With just minutes left in the season premiere last week, the 9-1-1 Lone Star writers did what they do best and gave viewers one heck of a cliffhanger! We saw a woman trapped unknowingly trapped in her food truck as lava crept ever closer. Yep, lava in Austin, Texas.
“2100º” kicked off with a raging fraternity pool party where Chad, a college man, is flirting with Elisa, who he calls a “Waco 4,” aka a woman he thinks is unattractive, so she’ll get him a drink. Chad’s friends call him out, and they all leave the hot tub. It’s at that moment people panic as the regular pool begins to boil, and we see a hole with lava spewing out at the bottom. Chad doesn’t realize the danger and flips backward out of the hot tub and into the boiling pool water. He manages to swim to the side, and Elise leans over to rescue him, accidentally pulling the skin off his arm in the process and severely burning herself. Brett, the friend, calls 9-1-1.
Eight hours earlier at the firehouse, the 126 celebrate Owen Strand’s remission with a tumor cake (which looks even more unappealing than it sounds). TK thoughtfully sent the scans of his tumor to the bakery so they could replicate it, to which Paul objected, and we are sad he was overruled (why, TK. Why.). Owen thanks everyone for their support, and they adjourn to eat and visit. TK thanks Carlos for coming to the party and he shares that home life is suspiciously quiet between Owen and Gwyneth, “I think they’re in their honeymoon phase.” TK asks about meeting Carlos’ parents and he not so subtly changes the topic to grab more drinks for them. Tommy opens up to Grace about her struggles to balance work and home life; it’s challenging to be fully present in the job because she’s thinking about her daughters. Gwyneth joins Owen in his office, and she asks why he doesn’t seem excited about his remission, but he swears he’s not keeping anything bottled up.
A family of three enjoy a round of mini-golf as the father, Victor, misses a hole-in-one and promptly loses it, smashing up the tongue of the devil face (you get a free sundae if you make it, so we can’t blame him for wanting to win one for his son). We learn that he’s been struggling at work, and they are about to lose their house thanks to COVID. As his wife comforts him, the ground shakes and a huge hole opens up, shooting massive flames. While the wife and son are ok, the father falls into the hole.
The 126 arrive on the scene, speculating on what happened. The scene smells like sulfur, but Judd is sure it’s not methane. Medical immediately sets to work treating the victims suffering from headaches and upset stomachs, and Victor’s son asks if his dad is going to die. Tim assures him that the father will be fine, and Tommy quickly cuts him off with more instructions. Meanwhile, Mateo notes that the SO2 (sulfur dioxide) numbers are very high in the hole. Marjan must be lowered inside to rescue Victor, and TK is confused over her excitement.
Marjan: “I get to rappel into that?”
TK: “Get to? Interesting choice of words.”
While inside the 350 degrees hole, it’s revealed that Victor’s skin has melted and stuck to the plastic devil’s head. Unsure how stable the ground is or how long they’d survive the heat, Marjan secures Victor, and they hoist him up, which rips away a lot of skin as he is wheeled away; Victor thanks Marjan for saving him. Just as the team is ready to leave, the hole erupts with shooting flames and lava.
Back at the station, a news anchor details that the volcano in south Austin that was assumed to be dominant has become active. While the crew watches the report, Tommy pulls Tim aside and reprimands him for promising the boy on the scene that his father would be ok. She tells him he can’t make promises that they can’t keep, and Tim got lucky that Victor lived.
In Owen’s office, he and Tommy take a conference call with experts at the US Geological Survey and other local officials. She warns them to expect more of the same, that lava can flow up to 35 miles per hour, lava bombs (semi-molten volcanic projectiles), and fire burning hotter than 2100º. So not much to worry about, right? Owen and Tommy tell their teams to triple check all their equipment in preparation for what they might face in the field today. While doing so, Tim vents to Nancy about Tommy. He notes that she doesn’t give them any positive feedback or “attaboys” while they are on the job. Nancy agrees that she doesn’t but also thinks Tim is just upset that Tommy called him out.
In dispatch, Grace and her coworkers are systematically calling and texting residents in evacuation zones to warn them about the volcanic activities. She gets the voicemail of Chad, which tells her to text him because who would even call someone, dude. “Yeah, we did text you, dude, and you don’t respond to either,” she quips as she takes an incoming call. We join the food truck woman from the end of the season premiere, Lily, who is now trapped on her counter, her food truck absolutely infested with scorpions. The floor, the roof, they are everywhere (and we have chills) as they try to run from the lava creeping closer and closer to the truck. They determine the type of scorpions, the poisonous kind, unfortunately, so simply running isn’t an option. Thinking quickly, Grace checks Wikipedia and learns that they don’t like vinegar, so she has Lily spray the scorpions with their in house vinaigrette! She’s able to clear a path to the door just as Carlos yanks it open to rescue her just in the nick of time!
Grace’s next call is when we rejoin the frat party where Chad has been boiled alive, and people are stampeding trying to escape the lava pushing its way through a new crack in the earth. En route, Tommy video chats with her family, promising them that she is going to be safe and won’t “burn up in the lava.” The 126 arrive on the scene with the crew setting to work treating Elise, the girl who tried to save Chad. Brett is right there by her side, and when he’s asked if she’s his girlfriend, he nonchalantly says, “I wish,” which gives Elise a spike in her pulse (do we smell a romance brewing?). It’s a cute moment in the chaos as she’s loaded into the ambulance, and Gillian notes her pulse remains strong with Brett nearby.
Meanwhile, Mateo is putting out fires, TK and Judd are recovering bodies, and Tim has found a victim, Spence, who was trampled in the stampede. He can’t move and begs Tim to promise he’ll be able to walk again, which Tim won’t do. However, he does promise to call Spence’s mom when they get him to the hospital.
As Elise is loaded into the ambulance, a small lava bomb slams into Brett’s chest. To save him, Tommy and Gillian must remove the bomb to keep it from killing more tissue and reaching the heart. Clamps continually melt thanks to the heat, but Nancy is able to scoop it out with a laryngoscope, “Three summers at Avery’s Ice Cream,” she quips. Meanwhile, Tim is still with Spence and calls Owen over to help move him onto a stretcher. As they do so, another huge eruption happens, and Tim is hit square in the chest with volcanic ejecta the size of his torso. Spence calls for Tim, but he was killed instantly.
Back at the firehouse, no one speaks as Mateo rejoins the group after a short questioning by officials. He feels partially responsible, and Judd is quick to tell his team that this was no one’s fault; it was a freak accident that none of them could have foreseen. Through Nancy, we learn Tim hasn’t seen his family in Michigan in two years, thanks to the lockdown. Understandably, she’s is the most shaken and questions why they would leave Tim at the scene. Owen steps in to clarify that it’s the protocol for another station to handle an on the job death. He encourages them to use the councilors on standby should they need to talk and sends everyone home. Judd goes upstairs to check on Tommy, who thinks her coming back is a mistake. She feels as if she’s abandoned her family and Judd gently reminds her that the circumstances of the world led her back to this job. She hasn’t abandoned her family; she’s added to it.
Tommy finds Nancy cleaning out Tim’s locker. She tells Nancy that Spence, the guy Tim treated, is going to walk again. They talk about his love for Buster Keaton, which reminds her that Tim has a cat, and she cries, asking who will feed Buster now?
At home, Gwyneth finds Owen sitting outside with Buttercup as ash falls around him. He shares that they lost one of their own and draws parallels to 9/11. He felt guilty surviving 9/11 when so many others didn’t, and his cancer felt like the universe settling the score, so he’s struggling to come to terms with what his remission means.
What follows can only be described as heartbreaking. As “Hallelujah” swells in the background, we see each member of the team dealing with this trauma in their own way. Mateo goes for a long, hard run on the streets as the lava glows softly behind him. Brian and Marjan jump in the ring to box. TK arrives at Carlos’ to find him sitting on the stairs waiting for him. Silently, TK walks right up to him and sits down as Carlos wraps his arms around him in silent comfort. Judd finds Grace asleep and curls up behind her to hold her. She wakes just enough to take his hand. Tommy checks on her daughters, who are still fast asleep. The emotions are too much, and Marjan crumples into Brian mid-punch, and he holds her. Mateo runs right up to the steps of a church. Tommy returns to the kitchen, where she gives some milk and lots of pets to their new cat, Buster.
Late at night, a camper out in the wood struggles to light his campfire, mocking the parent who sent him out there in the first place. The wind makes it difficult, but he manages to get a spark before he hears coyotes howling in the distance. Spooked, he makes a run for it but stops just as a pack comes barreling past him, and he collapses to the ground. The camera pans out to show us just what they are running from, a huge wildfire.
This final scene sets up the highly anticipated crossover event of next week as members of the 118 from 9-1-1 are sent to Austin to help the 126 and local authorities battle the wildfires. It’s an event that fans won’t want to miss! 9-1-1 Lone Star airs Mondays on FOX at 9/8 C.