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911: Lone Star - 2.10-2.12 - Review: Welcome to the Owen Show

16 May 2021

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911: Lone Star is having an identity crisis. In season one there was a clear direction for most of its characters, but now, the only ones with a real “destination” are Grace and Judd with their baby. Everyone else is sort of in limbo. Let’s get into why in my triple review of A Little Help From My Friends, Slow Burn, and The Big Heat. 

Not to sound unintentionally snarky, but is anyone else a bit sick of Owen Strand? The last three episodes have been centered around him almost completely. 

The latter half of the season has been some of the best writing to come out of 911: Lone Star, but with Owen taking center stage, he’s become… exhausting. His character just isn’t interesting enough for three episodes to be all about him. 

It was great seeing Grace start her journey back to being fully healed. Her calling Tommy and asking for help -- which she mentioned earlier not wanting to do -- shows that even as fully grown adults, you can still grow personally, and know when too much is too much.

It makes me incredibly sad that Grace doesn’t want to rely on other people in her recovery. She tells Judd that she can take care of herself, but, Grace, you don’t have to. Though this is exactly how I would expect Grace to react, it was heartbreaking to see. I hope we can continue to see her grow into her new self and motherhood as well. 

Mateo moving in with Owen was… sure something. Mateo is a grown adult, but Owen basically peer-pressuring him to drink with him left such a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Maybe Mateo really did want to drink with him, but it was strange to me. 

Not that everything needs to be wrapped in a bow in a half-second season, but what is the trajectory for the rest of these characters? Paul and Marjan have now both had episodes that revolve around their love lives, but nothing concrete has come from it. 

Even Nancy, who is only now getting invited to game nights, was only given an arc that revolved around her former male coworker. Justifiably, of course, as she and Tim were close, but still. 

This is the stark difference between OG 911 and 911: Lone Star. 911 has (mostly) always had their spotlights on every character on the show. Whether or not the episode was centered around them, they found a connection to whatever was going on, and either grew from it or acknowledged it in the very least. The Lone Star characters seem to be stuck in limbo with no idea where they’re even going. 

Owen’s depression intervention was a good scene, but Owen being so aggressively against it was strange as well. While depression, of course, changes you, Owen is the type of man to listen to someone, absorb it, and then discuss it. He isn’t the type to lash out. This is a heavy thing to talk about on a show like 911: Lone Star, but they kind of just… ended it. 

Depression is (typically) a lifelong struggle. It’s not being sad from time to time. But that’s what the writers are acting like it is. Owen needs to follow up with that by taking action or discussing it instead of just rescheduling an appointment. 

Now, speaking of Owen acting odd… in The Big Heat, we are made to believe that Owen and Gabriel come up with a plan to take down an arsonist by having Owen pose as the number one suspect but they… forget to tell TK and Carlos? Y’all. 

The writing in The Big Heat was fantastic, telling a story that had different twists and turns, with viewers never knowing where it would end up, but in terms of characterization, they lost their balance a bit there. 

We’re meant to believe that Raymond told Gabriel and Owen he would take away what they love most, and neither of them thought of their sons? Even not realizing Raymond was speaking to both of them when he said that, he says “a couple more” fires, and the firehouse was just one. You’re telling me an expert deputy and someone who prides himself on being a family guy just didn’t search their sons’ apartment? Hm. 

Then there’s Judd hitting Billy. Why did Owen even involve Judd? I’ll never say no to more Judd, but he obviously didn’t know the plan, so why did Owen rile Judd up for no reason? Judd isn’t a violent guy. To be that upset with Billy that he hits him and then laughing it off later in the episode? 

While logically, we know it was there to make Billy seem like the arsonist, they could’ve spent that time focusing on TK’s outburst towards Carlos, and seeing a proper apology. Though TK’s actions were wrong in any circumstance, it wasn’t out of character for him. 

TK’s actions towards Carlos make sense, but that doesn’t make it okay. We know that TK has a temper, he’s never hidden that, but to take it out on your partner, especially physically, and then not directly apologizing for it is… bad. 

We keep missing integral conversations between very important characters. Owen apologizing for inferring that he wouldn’t be a father until his new son, Grace telling Judd about being stuck in the grocery store parking lot, TK and Carlos actually having a conversation about TK taking his anger out on him. 

911: Lone Star prides itself on being a show about a team as close as family, but keeps leaving out the conversations family needs to have to grow. 

The fact that it took Owen until almost the end of the episode to realize that TK and Carlos were being targeted made me so irrationally angry. His evacuating the firehouse out of fear that some of the most important people in his life would be targeted shows that he was thinking of who he cared about, just not enough. 

There’s also the issue of never actually getting to know how Carlos feels. In my review from a few weeks ago, I talk about Carlos becoming his own person, instead of just a boyfriend, a son, a cop. This episode has taken us several steps back. 

This is one of the only times TK -- anyone, for that matter -- has asked Carlos if he’s doing okay. How he feels. What he’s thinking. In season one, he had Michelle. To imagine how Michelle would’ve reacted to TK’s outburst and Carlos’ apartment fire… I miss her dearly. 

911: Lone Star is a diverse show with fantastic and capable actors… but do the writers know that? I’ve said this before and I’ll keep saying it: Black people, Muslim people, trans people, are more than the tiny box you’d like to fit them in. If the writers continue to give in to stereotypes like the Muslim girl showing her hair, and the Trans man being undateable because he’s Trans, the show will become less of a place of comfort for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ fans and just another story about a white man with a less than interesting personality. 

Overall, the last few episodes weren’t terrible, but there needs to be a major shift in character storylines and screentime if they come back for season three. 

Less Owen. More Grace, Marjan, Paul, Nancy. These characters deserve to have their stories told as well. 

PS, hey Lone Star writers, the next time you want two suicides in back-to-back episodes, a heads up would be nice.

What did you guys think of the episodes? Are you worried about what will happen to Charles? Were you shocked about Raymond being the arsonist? How do you feel about Owen?