‘9-1-1’: Arielle Kebbel on Lucy’s Lucky Save, Relationship With Buck & More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1 Season 5, Episode 14 “Dumb Luck.”]
It’s pure luck that firefighter Lucy Donato (Arielle Kebbel) is able to catch a woman falling past a window in the latest 9-1-1 episode — and that woman later saves the victim on another of the 118’s calls.
But Lucy can’t help but obsess over the fact that it was just luck that saved that woman’s life, and fellow firefighter Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark) tells her of the man he couldn’t save on the roller coaster. He realized that it didn’t matter what brilliant hypothetical he came up with, he’d still be dead. All they can do is take the wins when they get them because their luck can change tomorrow.
Kebbel takes us inside this episode and teases what’s ahead for Lucy and Buck (with that kiss still hanging over their heads!).
We saw a different side of Lucy in this episode.
Arielle Kebbel: I love this episode for a number of reasons. It’s a moment where we get to see a glimpse of the layers of Lucy. I love that she has that moment with Chimney [Kenneth Choi] after the rescue where they share a laugh and that laugh is the relief of the save and the dumb luck and that eye contact of, “Hey, we just did something together.” Not only does she get off on that, but she really appreciates that. So there’s the high of that and the connection of that. When you go through these big saves with people, that’s what bonds them.
Then the aftermath, which is the layers of, “Can I do it again? Did I just get lucky? These are people’s lives on the line. It’s not a game.” And [there are] the insecurities of being a part of something new: “Am I part of the 118? Am I enough? Can I do it again? Was it just dumb luck?” Those are all very human questions to ask. Anyone who starts a new job or new school understands. It’s very relatable.
Also, that save was playing on TVs everywhere.
There’s also that moment of, she’s really proud of her save and wants to celebrate it, but is the 118 gonna celebrate her save? Are they gonna feel like, who is this chick? She really wants to be a part of this group, and how does she do that? I had a wonderful conversation with a female firefighter advisor, and she is a real life Lucy. She is the top of her class. She’s a total badass.
I asked her, “Dd you ever feel uncomfortable being number one of your class? ‘Cause that means you were ahead of the male firefighters. How did that feel? Did you get treated with respect? Did they haze you? Was it complicated? What were the internal dynamics at the fire station?” We had this great conversation and it was really interesting to hear her talk because she was very unapologetic. She was like, “This is what I love to do. This is what I’m here to do, and I’m gonna do it to the best of my ability and that’s that.” I was like, wow. So I think in that respect, this firefighter advisor — and also Lucy — is teaching me a thing or two, because I don’t know that I would have the guts to be that brave.
Lucy talks to Jonah [Bryce Durfee] about the 118 and the reporters. Why? Because he understands, as someone who was at the 118, more than anyone else would?
From my understanding, the writers wanted to set up a moment to show that kind of understanding of the outside looking in and the outside perspective. When you step outside of the adrenaline-pumping 118 rescues, what does it feel like? What does it look like? They wanted Lucy to have a friend to have that relatable conversation with — and to also show her excitement around this, but also her insecurity. Anytime you’re going through something new, especially if it’s something you really want, that’s the time the insecurities pop up the most.
How does Lucy feel about Buck? Is that complicated by the fact that he does seem to be the one she knows the best at the 118 and so romantic or not, he’s becoming a significant part of her life?
The number one priority is always the rescues, and then underneath that, there’s the playful back and forth. Some moments, it’s more poking fun at each other. Other moments, it’s like, is there something there? Everyone’s very close and a tight-knit family there and going through these rescues. The rest of it is a question mark. At this particular time in the series, it’s more about Buck and Taylor [Megan West] figuring out what they need to figure out.
In this episode, you get to see a moment of the support that Buck is able to show Lucy in the “Hey, I’ve been there too. I know what you’re going through. Let me lend you a shoulder to lean on.” It’s a nice moment because it’s setting up the first time you see some depth between them not only after the kiss, but also just all these rescues and the new team at the 118. Moving forward, there’s an episode coming up where then Lucy’s able to turn around and offer Buck a supportive hand. It’s a nice moment to have because as talented as Lucy is, she’s still new to this team and so having that support is meaningful.
What else can you tease about that moment of Lucy offering Buck a supportive hand?
It’s a big episode, and it’s definitely an emotional episode for Cap.
Is that the fire at the call center?
It sure is. I’m also really looking forward to that episode. There’s a lot there. It’s emotional for everyone and it was my first fire episode. And I was fortunate enough to have some pretty intense scenes with Cap, played by the absolutely wonderful Peter Krause. I just loved it.
What can you say about the dynamic between Cap and Lucy in that episode?
There’s definitely some deep bonding between the two of them.
The show keeps setting up the potential for Lucy and Taylor to cross paths: the extra couch, Taylor trying to get an interview. What can you say about the two women interacting?
[Laughs] The writers know what they’re doing.
How might Buck handle that?
Good luck, Buck!
He has yet to tell Taylor that Lucy was the one he kissed and Lucy doesn’t know any of this, so she’s in the dark.
That’s just it, right? Lucy’s focused on the 118 and how she does her best work there. This other thing is completely outside of her. Although she was the driving force behind it, at this point, it’s completely a Buck and Taylor mess.
We saw Jonah leave because Chimney returned. Is Lucy at all concerned about her future at the 118?
Lucy’s smart. She understands how she first came on the team and now that team is evolving and changing and absolutely that’s a possibility. I also feel like Lucy’s the type of person that wakes up every day and does her best and then that leads her to her next thing. She’s one of those people that, because she’s so dedicated to just being in the moment and doing her best, the next thing naturally comes to her. She very much wants to stay a part of the 118, and she sees her place there, but also really respects both Chimney and Eddie [Ryan Guzman], and there’s a really nice moment towards the end of the season between Lucy and Eddie and you get to see Lucy gets it. They love Eddie. They love Chimney. There’s magic when this team comes together. More than anything, she wants that. She’s really happy and wants everyone to come back together and then it’s like, is it just that the 118’s growing?
Speaking to that, there’s also a scene coming up in the fire truck where we get to know a little bit more about Lucy and her backstory and she comes from a family of all brothers. She’s starting to open up to the 118 a little bit about her past. They’re starting to learn a bit about her and what makes her who she is. When we learn this backstory, we start to understand how she’s such a go-getter, in the moment kind of gal today.
Will we be meeting Lucy’s brothers?
That’d be fun. We’ll see.
What else can you say about the episodes leading up to the finale and the finale itself?
They get bigger, faster and more action-packed leading up to the finale. The drama is definitely building. Everyone always says they love the firetruck moments because you get to see a different piece of all the characters and I get why they love those scenes. There’s something really special that happens when everyone’s in the firetruck, sharing a little more personally. As fun as the action is, I think those slower, more intimate moments [are] what continues to build the heart of this show.
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox