‘9-1-1’ & ‘Lone Star’: Aisha Hinds & EP Tease Hen’s Balancing Act, a Buckley Family Secret & More
The crews of 9-1-1 and its spinoff Lone Star just battled a wildfire that threatened to claim the lives of two of their own — the former’s Hen (Aisha Hinds) and latter’s Owen (Rob Lowe) survived a helicopter crash! — but now it’s back to business as usual.
It’s hard to top a volcano, as Austin faced in its second episode this season, but for executive producer Tim Minear, that wasn’t as “ridiculous” as it may have seemed in the past. “Given the last 12 months, I’m not sure how ridiculous it seems now,” he tells TV Insider. “We were saying when we were coming up with stories this year that at some point the world became more pushed than the universe of 9-1-1, so we had to make the show a little bit louder.”
There won’t be another major natural disaster, he continues, but there will be “more thrilling adventures, crazy calls, funny calls, dramatic calls, harrowing calls, and just more of the people you love running headlong into danger, saving people they don’t know and each other in the process,” he says. “You know, a day in the life of the people at 9-1-1.”
And, of course, there are the characters’ personal stories as well. Here are three to look forward to.
Hen + Med School + Family = She Needs a Vacation!
While Hinds does like that 9-1-1 hasn’t just forgotten her character’s trauma — she accidentally killed a girl while driving her ambulance — she does hope Hen carries it in a different way moving forward. After she and Owen shared their stories of survivor’s guilt while trapped together, she suggested he might be able to leave some of his ghosts behind.
“With her going into med school, the pressure and the stress is just doubling in her life because people are literally on the table and their life is literally in her hands, so maybe it’ll come up or maybe it’ll be the thing she drops off and allows to propel her forward in a way that is productive,” Hinds says.
Hen may very well need that this season, considering everything she has to balance. She and wife Karen (Tracie Thoms) — the “literal rocket scientist,” which led to a fun exchange with Owen in the crossover — have expanded their family. Now there are two kids (and Karen) at home while Hen’s taking online courses and going into the lab.
Med school is a new experience for Hen because while she might want to jump in with her experience in the field, she has to take a step back and allow herself to be “teachable” and “learn from others,” Hinds says. As a result, “Hen’s insecurities rise to the surface.”
“It’s a little bit crazy because she’s trying to navigate a lot of things and be present for the children and balance everything all at the same time. Then she gets a surprise visitor from her past, her mom,” Hinds previews. “Now she’s trying to navigate being a mom to her children, a wife to her partner, and a daughter to her long-lost mom — and a present, productive member of the 118.”
Speaking of the 118, with everything going on in her and Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) lives — he’s about to become a father, with girlfriend Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) — that friendship has taken a bit of a backseat at the beginning of 9-1-1 Season 4. (“I’m obsessed with the Hen and Chimney friendship,” Hinds says. “You couldn’t tell me there was not a spinoff to come there.”)
For example, Chimney has spoken with Buck (Oliver Stark) about his feelings about fatherhood, whereas in previous seasons, we might have seen that conversation with Hen. “People who start new families know it can consume a lot of you. Chimney starting his family, Hen expanding her family and studying to start a whole new career, it has all the seasonings for some kind of strain in their relationship,” Hinds notes.
Meet the Buckleys!
Soon after the 118 and 126 learned of Hen and Owen’s helicopter crash, Buck found out the captain’s son is T.K.(Ronen Rubinstein). While the moment that ensued was one Minear had wanted from the conception of the crossover, he also notes “it’s important for 9-1-1 this year because we all know Buck has daddy issues and sees Bobby as his surrogate father. You’re going to find out why that’s the case because we’re going to meet Buck’s parents in pretty short order.”
Furthermore, the firefighter is getting his “Buck Begins” episode (airing February 15). “We’re going to learn a Buckley family secret,” the EP teases.
Amidst the bonding of the two crews, we also got a brief, great conversation between Lone Star‘s Judd (Jim Parrack) and Paul (Brian Michael Smith), as the latter teased his time as an “at-risk” kid. “There will be more with those two,” Minear confirms. “We’ll learn more about what Judd was nodding to with his past.” The crossover experience “may be shaking loose a little bit of something for Judd,” he adds.
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox
9-1-1: Lone Star, Mondays, 9/8c, Fox