9-1-1 season 6 premiere recap: what's up with Buck and the couch?

Peter Krause looks on as Bobby in 9-1-1
Peter Krause in 9-1-1 (Image credit: Fox)

9-1-1 never fails to deliver high stakes thrills and the 9-1-1 season 6 premiere did just that. Between a blimp rescue and rekindled romance, there was a lot to take in. 

Let’s break down all of the big moments from the season premiere. Warning, SPOILERS AHEAD.

What was the big emergency in the 9-1-1 season 6 premiere?

9-1-1 is known for huge season premieres featuring everything from tsunamis and earthquakes to citywide blackouts. 

In season 6, the terror came from above when a blimp on its way to a stadium flyover had an emergency and couldn’t find a place to land safely in time. It collided into the same stadium it was supposed to be flying over, sending terrified soccer fans fleeing for their lives. 

While the 118 crew worked to free the blimp’s pilots from the wreckage, Athena (Angela Bassett) raced against the clock to save a girl whose heart pump stopped working. After finding the girl’s mother and the spare pump, she was able to save the girl’s life. 

What else happened in the 9-1-1 season 6 premiere?

The team was called to a car dealership, where people competing to win a car ended up with life-threatening injuries trying to forgo water to avoid needing to go to the bathroom. They were also called to a golf course after a son’s wedding ring ended up impaling his father in the chest when the son tried to fish a golf ball from a wood chipper. 

Hen (Aisha Hinds) was feeling the pressure from being a mom, wife, paramedic and medical student. With exams on the horizon, she was having trouble balancing her time. 

Chimney (Kenneth Choi) and Maddie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) found time to reconnect over a movie. A call inspires her to think about her life and how she’s been running away from her family. She vows to stop running so that she and Chim can build their future together. 

With his honeymoon cruise coming up, Bobby (Peter Krause) needed to appoint an interim captain to take over in his absence. Buck (Oliver Stark) was determined to land the position, going out of his way to prove his worthiness. In the end, Bobby gives Hen the position; she was his first choice but he admitted that he was going to pick someone else knowing how busy she is, but she insisted that she can handle it. 

Aisha Hinds and Ryan Guzman work on a patient in 9-1-1

Ryan Guzman and Aisha Hinds in 9-1-1 (Image credit: Fox)

What’s up with Buck and the couch in the 9-1-1 season 6 premiere? 

Eddie (Ryan Guzman) gave Buck a hard time about not replacing his couch. The empty space in the living room was more than an empty space for Buck, though. Couches usually came with girlfriends, he explained, and he wasn’t in a place where he wanted another girlfriend. 

Rather than focus on the lack of a couch and lack of a girlfriend, Buck threw himself into proving his worthiness to Bobby, but Bobby told him it wasn’t about cleaning the rig or taking over scenes that would prove he’s ready for being the interim captain. He needed to take time to work on himself first. 

Buck realized that sometimes a couch is just a couch. Buck accepted he needed to stop thinking about everything else and focus on getting right with himself. He moved an armchair into the spot previously occupied by the couch and sat down in it, alone, signaling his willingness to pause and reflect in order to get past his issues and move forward.

Stark talked to Variety about the couch. "I think 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."

9-1-1 airs Monday nights at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox. Catch up with the latest episodes the day after it airs on Hulu.

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.