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"Growing up the way I did, there was a lot of folks who wanted to hurt me, so I guess I learned to figure out who they were before they figured who I was."
—Paul Strickland[src]

Paul Strickland is a character on FOX's 9-1-1: Lone Star who is a firefighter in the newly rebuilt Station 126 located in Austin, Texas. He debuts in the first episode of the first season of 9-1-1: Lone Star and is portrayed by starring cast member Brian Michael Smith.

History

Early Life

Paul grew up in Chicago maintaining a close relationship with his little sister, Naomi who looked up to him. When he was 17, he came out to his family as trans and his family accepted him with open arms. Unbeknownst to him, as Naomi was 9 years old at the time, she was unable to understand the full situation and was never explained on what was happening. As he transitioned, she felt that the "big sister" she looked up to was being erased in front of her, and his true self replaced her without explanation, leaving her resentful. Paul took this resent as her not fully accepting his true self, as she called him "P" instead of his true name, leaving their relationship strained. He left home that same year.[1]

Growing up, Paul developed a keen sense of observation and attention to detail to keep himself from being attacked by others who wanted to hurt him. He learned to figure people out before they could figure out who he was. Before joining the 126, Paul worked with the Chicago Fire Department, and had an incident go viral. The incident involved him being able to find the arsonist responsible for the fire his crew had been putting out using his deduction skills. This would earn him a stack full of "Life-Saving Commendations."

Joining the 126

Paul came down to Texas to interview for one of the position at the 126. After an interview with Owen and TK and a promise from Owen of a salary raise, Paul joins the 126.

Briefly Dating

In "Studs", he meets Josie, a woman who got stuck with glitter in her eyes during an emergency call at a strip club. She comes by the firehouse after that to bring Paul a brisket and tells him that she left her number with it so he can text her about the brisket or something else. They start texting but Paul doesn't ask her out yet because he's afraid of reality being disappointing if he has to tells her he's trans. He usually meets women on dating app because everything is written on his profile. Paul asks Josie on a date at the bowling where she tells him that her ex-boyfriend couldn't stand the fact that she was a tomboy but that "you can't help who you are" which gives hope to Paul to tell her that he's trans. At the end of the date, the pair share a kiss and Paul tells her that he has to tell her something. The next day, Josie comes by the firehouse and she tells him that she's not "as evolved as she thought was" and that she doesn't think that she can't get pass the fact that he's trans. Later that day, TK and Carlos bring him to a club with them to cheer him up.

Wildfire

During "Hold the Line", Paul teams up with Marjan, Judd 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. Paul and Judd 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.

Family Reunion

Paul's mother, Cynthia and Naomi pay him a surprise visit traveling in an RV in "Everyone and Their Brother". Cynthia happily greets him while Naomi and him say their brief hellos, a sense of tension notably building. Paul talks to Cynthia, who tries to keep the peace saying she and Naomi planned to travel across the world down to South America and take a vacation after a year of stay at home orders. Naomi assures they are fine, and mentions that Paul couldn't have remembered how small their apartment was back in Chicago. Cynthia invites him to dinner later that night which he accepts. After they leave, Paul worries about Cynthia, who has cardiopulmonary disease and believes what they were doing was crazy, blaming Naomi for encouraging her.

Later at dinner, he has a good time with the two of them until they mention the trip. Naomi mentions that they found a way to keep Cynthia safe, and mentions their plans of zip lining in Costa Rica. Paul expresses his major concerns, and Naomi accuses him of looking at the negative side of everything. Paul asks them if they considered the dangers facing the trip and what would happen if the RV breaks down, leaving two vulnerable women out in the open. Naomi angrily tells him that he does not get to "play the gender card" regarding this, leading to an argument. Paul accuses Naomi that she never dealt with who he really was. Naomi tells him that the issue wasn't about him being trans, and Paul mentions that she just kept doing what she wanted, never making him feel accepted compared to the rest of their family. Naomi then emotionally tells him that she was 9 when he came out to the family, never having explained what happened to the sister she worshipped growing up. She tells him that it felt like the family pretended she never existed, and the pictures coming down made the memories feel forgotten as if she didn't have a sister who she loved, and that he "killed her", ending the dinner.

Paul reconciling with Naomi

A few days later, Paul receives a text from Cynthia that they never made it out of town and she was in the hospital. He hurriedly rushes to the hospital, but is surprised to see that Cynthia was fine, that they were there because of Naomi having a flare up from MS. Paul shockingly finds out she was diagnosed three years ago, and that Naomi told her mom not to tell him as it wasn't her business to tell. He realizes that the trip was for Naomi, and begins to understand her feeling of having big news dropped on him without an explanation. He sits down and apologizes to Naomi for never having dealt wit her when he left home. He explains that it was tough figuring out who he really was back then, but should have considered her feelings when she was younger. Naomi emotionally tells him she understood that her big sister never existed, and stopped missing her a long time ago, but misses her big brother instead. Paul assures her he is right there for her, and she tells him she loves him, calling him Paul instead of P for the first time. The three of them come in for a big emotional hug, with Paul and Naomi having repaired their relationship.

Some time later, Paul, Marjan and Mateo help repair the RV and as he says goodbye, he makes Naomi promise to keep in contact as they go along. Naomi promises, and thanks her big brother for looking after both of them. He hugs them both goodbye as they head off.

Changing Firehouse

After the firehouse blew up in "The Big Heat", Paul starts working with the 122 until the 126 firehouse is rebuilt. There, he joins Marjan and Judd who now work there too. When the 126 and their loved ones go to rebuild the firehouse on their own, Paul is present when Billy announces that he's shutting down the 126 permanently.

Ice Storm

At the 129, Paul notices Marjan coming in and looking angry. He warns Judd about it before she gets to them. Judd apologises for not taking her call in the morning and that she was most likely there when the demolition ball swung, Marjan replies that there was no ball swinging and that the 126 is still standing for the time being. Marjan says that everyone gave up when Owen abandonned them and Paul replies that he didn't abandon them, the department just wouldn't reinstate him. Marjan tells him that this isn't actually true and that he could've been reinstated the next day but he chose not to. Marjan shows them the apology letter that Billy sends her and that all Owen had to do was sign it and he didn't. Judd tells her that he wouldn't apologise to that snake - Billy - either. Marjan says that if he had just sucked up his pride, he could've been helping them fight for the 126. Paul tells her that that fight has been over months and Marjan replies that it's only over because Owen walked away and when they lost their leader, they lost each other. Marjan turns away and starts leaving, both men ask her what she's doing and she tells them that she's going to get him back and to tell Captain Andrews, she's taking a snow day after Judd reminds her she has a shift.

Hypothermia and Recovery

The 122 arrives at the shelter that collapsed that is on fire when it hit a gaz line when it dropped. Carlos tells Captain Andrews that they managed to get everyone out but they need to get the people to another shelter. Judd intervenes and says that he called the warming centers and they're all filled up and the shelter isn't open for another 4 hours. Carlos tells them that he might know a place that's open now. Soon, the 129 arrive on scene too. They put out the fire and create an ice palace. Carlos runs to Judd, Paul and Mateo to tell them that someone is still stuck inside, a teenager volunteer named Lindsey. Paul tells him that they had a list and Carlos replies that she was the one in charge of the list so she didn't count herself. Captain Andrews tells them that if they send a team in, they could be looking at a secondary collapse before Captain Tatum says they'd have to assume she survived the first collapse. Tatum tells Mateo that if he hears any sounds of the roof cracking, he has to get out of there and Andrews tells his team that if anyone isn't confident going inside, they can stay outside with no judgement. Once inside, Judd, Mateo and Paul and their teams are looking for Lindsey and they separate to have more space to explore. Judd calls out for her and they hear banging from Lindsey as a response. While Paul is separated from the rest, a part of the roof collapses and projects him away from where he was standing.

In "Thin Ice", after the building collapses, Paul tries to contact his team but can't because his radio is busted. He frees his leg and looks around before finding Lindsey. She asks him what happened and he tells her that the roof collapsed before asking her if anything hurts. She tells him that she doesn't think so. He introduces himself and checks her for signs of concussions, asking her to follow his finger and asking her where she is. She replies that they're at Providence then continues with saying "Tuesday. Joe Biden", Paul chuckles and realises that she played that game before. Lindsey asks him how he knows her name and Paul tells her that his team and him have been sent there to rescue her. Lindsey says that she can't believe it and Paul tells her that she's a 16 years old volunteer in a shelter and that world can't afford to lose kids like her. Lindsey says that she actually can't believe someone noticed she was missing, Paul tells her that they did and that his team are looking for them right now. Paul tries to radio in his team again without success before telling Lindsey to cover her ears and shooting for Mateo and Judd. Lindsey asks if she can see his radio and when she does, she tells him that she can fix it.

Thanks to Lindsey fixing his radio and to Grace helping them, Paul manages to radio-in Judd and Mateo and tells them he's in the locker room. Paul tells her that it's because of her that they'll be find and Lindsey replies that it's actually because of her that they're stuck here and that she should've gotten out with everyone else when Carlos told them too but that when the roof started to come down, she froze and that's it's all her fault. Paul tells her that she's being a bit too hard on herself. Lindsey replies that she isn't, she always choke up under pressure and that's why she quit dressage and cello. And she says that now they could literally freeze to death, because of her. Paul tries to reassure her by saying that his team is on the way and that they're going to be fine, right before the water pipes burst and are soaking them. Paul quicky radio Judd and Mateo and tells them they have to shut the water off which Judd says to Captain Andrews. Few seconds later, the water is shut off. Lindsey tells him that she's really cold and Paul tries to reassure her and tells her that she's going to be fine. Mateo points out to Judd that if they're hypothermic and wet survivals went from hours to minutes.

Later, Paul finds a trash bag - which is a potential life saver - and tells Lindsey that she has to strip downs, she's confused and asks him why because she's already freezing. Paul tells her that wet clothes drop her body temperature even faster so anything that isn't dry as to come off, but she doesn't have to worry because she won't be totally naked, she'll be wearing the trash bag since it'll keep the body heat in her body, it'll keep her alive. Lindsey changes her clothes and Paul gives her his turnout coat, claiming that he won't need it because he's from Chicago and he's used to the cold. Some time later, they're both waiting for Judd and Mateo to come save him and Paul stops Lindsey from falling asleep because if she does, she dies. She tells him that her eyes are so heavy and he tells her that his are too but that they need to fight. He tells her about a woman he dated years ago who was a resident and when she worked 30-hour shifts, she used to put pebbles in her shoes so it could piss her off and you can't sleep if you're pissed off. Paul asks Lindsey what pisses her off and she tells him that she doesn't know because she's not an angry person. Paul raises his voice and asks her if that makes her sound nice, it doesn't, it makes her sound pathetic before yelling at her to get real and tells him what pisses her off. She tells him that she's pissed off when people make her feel invisible: kids at school, volunteers at church, her dad when he has a deadline. Judd warns them that they're about to make a hole in the wall so it might get shaky where they are. Paul replies that they're ready for the excitement. While they're breaking the wall, Paul's vision gets blurry and he falls unconscious, Lindsey tries to get him to wake up, asking Judd and Mateo for help. Lindsey yells at Paul and it wakes him up, she asks him what pisses him off and he asks apart from people yelling at him. She says yes. Paul tells her that what pisses him off is the fact that they closed down his firehouse over some bullshit. Lindsey asks him what bullshit and he tells her that it was about budget cuts. Lindsey asks him why does he love the 126 so much and Paul replies that it's the people. Lindsey tells him to talk about the people. Paul tells her about Marjan who is his "ride or die", Judd who is a redneck but he's all heart and Mateo too. She asks him about his Captain and Paul tells her he's the reason Paul came down to Texas and that he misses him. He falls asleep and Lindsey shakes him so he wakes up. Mateo arrives at that moment and tells them to stay put, they're coming for them right now. Judd joins them and they get Lindsey and Paul out. Judd giving his turnout coat to Paul so he can get warm up a little before Paul is brought to the hospital.

In "Shock and Thaw", Paul is in his hospital bed when Judd and Mateo comes in. Both of them hug him and Judd asks him how he is feeling. Paul replies that his core temperature is still 90 degrees but that the doctor says he will keep all his fingers and toes. Then, he tells Judd that his turnout coat is in the cabinet and Judd thanks him for looking after it for him. Paul thanks them for saving his life out there and that he knew if anyone was going through these walls, it'd be his boys from the 126. Judd tells him that it's because he knows how they do. Paul continues by telling them he loves them and and when Mateo offers the idea of hugging again, Judd hugs him at the waist since he's sitting and Mateo is standing, before saying that they love him too. After, Paul asks them what happened with Marjan, if she actually got Owen to sign the apology letter to Billy. Judd replies that it remains to be seen. Paul asks if Owen is still being stubborn and Judd replies that it's because they haven't heard back from Marjan yet. Paul says that he feels like she would've checked in by now, Mateo replies that cell service is out and that her and Owen are probably riding out the snow together now. Judd jokes saying that God will have to help Owen if he doesn't sign the letter before walking out of there. Mateo says that knowing Marjan if he doesn't sign, he's not walking out at all.

They're interrupted by Lindsey's parents coming into the room with arms full of gifts bags before being followed by Lindsey attached to an IV bag. She apologises to Paul for her parents who insisted on bringing him gifts to thank him. Paul says that it's okay and that they didn't have to do this. Cole - Lindsey's father - says that he saves their daughter's life, it's the least they can do. First, they give a lambswool throw since he's recovering from hypothermia. He adds that he'll open the Rolexes later, Mateo asks Judd if he really said Rolex with a "s" and starts looking through the bags before Judd slaps his hand. Lindsey apologises once again about her parents. Cole thinks Paul doesn't like the blanket and asks him if he wants another color because they can get him a new one in a special order. Mateo says that Paul should say he likes it so they don't kill another lamb, Judd reassures him by saying they don't kill lambs, they just shave them. Paul says that it's a very lovely blanket but they're too generous. Cole replies that they're just getting started before asking Paul if he wants a Maserati. Judd and Mateo starts laughing and Paul looks confused repeating what Cole just said. Cole confirms that he means the car unless Paul wants a truck. Paul replies that he couldn't accept this, it's just too much. Mateo says that he could accept it, remembering them that he was at the rescue too with the jackhammers. Cole asks them to forgive him before asking for Mateo's last name, Judd stops him and tells him that they're alright and that the reward of being a firefighter is the job itself. Cole says that he respects that because he feels the same way about his work, Judd asks him what his line of work is and Cole replies that he's in the milk cartons. Mateo asks him how can he offers all of that by selling milk and Cole corrects him, saying he's selling the cartons, not the milk.

Personality

Paul is very smart and intuitive. He's seen many times using his intuition and skills to find out the truth about a call he and the 126 are on. He's also an avid reader. Paul is kind and loving towards his family and friends, always supporting them, and even with people he meets on call with who he easily bonds. He's also ready to risk his life to save someone's else if he can.

Relationships

Josie

In "Studs", he meets Josie, a woman who got stuck with glitter in her eyes during an emergency call at a strip club. She comes by the firehouse after that to bring Paul a brisket and tells him that she left her number with it so he can text her about the brisket or something else. They start texting but Paul doesn't ask her out yet because he's afraid of reality being disappointing if he has to tells her he's trans. He usually meets women on dating app because everything is written on his profile. Paul asks Josie on a date at the bowling where she tells him that her ex-boyfriend couldn't stand the fact that she was a tomboy but that "you can't help who you are" which gives hope to Paul to tell her that he's trans. At the end of the date, the pair share a kiss and Paul tells her that he has to tell her something. The next day, Josie comes by the firehouse and she tells him that she's not "as evolved as she thought was" and that she doesn't think that she can't get pass the fact that he's trans. Later that day, TK and Carlos bring him to a club with them to cheer him up.

Marjan Marwani

Paul and Marjan are very good friends. He gives her advices about her issue with the woman at the mosque in "Texas Proud". In "2100°", Paul hugs her after she's done boxing and starts crying after they lost Tim. Paul feels protective of Marjan in "Friends With Benefits" at first when Salim is waiting for her at the lockers of the Roller Derby. Later that week, once he learns that Salim "broke up" with Marjan, he tells her that he can't imagine how anyone could let her go. In "Everyone and Their Brother", he's protecting from the blast of the explosion at the minefield. In "Slow Burn", he's supporting through everything that happened with McKenna and he's by her side when they're trying to save her life. In "Dust to Dust", they share a hug when Paul arrives at the 122 where them and Judd are going to work since the 126 is out of service. They're shown to be really competitive with each other when they're playing games. Paul calls her his "ride or die" in "Thin Ice".

TK Strand

Paul and TK are close friends. In "Studs", TK encourages Paul to go on a date with Josie. When later in the episode, he found out that the end of the date didn't go well, he and Carlos tell Paul that he has to come with them to a club where they spend the night dancing. They share a hug after TK comes clean about his addiction in "Austin, We Have a Problem". In "Difficult Conversations", they're struggling to tell Mateo about the typo in his tattoo and try to get Marjan to be the one who tells him. In "Displaced", they're teasing each other while the firefighters are cleaning the firetruck. In "Bad Call", after TK's speech at his party, Paul tells him that they all love him.   

Mateo Chavez

Paul and Mateo are good friends. Paul is shown to be protective over Mateo like a older brother would be, while teasing him every once in a while.

Judd Ryder

Paul and Judd are good friends. They grew closer after having to work together at the 122 with Marjan, for 8 months.

Trivia

  • Paul's observation ability is often referred to as him "doing a thing" by the members of the 126. [2]

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"
"Slow Burn" "The Big Heat" "One Day" "Dust to Dust"
Season Three
"The Big Chill" "Thin Ice" "Shock and Thaw" "Push" "Child Care"
"Red vs. Blue" "In the Unlikely Event of an Emergency" "3x08" "3x09" "3x10"
"3x11" "3x12" "3x13" "3x14" "3x15"
"3x16" "3x17" "3x18"

Gallery

References

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