SPOILERS ALERT: Don’t read if you haven’t seen “Let the Games Begin,” the season 6 premiere of “9-1-1.”
“9-1-1” returned to Fox in all its wacky glory on Monday with the premiere of its sixth season. During the episode, Oliver Stark’s Evan “Buck” Buckley and his team were handling an airship emergency in the 118 – yet somehow that wasn’t the biggest hurdle he faced in the season 6 premiere.
Here, diversity breaks down the episode entitled “Let the Games Begin” with Stark and how it lays the foundation for Buck’s journey through the rest of “9-1-1” Season 6.
How do you feel about Buck’s feelings about being passed over as backup captain while Bobby is away? What does he have to do to be ready to take on this role one day?
I think being a firefighter is such a big part of Buck’s identity. I think it’s probably what he leads with when he meets someone in the world, so I think it’s only natural that he wants to advance in his career and as we’ve learned over the course of the season, he is a bit too aggressive ho and rushes into things too quickly. So I think it makes sense that he would try to jump into that promotion a little quick. I think it’s too early for him to take on such a role. Also, Buck has such a close mentor-mentee relationship with Bobby that maybe through some kind of nepotism, even though they’re not really family, he figured he could have a leg up there. But it’s definitely something that will transcend the first episode. And he has this lovely conversation with Bobby at the end of the premiere that will really stick in his memory for the next few weeks and then we’ll see how that affects his decision making.
Have you spoken to showrunners Tim Minear and Kristen Reidel about the symbolic nature of the “girlfriend” couch versus the “single” chair, and what the decision to stick with the chair means for Buck in Season 6?
I think this whole couch/chair thing becomes such a symbol for him in this episode. And in the end, choosing not to buy a new couch but being happiest and accepting only having an armchair shows that it’s a one-person seat; that he’s coming to terms with the fact that he’s going to be alone a little bit and that he needs to be alone a little bit. Speaking to Kristen, she always felt it was a big deal that Buck decided to end his previous relationship, something we’ve never seen before. He was always the one to break up with. So I think the two things complement each other, that he made that decision for himself and now he needs to move on down that path and figure out who he is in the world without anyone else’s input.
There have been times in the past when we thought Buck would be single for a while but then threw ourselves into another relationship. Do you think he’ll really take his time this time?
I love that it’s like that because I think it’s very true to life. We often do things we know we shouldn’t do, whatever it is, eat junk food — but we do it anyway, nine times out of ten. So I think that’s a pretty fitting path that he’s taken. But I think this time around because he has these other areas of focus, like when we talked about the aspirations to be captain, I think he has other things to put his energy into, which is always helpful is to stay on track. So, whether there will be complications or not, it’s the world of 9-1-1. I think certainly at this moment his head is screwed right and he’s going in a healthy direction.
Will we see Buck in action as Uncle Buck this season now that Maddie, Chimney and Baby Jee-Yun are back home?
I’m telling you, we’re not quite there yet. But I really think everyone on 9-1-1 is aware that there is a desire to see more Uncle Buck. So I can only imagine that sometime in Season 6 I can pick up this baby.
You know 9-1-1 fans are dying for another crossover with Lone Star. Do you think the upcoming wedding between his pal TK and Carlos, aka “Tarlos” would be a good time for an emergency that gets Buck back to Austin?
I mean, my main thought is, where’s my invitation? Maybe it went straight to my junk mail or something. I think it’s great. It’s such a beautiful relationship on this show and one of many beautiful relationships on this show. That would absolutely be a great opportunity; However, firefighting comes with many responsibilities, so I don’t think there is an overlap. But now that you said it, I’m going to send some texts saying, where’s my invite? I think it’s a great idea.
https://variety.com/2022/tv/news/911-premiere-buck-oliver-stark-lone-star-tarlos-wedding-1235377083/ ‘911’: Oliver Stark on Buck in premiere when he goes to the wedding of Tarlos