9-1-1's Oliver Stark Explains How Buck's Latest Near-Death Experience Will Change Him

Oliver Stark as Buck on 9-1-1
(Image credit: Fox)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the 9-1-1 episode "In Another Life." Read at your own risk!

9-1-1 just can't help but throw some drama Buck's way, though I'm sure he would've preferred another emotional heartache had he known the alternative was literal cardiac arrest. Bobby and the crew rushed Buck to the hospital after he was struck by lightning, and viewers were treated to a wild "coma episode" in which Buck envisioned a life in which he never became a firefighter. Oliver Stark explained how this near-death experience will change his character. 

Now that Buck is back home and on the mend, actor Oliver Stark spoke to TVLine about what's next for his 9-1-1 character. For those who are wondering whether or not this was just a two-episode thriller that will be out the window next week, Stark assured this story will play out through Season 6: 

The show is definitely not going to skip over this too quickly. He came really, really close to dying, which is a very sobering experience. And although it’s positive in the sense that he survived, it’s certainly going to make him reflect on who he is and who he wants to be.

Viewers might've figured this out when Buck and Maddie's parents decided to move into Buck's apartment during his recovery, but for those who didn't pick up on it, 9-1-1 is apparently sticking with this story for a while. This recovery time will allow for Buck to reflect on the traumatic experience he survived and maybe even question what it is that he truly wants in life. 

9-1-1 fans might be rolling their eyes at that, and hey, I get it. So much of Buck's story so far in the Fox series has revolved around major life changes and reinventing himself. Oliver Stark admitted he's aware of that trend as well but noted that there's something special about this circumstance that may just push Buck that much closer to being a finished product as opposed to a work in progress: 

Yeah, I think so. We always make this joke about Buck with the writers, we say, 'This is the new Buck,' or 'This is the new, new Buck,' or 'This is the new, new, new Buck.' He’s always evolving and trying to find himself. I think this deep dive into his inner workings is going to help propel him towards that finalized version of himself.

As far as how Buck may change, It seems he's already allowing small changes when he surprised Maddie by allowing his parents parents to meddle in his life by redesigning his apartment. The 9-1-1 character seemed to actively stop himself from wanting to tell his parents to let him live without having a couch.

What that means for Buck in the long term, we can only speculate. We do know that Buck is in contact with the family he's a sperm donor for, and that's a pretty big deal. Perhaps it may even convince Buck he's willing to try for his own family, though he doesn't really have any immediate prospects for a relationship on the horizon. 

And, to be quite candid, Buck in a romance sounds exactly like the same Buck that 9-1-1 has given viewers in the past. For now, I'd be just as thrilled to watch him heal on his soon-to-be-purchased couch and slowly recover. After all, he still needs to regain his strength while growing as a person! 

9-1-1 airs on Fox on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. ET. New episodes are airing as part of a lineup of new and returning shows on the 2023 TV schedule, so be sure to keep an eye out for what's on the way. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.