‘9-1-1: Lone Star’: Sierra McClain on Grace Giving Birth & Baby Ryder’s Name
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3, Episode 4 “Push.”]
The Fox first responder drama closes its ice storm chapter on a pretty happy note, which may be surprising, given the events of the four episodes. And we’re not just talking about the 126 being back up and running after a successful GoFundMe.
In the latest 9-1-1: Lone Star, Grace Ryder (Sierra McClain) gives birth on a tour bus, at first with only Billy Tyson (Billy Burke), the 126’s foe (at least for a time), by her side, until her husband Judd (Jim Parrack) and her best friend Tommy (Gina Torres) arrive just in time. The baby’s name, the couple reveals later, is Charlie, named after Tommy’s late husband.
Meanwhile, T.K. Strand (Ronen Rubinstein) comes out of a coma after revealing what caused his and Carlos Reyes’ (Rafael Silva) breakup: T.K. panicked when things were going too well and his boyfriend bought them a really nice loft, so he blew it up. But don’t worry, Tarlos fans, the heartbreak is over, with the couple back together (and in their new home!) by episode’s end.
McClain breaks down the intense episode and teases what’s ahead for Grace and Judd.
Charlie is the perfect name for the baby. Do you know if there were any other options?
Sierra McClain: Not that I know of from the writers. My favorite thing is to go on and see what the fans have to say ’cause they’ll put all kind of stuff together. They had all sorts of options for baby names and surprisingly enough, one of them was Charlie. So I’m gonna be monitoring that fan’s account on Monday when they find out that the baby’s name is actually Charlie.
There was that really sweet moment checking with Tommy about it, and I loved seeing those two couples together last season. Then it was heartbreaking when Charles (Derek Webster) died.
I know, it was tough. It was hard just for us, as the cast, we were like, oh no, ’cause we love those dinners. We love the conversation. It was cool to have another couple to be able to act alongside. This was a beautiful way, I think, to kind of keep his memory alive.
I didn’t know how much I needed significant Grace and Billy scenes until these last two episodes, and it seems like this experience has changed Grace and Judd’s opinion of him. How is Grace feeling about Billy now, compared to when she was trying to kick him out of the car and calling him a weasel?
Because they’ve been friends for a long time, and Judd and Billy have been friends for a super long time, and being as close as they were, I think that they know him. But they were just so upset by what he was doing, that it was just like, “I don’t know what’s causing all this or what’s fueling all this, but you’re tripping and you need to get it together.” So I feel like deep down, they knew their friend. And I think that if Grace thought she was in serious danger, she really didn’t think that she would be able to count on him, that maybe this scenario would’ve gone a lot differently. But sometimes, family, friends, they go through things and they have ups and downs and they have issues. But I think showing how Grace and Judd dealt with him towards the end is more indicative of how they really feel about him.
Billy really stepped up.
He did. And if Grace had been with a stranger, it could have been a completely different scenario. I think that being around somebody that she knew, that she really knew, even though she was upset with him, it allowed her to still feel comfortable enough to kind of lash out and get her emotions and feelings out. Because if it had all kind of bottled up and she’s in labor, you just don’t know what could have happened.
You didn’t get the sense that Billy would’ve left her there, but someone else could have been like, “You know what, I’ll save myself.”
Absolutely. I think just about anybody else probably would have left Grace, but he knew better probably because he knew Judd. And he knew that if he had left Grace out in that snow, Judd was coming for him.
Talk about filming this episode because it feels like most of the time when we see Grace out of the call center or the house, she’s in the middle of an emergency.
That’s true. And like you said, she’s not in them often. I feel like anytime she is, I have to prep myself a little bit. It’s cool seeing her out of her comfort zone because when she’s at the desk at the call center, she’s confident and she knows what she’s doing. But it’s so very different being on the other side of the emergency, whether it’s driving into a river or giving birth naturally in a tour bus in the middle of an ice storm, it’s a completely different experience.
That birth scene was amazing because it’s Grace, Judd, and Tommy, and she introduced them.
It was so appropriate. And I was so happy when I found out that the two of them were gonna be there and that Tommy was going to be there because Tommy has twins and she’s been there and Grace is a first time mom and their relationship as friends … it was such a wonderful dynamic to have her there as her best friend and as her female friend, and then also to have her husband there. I think it just really kind of gave her the comfort that she needed, thank God, ’cause she was praying in the car. She wasn’t sure what was gonna happen. So it worked out the way that it was supposed to.
What are Grace and Judd going to be like as parents?
It’s gonna change them a lot as the entire season starts to play out. I think we’re gonna see a softer side of Judd and it’s gonna affect a lot of his decision making in other areas. And I also think it’s going to cause Grace to not want to be in control of things that she can’t control because I feel like that’s what it’s like having a child. You do the best that you can and then whatever happens happens. That’s gonna kind of allow her to let go of the reins some in her own life.
That will be very different, considering every time that phone rings at the call center, Grace is in control, no matter what’s going on on the other line.
Right. Exactly. And you kind of feel like you know the outcome, so this could be a nice contrast to that, in raising a child for the first time.
The logline for the next episode teases that Judd meets a teenager who has a profound impact on him. What does that mean for Judd and Grace?
He has a huge impact on Judd and then in turn Grace, and I think they go from feeling like, “OK, we could take a breather” to “oh, wow,” so it’s a situation that kind of turns them upside down a little bit. But I think just like everything else, it brings them closer than they were before.
What are we gonna see from their relationship going forward?
A lot of love, a lot of parenting. And then also I think more communication between the two of them, which is very important and we’ve seen from them, but these two have been through a lot at this point. We’re in the third season. And so they communicate differently than they used to and they’re a lot more open and accepting. They’re learning truly just what it means to love each other.
Is there anything else you can tease that’s coming up with Grace? Are we going to see her parents again?
I hope we see her parents again because I just feel like there’s some closure that needs to happen.
It’s a different perspective now that she’s a mom.
That’s so true, and she is going to make mistakes. And once you’re in that position of your own, you tend to have more understanding for the people that raised you and made mistakes. So I really hope that that gets to come around for full circle because I think it’s really important for people to see.
Are there any memorable 9-1-1 calls coming up for Grace?
Absolutely, and maybe not memorable in the way that people expect, but it’s definitely gonna be memorable for Grace.
Is there anything else you can say about that?
This is Season 3, so everything is going to lot more intense than before.
9-1-1: Lone Star, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox