Television

9-1-1 Heartthrob Evan “Buck” Buckley Discovers His Sexual Secret: Shock or Sham?

Fans of the 9-1-1 TV series received the shock of the show in its 100th episode, 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 4, titled “Buck Bothered and Bewildered.”

Some fans may have seen the hints written on the wall throughout the show, while others got caught completely by surprise.

A show of hands; who knew Buck was a closet gay guy — or at least bisexual at the moment. My hand is definitely down! Shock factor.

Reviews of this new development are a mix of “it’s about time” and “WTH” from astonished fans and Buck-lovers.

Is this a one-off thing that wasn’t reciprocated by Buck? Or is this a new plot twist that will completely change Buck’s character development for good?

There is a lot to unpack after an intense, sexually charged scene. Here are our thoughts on this recent development.

Were There Hints That Buck Has Same-Sex Tendencies?

Many of us had a mind-blowing moment late in the episode when we saw the shared kiss between Buck and Tommy.

Until this episode, Buck has been strictly a ladies’ man, like his best friend and fellow firefighter, Edmundo “Eddie” Diaz.

If we had to predict which male from the station would come out as queer, most people would have said Eddie.

Not Buckley.

However, according to actor Oliver Stark, who plays Buck, the signs have been there all along.

But, it wasn’t known that Buck would explore his sexuality until the filming of 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 2 and 9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3.

In an interview, Stark said that showrunner and co-creator Tim Minear called to pitch the idea. Stark agreed with his character’s sexual exploration, saying:

“I do feel like there have been moments in the show that have led up to this for a long time. For a long, long time, in fact. I think it’s been seasons and seasons in the making, so it’s really nice to see it officially come to fruition.

I think the crumbs have been there. Maybe on one hand in quite obvious ways, but on the other hand, in less obvious ways — of just searching, of trying to…”

The actor said he could see signs of Buck’s queerness as far back as 9-1-1 Season 1 Episode 7. In one interview, he mentioned a scene with a patient who had tapeworms. He felt something was brewing but it never got explored.

How Did 9-1-1 Introduce Buc’s Sudden Change in Sexual Orientation?

After Station 118 and acting Captain Hen rescued Athena and Bobby from their failed cruise, we thought things would settle down.

But something new crested the horizon.

Writers brought back former 118 firefighter Tommy Kinard to play a crucial role in the series’ upheaval centered around fan favorite Evan “Buck” Buckley.

Over the last seven seasons, we’ve watched and felt things about Buck’s womanizing ways.

Now, we’re getting more Buckley relationship drama, this time in a same-sex scenario. That’s right — we have some male-on-male action.

But don’t be surprised if we see Evan with a man now and a female in later episodes. He’s bisexual — for now.

We spent episode 4 confused about Buck’s overreactive jealousy of Eddie and Tommy’s budding friendship.

And then, we finally got the resolution we hoped for — an intense showdown between Buck and Tommy.

Only it didn’t go as many fans expected.

Rather than seeing the two men throw down in an exchange of fierce words or physical blows, we got the opposite.

After sharing some words and glances that instantly heated the chemistry, the writers threw a wrench into the 9-1-1 universe.

Sexy, rebellious pilot Tommy planted a steamy smack right on a bewildered Buck’s mouth. Now, they’ve geared things to go in an entirely new direction.

How Will Station 118 React to Buck’s Sudden Same-Sex Interest?

9-1-1 fans have experienced some major emotional upheavals at the hands of the writers and producers. They have put fans through the wringer regarding Buck’s future.

From health scares to failed relationships, Evan has experienced it all.

His love life has been as wild and out of control as a team of run-away horses sprinting off with a carriage of unexpected passengers.

His fellow firefighters have supported his chaotic relationship woes with grace and support.

There is no word yet on how Buck’s sexuality will affect future episodes. Or how it will change his personality.

But most of his stationmates will likely accept his sexual orientation change.

After all, we all love Henrietta “Hen” Wilson and her lesbian wife. They have a marriage we should all strive to achieve.

However, some fans worry that Buck’s homosexual tendencies might change the relationship between Buck and his best friend, Eddie.

There is sometimes tension between males when one is gay, and the other isn’t. Will the show cover that dynamic? Or will everything be smooth sailing?

Showrunner Minear said in an interview asking about how Buck’s relationship will connect with the 118 and Eddie:

“This story affects Buck’s relationship with Maddie, it affects his relationship with Eddie, and it opens up opportunities for conversations about deep feelings and vulnerabilities.”

Stark said in response to how the people in Buck’s life will react:

“Some people will be surprised, and some of them will not be so surprised. There will also definitely be a couple of instances of ‘It’s about time!'”

What Prompted the Change in Buck’s Sexuality?

9-1-1 is no stranger to queer relationships, although they don’t go to the extreme as much as 9-1-1 Lone Star.

The flagship series has a regular same-sex female couple, although we don’t see as much of their relationship side as in previous seasons.

However, no same-sex male duo is currently on the roster or storyline. That didn’t seem like much of an issue to viewers when the show was on FOX.

However, FOX canceled 9-1-1 after Season 6. They retained the spinoff 9-1-1: Lonestar, which will air later in 2024 with Season 5.

The ABC network picked up the emergency response series for Season 7. And it was just renewed for another season.

The show joined the roster of other hit series like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 (final season), and The Good Doctor (final season).

Each of these prime shows has one or more strong, memorable same-sex couples and handles tricky, taboo queer scenarios.

In Station 19, openly gay firefighter Travis struggles with his relationships while lesbian couple Maya and Carina just adopted a baby.

On Grey’s Anatomy, Levi Schmitt is heartbroken seeing his ex return to the hospital with his new husband and baby-to-be. And Mika Yasuda is rocking her internship and same-sex relationship with surgical resident Taryn Helm.

The Good Doctor just had the tragedy of the death of series-regular Doctor Asher Wolke, who was preparing to get engaged to his boyfriend, Jerome, a nurse.

With so many queer relationships to compete with, it makes sense that show creators would want to expand their same-sex relationships further.

They’ve got the perfect female couple. Now, they need a male couple to round out the relationship status quo.

How do you feel about the series taking this twist?

Are you excited to see if Buck can finally find true love?

Or do you think it should have been Eddie as the one the writers wrote as queer?

Drop your thoughts in the comments!

Sara Trimble is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. You can follow her on X.

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