First things first, we got a renewal! It's always a relief when you can enjoy the rest of the season without fear that the series' future will hang in the balance.
They're hitting us hard with some Grace Ryder content on the back end, and 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 Episode 15 predominately focused on how a case got under her skin and prompted her to take down an organ trafficking ring with help from Carlos.
Carlos and Grace are one of the most underrated duos in this series.
We were also dealt an emotionally crushing blow to Owen as it saw Chad Lowe's return as Owen's half-brother, Robert, with some devastating health news that could affect both Owen and T.K.
And there was also a special reunion treat for Firefly fans with Adam Baldwin guest-starring and even sharing a brief scene with Gina Torres.
There was a lot of content to chew on, whether you're a diehard Grace fan who loves to see her compassion and empathy translate to her putting her life on the line to get justice for someone else, someone thrilled over that reunion, or get off on all the whump doled out to the Strand men on the regular.
The emergency with the car accident kicked things off, dropping us right in the middle of the crew, putting out the fire, and rescuing Clint.
Judd: Y'all did good work.
Paul: Welp, at least the fire's out...
Judd: You had to say it, didn't ya?
Judd in charge will not be the hottest thing outside of a fire, and Paul can always manage to steal a scene with a single line and a smile.
Things definitely got wild when Tommy realized that Clint had a recent kidney transplant based on the fresh sutures, and it was suspicious enough when the driver took off. When Clint hauled ass and assaulted T.K. in the process, it was evident we would embark on a crazy ride.
Shifting to Grace and that grim call from Lexi set the episode's tone well, especially coming off the hills of Tommy's frank assessment when speaking with McGregor.
Everything we could've guessed about McGregor was crystal clear when Tommy, a paramedic, had to spell out to him what it meant when her patient went missing after having a fresh transplant.
If Clint were the recipient fighting for his life, there would have to be a donor doing the same. When McGregor wasn't coming across as incompetent, which unfortunately has become a pattern for most law enforcement in this series, he was far too callous.
If anyone had heard that phone call as Grace had to talk poor Lexi through her experience and then listen to her die and be revived, they would've had some compassion.
Grace has taken some tough calls over the years, and the one with Lexi makes the list of the top five most emotional ones.
It was easy to understand how this case would've affected her instantly; well before it, the truth of it all unraveled, and she was spurred on as both a mother and a Black woman to find the type of justice that eludes far too many like her.
Judd: Do I have to remind you that you have Charlie now? Why would you risk doing that?
Grace: Because I have Charlie, sweetheart. If Lexie was a cute white girl, she would be plastered all over the news right now. But just like so many other Black and Brown women, Lexie has not only been victimized, she has been forgotten about, and she has been blamed. Women who look just like Charlie will one day; that's why I'm doing this.
Judd: I can appreciate that, I don't think the answer is to use your own life as bait.
Grace: So the answer is what then, sweetheart? When there are so many people in the system who don't care?
Judd: Find the people who do.
One can't even imagine how terrifying it was for this young girl to wake up, still groggy after Mike drugged her, in a bathtub filled with ice with her kidney missing.
Mike left her for dead, dismissing her as some runaway with no connections to the area, someone who no one would look for, miss, or care about...
The added and painful truth is that in addition to being an Austin transplant and runaway, she was a young Brown woman, and by now, everyone should be well-versed in Missing White Woman Syndrome to understand how someone like Lexi could fall through the cracks.
Your heart ached for this young woman as she explained what happened to her, how she has no one, and the situation with Mike, and thanked Grace for being the reason she survived. She had a voice on the phone to cling to when she didn't have anyone else.
And if it's one thing this series routinely hits home is the angelic work that Grace does, how she's the emotions of her name, and the impact that she has on the people who, in their worst times, have her soothing voice in their ear.
But then we quickly learned that, in the news surprising no one, McGregor quickly assumed that Lexi was in on this black market organ trafficking situation and that she was just this opportunistic girl who opted to sell her organ because she needed the money.
What's upsetting is how quickly it seemed that McGregor jumped to this conclusion, and we knew from his reaction to Clint taking off that he didn't seem to care from the beginning anyway.
But there he was out the gate, treating Lexi like a suspect and perpetrator rather than a victim.
That happens with such an alarming frequency that it made perfect sense why Grace felt the need to be this poor girl's advocate and fight for her, lest she gets punished or slipped through the cracks until this operation affected the wrong (or rather right, or frankly, white) person who'd instigate a more thorough investigation.
I thought I was going to die, but your voice kept me alive.Lexie
As someone whose from an area that has a relatively high human trafficking issue that likely expands to another trafficking, it was interesting to see how they went about handling this case.
To add some nuance and not entirely paint McGregor in the worst light, he was following the bone basics of evidence that he had, but as a seasoned detective, he wasn't actually taking the necessary steps to deduce the evidence he had, instead, taking everything at face value to get another case off of his hands.
Adam Baldwin always nails these roles of the gruff, offputting, antagonistic types well.
What's grating is the full knowledge that if Grace wasn't determined to get justice for Lexi, the poor girl would've gone to prison if she remained alive, or the trafficking ring would continue to wreak havoc, resulting in members of vulnerable communities going missing and plenty of deaths.
Judd: Detective, let me just say something to you real quick. The next time my wife tells you something, you better listen to her.
McGregor: I'm starting to see that.
Judd: Well, don't just start.
All these people would slip through the cracks of a broken system that goes beyond jaded, overworked cops whose compassion fatigue shifted to apathy, people unwilling to rock the boat or challenge anything or each other, and societal biases that ooze into every facet of daily life, and more.
Lexi's death would've left her as a footnote on a file or another statistic, and that's upsetting to think that the sum total of life, even a young one, could be that.
Grace's motivations for this case were crystal clear and suited her. However, her speechifying to Judd lacked subtlety. The series opted for hitting us over the head with inorganic dialogue to explain why Grace needed to advocate for Lexi and women and young girls like them and Charlie.
As a mother, it hit harder for her that it could be her daughter in that type of position, and people would just not care.
And Judd, always the supportive husband, understood where she was coming from and why she wanted to find Mike and take down the ring.
But he also wasn't letting her off the hook for how reckless she was behaving. It was dangerous for her to put her face on the app and invite someone to roofie and potentially kidnap her.
It was nice to have Grace's righteous recklessness challenged by Judd almost instantly. Often, there's an imbalance in this series when a character is about to do something so incredibly foolish it stretches credulity.
They also did well regarding Grace showing up at that bar to meet Mike and drink. Until the second he collapsed from his own roofied drink, I was gnashing my teeth and ready to call foul on who is deemed the wisest character in this series to knowingly drink a beverage from a man she KNOWS drugged people.
For Grace to be doing something that was undoubtedly as risky as it was out of her depth, she at least went about things with some sense and enlisted help.
She built a strong case for Sarina, who can come across as a bit of a hardass, but you could feel how passionate she was about the cases that cross her desk, and she's in policing for all the right reasons.
And as much as McGregor was a pain in the ass, he knew to show up for Grace, even if it took him a while to get there. He seemed quite impressed with her ability to trick Mike, too.
Judd's standoff with McGregor was classic Judd in protective mode, proudly boasting about his wife and demanding that McGregor put some respect on her name.
Was it overkill? Sure, but it's Judd -- unabashedly hyping his wife, so there can never be a fault in that because the Ryders are everything.
Surprisingly, this case brought Grace and Carlos together a bit but not nearly as much as you would've envisioned. Nevertheless, you can never go wrong with some Carlos and Grace screentime. They have such fun chemistry and make a badass team that accomplishes a hell of a lot together.
Carlos is gifted at deduction and observation. He has all the natural skills to become a detective, and we've seen that before, particularly when Sarina encouraged him to take the detective exam.
I'm glad they followed up on that, so we learned more about where his head was on that and why he hadn't pursued it any further.
You're going to be in a room full of Strands; odds are, you aren't going to be the only one with a shiner.Judd
From Carlos' perspective, he likes being a beat cop and serving his community. He wants to get ahead of and prevent crimes rather than spend time-solving ones that have already happened.
It's a noble enough reason for why he prefers one over the other, and it makes sense for his character. However, I'm glad Sarina hinted that being a detective is about more than that and not limited to just that.
It leaves the door open for Carlos to reconsider it if he desires instead of it serving as an outright "no" on the topic, and it works better that way.
Overall, Grace carried the bulk of this hour and proved that she's very much capable of that.
But we also got a B-line with Owen and his brother. We hadn't known how that relationship had fared since Owen went to California when his father died.
But Robert wants to be in their lives and get to know them better, and now that he's shared that he has Huntington's Disease, you know that this time is precious for him.
You could tell something was going on with Robert, and he seemed reluctant to open up at first.
It was nice of him to bring all of these relics that belonged to his father to share with both Owen and T.K., even if it had to feel awkward, at least for Owen.
There's still a lot to process regarding his father having a whole other family he didn't know about, and they missed out on so much time together. And now it feels like they'll have any less time together because of Robert's Huntington's.
It was awful to hear him explain everything, resigned to his disease. He's accepted his fate, and it's fueled him to spend time with his family.
But it's also concerning to hear about this disease precisely because it's hereditary.
It often feels like the Strand men can never win, and they're doomed to experience some hardship.
Robert: Huntington's a beast; Owen, it's a hereditary condition.
Owen: You're telling me that our dad left us something more than keepsakes.
Robert: The disease runs in his family, our family. Usually shows up north of 50, sometimes later, sometimes earlier.
Owen: But he didn't die from it.
Robert: No, but he had it; he just died before it could kill him.
Now, there's a disease they weren't aware of that can loom over both of them. And it's one of the most awful things, terribly debilitating, and like a dangling sword that hovers over someone's head or the boogeyman that hides in the shadows.
You can tell it was a lot for Owen to process, both for what it could mean for him and T.K. and for his brother. And he seems devoted to spending time with Robert as much and as often as he can.
Over to you, Lone Star Fanatics.
Are you thrilled about the renewal news? Did you love this Grace-centric? How do you feel about the Huntington's news? Sound off below!
If you missed anything, you can watch 9-1-1: Lone Star online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.