‘9-1-1’ Just Delivered a Major Moment for Buck & His Sexuality

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After years of speculation, a burning question that has left 9-1-1 fans on the edge of their seats with thesis-worthy breakdowns has finally been answered — no, Evan Buckley is not straight. And tonight’s (hundreth!) episode of 9-1-1, “Buck, Bothered and Bewildered,” confirmed it in the most unambiguous of ways.

Evan “Buck” Buckley, portrayed by Oliver Stark, has played a pivotal role in the first responder drama since it first premiered in 2018. Throughout the course of the series, Buck has constantly been shown with a variety of women — from casual flings (including one that inspired him to steal a firetruck for a hook-up) to turbulent relationships. But following season 2’s introduction of Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman), fans became heavily invested in the budding friendship between the two firefighters, particularly the chemistry between them. Thus “Buddie” was born, the name for the popular romantic ship of Buck and Eddie.

This led fans to begin analyzing many things about the series in the years that followed, like the question of Buck’s sexuality. Were they reading too much into the context of certain scenes? Does Oliver Stark just have ridiculous chemistry with everyone? Were certain tongue-in-cheek jokes just a playful nod to fans and nothing more?

Well, the fourth episode of the show’s seventh season finally cleared that up in its final moments when Tommy showed up at Buck’s apartment. For those that may not recognize him, Tommy Kinard was formerly a firefighter for the 118 prior to Buck’s arrival, and he was first seen in the second season through flashbacks. The LAFD pilot returned to the series in the last episode, “Capsized.”

Tonight’s episode saw an incredibly jealous Evan Buckley in full swing as Eddie and Tommy became the best of pals — from taking Tommy’s chopper to Vegas … to Buck finding himself relegated to babysitter duties in lieu of an invite for a night out. This all led up to a tense basketball game where Buck got a little too rough with Eddie, sending him sprawling to the ground. And to add insult to injury (no pun intended), Tommy insisted on being the one to take Eddie to the hospital, even though Buck offered first. Ouch.

Disney/Chris Willard

Later, when Tommy made a surprise visit to Buck’s apartment to “clear the air,” the conversation started off as a very mature discussion about Buck’s jealousy over Tommy spending so much time with his best friend. The space between the two men slowly began to close as they gravitated toward one another, their words littered with compliments, something that most definitely felt like flirting, and looks that absolutely started treading the line between friendly and something else entirely. And then, Buck finally said it —

“Good, because trying to get your attention has been kind of exhausting.”

Buck’s nervous rambling that followed was cut off by Tommy leaning in and kissing him, sealing the deal. As seen in the preview for next week’s episode, it looks like we’ll get to see Tommy and Buck’s first date (which Eddie and Marisol may or may not be crashing).

Tonight’s episode has of course left fans wondering what this means for Buck and Eddie, but only time will tell how this new development will pan out in the realm of Buddie. In the meantime, it’s important to celebrate this monumental moment for Buck, who has been on a gripping journey of character development since day one of the show, and for bisexual representation in television. (Stark commented on the question of the label for Buck’s sexuality in an interview with TVLine.)

… and to think we’re only on the fourth episode. What else does season 7 have in store for Buck?

Catch 9-1-1 on ABC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

Lindsey
Lindsey
Lindsey joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2018. If she's not writing or out and about with her camera, she's probably watching anime, nerding out over Star Wars, reading manga, and definitely forgetting to water her plants. And waiting for the Genshin loading screen to pop up. Contact: lindsey@nerdsandbeyond.com

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