The second season of 9-1-1: Lone Star premiered on January 18, 2021, with the episode titled ‘Back in the Saddle’. Unfortunately, the Tarlos queerbait continued.
At this point, I have no idea what’s going on in the heads of the editing team working on 9-1-1: Lone Star. I wrote about the show using canon queer characters to queerbait viewers back in February 2020. I could kind of let that slide because I think the editing team couldn’t predict how popular the pairing between TK Strand and Carols Reyes would get. However, I was disappointed to see the queerbait continue in the second season of 9-1-1: Lone Star. And that too in the freaking premiere episode!
I’m okay with scenes getting cut. A lot of content is left on the chopping block during the editing process. What I have an issue with is when said content is used to bait viewers during promotional rounds.
Leading up to the premiere, the marketing team behind 9-1-1: Lone Star got Tarlos fans excited about two little moments. Not only that, actors Ronen Rubinstein and Rafael Silva, who play TK and Carlos, respectively, did an interview with Forbes (which featured an image of the Tarlos scene that was cut during the first season. Ha!) and an hour-long Instagram Live session talking about how glad they are to be portraying two queer characters in an interracial couple and how such relationships between first-responders aren’t shown in media.
And yet, when the episode aired, not only did fans only get approximately 2-minutes of Tarlos scenes in an hour-long episode, the cute moments between them, being heavily used to promote this show, were cut out.
Wow! Just, wow!
Of course, Tarlos fans are disappointed and angry. Hyping viewers up by promoting queer content and then not delivering is queerbaiting. 9-1-1: Lone Star did it during the first season and it occurred again yesterday.
The queerbait (and latent homophobia, as some fans call it), becomes even more jarring when viewers realize that while the editing team was comfortable with cutting out cute moments between Tarlos, we got a good helping of intimate straight couples.
Owen Strand got a very long scene with his ex-wife in bed while newcomer Tommy (Gina Torres) was interrupted before she could head into the bedroom with her husband. And yet, Tarlos, arguably the show’s most popular pairing (as evident by the promotional campaigns), didn’t even get a single kiss. Again, those Tarlos scenes were filmed. They exist. But were cut from the actual episode. Sigh!
Rubinstein teased even more Tarlos scenes for fans to look forward to. I mean, let’s see if they get cut, too.
As for Rubinstein and Silva promoting Tarlos, I don’t blame them for the queerbaiting. They shot those scenes. They put in the work. It’s not their fault the editors and other behind-the-scenes creatives decided to not show those particular moments.
Let’s see if the Tarlos queerbaiting continues. The preview of the upcoming episode showed another Tarlos moment. Will it be cut? We will find out soon enough.
What are your thoughts about the Tarlos queerbait during the season two premiere of 9-1-1: Lone Star?
Feel free to share your opinions with us.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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