[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 2 “Thin Ice.”]
The ice storm keeps getting worse on 9-1-1: Lone Star.
The major crisis to kick off the Fox first responder’s third season seems to be putting everyone in danger. Owen (Rob Lowe), still suspended because he won’t apologize for his actions, ends up being held at gunpoint at the end of the second episode. Marjan’s (Natacha Karam) bleeding after her car crashes. Paul (Brian Michael Smith) is rescued after the building collapse but will he be OK?
And most worrisome is T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein), who rescues a boy trapped under ice after a pond frozen over. He falls in while doing so, and while Tommy (Gina Torres) and Nancy (Brianna Baker) are able to get him out, he’s shaking as they work together to save the boy. Then, after sending the boy off in an ambulance (with their rig having slid down an embankment), the women find T.K. naked in the snow, claiming to be burning up, and apparently the Hebrew he learned at age 10 stuck. He’s suffering from severe hypothermia. He collapses — and doesn’t have a pulse or heartbeat — and by episode’s end, he’s in the hospital, on a vent. It’s not looking good.
Showrunner Tim Minear teases what’s next.
T.K. is in serious condition. What can you say about that and how that’s going to affect him and those closest to him especially Owen and Carlos (Rafael Silva)?
Tim Minear: It’s going to affect them a lot. I know that I’ve seen a little bit online — I get this on 9-1-1 too with injuring Buck [Oliver Stark] constantly — and the decision for this to happen with T.K. was not taken lightly. It’s not that I wanted to hurt a character just to have some story for an hour or two. The idea was to not give it short shrift. It’s funny. I felt like in Season 1, when T.K. got shot, that kind of was something that I did because we were so far behind, I needed something to happen, but it really was given short shrift. He was in the hospital and then like the next episode he woke up and he was fine. One thing I’m trying to do this year is to let these stories breathe a little bit and not just rush through them.
So what you’ll find is we’re really spending time on these things that happen. We’re trying not to lose what the ramifications might be when something serious happens. So T.K. is going to go through a lot to try to survive. We’re gonna sort of go into his head a little bit and he’s gonna learn something about himself and it’s gonna absolutely affect everybody around him. Tommy is his captain. Owen is his father. Carlos is the love of his life. Everybody else are family members to T.K. So T.K. becomes sort of a rallying point for all the characters, and it kind of slaps Owen out of his complacency, which is not really complacency so much as it is fear.
It seems Paul’s fine. But how is this experience gone to affect him? Is he going to get back in the fight for the 126 after he was talking about what pissed him off?
This will affect Paul in ways that will not be immediately noticeable, but later on down the line in a few episodes, we will discover that that the aftereffects are maybe more serious than he had first anticipated.
You’re talking medical aftereffects?
Owen is once again in a life or death situation. How is he gonna handle it?
Which life or death situation? [Laughs] He’s in one every week. …He’s going to handle it the only way he knows how, which is to not leave anybody behind and to overcome adversity and in some cases evil. It’s Marjan’s prophecy coming true, right? You cannot hide up in the mountains. The universe knows where you are and it knows who you are and sure enough, Owen cannot hide, so he will handle it — and he will not handle it on his own — but he will do what is necessary, even if that means his own demise.
So Grace [Sierra McClain] is going into labor during this ice storm, right?
What can you preview about that?
[Laughs] That Grace will not have an epidural or be giving birth in the most comfortable of situations. [Laughs]
And where’s Judd [Jim Parrack] going to be?
Judd does not know she is missing for a while. And of course, as soon as he finds out she is missing, he will move heaven and earth to find her.
As we saw Tommy, Nancy and T.K. are impressive at their jobs wherever they’re working.
Tommy’s team is Tommy’s team, and it’s Nancy and T.K. and that is one element of the 126. The goal for all these characters is to get the 126 back and to have everybody under the same roof again. I thought it was a very interesting element to show that the paramedics could work in the private sector. Obviously all the other firefighters got assigned to the different houses at the end of last season, and they’re still in those houses when we come back. But at the end of the day, I think it’s fair to say we’ll probably all end up under the same roof again.
Is there gonna be of a temporary replacement for T.K.?
I’m happy that Brianna’s a series regular. What can you say about how much more we’ll be learning about Nancy?
We’ll be learning about Nancy. We’ll be learning more about all the characters. Brianna is just fantastic. I think that her chemistry is great with everybody on the show. I obviously love that team of Tommy, Nancy and T.K. In fact, I’m working on a Nancy story right now that I’m very excited about.
9-1-1: Lone Star, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox