9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 3 recap – “Shock & Thaw”

January 25, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Shock & Thaw” puts Owen in the line of fire and Grace in quite a predicament as the ice storm rages on.

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3.5

Summary

“Shock & Thaw” puts Owen in the line of fire and Grace in quite a predicament as the ice storm rages on.

This recap of 9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 3, “Shock & Thaw”, contains spoilers.


Is it just me, or was this show better when it was less serialized? Don’t get me wrong, the case-of-the-week procedural format in 9-1-1: Lone Star has always worked so well because of the ongoing and intersecting character arcs, as well as the season-long plots like Billy Tyson’s efforts to shutter the 126. Any stories that took a couple of episodes to tell felt like a bonus. If the case couldn’t be closed in 40 minutes, you knew things were serious. Thus far, Season 3’s ice storm has been raging for three straight episodes, with no sign of slowing down, and I can’t help but feel as if it has lost some of the peril that a natural disaster really needs.

9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 3 recap

Admittedly, T.K. is on the brink of death, facing the imminent failure of various important organs, but you’d be hard-pressed to remember given that he spends most of “Shock & Thaw” in an idyllic dream sequence with his mother. It’s an age-old gimmick, and some serious chats at T.K.’s real-world bedside were reminders that he isn’t out of the woods yet, but the focus remains elsewhere, and so does our attention. Nobody really believes T.K. is going to die in that hospital bed, after all. It’s a formality.

See, the entirety of Texas being flash-frozen is a good gimmick for this kind of thing. It sets up all kinds of interesting scenarios and dilemmas. And at first, it seemed like we were going to get that, with the turtles and all, but since we’re trying to imperil every major cast member equally, we’ve settled into a bit of a holding pattern. Marjan spent all last week’s episode unconscious in her car, and T.K. spent all this one unconscious in his hospital bed. And while none of this is bad, per se, it also feels unusually sedate, as if certain characters and plot strands are just being paused while focus shifts elsewhere.

It was Owen who got the brunt of the attention in “Shock & Thaw”, but his little subplot didn’t even feel relevant to the cold. He remains shacked up with his new illegal alien buddies and gets the chance to disarm not one but two of the coyotes who’re threatening them. As fun as it is to watch Rob Lowe deliver headbutts, shouldn’t he be putting out fires? The joke was always that he was heroic, but that he was also this naïve big-city pretty boy who had a comically elaborate hair and skin routine. Season 3 has turned him into a bearded, bitter mountain man, and it’s less interesting. Seeing Sadie, who has been in the wrong place at the wrong time for two straight weeks, fawn over his grizzled capabilities just feels too easy – and a bit off-brand.

Luckily, 9-1-1: Lone Star is able to course correct a bit when the day is really saved by Marjan, who comes to, witnesses a “private contractor” in a Sheriff’s uniform kill one of the illegals and then follows him to Owen’s cabin to cause a distraction at just the right time. Afterward, she tells Sadie about the drama with the 126, and Sadie just laughingly undermines Owen and his ego. That feels much more like the show I really enjoy. Elemental high drama notwithstanding, I’ll be happy once the inclement weather passes.

Still, we did end on our juiciest development yet. Grace has gone into labor! And what’s more is that her car is stuck out in the blizzard, and her only companion is Billy Tyson, of all people. I’m sure he’ll redeem himself somewhat by making sure she survives, but hopefully Grace, even in her compromised state, gets to sass him a little bit first. It’ll only be right.

You can check out 9-1-1: Lone Star season 3, episode 3, “Shock & Thaw”, exclusively on Fox.

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