‘9-1-1: Lone Star’: Rafael Silva on That Crossover and Carlos & T.K.’s Future

Rafael Silva as Carlos in 9-1-1: Lone Star
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1: Lone Star Season 3 Episode 11 “Prince Albert in a Can.”]

We may have a new favorite crime-solving duo on 9-1-1: Lone Star: Officer Carlos Reyes (Rafael Silva) and dispatcher Grace Ryder (Sierra McClain).

The two team up when they’re tricked into thinking a gamer is a danger to his girlfriend and baby, and during the takedown (during which Carlos does everything by-the-book), he falls onto his knife and dies. Carlos and Grace ID the person behind the 9-1-1 call that started it all and it leads them to his rival in Los Angeles — and 9-1-1‘s Sergeant Athena Grant (Angela Bassett) is the one to make the arrest. She’s also the latest to be steering Carlos towards becoming a detective.

Silva (who’s hoping for a “Carlos Begins” episode to explore his past and family) teases what’s ahead, including a big “Tarlos” episode with “some hard conversations.”

This was such a rough one for Carlos, and you could understand why he needed to get some punching in.

Rafael Silva: Yeah. He faced his biggest fear as a police officer that night.

That made that ending all the more satisfying. Will this stick with him for a while?

With every new situation that Carlos encounters, it changes him in whatever way, shape or form. It’s under his belt now and that will change just the way that he views the world, just the way he views his job, just the way he views himself. We see that even though you can do everything right — he had the gun, he switched to the taser, deescalating the situation — it might not turn out the way that you think it should or the way that you expect. That’s one of the biggest lessons that Carlos takes away from it.

Sierra McClain as Grace, Rafael Silva as Carlos in 9-1-1: Lone Star

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I absolutely love seeing Carlos and Grace working together. And now that’s something I need to see a lot more often.

Me too! Sierra McClain is a close friend and I love her and she has honestly been such a partner onscreen and offscreen, and I appreciate her so much. I think the energy she brings in to Grace is so grounding, [something] that Carlos is yet trying to find within himself. That also speaks of Sierra, too. She is just a presence. She is truly extremely graceful. These characters are two people that work by themselves. They don’t have a crew like the 126. Sierra is dispatch. She’s there by herself, in front of the computers, and every so often we see Carlos with somebody else, but it’s just him. They technically work together when she’s on the radio and Carlos is in the field, responding to the situation. Seeing these two just come together to make this power couple of partners, solving crimes together, solving puzzles together, I think it’s beautiful.

Talk about being part of the 9-1-1 crossover.

Angela was shooting something else. We couldn’t do it live. Also because literally the connection in the sound stage is so poor, so even if we could do something like that, the quality of the video would be very poor and also you want to get the best out of both of them. I geeked out a little bit, too, because I’m also a fan of 9-1-1. When I got the role of Carlos back in 2019, I watched [what was out already]. It’s beautiful Monday nights now are gonna be thunderous. We’re gonna have two hours of 9-1-1, two of the biggest shows on network television and Fox’s biggest shows right now.

Rafael Silva as Carlos in 9-1-1: Lone Star

Jordin Althaus/FOX

Just having that interaction with their energies, Carlos and Grace and Athena working together, is beautiful. And also for Carlos especially having Athena, just without knowing him at all, without knowing him as a professional, just call him a detective, that’s a boost of confidence that I don’t think Carlos had in himself. That’s definitely gonna change him.

Is he going to take steps to being a detective or figure out if that’s even something he wants?

To be quite honest, I have no idea. Tim Minear and Rashad [Raisani] do such a beautiful job of bringing these characters to life and figuring out the puzzles within their own lives. And I think that’s something that has yet to be a conversation that I’m gonna have with them to see what it looks like. But I think what it speaks of Carlos is how eager Carlos is to just be good at his job, which is what this episode completely throws him off, is that even though you can do everything correctly, it doesn’t guarantee success. That deflates him completely, and it takes Grace to knock on the door and be like, “Hey, this wasn’t your fault. Let’s go get this guy.” And Carlos is like, no, and she’s like, “let’s do it because you have this rage within you that doesn’t belong to you.” That’s the beauty of this episode and it’s gonna be something beautiful to explore for the rest of the season and the oncoming seasons.

We see how much being a police officer means to him. He was up all night with that kidnapping case.

Yeah, and his father [Benito Martinez], it runs in the family. Whereas before Carlos was doing it more to impress or live up to his father’s reputation, right now, Carlos is completely deflated. So he’s got to do it for somebody and that somebody is him, and he has to get up and fight.

Rafael Silva as Carlos in 9-1-1: Lone Star

Jordin Althaus/FOX

Speaking of his father, are we gonna see his parents again?

We already saw mama, but I love Benito and he might have been back. He might have not been. Maybe.

Are Carlos and T.K. [Ronen Rubinstein] past the issue with the loft?

I think both of them just wanna be very much past that because it was such a stab in the heart for Carlos. He just wanted to show love and affection in his commitment to T.K. and T.K. got scared, but that doesn’t really say anything about Carlos, that says everything about T.K., and his fear to commitment to Carlos because T.K. has been hurt before by somebody else. And that scared him. What we’re gonna focus more right now is if there is that fear, if there is that level of discomfort about commitment, about whatever the future looks like. We’re definitely gonna see more of that, by the way. We’re definitely gonna see more of that on the oncoming episodes about talking about future and talking about each other. [Episode] 313 is heavily Tarlos and there are some awesome conversations happening in that episode. It’s how do we work together now rather than focusing on the past.

Possibly related to that episode, who do you think needs to propose if that day comes?

Oh my God! [Laughs] This is a conversation that I’ve had with the showrunners, with Ronen. Honestly, I’m a bit confused as to who should, because I personally think that they should go through many other sort of situations together before we can get to a proposal. But I think at this point, either T.K. or Carlos could propose at any time, to be honest.

Ronen Rubinstein as TK, Rafael Silva as Carlos in 9-1-1: Lone Star


Is there anything coming up with Carlos and Owen (Rob Lowe)? I love those two together, and I liked that moment when Carlos called him his father-in-law.

Right? Me too. I think Tim Minear has been kind of hinting what the commitment looks like for both T.K. and Carlos. But yeah, when I first shot with Rob last season, it was so much fun. And Rob really embodied that fatherly figure, just for me, Rafael, as well. It was just so endearing seeing those two together because these are T.K.’s closest people in Texas, and seeing those two figure out how to assist each other with T.K. and how do we go forward. I really want to see more scenes with between Carlos and Owen as well.

I like when they acknowledge each other at scenes, which happens in this episode.

Yeah, they do. And T.K. and Carlos just silently are extremely professional on the field, but they still acknowledge each other. It’s cute. I like it.

How is Carlos going to be involved in the investigation to who’s after Owen and Catherine (Amy Acker)? That was creepy at the end of the episode.

Carlos is gonna be very much involved. He’s gonna be deeply affected by it, and by that, I mean physically. There’s gonna be some unexpected things happening to both T.K. and Carlos, but Carlos is caught into this situation that he had no idea was coming… The end of Episode 12 is gonna lead us into the Tarlos heavy episode, 313. What happens at the end of 312 is gonna be the catalyst to how T.K. and Carlos deal with the conversations that they’re gonna have in 313.

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So is Carlos gonna be the one in the hospital bed this time instead of T.K.?

I do not know. I do not know. I am oblivious to everything. [Laughs]

This episode also made me want more Carlos and Judd (Jim Parrack).

Right? Oh my God! You just read my mind. Especially with Grace too. I just envisioned this scenario where Judd got into trouble and Carlos was the one that responded to that trouble and they kind of dealt with it together. I admire Jim Parrack so much. I love that man. He’s a phenomenal actor and beautiful person.

9-1-1: Lone Star, Mondays, 9/8c, FOX