SPOILER ALERT: This interview contains spoilers from the Jan. 31 “9-1-1: Lone Star” on Fox.
You didn’t think it was going to be that easy, did you? “9-1-1: Lone Star” fans were reminded what show they are watching with Monday’s installment of Ryan Murphy’s Fox first-responder drama, when fiancés T.K. Strand (Ronen Rubinstein) and Carlos Reyes (Rafael Silva) received the blessing of Carlos’ estranged wife/childhood best friend Iris (Lyndsy Fonseca) to get an annulment eight weeks before T.K. and Carlos’ moved-up wedding — only for her to go missing at the end of the episode.
With much on the line and so little time, “Tarlos” shippers are waiting to see how the paramedic and cop — and their friends and family at the 126 — will help them find Iris before something terrible happens to her, and, we hope, still find a way to plan a happy wedding.
Variety spoke with Rubinstein and Silva about the Chad Lowe-directed episode, and where the rest of “9-1-1: Lone Star” Season 4 and plans for T.K. and Carlos’s wedding go from here.
First up was how they’d crafted the scenes in which T.K. and Carlos are pitching their case as to why they want to get married, and why Iris should grant Carlos a divorce and approve of the union between him and T.K.
“Her tone under all of it is, you have to prove to me that I should allow this to happen,” Rubinstein said. “It’s one of the most important people in her life, other than her sister, Michelle, so it’s, why should I, pretty much, hand him over to you? Haven’t you almost died, like, three times? Why would I trust this to work?
“I love that she kept pushing the buttons, and I remember when we shot that, all three of us had sort of a different inner monologue going on,” he continued. “And Chad would whisper something to me, and Chad would whisper something to Rafa and Chad would whisper something to Lyndsy. And we all had our own scenes happening in our heads.”
Rubinstein was particularly grateful T.K. and Iris then had a one-on-one scene, so that T.K. could fight for his man on his own terms.
“I was really fortunate to have a one-on-one scene with Lyndsy, where I go back to the shelter when everybody is telling me not to go and I’m like, I’m just gonna do it,” he said. “And I’m pleading to her, ‘I love this man, he is literally my everything.’ And then of course she says, ‘Well, I don’t think he could literally be your everything, can you breathe without him?’ She’s still poking, but at the end of the day, she approves and thinks they should get an annulment and we have this big hug moment. And just when you think everything’s going to be smooth, she’s like, you’re just what I expected. And that’s a saber through T.K.’s heart that leads to another great scene where Carlos is like, you are a hot mess. I love the episode so much.”
By the end of the episode, Carlos knows he has Iris’ blessing — but immediately finds out she has gone missing as well. In released promos for this season of “9-1-1: Lone Star,” Fox is already teasing Carlos will be whacked in the head with a shovel during his journey to find her, so Rubinstein feels safe promising us “it’s not going to be a very smooth” from here.
But that wild twist serves a larger purpose than just driving “9-1-1: Lone Star” fans crazy, according to Silva.
“It’s network TV, and there are a bunch of shows out right now: How do we engage the public to come and sit down on their couches and turn on the TV and tune into this wonderful show?” Silva said. “Well, we make a mess out of it. We put shit all over the place. And that has to be done in order to engage people to come back and see what these characters are going to go through and how do they solve the problems that they have right in front of them.”
Silva continued: “Right from the first episode, everything changed, we have eight weeks to plan this wedding. Oh my, God! This is going to be Episode 4? Or 5? Where are we going! No, Iris is going to go missing, shit hits the fan, Carlos gets hit in the head with a shovel — why, because he’s trying to answer some questions and it leads him to getting hit in the head with a shovel.”
Silva said that all of this craziness, while likely difficult for big Tarlos fans who just want to see these two make it down the aisle, “allows us to earn this wedding, not just to have it.”
“We need to earn this,” he said. “There are questions: who is going to officiate the wedding? Where is it going to be, what venue? Is it a venue? Who is going to be there? Are there family members that we don’t know about that are coming into town for this? It allows showrunner Tim Minear and the writers to have time and space to marinate on thoughts. At the end of the day, what we’re going to get is just a beautiful moment, just a truthful, beautiful moment between two people that love each other. And there is a lot more to come.”