Fiery Hookup: 'Tarlos' Gets Sexy on This Week's '9-1-1: Lone Star' Amidst Flames

Wednesday May 12, 2021

With the return of "Pose" and the upcoming "Halston" biographical mini-series (premiering Friday on Netflix), Ryan Murphy has expanded the LGBTQ universe on television. He is also doing so with his police drama, "9-1-1: Lone Star," which airs on Fox on Monday.

The show, a spin-off of 2018's "9-1-1," premiered last year and follows the fire, police, and ambulance departments of the fictional company 126, located in Austin, Texas. The show has been praised for its inclusiveness. "Not only does the show feature one of the first Black trans men in a regular role on network television, but its sensitivity to LGBT+ issues even emboldened one of the cast to come out as bisexual," wrote Pink News.

That actor was Ronen Rubinstein, who plays out paramedic T.K. Strand on the show. He came out as bisexual in April in an interview with Variety, NBC News reported. "I fully identify as bisexual," Rubinstein said in an exclusive Zoom interview from his Los Angeles area home. "I literally just got goosebumps saying that. It feels so good to talk about it; it feels so good to finally be comfortable with it."

One of the show's plot memes has T.K. involved in a romantic relationship with out police officer Carlos Reyes (played by ), which gives their portrayal a level of authenticity unusual for a mainstream cop show. They have become so popular that they've been given the affectionate moniker "Tarlos" on social media.

Yet, there has been criticism in the past about the show toning down the couple's acts of affection, like when a kiss between T.K. and Carlos was edited out of the season premiere last January. "While there have been plenty of scenes of them talking, and small glimpses of their relationship, love scenes have been few and far between," OUT Magazine noted of this week's episode.

That changed on this past Monday's episode, the twelfth of the season. "(T)he temperature rises as paramedic TK Strand (Ronen Rubinstein) and his police officer partner Carlos Reyes, played by Rafael Silva, make out in a gloriously queer, sweaty and steamy scene," wrote PinkNews.

Their romantic moment comes to a halt when they are engulfed by smoke after a fire breaks out. They escape, and as OUT observed: "It's not all about the sex scenes though. Faced with life-threatening danger, the couple was able to get more real about how they feel about each other. You know what that is? Character growth!"

Watch the sexy scene below: