Monday, February 22, 2021

REVIEW: '9-1-1: Lone Star' - TK Contemplates a Career Change After His Parents Share Their News in 'Everyone and Their Brother'

FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star - Episode 2.06 "Everyone and Their Brother"

Owen and T.K. risk their lives to save two brothers trapped in a homemade minefield. Grace receives an emergency call from a conjoined twin who's brother is dying. Tommy interviews new candidates to fill the team's open EMT position. Paul's mother and estranged sister pay him an unexpected visit.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Everyone and Their Brother" was written by Molly Green & James Leffler and directed by Marcus Stokes

The 9-1-1 shows define themselves through the themes of family. Each show embraces the idea of a firehouse serving as a makeshift family for the people who serve together. It's a careful balance of personalities that further enriches all of their lives. That's the quality Tommy seeks when interviewing new recruits for the open EMT position. It was a tragedy when Tim was killed. And yet, the unit needs another person to carry the burden of the responsibilities they all have when they respond to calls. The grieving process has been respectful. This is a conversation that has to be had though. There is no avoiding that. That same quality extends to much more in this world as well. Owen and Gwyneth can't keep the news of the pregnancy secret for too long. Paul must have an honest conversation with his family about the nature of their relationships. Grace has the freedom to continue processing her feelings about her father being unfaithful. Now, Grace's internal conflict isn't picked up in this episode at all. Instead, she is solely seen as a first responder helping conjoined brothers stay alive after one starts choking on peanut butter. That sequence sets the table for the overall themes of this episode. It's all about the shifting dynamics that dominate life. People grow accustomed to things always being a certain way. The firehouse is a family. That will always be true. And yet, people leave that family from time to time as well. That doesn't suddenly devalue the contributions they brought during the time they were together. It doesn't mean those relationships suddenly end. It's simply a shift. It offers a change that can provide valuable perspective for whatever comes next. That may be scary and overwhelming. But again, it can be insanely rewarding as well. People have to trust themselves in processing all of these feelings. Owen and Gwyneth had the necessary conversation about the future of their relationship given the pregnancy. Now, they bring TK into that dynamic. It's still shocking news. He reacts by seemingly wanting to embrace a change in his life. He hasn't always handled this kind of turbulence well. He used to rely on drugs to cope. He is forming better behavior now. That is a massive improvement for him. Owen worries that TK is lashing out like an upset teenager. In reality, TK is trying to find his place in the world. He is an incredibly accomplished individual. However, he has largely lived in his father's shadow. The two work alongside each other to save two brothers caught in a minefield. That's perilous and shows just how intense this job can be. People have the freedom to create such perilous ecosystems on their property as well. It's insane and outrageous. It puts lives in danger. Two brothers just want to have fun before life changes. They are saved. TK proves himself as a paramedic. That fuels his sudden interest in a career change. Him having that conversation with his dad establishes that this can be a healthy move. It has that potential because they are open and honest with one another. That sets them on a better path forward even though the future is still likely to be full of peril due to the changing dynamics of this family. Similarly, Paul has a tense relationship with his sister. They have been estranged ever since he transitioned. It's not a story informed by transphobia though. Instead, it's fueled by Naomi feeling like she lost a sister and never understood why. That dynamic was suddenly erased and it couldn't be filled by all that Paul now is. It's a bond fueled by personal betrayal. It can still be overcome through an honest conversation. They can still have an enriching and full dynamic with one another as siblings. They just have to take that first step where they aren't approaching things on opposing terms. Honesty always their worlds to open up. Paul still fears for his family because of the health conditions they have during a pandemic. He doesn't want to limit what they can do or be either though. It's a delicate balance. One that plays for the sweet sentimentality here. This family is stronger than ever. Of course, it doesn't come across as a dynamic that will be too important in the future. With the Strand family drama, that's clearly going to have repercussions in the narrative. The same extends to TK joining the paramedics and working alongside Tommy and Nancy. Those stories will have ongoing importance. Meanwhile, the show still struggles in telling stories with a few members of its supporting ensemble in a way that makes their worlds feel full beyond a couple episodes of story each season. That remains a concern that is noticeable.