‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Recap: Season 4, Episode 16 “A House Divided”

14 Min Read
Kevin Estrada/FOX

This week’s 9-1-1: Lone Star episode was filled with surprises. Long-standing friendships were splintered, familial ties were tested, and a loved one suffered a frightening critical injury.

Read on for the recap of “A House Divided.”

The 126 Splinters

Kevin Estrada/FOX

It’s game night at the Ryder household, and Grace and Judd are joined by Tommy and Trevor, and Wyatt and his girlfriend Leigh-Anne. “Pictionary” is the game being played, and Wyatt is trying to convey the phrase “Hasta la vista, baby” to the room and fails to do so spectacularly and hilariously. While everyone is getting ready for another round, Trevor receives a notification that a popular restaurant has accepted his reservation request. He quickly gets the Ryders to agree to join him and Tommy for dinner later that week (and Judd sneakily gets Wyatt to agree to babysit Charlie), and the group of friends finalizes their plans.

Later, the 126 arrive on a call. A commercial paper mill is up in flames, and there is still one employee stuck inside … literally. His arm is stuck in a huge roller machine, and he can’t evacuate. Tommy tells Judd over the radio that she and her team will be going inside to help him, and Judd reminds her that they don’t have the fire under control yet and to be extra careful. Inside, Tommy finds the victim, Jimmy, who is still alive, but barely. They place a tourniquet on his arm and radio Judd for an ETA on the arrival of firehouse 129. Judd tells them they’re still 10 minutes out.

Suddenly, Marjan realizes that some huge machines called digesters are rumbling, and Judd orders a Mayday over the radio for everyone to evacuate immediately, because the machines are going to explode. Tommy orders T.K. and Nancy to evacuate, but she stays with Jimmy. Outside the paper mill, Nancy tells Judd that Tommy is still inside with Jimmy and refuses to leave. Judd again orders Tommy over the radio to evacuate, but she refuses. So Judd runs inside the burning building and finds Tommy and Jimmy. She explains to him that she will need to do a field amputation of Jimmy’s arm if there is any hope of getting him outside. Judd tells her they don’t have time for that, so he pulls out his axe and performs the amputation for her. Judd and Tommy rush out of the paper mill with Jimmy, which explodes about 3 seconds after they’re in the clear.

Back at the firehouse, Judd sits down with Tommy and asks her why she defied his orders to evacuate. She defends her actions, reminding Judd that, while he is acting Captain of the 126 (because Owen is spending time with his half-brother Robert), she is paramedic Captain and decides how best to treat an injured patient. Judd reminds her that he was Incident Commander, which puts him in charge of everyone on the site. Tommy doesn’t relent and tells Judd that she won’t apologize for her actions. When Judd tells her he just wants to make sure his goddaughters’ mother comes home to them every day, especially because they’ve just lost their father, Tommy gets up and leaves the conversation in a huff.

The 126 Falls Apart

Kevin Estrada/FOX

A few days later, AFD Internal Affairs representative (and Paul’s girlfriend) Asha Fulton arrives to the 126, surprising everyone. But she isn’t there to see Paul. She knocks on Tommy’s office door and tells her that she is there to speak with her about the paper mill fire. Tommy begins to explain why the field amputation was performed, but Asha stops her and says that she isn’t there because of the amputation. She then begins to ask Tommy questions about why she didn’t evacuate the building when Judd gave everyone orders to do so. Tommy catches Judd’s glance from across the firehouse, and the energy between them seems rife with anger.

That evening, Trevor arrives at Tommy’s home to pick her up for the dinner date with the Ryders, but Tommy is wearing sweats and seems to have forgotten about the plans. Oh, but she hasn’t forgotten — she tells Trevor that she refuses to eat dinner with a “snitch” and proceeds to tell him what happened at work. Meanwhile, we see something eerily similar happening at the Ryder home, where Grace is trying to convince Judd to get over himself and keep their dinner plans. Eventually Trevor convinces Tommy to go, and Grace convinces Judd to go, and everyone arrives at the popular restaurant on time.

At the dinner table, Trevor tries to broker a peace deal between Tommy and Judd by quoting various Biblical passages to help them both remember that they’re best friends and that they love each other and, at the end of the day, that’s what really matters. He gets Tommy to admit that, by not obeying Judd’s commands, she did break AFD rules, regardless of her intentions. And he gets Judd to admit that reporting Tommy to Internal Affairs might have been done out of spite, rather than simple protocol.

Tommy and Judd seem to agree to this and try to make amends … but Grace feels like Judd has been slighted in Trevor’s conflict resolution attempts by being painted as “petty” while Tommy was called “heroic and brave.” The argument then moves all over the table, with Grace and Trevor throwing Biblical passages at each other, Judd telling Trevor to watch his tone with his wife, and Tommy telling Judd not to point his “big fingers” at her boyfriend. It seems the only person in the restaurant who can nip this argument in the bud is the maître d’, who hands the group their appetizers and tells them all to leave immediately for being so disruptive.

The arguing spills over into the firehouse, where Fire is on one side of the kitchen table, and Paramedic is on the other, each side defending their captain’s decisions at the paper mill fire. Things become so heated that Tommy and Judd arrive, and Tommy yells at them to knock it off immediately. As the captains return upstairs, Judd thanks Tommy for displaying a united front to the teams. But things aren’t back to good between the two friends; Tommy tells Judd that, beginning immediately, she will be working the opposite shifts that Judd works, so they won’t be working together while he is the 126 acting Captain.

The Strand Family is Tested

Kevin Estrada/FOX

This episode opens on Owen and Robert at the Urgent Care, where Robert has gotten a cut treated on his hand. We learn that he cut his hand while unloading a dishwasher, because the tremors he is experiencing from Huntington’s Disease are becoming more pronounced. Robert tells Owen that he still hasn’t told his children about his diagnosis. Owen tells his brother about his lung cancer diagnosis and that he tried hiding it from T.K., a move he now regrets. Robert mentions how he and his wife are already preparing for what’s to come by getting their affairs in order. And he tells Owen that, if he learns he has same Huntington’s gene, he should, too.

Owen arrives at T.K. and Carlos’ home unexpectedly. He sits down with T.K. and tells him about Robert’s diagnosis. T.K. is shocked, because he hadn’t seen any symptoms at their dinner last week. He then learns that Robert got the gene from his — and Owen’s — father. Knowing that Huntington’s is hereditary, T.K. immediately begins to prepare himself for the possibility that, not only might he have Huntington’s himself, but Carlos might not want to spend the rest of his life with someone who has just received this “death sentence.” Owen tries to calm down his son and tells him that he was tested for the gene and will know the results in a few days. And once the results come in, everyone can make their plans accordingly.

Later, Carlos comes home from work and sees a distraught T.K. on the couch. T.K. breaks down and tells Carlos the news he learned from Owen — that his uncle Robert has Huntington’s, and there is a very real chance that he himself has it, too. He then tells Carlos that he would understand if he did not want to follow through with marrying him. Huntington’s is an unrelenting disease, and people who suffer from it eventually lose physical control of their bodies, as well as cognitive abilities. Carlos doesn’t bat an eye; he tells T.K. that he believes they are soulmates, and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with him, no matter what may come their way. “In sickness and in health, right?”

Several days later, Owen and Robert are on a California beach with Robert’s kids. (Owen drove Robert back home, so he wouldn’t have to worry about Robert driving by himself.) Owen makes a quick phone call to T.K. and tells him the relieving news: Owen doesn’t carry the Huntington’s gene, which means T.K. doesn’t carry it either!

After passing along the news, Owen returns to Robert and sees him struggle to get money out of his wallet for his daughter. Owen gives her some money instead, and he confronts Robert on the severity of his tremors. Robert admits that things have become worse very quickly, and he mentions wanting to bring his wife and daughters to T.K. and Carlos’ wedding, so everyone can finally meet. Owen is thrilled at this news but tells his brother that he won’t be able to drive him back out to California again after the wedding. Robert tells Owen that he plans on sending back his family while staying behind in Texas. He then asks Owen for one final favor: he asks Owen to help him die. Utter shock at Robert’s request prevents Owen from giving a response.

Tragedy Brings the 126 Back Together

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Tommy and her team arrive to a call where a bicyclist has been hit by a car. When Tommy runs up to the victim, who is lying in the street, she sees immediately that it’s Judd’s son Wyatt. He is alive and conscious, but he isn’t verbally responding, and Tommy notices his helmet was knocked off his head in the accident.

At the hospital, Tommy is talking to the doctors, when Judd arrives with tears in his eyes. Tommy runs up to him and tells him that Wyatt is currently in surgery. Judd demands that she tell him everything she knows, and she says that she isn’t sure of a prognosis for Wyatt, but he is being treated by Austin’s best spinal surgeon. This breaks Judd’s heart even more, knowing his spine was injured in the accident and realizing that his dreams of becoming of firefighter are probably dashed now. Tommy consoles Judd and promises him that she will wait with him however long it takes to see how Wyatt’s health turns out. The friends walk down the hospital hallway, arms around each other’s shoulders.

Tune in to Fox next Tuesday, May 16th, at 8 p.m. EST for the two hour season 4 finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star! And while you wait, check out all of our other 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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