‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Showrunner Explains Why Carlos and T.K. Broke Up Off-Screen

by Taylor Cunningham

Tonight—after a more than seven-month wait—season three of 9-1-1: Lone Star finally debuted. But when the story picked back up, we learned that our favorite couple had broken up.

For years, Carlos Reyes and T.K. Strand have been winning hearts with their sweet firehouse romance. And honestly, most of us thought their relationship would last through the series finale.

But sadly, Hollywood is in the business of drama. And during the 9-1-1: Lone Star hiatus, showrunner Tim Minear decided that “Tarlos” had played themselves out.

We get that television couples have to spice it up with conflict from time to time. And we also know that sometimes, they get back together. So we can accept the breakup—for now. However, what we’re wondering is why Tarlos didn’t get a proper on-screen ending. And apparently, so is everyone else.

‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Showrunner Will Explain the Split in Upcoming Episodes

After the episode premiered, TVinsider asked Tim Minear to explain himself. And this is what he had to say.

“One of the challenges of coming in in January after we had our finale in May and the fact that these shows pretty much play in real-time in terms of when they’re first broadcast — so if we’re off for six months, then I can’t just say that six months didn’t pass, right?”

Minear shared that he opted to begin the episode with a sort of recap and then jump ahead to January 3rd. And in an unfortunate twist, Carlos and T.K. had hit some roadblocks during that time. But he assured the outlet that the fan-favorite duo will get its due attention.

Throughout the season, we’ll learn what caused the rift. And Tim Minear believes that his unconventional storytelling method will actually be more compelling.

“I think what’s interesting for us as storytellers is to kind of drop these little hints of the way things have either changed or haven’t changed over the course of the last six months,” Minear continued. “And then through the adventure, to start to unpack what happened in the last six months. So it doesn’t feel like these people have just stood still while we waited for the show to come back…I think it’s in a weird way more interesting that something happened to kind of break them up at some point when we weren’t looking so that we can experience how they go forward together.”

“I can play all that stuff on camera and not just have it actually be off-camera,” he added. “So while it seems like it’s happening off-camera, this is a trick designed to keep it on camera, if that makes sense.”