Why 9-1-1's Season 5 Finale Twist With Buck Had To Happen

Buck on 9-1-1 on Fox
(Image credit: Fox)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the 9-1-1 Season 5 finale, “Starting Over.” Read at your own risk!

9-1-1 Season 5 came to a close on Fox, but not before breaking up yet another couple tied to the 118. Maddie and Chim called it quits earlier in the season, and they weren’t the only ones who decided that they were better off separate. Buck and Taylor ended their relationship as well, and according to the co-showrunner, it was something that had to happen. 

Kristen Reidel spoke about Buck and Taylor’s breakup and why the firefighter chose to walk away from his girlfriend after she broke the news about Jonah and his crimes using privileged inside information. Reidel broke it all down for Variety, citing the inevitability and how Buck ultimately grew from the experience: 

It was always inevitable that they would not survive, just because of the people that they are. For Taylor, Taylor is a person that believes that the truth, truth in quotes, is more important than anything. It’s more important than a person’s feelings. She just has a more universal view of her role in the world. And that is always going to be a thing that is not OK with Buck, because Buck is the opposite. Buck believes that people are more important than anything. Sometimes to his own detriment.

Buck's belief about people being more important than anything (in contrast to Taylor) has been key to his relationships with not only family and friends, but how he does his job and risks everything to save the lives of people he doesn't know. It doesn't always work out for Buck – and he certainly gone through his fair share of suffering over the five seasons of the show so far – but perhaps the breakup is a step in the right direction for him, given his history with previous women in his life. The co-showrunner continued:

Buck has, for some time, has wanted to be the guy — to quote 'Jerry Maguire' — he wanted to be the guy that 'stuck.' He did that with Abby, he tried to do it with Ali, and he tried to do it with Taylor. He thought if he could just be there and be invested enough and be a good guy, that somehow it would all work out. And in the finale, what he had to realize is, 'I’m not happy. And if this isn’t a healthy relationship, then maybe the best thing for me to do is be the one who leaves.' That’s a turning point for Buck, to realize he doesn’t have to stay with someone just to stay with someone.

That part at the end there should excite a few 9-1-1 fans because it seems like Buck experienced some character growth in understanding relationships. Obviously, things didn’t work out with Taylor, and there was some indication that might happen for a while. The positive here is that Buck always seems to find another romance, and there’s a chance that the next person he finds might just be the relationship that sticks. 

I think it’s no coincidence that Buck and Lucy shared that kiss before she joined the 118. The 9-1-1 coworkers haven’t really tried to connect or interact a ton more beyond that, but with Taylor out of the picture, it’s possible that could change. As it stands, it feels like they’re in a good position to start a relationship in Season 6, but we’ll have to wait and see. 

With 9-1-1 finally renewed, I might just spend hiatus revisiting some old episodes to see some of Buck’s shortcomings in previous relationships and guess what comes next after the breakup, in light of what the co-showrunner had to say. The series is available streaming with a Hulu subscription

9-1-1 will return for Season 6 on Fox. Hopefully, the next season will feature less heartbreak and more happy endings all around (like Hen’s surprise second wedding), but we can only wait and see what the show has in store for us. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.