I listened to this yesterday, and was quite excited to see, well, hear more of Buck's past.
Admittedly, I was a bit dubious Eugene could be that successful in teaching Buck to drive, regarding how he first learned, and then when we found out Buck had already known for years...it made sense. Skint might have seriously cared about him, but firstly he cared what Buck could do for him. I think it could also explain why he he's more careful. He had to grow up quickly.
I liked what Eugene said about Buck beginning to trust him. As he's been wary and guarded around them, Katrina and Eugene have been patient and careful with him. Parental relationships require patience and clearly Buck is starting to see they love him, even if they don't completely understand him, they'd be willing to, obviously they want to. Great emotion heard with Buck's outburst. I got reminded of The Prodigal Son near the end, just a bit. It was gratifying he didn't leave, though I don't think people expected he would.
We did receive a scene where Connie mentioned Kyle's has a habit of running from her problems, and I'm wondering if that's foreshadowing what's to come? As we've talked about here, they need to do something with her character. She can't remain openly rebellious and secretive.
I liked it, finding Connie and Eugene talking about parenting to be amusing. It's hard to get used to even after...what? Four years of Jules and three of having Buck? It definitely changes the dynamics of their characters. Whatever proceeds this, I hope continues to show development and maturity while having the audience at the edge of their seats.
Okay, I liked this episode. It's pretty strong overall. But, I want to talk about the contrast of Buck and Jules' characters.
Lying: - Jules goes behind Connie's back, so she can do what she wants; so she can feel free. In Friend or Foe, she lied about doing stuff with Valery, buying the dress, etc. And in Crash Course she asked Buck to teach her to drive because she wanted it. Jules has a hard time saying no to the things she wants. Even if she knows what she wants is wrong, she'll do anything to get it. -Buck goes behind Eugene and Katrina's backs because he feels it's necessary to lie in order to help another person. He did that in Old Tricks with helping Eugene, and in Crash Course with helping Jules. Buck has a hard time saying no to other people. He knew he wasn't supposed to help Jules learn to drive, but he did anyway because Jules asked enough, and he wanted to make her happy. He also pretended to not know how to drive so that Eugene could teach him. He goes along with things to make others happy.
I think both of those things are a reflection of how they were raised. If Jules ever wanted something, she A: Went out and got it for herself, or B: Simply asked for it. Buck, however, grew up putting Mr. Skint's wishes over his. If Buck was sick, but Mr. Skint needed him to drive a truck at eleven, there were no questions asked. He'd suck it up and do it. As I hear more of Buck living with the Meltsners, Buck is realizing, that Buck and Skint weren't partners. On the contrary, Buck was Sink's slave.
-In Friend or Foe, Jules says to Connie, "You don't get me!" She was really saying, "You don't understand my interests, you don't get why I want to do these things, you don't get me."
-In Crash Course Buck says to Eugene and Katrina, "You don't understand me! You probably never will!" Buck's not saying, they don't understand his hobbies, or why he does stupid teenager stuff. I think the "We know what's best for you" line triggered anger. See, when Buck said, "You don't understand me!" He was really asking, "Why weren't you there?! Why weren't you there when Mr. Skint hit me for the first time, when I spent Christmas alone, crying in fear of my guardian? When I hit myself for the first time? If you're my parents, if you care about me, why weren't you there?You don't understand me because you weren't there for most of my life. You don't understand me! You probably never will!"
Buck's outburst was so incredibly important. We saw a little bit of his non-carefulness in Old Tricks, but it really came out in this episode.
I also want to address the fact that when Eugene was talking about Buck trusting him, he wasn't talking about Katrina and him. Buck trusted Katrina a while ago. There's no doubt there. However, with Eugene, I think Buck's had a difficult time trusting him, simply because he's a man. After how Mr. Skint treated him, Buck's naturally wary of male authority figures. So, yes, showing vulnerability with Eugene is a big, important step in their relationship, and in Buck's character.