‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Recap: Season 4, Episode 1 “The New Hotness”

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The long wait is over, folks! 9-1-1: Lone Star has finally returned with its season four premiere, “The New Hotness.” This week’s episode was filled with storms of all kinds: frogs literally rain on Austin, Tommy meets a potential love interest while on the job, and Owen finds an unusual way to beat the boredom in his life. Also, Carlos must search out someone from his past before moving forward with T.K.

The Trouble with Carlos

Kevin Estrada/FOX

At the 126, T.K. tells the others how he and Carlos are struggling to find a venue for their upcoming wedding. Every place they view either costs too much or has a waitlist of a million months. Meanwhile, Carlos is at lunch with his mother, Andrea, telling her the same thing. But he receives a phone call from one of the venue managers: the venue has suddenly become available, and they can reserve it for a date 8 weeks in the future! Andrea is ecstatic and tells her son not to worry about moving up the wedding so soon; she and the rest of the family will figure everything out. But Carlos is still troubled, and she knows why: “You haven’t told T.K. the truth?” she asks her son.

Cut to the 126, where T.K. says to Carlos, “So, you’re married…” Long story short, Carlos and Michelle Blake‘s younger sister Iris got married many moons ago, because they were best friends who loved each other, and Carlos had seen how devastated his parents were when he came out to them. And they had never divorced, because Carlos’ insurance pays for Iris’ medical treatment for her mental health issues. T.K. is understanding of Carlos’ situation and tells him to reserve the venue for 8 weeks out.

Carlos then goes on a search for Michelle and Iris to start the ball rolling on a divorce. (As he mentioned to T.K. earlier, the state of Texas requires a person to be divorced for one full month before being able to remarry, so Carlos is on a tight schedule.) At Sanctuary Hearts, a community shelter, Carlos asks the manager if Michelle Blake is there. He tells him that Michelle is in Ecuador for 3 months, but her sister Iris is upstairs. As Carlos climbs the stairs, he hears a woman in distress talking gibberish. Someone is trying to calm her down, but the woman is becoming more frantic. When Carlos enters the room, he sees that Iris is not the distressed woman, but rather the one trying to help.

Downstairs (after Iris slaps Carlos for not keeping in touch), the two talk over coffee about their lives. Iris has found her place at Sanctuary Hearts and is happy and healthy. She tells Carlos that she now has her own insurance and is receiving really good care. She then congratulates Carlos on falling in love and getting married. Iris then says that she won’t sign divorce papers until she meets T.K. herself. Carlos thinks she’s kidding, but she absolutely is not.

Exactly Like Sharknado

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The county fair is in town, and dozens of families are enjoying the rides and the food. We see a father and daughter, Trevor and Melody, walking through the fairgrounds, and suddenly a rainstorm arrives out of nowhere. While Trevor and Melody run under a shed to take cover, Trevor notices that the rain is made up of frogs. Yes, literal frogs, and when Trevor looks up at the sky dumbfounded, a frog enters his throat and makes breathing suddenly really difficult.

Melody calls 9-1-1 for help, and Grace guides the 126 and medical to Trevor’s location. Tommy tries to remove the frog from his throat with some pliers, but then relies on employing the Heimlich to do the job (and the frog lives!). Marjan later tells everyone that, while rare, the phenomenon can be explained by a waterspout hitting the right pond, sucking up the frogs and whatever else into the sky, and throwing them everywhere. “Oh, like Sharknado?” Mateo asks. “Exactly like Sharknado!” Marjan says.

Later that evening, young couple Caleb and Brianna are enjoying the fair. Caleb has eaten one too many helpings of fried soup (“Who knew they could do that?” Brianna rightly asks…) and rushes off to the nearest porta-potty. While Caleb is indisposed, Brianna watches the sky become filled with lightning. The temperature rises dramatically, and metal objects become too hot to the touch. Suddenly, large gusts of wind knock over equipment and rides, and Caleb’s porta-potty is picked up by the wind and thrown somewhere far away while Brianna watches.

Caleb has landed and calls 9-1-1 for help. While he is talking to Grace on the phone, water starts to fill the small structure. When the 126 return to the fairgrounds, Grace instructs them to search for bodies of water to find Caleb. Judd then asks if there are any rides or features with water, and they soon find the porta-potty stuck in a large dunk tank. Mateo uses a chainsaw to open the top of the porta-potty, and Caleb is rescued.

Tommy’s Frog Prince

Kevin Estrada/FOX

Caleb and Brianna aren’t the only ones affected by the night’s weird weather. Trevor and Melody, the father/daughter duo from earlier, are now riding the stomach-flipping Zipper. Melody is loving the ride, but Trevor is just hanging on for dear life. When the weather changes and lightning appears in the distance, the ride operators decide to get everyone off the ride for safety. While they are letting each rider off one-by-one, the control panel goes berserk, and the ride halts in place — Trevor and Melody are stuck upside down, way too high off the ground.

The 126 rush over to their location and create a makeshift rescue cushion out of a tarp. They explain to Trevor how to open the car door and to fall backwards onto the cushion. He and his daughter successfully fall out of the car and are taken to an area set up for triage.

Tommy instructs Melody on how to care for the burns on her hand and offers her a slushie to make her feel better. When Melody runs off for her frozen treat, Tommy treats Trevor’s hand injuries. Trevor explains that he’s newly divorced, they just moved to Texas, and Melody is having a hard time with it just being the two of them. Tommy tells him about losing Charles and how her daughters have been her rock. Tommy wraps up Trevor’s hand and begins to walk away. But Nancy encourages Tommy to ask out Trevor, her “Frog Prince” as she calls him, and Tommy writes her number on Trevor’s hand wrapping. “Maybe we can set up a play date for the girls,” Tommy suggests. “A play date or a date-date?” Trevor wants to know. Tommy replies, “I’m fine with either one.”

The episode ends in church, where the Ryder family and the Vega women are enjoying the service. An elder of the church announces to the congregation that a new pastor has arrived, and he introduces Reverend Trevor Parks. As Tommy’s “Frog Prince” walks out to the front, she turns to Grace and says, “I made a pass at my pastor.”

Owen’s New Hobby

Kevin Estrada/FOX

At the station, Judd tells everyone about some guy on a motorcycle who tried to goad him into racing at a red light on his way here. While he’s telling everyone his story, the bike pulls into the station. Judd goes to confront the driver, thinking he was followed, but is surprised when Owen pulls off his helmet. When everyone gathers around, Owen explains that he feels he is “living his best life” when he’s riding his bike, and that he’s befriended a group of riders who have taken him in. He talks like he’s been with the group for years, but when Tommy asks him how long he’s been pursuing this new passion, Owen replies, “Oh, since Thursday.”

Judd is concerned about Owen’s sudden adoption of this new culture and group of friends. He asks T.K. if he thinks his dad is okay, but T.K. doesn’t seem to concerned. Later, Judd asks Owen directly if he’s doing well. Confused, Owen says that he is just having fun and that Judd should come along with him to a meeting at a bar the guys are having later that week. “I think I’ll get my nickname there!” Owen exclaims. Judd agrees to go, if only to check out the “friends.”

At the bar, Judd understands the draw of the group: the guys introduce themselves to Judd and Owen, falling over themselves to thank them for their service, and to especially thank Owen for his service during 9/11. Red, who seems to be the leader of the group, tells the guys that the bar is always an open bar for the riders, and Judd is welcome any time. (First responders are regarded very highly among this group, Red explains.) A few minutes later, one of the younger guys, Mikey, is called up to the front by an elder. The older man explains that it’s time to welcome Mikey officially to their club, and a colleague begins heating up an iron brand. While the iron is getting hot, the older man explains that there is a “war coming” and that they have to work together to “take this country back.” Owen and Judd quickly realize that Mikey is about to be branded as a show of loyalty, and they quickly hightail it out of the bar.

Later, Owen is at home and gets a visit from an FBI agent, wanting information on his “associates.” Uh oh…

9-1-1: Lone Star airs on its new night of the week, Tuesdays, this season. Tune in next Tuesday, January 31st, for “New Hot Mess” at 8 p.m. EST on FOX, and check out the rest of our 9-1-1: Lone Star coverage here.

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Margaret has been a writer and editor for Nerds and Beyond since 2018. She loves Grogu, Doctor Who, and The OA. And she's still salty about #WaywardSisters. Find her on Twitter and TikTok at @MargNation.
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