Ryan Guzman and Gavin McHugh in 9-1-1

INTERVIEW: ‘9-1-1’s Ryan Guzman Talks Eddie’s Heartbreaking Loss & What’s Coming for Him in Season 8

Credit: Disney/Chris Willard

Ryan Guzman’s Eddie Diaz isn’t having a good time in the season finale of ABC’s top-rated drama, 9-1-1. The show, ended its seventh season on Thursday, May 30th with an emotional hour that saw Eddie’s son, Christopher, decide to stay with his grandparents after catching his dad with a doppelganger of his dead mother Shannon. Suffice to say, things are complicated and emotional for Eddie in the finale, titled “All Fall Down.”

But they’ve been complicated for a while.

Guzman sat down with Remezcla to discuss the finale and one of the things he made clear was that Eddie’s relationship with Shannon was something Eddie had “idealized,” which, in his grief, led him to handwave even the fact that Shannon had asked for a divorce before she died. “In truth that relationship between Shannon and Eddie showcased that Eddie wasn’t right for her.” However, Guzman also shared that “I don’t think that’s something Eddie can take in because, for Eddie, he’s like, no, I won these awards in the military. I try my actual best. So he always thinks he’s a good man with the purest intention and that there’s no way he couldn’t be enough.”

“So he kind of blocked that whole area of his life out and said, no, we were perfect for each other and created this dreamlike scenario. And he’s been living it through Marisol and Christopher’s teacher,” Guzman explained, making the doppelgänger situation make more sense for Eddie. “I think there are a lot of coping mechanisms for Eddie, a way where he doesn’t have to deal with the reality that he wasn’t who he said he was and who he needs to be for his son.”

Ryan Guzman
Credit: Disney/Chris WillardRYAN GUZMAN
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And who he needs to be in the finale – contrary to everything Guzman and the Latine community have taught us, is someone willing to let his kid take a step back. “I think his dad saying don’t make the same mistake I made is what really got to him,” Guzman told us, adding that also “being with the 118 and seeing their openness and how that’s changed his [Eddie’s] life is what led Eddie to even entertain the idea that, okay, maybe I’ll keep my mind open to this idea that you guys will take him for a little bit, but I’ll get him back.”

For Eddie, though, this is in no way permanent. He wants Christopher back with his family, which includes the whole of the 118. And perhaps, at this point, Eddie is finally done with trying to fill the hole Shannon left. “I mean, the title of mom was already given to Shannon and there’s nobody that can take that title from her. Eddie in previous relationships was trying to fill in the title of mom. And then he realized that that title had already been taken. So now he’s looking for something brand new and it’s more for himself.”

When it comes to his relationship with his best friend, Buck, and the role he takes in the finale helping Eddie when things get rough, Guzman shared that “they’ve leaned on each other so well and they’ve showcased what I believe is an incredible opportunity for a lot of people in the world, especially men, to lean on someone and be vulnerable.” 

“A man’s struggle of harnessing his emotions and having to just kind of push past them, that is very specific to us men. So, it would be advantageous for all of us to understand that. And with Buck being a relatively new entity in Eddie’s life starting six years ago, he’s been able to understand what it would have felt like if he’d had this person who’s always been there for him no matter what and loves his kid just as much as he does.”

Oliver Stark and Ryan Guzman in 9-1-1
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“It is just family. So, I’m glad it gives everybody that sense of familyhood. But now I see that Eddie has leaned on Buck so much that people are like… well, I mean, whatever they create is what they create.” We don’t mention the Buddie-shaped elephant in the room, because this is an Eddie Diaz interview. But Guzman acknowledges it with a smile after this comment. He understands it’s a living and breathing thing.

Season 7 of 9-1-1 is in the rearview mirror. Season 8 will bring a new Eddie Diaz, one who will have to figure out who he is without Christopher, and who will have to face an old foe Eddie hasn’t come across before, Captain Vincent Gerrard. And Guzman, well he’s ready.

“It seems kind of up Gerrard’s alley to make fun of [Eddie] for being Mexican,” he told us. “I think we should see some of that.” After all, like Guzman said “So far he’s made fun of Buck and Tommy and he’s obviously made fun of Chimney in the past. So let him try it with Eddie and see what Eddie does. You know, he might get some spicy back.”

We can’t wait.

9-1-1 Season 8 will premiere on ABC in the Fall.