Is Buck Making a Huge Mistake on ‘9-1-1’?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 3, Episode 4 of 9-1-1, “Triggers.”]
Buck (Oliver Stark) is determined to return to the 118 as a firefighter sooner rather than later, no matter what it will take.
But the move he makes in “Triggers” may have taken things a step too far. While acting as a fire marshal during a fire drill, Buck crosses paths with an ambulance chaser who plans to bring a class action against the city on the behalf of 42 people who were injured. (A man suffered an epileptic seizure and fell, causing a domino effect on the stairs.) And in their initial conversation, Buck is firmly on the LAFD’s side, refusing to turn on his fellow firefighters and, more importantly, his family.
Buck plans to keep fighting until he gets back where he belongs, with his team, and in his mind, his friends are firmly on his side. He isn’t too pleased to learn Lena Bosko (Ronda Rousey) is filling in temporarily at the 118 and taking over his locker. (They even put her “osko” over his “uckley.”) His place will be there when he’s ready (and not just when Buck thinks he’s ready), Bobby (Peter Krause) assures him.
However, Buck’s attitude completely changes when he learns that Bobby is the one who told the higher-ups he’s not ready yet because of the blood thinners he’s on. Bobby may be his friend, but he also has to think like a captain, responsible for almost 20 other firefighters. “I am at 100%,” Buck insists.
And it’s with that in mind that Buck returns to the lawyer, Chase Mackey (Jordan Belfi), desperate to do whatever it takes to get his job back. “If you don’t win, not only will you never work as a firefighter in Los Angeles again, I doubt any department in the country will hire you,” Chase warns him. He’d be seen as “a squeaky wheel” and “a litigious liability.” But Buck is only focused on the outcome he wants: to return to 118 as a firefighter.
He’s not thinking about what this lawsuit could mean for his relationships with those at the 118, especially Bobby, or how this will affect him moving forward. After all, he can’t talk to anyone from or tangentially connected to the firehouse during the process, and we have to imagine that includes Christopher. We just spent three episodes with them together and Buck fighting to find him in the tsunami.
And Buck isn’t just going after the city and the department for wrongful termination. He’s also suing Bobby, he reveals when he stops by to inform him of the lawsuit. “I told you I wouldn’t stop fighting until I got my job back, and I won’t, even if it means fighting you,” he tells the captain.
But this move of Buck’s shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, given how important the job is to him. “The most important thing to him is his life as a firefighter and a first responder,” executive producer Tim Minear told TV Insider after his initial injury in the Season 2 finale.
Will Buck realize too late that what he’s doing is a huge mistake? Even if he does win and can return to full duty as a firefighter, will he have ruined his relationships with the people at 118 who have become his family by then? He may see himself as “alone” in what he’s going through, but he’s likely about to learn just how lonely things will get for him before this is over.
9-1-1, Mondays, 8/7c, Fox