Strand makes a tough haircare decision in “Yee-Haw”, while a romance emerges between T.K. and Carlos.
This recap of 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1, Episode 2, “Yee-Haw”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
With the pilot having done most of the hard work in terms of establishing the premise and introducing the characters, 9-1-1: Lone Star Episode 2, fittingly titled “Yee-Haw”, is the first we really get to see of the team out there as, you know, a team.
And you know how it is with teams on network television – they’re all hiding personal secrets, they can’t help but fall into relationships with each other, there are personal and professional rivalries, and so on, and so forth.
Proving the show’s progressive bona fides, though, the burgeoning relationship of “Yee-Haw” isn’t the obvious one between Strand (Rob Lowe) and Michelle (Liv Tyler), but between T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) and Carlos (Rafael Silva), presumably vying for the title of most handsome couple on network TV ever. Not that they’re in a relationship, obviously; thanks to T.K., their first liaison is distressingly impersonal, and when Carlos makes an effort later in 9-1-1: Lone Star Episode 2, T.K. literally flees the premises. Still, it’s a start.
Let’s not forget, however, that T.K. is a suicidal recovering drug addict. And he isn’t the only one with secrets. Strand is still keeping his cards close to his chest when it comes to his cancer diagnosis, even if it imperils his “signature look”, which is his luscious hair – his ridiculous haircare regimen is no secret in the firehouse since Strand’s whole shtick is a kind of anti-macho modern man thing. But his decision to choose between life-prolonging medication and his hair isn’t one that comes lightly; his odd self-obsession and fastidiousness about his appearance are unusual quirks, though also knowing, partially meta ones, given that Strand is played by multiple-time “Most Handsome Man in the World” winner Rob Lowe.
It also gives Strand a very specific relationship with his only confidante, Judd (Jim Parrack), which we see more of in “Yee-Haw”. And while we’re on the subject of on-going subplots, Michelle’s hunt for her missing sister took a turn when she learned from the neighbor that she left her boyfriend’s home in a blue pick-up truck – not much of a clue in Texas, admittedly, but better than nothing. Of more particular note is how far Michelle is willing to go on her crusade; how willing she is to abandon common sense and reason, demonstrated here by her visiting a local witch and performing a wacky ritual in the hopes of new leads.
While 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1, Episode 2 had its obligatory emergency – in this case, a very nasty case of mercury poisoning – it continues to be this unique assemblage of characters who give the show its texture. Its feints towards better representation aren’t tokenistic; the unique and varied experiences of these people are integral to the show’s storytelling and treated as such. I’m interested to see what more there is to learn about these people, which I suppose is the point.