Warning! The following contains spoilers from the 9-1-1: Lone Star episode "Hold the Line." Read at your own risk!
The 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star crossover on FOX earlier this week was a treat for fans of the first responder dramas. Fan-favorite characters were paired up together, including Aisha Hinds’ Henrietta “Hen” Wilson of the 118 in Los Angeles from 9-1-1 and Rob Lowe’s Captain Owen Strand of the 126 in Austin from Lone Star. The pairing became one of the 9-1-1 actress’ favorite things to come out of the crossover.
Aisha Hinds and Rob Lowe share plenty of screen time together in the 9-1-1: Lone Star crossover, which gave the characters time to bond. The All the Way actress told TheWrap that Hen and Owen’s pairing-- talking about their own experiences while trapped in a mineshaft together with seemingly no way out-- was beautiful. And how they let each other know that they are not alone. She feels it’s important that these characters, who have been traumatized by recent events, know that it’s OK to feel that way.
I thought it was a beautiful pairing with Rob Lowe’s character and my own. I’m grateful to be the one selected to anchor him in that space and to bring my own experience, as Hen, having gone through something that felt incredibly traumatic for the character — having the experience with the young girl and the ambulance and going through therapy and just bringing all the tools she gathered in that space to the table here. And letting him know, ‘Hey, you’re not alone.’ The two of them together provide a mirror for society and anyone who has served in that capacity in real life and letting them know, you’re not alone, and it’s OK to be traumatized and have these things live with you for a while after. It’s very human and there are others that are like you. But don’t let that subtract from the great work you have done and will do going forward.
In the crossover episode, Owen and Hen get into a helicopter crash after helping look for a missing boy. The two end up camping out in an old mineshaft, but have to find another way to stay alive once the winds change and they don’t have much time left before they die of smoke inhalation. After using dynamite to trap themselves in the shaft, they slowly start to lose air and to keep each other talking, discuss their personal lives. They bond over their similar and traumatic experiences, like what happened during the volcano and Hen's ambulance crash, survivor’s guilt, and later, once they’re both okay, they keep what they talked about between them, leaving their past in the mineshaft.
While it's uncommon that two complete strangers would open up to each other, seeing Hen and Owen talk about what they've both been through after only knowing each other for a short time was, like Aisha Hinds said, beautiful. The audience could relate to these characters and feel like they aren’t alone, they know that it’s okay to feel this way. It also wasn’t the only pairing in the crossover where characters from the two series opened up to each other, but it was what they said that really made the difference.
How this will affect the characters going forward is unclear, but Aisha Hinds and Rob Lowe have created a new friendship between Hen and Owen that fans will surely be able to look forward to if and when there is another crossover in the future between 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star. Maybe the 126 will vacation in LA and meet up with the 118. One can only hope, especially with the seasons already being intense for the first responders.