i don’t know if i can do this without you. you are stronger than you know. and we cut to tk rising his chin and doing so with no hesitation, making his way towards a future that won’t have her in it. and we got gwyn telling him you’re surrounded by love, except it’s a dream and it’s not her but him, ever the embodiment of that side of his soul that always wanted to surrender to the affection around him without fearing it’ll be taken away. and we got a marriage proposal with teary eyes and shaky fingers and not once him shying away from it, from how raw and easy to hurt it all made him. we got him clinging to carlos with both hands and putting his heart in his fist unflinching at the possibility of him crumbling it to dust, because he doesn’t care when it feels this good to do it. and we got him reaching out for carlos as soon as he wakes up from a coma, already noticing he isn’t breathing and flash-like quick to remind him to do so. it’s been months since they last saw each other but it doesn’t matter, it’s so easy to understand him because he never stopped. and maybe it really is all about how people leave you except when they don’t, not really. not if you loved them.
YES, I love when authors acknowledge Carlos' flaws, it only makes me love him more.
ok nonny, I know you left this in my ask box approximately one million years ago, but I needed to wait for the right moment to do it justice. Because the thing is, I have a lot of thoughts about Carlos Reyes and his flaws, and right now my WIP requires me to organize and clarify those thoughts for characterization purposes, so here we go, buckle in, it's going to be several paragraphs of what I usually just type madly into my Research folder on Scrivener, except that this time it’s going in the post editor on Tumblr. These are in no particular order, and it is not an exhaustive list, nor is it in any way a coherent piece of analysis. In my defence, I am chronically sleep-deprived and short on time, so this is also unfortunately as good as it is going to get.
Perfectionist/ Anxious—We see this around food a lot in the show (I can think of 3x18 and the limes in whatever episode that was off the top of my head) but there are other times too, when Carlos fails to measure up to perfection and starts to spiral about it.
People pleasing to a fault—You see this a lot with his dad and at work, and also I think this has a lot to do with the way he avoids the topic of his sexuality for so long with his parents. He clearly loves them a lot, but he knows what they expect and he’s devastated by the gap between what they expect and what he’s delivered. I think we can probably throw some self-hate and internalized homophobia on the flaws list here too but I don’t feel like making separate bullet points for those.
Passive aggressive—This comes up all the time, there’s a great gifset someone made with a bunch of examples, if anyone remembers who that was or where to find it please stick it in the comments of this post because I’d love to have it in here but I can’t find it. Anyway, my favourite example is “Are we breaking up? or did that already happen, because it felt like it did.” The intensity of the passive aggression in the way Rafa delivers this line is fucking delightful, he’s such a gem. (And as usual TK doesn’t let him get away with it—Carlos is trying to land the first hit because he’s embarrassed and hurt and afraid, and instead of lashing out right back at him TK just meets it with straightforward vulnerability and completely disarms him. I have a whole other essay about TK’s good qualities, but I am going to try at least a little to stay on track here.) Anyway, Carlos’ go-to in situations where he’s uncertain or angry is often passive aggression, in the form of snarky comments or weird avoidant power moves.
Conflict avoidant—you see how worried he is about potential conflict in the s1 situation where he and Michelle go to see the detective about the blue truck, and then it’s a major character beat in friends with benefits and prince albert in a can and bad call and the episode with cooper, I forget what that one is called. He doesn’t want to tell his parents about TK or TK about the situation with his parents because he’s avoiding the conflict on both sides of that equation, and then of course it blows up in his face. I think this aspect of his character also likely contributes to the way Carlos seems to adjust the face he puts on to match the situation, and the way he often lies or obfuscates about his own feelings. Which brings us to maybe my favourite Carlos Reyes flaw:
Repressed—He just sucks at talking about his feelings. He’s a walking talking This Is Fine dog. After the fire, when TK breaks up with him, “I don’t want to impose,” “not raging,” —he hides his actual feelings like it’s his job any time he thinks those feelings might make anyone uncomfortable. He’s got this amazing macho strong guy front, but underneath it he’s actually quite soft-hearted, and we really only see glimpses of it when someone pushes back on the initial “I’m fine” hard enough to get him to be truthful (TK often, but Grace (Prince Albert in a Can) and Owen (Bad Call?) both also great examples).
Control freak—The loft is a great example, both the initial undiscussed purchase of it but also the moving TK in, but you see it a lot in the arrangement of the spaces he inhabits and TK definitely refers to it a few times. It also comes up in the Cooper episode in the sense that I think Carlos’ need to have all the pieces of TK would probably be way too much for some people. This is one way in which they are kind of perfect for each other; TK is perpetually afraid of being too much, and Carlos has this burning need to possess every one of those complicated, messy pieces. My personal theory, based on various interactions between the two of them, is that the control thing also extends to the bedroom, but I’m betting TK doesn’t necessarily see it as a flaw in that context.
OK that’s all I have for now. But please add things in the comments or reblogs if you have any more ideas!
I don’t know how I didn’t realize this earlier, but I was just thinking about Owen and TK’s conversation in Awakening when Owen is telling him about the mother and daughter that one summer when he was life guarding. They had gone out too far and a current had taken them. The mother resurfaced but the daughter didn’t, and Owen then said he jumped into action and did CPR. “I could feel myself breathing life back into this tiny body.” This is what made him decide to become a first responder.
Owen was able to save this little girl from drowning, but he wasn’t able to save his brother.
I never realized until just now how much these two scenes parallel one another. When he was a kid, there was nothing he could do to save his brother, but as an adult, he could save this little girl and make sure she had the life she deserved. One that wasn’t cut short.
There is no denying that he absolutely thought about Tyler while that was happening. He probably became a lifeguard that one summer (at the very least subconsciously) so he could “make up” for not saving his brother, for lack of a better term. That choice wasn’t random at all, it wasn’t “just a summer job” or a cash grab — there was absolutely more thought into it than I think we as viewers even realized.
I have a feeling someone is getting hurt instead of TK “twice in a coma” Strand on season 4. No worries tho, he’ll be fine!
It’s just that, suspiciously enough, he hasn’t been hurt yet in the tv series I think?
since we’re on the topic of 3.08, “I can’t believe I was gonna do that to Mom” will forever gut me