After 9-1-1: Lone Star Wrapped Up The Domestic Terrorism Story, Co-Creator Explained Why [Spoiler] Had To Die

Rob Lowe as Owen Strand on 9-1-1: Lone Star.
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 4 episode “This Is Not a Drill,” which aired February 28. Proceed with caution!

For all of Season 4 so far, we’ve known there was something big brewing around the Honor Dogs motorcycle club that Owen Strand found himself associated with. 9-1-1: Lone Star threw in plenty of red herrings for viewers — I’m still not sure I believe Ty O’Brien was innocent the whole time — but in the end it turned out there was just one bad apple trying to spoil the whole bunch. While Owen may have saved the city of Austin as a whole, there were still casualties, and co-creator Tim Minear explained why one character in particular “had to go.”

FBI agent Rose Casey unfortunately died in an explosion set off by Mikey (Richard Meehan), the Honor Dog who Owen (Rob Lowe) and Judd (Jim Parrack) saw get branded in the season premiere. Mikey ended up being the mastermind behind the domestic terrorism threat the FBI was investigating, and while the bar explosion took the lives of nine federal agents and even more Honor Dogs, Agent Casey was the biggest loss in viewers’ eyes. There was apparently a reason it had to be that way, and Tim Minear told EW

Well, I think that probably a lot of people expected we were setting up a love interest there, and for me, the fact that they actually had a lot of fun, bantery onscreen chemistry made it all the more poignant — because in the end there you could see, 'Oh, there maybe could have been a sparring, fun relationship between these two characters.'

So, basically he’s saying Owen can’t have nice things? While it seemed like the fire captain was more a thorn in Casey’s side than anything, their banter was pretty amusing, and by dangling the potential for more interaction between the characters, 9-1-1: Lone Star ensured emotional stakes by the time the plot reached its conclusion. Minear continued: 

But when you are doing a story like this, there is this feeling of something coming, something scary is going to happen. So I felt like there had to be a casualty, a casualty that mattered. And for me, Agent Casey is a character whose heart was in the right place.... As a storyteller, you want it to be impactful — and you want to affect somebody where it's going to matter, to your main character. So that is why she had to go. I actually would have loved to have kept Amanda around, I thought she was fantastic. And by the time we shot that episode, I was really regretting that she was going to have to go, but she had to go.

Saying goodbye to Agent Casey means saying goodbye to Amanda Schull, one of two Suits vets recurring in Season 4 and thus reuniting with Gina Torres. The other is D.B. Woodside, who will return as Tommy’s new love interest Trevor Parks in next week’s episode, “Tommy Dearest.” At least somebody can have nice things!  

Tune in next Tuesday, when 9-1-1: Lone Star returns at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, and if you need to catch up, all episodes so far are available to stream with a Hulu subscription. In the meantime, check out our 2023 TV schedule to see what new and returning shows are premiering.  

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.