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9-1-1’s Ryan Guzman Takes a Deep Dive Into Eddie's Biggest Season 7 Moments 

What started out as a peaceful season 7 for 9-1-1’s Eddie Diaz quickly turned into a spiral of shame, heartbreak and goodbyes. Now, series star Ryan Guzman is exclusively breaking down his character’s biggest moments, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.

Since Guzman, 36, joined the cast of the firefighter drama in season 2, Eddie has certainly seen his fair share of pain. From PTSD and panic attacks to the death of his wife, Shannon (Devin Kelley), the character has faced more anguish than any one person deserves. Season 7, however, kicked off with Eddie in a rare good place: he’s happily dating girlfriend Marisol (Edy Ganem), closer to best friend Buck (Oliver Stark) than ever before and earning himself a Medal of Honor for the 118’s heroic cruise ship rescue.

Things take a turn, however, when Eddie runs into Kim, the doppelgänger of his late wife (also played by Kelley). Clandestine meetings, lying to his loved ones and one very ill-timed goodbye — where he and Kim, pretending to be Shannon to help Eddie get closure, embrace just as Marisol and Christopher, Eddie and Shannon’s son, walk in on them — blow up his life instantly.

With the betrayal feeling like too much to take, Christopher (Gavin McHugh) asks to move to Texas with his grandparents. Although initially hesitant, Eddie allows his son to leave, resulting in one of the season’s most heart-wrenching moments. It’s an incredibly moving performance by Guzman — but one he wasn’t sure he delivered.

Related: 9-1-1’s Evan ‘Buck’ Buckley and Eddie Diaz’s Friendship Timeline

9-1-1’s Evan “Buck” Buckley and Eddie Diaz have been a beloved duo since the show’s second season — with some fans even hoping their friendship will turn into something more. Buck and Eddie, portrayed by Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman, respectively, became fast friends after Eddie joined the 118 during season 2. When a massive […]

“That was definitely a tough scene. [We received the script] a little late, and you’re never sure how much you can give,” he told Us Weekly. “I remember going to my director [John J. Gray] and being like, ‘I don’t know if we got it, man. Maybe we should do it again. Should we try it again?’ He was like, ‘Don’t worry, just go home and sleep, sleep easy.’”

Despite his worries about how the scene would ultimately turn out, Guzman explained that he visualized his own 5-year-old son, Mateo, when delivering his final speech to help channel the right emotions. (Guzman shares Mateo and his daughter, Genevieve, 3, with ex Chrysti Ane.)

“The whole time I’m staring at Gavin, I’m thinking of my son Mateo. I’m like, ‘I would want him to be strong in his decision. I would want him to feel good about his decision,’” Guzman said. “He called my mom and my dad, he sees that I’m hurting. He can’t help me, I can’t help me. He needs to help himself at this stage in his life. So there was a balance of, ‘I want to show my son how much this is killing me inside, but I also want to show him that he’s not wrong for doing what he’s doing and I love him and I support him and I want him to find whatever he needs to find as well.’”

Keep scrolling for Guzman’s breakdown of Eddie’s biggest season 7 moments:

9-1-1’s Ryan Guzman Says Eddie and Buck Will Be ‘Stronger Than Ever’ After ‘Vulnerable’ Coming Out Scene

Ryan Guzman as Eddie and Oliver Stark as Buck on ‘9-1-1.’
Disney/Chris Willard

On Why Eddie Turns to Buck for Help With Christopher 

In the season premiere, Eddie quickly turns to BFF Buck for help when Christopher starts dating. He later requests Buck’s help again when trying to get through to Christopher about the entire “you saw me hugging your dead mom but not really” mess. While Guzman thinks leaning on Buck might be “a little bit of self-doubt” in Eddie’s parenting skills, it’s mostly about wanting an “alternative perspective.”

“I think there’s a level of trust between Christopher and Buck that [Eddie] sees,” Guzman explained. “So it’s less about him not wanting to do the job. because I think Eddie is more hands-on. He loves to be a part of the process and do things, but when he realizes he’s not getting through to Christopher, he needs to outsource. So he goes to his best friend, Buck, and he knows that he’s more than likely gonna get through to Chris.”

Guzman pointed out that Eddie enlisting Buck to help has “worked so many times in the past” when it comes to getting through to Chris. “I believe there’s an offer of comfort to Eddie knowing that even though Shannon isn’t there, he has somebody else in his life that he can kind of pass the reins to and say, ‘Hey, I need another perspective. Please help my son out,’” he said. “And Buck always shows up.”

OLIVER STARK, GAVIN MCHUGH, RYAN GUZMAN
Disney/Mike Taing

On Letting Eddie Have Lighter Moments in Season 7

Guzman told Us that Eddie having a Lover-like era was something he wanted to do, and he asked showrunner Tim Minear to help bring it to life.

“I remember talking about it with Tim and I said, ‘Let’s just dive into this. I really want to be a little bit more humorous. I want to have some fun lightheartedness,’” he recalled. “Like, we’ve seen Eddie traumatized, we’ve seen him crying, we’ve seen him breaking walls, like, let’s do the opposite now.”

Guzman said that he “loved” getting to play the “polar opposite” of what’s been shown of his character thus far and “living in that space” of a less burdened version of Eddie.

“Because it was nice to just be the sounding board to a lot of other individuals,” he pointed out. “They’re all going through issues, and finally Eddie is the one trying to be like, ‘Oh, keep your head up guys,’ [or] ‘Oh, don’t worry about it.’”

Guzman pointed to the “idle hand” cold-open scene — where Eddie gets punched in his lower region by a man’s out-of-control hand — as some of the moments he enjoyed most. “Those comedic scenes are something I really love,” he added. “And I hope that we have a little bit more of those next season.”

OLIVER STARK, RYAN GUZMAN
Disney/Chris Willard

On What Really Went Down During That Famously Cut Karaoke Scene 

Fans were let down when the show teased a karaoke moment between Eddie and Buck during Chimney’s (Kenneth Choi) bachelor party that was ultimately cut for time. While speaking with Us, Guzman recalled filming the scene with Stark and having to sing — sans playback — in front of a room filled with people.

“Me and Oliver were deathly afraid of doing that in front of I don’t know how many extras,” he quipped. “And then on top of that, we realized that there wasn’t going to be any playback. So it’s just us singing up there. So we had to, like, apologize to [these] extras and be like, ‘I’m so sorry for what you’re about to hear. If your ears start to bleed a little bit, you can find your exit.’”

Despite the awkwardness, Guzman said the duo had a “great time” singing together and is “sad” that fans didn’t get to see it — but he also understands why it didn’t make the final cut.

“From what I saw of that episode, it would’ve taken away so much of Kenny Choi’s incredible acting,” he gushed. He did confess, however, that he “would love to do more” scenes like the bachelor party and amp up the “craziness.”

On Why Eddie Went So Hard at the Bachelor Party 

While the first few episodes of season 7 featured Eddie having fun, 9-1-1 has never allowed the character to let loose like he did at Chimney’s bachelor party — even if Chimney wasn’t actually there himself. For Guzman, it was an opportunity for Eddie to “escape” any real-life stressors bringing him down.

“You know, everybody’s kinda left the party. Eddie’s like, ‘I’m down bro, let’s do this,’” he recalled of Eddie choosing to stay behind with Buck and party despite the rest of the 118 heading home. “He’s just going with the flow. And I remember just grabbing everything that looked like alcohol to show that Eddie is just letting loose. He’s gonna go crazy, and I want him to have the worst hangover tomorrow.”

Guzman called it a “self-exploration” of letting Eddie “release” all his “responsibilities,” explaining the scene as, “Let me not think about everything. Let me turn it all off. Be as much as I can in the moment.”

Although letting loose may have been fun for the character in the moment, Guzman called it “treacherous terrain” for Eddie “because he’s still emotionally unstable in a lot of areas. So this could be a conduit to something worse. Hopefully it’s not, but maybe it makes for great TV.”

RYAN GUZMAN, EDY GANEM, GAVIN MCHUGH
Disney/Mike Taing

On Eddie’s Deep-Rooted Catholic Guilt 

When asked whether Eddie’s Catholic guilt may be leading him to make decisions that don’t necessarily lead him to happiness, Guzman replied, “Absolutely.”

“I mean, I think we all pull from what we know and what he knows is the Catholic kind of thought process,” he continued. “And within that specific type of religion, there is guilt everywhere. If you don’t do this, you have to go to confession. If you do this, then you have to do this amount of Hail Marys. And it’s all of these things that portray so much pressure on an individual. So I think that’s something that he doesn’t really know how to shake and will ever shake. And it does lead him down some paths that he probably should avoid.”

On How He Approached Kim Becoming Shannon 

Anyone who met their dead spouse’s doppelgänger would surely make some questionable decisions — which is why Guzman told Us that he found a way to perceive Eddie’s reaction to Kim as “rooted in truth.”

“If Eddie were to see an image or even a semblance of somebody that looked like Shannon, he would just be dumbfounded and [think], ‘How can I make this second turn into a minute and this minute turn into an hour?’” he explained. “And that’s where I played the whole time. It was just like, ‘How can I string this thing along as long as I possibly can, but then balance my actual life? And how do I keep these two things on a parallel but never touching?’”

Guzman noted that Kim being an actress also helped bring realism to the the story line, especially when she shows up pretending to be Shannon in order to give him closure.

DEVIN KELLEY, RYAN GUZMAN
Disney/Chris Willard

“I mean, it’s not beyond us,” he joked. “Some actresses that I know in Los Angeles [would] do something like this. Actors, we’re crazy individuals. We’ll play a dead person if we have to. And I, as the actor, had to allow myself to see Eddie looking at this individual trying to portray his dead wife as something that he doesn’t wanna believe in.”

Guzman said Eddie initially refused to buy into the moment before allowing it to “open the door” to his pain. “It’s like someone put their foot right as the door was closing,” he explained. “Because he’s like, ‘I don’t want to feel this way. I don’t wanna say this thing. You are not the person I need to be saying this to.’ And that was that whole scene. It was just this push-and-pull and this give-and-take and it was so much tension.”

Although Guzman admitted he was afraid he wouldn’t do the scene “justice,” he was grateful to have such an “incredible” scene partner in Kelley.

“We played off each other so well,” he said, adding that his “understanding” of the material was helped by “what I received from on Devin’s part.”

9-1-1 Season 7 Finale Recap: Eddie Says Goodbye to Christopher, Bobby’s Fate
Disney/Chris Willard

On Why Eddie Let Christopher Go With His Grandparents to Texas 

“The truth in that was Eddie now feels that he is the root of all the issues,” Guzman said of why Eddie ultimately allows Christopher to move away. “He understands that he’s not doing anybody any great or good by keeping them in his vicinity. Where that leads to next season — there’s so many new questions — but with the letting go of his son to his parents, who he’s just started to reconnect to, that’s a massive thing.”

Guzman said that Eddie’s also starting to “understand” his own mom and dad in new ways after a tumultuous past, which allows him to “humanize” the relationship between the four of them.

“There’s a level of trust to be like, ‘Well, I know that you’ll keep him alive. I know you’ll take him to the lake and do the things that we used to do, so he’ll be in good hands. I need to figure out what’s going on in my head and my heart because I thought I was just talking to my dead wife. And I just lost a girlfriend that was looking [like it was] leading towards something healthy finally,’” he said. “He’s just now understanding that he needs to do some self-care, find some self-love that he lacks so much. He’s just kind of recycling the same issues.”

On the Cut Finale Scene Between Bobby and Eddie 

During the season finale, a scene where Eddie seemingly read Captain Nash (Peter Krause) the Bible during his hospital stay was cut. After the 9-1-1 official Instagram page shared a BTS photo of the moment, fans were curious to know what exactly went down.

“So I was handed the book actually, on the scene where I’m coming into the hospital and I’m asking Hen [Aisha Hinds] and Chim what’s happened with Bobby.  I was handed that book within the middle of that scene and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s incredible, yes, for sure. We should definitely do that.’ And I started playing with it at that point in time. But they had another idea and I think it was coming from [our showrunner] Tim, that I should be reading the book to him. And I go, oh, ‘That’s incredible.’”

Guzman stressed that Eddie has suffered too much loss to now lose Bobby. “Eddie’s lost all of his friends that he was in the military with. He’s lost his wife. Now he lost his son. Now the 118 is the only thing he has,” he explained. “And when you’re in a dire situation and you feel like there’s nothing advantageous coming your way, you start to resort to what you know and fall back on what you know. And what he knows is his Catholicism.”

He continued, “He knows that if he tries to talk to God, maybe God will finally listen to [him] now and he’ll save Cap and he’ll finally get some kind of balance again. … So that was very pivotal in their relationship.”

9-1-1’s Ryan Guzman Recalls Past Suicide Attempt
Disney/Mike Taing

On How He Feels About Helping People Feel Seen Through Eddie

Whether it be through his military duty, being Latino, his religion or his relationship with Buck — which some fans perceive as romantic — Eddie Diaz is someone who makes viewers feel seen. Playing a character who can connect to so many, Guzman shared, is something he takes seriously.

“I love the ambiguity of Eddie and that there’s connective tissue there — for queer people or not — to relate and to fall in love and to find themselves in who Eddie is,” he said. “I mean, there’s a vulnerability in Eddie, there’s also a chaos in Eddie. There’s so much realness in Eddie. And I love that there’s so many fans out there of all demographics that find themselves in Eddie.”

Guzman said that he hopes to show “the more humane side” of Eddie, highlighting that “within community, we can all heal.”

“That’s what I see the 118 being for Eddie,” he continued. “It’s this therapy, this family, whether you’re lesbian like Hen or you’re bisexual like Buck, it does not matter your sexual orientation. We can all share the same dinner plate and we can all love each other and feel safe enough to say whatever it is we want to say. That’s the kind of world I want to live in. And that’s what I love about Eddie. And the fact that he gets to portray to all these other individuals who are militant and raised Catholic and very hard-edged, to let those boundaries go. Because you’re closing yourself off to so many incredible individuals.”

On What Comes Next for Eddie 

Guzman told Us that when it comes to season 8 — which will likely begin filming in July — he’s split on what he hopes to see from Eddie’s story. While “resolution” would be nice, he recognized that it “doesn’t offer great TV.”

“I want to show some relatability in Eddie. What I see more times than not is when somebody’s dealing with something that hard, we go back to our comfort zone,” he explained. “And his comfort zone is not expressing his feelings, his comfort zone is keeping closer to the book, doing his job as best as he possibly can, almost turning into that soldier-like individual and just accomplishing whatever’s in front of him.”

Guzman added that Eddie is also a “very emotional individual,” and “anger” is an emotion that can often bubble up in him easily.

“Having that volatility and suppressing it, I think that’s what I wanna see for the next season,” he shared, noting that Captain Vincent Gerrard (Brian Thompson) taking over the 118 may be exactly what brings Eddie’s more explosive emotions to the surface.

“Maybe he punches Gerrard,” Guzman quipped of a possible season 8 moment.

When asked who he wants to see Eddie have more scenes with in season 8, however, there was no hesitation.

“Oh, Chimney and definitely Maddie,” he quickly said with a laugh, referencing Choi and Jennifer Love Hewitt’s characters. “We’ve been joking about it. Like, ‘Wow, why do we not hang out more? My best friend is your brother.’ It’s crazy.”

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