Is 9-1-1 Giving Taylor A Tragic Backstory That Will Break Her Up With Buck?

9-1-1 side by side buck and taylor fox
(Image credit: Fox)

Spoilers ahead for the November 8 of 9-1-1 Season 5, called “Ghost Stories.”

9-1-1 shone the spotlight on some side characters in “Ghost Stories,” with Taylor and Lou getting a storyline of their own that really had Buck as a supporting character rather than a main. Taylor showed off some investigative skills that seemed fit for a different kind of journalism, and she admitted to having problems with mysteries remaining unsolved at the end of the hour when Buck challenged her to explain why she put herself in danger. Unbeknownst to him, Taylor seems to be hiding a secret mystery of her own that could involve a tragic backstory, which would have implications for her relationship with Buck.

Nothing is guaranteed at this point, but there are some dots that can be connected that would mean bad news for the future of Buck and Taylor. 

Why Taylor's Backstory May Be Tragic

Taylor has pretty much always been passionate about her job on 9-1-1, to the point that it seemed like she was so determined to get stories that she might be using her relationship with Buck to get information. Despite appearances at the time, her tense phone conversation in the previous episode may have been about something other than the case she was getting info from Buck about, but rather a more personal case that she’s working on… and has been working on for a while. 

Taylor was still awake after Buck went to sleep in "Ghost Stories," looking pensive while reading an article with the headline of “Local doctor proclaims innocence after murder conviction.” The news article centers on a Dr. Patrick Martin, who was convicted of murdering his wife by staging a suicide. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison after his second trial, following a mistrial when the jury was deadlocked. This is how the article ended, and what may point toward what happens next in Taylor’s story:

Several months later, during the second trial with substantial testimonies from leading forensic scientists, jurors deliberated for about two hours and convicted Dr. Martin of first degree murder. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison. When the judge asked if there was any legal reason why he should not be sentenced, Dr. Martin said: ‘The jury has made a terrible mistake.’

The case unfolded in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and there is no obvious connection between Patrick Martin’s case and Taylor. She’s not credited with writing the article, and her last name isn’t “Martin” to provide much in the way of evidence to support a family connection. That said, the article doesn’t have a byline (or date) at all, so she could well have written the article. Still, it feels like this Martin could be her father. Who’s to say that she wouldn’t change her last name to escape the notoriety of her father as a convicted murderer? 

If Taylor has some personal connection to this case, then it seems bound to be tragic, since there’s no really a happy side of the story. And I can see why it would also mean bad news for her relationship with Buck. 

Why A Backstory Could Break Up Taylor And Buck

There was some tension between Buck and Taylor in “Ghost Stories” over how far she was willing to go to do her job, but not really enough that they would break up over it. If, however, she does have a personal connection to this case as one of the mysteries that she’s driven to solve, then the relationship with Buck in Los Angeles might not be a priority. Arkansas is a long way for California; if that’s where everything with the murder happened and Taylor is determined to get to the truth, then that might have to mean her leaving.

While it would be sad for Buck to be left by yet another girlfriend, the odds don’t seem bad. Jennifer Love Hewitt remains absent as Maddie, but her return seems inevitable even though Chimney has decided to give up on following clues that may lead to her location. Taylor feels like somebody who is getting the spotlight while Maddie is gone, and that story in the spotlight might end when Maddie comes back. Plus, Eddie didn’t even appear in this episode. Unless Taylor is going to become a main character and regularly get this much screen time, could she be getting one big arc before leaving?

There is the opposite argument that can be made, in that giving Taylor such a big potential story could mean building her up as a character who is sticking around for the long term. Still, her keeping what could be a big secret from Buck of all people while evidently invested in a case in Arkansas makes me lean more toward a breakup in Season 5 than Taylor becoming the new Maddie when it comes to screen time in the long run. Nevertheless, it's all speculation at this point.

Only time will tell what happens next for this case of Taylor's and her relationship with Buck. Keep tuning in to Fox on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET for new episodes of 9-1-1, and check out our 2021 fall TV premiere schedule for more of what to watch and when to watch it.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

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).