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Why 9-1-1: Lone Star Was Missing One Character From The Season 3 Finale, According To The EP

Amy Acker on 9-1-1: Lone Star
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers for 9-1-1: Lone Star’s Season 3 finale, “A Bright and Cloudless Morning.”

Some pretty meaningful figures from Owen’s life showed up in the 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 finale — including his late ex-wife Gwyn (Lisa Edelstein guest starred) and Manny, a first responder who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks — but there was another character important to Owen who was noticeably absent, save for a brief mention: Catherine. Following the explosive season finale, executive producer Tim Minear addressed why Owen’s girlfriend didn’t appear in the episode, which was so focused on the firefighter living in the present.

It’s been an eventful season for Owen (Rob Lowe) and Catherine (guest star Amy Acker), as the couple has weathered some tragic events — including a stalker staging a bioterrorism attack at her office and leaving a dead pig in his bed (a Dexter-like move) — as well as some sitcom-esque hilarity, like when Owen mistook Catherine’s ex-father-in-law for her ex-husband and accused her of having an AARP fetish. While that nearly ended the couple, she agreed to stay with him if he returned to therapy, and the rest of Season 3 saw some huge breakthroughs for Captain Strand. So why wasn’t Catherine at the hospital after Owen was injured in the explosion? Tim Minear explained to TVLine:

I really tried to somehow get Catherine into this episode, but you only have much room in a finale. Plus, Amy is off in another country doing another show, so she wasn’t even available to me. It actually worked out weirdly, because that last scene with Owen at the bistro where he had his last scene with Catherine was potentially going to be a Catherine scene. But it ended up becoming a Tommy scene, and that is exactly what it was meant to be. Owen had his epiphany with a person who either wasn’t real or wasn’t alive, so he wanted to bring the most alive, flesh-and-blood human being to share his good news with.

It seems like Catherine’s absence in the finale was merely a problem of logistics, as Amy Acker was busy with another project. The episode handled it by showing that she’d sent Owen a “Thinking of you” card in the hospital. 

The EP said it really worked out for the best, as Tommy (Gina Torres) was the only person Owen had talked to about the possible recurrence of his cancer, and being able to deliver the good news (fungal infection!) that really allowed him to do what his ghosts had implored him to do and leave the past in the past.

Does this mean we can expect to see more of Amy Acker in Season 4? Only time will tell, but one thing Owen will have to look forward to when 9-1-1: Lone Star returns to Fox is the wedding of his son! T.K. proposed to Carlos in the Season 3 finale, and we can’t wait to see what the new season brings for the couple (as long as it’s all good things). Might we see two Strand weddings in the near future? 

We might be getting ahead of ourselves, and it’s going to be a while until this story resumes anyway. In the meantime, though, be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what shows are filling those holes in your primetime schedule, as well as what’s coming to streaming. And while 9-1-1: Lone Star was renewed, fans can also keep up with the shows that were cancelled or are ending this year.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.