Monday, March 1, 2021

REVIEW: '9-1-1: Lone Star' - Owen, TK and Tommy Embrace the Truth About How Their Lives Have Changed Lately in 'Displaced'

FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star - Episode 2.07 "Displaced"

The 126 arrive at a funeral where another dead body has crashed the burial, and then to a hospital where an MRI has gone haywire. Owen and Tommy each feel displaced in their homes as Gwyneth moves into the Strand household and Charles seemingly becomes the full-time parent in the Vegas'. Meanwhile, T.K. makes waves in his new position.

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.

"Displaced" was written by Jessica Ball and directed by Paula Hunziker

These first responders can sometimes be a little blind to the things happening right in front of them. They are absolutely capable of deducing that there was another stowaway aboard a cargo plane after one falls from the sky. They know the exact precautions to take when dealing with an MRI that's putting two lives at risk. And yet, TK doesn't realize that the firehouse social hierarchy does function similarly to high school. People have felt excluded. Tommy is blind to the fact that she has been putting unnecessary pressure on her daughter as it pertains to her black belt ceremony. And Owen is thrown for a loop upon the news that the timeline of the baby's development also places the paternity into question. Now, it's abundantly clear that the show loves throwing out numerous melodramatic twists to make Owen and Gwyn's lives more complicated. This is simply another example of that. They always feel on the brink of collapse as a couple as soon as they hit any obstacle. They struggle at first when it simply comes to Gwyn moving her entire life to Austin and having to find the space for it in Owen's house. They have to compromise while also butting heads over which items are valuable to each other. That's nothing in comparison to the huge fight that ultimately occurs. Owen wants to be completely open about the bond that they have together. It has been great so far. They remain on the same page. That's striking and impressive. And yet, they both need time to grapple with the fact that Owen isn't the father of Gwyn's baby. Instead, it's the other love of her life who happened to visit Austin for a weekend early into the lockdown. It's convenient and random. It's meant to bring out even more drama in this family dynamic. It still isn't all that necessary. It's also impossible to guess where all of this could be going next. But it always provides those two characters with ample amounts of material to do. It may not match the tone and depth present elsewhere in the series. It can still be entertaining despite the uncertainty. That too is a lesson the show has learned over time. It does feel the need to rush certain developments. It can't linger too much on the same note over and over again. But it's also important to shatter the illusion that so many in this world have been living in for awhile now. TK manages to fit in perfectly right away with the paramedic team. Tommy appreciates his skills and even listens to his suggestions about how to improvement their efficiency. She doesn't have to worry about him. Nancy still feels excluded. This personal space of hers has been invaded by someone who doesn't care to get to know her or include her as part of this extended family. TK eventually learns that lesson. The firehouse comes together to unveil a tribute to Tim. That too is a long time coming. Sure, the show still props up the significance of his death even though he wasn't that important of a character beforehand. It still works. Most of that comes from Nancy being integrated in a way that makes her feel like part of the team. That is particularly seamless. The same applies to Tommy. She stepped into this leadership role knowing that it would completely change her life. She mourns the reversal of dynamics at home. She is no longer there for every development with her girls. That doesn't make her an absent parent or one who doesn't love her kids. She is working. That is the promise she has made. She honors those commitments. It's unfortunate that they clash with her family dynamics from time to time. No one is to blame for that. Tommy wants to be angry with Charles for taking up the space she once had. But it's nothing a little food fight can't solve. That moment is fun and charming. It also feels like an effortless examination of a life that is always evolving. As such, every development is told with a genuine undercurrent that makes it all work. That is lacking elsewhere - especially with Owen and Gwyn. Again, that's a problem. The show can still entertain regardless of that though. It just throws the balance of the overall narrative off a little bit as its priorities aren't all equal.