What an absolutely fun, balanced, and entertaining hour.
We got exciting calls, delightful personal arcs, and team camaraderie on 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 7, which is the show at its best.
What was most unexpected: Tommy battling it out with a tween or Owen and Paul playing basketball in the middle of the station?
The season has been lacking on the emergency call front, and fortunately, they made up for a bit with some equal parts weird and wild ones that you will remember.
The married couple kicking off the hour with Hannah’s dislodged pacemaker, thanks to their vigorous sex life, causing her to literally die if she was right side up, was enough to have a person speechless.
Can you imagine this man wheeling his wife on a dolly, upside down, six blocks to the fire station in the middle of the night? What would someone even say if they saw that when they looked out their window?
Hannah: If you turn me right-side up, I’ll die again.
Owen: Now, when you say again…
These are the fun and entertaining cases we’ve missed this season thus far, and it’s exciting to be back to the current form.
Of course, when you thought that would be the most entertaining case we’d get, they gave us Lance and Valerie, who have the dorkiest, most bizarre meet-cute story ever.
It will be a blast when they one day tell their children about how Mom tased dad twice and nearly killed him after he saved her.
Grace was a godsend pumping him up enough to save Valerie, talking him through how to break down the door, and getting him into hero mode.
His comment about how as a 40-something-year-old pizza delivery man, he isn’t exactly brimming with confidence was one of the funniest lines of the hour.
But even when Sir Lance got his heroics on, he paid for it dearly, with Valerie thinking he was some random guy breaking into her house and attacking her. In our world, you can’t blame her for making that mistake.
It would be entirely on brand for 9-1-1: Lone Star to bring this pairing back again for another call down the line the same way they do with the disastrous, safe, and portapotty couple.
The personal arcs of this story were fun and fruitful with dynamics.
We were due to check back in with Tommy and her burgeoning relationship with Trevor. They’re such an adorable couple, and both seem happy with each other. Woodside and Torres have effortless chemistry, which makes their scenes fun to watch.
And Tommy has gotten past the fact that she’s dating a pastor, at least so far.
It’ll be interesting to see how she’ll behave when it’s time to go public with their relationship among the parishioners since they were doing a decent job of keeping the romance aspect of their relationship under wraps until they told the kids.
The war between Tommy and Mel was hilarious! That tween gave Tommy a run for her money, but she gave as good as she got to the Ryders’ bemusement and shock.
When Mel went low, Tommy stooped lower, and you can’t even fault the woman for getting on Mel’s level. The back and forth between them was absurdly funny.
Tommy: I know that we’re going to have so much fun together.
Mel: I don’t.
Tommy: Oh, you’re not joking are you?
Mel: I’m not. Don’t look at him, look at me. You have to break up with him before this goes any further.
Tommy: Honey, um, it sounds like you’re giving me an ultimatum.
Mel: We can either do this your way or my way. You have until tomorrow.
Mel was great at playing both sides and having her father wrapped around her finger. She was all smiles when Trevor had eyes on her, but she had a sharp tongue and wit when he wasn’t looking, which caught Tommy off guard.
Her ultimatum was what you’d expect from a kid still bummed that her parents got divorced and didn’t want anyone to interfere with a potential reunion.
The girl had gumption for coming to Tommy the way she did, threatening that they could do things easy or hard.
Her faking a stomach ache was something straight out of a kid’s playbook, and it got the desired outcome of forcing Tommy and Trevor to wrap their date up early so he could come home to be with a “sick” Mel.
Judd: I don’t recall telling you to go full Tommy Dearest on some innocent child. Tommy: First of all, she’s not innocent. And secondly, well, she started if. You know, if you’re going to come for the queen, you best come correct.
But no one could’ve anticipated Tommy playing into her experience as a paramedic to claim Mel had gastroenteritis and come up with such a grotesque concoction to treat it that it’s a wonder Trevor didn’t immediately question it himself.
Credit to Mel for her commitment because there’s no way on earth I would’ve downed milk, pickle juice, horseradish, Tobasco, and eggs.
Judd and Grace were genuinely entertained by Tommy, her antics, and how she ended up in this back-and-forth with a pre-teen.
The friendship between Tommy and both Ryders has been some of the most endearing since Tommy’s arrival, and I love the moments she shares with both, whether it’s seeking advice from Grace at work or her chats with Judd at the station.
Tommy couldn’t anticipate that Mel would bring up the Julian situation. She was savvy enough to get Tommy to admit to the relationship on recording because Tommy forgot that it was a pre-teen goading her.
Her relationship with Trevor is so tenuous, and you can tell she’s still struggling with navigating it for many reasons. For Tommy, this is her first real romance after her husband’s death. It’s not easy to figure out, and we saw bits and pieces of that.
Even when she broke up with Trevor, part of it was covering for Mel and doing what she thought was right for her, but there was some aspect of what she said probably rang true for her.
I love that Tommy and Mel’s truce came in the form of Tommy helping this girl through a rite of passage into womanhood with her menstrual cycle.
It’s hard on Mel that she’s away from her mom, and having Tommy there can make things easier if she’s open to it.
The show’s awareness that the Jullius thing was weird got noted multiple times here, which is funny. They know how to make fun of themselves in that regard.
The hour was also strong because of some focus on Paul. We hadn’t been able to check in with the character for a while, and this was an excellent installment.
Despite Marjan’s absence, the team dynamic was incredibly strong, and it was an excellent episode for capturing the vibe of this group as not only friends but a family.
They all seemed attuned to Paul and knew something was up with him and that he had a crush on Asha. The awkwardness between him and Asha when she showed up at the station and how he seemed to know everything about her confirmed their suspicions.
Paul: Before I transitioned, there were these things, these parts of myself that were so tied to who everybody thought I should be that I had to close the door on them in order to really be who I am.
Owen: And she’s seen behind all of those doors.
Paul with a crush is adorable, and it’s easy fodder to poke fun at him lovingly.
But it’s Owen who managed to get him to open up about some of his reservations and fears. Owen is at his absolute best when he’s this version of a captain who is attuned to all his team members and can bond with them individually.
And this is why Owen simply being a captain at the 126 is more than enough to appeal to viewers. When he’s “on,” and he’s in that captain role as a mentor, confidant, and friend, he’s fantastic.
He has great advice and an ability to get through to people, and those more serious and sincere moments are Owen at his most compelling.
We probably haven’t had that level of bonding between Owen and Paul since he taught Paul about a healthy skincare regimen in 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1.
If anyone could give Paul advice about opening up to love before you lose it or how to seize opportunities, it’s Owen. He just lost Gwyn not long ago, and his life is marred by loss and the survival guilt that comes with it.
Initially, it was hard to figure out what direction Owen was going when he mentioned that he hadn’t made it to T.K.’s plays as a kid. But then he brought it to his survivor’s guilt and essentially how he wasn’t living his life and doing something he desired because he let other things hold him back.
Everything with Asha is good, and it’s so clear as day that she’s into Paul. Their unofficial date was genuinely sweet until she pulled out that sixth-grade yearbook, and he got in his feelings.
Grace: I need you to kick it with confidence.
Lance: I don’t have any confidence; I’m a 42-year-old pizza delivery guy.
There were so many ways to interpret that scene. Asha genuinely likes Paul, seemed to like him back then in school, and still does. She doesn’t care about his transition; she enjoys him for who and what he is.
But it was easy to see how her not caring that he’s trans could inadvertently have her stumbling into rough moments.
When she brought the yearbook, it was enough to put someone on edge because what are happy memories and reminiscing among friends to her could’ve been uncomfortable for Paul if he’s not someone who likes to see pictures from his past pre-transition.
When Paul reacted as he did, it felt like it had something to do with that, and Asha was oblivious to a possible faux pas.
But he opened up to Owen about the truth, and it sounds like, more than anything, he’s afraid to be happy.
He’s found the perfect woman, someone who knew him before and now who cares about him for the person he is. He doesn’t have to go through the difficult period of wondering if the woman he’s interested in will accept that he’s trans.
He doesn’t have to worry about one of those fire bunny sorts who are only into him for the job. He doesn’t have to explain certain things or even go through some of the “getting to know you” phase with dating.
It’s the perfect situation for him, but he doesn’t know how to handle it. The biggest issue for Paul is that Asha knew him from his previous life, and he’s gone to such lengths shutting and closing down parts of his old life, even if they bring him joy, to avoid the comparisons or so forth, that he can’t reconcile with fully letting her in.
Paul loves basketball, and it’s sad that he hasn’t played it in years because he felt like it was something he had to leave in the past.
The only person Paul is punishing and hurting with this is himself. He’s standing in the way of his own happiness in that regard, and he deserves to be truly happy in all aspects of his life.
Paul’s heart-to-heart conversations with Owen were among the strongest moments of the hour, and through them, it feels like Paul has had some clarity about everything.
We didn’t get any further clarification on whether or not he’s pursuing Asha romantically, opening up his doors, letting his guard down, and letting her and love in. It’s safe to say that’s the plan, and I couldn’t be happier or more excited.
And Owen’s gesture of setting up a basketball hoop in the station was inspired enough to make a person emotional. The two of them playing together only improved when Judd, Nancy, Mateo, and T.K. joined them.
This is the type of fire family fun that you love to see!
Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics.
How much did you enjoy this installment?! Are you shipping Paul and Asha? Do you love Owen in Captain mentor mode? How hilarious was Tommy and Mel’s tiff?
Hit the comments below with all of your thoughts. Remember to check out our exclusive interview with Brian Michael Smith!
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.