What's the old saying from childhood?
'Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets always hurt someone.' It was true when you were a child, and it still holds up into adulthood.
The Buckley family has been keeping Buck in the dark his entire life. But the cat's out of the bag now, as 9-1-1 Season 4 Episode 4 found Buck finally let in on the secret everyone has been keeping from him. So, where do we go from here?
Buck has felt like an outsider his whole life. He's had Maddie, sure, but it's been evident since we were first introduced to Evan Buckley that he's been a bit of a loner and a one-person wrecking crew.
That's why the relationships he's forged at the 118 are so important to him. Because those people are the mainstays in his life, they are the ones who have his back not only on the job but outside of it as well.
Bobby is the central father figure in his life, and after meeting Philip Buckley, it's relatively apparent why Buck has always gravitated toward Bobby and his guidance.
Of the two Buckley parents, Philip is the less abrasive and cruel of the two, but not by much. He just goes along with whatever his wife says and doesn't seem to at all understand either of his two children.
Margaret Buckley is as obtuse as she is mean-spirited. She talks down to Maddie and Buck, ridiculing Buck's name and chastising Maddie for "waiting" so long to start a family within hours of seeing her children for the first time in god know's how long.
The interactions between that family of four are stilted and awkward, with Chimney and Albert doing their best to slink around the edges, but the kind of tension that permeates a brood like the Buckley's can never stay tamped down for too long.
Maddie is clearly the favored child, even though that favoritism didn't stop them from abandoning her when she needed them the most. And neither mom nor dad does much to make Buck feel all that included when they're sitting across the table from him.
And it doesn't take a genius to figure out what kind of dynamics were at play when Buck was a child.
Everything comes to a head when Buck loses his cool and lets years and years of frustrations come pouring out of him as his parents look on with almost blank expressions.
Instead of listening to the raw, unfiltered emotions of a son who is tired of feeling like he doesn't matter to the two people meant to care for him the most, they immediately go on the defense.
Oh, and you wanna know why I'm really in therapy? It is because I have spent my entire life feeling like a constant disappointment. And you wanna talk about our jobs? You think my job is dangerous. I have walked through fire every single day of my life because of you. That is why I am in therapy because nothing I ever did was good enough!Buck
Oliver Stark has always been a solid performer. There is some heavyweight talent on 9-1-1, and Oliver has more than held his own over the years. But he knocks every single beat this hour out of the park.
Buck's emotional journey from anger to sadness and back to rage again is punctuated in every word. You can't take your eyes off him, and it's one of the best moments of the series to date.
It all leads us to the big revelation, the confirmation of another Buckley child that Buck has no idea existed.
It's a pretty stunning twist, but it's clear there is a much bigger story than is revealed during the installment. Why was Buck never told about Daniel? That's the biggest question out there as we head into Buck's origin episode, which is probably the most highly anticipated hour of the series thus far.
The Buckley drama was the main draw, but outside of that, there were two good cases and a side-plot that explored May's first loss on the job.
Romero: So we've got someone who steals mail, terrorizes small children, and poisons adorable dogs. And that's our victim.
Athena: Meanwhile, all of our suspects have alibis. Each other.
Romero: Murder on the Orient Express. Maybe they all did it.
Delia's death was the twisted tale of a not-so-nice woman who ultimately met her demise by accident.
Even though she wasn't a pleasant woman, and the people surrounding her weren't at all sad to see her go, she was still a human being, and her untimely death weighed heavy on May, who was the last human being with which she had contact.
Losses are a part of any first responder's job, as unfortunate as that is to admit. And everyone has to find their own healthy way of coping with those losses.
Athena bottles and chooses not to open up about things to her family members, probably as a way to separate the two different parts of her life. And that's not a bad thing. If you continuously bring your work home with you, the lines start to blur, and suddenly your home life and your work life are one and the same.
May is still a novice, and she will have to figure out what works best for her as she continues to grow and learn on the job. Because while there will be situations where there's nothing more she can do, there will also be times of joy when her actions save lives.
That happens for May when a little extra digging beyond the scope of a standard follow-up 911 call leads the 118 to an active bomber.
It's a dire and dangerous situation, but in 911 fashion, it turns a little kooky with Chimney using the time he's four feet away from a bomb to unload the Buckley secret on a would-be bomber. It ends up working when Chimney gets the upper hand and continues to remind us he is the ultimate badass.
But boy was a little hokey.
This was just an emotional, perfectly executed piece of television. And if anyone was afraid that 9-1-1 Season 4 would be anything less than excellent, you needn't worry at all.
This series is at the top of its game, and it's showing no signs of fatigue.
Odds and Ends
- Athena and Romero make a great team! Athena usually works alone, and she does that well, but I like seeing her team up with Romero. They play off each other well.
- Eddie being Buck's sounding board was nice to see, even if Buck wasn't in the frame of mind to receive the advice. He's going to need to rely on his support system big time moving forward, and Eddie is at the top of that list.
- Speaking of the two, their buddy cop schtick at the scene of Delia's death had no business being as delightful as it was given the circumstances.
- It's been lovely having Albert around this season, but they need to give him more to do! Though, if they want to make basketball time with the Han brothers a weekly tradition, they won't get any complaints from me.
Well, that was intense! Please leave all your theories down below about the Buckley secret and what it all means for Buck moving forward!
Were you surprised by the revelation?
What are you hoping to see on ‘'Buck Begins’'?
Please make sure you watch 9-1-1 online right now so you can join us in the comments!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.