In this week’s episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star, “Prince Albert in a Can,” Carlos and Grace share a traumatic experience, Mateo helps take down a possible terrorist, and Owen learns that he is in serious danger.
Swatting is No Joke
The episode starts out with Grace receiving a 9-1-1 call from a distraught mother named Suzie. She claims that her boyfriend Mark is tweaked out and is trying to harm her and her infant (and we can hear the baby crying in the background). But before Grace can get much more information, Suzie screams that Mark is now pouring gasoline everywhere to set them on fire. The call suddenly disconnects.
The police and the 126 arrive at the house in question. Carlos stations himself outside and soon sees a male exit and assumes he is the assailant that Suzie called about. While he follows the male to apprehend him, the police and fire units enter the house and find significant evidence of meth production. But there is zero evidence of anyone hiding or injured, and Judd notices that there is no sign of babies living there. Everyone begins to realize that this call might have been a prank.
Grace has the same realization and frantically calls Carlos on the radio to warn him that it’s possible there was no violent activity. But she is too late. The male, who is now confirmed to be the same Mark that the woman called about, has a large knife, and Carlos tries to negotiate with him to drop it before hurting anyone. Mark, who is very confused and clearly under the influence of something, becomes agitated and scared and doesn’t comply. Carlos finally tasers Mark, but Mark falls on his knife and quickly dies from his (really gruesome) injury.
Detectives Carlos and Grace on the Scene
Carlos and Grace are both racked with guilt over the prank call. Grace decides to take some voluntary time away from her job, because she believes she can’t trust herself or her instincts anymore. Meanwhile, at T.K. and Carlos’ place, Carlos is hammering out his rage on a punching bag. Grace arrives there unexpectedly, and she tells Carlos she is angry about what happened. She and Carlos decide to find out who was at the bottom of this prank call themselves, since their departments are probably too busy with other cases to focus much of their attention on this.
After Carlos gets some case files from the precinct, he and Grace review them and realize that there are no viable suspects to investigate. Judd suggests that they look at the “gaming angle,” because the victim Mark had impressive gaming/streaming equipment set up in his home, and perhaps the person who made the prank call is an online rival of his. After reviewing past online streams of Mark’s gameplay, they notice a commenter who appears regularly to talk smack to Mark, someone who calls himself Megalo16 (who has an annoying catchphrase, “God’s Plan!” that he shouts every time he gets an in-game kill). Grace searches for that handle and finds the owner behind it, Derrick Humphrey. Carlos asks if there is an address for him, because he wants to witness the bust. Grace says they would need to get on a plane to get to him.
Austin Gets an Assist from Los Angeles
But a plane trip isn’t necessary after all. 9-1-1‘s Athena Grant bursts into Derrick’s apartment and apprehends him. She also finds a woman there, the woman who made the 9-1-1 call as “Suzie,” and she is also arrested. Athena video calls Carlos and Grace so they can witness Derrick being carried off. Athena explains that Derrick will be charged with Mark’s murder, and the girlfriend flipped on Derrick “faster than a beachfront condo.” Fortunately, there is no baby present, and the sounds that Grace heard on the call that night were just recordings.
Carlos and Grace thank her for her service, and she replies to Carlos, “You two did all the hard work. I just showed up when the fun started, Detective.” Carlos corrects her, and she says she is surprised he isn’t a detective. Athena then allows Grace to speak with Derrick over the video call and tells him that he made her question herself, which is something that’s never happened before. She also says she wasn’t sure they would be able to catch him. When Derrick tells her that she just got lucky, she tells him, “Oh, no sir. I can tell you what is was though. It was God’s plan, bitch.” Athena and Carlos laugh, and Athena says, “I like her!” So do we, Athena!
Owen Defends Catherine, and She Isn’t Happy
At a local honkytonk, Owen and Catherine are on a date. After Owen gives her a quick two-step class, a random guy at the bar recognizes Catherine and starts giving her a hard time about her politics. Catherine is fine just ignoring the man, but Owen can’t let it go. He tells the guy to leave Catherine alone, and when the angry guy doesn’t, Owen knocks him out cold with one punch.
On the way home, Catherine tells Owen that she doesn’t need him to protect her, because she knows how to handle herself and her job. She tells him that what happened wasn’t about Owen and that he shouldn’t “sucker punch” one of her constituents. This confuses Owen, and he asks for advice from the folks at the 126 about how to make it up to her. Paul (who is bored out of his skull on desk duty, bless his newly-repaired heart) thinks Owen did a good thing defending Catherine’s honor, but Tommy sides with Catherine and suggests that Owen get her some flowers and chocolate as an apology.
Now You’re Really Toxic
At the Capitol building, Catherine receives a flower delivery. She thinks it’s from Owen, but a white powder suddenly sprays her when she opens the card. She calls 9-1-1 and says that she believes she is the victim of a biological attack.
When the 126 arrives, we learn that the Capitol building has been evacuated and that Catherine is self-isolating at her desk. Owen and the others dress up in their HAZMAT suits, set up a decontamination station for Catherine, and seal off the entire floor. (We see that the card Catherine opened up reads, “NOW YOU’RE REALLY TOXIC.”) Owen and Tommy inform Catherine that she might have been exposed to either anthrax, which can be treated with antibiotics, or ricin, which has no treatment and will result in hemorrhaging and death.
Outside, Mateo and the others handle crowd control while the FBI passes around pictures of the flower delivery guy, who was unknown to Catherine and wasn’t wearing proper Capitol identification. While Mateo is getting supplies from the fire truck, he spots the flower delivery guy and yells that he found “the terrorist.” When the guy is apprehended, he tells the FBI that he is an intern and was just delivering the mail and has no idea where the flowers came from. But almost immediately, he starts bleeding from his nose and then collapses. T.K. runs to help him and updates Tommy on the situation. She informs him to get himself and everyone away from the delivery guy, because he might be experiencing hemorrhaging from the attack and is now a biohazard.
But good news arrives when the test results of the white powder come back as cornstarch. Tommy tells T.K. that the event was a prank and that the flower delivery guy probably just fainted from the sight of his own blood. Sure enough, an ammonia snap wakes him up.
Later that evening at Owen’s, he and Catherine are talking about the day’s events. Owen apologizes for his actions at the honkytonk and promises not to go into “full hero mode” again. She says that would be a shame, because when he walked in to the Capitol building earlier, she promised herself that, if she made it out of this ordeal alive, she would “jump his bones.” But when they make their way to his bedroom, they are shocked to see his bedroom has been vandalized, and “TOXIC PIG” is written on the wall in what looks like blood. And when Owen pulls back the bedspread, there is a dead pig revealed.
“It looks like I’m not the only one with enemies,” Catherine says.