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

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.

Personality

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

Marjan and Paul are 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.

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" "Episode 11" "Episode 12"
"Episode 13" "Episode 14" "Episode 15" "Episode 16" "Episode 17" "Episode 18"

Gallery

References

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