A crowd-pleasing crossover special, “Hold the Line” unites the teams of 9-1-1 and Lone Star to commendable effect.
This recap of 9-1-1: Lone Star season 2, episode 3, “Hold the Line”, contains spoilers.
The beauty of a spin-off is that somewhere down the road you get to have a crossover episode and “Hold the Line” was the first between 9-1-1: Lone Star and its endlessly popular sister series, 9-1-1. These things are hard to pull off at the best of times, let alone in a global pandemic, so the fact this was able to be pulled off at all is impressive. That it was quite so good is a near-miracle, though at this point probably shouldn’t be surprising.
With state-wide wildfires bringing everyone together, “Hold the Line” smartly doesn’t try to have both teams interact in their entirety, instead smartly pairing people off. Judd and Eddie have a Texan bond, though the latter spent most of his time with Marjan, even though Buck was the one with a fascination for her social media exploits as #Firefox; Judd got on with Paul, hinting more at his compelling backstory; T.K. and Buck became instant best friends, and Owen and Hen spent the entire hour trapped in a mineshaft.
This is all fun on its face in an Avengers-standing-in-a-circle kind of way, but 9-1-1: Lone Star season 2, episode 3 retains its usual high standard of character development even in these unusual circumstances, resisting the urge to succumb to sheer bombast. Owen and Hen, while having the least to do in terms of actual action, nonetheless had the most meat to their dialogue, as Owen opened up about the guilt he’s harboring from the entirety of his career, but most recently after Tim’s death, while dipping in and out of oxygen-starved delusions. It’s easy to feel like these kinds of episodes are one-and-done, as if they exist in a kind of microcosm divorced from the main plot, but this is obviously a turning point for the selfless captain. Perhaps, as Hen suggests, he can leave some of those ghosts in the shaft.
Judd got some good character moments too, including a totally on-brand tough-love moment that stood out as one of the standout scenes in “Hold the Line”. There was flirty banter all over the place, just the right balance of toeing the line and going rogue, and a consistent blend of action and character drama. The whole thing looked great, landed with the right emotional impact, and felt like it actually mattered to both shows, but especially to Lone Star. That’s all you can really ask of a crossover, but if anything, this one over-delivered.