‘9-1-1: Lone Star’ Showrunner Says T.K.’s Condition Will ‘Affect Everybody Around Him

by Jennifer Shea
JC Olivera/WireImage

When 9-1-1: Lone Star left off, T.K. (Ronen Rubinstein) was in the hospital and at death’s door after he saved a boy trapped under the ice of a frozen pond, only to fall in himself and come down with a vicious case of hypothermia.

In a new interview with TV Insider, showrunner Tim Minear shed some light on what fans can expect going forward and what the calculus was behind recent plot developments.

Minear said T.K.’s illness is going to take a heavy toll on his father, Owen (Rob Lowe), and his boyfriend, Carlos (Rafael Silva). But he explained that T.K.’s condition can’t be a fleeting thing, in the interests of realism and in the interests of the show’s narrative.

9-1-1: Lone Star Showrunner Explains His Calculus

Minear said that while he thought hard about exposing T.K. to serious harm, he didn’t want to downplay the ramifications of the type of work that T.K. does. In real life, first responders bear some serious consequences for trying to help people. And it wears on their loved ones, as T.K.’s hospital stay will on Owen and Carlos.

“It’s going to affect them a lot,” Minear said. “I know that I’ve seen a little bit online… and the decision for this to happen with T.K. was not taken lightly. It’s not that I wanted to hurt a character just to have some story for an hour or two. The idea was to not give it short shrift. It’s funny. I felt like in Season 1, when T.K. got shot, that kind of was something that I did because we were so far behind, I needed something to happen, but it really was given short shrift. He was in the hospital and then like the next episode he woke up and he was fine. One thing I’m trying to do this year is to let these stories breathe a little bit and not just rush through them.”

“So what you’ll find is we’re really spending time on these things that happen,” he continued. “We’re trying not to lose what the ramifications might be when something serious happens.”

What’s Next for T.K.? Spoiler Alert

Can’t wait until the next episode of 9-1-1: Lone Star to find out what happens next? Well, you’re in luck, because Minear went on to drop some hints about what’s coming down the pike.

“So T.K. is going to go through a lot to try to survive,” Minear said. “We’re gonna sort of go into his head a little bit and he’s gonna learn something about himself and it’s gonna absolutely affect everybody around him. Tommy is his captain. Owen is his father. Carlos is the love of his life. Everybody else are family members to T.K. So T.K. becomes sort of a rallying point for all the characters, and it kind of slaps Owen out of his complacency, which is not really complacency so much as it is fear.”

It sounds like Rubinstein will continue to be a part of the show going forward, but his character will have to undergo quite the ordeal to get out of that hospital bed. And in the process, Minear will get to showcase the way that first responders rally when one of their own is felled in the line of duty. All of which should make for some interesting, if nail-biting, television.