"Act of God" was one of the stronger installments of the season.
It was also one of the most heartbreaking as 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 1 Episode 4 gave us our first tragic death of someone while the team was on a call.
The use of a tornado provided us with some great shots and effects, and it gave the series the chance to flex some of its muscles and its budget.
Sometimes themes can be a bit hokey, but in this case, the overarching thematic focus on faith was suitable. It aligned with some of the characters but also the circumstances they were under (a devastating natural disaster) and some of the characters' respective journeys.
Michelle had some mixed up feelings as she got wrapped up in her sister's case, and she wondered whether or not she wanted to go through Iris' things in the shed.
After an eventful day of saving lives and serving the community post-tornado, her mother called her to the house, and they went through the shed after all.
It was still standing despite the destruction of everything else in the yard, and they saw it as a sign -- an act of God. It's where Michelle found a photo of Iris near a blue pickup truck, which is what the witness said Iris climbed into before she vanished.
The effects of the day and everything else was weighing on Michelle, and she touched upon it a bit with her run-in with Owen, where she noticed his pallor, and he commented on her smudged mascara.
She also took some time out to commend her team on how well they did out in the field; although, it was around the time that they were commenting on how depleted their medical supplies were and wondered where it all went.
The show is playing out this mysterious disappearance of Michelle's sister angle, but I wish we learned more about Michelle and her relationship with her team before diving into this.
The show has managed to weave Judd's PTSD into the storyline without it consuming him. He remains one of the most dynamic characters of the bunch.
Can you have a series that takes place in the South without addressing faith in some way? Doubtful, yes?
It makes perfect sense that after losing all of his brothers to that fire, he and the Big Guy wouldn't be on the best of terms. It's perfectly reasonable and fair of him to have his faith tested.
It's also something that would come between him and his wife if their faith had a huge role in their relationship. Honestly, there isn't enough Grace, but my gosh, the Ryders endearing when they're onscreen together.
She's a constant source of comfort and support for Judd, so while they had their tiff over Judd not going to church, it was nice that she reminded him that she's in this too.
He's struggling, without a doubt, but when he's enduring this, she's in the thick of it. They're a unit, and everything that is affecting him also affects her.
It's possible that while Judd has been fighting his PTSD, Grace has clung to her faith more than ever.
I saw things today that were so clearly miracles, and I saw things that were just heartbreaking beyond comprehension. I don't know whwere he is in all of that, and I don't know where I stand in it.Judd
Her faith probably kept her together when she heard that call and explosion. And she leaned into it while Judd was recovering afterward, and so forth. It's important to her.
Not enough focus ever goes to the loved ones or the caretakers of those who are battling the things that Judd is dealing with, and it broadens the experience and gives a full scope of what it looks like when that element is present too.
Judd was well within reason to have a lack of faith, and no good could come from pressuring him into doing something he wasn't ready for, but he was a total ass for making fun of her and calling her and other Christians at their church halfwits.
Marjan: Allah the most merciful help all of them.
Judd: I mean if he was merciful he wouldn't let it happen in the first place, right?
But I love how these two can have it out, hurt each other, but come together again and talk things out. They're such a mature, stable, nurturing couple.
They can be the touchstone couple of this series, in the same way that Bobby and Athena have been on 9-1-1.
Judd admitted that he still didn't know where he stood with God, and he needed to get to express that to his wife instead of feeling obligated. However, he was also willing to compromise with her too.
He has a tattoo of Psalm 31 on his hand, so his faith was important to him at some point or another. And maybe that's why Grace was urging him to reconnect with it in hopes that it would be another avenue to give him solace.
Judd and Grace are my happy place. They're awesome.
Judd has also been the voice of reason for Owen, and he needs that. Owen couldn't hide his cancer from TK for much longer. The chemotherapy is wiping him out, and Judd couldn't keep covering for him.
TK was starting to notice some things.
Judd: You need to tell your boy.
Owen: I'm just waiting for the right time.
Judd: That uh, dad, at the last call. I bet he was waiting for the right time too.
Both Judd and Wayne, Owen's chemo buddy, were on Owen's case about telling TK the truth. They knew at some point, TK would find out, and isn't it better to control your own narrative?
And they were right; TK found Owen's meds when he was in his father's office, and he was waiting for Owen after their long, trying day.
TK had every right to be upset with his father for keeping such a lifechanging secret. He deserved to know what was going on with his father, and it hurt him that Owen excluded him.
He took it as Owen assuming he was too weak and fragile to handle the truth, and he was offended. Speaking of, has TK joined an NA support group or something while they've been in Austin?
TK: How long have you known?
Owen: Since before we left for Austin.
TK: Wow, you must think I'm so weak.
They selectively mention TK's addiction sometimes, but you would think it would be a more substantial storyline -- something akin to Owen's cancer arc. How do you bounce back from an overdose, and it happens offscreen?
Anyway, Owen admitted that it wasn't a matter of him viewing his son as too weak to handle everything. He was the one he felt weak, and he couldn't bear looking into TK's eyes and seeing fear or pity. It would force him to acknowledge the reality of what's happening to him.
And even though he's been going to chemo, Owen is still in denial.
Wayne: We all have our own "why me?" moments.
Owen: Yeah, this isn't mine. Mine was when the towers came down.
Now that TK knows, at least Owen has a support network now. It's one of the first things they go over with a person when they're choosing to fight cancer.
The case affected Owen greatly. It was utterly heartbreaking.
The father did everything right when he put his kids in the tub. He wanted to get their cat for them, and then their whole world changed after that.
He was frantic to find his kids, and it was something Owen connected to instantly. You knew the second they mentioned how unsteady the house was, that Owen would go by himself.
Michelle: Why didn't he say something?
Owen: He wanted to save his kids?
Michelle: If he had spoken up, maybe we could've saved him too.
Can we expect Owen to take risky, reckless, suicidal calls because of his diagnosis? He's a heroic person, and he feels he has the least to lose.
My heart was in my throat when they were so focused on finding the children that they didn't check out the father. The second he declined care, and they got swept up in the rescue, it was evident something terrible was going to happen.
He climbed from beneath his house, so internal bleeding was a possibility, but he was running on adrenaline the whole time. At least he got to see his kids and hug them before he died.
It's most unfortunate that the poor kids had to watch their dad die before their eyes. I know what Michelle meant, but there wasn't so much they could've done for that father at the scene.
If they had known sooner that he had internal bleeding, they would've rushed him off to the hospital, and there was no way in hell that man was leaving without knowing if his kids were OK.
- The car wedged between two buildings was awesome.
- Marjan got over her bad publicity quick, and she was game for all the camera time when she rescued that woman. She's right, though, how did the newscaster miss that heroic fall from multiple stories up.
- Grace cracking the code to a gun safe based on the owner's football obsession is a special kind of badass. Also, she's right, Briana needs a new boyfriend. DUMP HIM!
Grace: Find yourself a new boyfriend.
- Carlos, my darling Carlos, where art thou?
- Judd's crack about all the things he did in the time it took Owen to finish gelling his hair was funny. But is anyone else over Owen and his hair?
- The news showed Mateo some respect even though his team is having a ball hazing the poor Probie.
- Owen's moment with Mateo was nice. I like it when he interacts with the other team members instead of just Judd, TK, and Michelle.
Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics, how did you feel about this one? Are you rewatching along with us? Are you watching it for the first time? If you want to get ahead, you can watch 9-1-1: Lone Star online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.