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'9-1-1': 6 Reasons We Love Oliver Stark's Buck — Hot-Headed Disaster Magnet And All
Despite his many (many) screwups, we can’t help but love Evan "Buck" Buckley.
Fan-favorite “9-1-1” character Evan “Buck” Buckley (Oliver Stark) has come a long way since he stole a firetruck to hook up with a woman in the series premiere. After five seasons of devastating physical injury, mental health struggles, and natural disasters, we’ve seen Buck — the 118’s resident hothead and ladies’ man — grow up right before our eyes.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped Buck from making plenty of rash decisions over the years. Whether he’s refusing evacuation orders from a burning building in order to save a civilian, pushing himself too hard after a potentially career-ending trauma, or kissing his new coworker (Arielle Kebbel’s Lucy Donato) when he’s in a long-term relationship, in the eternal words of Henrietta “Hen” Wilson (Aisha Hinds), “Buck’s gonna Buck.”
Despite his many (many) screwups, we can’t help but love the big lug. While watching “9-1-1” reruns on USA Network — now playing every Thursday at 7/6c — we’ve found ourselves smiling over his antics more often than not, so we decided to round up all the reasons we love Buck, hot head and all.
1. He’s A Walking Encyclopedia
Do you know how much water is in the L.A. Reservoir? Or maybe how many people have been struck by a meteorite throughout human history? How about what killed Marie Curie?
No worries if you don’t — because Buck does. It’s unclear how much time Buck spends on Wikipedia on an average day, but something tells us he loves a good internet rabbit hole. The man is a walking, talking information receptacle, and no matter how dire the situation, Buck’s there to spout off a fun fact or two. The other members of the 118 raise their eyebrows in confusion more often than not, but there’s no denying it’s charming.
2. He Flings Himself Into Danger Head-First
Not that we’re condoning Buck’s “jump first, ask questions later” habit that Captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) is all too happy to call him out on, but there’s never a day Buck isn’t willing to throw himself into the (often literal) fire.
The 118 gets into some seriously dicey situations — rescuing people from downed helicopters, earthquake-stricken high rises, and so much more — and Buck is always the first to volunteer to the point where Bobby barely blinks anymore. Buck’s self-sacrificing tendencies became a problem, though, when a sniper was hunting down members of the LAFD in Season 4 and Buck put himself in the line of fire without a second thought. He was ultimately unharmed, but as he climbed that crane to rescue the man trapped at the top, we were as tense as his teammates (and maybe swearing a bit over his bullheadedness).
3. His Devotion To His Family
“9-1-1” is a show about the importance of the family you choose; blood relatives are great, but your found family only makes life more full. Buck’s relationship with his big sister, Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), has seen its fair share of struggles, but they still love each other. It’s Buck’s devotion to his found family, though, that really makes us love him.
He’s got a big heart, and the extended 118 family is always there for him, and vice versa: His almost-brother-in-law Howie “Chimney” Howard (Kenneth Choi); his honorary big sister Hen; his best friend Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) and godson Christopher (Gavin McHugh); his pseudo-parents Bobby and Athena Grant-Nash (Angela Bassett). Surviving years of fires, floods, and gunshots together has bonded them for life.
4. He’s Great With Kids
Nothing cheers Buck (and the rest of the 118) up like a visit from his godson Christopher. It’s not just Chris, though. From the first episode when Buck cradled a newborn baby and ran down half a dozen flights of stairs to reach an ambulance in time to save its life, “9-1-1” has been practically shoving children and babies at this man like it’s the series’ endgame. Firehouse toy drives with Buck in a Santa hat and grinning like a madman at the kids? Check. Rescuing an entire nursery ward’s-worth of infants from a hospital fire? Also check.
And now that Chim and Maddie seem ready to return to L.A. with their daughter Jee-Yun in tow, “Uncle Buck” is going to be in full force. Watch out, world.
5. His Self-Growth Journey
The current version of Buck in Season 5 is what the man himself terms “Buck 3.0.” Because Buck 2.0 was crushed by a firetruck and dumped by his girlfriend.
It’s a long-running and well-meaning joke amongst the members of the 118 that a Buck with a clipboard is a dangerous Buck, but viewers know it harkens back to his fire marshal days — one of the first times he had to deal with some harsh realities. Recovering from his near-fatal, leg-pinned-under-an-entire-fire-truck accident ultimately proved to be positive, but there were some tough times in between then and now. Buck’s better for it, though, and we know it’s only made him a better firefighter and all-around person.
6. I Mean … Look At Him
You’re gonna look at me and you're gonna tell me that I’m wrong?
Rerun episodes of "9-1-1" air every Thursday on USA Network starting at 7/6c.