9-1-1 Lone Star: Pilot Episode
After months of anticipation, it’s finally here, the premiere of 9-1-1 Lone Star, and it did not disappoint. The 2-night premiere was everything 9-1-1 and Texas wrapped into one. While it definitely holds true to the themes of its parent show 9-1-1, it didn’t take long to realize Lone Star is unique and will be carving its own path.
Then: Ladder 126
Our first shots of Lone Star is of Ladder 126, responding to a fire at a feed plant. As the men quickly rush to try and contain the massive blaze, the 9-1-1 operator receives urgent information that the facility also store fertilizer. Moments later the buildings explode, and Ladder 126 is left in a pile of rubble. We later learn only one man survived that explosion, losing the rest of the company, his brothers, in the carnage.
We are then introduced to Owen Strand (Rob Lowe), a firefighter in New York and his son, T.K. (Ronen Rubenstein), who is also a firefighter in his dad’s company. Owen, dealing with an obnoxious cough goes to his doctor only to learn he has 2 tumors in his lungs. As a firefighter at ground zero, he has developed a cancer that is common to those first responders and people who helped with the cleanup. Instead of telling T.K. he keeps this information to himself.
Beth Healy with the Department of Justice and Deputy Fire Chief Alden Radford with the Austin fire department and a show up at the firehouse asking Owen to take a position as the Captain of 126. Their reasoning was he is the only person they knew to build an entire company from the ground up, indicating he took over his current company after the crew was lost in the rescue efforts of 9/11. Owen denies the job stating New York is his home and his son is here.
Moving to Austin
Later that night T.K. is out with his boyfriend and is going to propose. We can see something bad is about to happen in their conversation before the scene fades to black. The next morning T.K. doesn’t show up to his shift and Owen heads to his house. When he doesn’t receive an answer at the door, he calls for backup and a battery ram.
T.K. is found unconscious on the floor with a bottle of pills next to him. After being hit with Narcan, T.K. finally regains consciousness and vomits all over the floor. T.K. tells Owen his boyfriend is in love with someone else. It is revealed T.K. has dealt with substance abuse in the past. Owen advised he can write the report as an accidental overdose so T.K. doesn’t lose his job but that isn’t going to be enough for him. At this moment Owen decides it’s time they move to Austin.
The firehouse of 126 is a shrine to the fallen firefighters with a makeshift memorial out front. The flowers have all died and shriveled. The inside of the house is full of cobwebs and missing firetrucks, a reminder of what happened to the 126.
Shake Things Up
Captain Strand wants a diverse crew who can come in and shake things up. He decides to cast a wide net for firefighters that will meet his needs. During the interview process we meet Marjan Marwani (Natacha Karam) a Miami firefighter who went viral for diving off a bridge to save 3 people trapped in a vehicle overboard. She is a Muslim firefighter who has a bit of sass and is a daredevil. Paul Strickland (Brian Michael Smith) is a trans firefighter from Chicago who has an intuition about people and was able to catch an arsonist from basically zero clues. He attributes it to having to always watch out for himself and developing an intuition for danger before it gets him.
Mateo Chavez (Julian Works) has flunked out of the firefighter academy 4 times. Captain Strand is interested in him joining his crew because of his attention to detail and perseverance to never give up. After he has interviewed these candidates, he meets with the lone survivor of 126, Judd Ryder (Jim Parrack), to check on his mental status and advised he doesn’t believe he is ready to come back to work yet. Judd flips out on Owen stating it’s his house and they were his brothers. His state of mind reinforces the fact that he knows Judd isn’t ready to return to duty.
Our first glimpse of Michelle Blake (Liv Tyler) is of her banging on a guy’s door claiming she needs to know where her sister is. Her sister was last seen at his house 3 years again and Michelle just wants her body back. The scene she is causing has the entire neighborhood looking at her and we can gather this isn’t the first time this has happened. Dustin says she isn’t supposed to be there and we gather he has a restraining order against her.
Michelle meets a neighbor boy struggling to breathe as she backs away from the house. She asks if he has an inhaler and he shakes his head no. His dad arrives on the scene regretfully informing Michelle they don’t have the money to take him to the doctor. She shares her contact information with him as a police officer, Carlos Reyes (Rafael Silva), shows up. He is there to arrest Michelle as she has broken the restraining order. Without a fight, she is willingly handcuffed and led to the back of his police car.
Michelle and the officer Carlos chat in the police vehicle as he drives her away from the scene. He warns her she needs to stop going to Dustin‘s house. Michelle asks if he could just drop her off at work as her shift is about to begin.
Our first case comes after a guy decides to get even with his friend for putting hair remover in his shampoo bottle. He picks a California Reaper, the hottest pepper on the planet, and puts it inside his friend’s taco. His friend, however, was suspicious and swapped plates when he wasn’t looking. The guy took one bite of his taco and things went south fast. He wasn’t able to breathe and 9-1-1 was called. Ladder 126 was the first on scene followed shortly by EMS.
As Captain Stand is giving orders Michelle walks up to the scene stating the scene belongs to her crew since she is the paramedic captain. She informs Captain Strand in Texas the chief paramedic is the commander of the scene in medical emergencies, not the firefighter captain. Owen relinquishes control to Michelle, slightly perplexed by this very different hierarchy than New York. Michelle assesses the man has a ruptured esophagus and his chest cavity is filling with fluid. After inserting a chest tube and draining the fluid, the man regains consciousness and starts breathing again.