9-1-1: What Does Gerrard's Return Mean for Buck in Season 8?

9-1-1: What Does Gerrard's Return Mean for Buck in Season 8?
Image credit: ABC

Season 8 promises to be extremely intense and full of drama.


  • The 9-1-1 Season 7 finale offered many plot twists, including the return of Captain Gerrard.
  • This could jeopardize the entire existence of Station 118, and especially Buck's career and mental state.
  • The new season of 9-1-1 will be released this fall.

9-1-1's move from Fox to ABC took a bit of a bite out of the ratings, but that didn't stop it from becoming the most popular drama in its new home, beating out other scripted shows. Season 7 managed to maintain its distinct charm, giving us no shortage of excitement and drama.

The drama, by the way, was not insignificant, arguably even outweighing the action scenes, unlike previous seasons. But no one expected the twists and turns of the final episode — especially the return of an old character who once did more than a little damage to the relationships within Station 118.

Unfortunately, his return raises concerns not only for Bobby's fate, but for the fate of all of Station 118 in Season 8. This is especially true for Buck, as the character in question is incredibly homophobic. Let's break down what we can expect from the upcoming season and how dangerous the situation is for Buck.

An Old Character's Unexpected (And Rather Unpleasant) Return

Although the new season was cut down to ten episodes instead of the usual 18 due to last year's WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, it was more than enough time to deliver plenty of great moments. There was Buck's coming out, Hen and Karen's attempts to adopt Mara, Eddie's attempts to overcome the trauma of losing his wife, and of course Bobby's redemption after the tragic fire in Minnesota.

But alas, no one expected what was in store for us in the final episode of the season. As soon as Bobby woke up after his cardiac arrest and had a heart-to-heart with Amir, as soon as he returned to the firehouse, we along with the other characters were confronted with a shocking revelation — Bobby is no longer the captain of LAFD Station 118, and his position has been taken over by Captain Vincent Gerrard (Brian Thompson).

Yes, the same veteran firefighter who caused a lot of trouble for Chimney and Hen in Season 2 due to his deep-rooted bigotry.

After Gerrard's Return, Is Buck in a Precarious Position?

Of course, Bobby's entire future career is in jeopardy (though it remains to be seen if he will even want to fight to regain the captaincy, or if he will devote himself to renovating the house for Athena and the kids). We can also expect a lot of confrontation between Gerrard and Chimney, as well as Gerrard and Hen.

But a new stumbling block promises to be Buck, who gives the homophobic Captain Gerrard a black eye for his blossoming relationship with Tommy.

Despite all the chaos of the finale, Buck's arc turns out to be quite harmless and even life-affirming. Sure, with Christopher leaving for Texas, he'll obviously have to focus his energy on something other than babysitting, but they'll probably still keep in touch. And such a quiet end to the season for Buck is just the calm before the storm that will hit in Season 8.

It is almost certain that Gerrard will not fire Buck - at least not at first, since he is a valuable employee (though if Vincent does, we should of course expect resistance from the entire 118, who may walk out in protest). Still, for Buck, who has just begun to navigate his sexuality by accepting it and being open about his relationship with his co-workers, this will prove to be an incredibly heavy psychological pressure — especially in Chris' absence.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for Buck and all the members of Station 118. 9-1-1 Season 8 is scheduled for release in the fall of 2024.