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Lone Star cast preview the journey ‘Tarlos’ must take to the wedding altar

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) was hit with a shocking secret in the season four premiere of “9-1-1: Lone Star”: Carlos was already legally married to a woman. Specifically, Carlos was married — in name only — to Iris Blake (Lyndsy Fonseca), the younger sister of his best friend Michelle (Liv Tyler).

It’s a secret that Silva says has been in the making for years. During the show’s first year, co-creator and showrunner Tim Minear cast Carlos’ marriage to Iris as an off-screen explanation of why Carlos and Michelle, who have a significant age gap, are close friends. But the writers were pressed for time in 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 is brewing,” Silva told NBC News in early January in a joint video interview with Rubinstein. “And it’s finally come to fruition now that Carlos and TK are on the verge of becoming a legally unified couple.”

Left to right, Ronen Rubinstein, Rafael L. Silva and Lyndsy Fonseca in ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’.Fox

In the Jan. 24 episode of Fox’s hit procedural drama, which finds first responders dealing with rare and extreme weather events in Austin, Texas, Carlos discovers the couple’s dream wedding venue, which was originally Originally a year-and-a-half waiting list, had an unexpected opening in eight weeks, prompting him to meet TK at the fire station and privately confess his marital status.

“When I came out [as gay] to my parents, and the way they never talked about it again, I felt like I let them down,” Carlos told TK in an emotional scene. “We loved each other…and we tried to convince each other that we could make it work. We were wrong.”

Carlos and Iris – who have a history of mental illness and were last seen in a tent city in the first season finale – went to high school together and knew everything about each other, including understand his sexuality. After Iris disappeared and then reappeared at the end of the first season, they never divorced, as Carlos believed he was helping her get treatment for schizophrenia with his health insurance. It’s not until Carlos arrives at a shelter where Iris was seeking treatment that he finds not only that she’s fine now, but that she’s also working there — with health benefits — to better serve the people. people with similar conditions.

Silva said he believed all of the decisions Carlos made immediately after his release stemmed from being told “in the culture he grew up in” that “he wasn’t enough” and that he wanted to be loved and accepted by those around him.

“I think Carlos getting married was his way of trying to fix the uncontrollable – something that was completely out of his hands – and that’s extremely human,” Silva explained. “It’s something we can all connect to: 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 lovable. Love me for who I am.’ I think it coincided with Iris also being 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 this scene, in which TK and Carlos realize they only have a few weeks to get Iris to sign the divorce papers, is one of his favorite “Tarlos” scenes to date.

“At first, TK is confused and maybe a bit put off,” he said. “What’s so beautiful about this scene is that [T.K.] can’t take it too personally. It was Carlos who was a great friend to Iris, and once TK figures out why it happened, it goes back to TK supporting Carlos, and then we show this loving couple. … It comes down to: ‘We will find a solution. I got you. You got me.'”

This loving couple – affectionately dubbed “Tarlos” by fans – have effectively taken on a life of their own in virtual spaces. In the handful of fan conventions he and Silva have hosted over 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 that people have formed close friendships and even romantic relationships through their bond with the characters on the show.

“When you get to tell a story, it’s up to you for that moment [when] you pull it. But once it’s over, the story doesn’t become yours. He comes out into the world and you just have to let him,” Silva said. “It’s been wonderful how people have seen TK and Carlos together, and we’ve seen that over the summer – people connecting from all parts of the world – and the only thing I can do is just to say thank you.”

Left to right, Rafael Silva, Ronen Rubinstein, Tanya Clarke, Gina Torres and Brianna Baker in "9-1-1: Lone Star"
Left to right, Rafael Silva, Ronen Rubinstein, Tanya Clarke, Gina Torres and Brianna Baker in “9-1-1: Lone Star”.Kevin Estrada/FOX

While much of the conversation surrounding TK and Carlos in recent months has centered around their impending nuptials, Silva warned that their journey to the wedding altar would be anything but simple.

“We are talking about two people coming together to be one for the rest of their lives. Obviously, they are two people from very different backgrounds [and] education,” Silva said. “And like all of us, we as characters have to heal some things from the past, and that starts immediately from the first episode.”

Silva said there are stories “in development for Carlos and TK” that will “help create this beautiful marriage.”

“Needless to say it hasn’t been filmed yet. It’s a wedding, man, and you can’t have this in the middle of a season! It is them marriage, so we walk 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 consider his past and allow viewers to see him “blossom” under a new day.

“You’re going to see a dedicated cop trying tirelessly to get his answers, and he won’t stop until he does,” Silva said of his character’s arc this season.

Silva said fans will see “a side of Carlos we’ve never seen before”.

“There’s a maturation happening,” he added. “You can’t run away from the things that hurt you, because they basically took away a power that you had, and to get that power back, you have to sit down with it and deal with it – and we see Carlos doing that.

From left to right, Rafael Silva and Ronen Rubinstein in "9-1-1: The Lone Star''.
Left to right, Rafael Silva and Ronen Rubinstein in ‘9-1-1: Lone Star’.Jack Zeman/FOX

Despite falling into multiple comas and experiencing heartbreak and tragedy since the start of the series, TK will be more stressed than ever, as “a lot of things that happen to him this season are completely out of his control,” he said. said Rubinstein. .

“Mentally and physically things are starting to go wrong around him, and I think that’s really scary for him. He’s definitely the most sassy TK in four seasons,” he added. “Carlos is the one who has been worried about TK for three seasons, and [T.K.] is constantly injured and falls into a coma and this and that, whether physical or mental. It will therefore be interesting to see these roles reversed.

Silva and Rubinstein, who have just about finished filming the 18-episode season, also revealed that Carlos’ parents, Andrea (Roxana Brusso) and Gabriel (Benito Martinez), will be in attendance more often this year. TK will develop a closer relationship with his future in-laws, and he will team up with Gabriel in the thrilling fourth episode.

“I think the fans are going to be extremely, extremely excited, especially for ‘Tarlos’,” Rubinstein teased with a smile. “There are a lot of ‘Tarlos’ in the first half of the season.

“9-1-1: Lone Star” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. All new episodes will stream on Hulu and Fox Now after their initial airing.

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