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Exclusive: Has Buck died on 9-1-1? Oliver Stark breaks down devastating season six spring premiere

Buck is fighting for his life after being struck by lightning  

buck 911
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
7 March 2023
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In the path of a lightning bolt! 9-1-1 season six has returned - and Evan 'Buck' Buckley (Oliver Stark) has been left fighting for his life - and in a 'weird, alternate reality' - after being struck by lightning from on top of the ladder truck. 

Spoilers for the episode ahead....

The heartbreaking final moments of episode 10 saw Buck dangling from his harness as Eddie Diaz (Ryan Guzman) raced up the ladder, screaming Buck's name. Captain Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) was frozen in shock before he called out, "Firefighter down!" and Howard 'Chimney' Han and Hen Wilson (Aisha Hinds) rushed to get the stretcher and defibrillator.

WATCH: 9-1-1: Oliver Stark details Buck's relationship with Bobby

Exclusive: 9-1-1 star Oliver Stark answers fan questions on TikTok, reality shows and photography

With Chim (Kenneth Choi) performing CPR on Buck, whose heart has stopped, it remains unclear what condition we will find Buck in when episode 11 opens.

But what we do know - thanks to fan sleuthing, an episode synopsis and showrunner Kristen Reidel - is that episode 11 will be "a type of episode that we've never done before".

Here, Oliver breaks down what fans can expect for the rest of the season - including that 'weird' episode, the ways this will change Buck for good, and which actor made Aisha cry during rehearsals.

 Let's talk about the lightning strike - what was that like to film? Was it you in the harness?

Oliver: They do like to put a double up there, but there are absolutely parts of it that are me, and we were both soaked under that freezing rain.

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Buck has been left fighting for his life

However, it was a very difficult night of shooting because a man was hit by a car right next to the set. We were shooting in downtown Los Angeles, and a lot of the crew saw it happen, and it was a very sobering way to start that scene. Everybody had to take some time and it was a very traumatic and difficult thing to see and then say, 'Let's go back to work.' It was a difficult night from the get go and then adding in all the elements and everything that we were dealing with, it was tough.

But we're a strong group of people and we lean on each other as much as we can and we know that we have sturdy shoulders when it comes to supporting each other - and I really think a beautiful thing came out of it.

As much as the show is built around making you care very quickly about the victims and the emergencies, it's always going to hit slightly harder when it's one of our own, and when these are characters that we've really come to love over the years.

How much is this incident going to impact Buck emotionally and physically?

Oliver: He's certainly going to be left in a physical state and in a mental state where he's right on the verge of passing. He died, his heart stopped, and he's left in this weird, alternate reality where he's somewhere between life and death and from that realm, he's able to take a look at what his life has been, what his life is and maybe what he wants his life to become. 

Exclusive: 9-1-1's Oliver Stark opens up about vulnerability and why it's okay to cry

buck 911

This will be a 'catalyst' for Buck

It gives him perspective, and I think it really is a catalyst to him taking the next steps and in becoming the Buck that he's proud of.

Are you and Ryan aware that this is the first time Eddie runs yelling towards Buck, and was it intentional?

Oliver:  Buck is a character who wears his heart on his sleeve and anybody that he loves who is put in those kinds of precarious positions he is not going to shy away from being emotional - and depending on the nature of their predicament - he's probably going to run towards them and put himself in the line of fire.

Eddie, as we've seen over the years, has been more of a stoic character, and it's nice to see that broken when Buck is put in this position. But I don't think that's necessarily something that we have purposely played into here, it's just the nature of the scene that this is literally life and death.

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9-1-1: Oliver Stark shares thoughts on Eddie's ladder scene

We began to see him crack with his PTSD breakdown, and then it kind of resealed itself and Eddie is certainly somebody that is dealing with a lot on the inside and so it is just nice to see that outward expression.

Earlier scenes in the episode call back to the first days of Buck and Bobby's relationship and we see how much they have grown together. What will this look like after the events of episode 10?

Oliver: It is always a joy as an actor to get to play a character who does have such a journey, and it has been something that we've really tried to make a point of here on 911.

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Buck and Bobby's relationship has grown stronger over six seasons

It's been a really lovely experience to get to play through different things and go through these changes with Buck, and with Bobby there was always a mentor and mentee dynamic, or a fatherly dynamic, which I love.

When we come to the end of episode 10, Buck is in peril and you're going to see a side to Bobby where that fatherly instinct really starts to come out of him and there's some beautiful scenes coming up where you get to see how much Buck means to Bobby.

We've seen Buck has vocalized in the past how important Bobby is to him, and with his health scares Buck has made it very clear that he wouldn't know what to do without Bobby, so it's nice to see the reverse of that play out this season, for him to be there for Bobby because he's matured enough to be able to do that, to be a pillar of strength.

Does Peter have that fatherly thing going on in real life?

Oliver: Yes we've all fallen into our roles in real life a little bit - it's hard not for those lines to become a little bit blurred.


The pair have both been in the show since day one

Sometimes he tells me to do something and I'm like, 'You're taking this Captain thing real seriously.'

We see Connor and Kameron have shared a baby scan with Buck, what can we expect for this storyline moving forward?

Oliver: I believe that from the moment he agreed to do it, he has been envisioning himself just as a donor. The difficulty that I am expecting was not so much him thinking he's a father going into it, but how he might feel once the baby comes and if the feelings grew inside of him.

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The 118 will be left dealing with the fallout

But I think we find him at a point here where he's taking ownership of his decisions, and he is able to see a pretty clear picture of what he wants and what his decisions and their consequences are.

Will we get any 6x11 scenes with Buck and Chris?

Oliver:  There's absolutely a scene in 6x11. Aisha was in the room for the rehearsal - and I don't have any lines in it, it was a great rehearsal for me, some of my best work! - but Gavin's performance at the rehearsal had Aisha crying.

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