'9-1-1: Lone Star' Kicks Off a Chilly New Chapter in Season 3 First Look (Exclusive)

9-1-1: Lone Star/Rob Lowe

9-1-1: Lone Star is about to face a cold front -- and some major changes.

The series kicks off its third season in less than one week, and only ET exclusively premieres the dramatic first look from the upcoming premiere.

The episode, titled "The Big Chill," takes place in the aftermath of the sophomore finale with Owen (Rob Lowe) and the team grappling with the fallout of the 126 going up in flames as an unexpected arctic cold front brings an ice storm to Austin and a variety of weather-related emergencies. Meanwhile, things are looking very different for the ex-126ers -- Tommy (Gina Torres), T.K. (Ronen Rubenstein) and Gillian (Brianna Baker) settle into new employment, while Judd (Jim Parrack) and Grace (Sierra McClain) prepare for the birth of their first baby. 

As the clip reveals, Owen's been suspended for an "unclear" amount of time and that the team must remain in their temporary firehouse assignments permanently. The news stuns the group as they try to understand their unexpected new reality as Owen shares that the plan is for the 126 to be torn down.

"You kidding me, this isn't the end," Owen reassures the team. "This isn't even the beginning of the end."

"Is it the middle?" Mateo asks, because, you know, semantics. 

"They knock us down seven times, we get back up eight. 126 is our home. We built it together. We're gonna fight for it together like a family," Owen declares to nods of approval. "These people have zero idea who they're up against. So we fight. We're going to keep fighting and we never give up... until hell freezes over."

And, well, hell sure does look like it did. Watch ET's exclusive season 3 sneak peek below.

"We were very interested in following up on how we ended last season, which was the firehouse had burned down and everyone had been temporarily reassigned. Then Billy came in and said, 'We're never putting the firehouse back. You're never getting back together.' We didn't want that to just feel like B.S. We want to really earn their way back to putting Humpty Dumpty back together. So that's what we do for the first few episodes of the season is really earn that victory," executive producer Tim Minear previewed the new season with ET. "If you think of the middle of Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark moved off to a cabin and everyone is broken up and a few of them haven't given up the ghost. They come back together and they fight to try to win the day. It's sort of the road we're going down with the first few episodes of this season."

Narratively, it was intriguing to Minear and the writers to put Owen and the team members through the paces, and perhaps, not be as on the ball as they would've been had things stayed the same.

"The thing that interested me was not rushing through a reunification. The thing that interested me was not feeling like everything had to be solved in 45 minutes. The thing that interested me was really being allowed to spend time with each of these characters and let their stories breathe and really give each of these characters a moment to shine. And that's what we've done in the first three or four episodes is really allow everybody to have a story and a moment, and to really see them as individuals so that when they finally all get back together, assuming they do, it really feels like a climb," Minear explained. "That it really feels like it was earned, that it really feels like a road back. That it took some maneuvering in order to arrive at the destination. Because there is this unifying idea of this ice storm, everybody is in the same story. That's what's always great about these big event episodes, whether it's the tsunami or the earthquake or the ice storm, is that characters don't have to be in the same scenes with each other in order to all be in the same story."

9-1-1: Lone Star returns Monday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. For more, watch below.

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