The biggest wedding event on network TV is upon us.
On May 16, the 2-hour season 4 finale of 9-1-1: Lone Star will air on Fox and it will include the wedding of TK (Ronen Rubinstein) and Carlos (Rafael L. Silva), who has been affectionately referred to as “Tarlos”. Of course, it wouldn’t be 9-1-1 wedding without some drama.
When asked about what to expect from the season finale, Reubinstein told GLAAD’s Anthony Allen Ramos in a recent interview that the wedding will see “a bump to say the least.”
Silva says, “The writers room make you earn the wedding up until the very last moment and I think what they have done…” Silva tries to find words without spoiling the season. “I will break your heart but it’s also an invitation for you to fill it up more with love. There are gonna be some bumps for Tarlos but I have faith it’s gonna be a beautiful wedding.”
For Rubinstein, words can’t describe his excitement for the forthcoming Tarlos nuptials. “This has been a long road for these two and I know, personally speaking as one of the biggest Tarlos fans out there, I’m just so happy and kind of emotional every time I think about it,” he said. “If you really think about what these two boys have gone through over the last four seasons — the amount of hurdles and obstacles they went through to finally get to this beautiful moment of them becoming a unit, it’s beautiful. I can’t wait for it. I can’t even imagine how beautiful the wedding is.”
Silva says this is a well deserved moment for the characters after four seasons. We have gotten to know them and fallen in them with them individually and as a couple. Like Rubinstein, Silva is a fan of Tarlos as a spectator. “This wedding, this union… this [is] the biggest gesture of love. I think within any culture is,” said Silver. “The timing could not be more poignant and more intentional. I’m excited.”
As the LGBTQ community continues to fight anti-queer rhetoric and legislation, the marriage of Carlos and TK on 9-1-1: Lone Star is an act advocacy and activism as much as it is about love between two human beings. That said, since the show is on Fox it has a broader reach across the country, giving a normalized representation of LGBTQ people to more conservative communities.
“I think that’s the magic of network television,” says Silva. “Most of the houses in the United States of America have network television… you can turn on TV and you can stumble upon [9-1-1: Lone Star]. It reaches a broader audience with less effort in a way. This show is coming into houses that may not necessarily be in contact with people from the LGBTQ community.”
Rubinstein chimes in, “I think the most magical thing about what we do as actors is we can inspire people from it — if the very least we can inspire conversation. I think that’s a really powerful first step and I personally know that is happening because people reach out to us from all over the world ever since that very first trailer of Tarlos busting through the door making out.” He points out that that’s when people realized that they were going to tell this queer story on network television and that Tarlos has “inspired people globally since day one”.
“You’re realizing the kind of inspiration and change you’re making just from telling a story on television,” says Rubinstein. “It’s a really, it’s a really powerful and kind of surreal place to be in.”
9-1-1: Lone Star has been lauded for its representation of the LGBTQ community and earned it a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Drama Series earlier this year. Rubinstein and Silva accepted the award alongside their co-star Brian Michael Smith, whose character Paul Strickland will serve as officiant of Tarlos’s wedding. Rubinstein pointed out that the image of three charcters, two men being married by a trans Black man is very powerful.
“That is gonna be seen by tens of millions of people around the world and it’s a beautiful way to inspire people and to shed a new light on something they may have never seen before and just show them that “Hey we just want to love. We just want to be loved” That’s really it, you know what I mean?,” he explains.
Silva says shooting the wedding wa s a crazy day but also emotional. “We wanted to own that moment and we did beautifully,” he said.
9-1-1: Lone Star’s two-hour season 4 finale airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.