“The Big Chill” finds a disbanded 126 thrust into another climate calamity, as a blizzard descends on Texas.
This recap of 9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 1, “The Big Chill”, contains spoilers.
As ever, 9-1-1: Lone Star knows how to do a season premiere. Splitting its time between letting us in on what has been happening – or not happening – since the second season finale and imperiling several members of the former 126, “The Big Chill” sees an unprecedented blizzard descend on Texas and a wealth of personal issues descend on those best positioned to save people from it.
9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 1 recap
To make matters worse, the only couple hot enough to melt a frozen Austin are no longer together. The mysterious break-up of T.K. and Carlos is brought up several times, but not with any clarity. Nancy, who is working with T.K. and Captain Vega for a private company that wants to mandate giving their patients prescription pills even if they don’t request or need them, tries to get to the bottom of the split all throughout “The Big Chill”, but nothing doing. When T.K. and Carlos happen to cross paths at a pop-up triage unit in a furniture store towards the end of the episode, neither of them knows where to look.
But this is only fitting since the entirety of the 126 is in complete disarray even before the blizzard comes rolling in. With the team having been disbanded, the building is scheduled for demolition, and it’s only the continuing efforts of Marjan and her rampant social media following that is keeping the place standing. Judd and Paul are working in another firehouse, as is Mateo, who has become an all-action the-best-guy-I’ve-got type between seasons. Good for him! Owen, meanwhile, has retreated in disgrace to a cabin in the woods, where he’s chopping firewood with Buttercup and flirting with his new (recently divorced!) neighbor, Sadie (Julie Benz). As Marjan later discovers, he could have been reinstated ages ago if only he’d apologized for socking Billy Tyson in the mouth, but Owen, predictably, is standing by his unprovoked attack of a superior officer since he doesn’t consider the attack unprovoked or the officer superior. Classic Owen.
But Owen’s whole self-imposed isolation thing is in service of a larger theme. He has resigned himself to the fact that the universe will have its way with you no matter what, and rather than “giving up” he has supposedly “given in… to reality.” In other words, he’s taking early retirement, or trying to, but by the end of the episode he has discovered a man in need of aid, and Marjan has careened off the road nearby trying to swerve a truck full of turtles. (Don’t ask.) The universe has a funny of doing things, after all.
Marjan isn’t the only former member of the 126 who ends this premiere in trouble since Paul, while combing through a frozen-over building looking for a trapped survivor, is blindsided by a sheet of ice and his fate remains unknown. I’m sure he’ll be fine, but you never know.
If this storm is going to be good for anything, teambuilding notwithstanding, it’ll be more of this show’s trademark absurd injuries and climate calamities. We’ve already had a body trapped eerily under a frozen lake, a man almost beheaded, and a collapsing ice palace. What else does this season have in store?