, though, he’s been given the spotlight that could be used more effectively.
9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 10, “Sellouts,” also focuses on the ensemble, which is a nice change of pace. It’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating, that this is an incredible ensemble that is rarely used to its full capabilities. Owen exists only to be mocked by his team. It is glorious to watch the 126 mercilessly mock Owen’s ego. When the show lets Owen be Owen with no opposing force, it’s everyone’s problem.
There are hardly words to express how hilarious it is watching Owen think that this woman is paying him for sex. It’s a beautiful twist, actually seeing Owen taken down a peg. Rather than initiating a chaotic relationship himself, he finds himself on the receiving end. It’s too bad that Owen’s, ahem, new friend had pure motives all along. It probably would have been more fun if she actually thought that Owen was that kind of guy.
The real villain of this story is private healthcare. Tommy (Gina Torres) gets another chance to prove her leadership skills. Of course, it makes sense that Tommy would be fiercely opposed to a partnership with a private ambulance service, particularly if patient care would be compromised. What doesn’t make sense is the fact that Tommy would intentionally get Grace (Sierra McClain) to put her job on the line.
Unfortunately, this story falls more than a little bit flat. There was a point to be made here, but the show leaves it on the table. It’s odd that the episode features an employee of the private ambulance company being made into a kind of hero by the end. There could have been a deeper commentary on how damaging for-profit healthcare is to patients and employees alike. Sadly, it was not to be.
9-1-1: Lone Star could be so great if it had more episodes like this. While not perfect, this is an example of what the series can be when it’s at its best. While not every storyline is given the attention it deserves, this episode still puts the series back on the right track. 9-1-1: Lone Star would do well to continue to focus on characters who have so much to offer but who aren’t given the spotlight nearly enough.
9-1-1: Lone Star airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.