During “Let the Games Begin,” Buck is finally forced to confront his Season 5 breakup with Taylor Kelly (Megan West) by replacing the couch she took when she moved away. Buck’s struggle to pick the right piece of furniture for his sparely furnished apartment — and eventual choice to stick with his beloved armchair — is incredibly symbolic of his self-acceptance, something Oliver Stark has indicated is part of Buck’s path toward healing after rejecting Taylor. A recent interview with Oliver Stark further confirms that this chair-versus-couch metaphor is quite intentional.
Stark toldin a September 2022 interview that he “think[s] 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.”
The actor adds that Buck isn’t usually the one who initiates breakups, which he did with Taylor due to outrage over her betraying his trust by publishing an article using information she received from him. “I think the two things kind of feed into each other, that he’s made this decision for himself and now he has to continue down that path and find out, without somebody else’s input, who he is in the world.” Stark also said that Buck’s quest to become captain material will give him something new to concentrate on. Fans will have to keep watching to see if he sticks to this vow.