Let me start off by saying, I'm definitely a Buddie. But everyone has been pointing out Taylor's "this isn't about you" comment, especially compared to Eddie's "you're the kind of person who likes to fix things." But hasn't Eddie said similar things in the past? ("Seriously? You're going to make it about you. Again" in the kitchen scene). Taylor was trying to absolve Buck of guilt, even if she wasn't very successful at it. I guess I'm asking, what's the difference?
Oh Nonnie, I def get your question! Thank you for sending this ask.
Also, to anyone who sent me an ask, I will answer them all, thank you for being patient with me!
Back to this ask. I actually thought about this comparison myself, between Eddie and Taylor’s words, while I was writing the 505 meta and I believe the difference is in why they're saying what they are, which changes both the meaning of what they’re saying and, as a result, the effect on Buck.
In 408, we saw Taylor hurt and wanting to hurt Buck in return. Now, I'll put aside my opinion that she was overlooking her own part in why she was hurt (she came over expecting sex apparently, and while Buck should have told her he was asking her to join him on a double date, she wasn't communicating about her expectations either. So the fact that she read the situation wrong and made assumptions is also on her). The bottom line is that she was, and people who are hurt often express it by trying to hurt back. They don’t necessarily mean what they say. That's Taylor in 408 and it's also Eddie in 305.
I have written here and here about why Eddie was so hurt by Buck's lawsuit. I find it so telling that what makes him go off the deep end is not the betrayal of the city/department/team, but that Buck went ahead with the lawsuit even though it would mean he wouldn't be allowed to be in touch with Eddie. Buck had zero intentions of betraying Eddie's trust, in fact he did this because he needed them to be out there on the field together, but this is how Eddie subjectively experienced the lawsuit. And after everything else he had been through, this is the final straw that breaks his back. He loses control and turns to street fighting, but only after Buck stops talking to him. Just remember that Eddie is the guy who had a hard time trusting his own wife, the mother of his kid, so when he put his trust in Buck and then he feels that it was betrayed, he really doesn't know how to hold it together. So in that deep state of hurt, he lashes out at Buck in the convenience store.
Later on, they make up in 306 when Eddie forgives him, which I've always found remarkable. Eddie forgave Buck faster than I expected and without asking Buck to jump through hoops for it. Considering how deeply he was hurt, after Shannon had already betrayed his trust, more than once (and when he struggled to forgive and trust her again after she walked out on him and Chris), as well as his parents who had tried taking his son away, the speed with which Eddie lets Buck back into his and Christopher's life has always surprised me, and I think it was in part because Eddie really needed to have his life partner back. But it doesn't mean the hurt is all gone. Especially as we learn that he continues to street fight after this, Eddie only stops when he's forced to in ep 308. Only then does he start therapy, but it's not working out smoothly for him. So the thing is that in 309, when they have the talk you were asking about, Eddie is still hurting and dealing with what he had been through.
And Buck? Buck is SO wonderful in that scene, asking for forgiveness again when he doesn't need to, making sure Eddie knows how much he matters to Buck, showing Eddie that his trust isn't something to be easily tossed aside, and it's more than I believe Eddie has ever had from anyone meaningful in his life. EVER.
Which is why I believe he can feel that he’s about to be overwhelmed by it, so he tries to stop it immediately, tries to brush it aside, tries to make a joke out of it ('coz that "are you making this about you?" in this context is more like his "aren't you still going through that phase?" in 312 in terms of tone and purpose, it's not serious, it’s just a teasing dig, meant to cut away some of the tension between them) until he chokes, he can't speak or stop Buck from getting even deeper under Eddie's skin. When Eddie had already seen what it does for him when he can’t have Buck in his life. So he just silently gulps.
(this has gotten a bit long, so the conclusion is under a cut)
And the thing is, we’ve seen repeatedly how well Buddie read each other most of the time, so I have no doubt Buck gets it in the kitchen scene. He knows exactly what it means when Eddie is trying to stop him or dismiss his words, He gets that this is A Lot for Eddie and why he’s trying to undermine the intensity of the moment with a remark he doesn’t actually mean. THIS was the real healing Eddie needed as the resolution to his street fighting arc, and after it, we never see him being anything other than supportive and appreciative of Buck (except for those little joking digs that they both know Eddie doesn’t mean, just like they both aren’t offended by Christopher’s joking digs at the two of them).
I’m sorry this got long, but the bottom line is the context and the meaning behind the words is so different. Buck knows Eddie doesn’t actually see him as self-centered, that Eddie more than anyone else sees Buck’s endless capacity to give, which he even reflects back to him in moments when Buck needs it, like in 414, while Taylor’s words in 505 are a sincere chide. She really does think Buck has this tendency to make everything be about him.
In this case, with Chim’s punch, an extreme emotional reaction, the messages from him that name Buck, Maddie’s silence, I think it’s more than understandable why Buck would feel it may be about him. And the 118 at their dinner talk don’t chide him for being self-centered. They get why he feels the way he does, and they gently and lovingly correct him. So while Taylor was right that he was seeing some things that weren’t there, the basic image she has in her mind of Buck really is that he’s self-centered, very different to the way we know Eddie sees Buck, and accordingly, when she says those things, it has a very different meaning, too.
I hope this makes my POV clear. Thank you for the ask and sorry again for the length! I'd love to hear if this made sense to you. Have a great day! xoxox
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