‘9-1-1’: Did Buck Just Make a Decision He’ll Regret? (RECAP)

Ryan Guzman and Oliver Stark in '9-1-1'
Spoiler Alert
Jack Zeman /FOX


Animal Instincts

Season 6 • Episode 4

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for 9-1-1 Season 6 Episode 4, “Animal Instincts.”]

Just as Buck (Oliver Stark) is prepared to say “yes” after reading The Age of Absolutely, his former roommate asks for a big favor on the latest 9-1-1 episode.

As he explains to his sister Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), the theory he’s following says that everyone’s becoming comfortable in their lives — going to the same job every day and hanging out with the same people. Before he came to L.A., he had adventures, went to new places, tried new things, and met new people. Maddie knows he was searching for something, so what’s he looking for now? “That’s what I’m going to find out, by opening myself up to possibility,” Buck says.

It isn’t long after that he’s presented with one such opportunity: His former roommate Connor reaches out for dinner after losing touch. Over the meal, Connor and his wife, Cameron, reveal that they’ve been trying and failing to get pregnant. It’s pretty clear where this is going (why else would they bring it up to someone Connor hasn’t seen in years?), but Buck just lists some of their options: drugs, IVF, and surrogacy. That’s when they reveal that Cameron is the problem, and so they’re asking Buck to be their sperm donor.

That gives Buck a lot to think about, then Connor goes to see him alone to apologize for blindsiding him and not asking in the right way. (“Is there a right way to ask that question?” Buck wonders.) “You know what it feels like to feel like a total failure as a man and like you’re letting down the woman you love?” Connor asks. “Probably not in the same way you do right now,” Buck admits. But why ask him instead of going to a sperm bank and picking out someone with perfect genes? They wouldn’t know the important things that Connor knows about Buck, like that he’s a good person and how he treats people he cares about. “That’s way more important than the superficial stuff,” he explains before letting Buck off the hook.

However, Buck then turns to Hen (Aisha Hinds) for advice. “I didn’t want to turn them down. I felt bad for them,” he explains. But Hen is the one to tell him everything he needs to consider about this. “If you said yes, you’d be changing their lives,” she points out, and “you’d also be changing your life.” This is the part he didn’t think about.

“This isn’t an anonymous donation, Buck. You won’t have to wonder if there’s a kid out there with your DNA, you’re going to know there is. You’ll probably get Christmas cards. The main thing to ask yourself is, are you capable of doing this?” she says. “Are you capable of being a father and walking away? Because that’s what they’re really asking you.” That’s when Buck realizes: “Donor, not dad.” Exactly.

But at the end of the episode, Buck invites Connor and Cameron over and reveals that while he may not know where he is in his life, what he wants, and how this would fit in with that, “it is clear to me that you know what you want and one thing I do know is I want to help you have that.” And so he’s saying yes. But is he going to come to regret that decision? Has he really thought it through?

9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox