Love is in the air in Los Angeles, but that doesn't always mean a happy ending.
Credit: Jack Zeman / FOX
S2 E8
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9-1-1 may think it’s doing us all a favor by getting away from the creepy Halloween stuff with an episode devoted to love stories, but all I really took away from “Buck, Actually” is that love might be the scariest thing of all.

I mean, you fall in love with someone after seeing Say, Anything and years later you find yourself an empty-nester being ignored by your husband, grabbing a gun, and taking to a freeway sign to expose yourself to all of Los Angeles just to get his attention. Sure, you rekindle your romance after he plays “In Your Eyes” over the police radio, but you’re still going to land in jail for a whole laundry list of crimes. That’s what love does to people.

Or you could end up like that tweaker woman who thinks her boyfriend’s half-baked plan to rob a gas station convenience store is a good idea and get involved in one of the most hilariously ill-fated robberies of all time, fall through a convenience store ceiling and get arrested. Okay, this story is cute because the two convenience store clerks realize they are in love — Ruth & Earl 4Eva! — but otherwise: scary!

Oh, you know, you could fall in love, get married, and as you’re driving away in your “just married” car you get into a horrific accident, end up wrapped around a tree, and in need of the jaws of life to get out. Sure, you’ll survive, but your wedding day memories are FOREVER RUINED.

Even the most lovely victim love story ends in tragedy: You, too, could have a love that is great and spans decades and is full of adventures like Thomas and Mitchell — we get a mini-TV show all about their life together within 9-1-1, not complaining — and just after you get married as two old men, you could be walking down your driveway and get smashed between your front gate and your car, which was not in park and rolled down your driveway. Dead! Mitchell is dead! BUT WAIT, love sucks even more: You could be like Thomas and watch your love die tragically and then go and say goodbye to him, only to die yourself. Yes, you wanted to go out together, and you die holding hands, but like, I just spent seven solid minutes on your love story only to get the end of The Notebook and I AM SAD.

In conclusion, if you’re a citizen of Los Angeles, love hurts…love hurts so much! But you know who love feels really good for? The people on this show who we actually care about (Just kidding: Thomas and Mitchell, I care about you more than at least half the main characters on this show, R.I.P.).

If you couldn’t tell from the title, this episode is all about Buck getting back out there post-Abby. Buck thinks his new singledom is a huge deal, but almost everyone is like, “Uh, you’ve basically been single for months.” But now Buck is out of Abby’s apartment (and on Chimney’s couch — not Maddie’s for some reason?) and making an effort to go out into the world. He’s also making an effort to not revert back to his old “Buck 1.0” ways. Remember when he had sex with his LAFD appointed therapist during his therapy session? Yeah, he doesn’t want to go back to that. He’s Buck 2.0!

Well, he’s Buck 2.0 until he runs into his favorite redheaded reporter Taylor Kelly at a karaoke bar he’s at with Chim and Maddie. She sends him a drink, they get to chatting, and they end up having sex in the bathroom. Buck 1.0 is back, apparently — and spending time with the same reporter who was ready and willing to damage Bobby and Buck’s entire station just to get ahead in her career. No, but sure, Buck, have sex with that traitor.

The whole situation sits poorly with Buck, who honestly is trying to be a different man. He goes to apologize to Taylor in case she “felt used” but little does he know she’s the one using him. She thinks he’s being ridiculous but is totally up for a romp in her news van until an interesting story pops up. Once that story comes in, she kicks Buck out and speeds off into the night for news glory or something. It’s Chim who ends up explaining what’s going on to dear, sweet Buck: Taylor is Buck 1.0 — and Buck’s the one getting “Bucked.” It is most definitely not what he’s looking for after Abby.

Meanwhile, he gets a mysterious phone call from another woman asking him out to coffee. He hesitates to say yes but eventually takes her up on it. The woman on the other end of the phone turns out to be…the woman who almost fell out of the hotel during the earthquake — the one Buck and Eddie saved! At the coffee shop, they are very cute and very flirty. This feels good!

Buck may be actively seeking out a new relationship, but his sister has no idea she’s already in one. Now that Buck is crashing at Chim’s, he realizes that Chim and Maddie are spending a lot of time together. They know each other’s drink order. They have a karaoke song (alas it is not Hewitt’s “How Do I Deal?” which was my jam back in the day, but “Islands in the Stream” which is also acceptable I GUESS). They have weekend dinner traditions that feature a whole slew of delivery food options. It dawns on Buck that they must be dating. When he calls them out on it, they laugh it off. They’re just friends, duh! But the realization makes them both uncomfortable.

Later, Chim visits Maddie at work to make sure everything is okay between them. He never wanted it to seem like he was pressuring her into something she’s not ready for. Maddie never took it that way. They’re just hanging out — plus, she just assumed that no one would really want to take on her baggage at the moment. And although Chim is just fine being friends and hanging out, he wants her to know that her past doesn’t scare him off. You guys! These two are so cute. They leave the whole thing at “maybe one day” but you know one day is going to be here before we know it. This is the kind of love story I’m talking about!

Okay, now that we’re done with the 9-1-1 newbie couples, let’s talk about Mom and Dad. Athena and Bobby are going strong (so obviously, I’m worried about their future). So strong, in fact, that Bobby joins Athena and her kids for dinner with Michael and his boyfriend, Glenn. Bobby is there to act as a buffer if things get weird or tense — but it turns out that Athena doesn’t need a buffer. She and Glenn hit it off! By the end of dinner, they’re best friends. The Grants are making this work (when will this all fall apart?)!

After surviving that dinner and the round of aforementioned crazy calls (aw, you guys, during the newlywed car crash Athena and Bobby quickly hold hands), Bobby thinks it’s time to have a romantic dinner, one-on-one. There are candles and wine and…dancing. So much dancing! These two are so happy, this whole thing is bound to go up in, well, flames, right? See what I mean? Love is scary!

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