Side by side photos of Buck and Eddie in uniform on 9-1-1

Michael Becker, Mathieu Young/FOX

First, Maddie, Chimney, and Michael said their goodbyes. Is Eddie next?

In a season filled with departures, FOX’s 9-1-1 ended its winter finale teasing the potential of one more. After doing his best to meet his son’s Christmas demands, Eddie learned the reason Christopher was so laser-focused on perfection was that he feared it could be his firefighter father’s last holiday. That led to the single dad, played by Ryan Guzman, announcing he was leaving Firehouse 118. But will he?

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Buck, Eddie and Bobby at the scene of an emergency on 9-1-1

It seems not as actor Oliver Stark (Buck) told Hello!, “It’s not a secret, he is not leaving the show.”

With that settled, we’re left wondering where that will leave the firefighter, a.k.a., Buck’s best friend. After getting shot earlier in the season, suffering panic attacks, and being held hostage, Eddie’s son has reason to be concerned for his dad.

It’s possible Eddie could transfer over to the call center with Athena’s daughter May and become a 9-1-1 operator. His life-saving training would surely come in handy in that capacity. It would hopefully also help usher Jennifer Love Hewitt’s character, 9-1-1 operator Maddie, back after she left town in the midst of her post-partum depression. He could also become an EMT who does not run into blazing fires to save lives, instead just stabilizes and transports patients to the hospital.

Of course, he could also just take some time off before eventually helping his son, and himself, come to terms with his dangerous job and return to the firehouse. As Stark pointed out, his leaving, “Gives [Eddie] time to deal with the trauma he’s experienced over the past year and in an environment where there isn’t more trauma being lumped on top, so it’s a good thing.”

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Buck and Eddie in uniform outdoors on 9-1-1

While the actor understands the decision, his alter ego might not. Teasing there will be some conflict between the BFFs over Eddie’s decision to leave the squad, Stark said, “Buck will struggle, and won’t completely understand – but he will have to get used to it.”

It sounds like Buck will have more than just Eddie to grapple with as Stark also teased trouble in paradise with his girlfriend Taylor. The duo was last seen happily celebrating their first Christmas together, but the actor also told Hello! that by the end of the spring premiere episode, “They will find themselves in a widely different situation with a huge wrench thrown into their plans for happiness.”

Fans who have longed for a Buck/Eddie paring have high hopes that wrench is the start of the “Buddie” ship setting sail. But would 9-1-1 really go there with the firefighting BFFs? There’s been nothing to suggest they are, leading some “Buddie” shippers to give up hope, but it remains to be seen when 9-1-1 returns in March 2022.

Until then, tell us what you’d like to see happen in the comments, and then look through our photo album of Yellowstone’s 20 best characters below.