Monday’s episode of 9-1-1 took us back to Eddie’s days in Afghanistan, filling in a few more blanks about the war hero’s traumatic history of love and loss.
After stumbling upon Eddie’s Silver Star Medal, Christopher asked him to talk about his experience for show-and-tell. But before Eddie was ready to share the G-rated version of his deployment with a classroom full of fourth graders, he invited the audience to relive his painful past — from fighting for his country in the Middle East to fighting for his son back home.
Shedding this additional light on Eddie’s backstory meant “everything” to Ryan Guzman, who now feels that viewers have a more complete picture of who his character is. “He could be looked at as one of those stereotypical guys who tries to do everything right and holds his emotions close to his heart, but without understanding why he does what he does, he’d be a pretty boring character,” the actor tells TVLine. “Luckily, thanks to the writing and everything that he’s been through, it’s been the opposite of that.”
Below, Guzman goes further in depth about his character’s complicated history, as well as what Eddie’s romantic future could hold “when he’s ready”:
TVLINE | First of all, what a big episode. I felt like I was watching Saving Private Eddie.
Right? This was definitely one of our more expensive episodes. We had an amazing director, [Robert M. Williams Jr.], one of our producers. We pretty much went all out for this, especially with the helicopters and everything. Every scene with Eddie in Afghanistan was insane. They recreated an entire Afghanistan atmosphere, and it really felt authentic.
TVLINE | It’s one thing to know about Eddie’s past, but now that we’ve seen what he went through, I don’t know how he gets out of bed in the morning.
Yeah, now you can see why Eddie is so reserved. You see why he doesn’t like getting special attention or being in the spotlight. He just wants to get through each day and keep moving forward. He takes everything in stride. No matter what he’s gone through — whether it was fighting with his family or his wife, or even war itself — he’s had one common goal: What’s best for Christopher? How do I get back to Christopher?
TVLINE | Speaking of Shannon, it was good to see her again… but what a tragic character.
[Laughs] We actually joke about that on set. [Devin Kelley] is a phenomenal actress, to the very core of her. And every time she’s been on screen, she’s always had to cry. The director always asks if she can give more tears. And she always comes through, she always delivers. The ability she possesses is incredible.
TVLINE | Christopher is the one who gets the tears going for me. That was a great scene with you and [Gavin McHugh] on the front porch.
My fiancee said the exact same thing. I remember watching a couple of scenes with Gavin, and all he did was look at someone, and she was like, “He’s so adorable.” And it’s true, he’s just pure. That’s what it is. He gives a pure performance because he’s just being himself.
TVLINE | Just to be clear, when Eddie told the first responders that he had a big date on Friday, was he referring to Christopher’s show-and-tell?
[Laughs] Yeah, that’s what he was talking about. As far as I know, Eddie has no dates in the future.
TVLINE | That has to change at some point, right? I feel like he and Buck are the only people in the 118 not currently in relationships right now.
Romantically, Eddie is kind of stunted. I still don’t know how one moves on after watching their wife die. Plus, he has a child who reminds him of her all the time. He gets a lot of help from Carla and a lot of help from Buck in trying to move forward, but it’s up to Eddie at the end of the day to decide if he wants to go for another person or not.
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