Tuesday, March 10, 2020

REVIEW: '9-1-1: Lone Star' - TK Fears the Loss of His Personal Identity While Judd Struggles to Help His Father in 'Awakening'

FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star - Episode 1.09 "Awakening"

Owen and the 126 crew race to a gender reveal party gone horribly wrong, and a father/son trapped in a cave during a spelunking excursion. Meanwhile, Owen helps TK reconcile the past to help his future. Judd and Grace aid Judd's aging father.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star.

"Awakening" was written by Rashad Raisani and directed by David Grossman

This hour puts things into a generational perspective. The series was built around the idea of Owen being uniquely qualified to help this firehouse in Austin rebuild after tragedy. He went through that process before in the aftermath of 9/11. That was a detail that helped establish the premise of the show. However, it also has to be used to inform the character backstory and dynamics within his own family. TK was shot in the previous episode. There is the likelihood that he could die. Sure, the viewer probably doubted that and the show even provided the reassurance by placing him in a coma last week. Here, he wakes up fairly early in the episode. After that, his story is one of personal significance as he comes to question what his life purpose has been. He has stood loyally by his father's side throughout this season. That has been a priority. Owen was the one going through this personal crisis of having to exert his strength and leadership all while undergoing treatment for his cancer. Owen doesn't believe the illness has to define him even though it has forced some lifestyle changes. He is exactly where he belongs with the 126. And yet, TK is starting to have his doubts. When he wakes up, he is immediately concerned about the child who shot him. He wants to know that he is receiving the help he needs from this trauma as well. That is his first instinct. He was proud to be the first through the door to help people in danger. However, he got seriously injured as a result. People are talking about how quickly he can return to the job. Meanwhile, he doubts whether or not this is the profession he actually wants to be. He gains clarity with the revelation that he may have become a firefighter just in order to have a father in his life once more. He understands the choices that Owen made. He doesn't want to hold them against him. And yet, he has desperately needed a father throughout his life. People comment that TK is just like his old man. Owen doesn't see the comparison. He believes there is more of his mother's energy inside of him. That means TK needs to have more individuality in the proceedings. Owen and the other characters can remain concerned about him. But he doesn't have to be a firefighter in order to be of service to the community. Grace saves lives at the 911 call center too. Yes, it's heroic when Marjan and Mateo climb down a cave to save a life or Paul gains the trust of a young boy to bring him back down to safety. But service exists in so many different forms. Judd and Grace are trying to find the right balance for how to help Judd's father. He is a stubborn man who doesn't want to move out of the house he has owned for forty years. This is where his life has always been. He doesn't want people to be worried about him. This hour points out that his family should be concerned. He falls. He seriously injures himself. He calls 911 when the situation is particularly dire. However, he wants it to remain very private and concealed too. There is no way to cover up tragedy. There just has to be a way to live with it and manage a life beyond it. That's the guidance Judd and Grace are hoping to pass along. They want to help him stay independent in his home for as long as possible. But again, that will require some lifestyle changes. That can be difficult to accept. It may be what's for the best though. The same applies to TK. He may deserve to explore the world around him to see if there is a profession that will fulfill him even more. Owen comments that TK would make a great father. He is so caring and nurturing in that way. That may be a step in the right direction. But it should be a fascinating character journey especially because it can be daunting for him to step out of his father's shadow for the first time in awhile. That can be a scary prospect. It's alleviated because TK will have the support of the 126 no matter what. With that, he will have the confidence to pursue whatever he becomes passionate about next.