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911: Lone Star - Hold the Line & Friends With Benefits - Double Review

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We finally made it to the 911 and 911: Lone Star crossover episode! There were a lot of things in this episode that I really had fun with, and some I have reservations about, which may not even be the things you’re thinking of. Onward!

The episode starts off at the fire off the bat, and I’m not a firefighter, clearly, but it was truly a massive fire that seemed to go out in one episode? My friend and I were talking quite a bit about how there was no way it would be completely out by the end of this episode. And then it was. But Tommy did say the rain helped, so…

Sorry, sorry, I’m skipping ahead. Let’s go back to where Owen was seeing Tim’s ghost. Because that happened. I understand why Owen was seeing him, and I’m not saying I want anyone to see the ghost of a paramedic who died, but now I suppose his death makes sense. Kind of. Tim had to die so Owen could think he was invincible and address his guilt. Okay… I get it. I don’t love it, but I get it. 

So Owen starts seeing Tim, and by the end of the episode, he and Hen (Aisha Hinds - Godzilla: King of the Monsters)  discuss his guilt about Tim, Gwen, TK, including what happened on 9/11. I will say, I think Hen was the perfect person to have this conversation with Owen. Nobody else could really understand like Hen did, as everyone else has either dealt with too much or even too little compared to that, and as Hen discussed, she accidentally killed a girl once before. 

At one point, Owen called Tommy to ask how she was doing since it was Tim’s funeral today – which makes sense as to why he’s just started seeing Tim – and Tommy says she’s okay. Just as she asked Owen if he was okay, he was called away, which left you wondering exactly how he was doing. This was resolved when Tommy shows up at the end of the episode, thinking Owen needed a friend, which I thought was a great way to bring Tommy and Owen closer together. 

Elsewhere, Eddie (Ryan Guzman - The Boy Next Door) heard that a medic was necessary, and he hopped on with Judd, Marjan, and Paul to rescue teenagers who got stuck in the midst of the fire attending a camp for at-risk teenagers. On the way there, Eddie and Judd reminisce about growing up in Texas, and man, I love these characters. I wish we could do crossovers all the time. 

Judd mentions that he knows what kind of things happen at camps for at-risk teens because he attended one. I can’t wait to see when they finally get into this. I know we’ve seen a little bit of his background regarding the old firehouse, but I’m really excited to see what else remains to be discovered from his childhood and upbringing. 

There is a bit of flirting between Marjan and Eddie, which I get, but, eh. Then at the end of the episode, we see Eddie saying his goodbyes, and even asking Marjan for a picture. He said it was for Instagram, but let’s be honest, we all know he’s going to rub it in Buck’s face for a while. 

My favorite part of the crossover, though, was definitely the parts with Buck (Oliver Stark -
Into the Badlands), TK, and Mateo. They all had amazing chemistry, and their conversations were so genuinely fun. It was especially funny when Mateo mentioned a cousin in LA named Marvin. If you don’t know, Julian Works was on 911 before he came to 911: Lone Star and Athena (Angela Bassett - Black Panther) actually arrested him. I really enjoyed seeing the reference not only being acknowledged but also expanded upon

I also loved TK and Buck’s scenes together. They flow with each other so well. I think they’re very similar – but not in a way that makes it seem like Lone Star just wanted their own Buck with TK. They vibe with each other amazingly, and I particularly liked seeing TK ready to go for his dad, and Buck being ready to go with him. It showed that they’re both willing to do almost anything for their respective teams – and other firefighters they meet and need to help -- and I loved it. Also, the end of the episode, with TK thinking Buck was asking him out? Absolutely impeccable. No further comments. 

The parts I didn’t love from the crossover were when Owen and Hen were talking in the cave. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it, you know? It was great for Hen, and it was great of her to be there, but I’m afraid the more we talk about how invincible Owen is, the more likely this will backfire in the future. Also, I’m not a doctor, but I have to wonder if there’s any chance all the smoke he inhaled (and, ya know, passing out from it) could negatively affect his cancer recovery. I’m very worried about that. 

Overall, it was really fun, but I wish they could’ve gotten together for a different situation. I know crossovers can be difficult to achieve since there is a lot of plot and character entanglement that needs to take place, but I do wish that the way they had these shows intersect was a bit stronger. I feel like the fire was put out too soon, and I wish Carlos had gotten a chance to be here – or Chimney since they mentioned him in passing at one point in season one of 911: Lone Star. 

Now, let’s get into this week’s episode of 911: Lone Star: Friends With Benefits. Y’all, I have a lot of thoughts about this episode. So many unexpected things happened that I really enjoyed… and also really disliked. Let’s get into it!

The episode opens on Grace & Judd, Owen & Gwen, and Tommy & Charles having a date night. I guess there isn’t a pandemic in this show? Ugh. We’ll get to that. But first, I loved this scene so much. I always love seeing the firefighters and officers out of their jobs, and this was a fun scene that showed them as friends, not just colleagues. 

Then, though, Owen mistakenly calls his relationship with Gwenyth a FWB relationship, and oof. It pretty much goes downhill for them from here. Gwen asks about what their relationship is later in the episode, and instead of clarifying, which I could swear he did two weeks ago, he tells her that he’s not sure, and he doesn’t know why they have to define it. Uh. Okay. 

I thought Owen wanted to start again with their relationship – since she was basically living there and they were sleeping together, but I guess I was mistaken, as was Gwen. When Gwen asks him again later, he’s irritated and short with her, almost upset that she’s even asking. This moment felt extremely out of character for me. Owen has a lot of compassion for others – especially people he considers to be family – and now he’s brushing her off as if she’s asking for something huge and ridiculous, and not just a label on what they’re doing? It felt so weird to watch. 

Also, are either of them thinking about TK in this situation? Because I don’t think they are. They’re not asking how he feels about his mom practically living with them again after years, or if he’s even okay with this. And I’m not saying they need permission from their son, because they definitely don’t, but jeez, a little family talk might be nice. We realize too soon, though, that even if they had one, it probably wouldn’t be helpful. 

TK goes to both of them to discuss his fight with Carlos (something we’ll address in a bit) and all he ends up getting is a bunch of hypotheticals that are clearly about Owen and Gwen, as opposed to TK. TK brushes it off, but I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to go to the two people you trust most and have them brush you off. 

Owen, on a high from a conversation with Judd that I know Judd will regret once he finds out what Owen did, proposes to Gwenyth. Literally proposes marriage. Then, because duh, Gwen says no, Owen asks why she was being so pushy in needing clarity and she says she’s pregnant. 
Look, this is fine, but also it’s not? I don’t get it. Why? It is so confusing to me that they would bring Gwenyth back to… get pregnant? With Owen? I wish I had more words to talk about my feelings but I’ll just say this until we see how everything else pans out: this is worse than a marriage proposal. And I dreaded the marriage proposal. 

Elsewhere in the episode… Grace, at 911 dispatch, picks up a call from a submissive whose dominatrix has been stung several times by bees, and she’s allergic. Her EpiPen fell out of her hands as she was collapsing. Grace eventually has to boss him around and degrade him in order for him to do what he needs to do for his dom – and I love her for it. Grace Ryder, best character in the entire show. 

We also get some healthy communication this episode! Can we give it up for healthy communication in television, everyone? (claps) Thank you. So, of course, because the show can’t go on without TK and Carlos having some drama, they were on a nice, fun, sweet date when Carlos’s parents showed up. Then, Carlos introduced TK as his work friend. Yeesh. 

TK gets upset about it – which I would too. He tells Carlos this, but Carlos can’t seem to understand why he’s wrong. Not in an ignorant way – he really doesn’t understand why TK is so upset. Then, after the horrible discussion with his own parents, TK comes back and explains to Carlos that the reason he got so upset was that he didn’t feel safe in the relationship. 

Then, shockingly, they talk it out and it gets better. Carlos explains that because of his upbringing – him coming out to his parents and them basically not reacting – he feels that he has to hide certain things until he’s absolutely sure of them. TK tells Carlos that he’ll wait as long as he needs to, which on the show is nice, but realistically, it’s a thing that makes me go hmm. I love this relationship. I don’t want to see it falter or go down the drain because Carlos made TK wait too long or TK was pushing him, and I can only hope they don’t go in that direction. 

On Marjan’s side of things: Mena Massoud (Aladdin) guest-starred as Salim, Marjan’s fiance. Yup, you read that right. Apparently, Marjan and Salim’s parents arranged their marriage when they were 12 years old, and they were ready to get married when they both turned 30, and Salim finished dental school. 

Well… turns out Salim had other plans, or rather, met other plans. After he and Marjan go out to discuss actually getting married, Salim asks if Marjan has ever really been in love with him, and to both of our shocks, he says no. Salim, because he’s been in love with her since they were 12 and me because how can you not be in love with Mena Massoud? 

Once they’re broken up and Marjan realizes what she’s losing, she goes to Salim before he can go back to Miami and tells him she is in love with him. She just didn’t realize ‘til she knew what she was losing. Salim says he’ll break up with the girl he met, but Majran, understandably, doesn’t feel comfortable with that. Who would when you’re basically being told you're the other woman, even though you were technically there first? 

This was an interesting look into Marjan, but it also felt… a bit strange. While Marjan and Salim had history, and I didn’t see where it was going – them breaking up –I still felt they weren’t going to be together when they first introduced Salim. I really enjoyed her conversations with Paul and Mateo. I love that everyone in the firehouse really becomes a family, even for things they don’t always understand.

Also, can we talk about how that scene where Marjan isn’t wearing her hijab was highly unnecessary? 
I saw it discussed a few days ago (a few months ago, a few years ago) the trope of Muslim women being forced to remove their hijabs for the dumbest of reasons on predominantly American shows, and this just proves that the trope exists. There’s no reason at all why Marjan couldn’t have already been wearing her hijab in the scene where she reads the text from Salim. They did this last year, too, with the silo collapse. There was no reason Marjan’s hijab had to come off then, either, but it did, because of shock value! 

This show has done very well with representation so far, however, thinking about this incident, the fact that Natacha Karem doesn’t even regularly wear a hijab, and that this has happened twice now, makes me quite upset. It’s not necessary, and it’s not okay. Especially when you consider that this writer’s room is filled with predominantly white writers. 

Okay, so, before I end this review I HAVE to mention something I noted several times: the absolute lack of masks/social distancing happening with this show! Look, I get it, incorporating the pandemic was what you think was necessary, but if you’re not going to wear the masks all the time you shouldn’t have added it to the show! The entire team showed up to that wedding scene unmasked! And them unmasked at the roller derby?! I’m not sure if this is intentional (have you guys seen Texas’ numbers lately?) but I wish they just never would’ve brought it onto the show if they’re not going to take it seriously. I know that it’s a TV show, but it annoys me! Especially when you compare it to 911– who are at least better at wearing their masks. 

What did you think of the crossover? Did you like the groups that were together? Are you happy, or unhappy, with Gwen being pregnant? Are you looking forward to seeing how TK and Carlos progress with this behind them? Let me know in the comments below!

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