Warning: gross spoilers ahead for the February 14 episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3, called “The ATX-Files.”
9-1-1: Lone Star has officially moved on from the ice storm that nearly claimed T.K.’s life and delivered what seemed like more of a comedic episode… at first. Owen revealing himself to be a devoted believer in Ancient Aliens and member of the Mutual UFO Network was worth a laugh (and possibly a nod to Rob Lowe’s reality show), but I’m guessing I’m not the only one who wasn’t laughing at one of the emergency calls that Tommy, Nancy, and T.K. responded to in “The ATX-Files.” Seriously, I wish I could unsee what happened when the paramedic team responded to a call involving what looked like tentacles wriggling out of a young woman’s nose… and mouth.
Luckily – I guess – the tentacles weren’t part of some bizarre alien creature that Owen probably could have identified, but roundworms that Liza had accidentally ingested and had grown A WHOLE LOT since then. She was visiting a medium named Marta, who was advising her about her belief that she was cursed by her ex. Liza explained that she felt a pain and sickness “deep inside” of her, and like something was sucking her life force.
In all fairness to Liza, she was ultimately right about something making her sick inside of her. A hex just might have been less traumatizing than what actually happened! When she sneezed, roundworms started squirming out of her nose and mouth, and I – probably like Liza – started questioning my life choices. T.K. looked like he would have been happier back in his coma world with cookies and his imaginary mom, but Tommy leapt right into action.
Tommy managed to pull the two roundworms out of Liza and informed her that she needs to wash her vegetables better if she’s going to eat farm-to-table. If nothing else, this episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star is probably good for convincing viewers to all but boil their lettuce until the image of poor Liza fades away.
When Liza found out that the roundworms got into her via fecal matter, she started gagging and vomiting all over again, and Tommy had to literally suction more worms out of her and into a bag. There were enough worms that Tommy handed the bag over to T.K. to save for Pathology, and he pretty much summed up my general feeling about it:
9-1-1 has delivered its fair share of gross emergencies, including some that were worm-related, but I think the Lone Star spinoff wins the prize for the most memorable worm-related crisis that will be burned into my memory for the foreseeable future. Kudos to the show for pulling it off so believably, and for having the nerve to air something so downright creepy. Gina Torres even shared what it was like to film the worm scene, telling TV Insider:
In all seriousness, it’s a sign of the versatility of 9-1-1: Lone Star that it’s still finding new ways to freak out viewers that haven’t already been done before the same way on 9-1-1 or previous seasons of its own show. Whether or not the 9-1-1 franchise expands to include another spinoff, it’s impressive that two first responder dramas are still managing to get creative with their crises.
The only problem might be trying to find ways to top themselves. 9-1-1 itself has arguably run into that issue already by delivering the Titanic-esque tsunami storyline back in Season 3 and eclipsing pretty much anything that came before or after. If Lone Star has something on the way to eclipse the roundworms in Liza’s nose, I will happily tune in! See what happens for the characters with the next new episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star on Monday, February 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox in the 2022 TV schedule.
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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).