Fox got off to an action-packed start in 2021 thanks to the new seasons of 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star, and Lone Star did more than just pick up where it left off. By delivering everything from a runaway tank to a volcano to a food truck swarmed with scorpions to escape lava over the course of just the first couple of episodes, 9-1-1: Lone Star made it clear that the emergencies were going to be even bigger and wilder in Season 2 than they were in Season 1, and that's saying something.
So, how did the 9-1-1 spinoff manage to raise the stakes, increase the scale, and build the tension in the crisis scenes despite new challenges? 9-1-1: Lone Star cinematographer Andy Strahan opened up about how Lone Star is approaching and upping the ante in Season 2. The second season so far has delivered danger on grand scale, like with the wildfire that required the services of the 9-1-1 crew to create the first big 9-1-1/Lone Star crossover, but also on a more enclosed scale with limited space like with the woman trapped in her nightmarish food truck between lava and scorpions.
Speaking with CinemaBlend, Andy Strahorn explained how cinematography allows for the creation of the sense of "impending fear" and more in Season 2:
Something is pretty much always happening on 9-1-1: Lone Star, especially during one of the emergencies that requires the heroics of the first-responders of Austin. Whether that means the firefighters are on the scene or the paramedics are ready to provide aid or the 911 operators are trying to solve some truly bizarre problems with limited resources, Lone Star gets creative in building the atmosphere to guarantee some sky-high stakes for everybody involved.
Fortunately for the characters of 9-1-1: Lone Star, scorpions aren't usually much of a concern when they're not fleeing lava, but that doesn't mean Lone Star doesn't set its crises in some unexpected spaces. Andy Strahorn elaborated on finding unconventional ways to create something unique for 9-1-1: Lone Star, saying:
9-1-1: Lone Star has delivered its share of twists that defy belief, but that doesn't mean they're shot in ways that are unrealistic. The cast (which went through some changes before this season and is seemingly facing another) brings the crises to life, for better or worse when it comes to the people of Lone Star's Austin. The show never pulled its punches when it comes to the emergencies that the heroes of 126 have to face, but what they've faced in Season 2 so far has been on a different level than what they faced in Season. Andy Strahorn explained the approach to Season 2:
For all that the 2020-2021 TV season got off to a later-than-usual start for many series and has continued with some unconventional production methods, television is as competitive as ever. 9-1-1: Lone Star found a way to tread new ground for the entire shared universe in Season 2 with the crossover event that brought a few major characters over from 9-1-1 to lend a hand.
Of course, Lone Star had to have a valid reason for some heroes to make the trip all the way from Los Angeles to Austin, and the reason really couldn't have been much more valid than the massive wildfire that required all hands on deck from not only the 126 but also the crews from surrounding states. The massive fire and crossover came in just the third episode of Season 2, and Andy Strahorn shared what went into making that massive event:
The challenge was bad news for the firefighters of Lone Star's 126 and the visiting heroes from 9-1-1's 118, but it was pretty great for viewers to watch and apparently interesting from a cinematography perspective! Notably, the episode featured a helicopter sequence to go with the massive fire, and in true TV fashion, that helicopter did not stay up in the air for too long. Andy Strahorn weighed in on the production that went into setting up the helicopter sequences:
Considering that Andy Strahorn and the rest of the 9-1-1: Lone Star team is tasked with creating that tone while also recreating Austin, Texas from where they film in California, the show pulls off cinematic episodes that might not have seemed possible for television not so long ago. The wildfire for the crossover was undoubtedly the biggest emergency of Season 2 so far, but Lone Star is still delivering the heart-pounding sequences on a weekly basis.
Find out what happens next on 9-1-1: Lone Star with new episodes airing on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, immediately following new episodes of 9-1-1. Despite being paired in primetime and the characters between the two shows forming bonds during the wildfire fight in Texas, crossovers aren't necessarily going to happen on a regular basis, but there is still plenty of action to look forward to.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).