How 9-1-1: Lone Star Is Avoiding A 'Meltdown' After The Unexpected Judd Reveal

Jim Parrack as Judd in 9-1-1 Lone Star
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the February 7 episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star, called “Child Care.”

If there were any 9-1-1: Lone Star fans who though Judd and Grace might be done with drama for a while after the high-stress birth of their daughter during the ice storm, “Child Care” proved that the show had something else in store! Just after Judd believed he became a father for the first time, a young man emerged from the woodwork to drop a bombshell on him: he’s Judd’s son, conceived out of what can generously be called a one-night stand years ago. Wyatt’s mere existence might have been enough to turn Judd and Grace’s marriage upside down, but Lone Star may have found the perfect way to avoid what actor Jim Parrack calls a “meltdown” for them.

Although Grace didn’t initially handle the news that her dream of starting a family with Judd isn’t going to go exactly as she planned, she came around and set up a family dinner with Wyatt’s mom to try and make some sense of the situation. Jim Parrack weighed in on Judd’s decision to keep Grace in the loop about Wyatt from the very first moment, telling TV Insider about a conversation with showrunner Tim Minear: 

Tim Minear told me something when he was telling me about the episode. He said, ‘Look, this isn’t a scandal. This is a real family problem. I’m very, very protective of Judd and Grace.’ I said, ‘Well, good, man. I’m glad.’ I’m glad you get to see two people handle things in a healthy way, ’cause out here on earth, that’s not always an easy thing to do. And as you said, on TV, you rarely get to see it because there’s not a lot of drama typically in people going about their lives in healthy, productive ways. So usually you see a meltdown and then everybody has to rebuild. But I thought this is a fresh take on a healthy couple doing the right thing in the face of a real challenge.

Judd and Grace continue to be relationship goals even though they’ve run into the kinds of problems that most couples will (hopefully) never have to deal with, like the car wreck back in Season 2. Although Judd didn’t clue Grace in on all the details about his encounter with Wyatt’s mom and he was seemingly suffering for his transparency when she told him she was having trouble even looking at him, “Child Care” proved that there was no meltdown on the way because he and Grace could deal with the reveal together. She just needed a little bit of time.

When other shows might have introduced a secret kid from years before just to create relationship drama, Lone Star delivered – as Jim Parrack stated – ”a fresh take on a healthy couple.” There’s no big secret hanging over their heads, and there’s no need to worry that Judd will break Grace’s heart by not coming clean for weeks. This storyline may not be easy on them, but they’ll go through it together. 

As much as Judd and Grace deserve to catch a break from dramatic twist after dramatic twist, I have to say that it’s fun to see them approach and overcome problems together as a united front. And if it means T.K. and Carlos catching a bit of a break, I’ll take it! Those two have certainly been through enough this season, and most of it while broken up long enough for some lingering “scar tissue.” Now, it’s Owen whose romantic future seems more likely to include a meltdown of some kind, with the introduction of Amy Acker as Owen’s date… who just so happens to be the Texas governor’s chief of staff.

See what happens next for Judd and Grace with the next new episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star on Monday, February 14 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Lone Star will soon be joined on Monday nights by parent series 9-1-1 in the 2022 TV schedule, starting with the 9-1-1 winter premiere on March 21. 

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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).