We begin with a harrowing 9-1-1 call: a woman with a crying baby is hiding in the closet, terrified that her methhead boyfriend is going to do something horrible to her. SWAT arrives with the rest of the first responders, and Captain Owen Strand (Rob Lowe) argues that Fire should follow SWAT in, because the caller claimed that her boyfriend was throwing gasoline around. However, the whole thing turns out to be a ruse—there’s no one home.
Outside, Officer Carlos Reyes (Rafael L. Silva) spots the methhead stumbling around, armed with a knife. After a tense standoff in which Carlos begs the suspect to drop his weapon, he is forced to fire his taser—which sadly causes the suspect to fall on his knife, ultimately killing him. Grace Ryder (Sierra McClain), who took the call, and Carlos both go on leave after second-guessing their actions.
Meanwhile, Owen takes his new squeeze, Catherine Harper (Amy Acker), chief of staff to the Texas governor, out on the town. A jerk recognizes her and calls her out. When the jerk won’t leave them alone, Owen ends up punching the guy. However, Catherine has a problem with Owen’s behaviour and tells him she has thick skin, since she deals with upset people constantly as part of her job, and she thinks Owen shouldn’t be sucker-punching people anyway. She’s right, of course—and it’s about time someone calls Owen out on this!
On leave, Carlos and Grace resolve to figure out who placed the hoax call that got a man killed. They realize the hoax call was designed to summon the police, a crime called swatting. Initially suspecting rival drug dealers, they eventually realize that their victim was a gamer and a streamer who had rival streamers with grudges. So they start investigating the possibility that a rival streamer placed the call.
At the Texas State Capitol, Catherine is delivered some flowers. Thinking they’re an apology from Owen, she opens the card and is blasted with white powder. After a frantic 911 call, first responders arrive and lock down the Capitol. Owen is on the scene and has a heart-to-heart with Catherine while she considers the possibility that she’s been drugged with anthrax or worse. Outside, Mateo (Julian Works) spots the flower delivery guy, who is detained by the cops. Under interrogation, the delivery guy starts bleeding from the nose and passes out. EMS Captain Tommy Vega (Gina Torres) orders everyone away from the delivery guy, as he’s now a biohazard. Fortunately, tests show that the white powder is just corn starch. The delivery guy is just a delivery guy, albeit one who fainted at the sight of blood. Owen and Catherine breathe a sigh of relief, and Catherine is left wondering who would threaten her like that.
Carlos and Grace work out the identity of their suspect. However, as he’s in LA, they must call in help to deal with him—in the form of Sergeant Athena Grant (Angela Bassett). Grant takes their suspect into custody and the two end up taunting him over FaceTime.
Owen and Catherine end up having a quiet night in—but their evening is more than ruined when they find out that the words “Toxic Pig” have been scrawled in blood on the wall of Owen’s bedroom. In the bed, Owen finds—you guessed it!—a dead pig. Catherine deadpans, “I guess I’m not the only one with enemies,” before leaving us with one of the biggest cliff-hangers of this season.
How has Owen made yet another enemy? And is it going to be someone we know, or will it be more like that out-of-left-field arson investigator?
What’s going on with Paul? We know he’s on desk duty, but surely there’s a little more going on inside, right?