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S04.E05: Buck Begins

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The 118 race to save the lives of workers trapped in a five-alarm factory fire. Meanwhile, Maddie reveals a painful family secret that causes Buck to confront his childhood and answer why he is the daredevil he is today.

Airdate: 02/15/2021

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Yep, Buck was the failed savior baby who found his vocation saving others. He sure clued in fast once he knew Danny had leukemia and he was born during his brother's illness.

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That was sweet. Buck is forgiving, but he's also been on the receiving end of forgiveness,  so I'm glad he's able to give it. Nice episode. 

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This episode had a weird tone, like they were saying goodbye to Buck. They have done other origin stories but they had a different feel. The parents were awful to Maddie and Buck.

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2 hours ago, anna0852 said:

Man poor Buck. His capacity to forgive is far greater than mine.

I absolutely hate Buck and Maddie’s parents after this episode. Truly horrible people. 

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For me, the draw of this episode was really the focus on Buck and Maddie's relationship. From when he was very young, she was always looking after him. We got to see how that impact played out throughout the years with her marriage to Doug, leaving Buck and going to nursing school, him wanting her to run away together, her nursing career and then all the postcards he wrote to her over the years to display where he was (here in Georgia!) and what he was doing. I thought it was a great way to really show how close they are and what they mean to each other while also doing the exposition of how he came to the 118. And what great casting for young Maddie, she was very believable. The pinky swear montage was really sweet.

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I want to absolutely kill those parents. As much as Maddie loves her brother and looked out for him as best she could growing up, it's not a substitute for loving, present parents. Buck essentially grew up unloved and unwanted. And until now he never understood why. I am glad he's already seeing a therapist because he's definitely going to need it. Knowing that he was only born to save his brother and that it didn't work, that's gonna do a real number on his head considering he's already got self-esteem issues.

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2 hours ago, tvgoddess said:

And what great casting for young Maddie, she was very believable.

The younger of the 2 young Maddies especially seemed to have spent time watching the mannerisms of the adult character she was portraying.

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During the flashback scene when he walks into the 118 and meets the gang my thoughts were “and Buck gets the family he always wanted and deserves”.    And when they rescue him from the fire and none of them are angry or surprised that he went in to save the guy I could have sworn someone was in the room with me cutting onions.   

No you’re crying.

I get why he was angry at Maddie who was probably more a parent to him then their own parents but I also like the resolution.  The day she sent him away for good might have been the first time Doug really beat her badly.    Their parents might not have had a box for Buck but Maddie kept his post cards which were a source of hope for her.

 

No you’re crying.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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1 hour ago, Chaos Theory said:

The day she sent him away for good might have been the first time Doug really beat her badly.    

It was a nice touch that they showed Maddie with small injuries throughout- scraped forehead, scratches on her hands, her arm in a cast. 

I don’t think I could forgive my parents if they did what the Buckleys did. Or if I did, that forgiveness wouldn’t involve me having a relationship with them going forward. Like, the forgiveness would be in service of me moving on, not of helping them to feel better. 

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21 minutes ago, Empress1 said:


I don’t think I could forgive my parents if they did what the Buckleys did. Or if I did, that forgiveness wouldn’t involve me having a relationship with them going forward. Like, the forgiveness would be in service of me moving on, not of helping them to feel better. 

Me either. I kinda wish Buck had told them off a bit but I understand why he didn't. He's a better person than I am.

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1 hour ago, Empress1 said:

It was a nice touch that they showed Maddie with small injuries throughout- scraped forehead, scratches on her hands, her arm in a cast. 

I don’t think I could forgive my parents if they did what the Buckleys did. Or if I did, that forgiveness wouldn’t involve me having a relationship with them going forward. Like, the forgiveness would be in service of me moving on, not of helping them to feel better. 

There was also one time she had red marks around her neck

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They got me. I cried at the end. Those bastards.

Also, people kept thinking Maddie was actually Buck's mom but in a way, she always was. I'm so glad that she will be able to raise a child. Her and Chim will be awesome parents.

Edited by Racj82
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Yeah, count me as another who feels bad that Buck and Maddie have such shitty parents. I think it's made worse that they don't truly feel bad for the anguish they caused on Buck his entire life. Their grief has ruined the relationship they would have had with their children. That one line in the flashback about how that she has a reminder of Daniel every day (in Buck) just was crushing to hear. Even though Buck wouldn't have known what that meant at the time, Maddie sure did and that would have been a punch in the gut for him if he knew. Their parents may say that they don't blame Buck for what happened to Daniel, but I'm not so sure I believe them. 

Having the flashbacks be around Buck and Maddie's relationship was great. It's easy to see why they're so close. And I liked the resolution to the big reveal. Having Buck need to take time to figure out his feelings, feeling betrayed by Maddie but also forgiving her in the end, was great. I can't blame him for being so upset and so hurt. And I feel bad for seeing the reason why Maddie didn't go with Buck in the flashbacks. It's what I suspected but it didn't make it easier to see when we saw Maddie's battered face. 

Poor Buck looked like a puppy who just got reprimanded all episode. Oliver Stark is a really strong actor, probably the best one on the show, and I love whenever he gets these centric episode to show off how good he really is. When he was portraying a 20 year old Buck, he really sold the young innocence, especially in the hospital scene when he crashed his motorcycle and told Maddie that he got kicked out of school.

The postcard montage, coupled with the various injuries on Maddie as she was reading them, was a heartbreaking touch. 

I appreciate that it ended with Buck saying that he forgave his parents but only because he had low expectations of them to begin with. I also like Buck's comment about how he could only truly get angry at the person he loves the most. I think his indifference with his parents would hurt MORE, as it really shows how little he cares about them, and for good reason. 

This was one of the stronger Begins episodes for me, especially since Buck's Begin episode was the last of the main cast to see (I know we haven't had an official Maddie Begins episode, but we did have a flashback episode for her and her Begins episode will always cross over with her brother, anyway) and it's been a long time coming. 

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13 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Being spoiler-adverse/-avoidant, with all the flashbacks, I was pretty sure this was the end of the line for Buck. 

Someone thinks that every time they do one of these begins episodes. That's never really the point. It's their history juxtaposed to a huge life event. I don't think they will ever kill someone off this way. Especially not on their first "begins"

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I want to absolutely kill those parents. As much as Maddie loves her brother and looked out for him as best she could growing up, it's not a substitute for loving, present parents. Buck essentially grew up unloved and unwanted. And until now he never understood why. I am glad he's already seeing a therapist because he's definitely going to need it. Knowing that he was only born to save his brother and that it didn't work, that's gonna do a real number on his head considering he's already got self-esteem issues.

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did.

(Although it's a personal bugaboo of mine when people put the emphasis on the word cream in ice cream. )

I liked the idea of the flashback in theory, but the kids playing young Buck and Young Maddie looked absolutely nothing like Jennifer Love Hewitt or Oliver Stark. That sort of took me out of it.

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That was so sad episode. OMG. Buck is the best character on this show. But they're all pretty much awesome. 🙂 The one thing missing from the episode is Bobby discussing Buck's problem with Athena. I'm glad Athena said to Buck he didn't give up. Buck sure looks up to Bobby and Athena. 🙂

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So we get confirmation of what many suspected, that Buck was born to get parts for his long dead brother, and the Buckley parents basically drowned in their grief and checked out with Maddie and Buck. I just cant get over totally erasing a dead child, its just such a horrible way to honor a person who died, and making Maddie have to pretend she never had another brother is such a messed up thing to do to a kid. I get that losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a person and I am sure that being reminded of him would be painful, but just pretending he never existed doesn't exactly seem healthy. The Buckley parents weren't monsters or anything, but they let their grief just about tear their family apart and their lack of interest in their kids led to a LOT of Maddie and Bucks problems as adults, like Maddie seeing Doug's controlling behavior as "sweet" and even Buck's ridiculous story where he sued the department to get his job back, this job is the only place he ever felt wanted and where he felt like he was good at anything. 

I loved the focus on Maddie and Buck growing up, even if Maddie isn't his actual mom (like many suspected) she basically raised him in all the ways that mattered. The montage of Maddie looking at postcards from Buck was both sweet and sad, as you could start seeing the evidence of Doug's abuse. This was pretty high on my list of "...Begins" episodes, probably helped that it didn't need to follow the formula of "character has bad things happen to them, they join the station, everyone hates them for no reason until they don't" that a lot of these followed. Plus Oliver Stark is a really strong actor, and he sold the hell out of all of this. He even managed to look like a twenty year old kid in the flashbacks, and the younger Bucks could certainly be a younger Oliver Stark. The younger Maddie's didn't look as much like JLH, but they really acted like her, they had a lot of the same vocal patterns and gestures, so it still worked. 

I am glad that Buck made peace with his parents, being a very forgiving sort of person, mostly because I think that's a good thing for him to know that the problem was always them, and not him. I mean, Buck might not have known why his parents were weird with him, but considering his moms "We get a reminder looking at us every day!" freak out, I can imagine he would pick up on their resentment of him, even if they tried to hide it and he had no clue why they would resent him. His mom especially seemed like she could hardly look at him without bursting into hysterics. 

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It’s funny if you read back at the pilot episode how anti Buck it was.   Everyone was sure “the young firefighter” was going to annoy them.   Now he is pretty much the center of the show.   And JLH got a lot of hate when she came on the show.  I am sure she still does but she is now central to the plot in away that isn’t forced and makes sense.   I love both of them and the fact that coming to LA and meeting the 118 really did save both their lives.

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46 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did.

 

I didn't understand this either. There are a lot of emotional inconsistencies in this plotline.  If anything, I would expect Maddie to be more hurt because it appears that Daniel became the ' favorite child' after she had been the center of attention for years. And if they worshipped Daniel so much, it also seems odd that they would wipe out any memory of him. Was it ever mentioned by either Maddie or Buck before that the parents were unsatisfactory (if it was, I don't remember it)?

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59 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did.

I think being shitty parents isn't just about the obvious abuse and neglect. Not every bad parent needs to be beating their kids or literally not doing a thing for them in order to be shitty parents. The other side to shitty parents is the subtle things, the parts you could argue make for a bad parent or not. This is the case with the Buckleys. As Maddie and Buck have both said, they are not bad people. They're just bad parents. Sure, they cared for their children, fed them, bought them gifts, and they may not be objectively terrible parents in that sense. But it's the emotional damage they caused that is dangerous. We've seen in the flashbacks that, yes, Father Buckley went out of his way to try to show a little bit more love toward Buck while Mother Buckley couldn't seem to interact with Buck like a normal parent. But it doesn't mean that Buck and Maddie were wrong in feeling like they weren't at the top of their parents' priorities. Buck said it a couple of episodes ago that he felt like they liked each other more than their own children. 

Even though they weren't hitting their children or leaving them to fend for themselves, they still both felt like their parents weren't present in those moments. And I think we saw that their parents are still drowning in grief, even 30 years later. That's not healthy at all. Do I think they could have added in a couple of other scenes where Young Buck was trying to get the attention of his parents? Sure. But I do still think that they were not good parents. I think we heard a lot of what the parents did, even if we didn't see more of it in the flashbacks. 

3 minutes ago, sempervivum said:

Was it ever mentioned by either Maddie or Buck before that the parents were unsatisfactory (if it was, I don't remember it)?

They've started mentioning it more at the end of last season, but I think it was also hinted at whenever the Buckley siblings got hurt on the show and there was never any mention of their parents coming to visit, nor any mention of their parents at ALL. 

Plus, I do really think that they did a good job at relating Buck's childhood to his early series persona, the one who was rebellious, sleeping around, and getting in trouble so often before getting together with Abby. 

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4 hours ago, iMonrey said:

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did.

(Although it's a personal bugaboo of mine when people put the emphasis on the word cream in ice cream. )

I liked the idea of the flashback in theory, but the kids playing young Buck and Young Maddie looked absolutely nothing like Jennifer Love Hewitt or Oliver Stark. That sort of took me out of it.

I think too much focus, at times, are put on the looks of the actors playing the younger or older version of someone. For me, it's about the mannerisms. And both younger counterparts had it down. That's the important thing imo. Much like the kids on This is Us. 

Everyone's issues or pain are they own. Neglect and abuse also come in different forms. Not caring is it's own type of abuse. The parents LET Buck hurt himself over and over and they just kept sweeping it under rug and covering it up with presents. But, they stopped being there as actual parents years ago. The things Maddie did for Buck are things his parents never did. Gave him advice. Let him know how cared for her was. Listened to him. The parents were just there. And it's a different kind of terrible but still terrible. A family shouldn't be strangers in a house that just give off pleasantries every once in a while. Yes, it's preferred to physical abuse. But, one thing being better doesn't make good or okay. I think that is what people are responding to. Especially as people invested in these characters.

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31 minutes ago, Racj82 said:

Everyone's issues or pain are they own. Neglect and abuse also come in different forms. Not caring is it's own type of abuse.

This. When I was a kid, I was daddy's little girl but my dad began emotionally checking out when his father died. (I was 10.) It hit critical mass when I was a teenager and I spent a good long time afterward wondering what I did wrong to make him ... not like me anymore. I'm 39 now and I'm still working on coming to terms with/remembering that I did nothing wrong and it was always his issue, not mine. It still hurts.

Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Buckley clothed and fed their children and kept a roof over their heads but it is hard growing up feeling like your parent(s) don't care about you or love you. It is hard growing up feeling like no matter what you do, you can't please your parent(s). Buck grew up getting injury after injury (and not just skinned knees and palms like all children but injuries) and not once did his parents say, wait a second, what's going on here? They never kept a baby box (or book or anything) for Buck because their grief over Daniel overshadowed Buck's existence for them. Mrs. Buckley even says straight out that Buck is her reminder every day of Daniel's loss. I don't know how Mrs. Buckley could ever have parented Buck effectively if every time she looked at him, she was reminded of Daniel. Because to her, Buck was never just Buck. He was Daniel's failed savior, which is so unbelievably unfair to Buck. 

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Athena and Bobby should just adopt Buck already, and Maddie too. Athena with Bobby talking to Buck at the ambulance balm for all the horribleness with the Buckley parents. And then Eddie gently ribbing him when he got his clean bill of health. Gah. I totally hated sex in the engine, show off Buck at the start of this show. Talk about character growth, I like when shows are able to actual show characters changing and growing. Makes you wonder how long they had been building Bucks Beginning for.

I watch both 911 shows back-to-back and it was interesting to watch how Chim reacted to being the messenger in the middle versus the other 911 show with Judd being in the middle. I figure the shows’ writers don’t chat unless its crossovers but its interesting two characters had a similar issue of knowing something that affected a love one greatly-like world changing big.

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9 hours ago, iMonrey said:

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did....

Thanks for acknowledging that, @iMonrey.
Although a lot of the comments here indicate a lot of resentment toward the Buckley parents, the show didn't entirely spin it that way. In a previous episode Maddie said that their parents weren't bad people, just bad parents. I think that's true of a lot of parents --even those who mean well. 

My ex-in-laws, who would be over 100 years old if they were still alive, thought we should start telling my 5-year-old daughter that her step father was her real father. They meant well. 
In the early 1950s when my mother was inconsolably depressed over the loss of her mother, the doctor prescribed as a cure that my mother have another baby (me) --which I think we would all now agree is a terrible idea --although the hormones of pregnancy actually did seem to work as antidepressants for my mom. 
So I didn't see the Buckleys as evil, and certainly don't hate them for their shortcomings as parents. 

Somewhat like Buck and Maddie, my sister and I have often joined together to rag about our mother's racism or our father's antiquated perspectives on gender, or a bunch or bad parenting decisions they made, or even bad pet owner choices. But we usually chalk it up to ignorance rather than to malevolence. 

After my divorce my mother removed all pictures from her albums that included my kids' father. 
I did not do that in my albums, and always reminded my kids of his birthday and Father's Day.
I think it's partly a generational thing.
It probably would have worked better in the show if Maddie and Buck's parents were written as grandparents who had raised them.

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I got the impression that child Buck getting injured was the only time the parents paid any attention to or showed any concern for him.  Which fueled his reckless behavior.  

13 hours ago, Empress1 said:

I don’t think I could forgive my parents if they did what the Buckleys did. Or if I did, that forgiveness wouldn’t involve me having a relationship with them going forward. Like, the forgiveness would be in service of me moving on, not of helping them to feel better. 

What Buck said to Maddie about forgiving them seemed to parallel this. He said something about it was hard to feel betrayed by someone you never counted on anyway.  I interpreted that as he preferred to move on, not because he's invested in them emotionally, but because he isn't. In addition to Maddie, he has a family of his own via the station crew.   

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10 hours ago, iMonrey said:

As a child of an abusive alcoholic I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy for Buck or Maddie. Their parents weren't perfect, they may have been emotionally distant but they were hardly neglectful or abusive. Hell the dad took Buck out for ice cream after he fell off Daniel's bike. People who are so horrified by these two mild mannered suburbanites must have had way better parents than I did.

And here you see where some types of abuse are dismissed because someone has it "not as bad". At least decent humans will allow you to be affected and scarred by your abuse, but you aren't willing to offer the same courtesy to other abuse victims? Is it that important to win the Abuse Olympics?

Emotional abuse and neglect are equally horrible and more likely to make the victims feel like there's something wrong with them, not a failing of their abusers. Buck spent his entire life wondering what it was about him that, no matter what, his parents ignored him, didn't love him, and treated him like a fuckup for existing - which to them, he did fuck up with his very existence. They uprooted Maddie in the midst of her grieving for her brother, moved her away from everything familiar to her and ERASED that brother's existence from their lives.

The kids learned that any attention was preferable to no attention at all, leading to Maddie suffering in a physically and emotionally abuse marriage for years for the scraps of "love" she'd get and Buck self-harming through risky behavior his entire life to get his parents to interact with him. 

Mom needed therapy YEARS ago. She's still just hysterical in her grief and neither parent understands what they've been doing to their children or really feels the slightest honest remorse. Dad should have made her get help after Daniel's death instead of enabling her at the kids' expense.

One child dies and they THREW AWAY the other two, wallowing in grief. They didn't deserve any of their three kids.

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10 hours ago, ribboninthesky1 said:

I got the impression that child Buck getting injured was the only time the parents paid any attention to or showed any concern for him.  Which fueled his reckless behavior.  

I got the same impression. He engaged in a pattern of learned behavior where injury equals reward (attention). Really very sad. The depth of psychology in this episode was severe.

Weighing in on my own personal history, I have an extremely complicated relationship with my mom. She's the complete opposite of me and she has verbally abused me for a large portion of my life. She's very Jekyll and Hyde. Never know what you're going to get. I walk on eggshells around her and when I was confined to her house a few years ago temporarily due to medical issues, my anxiety was through the roof. I would never try and compare it to physical abuse, but I have an ex-fiance who basically almost left me at the altar (he bailed right after the out of town invitations went out) because of her. I quit contact and tried to cut her out of my life but I eventually did go back. She still has her moments, but she has improved now that I'm in a better place mentally. We actually bonded over politics because it's the one thing we both agree on.

I didn't much like the kids that were cast for Buck. They didn't seem to be what young Buck would look like at all. Other than that, it was a very strong episode. I thought for sure that the person Buck was rescuing was a goner. 

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10 hours ago, CoyoteBlue said:

Emotional abuse and neglect are equally horrible and more likely to make the victims feel like there's something wrong with them, not a failing of their abusers.

Thank you!!!!!  I'm so over people that dismiss emotional abuse.  I've always said emotional abuse is worse because people can't see the scars.

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 I'm so over people that dismiss emotional abuse.  I've always said emotional abuse is worse because people can't see the scars.

I'm not inclined to label Buck's parents as emotionally abusive. That's the problem. Parents that don't hover over their children every waking moment showering them with love, attention and praise aren't abusive. Neglectful, perhaps, and distant, for sure. But calling that abuse really diminishes what actual abused children go through. 

I'm sorry, I'm just not seeing Buck as some poor little broken woobie because his parents weren't all they should have been. The way he lashed out at them is more his problem than theirs IMO. I think there's a case to be made that he always had some subliminal awareness that some secret was being kept from him, which is why he feels so screwed up now, but at some point you have to be a grown up and stop blaming your parents for everything that's wrong in your life. Pretty much the minute you leave their house and start to support yourself.

I do think Maddie has a stronger case to make that her parents stink if she cut her off because of who she married and weren't there for her, even after she ended up killing her ex. But that largely seems to have been swept under the rug in favor of Buck's current story. There's a real disconnect between their glaring absence the last couple of seasons and how they're being presented now. 

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I would categorize neglect as abuse, though. I believe abuse is a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum is beatings and bruises and on the other is the emotional. Emotional abuse can also leave a child questioning their own self-worth, wondering what it is about them that is so unlovable that even the people who are supposed to love them the most in the world don't.

As far as this scenario, there is a difference between "not hovering" and apathy. These parents were portrayed as so drowning in their grief for one child that they completely disregarded the emotional needs of the two living children that they did have. I would categorize that as abuse.

I would categorize conceiving a child for the sole purpose of being a bone marrow donor for an older sibling and viewing the older sibling's death as a failure on the younger child's part as abuse. Even Mrs. Buckley's acceptance of Buck at the end framed his sole purpose for existence as saving other people. That's a lot to lay on a person, never mind a child.

I don't see Buck as a woobie but his parent did fail him. As far as growing up, by seeking out therapy, he is doing the responsible thing. He is learning how to separate his own issues from the ones his parents foisted on him. He is learning how to see his own self-worth for himself and not just for how he is seen by other people.

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On 2/16/2021 at 8:26 PM, shapeshifter said:

So I didn't see the Buckleys as evil, and certainly don't hate them for their shortcomings as parents. 

Somewhat like Buck and Maddie, my sister and I have often joined together to rag about our mother's racism or our father's antiquated perspectives on gender, or a bunch or bad parenting decisions they made, or even bad pet owner choices. But we usually chalk it up to ignorance rather than to malevolence. 

I think it’s a very important part of the storyline that the Buckley’s, while not appearing to be bad people, are not perfect parents.  There are many things that parents do out of long held beliefs or ignorance that aren’t intended to harm, but do anyway.

My Dad taught my brother to build engines, carpentry, install plumbing and electric safely, cut down trees with a chainsaw, build a sturdy treehouse, etc.  Dad enforced the antiquated gender role that “girls don’t hold tools in their hands”.  I literally wasn’t allowed to touch them.  I struggled with that for awhile-imagine being taught a tool phobia!  But the real damage is raising a daughter to believe she HAS to rely on (or pay) a MAN to handle all the “tool” work in life.  I know it wasn’t malicious, but before therapy, it was crippling.

The writers appear to be throwing in a lot of old school themes with The Buckley Family treatment.  
(Not approving of Maddie’s choice in Doug) oh, you’re having problems in your marriage?  You’ve made your bed, now lie in it.

Childhood leukemia survival rates are a LOT better than they were in the 80’s.  Looking at it through today’s lens, they might not have chosen to have a savior baby.

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I thought Maddie's "they're not bad people, just bad parents" from the previous episode was interesting, mostly because I believe it's difficult for (even adult) children to think of their parents as "bad."  Particularly in the absence of physical abuse.  

Then, in this episode, the father reveals they moved away due to the disapproving judgment of their friends and neighbors.  So they were getting quite a bit of side eye from their peers as well. I wonder if some of that judgment was based on how they treated Maddie and Buck. 

On 2/17/2021 at 12:23 AM, CoyoteBlue said:

Mom needed therapy YEARS ago. She's still just hysterical in her grief and neither parent understands what they've been doing to their children or really feels the slightest honest remorse. Dad should have made her get help after Daniel's death instead of enabling her at the kids' expense.

I read a flashing sign of "narcissism!" around the mother. She had the entire household walking on emotional eggshells, for most of Maddie's life, all of Buck's, and who knows how long of that marriage. I doubt therapy would have made a difference, even if she agreed to go.  The father enabled her.  Daniel's illness and death might have exacerbated issues that were long-simmering before, and Maddie might have been too young to truly understand it.              

Edited by ribboninthesky1 · Reason: Fixed typos
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On 2/17/2021 at 12:04 AM, ribboninthesky1 said:

I got the impression that child Buck getting injured was the only time the parents paid any attention to or showed any concern for him.  Which fueled his reckless behavior.  

Really great observation.  And I give the show a lot of credit for making that part of Buck's history and tying it back to the Buck we first met in Season 1 who had the same reckless streak.

I finally watched this.  Honestly I am not a great fan of the 'Begins' episodes because I prefer the rescues interspersed with character plots.  But I think I liked this one the best after Bobby's. 

I am in the camp that would file his parents behavior under abuse.  It is in the category of the sort of 'benign' abuse that isn't immediate or catastrophic but builds over time and causes lasting emotional damage. I think it would be awful to live in a home where you have a nagging feeling that your parents just don't love you or might not even like you and you can't do anything to change it.   And honestly Buck isn't the only person to be affected by this.  A very young Maddie falling into the arms of Doug who probably showered her with obsessive attention from the jump probably had no touchstone to understand what was healthy and what wasn't when it came to love and attention.

I will say I wasn't on board with Maddie's exasperation over Buck's not being able to settle on something right away.  Honestly I was a little envious of Buck's adventurous side, if not the reasons for it. The best time to find your niche is in your twenties and college is not for everyone.  I think it was cool that Buck travelled and saw places and did a lot of different things.  That is actually kinda cool.

But I am glad he got the affirmation he needed from Athena, Bobby and the rest of the crew.

I thought the parents seeing the light at the end was a little abrupt given their lifelong commitment to being in denial.  But that is how this show rolls.

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4 minutes ago, DearEvette said:

I thought the parents seeing the light at the end was a little abrupt given their lifelong commitment to being in denial.  But that is how this show rolls.

I don't think them 'seeing the light' was sincere. I think they knew they had to say something socially acceptable to save face. And I wouldn't be surprised if Maddie made them do it.

I didn't feel any remorse from either of them.

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5 hours ago, DearEvette said:

A very young Maddie falling into the arms of Doug who probably showered her with obsessive attention from the jump probably had no touchstone to understand what was healthy and what wasn't when it came to love and attention.

This really does give her relationship with Doug a lot more context. Growing up with parents that gave her no real attention and having to step up and give Buck the emotional support that their parents weren't giving them, someone who gave her tons of attention and wanted to look out for her must have seemed very appealing. What was controlling behavior probably read to young, emotionally starved Maddie as love and affection, as she hadn't had any kind of healthy positive attention in so long from anyone but Buck. Its also probably why Buck always clings onto his romantic relationships even when its clear that its over, especially holding onto Abbey way after it was obvious she had ghosted him and when he ended up sleeping with his therapist in the first season. He wants to be loved so much that he clings to any chance of someone loving him, so he gets really invested really fast then ends up terribly hurt whenever it doesn't work out, taking it as a personal failing, like how he probably grew up thinking he must have done something wrong to make his parents not like him. 

The mother seems to be seriously narcissistic, everything is all about her and how it affects her. Even last week she was going on about how hard Maddie's abusive relationship and near death experience was for HER and how she never visited Buck in the hospital because SHE hates hospitals and when we saw her yelling at Buck for getting hurt it was about how it affected HER. Even when Maddie confronted them about how crappy this has all been for her and Buck, she started yelling about Maddie has no idea what SHE went through, because she isn't a mother. I mean, Maddie lost her brother, but sure, she has no idea HER level of pain. It sounds like even the idea to pretend that Daniel never existed was her idea and the dad wasn't fully onboard, but it was what SHE wanted, so that's what they did. Its all about her and her own grief. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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On 2/16/2021 at 6:25 PM, Dani-Ellie said:
On 2/16/2021 at 5:40 PM, Racj82 said:

Everyone's issues or pain are they own. Neglect and abuse also come in different forms. Not caring is it's own type of abuse.

This. When I was a kid, I was daddy's little girl but my dad began emotionally checking out when his father died. (I was 10.) It hit critical mass when I was a teenager and I spent a good long time afterward wondering what I did wrong to make him ... not like me anymore. I'm 39 now and I'm still working on coming to terms with/remembering that I did nothing wrong and it was always his issue, not mine. It still hurts.

This is me as well. I had the same relationship with my dad when I was a little girl, he spent time with me, we were somewhat close. At some point, maybe around the time I was 10 or 11, he acted like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with me, and I know I did nothing wrong. It got to the point where I hated being in the same house, much less the same room with him. I'm almost 51 and I haven't spoken to the man (other than on a couple of brief occasions) in 20+ years. He knows what he's lost, just like Maddie & Buck's parents know what they lost. I just don't think either of them (my dad or their parents) care all that much.

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On 2/16/2021 at 9:24 PM, SnoGirl said:

Athena and Bobby should just adopt Buck already, and Maddie too. Athena with Bobby talking to Buck at the ambulance balm for all the horribleness with the Buckley parents. And then Eddie gently ribbing him when he got his clean bill of health. Gah. I totally hated sex in the engine, show off Buck at the start of this show. Talk about character growth, I like when shows are able to actual show characters changing and growing. Makes you wonder how long they had been building Bucks Beginning for.

Although Buck is still not a favorite of mine (I do like him better than I did in the beginning though), I agree about the character growth. That is my biggest thing about watching the shows that I watch, is that at some point, I expect character growth, especially when a show has been on awhile. I gave up on a highly rated TV show after a number of YEARS watching because there was absolutely no growth with any of them. You just get fed up after awhile.

I have to admit though, I'm surprised it took this long to get Buck's story. He's one I would have expected early on.

Speaking of Athena and Bobby... does she know about his previous family, and his involvement in their deaths? I mean I figure she must, but I can't remember if it was ever actually discussed between them. Well, now that makes me think of how he handled it as opposed to how the Buckley's handled it. In a way, he does acknowledge the loss (sort of like he did in that scene with May in a previous episode) but he doesn't talk about it or about them (not that I expect them to be constantly on his mind), and just like the Buckley's moved, so did he.

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Bobby was alone though. He didn't make one child pretend her little brother never existed or pretend (emotionally) himself that his other son didn't exist. He tried to start over but not at the expense of anyone else.

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9 hours ago, Kenadi O said:

Speaking of Athena and Bobby... does she know about his previous family, and his involvement in their deaths? I mean I figure she must, but I can't remember if it was ever actually discussed between them.

Yes. Athena knew all about Bobby’s family and his addiction issues before they got married. There is one episode in S2 where the firehouse eats some LSD laced brownies gifted to them and it is on what would have been Bobby’s daughter’s  13th birthday.  During his acid trip he goes on the roof and claims to see her floating in the clouds.  Athena is the one who talks him down. Later they discuss how painful thinking about his kids is but it is a bit of a positive turning point because it is also when May and Harry make an overt gesture showing they accept Bobby as part of their family. They ask him to pose with them for family photos.

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Aww... speaking of Bobby's past, I decided to go back and re-watch Bobby Begins episode.  And The scene of Buck showing up for the first time at the 118 at when everyone is at dinner (shown in this episode) was originally aired in Bobby's episode.  I hadn't realized that. But it was kinda nice to see it there as well.

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16 hours ago, DearEvette said:
On 2/20/2021 at 9:53 PM, Kenadi O said:

Speaking of Athena and Bobby... does she know about his previous family, and his involvement in their deaths? I mean I figure she must, but I can't remember if it was ever actually discussed between them.

Yes. Athena knew all about Bobby’s family and his addiction issues before they got married. There is one episode in S2 where the firehouse eats some LSD laced brownies gifted to them and it is on what would have been Bobby’s daughter’s  13th birthday.  During his acid trip he goes on the roof and claims to see her floating in the clouds.  Athena is the one who talks him down. Later they discuss how painful thinking about his kids is but it is a bit of a positive turning point because it is also when May and Harry make an overt gesture showing they accept Bobby as part of their family. They ask him to pose with them for family photos.

Thank you for the refresher. I do remember that episode, I just couldn't remember specific details.

On 2/20/2021 at 10:23 PM, Ailianna said:

Bobby was alone though. He didn't make one child pretend her little brother never existed or pretend (emotionally) himself that his other son didn't exist. He tried to start over but not at the expense of anyone else.

You're right, that was part of the comparison that I left off, so thank you for correcting me.

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On 2/16/2021 at 2:40 PM, Chaos Theory said:

  I love both of them and the fact that coming to LA and meeting the 118 really did save both their lives.

That's a beautiful way to look at it. 

On 2/18/2021 at 10:16 AM, ribboninthesky1 said:

 

I read a flashing sign of "narcissism!" around the mother. She had the entire household walking on emotional eggshells, for most of Maddie's life, all of Buck's, and who knows how long of that marriage. I doubt therapy would have made a difference, even if she agreed to go.  The father enabled her.  Daniel's illness and death might have exacerbated issues that were long-simmering before, and Maddie might have been too young to truly understand it.              

I'm cutting the father just a little slack, because he did seem to have some awareness of what was happening to Buck and tried to mitigate it when he could. He was also in the pull of his wife's grief and enabled her at his son's expense. And he likely had enough guilt and shame of his own to deal with. He could have done a better job, surely, but it felt like he at least tried. It wasn't enough ultimately.

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On 2/16/2021 at 1:36 PM, iMonrey said:

I liked the idea of the flashback in theory, but the kids playing young Buck and Young Maddie looked absolutely nothing like Jennifer Love Hewitt or Oliver Stark. That sort of took me out of it.

I felt a little bad for the young actresses playing Maddie since I remember what Jennifer Love Hewitt looked like in the 90s and none of them really looked like her. That said the first one who fixed up Buck after falling off his bike totally nailed her way of speaking. Pretty impressive especially for a part that was maybe a 5 minutes of screen time.

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I have no sympathy for Buck and Maddies parents.  They did the bare minimum and the kids self esteem took the hit.  Buck became wild and thrill seeking. While Maddie sought out a relationship, any relationship, to get out of that house.  She stayed with an abuser because of the damage they did to her. 
 

A family that we are closed to lost their 5 year old son when I was young.  They had a 3 year old and 7 year old at the time. What did they do, sucked it up, dealt with their grief constructively and were involved loving parents.  Your grief does not allow you to give up on life when you have children depending on you. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 6:50 AM, Kel Varnsen said:

felt a little bad for the young actresses playing Maddie since I remember what Jennifer Love Hewitt looked like in the 90s and none of them really looked like her. That said the first one who fixed up Buck after falling off his bike totally nailed her way of speaking. Pretty impressive especially for a part that was maybe a 5 minutes of screen time.

Pretty much the only person I've ever seen successfully impersonate Jennifer Love Hewitt was Lacey Chabert in Not Another Teen Movie but alas, she is now too old to play a Young Maddie. JL's face in general is just too distinctive. Grace Fulton used to play Young Melinda on Ghost Whisperer and she doesn't really look like Jennifer Love Hewitt, either, although she comes closer with the longer face.

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