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911 lone star Bum Steer.jpg

'9-1-1: Lone Star' Finally Delivered The One Bull-Based Emergency It Needed To

By Tori Preston | TV | February 25, 2020 |

By Tori Preston | TV | February 25, 2020 |

911 lone star Bum Steer.jpg

As the ancient proverb states, “A 9-1-1 Show Is Only As Good As Its Craziest Emergencies” — and by that metric, the franchise’s Texas-based entry has done alright. There was a manure explosion, and a semen explosion and one time there was was a messy incident that I’d call a sort of “pee-splosion”. Basically, when it comes to weird things erupting, you can count on Rob Lowe to duck for cover while worrying about his hair. Still, there’s more that can go wrong in Texas than just explosions, which is why I’m here to report that last night the inevitable finally happened: Somebody was gored by a rodeo bull.

From the moment Fox announced this spinoff, I’ve known it would happen. It had to! This is not a franchise known for subtlety! Frankly, I’m only surprised that it took them seven episodes to deliver the goods, and that it didn’t actually happen at a rodeo. Instead, a used car salesman basically rents a bull for the day as part of a promotion at his dealership, despite the fact that it’s a terrible idea. Naturally, the poor thing gets spooked when a test drive goes wrong, and it starts rampaging around the lot, bucking and tossing bystanders. The salesman himself is the one who got impaled by the bull’s horn, but by the time the responders arrived he wasn’t the one in greatest need of their help. Instead, the bull is the one in need of a rescue after it got its head trapped in a car window. It was a tidy little reversal and also a surprisingly unsettling way to kick off last night’s episode, as the bull has clearly been wounded by the glass. Animal control officers arrive to assist in subduing the animal while Owen’s team works to cut open the car, but it’s Owen himself who ends up looking the bull in the eye and trying to talk it down. Rob Lowe: Bull Whisperer — Mondays on Fox!

Now that we’ve gotten a goring under our belts, the only thing left is a crude oil drowning and this show will have ticked all of my boxes. Just three weeks left to go! C’mon Lone Star, don’t let me down!

Speaking of time running out, it’s clear this show is trying to wrap up some of the larger story arcs before the season finale. Last week Owen made a new friend, a fellow captain named Billy (Billy Burke) — and Billy is gunning for Owen’s job. You know how Owen has been hiding the fact that he has lung cancer and is doing chemo from his team? Well he’s also been hiding it from his bosses, or at least he was until Billy ratted him out. The brass are understandably concerned about Owen’s ability to work in the field in his condition, so Owen offered perform the CPAT (Candidate Physical Ability Test) to prove he’s still strong enough to lead his team. The problem, of course, is that the test is a challenge for even the most fit young cadet, let along a middle-aged man with lung cancer — and sure enough, Owen can’t even reach the end of his practice runs without passing out from the strain. To make matters worse, it’s not just Owen’s job that’s on the line but the rest of his team’s as well, since Billy has made it clear that he’d can almost all of Owen’s recruits if he took over the station. Now, all of this is Owen’s own damn fault — not because he’s sick but because he let his pride get in his way every step of the way. His own posturing drew Billy’s attention in the first place, and he should have known better than to stake his job on that fitness test. As Judd notes, it would take an act of God to get Owen out of this pickle at this point…

And that’s exactly what happens when Billy is STRUCK BY LIGHTNING while golfing in the rain. OK, so technically the fact that Owen could carry Billy all the way to the clubhouse on his own after he was struck by lightning is really what resolved the issue, since the bosses took that as proof enough that Owen is still physically fit enough to work. Not to mention the fact that, after being STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, Billy is in far worse condition than Owen is and can hardly steal his job. Still, I don’t know what I liked most about this scenario: that 9-1-1: Lone Star wrote its main character into such an unnecessarily deep hole that the only way to fix it was to have the dad from Twilight golf in a thunderstorm, or the fact that the scene was clearly shot on a bright, sunny day in Hollywood. Take a look at the head pic if you don’t believe me.

The ongoing mystery of Michelle’s sister’s disappearance (a.k.a. the storyline nobody cares about) also made some headway this week, in that they… found the blue truck. It was in a ravine! A detective spotted it on some satellite images! Now they just need to determine whether it’s her skeletal remains that are inside the truck, but I’m getting ahead of myself — that scene was from the previews for next week. It seems like they’re setting it up that Iris wasn’t abducted at all, but maybe was drunk driving with a secret boyfriend or something. Personally, though, I’m hoping it turns out that a bolt of lightning was the culprit here, too. Maybe every plot should just be resolved by a surprise lightning strike!

C’mon Lone Star, don’t let me down!

Tori Preston is the managing editor of Pajiba. She tweets here. You can also listen to her weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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