Judson "Judd" Ryder is a character on FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star who was the sole survivor of Austin's original 126 house after a rescue call ended in tragedy. He debuts in the first episode of the first season of 9-1-1: Lone Star and is portrayed by starring cast member Jim Parrack.


Six months after the tragedy of 126, Judd struggles with PTSD that he denies having and refuses to accept help nor return to his old job (in which he felt everything was being thrown away and replaced with the arrival of Owen Strand) until his wife, Grace Ryder, the 9-1-1 operator who also took the call the night of the tragedy convinced him to try again. After seeing that Owen had made a visual memorial for his fallen crew, he breaks down for the first time since the tragedy, feeling his trauma coming to surface. With Owen's encouragement, he begins to go to therapy with Grace, and returns to the 126, acting as a mentor and co-leader of the new crew.

History

Judd was born in Seguin, Texas [1], the youngest of three brothers. [2] Before the series began, he had been a firefighter at the 126 since he was in high school. He went to Austin Heights High School. He worked with the crew whom he called his "brothers" and felt they were like family to them. He worked there for about 20 years before the tragedy.

Tragedy of 126

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During a call where a fire broke out at a fertilizer company, the Austin firehouse #126 responded, and Grace, who was taking the call, advised them of the caller who was stuck in the middle of the compound. Judd answered, theorizing that the fire was moving fast and looked like a four-alarm. The crew rushes in to rescue the caller and begins putting out the fire with hoses. The captain of the firehouse advises his men to give it all they got as the fire worsened and he finds another person calling for help above the water tower. They try and put more pressure on the hose, but the water runs out. Judd lets his captain know he spotted a hydrant about 100 yards away, and he gets clearance to run a four-inch line towards it. Judd makes it to the hydrant and the water begins to successfully spray out further and they cheer in excitement.

Judd lying unconscious after the explosion

However, Judd suddenly receives a call back from Grace, who tells him that a maintenance man who called in reported that the factory stored ammonium nitrate fertilizer, a highly explosive compound. Judd runs back towards his men to warn them to pull back, but he is too late as the entire factory explodes, tragically killing everyone, but knocking him back and leaving him unconscious. He spent six weeks in the hospital recovering. [3]

Return to Work

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Six months later, Judd returns to the firehouse he formerly lived in, to see it being cleared out from the memorials of the rest of the 126, intending to get his job back. When Owen tries to give condolences, Judd rebukes them, angered that he had to get reinterviewed for a job he already had. Owen tells him he invited him down with respect to see if he was ready to return to the job, and based on their conversation, he wasn't. Angered, he denies having PTSD and acknowledges himself as the best firefighter in Travis County, and that Strand had no right to come in and rehire an entirely new crew except for him who has experience working in Texas. He storms out in anger, unaccepting of the "fake ass condolences".

Later that night, Grace comes home and asks Judd how the talk went, and he tells her that it didn't go well. Believing the PTSD was an excuse for him to not get rehired, Grace reminds him that he had recurring nightmares. When she suggests for him to get another job at a different station, he refuses, thinking if he left 126, it would be like leaving his crew behind. Believing that Strand had it out for him and it wasn't fair, Grace reminds him of the situation he went through when asking for her hand in marriage: her father said no, and he, not giving up came back daily to ask him again until he said yes. She reminds him not to give up, as he hadn't ever taken no for an answer yet.

After Grace gives Owen some encouragement to give Judd a second chance, he tells her to bring him back down to the station again. In the morning, Judd sees that the memorial for his fallen crew was now in the trash, notably upsetting him. Judd apologizes to Owen, but remarks that his old job no longer existed, as it now had been "trashed" along with his crew, since every memory of his former crew was now gone. Owen defends this, saying that nothing had been thrown away but they did need a fresh start after the tragedy. Still upset and feeling that Owen was doing this to gain instant respect just because he had survived 9/11, Judd gets up to leave, but Owen stops him, telling him of his cancer diagnosis. Owen tells him at some point, he would have to face his diagnosis just as Judd would have to face what he had lost. Judd expresses his worries of facing them, thinking he couldn't get "the monster back in the cage." He apologizes for everything and expresses his appreciation for Owen trying to help but feels it would not work out.

Owen comforting an upset Judd.

As Judd walks outside the station, he looks up and sees a large visual plaque, of pictures of every single one of his crew. Remembering their voices and unable to handle the emotional toll, he breaks down crying in front of everyone. Owen comes downstairs, clears the room and tells him it was the first thing he put up back in Manhatten as well. He tells him the monster was coming out either way, to which Judd understands. A short time later, Judd is seen working with the newly rebuilt 126 once again, later promising to go to therapy as well.

Therapy

Judd's first therapy session takes place in "Yee-Haw" with Grace in the room with him. The therapist asks him to close his eyes for a focus exercise on the night of the incident that killed his crew and that his PTSD brings back the bad memories of that night so they can be processed. Then, the therapist asks him to close his eyes once again and counts each breath up to five while remembering that night as it happened. He gets overwhelmed by emotions at the second breath and leaves the therapist's office. Later that day, Judd tries again to focus on the incident with Grace, at their place, and he succeeds to lift off the tiniest weight in the world of his chest.

In "Studs", he gets flashbacks from the incident that killed his crew during a fire at a breeding facility.

Stuart's accident

In "Awakening", Judd's father, Stuart, fell on the one of his rug and stay laying on the ground for a whole day which leds Judd to think about getting him help because Judd and Grace worry about him being alone in his house. Judd tells his father that while he doesn't want him to go to a nursing house, he wants to have a more manageable house. Later, Stuart calls 9-1-1 and asks for Grace because he cuts his arm and leg with glass and Grace helps him through it until paramedics arrive. Stuart ask her to not say anything about it to Judd. She does tell Judd about it and the couple come to visit Stuart at the hospital where Judd tells his father that he can stay in his house only if he promises to wear a necklace that will call 9-1-1 if he presses the button on it. Stuart tells them that he will do it on one condition, if they start giving him grandbabies.

Wildfire

During "Hold the Line", Judd teams up with Marjan, Paul and Eddie Diaz when they go looking for eight kids and their counselor. They find the counselor and all the kids minus one, Marjan and Eddie stay down there while Judd and Paul go looking for the last kid. Judd and Paul find the kid with his foot stuck in a bear trap and with Hen's help on their radio, they save his life. He's there with the others to join TK and Buck in their quest to save Owen and Hen.

Grace's father affair

During an emergency call, Judd finds his father in law in a hotel room with another woman that isn't Grace's mother. He tells the paramedic to check his glucose because he knows Grace's father has diabete. At the hospital, he tells Benjamin that he knows about the affair but that he hasn't say anything to Grace because that's not something you should tell to someone you care about on the phone. When Judd and Grace have dinner with Tommy and Charles, Judd reveals to them what happened with Grace's father.

Accident

At the end of "Bad Call", he and Grace start talking about starting their own family but they get into a car accident and fall off the bridge into the river.

Personality

Judd is a passionate, caring person for the people he loves most and finds himself as a leader. Riddled by the slight feeling of guilt towards himself on being unable to warn his former crew before they were all killed, he often pushes this feeling away, and it results in him feeling very caring towards the newest crew, especially when he is put as leader of an emergency. He feels responsible towards them all and it can be seen towards his behavior to them often. When it comes to his own pain, he struggles with it, afraid he could never be the firefighter he once was, but is slowly being pushed out of this mindset while in therapy.

Relationships

Grace Ryder

Judd was introduced to Grace by Tommy Vega and they fell deeply in love.[4] When he tried to get her father, Benjamin's approval to marry her, he rejected and he came back every day, even building him a pool deck just to prove that he truly loved her. Grace answered the call when the 126 tragedy had struck, and knowing that her husband was the one on the call with her, she panicked when he was knocked out, not knowing he had survived. After the tragedy, Grace was there to help support him and is the one who convinces him to get him back on his feet to return to the newly rebuilt station. After unintentionally insulting her faith he refuses to go back to church, he apologizes and decides to slowly return as it's important to her, and to support just as she supports him. [5]

Judd has mentioned to Strand that he would "walk through fire" to show how much he loves Grace, and makes her feel safe in their marriage together. [6] When on a call and recognizing Benjamin was subject to having an affair, he is notably shaken. He arrives at the hospital and confronts him, telling him to tell his daughter and wife, not wanting the burden of hurting Grace. Soon after, Grace and her mother arrive, and Benjamin lies about what led him to the hospital, leaving Judd to feel guilty about not telling her, as he knows she is close with him. After talking about it with the Vegas, Tommy tells him that he would be hurting her more if she finds out herself with him having known. Judd tries to tell her the morning after at her workplace, but backs out. Later in the day when he returns, he tries to finally tell her, but unfortunately, Grace had picked up on hints Judd had tried dropping during dinner with the Vegas, and she had listened to the call about her father herself. She tells him she appreciates and understands why he kept the secret from her as he didn't want to see her get hurt, but does not want to talk further about it, which he understands.

Owen Strand

Owen and Judd are friends. Judd is the first person in Texas who learns about Owen's cancer. During the altercation between Billy and Owen, Grace tells Judd that if Owen hadn't tell him to go to therapy, she didn't where they would be right now so she tells him that he should help Owen if he can. Judd meets up with Billy and tells him that while "he's flashy, his heart is in the right place". Billy then tells Judd that Owen is the one who came up with the CPAT test, not Billy. In "Displaced", Judd is excited about the idea of Owen and Gwyn having a baby.

TK Strand

TK and Judd get off on the wrong foot when TK ignores Judd's instructions on a call that could have ended a lot worse. Judd then calls TK 'the coach's kid' which greatly annoys TK in (Texas Proud). After a discussion with his wife, who prompts Judd to apologize to TK, the two of them hug it out and become close friends. Judd seems to be quite protective over TK, like an older brother would. Judd is shown praying with Grace when TK is at the hospital. In "Everyone and Their Brother", TK asks Judd to help him teach him how to drive the firetruck and when he fails, TK tells him that he's distracted because he got some news the night before; his parents told him that they were expecting another baby. Judd hugs TK during his one year anniversary of sobriety party.

Tommy Vega

Judd and Tommy are very good friends. Tommy is the one who introduced him to Grace.

Trivia

  • Jim Parrack, the actor who portrays Judd, is a Texan in real life as well, as he was born and raised in Allen, Texas.
  • Judd has a tattoo on his hand of Psalms 31, a lament psalm in the Book of Psalms.

Appearances

Season One
"Pilot (9-1-1: Lone Star)" "Yee-Haw" "Texas Proud" "Act of God" "Studs"
"Friends Like These" "Bum Steer" "Monster Inside" "Awakening" "Austin, We Have a Problem"
Season Two
"Back in the Saddle" "2100°" "Hold the Line" "Friends With Benefits" "Difficult Conversations" "Everyone and Their Brother"
"Displaced" "Bad Call" "Saving Grace" "A Little Help From My Friends" "Episode 11" "Episode 12"
"Episode 13" "Episode 14" "Episode 15" "Episode 16" "Episode 17" "Episode 18"

Gallery

References

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