Buddie 509 meta
I have to admit, I was instantly full on in love with the first call of the ep. It starts out as one girl being insecure and wondering if she let her past relationship screw up her present… and its her openness and willingness to be honest and vulnerable which endear her to the other girl, who’s suddenly much softer with her and constantly gives her hearteyes glances from this point on. This is before Gabi, the one with insecurities, watches Chloe getting punctured by a pen right there, her blood covering both of them, and saves her life, which involves pressing down on her wound. And then Buddie, out of the whole team, rush in and get this couple out. Now it just might only be me, but tell me Gabi isn’t Buck and Eddie doesn’t parallel Chloe, with the pen incident having the same dynamic as the shooting… Even without seeing these ladies’ last scene in the hospital, we all get what they were starting to feel for each other and that they would eventually get together. So if the comparison holds…~~~
Something curious about the scene where Taylor doesn’t really listen to Buck and then chooses to leave without giving him an explanation is that this pattern of behavior from Taylor doesn’t actually stand out? We’ve seen her have moments where she doesn’t listen or pay attention to him before (ep 411 and 501 as examples), we’ve seen her choose to walk away without a real explanation (why did she first insist on only being friends in 412? She never gave Buck a reason, not even after she changed her mind. Why did she run out on Buck after she kissed him in 414? Again, we get no explanation). And they could have given them a real crisis that would be different from previous things we’ve seen of these two together, but nope. So if this is behavior that means a relationship isn’t really working out and might end any minute now, what does it say about Buck and Taylor’s relationship in general? ~~~
Things that stood out to me during the team’s relationship talk with Buck? First, Eddie doesn’t give Buck much useful advice on how to make things work with Taylor, much like Buck did the same thing during the team’s Ana talk with Eddie in ep 501. They mainly just... laughed at each other’s trouble.
Then, Eddie also asks, in reference to what Bobby said, “who does that?” which is about Buck’s current romantic situation and then Buddie sort of exchange these looks which make it clear that Eddie and Ana were in the exact same place not that long ago and both men know it. The parallels this scene draws between the two relationships Buddie have had, which have happened in parallel since the start, is very telling.
But the most important thing is quite probably Bobby’s words that Eddie reacts to. Bobby says Buck rushes in without really taking the time to figure out how he got to where he is, after Buck says he thinks Taylor’s been living with him, but he’s not quite sure.
Since we had the parallels with Ana, this is very similar to how Eddie’s hospital stay allowed Ana to take up a much more domestic role in the Diaz household than Eddie was ready for. The thing is, before this ep will be over, Buck will get to demand some answers from Taylor (very much like he did during his bench talk with Abby in 318 and NGL, I am proud of him every time he actually puts his foot down), but will he get to reflect and define their relationship? More than that, will he get to define what HE wants from it instead of being led into a place he didn’t necessarily choose? That won’t happen in this ep. Yes, Buck and Taylor will exchange I love you’s, but it’ll be (once again) Taylor’s choice to start that, with Buck following her lead. And given Bobby’s words, it really needed to be Buck to say the words first, to make this choice for himself to deepen the r/s. It being Taylor’s choice means that the main thing that he needed to resolve? He still hadn’t. The fact that he’s still repeating his past patterns becomes especially evident when comparing things to his r/s with Abby (which he did himself). In both cases, after he already finds himself immersed in a r/s, instead of figuring out exactly what he wants and whether the way things are suits him, he doubles down on just doing anything in order to keep his partner. In 110, Abby basically told him not to wait for her, but Buck did anyway, and now Taylor tells Buck not to come after her, but he does anyway. And if we connect this to the way he told her in 414 that he’s done running after people who didn’t want him (I pointed out here that so far, that seems to be the only contribution of the Taylor r/s to Buck’s romantic growth), then this basically states that whatever lesson this r/s with Taylor is meant to teach Buck, he hasn’t learned it yet. We’re still waiting for him to realize this and manage to break the pattern. ~~~
B/T in this ep also made me think of the comparison to the Mitchell and Thomas call, the elderly gay couple in 208. Buck commented about their r/s, “that’s love.” And Thomas said, “All we ever wanted was to go together. Taylor, in comparison, says in this ep, “I need to deal with this on my own”. More than that, she also treats Buck’s space invasively (for example, in 501) when she goes through his things, she means to leave town without even telling him she’s going, she leaves him in the dark and at the same time is snappy with him when he’s confused about what’s going on, she def didn’t share the realest part of herself with Buck until he basically forced her to, and when Taylor discovers he came despite her telling him not to, her initial reaction is to think he’s there for answers, not for her… none of this feels like it fits the famous “that’s love” quote, despite what she’ll tell Buck by the end of the ep. Add to this that Buck doesn’t tell Eddie and Hen anything about the dilemma that Taylor’s reveal had to have caused him (at the very least whether it’s the right thing to follow her). Ironically, it feels like a step back, not forward, that he suddenly can’t share with his teammates (he could have just left her personal details out while describing his personal dilemma, but he clearly didn’t feel comfortable to), even when Eddie questions him about what happened to turn Buck into the voice of reason and Hen chimes in. Another thing is that so many of B/T’s hugs have had... these odd Buck facial expressions, like the comfort that he gets from them is very partial if it’s there at all (another detail that’s been repeated this season and I’ve mentioned in my previous s5 meta posts).
I try to step away from the Buddie goggles from time to time and just ask myself, if I were a casual viewer, who cares about Buck but isn’t particularly invested in the question who he ends up with romantically, would I be happy with the way this r/s is developed? Would I feel like he truly loves and is loved? 911 does know how to tell a satisfying love story, even a short one (like the ep’s first call, or Toni and Clive’s) or one we’ve traveled quite a road with (Bathena in this very ep were a nice reminder of that). I can’t be fully objective here, but from having watched enough TV couples, I’m pretty sure I’d be very dissatisfied even if I weren’t a Buddie fan, because I’d want something better for Buck than how this r/s has been portrayed so far. ~~~
Which stands out even more when compared with Eddie. Good God, I made this gifset of Buck teasing Eddie about watching telenovelas, but I really need to rant about the insanity of it! In an ep that’s supposedly all about making B/T stronger than ever, look at what the show does with Buddie in this one bit alone: within a mere couples of seconds we get the brightest smile Buck gives in the whole ep, and it’s at his supposedly platonic best friend, and it’s with a tease that specifically reminds us Eddie is the person that Buck knows best (better than his own gf) and the one he’s most domestic with (Buck must have been there to see Eddie watching those telenovelas with Chris in order to know that despite Eddie’s protests, he secretly loves them) as his own choice (and I wrote more about how Buck chose to build a family with Eddie over the years here and with an accompanying gifset). Also, the teasing itself is a part of Buddie’s love language, and can also be seen in how Eddie teases Buck (his only contribution to the team r/s talk) as we’ve witnessed many times, especially during the flirty kitchen scene in ep 309. Now just compare Buck’s huge smile at Eddie with what his face looks like after Taylor tells him that she loves him… Show these two images to someone who has never watched 911and ask them to choose the gif in which this guy seems in love and I GUARANTEE they will choose the one where Buck is practically glowing at Eddie. In fact... see last paragraph for something similar that did happen.
And this gets me back to that exchange of I love you’s. I have never heard a less convincing “I love you, too” from a main character. Usually such moments are peaks of romantic arcs. They’re ones that we had a whole journey to get to. They represent the instance when the protagonist gets to be happy and fulfilled after all the drama we’ve seen them go through. These moments are so incredibly emotional, they go down as some of the most memorable for a specific couple, ones that fans will keep rewatching. But Oliver, who is amazing at pouring his whole heart into entire monologues, let alone one line of dialogue, is almost completely flat in his delivery. His facial expression is of someone weirded out. He’s with his back to Taylor when she first says it and he never fully turns to her, to face her, not even when he repeats the words to her. There are barely any signs of joy OR intimacy - they’re having this exchange with almost the entire kitchen between them. Even the way he first responds with just, “Good,” before he reciprocates makes that whole moment feel emotionally stunted. Not to mention, this is the first time we’ve heard Buck saying this to anyone, ever. His first “I love you”! It’s not just meaningful for this r/s, it’s also important for him as a character. Yet, this is how the line is delivered? And it’ll be followed by Taylor letting Buck know that there’s still stuff she’s keeping from him? Not to mention, just like she leads him into having this exchange, she will lead him up the stairs. A visual reminder that she’s still setting the course of this r/s and he’s still just following. Personally, I think in Buck’s mind, the pattern he NEEDS to break is being dumped a few months into a r/s, so once she says, “I love you,” he follows suit, because if he won’t, that’ll cause a new crisis between them, possibly lead to the actual break up he’s been dreading. So yeah, he said it, but it doesn’t feel like he meant it, more like his present is still being shaped by his past. If this is B/T at their best, I can’t see them lasting. It’s just a matter of time before Buck will realize he needs to break his past patterns for real. ~~~
In addition to thanking the amazing @judsonryder for her incredible gifs, this week I’m also bringing you a bonus paragraph thanks to her! As she was giffing Buck’s facial reactions to Eddie vs to Taylor’s “I love you,” she noted that the contrast is also in the lighting, where the scene in the kitchen is a lot darker and far less vibrant. It’s not only that, though! She also pointed out that the same kitchen in ep 309, also at night time, has warmer lighting, leaving the 509 scene on the same set to come across in contrast as cold… But here’s even more of a kicker: she was giffing “blind” (she hadn’t seen the ep yet and I was giving her specific timestamps to gif). Without even knowing what the scene was about, the lighting alone was so telling that it allowed her to make an objective visual observation which perfectly aligned with this whole analysis, and that speaks volumes!
~~~ If you like my perspective on Buddie, you can find more of my meta, gifs, fics here. Thank you for reading and for any like, comment and of course reblog! A lot goes into these posts weekly and it makes a world of a difference to know people enjoy them. xoxox
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I thought it would work...the idea of us.
[Image description: 8 gifs of Buck and Eddie from 9-1-1, paralleling their relationships with Taylor and Ana.
ID 1: Eddie watches Ana and Chris hug each other and laugh together, the smile slowly fading off his face. The text reads, "Carla: Just be sure you're following your heart, not Christopher's."
ID 2: Taylor hugs Buck after he comes back to his apartment after work. He smiles at first, but then it fades as he looks off into the distance.
ID 3: Ana smiles over her shoulder at Buck, before stepping aside to reveal Eddie in his hospital bed, smiling softly up at her. The text reads, "Eddie: She's been a godsend through all of this."
ID 4: After the hostage situation, Buck and Taylor hold hands at the table in his apartment.
ID 5: In the dressing room, Eddie starts to panic when the assistant refers to Ana as Christopher's mom.
ID 6: Buck gets antsy as Taylor tries to leave his apartment without explaining her weird behavior. The text reads, "Buck: I think it's over. Me and Taylor."
ID 7: After telling Buck about Ana causing his panic attacks, Eddie insists on sticking it out in the relationship. The text reads, "I think I'm just gonna stick it out. Ana's been the first woman I've wanted to spend this much time with since Shannon."
ID 8: Buck looks caught-off guard after Taylor tells him she loves him for the first time. The text reads, "Taylor: I love you." "Good...love you too."
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