9-1-1 returned on Monday and fans saw the episode deal with Maddie Buckley and Howard 'Chim' Han's arrival back to Los Angeles, and Evan 'Buck' Buckley coming clean to his girlfriend about kissing a new colleague.
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But in a heartbreaking series of scenes, Eddie Diaz (played by Ryan Guzman) discovered that the three soldiers whom he had helped to escape enemy fire during their time in Afghanistan had all died in recent years; one by overdose, another via a car crash and the third, Anita Mills, had shot herself dead just months before.
WATCH: Eddie Diaz returns to therapy in 9-1-1
It led to a devastating breakdown that came following months of his own mental health faltering, and viewers saw Eddie’s son Chirstopher call Buck for help as he heard his father smash his bedroom to pieces with a baseball bat.
Oliver Stark, who plays Buck–Eddie's best friend and work partner—told HELLO! how "nice" it was to be a part of Ryan's performance in this episode as Eddie, and also shared what fans can expect from the rest of season five, Buck's growing self-awareness, and whether Eddie and Buck will ever talk about their shared trauma...
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You previously said Ryan would be doing some amazing work in the back half and we fully saw this in episode 13. Can you talk about what Buck being the one to see the breakdown means moving forward?
First of all, Ryan's performances in 13 and onwards? There has been a level of commitment he has shown in wanting to do those scenes justice, and it has been so nice to be a part of that.
'Buck is certainly going to have to step up'
Buck is certainly going to have to step up and be there for his friend and partner, and put himself aside and work out what Eddie needs.
In episode 14, there are a lot of discoveries made by Buck on how best to serve his friend and help him move forward, help him remember his importance to Buck and the people in his life and the LAFD.
Buck really gets to be a part of his recovery.
Recovery and therapy isn't linear - we've seen that with Buck. How present will Eddie's storyline be across the rest of season five and maybe into a season six?
It will be very present until the end of the season - there's a hefty chunk still to play out.
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Buck and Eddie were tragically targeted by sniper gunfire at the end of season four
Will Buck push for them to finally talk about the shooting?
Episode 13 opens with Buck and Maddie back together - how did it feel to have Jennifer back on set?
Jennifer is such a joy, she is such a ball of energy and as a fan of the show and as a person who gets to work with her, she was a real loss from season five.
I was so excited to have her back, and we fell immediately back into our old back and forth which for the most part is her poking fun at me and me just loving every second of it.
Maddie and Chim have finally returned to LA
We've always known Maddie is someone who grounds Buck and this was really clear in that opening scene - do you think it's time for Buck to not rely on her so much?
He has lived his entire life being somewhat dependent on her, and as we saw in the Buck Begins episode, she has always been a caretaker and a crutch for him.
The healthiest thing for him is to be able to exist and prosper without her, and we got a taste of that in the first half of the season. But it's a balance—he also did feel a void. He needed to touch base with her and use her to ground himself, and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
There was an enormous sense of self-awareness with Buck in episode 13 - "I can't help wondering if I was scared of being left again" - are we going to see more of this in the back half of season five?
Absolutely—he is becoming older, and little by little, more cautiously wiser.
He is ready to look at what he really wants out of his life, and out of a partner and a relationship. He wants to make sure that if he is going to be in a relationship, he is in it because it is something he wants to be in rather than feeling like he needs to be in it.
I am excited to watch him go through that and work these things out - and that culminates towards the end of the season.
'There is certainly a big decision to be made' for Buck and Taylor
Is there a catalyst coming for Buck to realize that he and Taylor aren't really the forever kind?
There is certainly a big decision to be made.
At the end of episode 17, that is where things will really be thrown up in the air and Buck has to make some hard decisions.
Can you talk about the dynamic changes we may see for the rest of this season with Lucy joining the 118? Will Buck and Lucy settle into a routine?
In episode 13 there are a few moments of clear awkwardness between the two but as they move on and that disappears, they will have a really lovely relationship where they are able to learn from each other and use their different experiences and perspectives to lift the other one up.
There will be some nice moments in episode 14 where he can use some of his past traumas and what he has been through to guide her, and through that he can realize how he can help other people in his life.
There are just some sweet moments to come that don't depend on or revolve around the previous mistakes they had made.
Lucy and Buck will 'move past' their previous mistakes
What can you tease about the finale?
We just finished and there are some really spectacular moments, but also its a finale where it's what this team needed.
For various reasons we've had lots of people coming and going, so it's a chance to bring everyone together and be reminded of the family we've created over five years and 78 episodes.
There is the usual set pieces but it's real magic is the family we are able to move back towards.
What are your hopes for season six if 9-1-1 is renewed?
I would like to see Buck realize his own worth. We've seen these moments where he can almost see it but we're at a point with Buck now where he is understanding what he brings to the table and we see that with him wanting - although he didn't go about it the right way - to help Ravi and make sure he was ready as a firefighter.
It's through these moments we see the best of ourselves so I am excited for the reward and payoff of all of these moments.
9-1-1 airs on Fox on Mondays at 8/7c
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