‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 9 “The Bird”

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Jack Zeman/FOX

In this week’s episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star, “The Bird,” a special delivery for Owen from Gwyn’s will arrives. Meanwhile, Paul has a startling medical diagnosis that puts a strain on his friendship with Marjan, and Tommy invites T.K. somewhere that he can share his grief with others.

A feathered delivery

The 126 is in the midst of nagging Captain Strand about his upcoming second date with Catherine when their conversation is interrupted by the arrival of a package. Much to Owen’s dismay, it’s not the vegetable spiralizer that he ordered. Rather, it’s Gwyn’s macaw Ginsburg, which he has just learned was left to him in her will. Gwyn’s lawyer confirms as much when he hops on a video call with her, and T.K. is amused as he watches the bird toss insults at his father. He’s not at all pleased.

Living with Ginsburg is something out of Owen’s nightmares, because he can hear it squawking away downstairs with the lovely sounds of New York City as he’s upstairs trying to meditate. Mateo insists on feeding the bird, and Owen is flabbergasted when it doesn’t even try to bite him. The bird clearly has it out for him.

Paul’s nightmares

Jack Zeman/FOX

Paul wakes up from a frightening nightmare where Judd accidentally crushed him with a fire truck, and Marjan is immediately by his side in the bunk room. She remarks that he’s been having nonstop nightmares lately and tells him that his heartbeat is irregular as she places a hand on his pulse. Paul relents and visits a doctor with Marjan in tow, and he receives some bad news: he has Brugada syndrome. It’s a rare, serious heart condition that can be fatal if left untreated. This doesn’t bode well for Paul, especially considering his father died from a heart attack at 36. The doctor tells him that he’ll need to get a pacemaker, otherwise he may not live to see 40.

Paul is upset when they get back to his place. Marjan tries her best to be a supportive friend, reassuring him that she’ll be there every step of the way, but Paul resolutely tells her that he’s not going to get the surgery done. Doing so would mean that he can’t be a firefighter anymore, which is something he refuses to give up.

Sharing grief to ease the pain

T.K. is on his way out of the station when Tommy stops him and asks him to talk. He immediately admits to opening the narcotics safe before leaving for his mom’s funeral and promises that it will never happen again, but that’s not what Tommy wanted to talk to him about. Instead, she asks T.K. how he’s been doing, and she invites him to come to the group meetings she started attending after Charles died. She worries that she’s overstepped, but T.K. is more than happy to join her. When he attends his first meeting, he launches into a happy memory he shared with his mom, smiling from ear to ear as he reflects back on it.

Forgiveness is for the birds

Catherine comes over to Owen’s place for dinner, and she seems impressed and pleased by his eye for interior design and housekeeping. However, the date threatens to take a turn when Ginsburg begins chattering away. Owen quickly begins to apologize and tells Catherine that he’ll understand if she wants to call it a night, but when she learns that he has a macaw, she’s thrilled. She had a bird growing up, too. Ginsburg, as per usual, is polite toward her and rude to Owen, spouting off its favorite catchphrase directed at him, “Shut up, buttface!” Catherine reminds him Ginsburg is grieving over Gwyn, too.

The next day, as he’s mulling over his conversation with Catherine at work, Owen admits to Judd that he might know why Ginsburg has a grudge against him, even though it’s been 20 years. After 9/11, Owen threw himself into work, and he was rarely home. He also started drinking a lot, and that led to plenty of fights with Gywn … which the bird had a front row seat to. It’s been calling him “buttface” because that’s exactly what he yelled at it one night during one of their fights.

Owen may not have ever had a chance to apologize to Gwyn for that time in their lives, but he can make things right with Ginsburg. When he gets home, he apologizes to the bird. In turn, Ginsburg replies, “Here’s your blanket, I don’t want you to get cold,” which is what Gwyn said to him the first night he slept on the couch. While we’ve seen more of T.K.’s emotions over Gwyn’s death than Owen’s, this is finally an important moment of catharsis for Captain Strand. Finally accepting his future as a bird dad, Owen recruits Catherine to help him out, and they come back to the house later with bags full of supplies and toys for Ginsburg. Unfortunately, Owen lifts the cage cover to find Ginsburg has flapped off to the great feathery beyond. R.I.P.

Marjan saves Paul (but there are consequences)

Following Paul’s excessive use of strength lifting a shelf on a call earlier, Marjan is worried about him. She texts him and asks if they can talk, but he’s making dinner, and he ignores her. The record that he’s listening to begins to skip, and when he walks over to fix it, he suddenly collapses to the ground. Frustrated that Paul isn’t answering her, Marjan shows up at his apartment and begins knocking on the door. When she places an ear to the door, she hears the record player repeating, and she realizes that something is wrong. Marjan quickly kicks down the door and finds Paul unresponsive on the floor. She calls 9-1-1 and begins compressions while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

When Paul wakes up, he’s in the hospital, and Marjan is sitting in the room with him. He’s confused when he finds something on his chest — it’s the battery to his pacemaker. The surgery is done. Devastated and furious that he didn’t have a choice in the matter, Paul immediately begins to blame Marjan. Although the decision was in the hands of the doctors, he’s angry that she didn’t do anything to stop them. He tells her to leave.

9-1-1: Lone Star airs on FOX on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Stay tuned for our continued coverage on the series, including episodic recaps and more!

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By Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. She has spent a large portion of her life dedicated to her first love, photography. When she's not behind the camera, she's likely reading books and comics or dabbling in creative writing. Otherwise, she's probably yelling about Star Wars, Marvel, anime, or Ted Lasso. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com
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