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9-1-1: Lone Star’s Natacha Karam Unpacks Marjan’s Complicated Victory — Plus, Did You Guess That Final Twist?

Marjan’s return to Austin included a hell of a detour on Tuesday’s 9-1-1: Lone Star, which found the firefighter facing off against a familiar foe.

With Kylie safely en route to Florida by bus, a furious (and unfortunately free) Grant sought revenge on Marjan, running her off the road before literally hunting her down with the intent to murder. The grueling hour chronicled Marjan’s desperate fight to escape — and ultimately kill — her attacker, all while protecting a young girl named “Mouse,” whose friend and friend’s parents died in a car accident caused by Grant and Marjan’s chase.

Following their fatal showdown, we got the episode’s biggest twist of all — Mouse was never really there! She was merely a younger version of Marjan, a memory she relived in order to both face her past and survive her present.

Below, actress Natacha Karam breaks down Marjan’s fight for her life, the big Mouse twist and what the road ahead looks like for the hero known as Firefox:

TVLINE | I thought last week’s episode was wild, but this one was next-level. How cool is it for you to get these two huge episodes back to back?
This was a really great opportunity. It was really fun to get to do something different. When you’ve been on a show for four years, you sort of fall into a pattern or a rhythm, and you start to get comfortable. Then wham, you get these episodes and you’re like, “Yes! A challenge!” It keeps you on your toes. It’s also cool because you can’t really guess what’s coming next every time we get a script, unless you’ve spoken to the writers before. I certainly felt that way when I got these two episodes, eight and nine. We actually shot them the other way around, which was kind of confusing. We shot [this week’s] before we shot [last week’s].

TVLINE | That must have been confusing.
It was. I knew what was going to happen in eight, so I really had to keep a clear timeline in my head of Marjan’s journey and where exactly she was at the time. As we were shooting things, I kept a little notebook full of information, otherwise it would have gotten very confusing.

TVLINE | You could probably auction that little notebook off.
I don’t know, is it that interesting?

TVLINE | I’m sure the fans would think so. And speaking of the fans, they were not thrilled when Marjan left the 126. Were your mentions blowing up on social media?
I posted a picture on Instagram with a caption like “Goodbye!” because I really didn’t know what to say. And then I finally wrote to someone, “Well, you have to say goodbye in order to say hello again. Wink, wink.” And I think people started calming down, at least the people who read that. Then the people who were like, “This is so sad,” and, “I hope you have another show,” came back to that picture this week and were like, “Oh, you’re back in a big way.”

TVLINE | This is going to make me sound like an absolute psycho, but watching Grant bleed out after you shot him in the neck was incredibly satisfying. What was it like to go up against enemy like this?
I know! What a terrible, terrible character he was. But such a fantastic actor. That whole prosthetic that he wore with the blood pumping out from the flare, plus the fire — it was a satisfying ending. And it was nice to see Marjan’s humility and compassion, that even in the hospital when she found out he had passed, she wasn’t happy about it. This wasn’t a victory for her. That wasn’t her intention. It was a necessity. It was her feral last attempt at saving herself and her own life for once, instead of putting other people in front of her.

TVLINE | And we’re thinking that she’s also saving this little girl the whole time, then… plot twist! I have to admit, it wasn’t until we saw Mouse disappear that I finally put the pieces together. Did that twist surprise you?
When I read the script the first time, I didn’t know. I was just kind of like, “Where did this kid appear from? I don’t understand.” Then I got to the end and was like, “Oh!” I definitely had to go back and read it again, now knowing that we’ve actually learned a lot about Marjan, because everything that comes out of Mouse’s mouth is actually information about Marjan.

TVLINE | So Marjan really got into the life-saving business because of this experience she had as a child where she wasn’t able to save her best friend and his parents?
Yeah, I think that’s something we can take away from this. And living through something like that is one of the reasons for her profound faith. Her mom says to her at the end, “When Allah is with you, you’re never alone.” We really learned a lot more about why Marjan is the woman that she is. And you’re right, this is one of the incidents that set her on the path to being like, “I couldn’t help once, but I can help now.” I love how much little stuff they sprinkled in there.

TVLINE | Is she going to be able to shake this off and get back to work, or is this going to be a process that she works through?
It’s a process. I don’t know that it’s the longest process in the world, but it’s a process. You will see her not being able to go on calls, and getting frustrated having to do paperwork at the firehouse, and the physical therapy.

TVLINE | I feel like I pretty much know the answer to this, but is it safe to say that she found what she was looking for on this journey?
She sure did. Twice! [Laughs] I think Marjan needed confirmation that she was on the right path, that she knows her purpose. Kylie saying those words to her was the affirmation that made it where there was no more questioning. It became clear as day. You can see the weight lift off of Marjan with that happy FaceTime that she has with the guys back in Austin. She says she’s more than ready to come home, and that’s because of how clear it has become to her that she’s exceptionally good at helping people.

TVLINE | If only she had just gone straight home.
Right? If only she had just said, “You know what? I’ll drive through the night.” No, honestly, Grant probably still would have followed her because he was right there at the bus stop.

TVLINE | These episodes reminded me of those classic ’90s thrillers, like The River Wild.

TVLINE | Which makes you the Meryl Streep in this situation.
[Laughs] Oh my goodness, I’ll take that.

What did you think of the conclusion to Marjan’s Grant nightmare? Did you guess the Mouse twist before it was fully revealed? Whatever’s on your mind, drop it in a comment below.

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