9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 15, “Donors,” is even more proof that the series can, in fact, still be great. When the show focuses on literally anyone other than Owen (Rob Lowe), magic happens. This episode also tackles an important real-world issue that often has devastating consequences. The minimal amount of Owen (Rob Lowe) is what really pulls everything together.
It makes sense to start with the fact that Grace (Sierra McClain) truly is the greatest of all time. It’s a travesty that she isn’t with the 126 more often, even though she’s an incredible dispatcher. Anytime the series shows off Grace’s abilities, everyone wins. Grace’s strength has always been in her massive heart. Nowhere is that more evident than on this episode. She goes the extra mile to connect with the woman who is the victim of a horrific crime. Even when faced with fantastic odds, she is willing to put herself on the line to see justice done.
Daddy Judd (Jim Parrack) is, of course, as supportive as ever. Words can’t describe how lucky of a man he is to have Grace as his wife. The fact that he is never anything but supportive speaks to Judd’s strength of character. Putting him in the background, supporting his wife, feels like exactly where this character needs to be. As much as Judd is a great stand-in captain of the 126, his strongest role is as a supportive husband and father.
The case itself is as alarming as it is heartbreaking. Illegal trafficking of human organs is absolutely a real thing. Unfortunately, this episode falls short in terms of delving into the root causes of this crime. There’s an important commentary to make regarding what drives people to buy organs on the black market. Instead, the villain and orchestrator is a largely faceless villain. The true villain is the system that allows criminals to prey on desperate, vulnerable people.
9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 15, “Donors,” also sets up a realistic future for Carlos (Rafael Silva) as he prepares to start a new chapter in his life. It makes sense to start Carlos on a journey to become a detective. Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of new stories for this character, possibly involving the 126. It’s also important to watch Carlos in action and actually work through a case. This is going to become important if this character is going to get more of the spotlight, which he deserves.
Owen has a surprisingly poignant story, dealing with the implications of his brother’s current health struggles. Keeping Owen in small doses can actually be quite effective. While he is still not leading his team or fighting any fires, quiet moments like these are what make this character enjoyable. When he’s able to focus on the love he has for his brother rather than on misguided romantic encounters, fans are actually able to get to know him as a person. It’s a nice change.
This episode is truly the best that 9-1-1: Lone Star has to offer. The focus on Grace and Carlos, and a tiny bit on Owen, is where the series is at its best. As the season gets ready to wind down, this is frankly a pleasant change of pace. These are exactly the stories and perspectives the series should focus on going forward. Time will tell whether 9-1-1: Lone Star will or whether there will be a return to the Owen Show.
9-1-1: Lone Star airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on Fox.