Can the 126 ever catch a break at all?
If 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 2 Episode 12 didn't do anything else, it brought the heat. And I mean that literally.
The hour wouldn't let us breathe for a second in all of its anxiety-inducing, twisty, shocking, and disheartening glory.
You got to hand it to Lone Star, they took us on an emotional ride, and they pulled out all of the stops. They also successfully threw in some twists that were hard to anticipate, and the entire hour was enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The arson saga continued with Owen appearing as the primary suspect when it was all said and done. Everything pointed in his direction, and you could understand how they directed focus at him.
His attempts to investigate were dicey, and it didn't help matters when it seemed as though he wasn't communicating with anyone as to what he was doing or keeping others in the loop about his actions.
The setup was amazing. Owen kept showing up at the arson sites. He was lying about where he was to others, which led to them questioning his whereabouts and doubting him.
He reenacted the arsons in a controlled setting, but he left all of the material at his home. He was way too obsessed with it all. The red flags were everywhere.
Billy saving his ass in the fire was one of many moments that made him the best red herring. It's probably why even Owen suspected Billy was guilty at first, and later on, Judd did as well.
They pulled all of this off brilliantly. It was believable that Gabriel would go from chumming it up with Owen at Carlos and T.K.'s home during dinner to hauling him in as the primary suspect.
And the fire investigator was already wary of Owen, and we later found out it was with good reason.
Who would've thought it was an elaborate plan in place with Owen, Gabriel, and Billy to catch the fire investigator? They played a long game with him, theorizing that the arsonist was a firefighter.
And there was enough to Owen's investigation that had the others questioning things. Poor Mateo; the authorities blindsided him by busting into the Strand home with a warrant and searching through his things.
The arson supplies were a shock to him as well since he wasn't around when Owen was testing things out and trying to figure out how the arsonist started everything.
The rest of the team had no idea what was going on, and poor T.K. was in absolute denial about his father. It made things incredibly awkward when Carlos came to the station to inform T.K. that not only did Owen get arrested, but Gabriel was the one to do it.
It's something that would've caused a huge rift in the otherwise solid Tarlos 'ship had this played out as it appeared and Owen and Gabriel weren't secretly working together.
I don't know if the two would've withstood something like that.
It was interesting that Owen went to his trusty companion, Judd, and shared his theory about Billy. It must've been at the time when Owen did believe Billy was the real culprit. Otherwise, it wouldn't have made sense for Owen to mislead Judd for the hell of it.
Judd was understandably conflicted because of his relationship with Billy. He admired and respected the man who was behind teaching Judd everything he knows about fighting fires.
You gotta love Grace, though, who overheard the conversation between the men and told Owen that he needed to report the matter even if he didn't have much to go on.
Grace is always the light, due north, and voice of reason, and something is comforting about that and her constant presence. Not only does she keep Juddy honest, but she has the same effect on those around her. Goodness, Grace is the best.
Your arsonist is Owen Strand.Billy
Judd's a loyal person, but when his two loyalties were in conflict with one another, he aired on the side of what was good and right. He believed Billy was responsible for the firest too, and when Owen got hauled into custody, he didn't hesitate to go all Ryder on Billy.
It shouldn't be as hot as it is when Judd gets all aggressive on behalf of those he cares about, but damn, it's attractive as all hell.
The hour had us convinced that Billy was the culprit -- particularly after he slipped Owen's name to the investigator, right up until said investigator sneaked into the hospital room to kill a witness.
Billy is a rough around the edges type of character who didn't make the best first impression, so he's always someone who could go either way.
Discovering that the fire investigator was the real culprit was a shock, and then the surprises kept going from there. But holy crap did anyone expect him to set himself aflame?!
How did he even manage to douse himself in accelerant without anyone realizing it? Wow, that's such an awful way to go out!
With 15 minutes still remaining in the hour, the installment wasn't letting up with the shocking moments.
It was stressful as hell when they figured out that he set bombs up at the station.
Can you imagine the damage that would've been done and how many people could've died if they didn't evacuate in the nick of time. But nothing compared to the pulse-pounding moments of what happened at Carlos and T.K.'s house.
Your arsonist is Owen Strand.
The two of them were not on the best of terms when Owen got arrested. Carlos meant well when he informed T.K., but the latter didn't react well, and things were tense between the two.
Judd's stepping into his protective Big Bro mode with T.K. and sending Carlos away spoke volumes, and so did T.K. returning to the Strand home to spend the night rather than going home to Carlos.
But they were able to put all of that past them when they found out that their fathers worked together and kept them in the dark to catch the real arsonist.
And they were more than willing to have some super hot and sexy makeup sex. Gosh damn, it was a smoking-hot love scene.
Can we take a moment to appreciate the abs on Carlos? Maybe it's forgivable that the two of there were so caught up in all of each other's pretty that they didn't smell the smoke until the entire lower level was on fire.
Hell, maybe they thought they were the ones setting off smoke detectors, and they very well could've.
But fortunately for them, Owen wasn't settled even when he was spending time with the Ryders, Vegas, and Billy. The scene itself was cute, and it's endearing how close everyone is these days.
Everyone has dibs on who they are to the Ryders' baby, and Billy was putting his bid in for the child getting named after him out of an apology for Judd nearly kicking his ass.
But Owen wasn't settled, and it's a good thing he followed his gut. The inspector spoke to him and Gabriel when he spoke of taking the most important things away from them. They did make a show of mentioning how awkward it was having Gabriel interrogate Owen, given the relationship between their sons.
T.K. and Carlos were trapped upstairs, and it was some of the most intense work on the series to date. While it was doubtful that the series would kill off one or both characters, it was no less stressful to see them in this situation.
Poor Carlos was beating himself up about not having a fire extinguisher on the second floor of their home. I can only imagine that the arsonist took the batteries out of the smoke detectors, and the prospect of jumping out of the second-floor window was daunting.
You took the most important thing in the world from me, and now I'm going to repay the favor.Investigator
We've never seen Carlos as terrified and guilt-ridden as he was during those moments before Owen and Billy arrived, and it was heartbreaking. When he broke down, teary-eyed and all, outside of the apartment and told T.K. that he didn't think they'd make it, it made you want to reach through the screen and hug him.
Rafael Silva sure as heck knows how to deliver those vulnerable scenes and moments, and that's why it's always a treat when the series gives him the screentime he deserves.
I don't know what this means for Tarlos and their love nest. Will they have to find a new place or move in with Owen until they get squared away?
And how long is it going to take to repair the 126? It's doubtful that it means they'll be out of commission for good, but still.
Carlos: I didn't think we were going to make it out. I should've had -- an extinguisher...
TK: Shhh, it's OK. We're okay.
It was one of the most distressing hours of the series, but just when it felt as if we could take a collective sigh of relief that everything turned out for the better, they hit us with the Charles ending.
All Charles does is cook incredible food, take care of the twins, and love Tommy with all of his heart, and what does he get for it? A freaking aneurysm or something.
They've killed off Rosewater, endangered T.K. and Owen half a dozen times each, and nearly killed both the Ryders. WHY are they doing this to Charles?
Haven't we been through enough?! Why can't they fight fires and rescue kittens without stressing us out like this?!
Charles is a newer character with not as much screentime. He's expendable to lose but likable enough to devastate us if he passes away.
Tommy doesn't deserve this!
Oh, 9-1-1: Lone Star, they keep coming for every single last one of our feelings this season.
Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics! Are you worried about Charles? Did they dupe you with the arsonist? Hit the comments below!
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.