What an event!
In news that is surprising to no one, if you combine the 118 with the 126, then badassery, funnies, heart, and pure magic happen.
And that was the case on 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 2 Episode 3 when the franchise gave us our first and hopefully not the last 9-1-1 crossover!
It was almost everything fans of both series could ask for, and for those who tuned into the staple show and hadn't checked out the spinoff, maybe it helped the latter gain new viewers.
It's commendable that both series pulled off such a tremendous feat while filming during a pandemic. When you consider that, it's hard not to be in awe.
It also probably gave us a glimpse of what it was like over the summer during what seemed to be an interminable year when firefighters from all over had to combat Californian wildfires amid COVID.
Say what you will about incorporating the pandemic in series, but it has opened the door for great storytelling if a series knows what they're doing.
And this series is among them. From the haze softening the unusual signature filter to many of the camera shots, the hour set a tone of the fatigue, plight of what the firefighters endured, and more.
Buck: Ohh, what's up with the air?
Hen: It's a wildfire, remember? That's why we were here.
Buck: I mean the way it feels like I've been slapped with a wet towel.
Eddie: It's called humidity. Welcome to Texas, Buck.
It felt as though we were in it with them. The air felt thick and claustrophobic, and some scenes were reminiscent of those used to cover battlegrounds and war zones. Overall, it felt as if we were watching an action mini-movie. How do they cram so much scintillating action in one installment?
As far as crossovers go, I'd consider this one a success. I'm already eager for the next time these two shows cross paths. I mean, they have to make this an annual thing, yes? Please, say yes!
If you saw 9-1-1 Season 4 Episode 3, then you knew that Buck, Eddie, and Hen were Texas-bound to help the state fight a massive wildfire, and it was a thrill from the second they hopped off of the firetruck.
Buck's commentary about the humidity was hysterical, and it was all "welcome to Texas" from there.
Eddie: I'm a medic. Eddie Diaz with 118. I'm from Los Angeles.
Marjan: You a paramedic?
Eddie: Firefighter, but I was a medic in the Army and on more than a few missions that looked a lot like this.
Judd: What you waiting for, Hollywood? Get your bag!
And my darling Judd's ability to assign anyone a nickname will never stop being precious. His instant bond with Eddie as a fellow Texan was endearing and made them one of the cutest crossover dynamics.
And that's where the hour excelled. It placed these characters in a position where they became fast allies and friends, and their task was impossible, but they overcame it anyway.
It culminated with both teams coming together and going rogue in a way that's quintessentially them to save their squad members. To borrow from Mateo, it was the superhero climax -- the Avengers moment when they've assembled.
The two stations are similar in many ways, and we got to see the best of that on full display.
While the full 118 and 126 intermixing couldn't happen, what we did get was pure gold. With each dynamic the hour gave us, the individuals played off of one another well.
It was amusing when Mateo, Buck, and T.K. discussed their various outlandish cases and tried to one-up each other. They added some of the lightheartednesses to an action-packed and, at times, emotional hour.
Buck's starstruck behavior with Marjan was cute, and I hate that he didn't get to spend more time with her. He's a fan of all of the stunts that make her go viral, and, of course, they call her FireFox.
Marjan spent most of her time with Eddie instead, and they had some nice chemistry that at times felt rather flirty.
Marjan: Nicely done, Diaz.
Eddie: You too, Fire Fox.
Did anyone think it was a tad odd that Marjan asked Eddie how he remained calm during their search for JJ? It was probably her first wildfire, but it made her sound inexperienced and as if she needed some boost, and it didn't feel true to form for her.
They both share a similar go-getter, brave spirit, so it made sense that they joined the rescue search for the cabin of youths and their mentor.
Eddie also hit it off with Judd, but some of the strongest scenes for our favorite Texan were with Paul. Paul is a freaking gift (his reaction to the stampede of animals JJ described was priceless).
Thankfully, this season shows signs of mixing and matching their pairings and presenting us with more dynamics than before.
Judd and Paul are a fun pair for many reasons, but what made their scenes so compelling was the insight it gave us into the lovable redneck with a heart of gold and how he's become who he is.
JJ: What kinda loser gets caught in a bear trap running away from bears, right?
Paul: There's bears?
JJ: I thought they were chasing the wolves.
Paul: There's wolves now?
JJ: They were running away from the fire. They're gone now.
Judd showed his extensive knowledge about the at-risk youth program that the kids were in, and he was familiar with the terrain. It prompted Paul to dig a bit and make some inquiries.
Somehow it wasn't that surprising that Judd was an at-risk youth who got into a little trouble growing up. Judd always strikes me as a character with a hell of a background story, and he has a lot of flavor.
When he spoke about it a bit, it made me love and respect him even more. Pulling from his experience, he was able to connect with JJ and keep the poor teen alive.
It was heartbreaking when JJ shared that his father implied he was a waste of space who wouldn't amount to anything.
Judd: You wanna know why life, and this camp, and probably your old man keeps kicking your ass, JJ?
Paul: He's slipping, man!
Judd: I got you... You wanna know why? It ain't because you're weak and scrawny even though you damn sure are. It's because when you get hit, you don't stand up and swing back...Stand up and fight, dammit!
But Judd wasn't going to give him a pity party. Judd told it like it was, didn't sugarcoat anything, and even smacked the kid so JJ could pull himself together.
It was easily the best scene of the hour and peak Judd Ryder. Jim Parrack is such a force in every scene he's in, and Judd is the best.
Opening up about himself helped him and Paul bond a bit, but more than anything, it revealed that he would be an amazing mentor. Wouldn't it be nice if Judd takes JJ under his wing or becomes a Big Brother or something? Or what if there's some foreshadowing to a potential baby Ryder down the road?
Judd getting into something like that would be beneficial for him too. More than anything, I'm eagerly awaiting a Judd Begins/origin episode.
Owen and Hen were the most unexpected crossover dynamic, but the more time they spent with one another, the more sense it made.
Owen is always the Captain who will put himself in the most dangerous situations to spare his crew. However, that increases tenfold when he's wallowing in his grief and guilt.
The search for JJ was too dangerous, and the time to call it off was near. But he knew that the firefighters on the ground wouldn't want to leave even though the winds were changing and the fire was closing in.
The best bet was to take the chopper, but it went down in no time, and that crash was enough to knock the wind out of you.
Owen: You picked the right person to be in a helicopter crash with.
Hen: Yeah? And why is that?
Owen: Because I'm invincible.
Hen: My wife will be grateful to hear it.
As terrifyingly as the situation was, Owen needed that time in the mine shaft with Hen. It never crossed my mind that she was someone who could connect with him on a deeper level than most.
Owen is not well after Tim's death. It brought up a lot of things for him that he has never worked through and processed.
Tommy picked up on it, and like a good friend, she came out there to check on him in person.
The wildfire could only keep Owen busy for so long, but sadly, a particularly sassy Tim haunted Owen in his dreams whenever he closed his eyes and while he was battling his concussion in the cave.
Tim's death right in front of his eyes reminded Owen of just how many people he's lost. More than enough to fill that mine shaft, as he said.
And he always makes it out and has to deal with surviving. He even came close to another situation like that again with Hen and the pilot. Owen feels cursed.
Owen confided in Hen that sometimes he feels angry at those he lost for leaving, and it's something he never shares with anyone. Hen understands that guilt and loss too. She knows the importance of letting that guilt go.
Owen's sadness is palpable. He harbors so much grief -- it's too much for him to carry on his shoulders without doing anything about it.
Owen: I should've never let you get on that chopper.
Hen: What are you talking about? You're invincible, remember?
Owen: Yeah. It's the people around me who tend not to be.
Hen: Is that what's been haunting you? The people who didn't make it?
Owen: The people who didn't make it couldn't fit into this mine shaft.
He needs real, consistent help if he wants to keep functioning, and I fear he may think losing himself in Gwyn can distract him.
Owen is the most visible display of grief we've seen over Tim's death from anyone. Obviously, it would affect him greatly, but, oddly, only his grief over Tim is exclusively on full display so far.
But it was such a powerful hour for him. From the nightmares and hallucinations of Tim to the little cries for help when he spoke to others, it was all so gutwrenching and raw. When will Owen find peace?
What happens in the mine; stays there. And I hope that Owen put Tim to rest in there. He can't harbor that guilt, too.
I lost 14 of my brothers on 9/11. We all went into the tower, but I'm the only one who walked out. I never admitted this to anyone, but I've never forgiven them.Owen
It feels like we're on pins and needles, worried and waiting for when everything becomes too much for him and he snaps or something.
I hope he listens to Hen. She's someone who worked through her darkness and came out stronger. And it feels like she may be one more person in Owen's support network.
His team is always there for him, and they're willing to defy orders for their Captain.
T.K. and Buck are the golden boys and fan-favorites of both shows -- their friendship is what viewers anticipated the most.
Judd: Hey, dumb ass, dumb asser. Did you stop and consider the consequences of what you're about to do at all?Eddie: You obviously don't know Buck.
Marjan: You two didn't seriously think that you would take off and drive into wildfires, did you?
Paul: Well, that ain't gone happen.
Buck: Think you're going to stop us?
Mateo: Stop you? We're going with you.
They didn't disappoint. From the friendly competition to T.K. saving Buck's life from a driving dog, the good times didn't end with the two.
But not only are they alike, but they have similar vibes with their captains. While Bobby isn't Buck's actual father, their relationship mirrors that of a father and son. Buck's vulnerability with T.K. as he opened in ways we haven't seen yet to connect with him was another highlight.
If anyone understood what T.K. felt like doing reckless things and disappointing dad, it was Buck. And he didn't hesitate to share how immature he behaved at times and how Bobby always supported him anyway.
So if anyone was going to help orchestrate a plan to steal a fire truck and rescue their people, it was Buck.
Not only are T.K. and Buck a lot alike, but they're both predictable as hell. Members of both their squads knew they would do something off the books, but naturally, they wanted in.
It's why we love these characters. They will do anything -- go to the bowels of hell for each other.
Even though it was unlikely that we'd lose either Owen or Hen during this crossover event, their ordeal left you on the edge of your seat until they were safe with their respective fire families, and T.K. and Buck predictably led the charge.
Buck: If you ever find yourself in L.A., we should get together.
T.K.: Sure, I gotta mention, though, I already have a boyfriend, and it's pretty serious, so, uh, Buck, it was really nice working with you, man. Take care.
If T.K. is ever in L.A., they should hang out. The writers love to give little nods to the Buck and Eddie 'shippers, but this time, they teased us with that hilarious final exchange between T.K. and Buck where T.K. thought Buck was hitting on him.
Eddie coming in at the tail end of that made the scene all the sweeter.
They balanced the pulse-pounding action, high-stakes, humor, and fun with this crossover-event.
Credit where it's due, 9-1-1 Lone Star is bringing all the heat during its sophomore season. It was one of their best installments to date!
Over to you, 9-1-1 Lone Star Fanatics? Did you love the crossover? Are you worried about Owen? Which dynamic did you love the most?
Hit the comments below, and if you want to relive it all over again, 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.