Why 9-1-1: Lone Star Gave T.K. And Carlos Such A Shocker In Season 3 Premiere

Carlos consoling T.K. in 9-1-1: Lone Star.
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the Season 3 premiere of 9-1-1: Lone Star, “The Big Chill.”

The long-awaited and hightly anticipated third season of first responder drama 9-1-1: Lone Star started off with a big and wintry opener this week. Following the events of the Season 2 finale where the 126 was being permanently shut down, the series jumped forward a full six months to catch up with the real world, so to speak, and a lot had changed. Not only was the 126 still separated, but Owen was in the hill country, and Marjan was the only one fighting for the firehouse. One update that truly shocked fans was the breakup of T.K. and Carlos, also known as Tarlos, but showrunner Tim Minear has a pretty good explanation for why it had to happen.

When 9-1-1: Lone Star sprang forward from a sunny May day to a snowy January afternoon, fans were in for a rude awakening, as Tarlos had seemingly gone their separate ways. While it’s currently unknown the exact reason for the break-up, despite Nancy trying to get it out of T.K., Tim Minear tells ET Online this split isn't a permanent one, and will further help create a bigger storyline for the two characters:

I know that the Tarlos fans particularly are going to feel a certain kind of way about it. But what I would say is, I am interested in seeing their growth together. And we were off the air for six months. What I didn't want to say was that when we came back, they were either in the exact same place or that we missed a whole bunch of Tarlos. This is a way for the fans to get to see them on screen together and for me to tell a dramatic story with these two characters. I know a lot of fans when it comes to the ships that they love, they'd much rather see them having a beautiful dinner together, but that's not a story that I can write. 'Pass the salt,' is not a story that I can write.

It was a complete shocker when it was revealed that Tarlos is no more, considering the fan following they have amassed so far. However, the reasoning does kind of make sense, since relationships are all about meaningful growth, and it wouldn't be very fun for viewers if the duo had all of the most fun experiences during the time span when no stories were being told. Hopefully we'll find out what happened in those six months that made them break up, and it won’t take long for them to get back together.

Meanwhile, as Tarlos is broken up, we will be seeing more of them individually. Fans already got a taste of more Officer Reyes in the premiere when he arrested Marjan and played the hero after a building collapsed. According to Tim Minear, Carlos will be getting more of that much-deserved screen time, but don’t count Tarlos out just yet:

There's something for T.K. to learn here. There's something for Carlos to learn here. I was very interested in starting to show Carlos out in the world with his own agency and not as just an adjunct of T.K., which is why in the first episodes, you see Carlos as his own person doing his own thing. T.K. is part of his life. But [Carlos] is also a police officer and he comes from his own family and he has his own issues and he has his own ambitions. I wanted to see some of that too. We know a lot about T.K. We've met his parents. We know his backstory. I wanted to uncouple them for a second, so that I could really service Carlos in some ways. But it certainly doesn't mean that Tarlos is over.

Fingers crossed that the Tarlos breakup doesn’t last much longer, especially with next week’s episode involving one-half of the couple on the brink of death. If there is one good thing that can come out of the breakup, it’s getting more solo scenes for Rafael Silva's Carlos. Let’s just hope they still continue even after he and Ronen Rubinstein's T.K. get back together.

New episodes of 9-1-1: Lone Star air Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on Fox!

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.