Lucas Buck is the demonic sheriff who lives in the town of Trinity, South Carolina on the CBS fantasy drama AMERICAN GOTHIC (1995-96).
Is Lucas (Gary Cole) the devil in disguise or just a fallen angel? No one knows for sure, but they do know that he hates to lose control and will always collect his pound of flesh for any favors he may perform for the citizenry. His psychic abilities gives him the edge on those thinking to oppose him and he’s likely to appear out of nowhere when you least expect it.
“Nobody gets in my way. And anyone who does,
well let’s just say it ain’t pretty.” – Lucas Buck
Lucas has a ten-year old son named Caleb Temple (Lucas Black) whom he fathered by raping the boy’s mother. Caleb’s sister Merlyn (Sarah Paulson) had witnessed the rape. Five years later Merlyn’s father Gage (who went crazy after the death of his wife) took a shovel to his daughter and nearly killed her.
When Lucas arrived, he found Merlyn still alive, but decided to snap her neck and put her out of her misery. Lucas then arrested Gage and placed him in jail where Lucas convinced him to commit suicide. With Gage and Merlyn gone, Caleb was placed in the custody of boarding house owner, Loris Holt (Tina Lifford).
Caleb only discovered that Lucas was his father on his tenth birthday. The revelation was as shocking as when Luke Skywalker leaned his dad was Darth Vader.
To offset Lucas’s evil influence, the spirit of Merlyn as a glowing angel appears to Caleb and offers advice to keep her little brother on the straight and narrow and away from the seductive charms of his evil father.
When Caleb’s reporter cousin, Gail Emory (Paige Turco) returned to town, she begins to investigate Lucas whom she suspects was responsible for burning down the town newspaper the day after he was elected sheriff. Gail’s editor parents were killed in the blaze.
Helping Lucas was Selina Coombs (Brenda Bakke), his girlfriend and Caleb’s teacher; and the well-meaning but weak-willed deputy sheriff Ben Healy (Nick Searcy). He saw Lucas kill Caleb’s sister, Merlyn, but has never told anyone.
Dr. Matt Crower (Jake Weber) the town doctor knew Lucas was evil, but when he attempted to kill him, Lucas had him committed to the Juniper House psychiatric facility for safe keeping.
The only threat to Lucas’ power base is a newcomer named Dr. Billy Peele (John Mese), a Louisiana-born CDC doctor who comes to Trinity to investigate a mysterious illness. He’s not intimidated by Lucas and, if need be, he is ready to take Lucas on to get the job done.
“Everyone needs to feel safe. Some folks would lay all of Trinity’s troubles at my doorstep, but hell; might as well blame the trailer park for attracting lightning bolts and tornados. I mean, I had a hand in certain things. But everybody’s got free will… I just give them enough rope to hang themselves. Course their lives would be a whole lot easier if they’d just take my hand, just say yes.” – Lucas Buck
c/o Sheriff’s Department