This article contains spoilers for “The New Hotness,” Tuesday’s season premiere of “9-1-1: Lone Star.”
After getting engaged to police officer Carlos Reyes (Rafael L. Silva), paramedic TK Strand (Ronen Rubinstein) uncovered a shocking secret in the season four premiere of “9-1-1: Lone Star”: Carlos is already he was legally married. to a woman More specifically, Carlos was married, in name only, to Iris Blake (Lyndsy Fonseca), the younger sister of his best friend Michelle (Liv Tyler).
It is a secret that, Silva said, has been brewing for years. During the show’s freshman introduction, co-creator and showrunner Tim Minear introduced Carlos’s marriage to Iris as an off-screen explanation for why Carlos and Michelle, who have a significant age difference, are close friends. But the writers were pressed for time on the first 10 episodes, and Tyler’s departure between the first two seasons meant they couldn’t address that connection right away.
“So the story behind Carlos and Iris has been brewing,” Silva told NBC News in early January in a joint video interview with Rubinstein. “And it’s finally come true now that Carlos and TK are on their way to becoming a legally united couple.”
In the January 24 episode of Fox’s hit procedural drama, which finds first responders dealing with freak and extreme weather events in Austin, Texas, Carlos discovers that the couple’s dream wedding venue, which originally had a list of Waiting a year and a half, he had an unexpected opening in eight weeks, leading him to meet TK at the firehouse and privately confess his relationship status.
“When I left [as gay] to my parents, and the way they never talked about it again, I felt like I let them down,” Carlos tells TK in an emotional scene. “We loved each other…and tried to convince ourselves that we could make it work. We were wrong.”
Carlos and Iris, who has a history of mental illness and was last seen living in a tent city during the season one finale, went to high school together and knew everything about each other, including their sexuality. After Iris disappeared and then reappeared at the end of the first season, they never divorced her because Carlos believed that he was helping her get treatment for schizophrenia with her health insurance. It isn’t until Carlos arrives at a shelter where Iris was seeking treatment that he discovers that she is not only doing well now, but is also working there, with health benefits, to better care for people with similar conditions.
Silva said he believes any decision Carlos made immediately after coming out was due to being told “in the culture he grew up in” that “he wasn’t enough” and wanting to be loved and accepted by those around him.
“I think Carlos got married was his way of trying to fix the uncontrollable, something that was completely out of his hands, and that is extremely human,” Silva explained. “That’s something we can all connect with: trying to find a way to communicate to the people you love that, ‘Hey, I know I’m not what you expected, but I’m still nice. Love me for what I am.’ I think it coincided with the fact that Iris was also someone who wasn’t accepted for who she was.”
He described them as “two people, in a time of need, coming together and being that support system for each other.”
Rubinstein said that scene, in which TK and Carlos realize they only have a few weeks until Iris signs the divorce papers, is one of his favorite scenes from “Tarlos” to date.
“At first TK is confused and maybe a little bummed out,” he said. “What is so beautiful about that scene is, [T.K.] I can’t take it too personally. It was Carlos being a tremendous friend to Iris, and once TK finds out why it happened, she goes back to TK supporting Carlos, and then we show that loving couple. … It all comes back to: ‘We’ll figure this out. I understand you. You got me.'”
That loving couple, affectionately nicknamed “Tarlos” by fans, have taken on a life of their own in virtual spaces. At the handful of fan conventions he and Silva have held in the past year, including in-person events in Paris and Milan last summer, Rubinstein noted that “there have been more new faces than familiar faces,” and people have formed friendships. close and even romantic relationships through their connection to the characters on the show.
“When you get to tell a story, it is yours for that moment. [when] you are shooting it. But then, once it’s complete, the story doesn’t become yours. It goes out into the world, and you just have to let it be,” Silva said. “It’s beautiful how people have seen TK and Carlos together, and we’ve seen it over the summer, people connecting from all over the world, and all I can do is just say thank you.”
While much of the conversation surrounding TK and Carlos in recent months has centered on their impending nuptials, Silva warned that their road to the wedding altar will be anything but smooth.
“We are talking about two people coming together to become one for the rest of their lives. Obviously, these are two people from very different backgrounds. [and] breedings,” Silva said. “And just like all of us, we need, as characters, to heal some things from the past, and that starts immediately from episode one.”
Silva said there are some stories “still developing for both Carlos and TK” that “will help create this beautiful wedding.”
“Needless to say, it hasn’t been shot yet. It’s a wedding, man, and you can’t have that in the middle of a season! Is the wedding, so we’re walking towards that together,” he said.
With the reappearance of Iris, who insists on meeting TK before signing the divorce papers, Carlos will be drawn into a mystery that will force him to reckon with his past and allow viewers to see him “bloom” in a new light.
“You’re going to see a dedicated police officer trying tirelessly to get her answers, and she won’t stop until she does,” Silva said of her character arc this season.
Silva said fans will see a “side of Carlos that we’ve never seen before.”
“There is a maturation,” he added. “You can’t run from the things that have hurt you, because they’ve essentially taken away a power that you have, and to get that power back, you need to sit with it and face it, and we see Carlos doing that.”
Despite falling into multiple comas and experiencing heartbreak and tragedy since the show’s beginning, TK will be more stressed than ever because “a lot of the things that happen to him this season are completely out of his control,” Rubinstein said. .
“Mentally and physically, things are starting to not go well around him, and I think that’s really scary for him. It is definitely the most cheeky thing TK will have in four seasons,” he added. “Carlos has been the one who has cared about TK for three seasons, and [T.K.] he constantly hurts himself and falls into a coma and this and that, be it physical or mental. So it will be interesting to see those roles reversed.”
Silva and Rubinstein, who are in the middle of filming the 18-episode season, also revealed that Carlos’ parents, Andrea (Roxana Brusso) and Gabriel (Benito Martínez), will be more present this year. TK will develop a closer relationship with her future in-laws, teaming up with Gabriel in the fast-paced fourth episode.
“I think the fans are going to be extremely excited, especially for ‘Tarlos,’” Rubinstein joked with a laugh. “There are a lot of ‘Tarlos’ in the first half of the season”.
“9-1-1: Lone Star” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox. All new episodes will stream on Hulu and Fox Now after their initial broadcast.