Warning: spoilers ahead for the fourth episode of 9-1-1 Season 4, called "9-1-1, What's Your Grievance?"
9-1-1 got back to business as usual after sending a few first responders to Austin, TX for the epic crossover with 9-1-1: Lone Star last week, and "business as usual" in Season 4 meant a lot of tension surrounding Buck. The closely-guarded secret between Maddie and the Buckley parents got a little less closely-guarded when she shared it with Chimney (much to his dismay), and then it finally got out to Buck in the final moments of the episode. It was a doozy of a secret, and he didn't find out in the best way, but I find myself wondering: is there still more to it?
"9-1-1, What's Your Grievance?" was a heartbreaker of an episode for Buck, even if he wasn't fully aware of how much he had been wronged by so many people. At the end of the hour, he was going through Maddie's baby box that her parents had kept for her (but clearly hadn't kept one for Buck), and discovered a picture of a young boy, which he initially took as a photo of himself... until he saw that the photo was dated 1988, which was before he was born. Maddie was finally forced to drop the bombshell: the boy in the picture was Daniel, their brother who died, seemingly before Buck was born.
Well, so much for my theory that Buck was adopted as the big secret! On the one hand, it does make sense that there was a third Buckley child, given that there's nearly a decade of an age difference between Maddie and Buck, and that would be a huge secret to keep from somebody for their whole entire lifetime. On the other hand, I'm just not 100% convinced that this secret is one that his family would feel the need to keep from him for so long, and actively work to make sure he wouldn't find out.
I know Buck can be a hothead, but he might not have felt betrayed if they had come out and explained that he'd had a brother who died at some point, and hiding it from him -- which must have taken some effort, if it involved hiding photos and potentially asking for the silence of friends and family -- seems like overkill. I feel like there could be more to the secret that will come out after the initial shock of Maddie having to finally come clean due to the picture.
Maybe my secret adoption theory isn't out the window after all! Or maybe there's still a darker underbelly to this secret to explain why his parents and sister went so far for long to hide the truth. Honestly, no wonder Chimney was squirming at being asked to keep this ssecret. Still, the Buckley parents having what might have been an accidental third child after losing their second could make a lot of sense in explaining why they weren't as invested in Evan, considering the personalities they displayed in this episode.
Based on the description for the next episode, it does sound like Maddie will shed some more light on the situation for her brother. The next episode, called "Buck Begins," will feature this:
Be sure to vote in our poll below about the big Buck secret! I think it's probably safe to say that we're in for some flashbacks, based on the origin stories for characters like Athena and then Buck's BFF Eddie in their "Begins" episodes of Season 3 alone! Find out what makes Buck the way he is in the next episode of 9-1-1 on Monday, February 15 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).