Monday, May 17, 2021

REVIEW: '9-1-1: Lone Star' - Tommy Grows Consumed by Grief Following a Tragic Loss in Her World in 'One Day'

FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star - Episode 2.13 "One Day"

Owen helps Tommy through a personal emergency.

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.

"One Day" was written by Tim Minear & Rashad Raisani and directed by Sanaa Hamri

The 126 have been dealing with a ton of big dramatic events lately. A volcano erupted in Austin. The entire world is dealing with a pandemic. Tommy and T.K. were held hostage. A massive fire threatened a large swath of Texas. Grace and Judd were hit by a drunk driver. Owen was depressed after Gwyn left him. Owen became obsessed with an arson case that led to the firehouse as well as T.K. and Carlos' place being destroyed. A lot has already happened. And now, Tommy returns home to find Charles unresponsive. As a paramedic, she is trained to offer life-saving care. She also knows when precisely to fight and when a person is too far gone. Rigor has already started to set in with Charles. It's absolutely devastating. There isn't anything she can do. This completely destroys her world. The fear looms over the proceedings of how she is going to tell their daughters. This marriage was perfect. Tommy and Charles relied on each other. They fought to achieve their dreams. They started a family. They ran a successful business. Everything changed because of the pandemic. And yet, things were looking up once more. Now, everything changes again. Charles died from a brain aneurysm. Tommy needed an autopsy to confirm that. It's what she suspected. She also needed clarity that it wasn't painful. She didn't want her husband to suffer all alone. She wasn't there in his final moments. She is left to pick up the pieces though. She tries her best to shield her girls from all of this. She deflects concern from everyone else in her life too. She counts on Judd and Grace to help her care for the girls. She doesn't tell them what's happening. She runs into Owen at the hospital. She doesn't tell him the truth either. She has these close bonds. She is consumed in grief. It leaves her motionless essentially. She can't process the world. So instead, she tells lies that don't withstand much scrutiny. Her friends have the resources to uncover the truth. They know that something is wrong with her. They aren't prepared to listen to the 911 call though. In that moment, Tommy's life shifts completely. She is pleading for Charles to stay alive. She stops when the outcome is clear. It's devastating but she still cares for her daughters. She continues to be of service to others. This is all sudden and makes no sense. And then, she is pulled into even more drama at the hospital. This isn't what she expected from this experience. It sets her on a certain path though. She runs into a man determined to stop his ex-wife from withdrawing life support on their son. In that moment, Tommy leads with compassion. She helps this man get to where he needs to be to begin coping with this tragic loss. She is stunned by what he truly plans on doing. She tries to help him surrender. At a certain point though, she gives up too. She goes through the motions of protecting themselves in this room. She does reach out to Owen to buy her more time to handle the situation. And yet, it builds to acceptance that this could be the end for her too. She could join Charles in whatever comes after this life. That's the fate she accepts in choosing to stay in this situation. She shouldn't have to deal with any of this. However, the show loves drama. It enjoys creating these high-stakes situations to reflect the inner turmoil that its characters face. It's not subtle whatsoever. The narrative basically operates with the understanding that these big, dramatic emergencies must take place in order for the audience to feel connected to the struggles of the characters. Tommy has support from her friends and loved ones. They offer her whatever she needs. They pull her out of this dark headspace too. But she still has to have the most difficult conversation she will ever have. She has to tell her girls the truth about what happened to their dad. She arms herself with information. That's how she processes all of this. Miracles happen elsewhere. That's not the fate waiting for her though. Instead, she simply offers ice cream and hopes to make it through the rest of this day. A time for celebration and joy must exist. Owen is relieved to see the rest of the team still having fun at the firehouse. Their worlds will be consumed by sadness and grief over this loss. They still have a job to do. So many threats still exist out there in the world. In fact, the episode ends by showing that yet another one is already on the horizon to cause more harm as if the season hasn't already done enough damage in that regard.