'9-1-1: Lone Star' Boss on T.K. & Carlos, Owen's Health & a Potential Season 2
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for the Season 1 finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star, "Awakening" and "Austin, We Have a Problem."]
9-1-1: Lone Star's first season may not have ended with a cliffhanger, but it still set up plenty of storylines to continue.
Co-creator Tim Minear told TV Insider that there's no word yet if there will be a second season. However, he certainly knows where he'd take the characters next after a two-hour season finale filled with good and bad news.
First, the (very) good news: T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) survives after he was shot on a call. But the bad news is he has some thinking to do about his future as a firefighter as he recovers. "I don't know if this is really who I am," he admits to his father. When a solar storm hits Texas, however, he leaps into action to save a bus driver and realizes he's where he wants to be, with the 126 crew.
Meanwhile, Michelle reunites with her sister and learns she's been living under a bridge. But she and her mother aren't enough to convince Iris to come home rather than listen to the voices wanting her to stay where she is.
Here, Minear discusses the season finale and teases what could happen next if the Fox series is renewed.
Any plans you can share for a potential Season 2? Will you delve deeper into the 126 crew's lives, maybe have flashbacks that shows us more of where they were before than what we got in the pilot?
Tim Minear: Oh, definitely. We would be obviously taking deep dives into the stories of all the characters. We might even see some of the history of the 126 before the tragic events that brought the current configuration together. That would probably be a Judd story, where we're meeting the crew that he lost.
And we'd see how he was back then because we met him at that tragic accident.
Yes, because the truth is you don't just get over post-traumatic stress syndrome. It comes back. That's something that he'll have to continue to deal with going forward.
Will you ease up on T.K.'s near-death experiences?
I think T.K.'s safe for the time being.
How much did T.K. need that season-ending journey to figure things out since it started with him really having no control, with his relationship and where he was living and working?
He needed it a lot. The interesting thing for me about T.K. is something that we touch upon in Episode 9, which is he kind of lost his father to 9/11 as well. Rebuilding his fire station in New York was something that obsessed Owen when T.K. was at a very formative age, six or seven years old. T.K. really needed a father and he saw that his father was a father to this firehouse. So he joined that family in order to get a father.
He needed a moment of agency for himself where he was actually choosing this life and knowing that it was something he was meant to do, as opposed to something he was doing in order to get a father. His first near-death experience was a little bit of a wake-up call. His second near-death experience was him actually waking up. That's really the story of T.K. in Season 1, which is also why we called Episode 9 "Awakening." It's really T.K.'s awakening, not just him waking up from a coma, but him beginning to wake up to the reality of who he's meant to be.
Speaking of T.K.'s choices, that ties into his relationship with Carlos, right? At the beginning of the season, he was very casual about it, and then we got that sweet moment in the finale.
Yes. I noticed that a lot of fans were like, "Wait, we missed their whole relationship." The idea was that Carlos was an immediate rebound moment for T.K., so things started hot, but that wasn't a relationship. Now, finally, T.K. can start to explore what a relationship really is and so we'll get to see how that plays itself out. We're actually going to get the courtship after the fact.
This season, we saw Owen and T.K. coming to terms with Owen’s cancer. How's he doing at the end of Season 1?
Owen's health at the end of Season 1 is on an upswing. He's making a lot of progress with the treatments, so he is not in immediate jeopardy in terms of cancer, but that issue is also not resolved, and there can be ups and downs when it comes to that as well.
Owen met Zoe earlier in the season, and while they seem to be on track, she's still just his "date" in the finale. What did you want to do with that relationship considering where Owen is in his life right now?
Owen is very open to a relationship, and Zoe is somebody that he connects with. She's a challenge for him because she's the smartest person in the room. She's very together. She's a grounding element for him. But for Owen and Zoe both, they're of a certain age where they can enjoy each other without putting a lot of undue romantic expectations on each other. There's room for a relationship for Owen, whether it's Zoe, I don't know. It all depends considering now Natalie Zea got another show.
Grace and her and Judd's relationship were easily among the highlights of the season. What went into deciding to have that level of stability with her character and their marriage?
For me, Judd and Grace really are kind of the perfect couple. They support one another. They love one another. They have the benefit as characters of us coming into a situation where they're already established. They have a story we will see. We meet Judd's father in Season 1, and we'll meet Grace's family in Season 2. There will be things about that that you won't expect.
For me, doing this show about a guy from New York who comes to Texas and has certain preconceived notions of what Texas is — Judd and Grace just exemplify the thing you're not expecting, the thing that says a lot about how we look at Texas. These two people are products of that place. They're not outsiders. For me, it was very important that Judd and Grace, and Judd particularly, be a character that we could empathize with and understand but that he would be pure Texan. The great thing about Jim Parrack is he's pure Texan. That's Jim.
Michelle had this season-long journey of finding her sister, but now that she has, how does that change her going forward, not just because she knows where her sister is but because looking for her was such a big part of her life?
Finding Iris and finding Iris in the state in which she was found is going to fundamentally change who Michelle is, and it will alter the course of her life and what is now an occupation will probably become a kind of vocation. She's going to find a deeper purpose and a new meaning for her life and it's going to happen because of how she's going to have to deal with her mentally ill sister, who is still living on the streets.
Might we see some of these characters over on 9-1-1 this season? We had Pepper on Lone Star, then got a mention of Chimney, though he wasn’t named.
I have a thought for a way of doing at least a bit of a crossover, but you're not going to see any of those characters in the back eight of 9-1-1 this year. Those two universes exist in their own places right now, this year, but you never know what's going to happen going forward.
So could there be a mention on 9-1-1 like there was on Lone Star?
I think there could be more than a mention, but I think that would happen in Season 4 of 9-1-1 or Season 2 of Lone Star, probably more on Lone Star.