WATCH: This surprise fireman-on-fireman kiss is a seismic event for gay fans of ‘9-1-1’

WATCH: This surprise fireman-on-fireman kiss is a seismic event for gay fans of ‘9-1-1’

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Image Credit: ‘9-1-1,’ ABC

After months of teasing, it looks like things are finally heating up for one of our favorite firefighters on the network drama 9-1-1.

Since the beginning of season 7 (now airing on ABC, instead of the procedural’s original home, Fox), hunky stars Ryan Guzman and Oliver Stark have been alluding tosomething changing between the dynamic of their best-bud first-responders, Eddie Díaz and Evan “Buck” Buckley.

“We get closer than ever this season,” Guzman told EW a few weeks back of their characters’ dynamic, which set off fire alarms in the heads of fans who have been ‘shipping their characters for years, affectionately dubbing them “Buckie.”

Buck, in particular, has long been characterized as a bit of a sex-crazed womanizer, wooing ladies left and right and never managing to maintain a relationship for long. In fact, his strongest bond has always been with his pal Eddie. Maybe there was something missing in his life? Like, perhaps, a man???

In the latest episode, “Buck, Bothered and Bewildered,” Bucks finds himself, well, bothered and bewildered when Eddie gets closer with Tommy, a former firefighter at their station introduced back in season two (played by Lou Ferrigno Jr., then son of Lou Ferrigno, a.k.a. TV’s original Incredible Hulk).

Once Buck’s sister Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewiit) helps him realize he might be jealous of this new, budding friendship, he confesses to Tommy who—surprise, surprise—pulls him in for a kiss. And Buck is into it!

The moment seems to have caused a seismic event:

Now, sure, it’s just a kiss—we’ve seen a whole lot more on Starz where the entirety of 17th century England is having group sessions every week on Mary & George. But a little goes a long way on network television, and this is a major step forward for 9-1-1, which, despite featuring supporting LGBTQ+ characters here and there, can’t hold a candle to the queer romance on its sister-show, 9-1-1: Lone Star.

And, according to Stark himself, it sounds like the show is really going to walk the walk in terms of exploring Buck’s bisexuality. This isn’t just a one-off smooch.

“We’re only a couple of episodes ahead of this at the moment,” Stark tells EW, “so I don’t know too much except that this next episode follows what I believe is quite a natural progression: Certainly for somebody finding this in their 30s, they’d be questioning, right? ‘What does this mean? Who am I? What about all these things that I thought to be true of myself?’ And so there’s some reckoning to deal with in the next episode, and then leaning on the people that are closest to him, and finding the right moments to open up and how much to share.”

Image Credit: ‘9-1-1,’ ABC

In a separate conversation with Variety, Stark says the moment feels like “not just release, but relief” for his character, and reflects on giving into the surprising emotion of the kiss on set. He also jokes about “shooting these things from all angles 20 or 30 times,” and honestly we would not mind seeing more of what was left on the cutting room floor!

Stark doesn’t identify as queer himself, but shares he feels a responsibility to tell this story “the right way.”

“The focus was on it being important, but also not wanting it to feel like the bravest episode in television,” the actor continues. “We just wanted to tell a lighthearted love story that happens to be a queer love story.”

Well, the “Buddie” ‘shippers may not have gotten exactly what they wanted, but they sure seem happy with the latest development. Here are a few of our favorite reactions from the internet:

The big bi moment seems to be getting new fans invested in 9-1-1 for the first time, too. Even the popular @FilmUpdates account on X has shared a teaser for next week’s episode—featuring Buck and Tommy on a date—and we’re pretty sure that has to be one of the first times they’ve ever shown interest in the series:

And, you know what? Guilty as charged. What can we say? We’re suckers for a surprise gay kiss.

New episodes of 9-1-1 air Thursdays on ABC. Scroll down below for more photos of Stark and Ferrigno Jr. to see why we’re so invested in what happens next…


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