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The Unexpected Meaning Behind Buck's Armchair On 9-1-1

This article contains spoilers for the Season 6 Premiere of "9-1-1," "Let the Games Begin."

You can always expect "9-1-1" to start its seasons with a bang — usually literally. True to form, Monday's inaugural outing features throngs of spectators in a race for their lives after a blimp crashes onto them in the middle of a soccer game. The 118 is quickly on the scene, and once again, the team manages to defy death and even rescue the blimp's co-captain (Gabrielle Carteris of "Beverly Hills 90210" fame).

But "Let the Games Begin" isn't all pulse-pounding action. Evan "Buck" Buckley (Oliver Stark) finds himself dealing with less deadly but still daunting professional and personal hassles. He's peeved that he hasn't been considered for the position of interim captain while Bobby Nash (Peter Krause) is out of town, and on the home front, he faces a miniature domestic drama involving furniture. Buck's armchair becomes quite symbolic of his current emotional status as the episode plays out, giving the seat a special meaning that fans of the drama likely didn't think of before.

Buck's armchair is symbolic of his proud singleton status

During "Let the Games Begin," Buck is finally forced to confront his Season 5 breakup with Taylor Kelly (Megan West) by replacing the couch she took when she moved away. Buck's struggle to pick the right piece of furniture for his sparely furnished apartment — and eventual choice to stick with his beloved armchair — is incredibly symbolic of his self-acceptance, something Oliver Stark has indicated is part of Buck's path toward healing after rejecting Taylor. A recent interview with Oliver Stark further confirms that this chair-versus-couch metaphor is quite intentional.

Stark told Variety in a September 2022 interview that he "think[s] that whole couch/armchair thing becomes such a symbol for him in this episode. And by the end of it, choosing to not go buy a new couch, but being happiest and accepting of just having an armchair, shows that it's a one-person seat; that he's making peace with the fact that he's going to be by himself for a little bit, and that he needs to be by himself for a little bit."

The actor adds that Buck isn't usually the one who initiates breakups, which he did with Taylor due to outrage over her betraying his trust by publishing an article using information she received from him. "I think the two things kind of feed into each other, that he's made this decision for himself and now he has to continue down that path and find out, without somebody else's input, who he is in the world." Stark also said that Buck's quest to become captain material will give him something new to concentrate on. Fans will have to keep watching to see if he sticks to this vow.