Why The 9-1-1: Lone Star Actors Didn't Do Much Rehearsing For T.K. And Carlos 'Beautiful Moment' In Season 3 Finale

T.K. and Carlos on 9-1-1: Lone Star
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoiler alert! This story contains major spoilers for 9-1-1: Lone Star’s season finale, “A Bright and Cloudless Morning.” 

Explosions may have been going off around Owen and Judd during 9-1-1: Lone Star’s Season 3 finale, but the real fireworks were over at T.K. and Carlos’ place. Fan favorite couple Tarlos got engaged in “A Bright and Cloudless Morning,” in a cute and funny scene that had T.K. waking Carlos up at 3 a.m. to talk about his will — oh, and marriage. According to Ronen Rubinstein (who plays the Strand son) and Rafael Silva (Carlos), the actors didn’t have to do much rehearsing to capture the emotion of the scene. Or rather, they couldn’t do much rehearsing.

Season 3 opened with the shocking news that T.K. and Carlos’ relationship had not survived the six-month gap between the Season 2 finale and this season’s premiere. However, writer Tim Minear assured us that it wasn’t a permanent breakup, and I think all can be forgiven now, because what a dramatic way to bookend the Austin spinoff’s season! The actors spoke with EW about how meaningful Tarlos’ engagement is, and they both apparently got pretty emotional during rehearsals. Ronen Rubinstein said: 

Rafael and I, we both cried during rehearsals. Our director was like, ‘All right, let's cut rehearsal short. Save all the emotion for the real thing.’ The rehearsal was really intense, and that's a testament to the beauty of the writing. Sometimes we get blessed with certain scenes where I don't have to do any emotional prep or anything. The words do all the work and all the emotions start bubbling up just from speaking the words on the page. That's such a blessing for an actor.

9-1-1: Lone Star really balanced the sweetness of the moment with the humor, with Carlos jolting awake, afraid that dang alligator lizard had gotten loose again (thank goodness that thing only lasted one episode). Then, at 3:18 in the morning, T.K. announced that he was ready to make his will, which sounded ridiculous until he followed it with: “It’ll be easy because I’d just leave everything to my husband. Marry me.” Cue the awwws! Not only is it a great story, but Rafael Silva pointed out it’s an important one to tell as well:

It's incredibly important to have this type of storyline be on national television right now — especially with the endless amounts of anti LGBTQIA+ bills trying to be passed in multiple states in the United States. To have this sort of representation right at the forefront is extremely imperative.

Ronen Rubinstein also said it was an important full-circle moment for his character, who at the start of the series was reeling from a rejected engagement. After T.K.’s suicide attempt and overdose, it was important that he be the one to propose to Carlos. Rubinstein also agreed with his co-star’s sentiment about the importance of seeing this story on TV right now, and he said the whole crew understood how big the moment was:

The crew was really on the edge of their seats, and it was a really beautiful moment on set that day. I think everybody knew the weight behind what's going on — just outside of the show, what it means to show a mixed-race, gay, first-responder couple getting engaged and eventually getting married. It's a big deal for network television, especially with the climate that we're in right now in the country. It's was a really, really layered scene for a really layered relationship. I'm just so excited to see yet another extraordinary step in the Tarlos saga.

Elsewhere in the Season 3 finale, Owen and Judd survived the gas explosion, even while Judd re-broke his leg and Owen encountered some visits from beyond the grave. Gwyn (Lisa Edelstein) and a first responder from 9/11 both appeared to tell Owen he needed to move forward with his life, despite the tragedies he had faced. Hopefully, since finding out the mass on his lung was just an infection and not a recurrence of cancer, Season 4 will be his opportunity to do that.

Fox finally announced this week that the first responder drama has been renewed for a fourth season, and I’m looking forward to a big, fabulous Tarlos wedding, so don’t disappoint us, 9-1-1: Lone Star! In the meantime, see what other series are coming to a close on our spring finale schedule, and be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming up.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.