9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1 Review: The Big Chill


The 126 is no more and hasn’t been for quite some time.


The Fire Family is fractured, and our beloved crew has never felt more distant from one another during 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1. After Owen’s disciplinary hearing, the season premiere provided us with a time jump, and nothing feels the same.


And if the personal changes weren’t enough to hold your undivided attention right out of the gate, a deep freeze winter storm hitting Texas amped up the intensity and excitement.


We’re off to a hell of a start, and the third season feels promising. 9-1-1: Lone Star keeps getting better with each season.


One of the ongoing issues for this series was the imbalance among the characters. However, the premiere put that to bed by effectively utilizing its characters.


While it’s still early as the storm took precedence, and it’s apparent this is a two-part premiere, it didn’t feel as though anyone got sidelined. Despite the splintered unit storyline, the hour had a similar cohesiveness to its sister shoe. And this alone has me excited about the rest of the season.


Lone Star was a prime series to draw inspiration from that tragic, unprecedented Winter Storm of 2021 that left many Texans dead and others without power.

The Problem Solvers  - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1


And while the hour tossed in some lighthearted quips into the mix, the series wasted no time delving into how terrifying it is when an unexpected climate impacts an area with no experience with it. The hour had a series of freak accidents and scary developments that held you on the edge of your seat or holding your breath.


At the top of the hour, we saw a married couple intent on rescuing baby turtles find something unexpected instead. We never revisited what happened when they found that child beneath the ice.

You’re not just closing up a firehouse. You’re breaking a family. So I am here to respectfully ask for another chance, for some more time to audit the books, I’m confident that I can find a way to keep the house open.

Owen


One can only guess that the car Marjan swerved to hit belonged to them. Assuming our Firefox badass isn’t severely injured after her accident, she’ll find them and help before any other emergency services get there.


The near-decapitation via ice after Brody and his friend’s dumb ass skiing in the middle of the road antics was a difficult case and served as a reminder of how well Tommy, Nancy, and T.K. think on their feet during a crisis.

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They’re the paramedic A-Team, and with an additional six months of working closely with one another, they operate like a well-oiled machine.


And, of course, the emergency search for Lindsay is another case that left us on the edge of our seats, especially after debris fell on Paul. The premiere didn’t hold back with thrilling calls, and as the first part of a two-parter frosty event, there’s still more to come.

Mateo: Wow, so it’s really over then?
Owen: Are you kidding me? This isn’t the end. This isn’t even the beginning of the end.
Mateo: Is it the middle?
Owen: They knock us down seven times, we get back up eight.
Tommy: That’s right.
Owen: One twenty-six is our home. We built it together, we’re going to fight for it together, like a family.
Marjan: As a family.
Owen: These people have zero idea who they are up against.
Tommy: No, they really don’t.
Owen: So we fight, we’re going to keep fighting. And we never give up until hell freezes over.


But first, they had to address the events of 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 2 Episode 14, and Billy Tyson is still Pubic Enemy #1. Goodness, that man is insufferable! You want to strangle him with his freaking ponytail.


Of course, he must’ve whined about Owen knocking him out instead of taking the L (and K.O., too). Owen had to sit through a disciplinary hearing and explain himself while making a last-ditch effort to save 126 from closing.

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He got a suspension, but if there wasn’t enough proof that Billy had it in for 126 anyway, Owen found out that they wouldn’t even give him a chance to find an alternative solution because the firehouse was set for demolition.


Owen’s rallying speech outside of his meeting in May was inspiring, and it had everyone passionate about the cause, but by January, it seemed as though everyone else gave up and moved on with their lives.


You felt for Marjan, as she was the only one still fighting to save their house family, and she was pouring everything she had into it, but the others weren’t doing the same. And you can’t blame them either.


Life goes on, and after several months, it’s understandable that they accepted their fate and chose to make the best out of the situation. She, Judd, and Paul are still together at 122. The paramedic unit still works together under a private company, Paragon.

Carjan Meeting  - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1


And Mateo has matured and outgrown his probie status over at 129. It’s not the worst situation in the world.


But Owen is the center for which everything comes together, and without him, everyone else fell apart and distanced himself.


And he took that to an extreme, living in a cabin in the woods and donning a hat like he’s freaking Crocodile Dundee or something. But I’m not going to lie, the man’s rugged, scruffy look is hot, and he’s looking like a snack.


It’s a surprisingly rustic lifestyle for a man who appreciates the finer things in life, but he’s trying to figure out who he is without the firehouse, and he has a jaded outlook on life these days that doesn’t match up with the man we once knew.

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It’s hurtful to Marjan, who feels like their hero and leader abandoned them. But given Owen’s backstory well before he got to Austin, he’s the type of man who was prime for a crisis of faith in his job and the work that he’s done over the years. How could he not question everything?


He’s overcome so much, and in his mind, no matter what he does to make the world a better place and make a difference, it always falls short or backfires.

Sadie: You take care, Owen. They’re saying it’s going to get pretty frosty.
Owen: Yeah, well, listen, that’s nothing. You want cold? You should try walking down 32nd Street in February. I’ll be fine, but thank you.
Sadie: It’s not just you I’m worried about. This is Texas. When the snow hits here, people tend to lose their mind.


Interestingly, his new neighbor and possible love interest, Sadie, seems like a woman who would put things into perspective for him.


Her commentary about how no matter where you go, you’re always there was insightful and pertinent to the situation. They’ve been attempting to give Owen a love interest for two seasons, but she seems like a down-to-earth type who may fit the bill better than anyone before.

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Owen can run or hide away from his former life all he wants, but it’ll always find him. Buttercup wouldn’t let him forget who he was. Owen has to figure out how to help this man who doesn’t speak English during a snowstorm in the middle of the woods.


Marjan is upset at Owen for giving up after he promised never to stop fighting, and she has a right to be angry about that. But Owen’s refusal to sign that apology letter to Billy is reasonable.

Judd: Ain’t no way Owen’s going to sign an apology letter to Billy.
Grace: He did strike the man, Judd.
Judd: Yeah he did, and he ain’t sorry for it. And he didn’t even hit him that hard.
Grace: He knocked that man out cold.
Judd: He still alive, ain’t he?


If that’s the one thing that kept him from reinstatement, then Billy and everyone who backed him up deserves to be slapped for the level of petty. Why are they allowing Billy to hide behind the department for his stupid vendetta? It’s absurd!


And deep down, Billy knows it, too. He wanted this position, but part of it is appealing to the community and looking good. Owen and the gang never would’ve had an issue with tarnishing the image of the fire department in the eyes of the public. They’re one of the most beloved first responders and are certainly getting better reception than cops these days.

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Billy sending Marjan that letter and asking her to help him improve the public image of AFD shows how juvenile he is and that he keeps playing games instead of doing any real good.


Tommy, T.K., and Nancy’s boss isn’t a person interested in good either. It’s no secret that private companies can be like this, but it’s no less enraging to hear the man chastise Tommy, not because she did anything wrong, but because she didn’t upcharge and price gouge the hell out of a scared person on their way to the hospital.


Healthcare in America, am I right?


He doesn’t see people or this as a public service. He only thinks about the money and business component of the service about human lives. It’s not the best fit for Tommy, Nancy, and T.K., who are in EMT services for all the best and most honorable reasons.

Life Goes On  - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1


But for now, at least they’re together. It makes the job bearable.


And Nancy and T.K. have come a long way in their relationship. After all the time they’ve spent together by now, they’re best friends. And thank goodness for that because Nancy is doing the Lord’s work inquiring about Tarlos.


What the HELL happened between them from May until now?!


They could barely be in the same room together, and T.K. was in his feelings about Carlos getting invited to the 126 hangout. Sir, Carlos was an honorary member of that house before you even got there. WTF?

Save on Ice  - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1


Nancy and Marjan want the tea and for Tarlos to get their act together and reunite, and so do we. But the mystery behind what happened to them is a nagging thing that we need to find out sooner rather than later.


How did a couple who seemed invincible suddenly fall apart? We need answers! Although,  no response will make up for an offscreen Tarlos breakup.

Nancy: Hey, Cap. So, what did step count Dracula want?
Tommy: To give us these cookies from Mrs. Jimenez and a friendly reminder to gouge our patients on every call.


Hopefully, they’ll give us flashbacks or something. What are the theories?


Could one of them have proposed and the other declined? Did they try living together and grow apart? What gives?


Neither guy is spilling the beans about what happened, but it sucks because their breakup affects everyone. No one should feel like they have to pick sides.

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I trust that this pairing is the forever kind of love, so while this news is surprising, I believe it’s a bump in the road for them, and they”ll find their way back to one another. I’ll enjoy the angst until then.


In the meantime, Carlos continues to shine outside of T.K. and their relationship. If we have to deal with the two of them apart, a bright spot in all of that is Carlos carrying a storyline not directly related to that pairing.


The series has so many dynamic characters, and


Many of us wanted him to have screentime in the field in the same way as Athena on 9-1-1, and our prayers got answered when he responded to that break-in and had to escort homeless veterans to a church for shelter.

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They played the scenes just right, and this shows how well they can incorporate Carlos’ storylines into the main arcs with ease. Without his time at the church, he wouldn’t have realized that Lindsay was still in that building.


It was brutal when the roof gave out because of its inability to hold that much snow. As someone who lives where winter storms are frequent, that can still happen in places accustomed to the climate. It’s terrifying all the same.

We can’t save the world because you want to know why? The world doesn’t want to be saved. So instead of trying to fight it, I’m actually going to try to enjoy it for the first time. Because it’s going to keep on turning no matter what I do.

Owen


Surprisingly, Lindsay survived the first collapse, but it’s concerning that she won’t make it through this one. But much like Marjan in a ditch, the subsequent collapse took down Paul, from the looks of things. He’ll probably be OK, but that’s a dangerous rescue that puts everyone at risk and could take someone out.


All we can hope is that it’s none of our favorite characters.

Grave Face  - 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 1


Tarlos is on the outs, but at least we’ll always have the Ryders. Grace and Judd are everything, and I can’t be more excited about their bundle of joy coming soon. Judd was right; Grace looked as if she was ready to pop any minute.


And we’re getting a Ryder girl! Judd is already the doting father you’d expect him to be, and the girl isn’t even here yet. I almost choked laughing over him watching Frozen to prepare himself for the baby.


In an ideal world, Baby Girl Ryder will come when the 126 feels like a family again, but at the rate that things are going, she’ll be born before they can get their sh*t together.


Nevertheless, the distance among them opens the door for some interesting storylines. Marjan’s desperation to keep everyone together feels like it goes much deeper, and she’s on the cusp of breaking because of that.

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The 126 paramedic team’s employment at a private company has the potential to lead to some fascinating storylines and show the difference between public and private services. It’ll be a battle for them to navigate that while maintaining and upholding their moral code.


And Mateo is a rockstar at 129 from the looks of things, so as much as he likely loves and misses his fire family, there’s also the possibility that he wouldn’t want to go back to how things used to be because it would be a step backward.


Overall, the season is already off to a kickass start!


Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics!

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What do you think happened between Carlos and T.K.? Are you shocked Owen is no longer fighting fires? How do you feel about the distance between the team?


Hit the comments below!


You can watch 9-1-1: Lone Star online here via TV Fanatic!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.