9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 14, “Tongues Out,” somehow combines the best and worst of the season so far. The best parts of the episode involve this underrated and long-suffering ensemble. The worst involves the mistakes that this series seems intent on continuing to make. This episode is so often frustrating to watch since there are glimmers of everything this show could be. As an overall package, this episode leaves much to be desired.
Of course, the Owen Show was bound to continue. If Owen (Rob Lowe) isn’t the centre of attention for even one moment, it’s quite possible he will spontaneously combust. The real mystery of this show (and this episode) is the question of why a fire captain is allowed to literally everything else except his actual job. Owen’s frequent entanglements with beautiful women who turn out to be criminals or otherwise unhinged feels like a personal affront to feminism.
The “case” gets progressively more outlandish as the episode goes on, and not in a fun way. Kendra (Michaela McManus) serves no other purpose than to further Owen’s story, so it’s honestly difficult to empathize with her in any meaningful way. It is so beyond infuriating to watch this dynamic play out time and again. These women are probably incredibly interesting and dynamic as characters. However, never seeing them in any other context other than in relation to Owen, there’s no mechanism for them to grow.
If there is any redemption to be found in this wild ride of a story, it’s Paul (Brian Michael Smith) getting a small chance at the spotlight. His detective skills are the best part of this story. While this part of the character might come out of nowhere, it’s just nice to see literally anyone other than Owen on this show do something resembling a job. He continues to just not be that interesting. At least Paul is doing something useful and is using his skills in a practical and thoughtful way.
9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 14, “Tongues Out,” also gives another tiny bit of the spotlight to Tommy (Gina Torres). Unfortunately, it’s not enough for what this character so obviously deserves. While the show has given her time and space to process her grief, she needs to be given equal time to move her life forward. If that involves a sexy pastor, all the better. There are so many possible storylines for this character to explore, romantic and otherwise.
The fact that this episode focuses so little on Tommy and Pastor Trevor (D.B. Woodside) feels like the real crime. There are so many beautiful, sexy moments between these two. There is so much missed opportunity in this story to actually go anywhere with them. There could have been a pointed commentary on the damaging nature of gossip, particularly when hidden behind the veneer of Christian piety. While the moments we get with Tommy and Pastor Trevor and some sharp-tongued church ladies are top-notch, it never feels like enough.
9-1-1: Line Star continues to do what it does, and the formula is getting old very fast. Undoubtedly, Kendra and Owen are designed to end like all of Owen’s relationships so far. While this day to come may not warrant any tears, it may warrant more than a few sighs. Additionally, with a Tarlos wedding coming up, there’s been no further focus on these two as they make this massive commitment. Like so many stories on 9-1-1: Lone Star’s golden moments aren’t enough to overcome the most questionable.
9-1-1: Lone Star airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.