Monday, March 8, 2021

Recap: Relationships Are Rocked in ‘9-1-1 Lone Star’ Season 2, Episode 4 “Friends With Benefits”

9-1-1 Lone Star put relationships front and center this week in “Friends With Benefits.” From Marjan’s fiancé (yes, you read that right) to a TK and Carlos fight to Owen and Gwyneth, it’s an episode to remember. Let’s jump right in!

The episode opens with a rousing couples’ game night with Grace and Judd, Gwyneth and Owen, and Tommy and Charles battling it out to Heads Up. Gwyneth and Owen rack up point after point and eventually dethrone Grace and Judd with a new high score. Judd argues it’s unfair because they were married so long, but Owen says it’s because of their divorce they really know each other. Owen doesn’t read the room and goes on about how there should be a term for people who are better together, but not together. Gwyneth helpfully supplies that term: friends with benefits. Tommy quickly suggests a new game to ease the tension.

Marjan and her roller derby team are cheered on at the rink by TK, Carlos, Paul, and Mateo. Paul and Mateo notice another guy also cheering on Marjan, by name and Instagram handle, and get suspicious. TK leaves to get drinks for everyone and the bartender asks if he’s seen TK before. They chat for a second (the bartender clearly flirting), until Carlos steps up protectively adding to their discussion, “and his boyfriend is a cop.” It effectively ends the conversation. TK tells Carlos it was a little aggressive (only a little?) and they grab the drinks. Paul and Mateo wait for Marjan to exit the locker room when they see the same man lurking outside. Paul comments he wishes she’d make her social media private, thinking this guy is a creepy fan. Marjan emerges and they only exchange a few words before Paul and Mateo move in to check on her. Mateo asks if this is her brother, and Marjan introduces them to Salim, her fiancé. They are both shocked as TK and Carlos arrive and are also surprised by this news. Carlos tries to smooth it over with a questionable, “congratulations?” She clarifies that they’ve been “engaged” since they were 12, which only seems to confuse the guys further.

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At an outdoor wedding under a large tent, a best man gives his speech during which he gets emotional that the bride and his best friend are now husband and wife. It’s moving, at least until he vomits all over the bride followed by various attendees also vomiting throughout the tent. People panic and flee causing the tent to come crashing down, and someone calls 9-1-1, “It’s worse than the red wedding!” On scene, Marjan clarifies her engagement to a very confused Mateo. Theirs is an arranged marriage, she helpfully supplies that half the marriages in the world are still arranged. Their families have known each other a long time, and they have similar values making them a good match. Owen and Tommy gather information on the sick wedding goers and suspect poisoning from the seafood. Tommy and her team start treating the patients while Owen, TK, and Judd work on saving the groom who is trapped under the 900 pounds of trusses and lighting. Paul and Marjan discuss her fiancé while prepping water and barf bags (great time for a conversation) and she tells him Salim’s been meaning to visit once she settled. Paul asks about a special occasion to which Marjan masterfully replies, “I’m always the occasion.” She does elaborate, “We believe that love is something you grow into,” and Mateo realizes this means she will eventually move back to Miami to be with Salim once he finishes dental school and they are not happy about losing her (nor are we!). As the groom is placed on a gurney, the bride vomits but assures them she’s fine. She didn’t have the fish and she wasn’t hit on the head. Mateo helpfully supplies that maybe she’s pregnant, unknowingly sparking some post wedding drama. The bride and groom were waiting to have sex, however the bride slept with the best man and is now pregnant. They quickly wheel the groom away as he shouts threats at the best man.

Back at the station they find Gwyneth waiting for Owen. In the kitchen, she asks him for some clarity on their relationship. He’s reluctant to put a label on what they have and agrees to think on it for her. In the bunk room, Marjan tells Paul and Mateo that Salim asked her to dinner at a very nice restaurant which is a big deal because unmarried couples aren’t supposed to date without a chaperone. This will be their first one and she thinks he wants to speed up their timeline and get married rather than wait. It will be a serious conversation and Mateo is reluctant to accept that she might be leaving so soon.

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Carlos and TK shop at a local farmers market where TK fills him in on Marjan’s situation. As they talk about parents, Carlos spots his at the market and tries to avoid them but to no avail. His mother sees him and comes right over with his father. Carlos introduces TK as his friend from work, and TK rolls with it in the moment. Carlos’ father is a Texas Ranger and teases TK about being a firefighter. As they leave his mother yells back, “Nice to meet you TJ.”

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At dinner, Marjan and Salim discuss their relationship. She apologizes for leaving him to deal with their parents alone, and he confirms he doesn’t want to wait to marry but he would also never ask her to give up what she has in Austin. He’s ready to get married, just not to Marjan, because he met someone else, Madison the periodontist. He asks Marjan if she’s even in love with him and when she can’t answer yes it only confirms to Salim that they should break off their engagement.

Back at Carlos’, TK furiously packs a bag (grabbing vitamins and tennis shoes?) as Carlos tries to get him to talk about why he’s angry. TK brings up that Carlos didn’t correct his mother getting his name wrong or tell them he’s his boyfriend because Carlos doesn’t think there will be another meeting or need to clarify. Carlos defends that he didn’t want to rub their nose in it, but TK is too hurt and leaves.

The next morning in Owen’s kitchen, he awkwardly asks about how Gwyneth slept pressing the fact that she seemed restless. She asks if they are going to be awkward now every time she tries to talk to him, and as they start to argue TK walks in. He tells them about his and Carlos’ fight, and while trying to give advice, Owen and Gwyneth manage to make it about their own fight. Owen says it shouldn’t matter what label “Carlos” wants to put on something and Gwyneth argues that it matters because the real issues is whether TK (also meaning herself) feels safe in the relationship.

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Paul and Mateo interrupt Marjan’s axe sharpening at the firehouse to ask about her date. She fills them in that she and Salim broke it off, saying she must actually be in love with Salim because it feels like her heart’s been ripped from her chest. Paul tells her that she can’t let Salim leave without knowing her true feelings for him. She needs to see him before he leaves and tell him, even if it is painful. As the old adage goes, love hurts.

In dispatch, Grace takes a call from a submissive who is currently bound but his dominatrix, Mistress, has been stung by bees and is allergic. Always cool under pressure, Grace rolls with the situation as Imp explains his bound position and she is able to quickly research it. In order for him to free himself and use Mistress’ EpiPen, Grace tells him he’ll need to dislocate his shoulder. Imp is, understandably, terrified at that idea, “I don’t come here to be frightened, I come here to be humiliated.” Sensing a chance to motivate Imp, Grace goes into dominatrix mode, telling him he’s not worthy of making this call or of Mistress. She denies him permission to speak, catching the attention of her nearby coworkers as she tells him several degrading things. Her tactic works and Imp is able to dislocate his shoulder, free himself, and inject Mistress with an EpiPen. Grace’s coworker shakes his head and mutters, “50 Shades of Grace.” Just another day in dispatch with Grace!

Meanwhile at the firehouse, Owen talks to Judd about his and Gwyneth’s ongoing issue around defining their relationship. Owen things Gwyneth should know that he still loves her and that their “good thing” isn’t going anywhere but Judd challenges that she’s the one who left everything back in New York for this relationship. Judd also points out that Owen went on and on about how great it is to be divorced at game night and Owen finally sees it. Judd leaves him with a “you know what to do, Cap.”

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Calmer now, TK returns to Carlos’ where they talk out what happened. TK tells Carlos that his decision to keep their relationship from his parents made TK feel insecure. Carlos tells him that’s exactly why he didn’t want to introduce them; he was afraid TK might feel this way. Carlos opens up about his coming out to them, he told his parents when he was 17, they said they loved him, but it was never spoken of again. TK shares Gwyneth’s comment about feeling unsafe and highlights how he didn’t consider Carlos’ feeling unsafe for so long. TK wants to support him, so he promises he can be his friend from work or his personal shopper for all he cares. TK is happy to be what Carlos needs to feels safe when it comes to his parents for as long as he needs it. (Score one for open communication!)

Marjan goes to Salim’s hotel room where she tells him that she does love him. He kisses her, glad of the confession, but Marjan backs away when she realizes he’s expecting more than she’s willing to give. She tells him she’s starting to feel like the other woman, and he quickly says he can break up with Madison tonight if that’s what Marjan wants. His blasé attitude concerns her, “I can’t be with someone who doesn’t honor their commitments to their family, to their values, to their periodontists on the side.” Their break up is final.

Gwyneth gets home after a run to find rose petals on the floor, dimmed lights, and a fancy bottle of wine waiting for her. Owen tells her that he still loves her and drops to one knee, asking for her to marry him again. She tells him to get up. “I wanted clarity, not a wedding ring!” Confused, Owen asks why she was so intense suddenly and she drops some serious news: Gwyneth is pregnant.

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9-1-1 Lone Star airs Mondays on FOX at 9 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. CT.

Brianna
Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09

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