“Bad Call” left us on an agonizing cliffhanger after a stellar episode focusing particularly (and welcomely) on T.K. and Carlos.
This recap of 9-1-1: Lone Star season 2, episode 8, “Bad Call”, contains spoilers.
In all honesty, I didn’t realize “Bad Call” was the winter finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star until about the midpoint, when it occurred to me that there was far too much of significance going on for this to just be a regular episode. As well as dueling subplots for Carlos and T.K., we also saw the entire EMS team being kidnapped, a resolution of a kind to Owen and Gwyn’s baby fiasco, and a last-minute cliffhanger that it’s going to be agonizing to have to wait over a month to pick up on.
We’ll start with that cliffhanger since it really came out of nowhere. Grace was glimpsed here and there throughout, but her and Judd not getting any standout moments of their own didn’t seem like a big deal given how much attention they usually get. When they both popped up in the closing moments, driving through a torrential downpour to Judd’s father’s house, it was surprising to see them. When their conversation turned to finally having children, I just knew something bad was going to happen, and lo and behold, they veered off a bridge and into a lake. I could really do without this level of stress.
And there was plenty of stress elsewhere in 9-1-1: Lone Star season 2, episode 8. For one thing, when T.K. discovered his mother packing up her things to return to New York and had to be told that her baby isn’t Owen’s, he immediately became worryingly distant. After an earlier scene celebrating his continued sobriety, I thought “Bad Call” was teeing up a relapse, but not quite. Instead, T.K. found himself being kidnapped by a gang of bomb-enthusiast bank robbers along with Tommy and Nancy. For once, all of the emergencies in the episode tied together, with the 126 fighting a fire caused by an explosion at the robbers’ apartment, and one of the robbers luring the paramedics for medical attention to treat injuries sustained in that blast. Then you had the whole matter of Carlos responding to the robbery itself and making the titular bad call about letting go the patsy who had been strapped with a bomb and made to retrieve the dough under threat of detonation.
Carlos got some welcome focus on the back of that decision. His father, a Texas Ranger, is working the case and berates Carlos for his decision-making. But there’s a deeper familial issue, which is that the two haven’t been close since Carlos came out (you’ll recall this came up in an earlier episode). When it becomes apparent that Carlos was correct in his assessment his father isn’t exactly brimming with praise, and when Carlos and Owen manage to link the case to T.K.’s disappearance and go out looking for him, he insists that Carlos stays put. No such luck. After saving the day, it’s Owen giving Carlos all the credit that convinces his father to actually give his son a pat on the back, but he also seems to accept Carlos being in a relationship with T.K., which is a major step for the character. It’s a deserved happy ending to the thread that comes right before the Ryder gut punch, so it’s welcome.
9-1-1: Lone Star season 2, episode 8 also neatly ties a bow on Owen and Gwyn’s relationship. They’re still perfectly civil, but she has remembered she’s only a guest star and has decided that she can’t stick around and have Owen raise a child that isn’t his, even if he’d like to. Her absence will presumably be felt by Owen and T.K. when the show returns, but it’s understandable if most viewers are primarily concerned with the fate of Judd and Grace. April 18 can’t come soon enough.