Buck and his romantic relationships
Honestly there is so much to dig into when it comes to Buck and his romantic relationships. There are some constants that can be found in nearly all of his relationships and some things that are constantly changing and evolving.
One think that strikes me about the women he has dated were strong and independent or arrived there at the end. Abby, Ali, Taylor, even Veronica they all stood their ground and were their own champions. They put their needs and mental & physical well-being first, something that society always expects women not to do. It's something I actually really appreciate about their storylines even if it comes with Buck being unhappy. None of the women set out to hurt him, they just didn't want to put themselves second. And that is perfectly okay.
But let's dive deeper into each of his relationships. Bear with me, it's a long one.
Abby was his first serious relationship and now we know why. Due to his upbringing and his parents' abusive behaviour he never really forged any important relationships apart from Maddie. I think it got even worse when he got the jeep as he skipped from place to place, never staying for long anywhere. He didn't have ties anywhere and that made him restless and only seek out sex to forge some intimacy because that was all he thought he could get and something that would hurt him the least.
Anyway with Abby he was able to connect with a woman (one he wasn't working with anyway) on a deeper level. It only worked because it didn't start out as something physical. He didn't know what she looked, only knew her voice and good heart. I doubt they even would've met had it not been for the 911 calls, because they have so little in common.
Buck is actually pretty self-aware when it comes to his behaviour around women but hasn't really faced it before. That's why he tells her that he thinks it isn't a good idea if they meet, because he's worried he'll revert back to his usual coping strategies and it'll end up with him losing their connection.
But we also see that he's inexperienced and that although he knows how to seduce women he's lacking self-confidence in other aspects. He doesn't know unconditional love apart from Maddie and even that trust was broken when she didn't leave with him, when she left him behind. So he often worries he'll do something wrong and put her off; he goes over the top to get her attention - which he has done before in his life. Remember, he could only ever get his parents' attention when he did something big and reckless.
Abby has her own shit to deal with and Buck doesn't really know what to do with that in the beginning. It's not the light-hearted, sweet relationship he might have been hoping for but instead serious and heavy. But helped by Bobby's advice he works through his doubts and puts himself out there, puts Abby first. He always puts other people first, because that's who he is (and lbr, it's not healthy). Sadly to his own detriment because he is more invested than she is; Abby has her sick mother to take care of and is drawn in several directions at once. That's a heavy burden for anyone, especially someone working fulltime. She doesn't want to put her mother in a home as it wouldn't feel right but I also think it comes from a place of societal pressure for women to take care of other people. When her mother dies I actually thought it was a very real and important step for Abby to take put herself first, to take care of her own needs and do something that's vital to her claiming herself again.
I think Buck understands why she has to go but it still leaves him with the impression that he's never good enough, that people always leave. Because that's the experience he's made in life and nothing has changed that for him yet. And I totally get where he is coming from, that he believes it's his fault that she leaves, that he isn't good enough, that she doesn't love him enough. I do believe Abby never felt as deeply for Buck as he did for her but even if she did, sometimes love doesn't fix people. Abby was broken and exhausted and that's something Buck couldn't help with but that doesn't mean he wasn't enough.
She definitely did him dirty by leaving him in the dark and not giving him a clean break when she knew she was ready to move on.
Thanks to Maddie and the 118 he was able to partly work through those issues and put himself out there again.
To be honest, Buck dating Ali came out of nowhere for me. Yes, they did connect a bit at the beginning of season two but I honestly didn't see her coming back as a love interest for Buck.
(And is it just me or do I just not remember it but Bobby stopped giving Buck relationship advice after Abby???)
But I thought they were really cute when they were together; the show just didn't make a very good job of establishing their relationship. They had to few scenes on the show but that was by design. I think the show never intended to keep Ali around, she was (sadly) just a plot device for the show to propel Buck's development. It established Buck's behaviours and the patterns in his romantic relationships. He years for deeper connections and a serious romantic relationship that he gets in too deep too fast. Buck doesn't do shit halfway, he gives it his all.
With Ali he was able to go the next steps of moving on from Abby, he had someone who made him happy for a while but of course the show had to reassert that people leave Buck, further damaging his self-esteem. I think it's perfectly understandable for her wanting to end their relationship at this point, when remaining in it would cause her too much pain and grief by always being worried about Buck and whether he would come home that night, would still be alive. That's a lot for anyone to deal with. So it was better for her to get out at that point instead of dragging it out and therefore making it more painful for both of them when it eventually ended.
But Buck doesn't view it as her leaving because of the dangers of his job but because of him. So yet another person leaves him because he's not enough, not right. Being a firefighter is important to Buck, he sees it as his calling, something he is good at and feels right. He defines himself by his job and that ends up doing damage, especially after the bombing and his subsequent leg injury. Buck feels lost when he can't do his job anymore because he feels like he IS his job. That's why Maddie telling him he's good enough and is worth everything even without his job was so important. His job is an important part of who he is but he isn't his job.
I think with Taylor we saw the mere-exposure effect. Buck has a bit of a thing for voices as we first saw with Abby. With Taylor he knew her voice, heard her whenever he drove to work and obviously liked what he was hearing. And when he met her during that accident he was attracted to her not just by voice but by her looks as well.
Because of his dating experience with Abby and Ali and generally just trying to be a good person, he doesn't want Taylor to get the wrong idea. He likes her, possibly wants to get to know her more and doesn't want to leave her with the wrong impression. Taylor isn't having any of it, because she knows what she wants and what she wants isn't a relationship with him when they first meet. She's young, confident, successful and takes what she needs.
For Buck he has to cut the cord before he gets in too deep. He knows what he wants now and he doesn't want to fall back into his old habits of having sex and not having a meaningful connection. And if he doesn't get out he might fall too fast too hard already knowing it won't go anywere. Plus Taylor tries to expose secrets about his work family and quasi-dad and that would never work. Even if Buck wants romantic love he's not going to step on his 118 family to get it.
When they meet again more than a year later there are no hard feelings (whether that's amnesia on the writers' part or Buck has come to terms with her behaviour we don't know [yet]). Due to their previous actions Buck seems to think Taylor isn't a human being with feelings and hasn't been changed by the pandemic as well. I love Buck but it's ironic that he didn't want to hurt her in season two but inadvertently does so by using her as a shield in season four without her consent. I don't like what he did at all and Taylor was absolutely right on hanging him out to dry on that "double date" and calling him out on him using her like this, by not telling her what she was about to walk into. From her reaction we know he presented the situation differently because he (rightly) figured she might not come otherwise.
It'll be interesting for me to see where their relationship is going. I'd love for them to become friends and see where it takes them from there.
I'm only including her for two reasons: She was Buck's first step to dipping his toe back into the dating pool again and acted as a catalyst to rekindle/change Buck and Taylor's relationship. Plus she also fits the strong woman type Buck goes for (although she additionally has a no-fucks-given attitude and isn't here to coddle anyone and their feelings).
To be honest, looking back on it Buck felt a bit OOC to me during their date. I mean yeah, he's just starting to date again and isn't used to doing it anymore and people change but... He didn't have a problem talking to Ali, Abby, Taylor or any of the women he chatted up with at bars and other places before. Why would he suddenly get so flustered? Even if they started on the wrong foot and he put his foot in his mouth... it just like it was put by the writers there for the laughs and not because it's how Buck would (re)act?? It just feels weird to me now. What did feel real to me was his need to impress her and makes sure she likes him, because Buck needs to be liked and he's really uncomfortable with somone not liking him and not knowing where he stands. He needs to clear the air now, to know what's going on so he can move on. After Abby and being left to doubt himself and being left in the dark about where they stand has left a mark on him (see also him making sure to talk it out with the 118 and especially Eddie after the lawsuit).
Well, that's it for now.
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Last 2 eps
Ms Avery and Vanessa's plot was an addition that was interesting, and probably what motivates V (also clout) to be all sus at the end of the series with what happened with Jake
I'm glad that contrary to the book Coop was able to come out and not force to (tho i would have liked it more if Kris weren't that pushy-at least it felt that way to me in the previous eps), sad that his dad was still a homophobe, i wish coop's grandma and his bro were more present in these last eps
Sad that they butchered Addy's whole character arc, like ???? wwwhyyyy😭 (i feel like she did it btw the Jake 🔫)
Big F to Nate and the parents he got, specially his mom, like bro i was so sad for this guy whose parents never asked him whether he had done or not, nor did they believe he was innocent, i wonder whether his mom stayed
I'm still sad that we lost maeve and bronwyn relationship, like they were my fave investigators sis duo, and these last 2 eps they just kept drifting apart until that ending
Also sad that janae and maeve's relationship just disappeared like i get it they probably got apart bc the whole bay4 and her agreeing about simon's involvement in his own death
I think they made a big mistake with the way they handled jake character, like they should have made more subtle things than just people telling addy she was better off without him , like sure i knew about how shitty he was and the twist bc of the book but during the book you get little things that make u weary about jake and when u get back to reading you get those subtle hints
Idk if i want a 2nd season honest djdjsj
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