Home TV Series 9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 5 “Buck Begins” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 5 “Buck Begins” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

by Amari

While the Daniel thing remains a bust, exploring Buck and Maddie’s relationship, from 1996 to the present, will have you in tears.

Community Rating: 0.00% (0) - No Community Ratings Submitted.


Director(s)Jann Turner
Writer(s)Juan Carlos Coto
Aired (FOX)2/15/2021

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text may contain affiliate links, which, if a purchase is made, we’ll earn money or products from the company.


1996 to 2004 – Maddie, Buck

As noted by Maddie, Daniel died at 8, Buck was born when Daniel was 7, and there might have been a motive. In Buck’s mind, he latches to the idea that with Daniel having Juvenile Leukemia and no one being a match, Buck was conceived as a last-ditch effort. However, with the cells not grafting, Daniel died young.

Most of this is revealed in the present-day, for in the past, Buck didn’t know his brother existed. There were clues, like a bike that said “Daniel” as a pseudo-license plate. Also, there was the reaction of their parents that Maddie knew was likely associated with Daniel. However, rather than overprotect Buck, out of grief and fear, Maddie let him be free and tried to guide him the best she could.

However, by 2004, she was in a relationship with Doug, her abusive ex, and Buck decided thrill-seeking got him attention, so he made it a habit to do things that were not only fun but could get him injured. But with Maddie leaving with Doug to Boston, far from Hershey, PA, Buck was left alone.

2004 to 2017 – Maddie, Buck

Maddie noting things are complicated in her life

Luckily, by 2012, Maddie was back, and Evan, a former football star, had his best friend back. Someone who could help cover how he was screwing up at the local community college and could make him feel less like the loser he believed his parents saw him as. This leads to why Evan and his parents didn’t probably talk for a long time – Maddie provided him a way out.

At the sacrifice of herself and a means to escape Doug, who was leaving her bruised and bloodied, Maddie gave Buck her jeep. Thus, he traveled the eastern coastline, even went to Oregon and Peru before settling in Los Angeles. All the while sending Maddie postcards to let her know how he was doing.

Present Day – Maddie, Buck, Athena, Hen, Bobby, Chim

At 29, give or take, Buck has lived a life where his sister was his only family for a long time until he joined the 118. A place where, despite him getting on people’s nerves and having to receive tough love, he also got the praise that seemed to be absent from his childhood. Add in his thrill-seeking became an asset, not an act of rebellion, and it made him feel loved.

Athena reassuring Buck

For whether it is Bobby, Athena, or Hen, each one, though scared in the moment, appreciate Buck for risking his life to save others. It’s what makes him part of the team and a hero in their, and the world’s, eyes. And it is perhaps through their love he figures out a way to forgive not just his parents but Maddie. Of course, Chim helps, he is going to be Buck’s brother through Maddie’s kid, after all – so he needs that crazy uncle around.

And what helps push Buck over the hill of feeling betrayed? Well, it is not just thinking about himself and what he went through, but Maddie. That jeep was her only escape, and she gave it to Buck. All the while never saying a word and just being happy, he could be happy. Even with him wandering the country and this side of the world. Because, as much as Buck didn’t have the ideal family until now, Maddie gave him all he could want, all he could need, and sacrificed in such a way that can never be paid back. Thus, she is beyond forgiven.



I Can’t Recall The Last Time This Show Made Me Cry, Nevermind Cry This Much

Being that 9-1-1 is mostly about the spectacular of high-risk rescues, it is easy to numb yourself up to certain characters being in danger and worrying if they will survive. After all, Chim had a rebar go through his head, but you’d never know that now. Buck’s leg was crushed by a fire truck, yet look at him run. Bobby beat suicidal thoughts and his past addictions, and Hen beat the odds despite the sexism and racism. Never mind the grief of accidentally killing someone. So when it comes to 9-1-1, rarely is there ever a need to fear a character won’t make it just because the call they are on sounds rough.

However, like most shows that have a multitude of guest stars, when you set the calls, the cases, the rescues aside, and the show hones in on the people doing them, you get re-invested. For with Buck, one could submit between Eddie coming on board, Chim and Hen getting developed, and after his character stopped dating, he was put on the backburner. The once wild superstar still had his daring rescues, but as a person? Buck outside the uniform, he was mostly Maddie’s brother, the baby of the 118, and through maturing, he got kind of quiet.

Maddie loving Buck

But in this episode, it is almost like traveling through what Buck surely has been recounting in therapy. Be it, Maddie, playing a surrogate mom, since Margaret was in a constant state of mourning. Then with Philip, him trying to balance caring for a person grieving their eldest son while trying to build a relationship with his youngest. Which, yes, we don’t see a lot of, beyond pizza and treats, but unlike Margaret, it seems Philip did make an active effort.

Granted, it isn’t clear if that continued once Buck wasn’t a child, and he chose more and more risky activities. But there did seem to be a time that Philip did try. That, despite the loss of one child in the physical realm, it didn’t mean the end of pursuing a relationship with the son that was ready and willing to be loved.

Yet, it seems, no matter how much Philip did or didn’t try, it wasn’t enough or just didn’t compare to what Maddie gave as a loving, supporting, and open-eared family member. Which pushes you to understand, as unfair as it sounds, why Buck felt betrayed. He was able to pour every worry, fear, and joy into Maddie, yet she kept it all hidden from him. She didn’t tell him about Doug for damn near a decade. Their brother? For nearly three decades, she held that secret and let Daniel’s existence be lost amongst hushed memories.

Which leads you to think about the side effects. Buck traveled the country looking for the love he didn’t get at home, that sense of belonging, and his purpose. And when you consider who Buck was when we met him to who he is now? That was one of the reasons we cried so much. For I don’t think, after this many seasons of a show that usually pushes out 18 episodes a season, you get opportunities like this. By this time, we know mostly everything we need to know so to find an extra layer, it is a gift. It drives you to feel some sense of ownership for being there during the best and worst moments of a character’s life and the fact you saw them survive and become better? The pride is immense and overwhelming.

Buck and Maddie having a moment

On The Fence

Wishing It Wasn’t Only The “- Begins” Episodes That Felt This Impactful

With all that said, we can get mad that it usually takes a “- Begins” episode to feel this way. Not to say the average episode is bad, but they are mostly forgettable. Each 9-1-1 call feels increasingly forgettable, no matter the circumstance, and since this show doesn’t believe in death or long-term injuries, it’s easy to not care since you don’t foresee anything real happening. At worst, they’ll slow down, be put on light duty, and fuss a lot about it, but that’s it.

So here is hoping 9-1-1 doesn’t continue making these “- Begins” episodes as the sole reminder that the show could present us so much more but simply chooses not to.

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9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 5 “Peer Pressure” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Buck worries about his sister and brother-in-law, he takes his anxiety out on the newbie. Meanwhile, May and Harry bond over the things which are making their lives hard.
9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 4 “Home and Away” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Chim deals with Maddie's exit, Athena is trying to get Harry to open up, a new dispatch is introduced, and Hen makes an honest mistake.
9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 3 “Desperate Measures” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While you likely could predict how Harry and Jeffrey's story ends, you may not guess how "Desperate Measures" ends as an episode.
9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 2 “Desperate Times” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)We're onto day 5 of the LA blackout, and things aren't getting any easier, especially as backup systems fail and Athena learns Jeffrey Hudson is still on the loose.
9-1-1: Season 5/ Episode 1 “Panic” [Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As it has done every season, 9-1-1 escalates the stakes by having the city hit with a major cyberattack and the man who attacked Athena on the loose.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 14 [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As to be expected from 9-1-1, no matter how dangerous things seem, everyone ends up okay. Well, all but one.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 13 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While storylines about doctor negligence, and Maddie's mental health, and Athena's relationship, dominate the episode, the ending is what truly leaves a grand impression.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 12 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)A writer decides to put Los Angeles into a tizzy over some buried treasure, which causes quite a few 911 calls.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 11 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In a way, "First Responders" could be seen as a minor "Josh Begins," as we learn why he joined the 9-1-1 responders.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 10 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Get your favorite tissue brand ready; it's time to shed some tears as we watch some kids say goodbye to their parents and bonding moments that will have you bawling.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 9 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)9-1-1 is back, and in its return, we meet Maddie and Chim's baby! However, with a life gained, will there be a life lost?
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 8 "Breaking Point" [Winter Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In the winter finale, we're reminded how much the first half of season 4 is about reunification with people that have been absent a long time.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 7 "There Goes the Neighborhood" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)With Buck dating again, and Hen's Mother coming for a visit, we see the beginning of old wounds healing.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 6 "Jinx" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Buck evolves into Buck 3.0, Eddie might be evolving too as Christopher's former teacher, Ana Flores, returns to 9-1-1.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 5 "Buck Begins" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While the Daniel thing remains a bust, exploring Buck and Maddie's relationship, from 1996 to the present, will have you in tears.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 4 "9-1-1, What's Your Grievance?" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)So the secret Maddie is hiding comes out, and, well, it might disappoint you.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 3 "Future Tense" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Maddie has a family secret, which includes Buck, and Hen finds herself with a lab partner who pushes her buttons and nearly causes her to go off.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 2 "Alone Together" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In the 2nd part of 9-1-1's season 4 premiere, multiple near-death experiences act as a wake-up call unlike any other rescues before.
9-1-1: Season 4/ Episode 1 "The New Abnormal" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)9-1-1, as tradition, returns with a dramatic natural event, which this time is a dam breaking, thanks to earthquakes and a landslide!
9-1-1: Season 3 - Review/ Summary with SpoilersIn its 3rd season, “9-1-1” presents minor improvements, but due to being a procedural, which leads to some inconsistency, it often feels like more of the same.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 18 “What’s Next” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review with SpoilersAs with the finale of nearly every season of 9-1-1, the ending is a bit shocking – but this time in a good way.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 17 “Powerless” – Recap/ Review with SpoilersWhile we may not see Abby until the end of the episode, a whole lot happens that makes it clear why they needed the season finale to be two parts.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 16 “The One That Got Away” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While not a Christmas episode, Buck meets the ghost of Christmas future and it shakes him to his core.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 15 “Eddie Begins” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While Eddie has been around for nearly 2 whole seasons, and heavily featured, “Eddie Begins” dives into his backstory father than ever before.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 14 “The Taking of Dispatch 9-1-1” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Similar to the bank robbery episode last season, it’s all about the con in the latest episode of 9-1-1.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 13 “Pinned” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Michael and his family deal with him possibly dying, Chim tries to bring new life to his relationship with Maddie.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 12 “Fools” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As many struggle with the possibility of being alone, Christopher also deals with not being able to do anything like his dad always says he can.
9-1-1: Season 3 Episode 11 “Seize The Day” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)“9-1-1” returns with Chim’s younger brother coming to Los Angeles and triggering Chim’s childhood trauma.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 10 “Christmas Spirit” [Mid-Season Finale] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)Like a holiday movie, 9-1-1 mixes in a lot of sweet moments with a bit of darkness that some might see as devastating.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 9 “Fallout” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)Trauma, and methods of dealing with it, are explored as Eddie, Maddie, and Hen go into therapy to handle their new normal.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 8 “Malfunction” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)As Karen struggles with getting pregnant, Hen finds her focus off, and this leads to deadly consequences. Also, Eddie’s fight career takes a turn.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 7 “Athena Begins” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)We go deep into Athena’s past, to 1989 – 1991 to be exact, and learn of the second major loss that made her become and remain a cop.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 6 “Monsters” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)It’s Halloween on 9-1-1, and you know that means something freaky going down. Though, unlike past seasons, there are less shocks this time around.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 5 “Rage” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)As Michael experiences DWB, and his kids get the race talk, Buck learns the consequences of his lawsuit.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 4 “Triggers” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)From Maddie triggered by a domestic call to Chim and Hen taking note of kids they save, and Buck hearing the worst thing imaginable, this episode isn’t called “Triggers” for nothing.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 3 “Searchers” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)The tsunami arc comes to an end, with an explosion, someone losing an arm, and the fate of Christopher.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 2 “Sink or Swim” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)A tidal wave hits and between the initial wave and the surges which come after, we see more people die this episode than the entire series.
9-1-1: Season 3, Episode 1 “Kids Today” [Seaon Premiere] – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)Surprisingly, despite being crushed by a fire truck, Buck seems like he may return to work. However, isn’t there always a catch?
9-1-1: Season 2 - Summary, Review (with Spoilers)Season 2 of 9-1-1 avoids any sense of a sophomore slump by balancing the 911 drama you love and developing both new and old characters.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 18 "This Life We Choose" [Season Finale] - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)In the finale, after a bombing spree, many characters find their lives changed forever. One for the worse, many for the better.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 17 "Careful What You Wish For" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)In the penultimate episode of the season, Eddie returns to prominence as he reevaluates his relationship with Shannon.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 16 "Bobby Begins Again" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)In order to move forward, you have to the past, and in this episode, we learn what happened between the fire Bobby started and Buck being hired.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 15 "Ocean's 9-1-1" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)The team gets framed for a robbery and it leads to not only some of the best writing in a while, but one person’s job on the line.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 14 "Broken" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)Of course, with 9-1-1 taking some time off it means they have to come back with you on the verge of crying to the point being unable to watch.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 13 "Fight or Flight" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)We journey a bit into Doug and Maddie’s history and are left with an ending which ends a chapter in both of their lives.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 12 "Chimney Begins" - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)As Hen did earlier this season, Howard Han aka Chimney, gets his due by having an episode dedicated to his backstory.
9-1-1: Season 2, Episode 11 "New Beginnings" [Mid-Season Premiere] - Recap, Review (with Spoilers)9-1-1 returns, and it is like we never left as the drama picks up and kicks things into the next gear.
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 10 "Merry Ex-Mas" [Mid-Season Finale] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While this is a Christmas episode, love is in the air like it is Valentine’s day. Though one person with unreciprocated love comes around to ruin things.
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 9 "Hen Begins" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)The show decides to hand the reigns to Aisha Hinds and gives us something which almost makes you wonder, “Why wasn’t this the show’s pilot?”
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 8 "Buck, Actually" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 7 "Haunted" - Recap/ Recap (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 6 "Dosed" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 5 "Awful People" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 4 "Stuck" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 3 "Help Is Not Coming" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 2 "7.1" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 2/ Episode 1 "Under Pressure" [Season Premiere] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1 - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 10 "A Whole New You" [Season Finale] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 9 "Trapped" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 8 "Karma's a Bitch" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 7 "Full Moon (Creepy AF)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 6 "Heartbreaker" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 5 "Point of Origin" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 4 "Worst Day Ever" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 3 "Next of Kin" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 2 "Let Go" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
9-1-1: Season 1/ Episode 1 "Pilot" [Series Premiere] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)


Wishing It Wasn't Only The "- Begins" Episodes That Felt This Impactful - 76%
I Can't Recall The Last Time This Show Made Me Cry, Nevermind Cry This Much - 89%


9-1-1 presents the reminder it could be far better than it often is.

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