9-1-1 Lone Star Recap: “Riddle of the Sphynx” (S3E13)

Spoilers ahead!

We begin with a big car accident. A truck has spilled hay all over the road and there’s a small car all smashed up. The driver of the car is at risk of a broken neck—she has a loose vertebra in there—so EMS Captain Tommy Vega makes getting her in a neck brace a priority. However, the victim starts violently sneezing—unfortunately, she’s allergic to hay. Fire Captain Owen Strand suggests she say “purple elephant” over and over to avoid sneezing.

The crew begins cleaning up, thinking they’re done, when Matteo finds what he thinks is a shoe. But, turns out, it’s a foot! They’re on the search for another victim, whom they find in a haystack.

Meanwhile, TK has gone to 90 meetings in 90 days, still upset about losing his sobriety thanks to circumstances beyond his control. He’s met a guy there, Cooper, who will be his new sponsor. Carlos is a bit upset by this, and only gets more upset when he finds TK talking to Cooper on the phone at 3 a.m.

Tommy meets someone at her grief survivors meeting and the two agree to go on a date. Tommy is understandably nervous and worried about dissolving into tears, so she has Grace come over for emotional support and some fashion advice.

At Owen’s house, Catherine needs someone to take care of her sphynx cat (i.e., a hairless cat), so Owen volunteers. She warns him that Patrick, her ex-husband with whom she shares the cat, is very similar to Owen and he shouldn’t be upset about it. Patrick arrives at Owen’s and he’s a fussy, bald older man. In case you’re wondering why Patrick sounds so familiar, it’s because he’s played by Dan Castellaneta, better known as Homer Simpson. And in case you’re wondering, Castellaneta is 64, while Rob Lowe is a very young 58. Anyway, Owen is understandably thrown for a loop—why would Catherine say he has a lot in common with Patrick?

Later, Judd comes over and, upon hearing about the situation, suggests that maybe Catherine has a bit of a thing for older men or a daddy complex. Owen is upset by this and suggests he feels dirty.

Tommy’s date turns into a bit of a disaster when her fella gets upset, having been reminded of his deceased wife by an appetizer. But Tommy later tells Grace she’s glad she went out. She got to get dressed up, drink a fancy cocktail, and feel special for a night. And to us, this is the highlight of the episode. Tommy deserves so much happiness and we’re here for it.

At Carlos and TK’s, things come to a head when Carlos wants to know why TK can’t talk to him, and TK can’t make Carlos understand that he needs someone else he can talk to about sobriety.

In the parking lot of a courthouse, a 14-year-old young man has an argument with his mother over his just-finished custody hearing. He’s asked to spend more time at his father’s, and his mother can’t understand why. As he’s explaining that he gets more independence at his father’s house, his mother drops her parking validation ticket outside of her car. She pops the door, leans out to pick it up, and accidentally hits the gas, accelerating and causing the car door to crush her. The fire and EMS team arrives and does their best to comfort the boy as they make the determination that his mother is gone. This deeply affects TK, who realizes that this will be the first time going through sobriety without his mother.

When Amy is back at Owen’s, Owen picks a fight over Catherine’s perceived daddy kink. Just then, a young handsome guy shows up to pick up the cat. It’s Patrick—Catherine’s ex-husband. It turns out that the Patrick from the morning was Patrick senior, Patrick’s father. Patrick compliments Owen’s design choices, saying, “It’s like LeVert meets Austin modern farmhouse.”

“That’s exactly what I was going for,” a defeated Owen tells Patrick. After Patrick leaves, Catherine says that Owen should find a new girlfriend.

At TK and Carlos’s, TK is depressed and doesn’t want to do anything or see anyone. But Carlos calls up Cooper, inviting him over for a pizza and a chat with TK. Carlos finally understands that he can’t be all things for TK, and TK and Cooper settle in to talk about sobriety.

Final Thoughts

Owen, why OH WHY couldn’t you just keep your mouth shut?

We hope Tommy gives it another shot with the guy from her meeting. Or, at least, keeps putting herself out there.

It’s about time that Owen isn’t wrapped up in some big crazy criminal conspiracy. But . . . we can’t help but think that Roy Griffin is bound to come back.