Spoilers ahead for Episode 12 of 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 2, called "The Big Heat."
9-1-1: Lone Star delivered an intense hour of television that involved an explosion at the firehouse and T.K. and Carlos nearly burning alive in their own home before the arsonist's plans were all destroyed, but the wild ride wasn't over even after the reveal that Owen and Carlos' dad were working together to try and catch the firebug. Right when everything seemed to be okay with a peaceful end to the episode, Tommy returned home to find her husband sitting upright, motionless, with blood dripping from his eye. A character who could not be more key to Tommy may not be long for the world.
To put it bluntly, Charles seemed pretty dead by the time Tommy saw that he was unresponsive, and his eyes wide open with one bleeding doesn't exactly make his odds look good. That said, the episode didn't end with him declared dead, and the promo for next week shows that Tommy jumps right into action to save her husband's life. He'll make it to the ICU, but none of the footage shows him conscious, and in fact just heaps more trouble on the situation by revealing that there's an active shooter present.
All things considered, it's not looking like a great episode for Tommy! While it's clear that he at least will have enough of a pulse to get a bed in the ICU, there is no guarantee that Charles has truly been saved or what state he'll be in when he makes it to the hospital. And while Charles isn't exactly a major character, since he's not a first responder and has mostly contributed by being there for his wife and daughters, he's key to Tommy, and Tommy has already proved herself quite key to the 126 crew.
Normally, I wouldn't assume that a TV character looking pretty dead means that he is actually, totally, 100% dead, especially if a sneak peek at what's to come reveals that regardless of anything else, he does have a pulse. It's the fact that this is not the first time in the second half of Season 2 that a character has been in apparently mortal peril at the hospital. Judd and Grace survived their ordeals, and Grace's pregnancy is even proceeding normally. With two survivors already, Charles as the third hospitalized character seems downright doomed to me.
Would 9-1-1: Lone Star really send three characters to the ICU in not too many episodes, to miraculously save all of them? Just take a look at the promo for the next episode:
It's of course possible that Lone Star won't kill off Charles, and Charles' death would add some complications to the show since he's vital to helping raise his and Tommy's daughters. But between how far gone he looked at the end of "The Big Heat" and the rule of three that makes me think that the third character to wind up in the hospital is bound to die, I'm not feeling great about Charles' chances. Would Lone Star really want to lose its edge by setting a precedent that important characters – even if they don't get the most screen time – are always going to live no matter the peril?
Find out with the next new episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star on Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox, immediately following a new episode of parent series 9-1-1 that is going to deliver some relationship drama on an unexpected front. Only a couple of episodes are left before the finale hits the airwaves, and neither Lone Star nor 9-1-1 have received renewals for the next season just yet.