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‘9-1-1’ Star Oliver Stark Breaks Down the Aftermath of Buck’s Tragic Lightning Strike
By Jose Alejandro Bastidas,
Oliver Stark’s Buck may have survived being struck by lightning after the “9-1-1” winter premiere, but the aftermath of the incident will leave the beloved character forever changed.
Monday’s episode of the Fox first responder drama followed as the crew of Station 118 raced to take their friend and colleague to the hospital after facing the high voltage incident during an emergency call. Things looked grim for the fan-favorite firefighter as doctors put him in a medically induced coma to let his body heal from the injuries. The coma gave Buck the opportunity to examine some of his innermost struggles, with a dreamlike adventure that presented him with a version of reality where he never became a firefighter and his older brother Daniel never died.
Working together with the alternate reality versions of Chimney (Kenneth Choi), Hen (Aisha Hinds) and Bobby (Peter Krause), Buck learns he has to let go of the guilt he feels for not being able to help his brother as an infant. He also realizes the impact he’s had on the lives of his fellow firefighters and in his family, coming out of the harrowing experience with a newfound sense of confidence.
“I think [the incident] starts him down a new path of realizing that he can be happy in his life and that, even the stuff that hasn’t worked out for him in the past, maybe it was all leading him to the right place,” Stark told TheWrap. “I think there’s a groundedness that will come out of him because of that where he starts to accept life and accept help and accept love and accept all that is offered to him, and I think he’s going to eventually be in a good place moving forward.”
Stark said he enjoyed exploring how different Buck’s relationship with his family would have been had Daniel lived, hinting at frequent family dinners and togetherness. Though he said it felt like a shame to see how harmonious the Buckley family’s bond would’ve been had Daniel survived, the episode did end with a move in the right direction as Buck welcomed his mother and father to his apartment to take care of him as he continues to recover from his injuries.
“I think part of the revelation that he has in there is that [his parents are] not bad people, that they too were victims of a horrible, horrible circumstance in losing their child and they didn’t know how to deal with that,” Stark said. “So I think there’s a level of understanding that comes from [the coma.]
“Just because their relationship has been so fractured in the past doesn’t mean that there’s no room for reconciliation, and certainly seems to me like they’re on a path moving forward now where they can slowly start to build a really healthy parent-child relationship,” he added.
Following the winter premiere’s traumatic events, fans shouldn’t expect Buck to be back at work immediately. Stark teased, however, that the experience leaves the firefighter with some “new and surprising skills” for him to use when he’s back on the job.
The actor also provided a small tease of the return of fan-favorite recurring firefighter Lucy Donato (Arielle Kebbel), revealing that the character will return near the end of the season. But not in the way fans think.
“I’ve seen some speculation (from fans) that it might be in a romantic sense. I’m very happy to be clear on that, but it’s not and in fact, I would say it’s very much the opposite of that,” Stark teased. “She comes back into his life in a way that then in a way that he is very much not pleased to see her. Let me leave it at that.”