Two takeaways are we are not worthy of Sierra McClain, and Owen has one of the absolute worst love lives ever.
Given the mixed feelings about the Nazi biker terrorist storyline at the forefront of the season, Owen learning by the end of 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 13 that his girlfriend could have murdered her husband to be with him is a bold and potentially polarizing choice.
But the hour also warmed the cockles of our hearts by briefly reuniting the McClain sisters onscreen to sing angelically as our beloved Grace finally had a more evolved arc this season.
We kicked the hour off with a wild emergency call, and those are among the things that one misses the most this season. It’s been light on the calls, but they’re nothing short of entertaining when we get them.
It was the case with that poor, gossiping, lovelorn woman who didn’t realize she had an allergy and a condition.
Words cannot describe how wild it was to see this woman’s tongue swelling so much that it nearly overtook her entire face. Within seconds, she was simply all tongue and nothing else while everyone stared in abject horror.
By the time she started choking on her tongue, it felt like she was a goner. But at least the others came in with the save, and Grace showed once again why she’s the best dispatcher in existence because she talked the colleague through clearing the woman’s air pathway.
Nancy: And let that be a lesson to you; once that thing is on, it stays on.
T.K.: Oh, that’s the plan.
And the two separate calls with Brett were gnarly. His arm pinned underneath that truck was pretty gruesome, and a girl will have nightmares over how Owen concaved Brett’s chest with that sickening crunch because his bones and everything else were frozen beyond salvageable.
In that sense, we can’t say the hour lacked emergency and memorable calls.
The Owen situation was utterly bizarre. Owen must have one of the most complicated and doomed love lives currently on the air.
He and Kendra hit it off, but truthfully, it seems purely carnal for both of them, and it certainly didn’t feel like a relationship worth all of this mess.
Kendra had a responsibility to be truthful with Owen and tell him about her marital status and the nature of her relationship with her husband, and give him the option of choosing for himself whether or not that’s something in which he wanted to take part.
She mentioned that she’s typically an open book and clearcut, but we have yet to see the evidence. The escort debacle happened partly because Kendra needed to be clearer about the nature of the money she gave Owen.
She got upset about all that, but she didn’t think Owen would be angry that she omitted that she had a husband. Worse yet, she tossed around the idea that they were in an open marriage, but that wasn’t exactly the case.
Too often, shows will jump on the train of exploring open relationships or polyamory, but while I’m no expert, they tend to drop the ball every time.
Owen: I’m sorry I didn’t know Kendra had a brother.
Brett: Several. But I’m her husband.
Instead of showcasing what that actually looks like to the many people who are into that sort of thing, they rely heavily on the same tropes of one partner begrudgingly accepting an open relationship to give their partner license to cheat.
It’s never a mutually acceptable thing for both partners. Kendra felt her relationship was dead but wouldn’t let go of Brett. He was still head over heels in love with her and put up with her seeing other people, but he also did all the territorial things and seemingly sabotaged her relationships.
It’s not what an open marriage is supposed to be about in the least. And now that it got reduced to what it has, we’ve edged into a murder situation with Kendra as the primary suspect and, in any other scenario, Owen, too.
Kendra made a mess of things and dragged Owen into it too. It was also offputting that Brett showed up at the station to passive-aggressively posture while simultaneously exposing Owen and his personal business to everyone there.
If there were ever any doubts as to if Brett was upset about the whole thing and lashing out in his way, his behavior with Owen at that station made it clear.
Not only was Owen blindsided by the reveal that Kendra was married, but he could barely process all of it on his own before Brett came to the station to expose him, creating an awkward moment as everyone heard the situation judged and reacted to it.
By now, it wouldn’t be the 126 if the characters’ love lives didn’t spill into the workplace.
The crew as a family getting some chuckles and awkwardness at Owen’s expense is always entertaining, but it genuinely sucked that Brett approached Owen and aired things out the way he did.
But it seems he had a right to be upset if he felt Kendra violated whatever rules they had about their open marriage. Kendra went from an open marriage to wanting to end it altogether, and she has fallen for Owen.
She’s not supposed to fall for the guys that she’s with. And all of this sets things up for her to reasonably be a suspect in Brett’s death.
We saw how much Brett loved her and thought their marriage was solid. He doted on her, seemed to take things in stride when he found her in bed with Owen, and was rotating her tires in some gesture to appeal to her.
It makes you wonder if he thought he could get her attention with things she found attractive in people like Owen.
I’ve been through two divorces; I’m not up for a third, even if it’s somebody else’s.
Brett still thought their marriage was okay and stood a chance, whereas Kendra expressed to Owen that her feelings for Brett had changed, and she no longer wanted to be with him. She’s fallen quickly for Owen, and he was the guy she would’ve left her husband for in the end.
Her last argument with Brett wasn’t good. She even wished him dead in the exact manner that he died. And she found him in the cryo-pod and supposedly went through all these measures to warm him up and get him out.
Is it possible that Kendra poisoned Brett to get him out of the way and move on with Owen? Did Brett poison himself? Maybe someone else is behind it.
Gabriel giving Owen a head’s up while Kendra was still staying at Owen’s house was a doozy. And now we’ll roll into another unusual and unexpected but totally kooky and off-the-wall Owen storyline.
In the meantime, everything about getting this Grace time was magical. I cannot gush enough about Sierra McClain’s performance.
It’s been at least two seasons since they acknowledged the situation with Benjamin’s affair and Grace having to keep it from her mother.
It was a bit unexpected that we got to dig back into Grace’s personal arc again, and they revisited that particular storyline. But they managed to showcase how Grace’s relationship with her father had been strained the whole time.
The pandemic made things easier for her to keep her distance from him. But with Charlie getting older, it was becoming harder to explain why Benjamin and Denice weren’t allowed around their granddaughter.
The dinner with them was downright frosty, and you could cut the tension between Grace and her father with a knife. He was doing everything he could to draw her in and appeal to her, and she was so cold.
We’re not accustomed to seeing it from the most loving, wholesome, and warm character in this series.
Grace is a Christian woman who tries to walk the best path and encourages and inspires others to do the same, but when it comes to forgiveness, she evidently has a hard time letting go.
Even Judd was there to encourage her to forgive her father, and he pushed things into motion even though he knew it would upset her because he understood that life was too short to be that angry. It only hurt Charlie in the process, keeping her from having a relationship with her grandparents.
Judd: You can’t keep doing this. This ain’t healthy for anybody.
Grace: Yeah. I know.
Judd: So you either got to go and fully have it out with that man about what he did, or you need to let go and let God.
One can’t help but factor in how his perspective on these things is often colored by his own experience of missing out on the life of a loved one with the Wyatt situation.
They couldn’t make up the time, but they could get things started, and Judd was moving all the pieces into place so that could happen, willing to face Grace’s wrath if necessary.
When it comes to their relationship, we often see how she supports him, serves as his voice of reason, and helps him face and navigate situations.
It’s always so refreshing and heartening when we see the other side of that when Judd does the same for her. It shows just how compatible and meant for each other these two are.
They really are the best and most endearing couple and the ultimate #Goals. Jace is everything, and the chemistry between McClain and Parrack never ceases to delight. They’re magic.
Grace can hold a serious grudge, and part of the issue is that she hasn’t taken the time to speak to her father since everything happened.
In a simple conversation, they could’ve worked through that tension, and she would’ve learned that he told her mother the truth a long time ago, and they worked through things.
Instead, Grace held onto this anger on her mother’s behalf and this burden of not telling her mother the truth to avoid hurting her, and she grew more resentful of her father for keeping all of this inside.
Dad, you’ve been there for me. And I haven’t been a good daughter these last couple of years, but you’ve always been a great dad, and I’m sorry if I didn’t make you feel that way. You were always kind, and I judged you harshly, and now I have a kid of my own, and I make endless mistakes. And you never stop smiling at me.
Grace is so stubborn and headstrong, and I love and appreciate it when the series gives us these glimpses of how this woman, who we could easily put on a pedestal, is so very human and flawed.
But she tries to be a better person and finds her way onto the right path, which is always inspiring.
Sierra McClain is also a gift that is criminally underused in this series, and when the series chooses to center her, she’s mesmerizing.
Her reaction when she discovered that her mom had made that call and her father was sick was gutwrenching.
She was instantly ready to take full command of the situation, but she was warring between keeping it all together and falling apart to the point of not being effective, and I loved that.
Her boss taking over the call was the best thing that could be done, and she got to focus on getting to the hospital and being there with her mother as they figured everything out.
It was worrisome that Grace and Judd found themselves back in the hospital over one of their fathers. And because it’s been frequent, there was this genuine fear that Benjamin wouldn’t have made it out of this okay.
It would’ve been so cruel to put Grace through that– if she lost her father before letting him know she forgave him, she would’ve had to carry all that grief and navigate the guilt.
But another angle of that would’ve been compelling to explore for Grace. As much as it hurts to see Grace in pain, we’ve seen, with previous arcs and performances, that McClain has such incredible range and talent that she’d knock a serious albeit darker arc like that out of the park, leaving fans riveted.
One of the most highly-anticipated aspects of the hour was the introduction of Grace’s sisters and the onscreen reunion of the McClain sisters. While it was significantly shorter than one could’ve imagined, their presence alone was no disappointment.
It was surprising that Lisa and Ashely didn’t appear in the installment until toward the end, and Denice wanted to hold off on reaching out to them too.
Interestingly enough, Grace had also grown distant from her sisters, and there’s definitely a story there worth exploring deeper.
Lisa and Ashley still sing out on the road together, and Grace seemingly devoted her time to schooling and becoming a wife and mother, apparently putting her in a different place than her sisters.
I would love to know how things have been for the Williams sisters. Didn’t it seem as if it was Lisa and Ashley’s first time seeing Charlie in person?
Grace distancing herself from her father because of what he did makes some sense, but why would she have done the same with her sisters if that’s the case?
From the second they showed up, I craved more from the Williams sisters, and it would be amazing if the series explored more of that relationship, perhaps next season. Hell, while we’re at it, we must meet Judd’s brothers, too!
It looks like your girlfriend’s husband was poisoned. We’re officially investigating this death as a homicide.
The three sisters who harmonized and sang “Smile” as they held hands and looked over their father, praying that he’d wake, was such a fantastic scene, and they sounded absolutely incredible.
They truly do have the voices of angels. For the fans of Thrii, it was such a delightful and special moment to have them all together onscreen and singing. I could’ve listened for ages.
It’s no wonder Benjamin woke up at the sound of them, and it must’ve felt good to have all his girls there, showering him with love, including Grace and baby Charlie.
There’s nothing like a health scare to make someone focus on their priorities and embrace forgiveness.
One can appreciate that Grace can have these stories deeply rooted in her faith without ever being mocked or overbearing. It feels so authentic to her and her journey.
Judd’s urging was simple and effective, reminding her to let go or let go and let God. And her knowing that her mother learned the truth and worked through forgiving Benjamin, too, finally gave Grace this permission to do the same.
And all that bitterness and anger seemed to dissipate as she could let go of her anger and the guilt she felt over hurting him in those moments before his heart attack.
Fortunately, she has more time with her dad, and they can make things right, and Charlie can get to know him and experience how amazing he is in that capacity.
It would’ve been perfectly lovely if they focused the entire episode on Grace, the Ryders, and the Williams family. It’s the magic of Grace.
Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics.
Do you think Kendra killed her husband? Which call was the gnarliest for you?
Were you excited to revisit this storyline for Grace, have some Grace screentime, and meet her sisters?
Sound off below in the comments!
You can watch 9-1-1: Lone Star online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.