In season 3’s finale, the firefighters of Station 19 reflect – either on themselves or their past – to set the stage the next season, raising more questions than answers.
PARTY – PARTY
We begin the episode with a party, and we see the firefighters of Station 19 having a good time. Well, for the most part. Andy is still tormented over resurfacing trauma from her childhood and Travis has to deal with the uncomfortable admission of Emmett’s love. It’s an easy maneuver to set the characters’ arcs as the alcohol heightens emotions.
After a few moments showing how Andy’s relationships with Jack and Maya have healed, for the most part, we transition to the next day and quickly to the fire(s) at Pac North that the take up most of the action of the finale. Andy stays behind of course, and good thing, too. She’s still a mess, constantly glued to her phone, trying to get in touch with her Aunt, who hopefully could provide her answers.
I’m not a huge fan of this type of set-up, but it works in this situation. A lot is going on in everybody’s lives, and the first act uses this plot device to lay everything out on the table, showing us what is to come. What is most striking to me is how lonely some of the characters seem. Jack comes to mind first, but Victoria and Ben also are very passive players in this episode, the plot happening to them, rather than driving any action. Their journeys don’t move anything forward. This is strange, especially for Ben, as I would imagine he would be in more trouble than he is for covering up Sullivan’s crimes.
Andy stays back from the fire, instead of going to the hospital to support Sullivan through his surgery. She doesn’t do much supporting, however, even driving Amelia, Sullivan’s doctor, to be concerned. The married couple fights, and it’s clear that Andy is not in the mental state to be a supportive partner. She’s lost her best friend and her father, and her newlywed husband just had a risky journey on his own. She’s right to be upset at this, he made a major life decision without consulting her. Now, he’s going to be suffering immense pain while trying to avoid drugs. She’s gone before the surgery, and Sullivan wakes up with her missing after, and indicator of what’s to come. He’s writhing in pain, alone, and he relapses, begging the nurse to give him morphine.
Sullivan’s journey happens too quickly, but I understand that they wanted to get him to his lowest point to launch next season’s arc, as Andy evidently has other concerns. It makes for good drama. While I had qualms with the way they treated Sullivan’s plot this season, I appreciate the writers not just sweeping this under the rug. I also want to see how this affects his marriage. Sullivan has been a great support system for Andy, but will she be able to do the same for him?
Andy can be a selfish character, not unlike Sullivan, which could be their ultimate downfall. That’s not considering that their marriage was an attempt for Andy to get a final moment she could remember with her father, which in the end, could be meaningless anyway. When Sullivan recovers from the pain and can think about where he is and who’s absent, the prevalent thought in his mind might as well be, “What was all of this for?”
In true Shondaland fashion, the fire at Pac North isn’t just a fire. It’s a bombing. I had trouble suspending the disbelief that the doctor Station 19 attempted to save was apparently close to the cure for lymphoma but I’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy long enough to expect something a little bit out there. Dean secures the bomb in an air-tight compartment, saving all the firefighters from any real harm. Go Dean! But really, it’s just a set-up for the firefighters to emerge victorious from the fire holding a whole but of lab rats, saving the research at the now-deceased doctor’s behest. In the end, not much happened here. Travis confessed that he is NOT in love with Emmett (which was a relief to me), Ben provided a bit of comic relief, but the real action for this fire takes place outside with the Captain.
This was satisfying. After Maya’s father shows up at the station, and then again at the fire, everything becomes clear to Maya. After an altercation almost becomes physical as he’s antagonizing her, she finally stands up to him. Did I say this was satisfying yet? She tells him that she is one responsible for her successes and that he only lives through hers. I am so glad to see Maya come to terms with her insecurities and finally take action to break the cycle of denial she was trapped in all her life. But with this, comes more regrets. She’s hurt the people in her life because she was attached to the idea that her father was the person who made her who she is. He did in a way, but ultimately, she is responsible for her actions.
She later passes Carina at Grey-Sloan and apologizes to Carina. She needed to. What Maya did to her was terrible and enraging to viewers, even if you could understand that it was her coping mechanism. Carina holds out, but with the urging of her friend, Teddy, she accepts her apology and kisses the woman she loves. This was a sweet scene between the two of them, and as I have said previously, I think Carina is the perfect contrast and partner to Maya. Teddy did make me raise an eye, however. If you’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy this past season, then it would be clear that maybe Teddy isn’t exactly unbiased on the subject of cheating. But that’s a story for another time.
Maya admitting what she lost to Jack is a nice moment, although, it is a little heartbreaking to see Maya able to move forward while, in contrast, Jack appears so stagnant. He even ended up the episode alone in a way, spending time in the home with multiple people he’s saved on duty. I am not sure if this moment is supposed to represent him finding happiness in the lives he saved, or if it is more of an indicator of the things he’s lost this season. I also sensed a moment between him and the abused mother he saved, but I hope I just picked up on that wrong.
Jack’s been through a lot. He made mistakes, that’s clear. However, seeing him in that house reminded me of a similar plot done over at 9-1-1, where one of the firefighters in a similar rut befriends a retired firefighter who was in a similar position as Jack. Except he grew old alone, mostly with the memories of the past to find solace in. The last thing I want to see is Jack alone. As one of the most compassionate characters on this show, he deserves to find someone who can put him first. Looking forward to next season, I can only hope that his arc can widen his circle, and maybe he could find support in someone who isn’t having a coming-to-god moment or struggling through unsurmountable loss.
This episode was not all action and drama at the hospital. We also saw two big developments on the romance front.
I know some people adore Emmett and Travis, but I am not one of those people. Travis is an incredibly important part of Emmett’s life, and he will be a big part of who Emmett becomes in the future. But simply, Travis can’t return Emmett’s feelings, which doesn’t come as a surprise. The probie caused Travis to think over his own morals and question his own actions. They are not in the same part of life as the other. What Travis was doing was selfish in a way, but it’s a relief for him to finally put an end to the illusion that Emmett might have had, even if albeit a bit harsh.
That doesn’t mean the relationship has failed. An ending doesn’t necessarily mean a mistake. Travis was the reason Emmett was finally able to stand up for himself. He came out to his father, he ended his own unrequited relationship, and he admitted that being a firefighter wasn’t right for him. Or maybe – he wasn’t right for it. Travis pushed Emmett to become a better person. A person who didn’t have to sneak around and hide who he was from his family – whether that be his biological family or that found family he has gained at Station 19. Emmett pushed Travis to face himself and his actions. He tested him, and ultimately the both of them come out the better for it. To me, that’s a success.
TROUBLE ON THE HOUSEBOAT
Dean has done a lot of thinking and he can no longer live with someone he has feelings for. He has a child and a girlfriend, and he thinks up of every excuse to ask Vic to leave other than the real reason. He loves her. This plot development still happened fast. In all probability, the only reason it moved forward was the need for a dynamic shift next season, but I’m still not a big fan of the Vic/Dean relationship, romantically, at this point in time.
Maybe I’m still not over Vic/Ripley. They passed over that quickly. We’ve seen Victoria move on, but we haven’t seen her heal. Maybe uprooting her from her safety net is the best way to move her forward. I could get on board with it if more effort and development is put into it next season, but for that, there’s nothing to do but wait.
But hey, if Dean needs a new roommate, I volunteer. I love that houseboat.
REMEMBERING THE PAST
Andy goes through it this week. We see her struggle as she slowly remembers pieces of her last days with her mother. Now the flood gates have opened, it all comes pouring in. As she puts everything together, she runs into Meredith Grey, the Chief of General Surgery who miraculously has enough time to sit down and listen to her grief. Andy, through this conversation, puts together these pieces. She comes to the conclusion that her mother committed suicide. That isn’t quite it though. Abandoning her husband, Andy meets her Aunt at a motel, who has just made it into town. She greets her, but moments later a woman comes into sight – her mother.
What show puts a character through the wringer so many times in a single season? She lost her childhood friend. And lost her father. Causing her to lose the job she had been working hard for all of her life. Then, she marries her superior (possibly out of fear and grief). He comes clean in a way that would maybe land him in prison, and leave Andy alone. I would hope that maybe moving forward she could get a break. Maybe some happiness, love, or literally anything else besides confusion and despair.
Unfortunately, with the grief of realizing who her father is and missing out on over a decade with her mother, I don’t think that’s likely. Especially with the struggles of Sullivan possibly relapsing and struggling to recover from his surgery, all the while having an uncertain future. Andy Herrera (is it Sullivan now?) is not my favorite protagonist, but she deserves more than the torture-porn that they put her through this season and may extend into the next.
PRUITT HERRERA’S LEGACY
Throughout the events that perspired after Pruitt’s death, I have to wonder: what’s the point? Pruitt was a morally-grey character. Yes, he was controlling, but I do believe his final words: everything he did, he did for Andy. Believing that the man who the entire station looked up to, the man that Dean named his daughter after, and the man who inspired so many, somehow treated his wife so horribly that she faked her death to her daughter is a stretch on the imagination. Though, maybe I’m jumping the gun here. We saw what Andy perceived but can we be certain that we witnessed the truth? Was there something going on deeper in Elena’s life that made her run? Or was it actually the broken marriage between her and Pruitt?
Or maybe that’s the point. Maybe the people we look up to, the people we idolize, are not all good. People can inspire others while still having dirty laundry in their closet. And sometimes it takes courage to open the door and let it all fall out. Can we isolate the mask we wear from the person we truly are on the inside? How do you remember a person? By how they treated you or the sum of all their actions? Maybe these are questions season 4 of Station 19 will pose.
Or maybe Dean just needs to reconsider Pru’s name.
How did you enjoy the finale of Station 19? And what are you hoping to see next season? Sound off in the comments below!
Station 19 Review – [SPOILER] Comes Clean!
In the penultimate episode of season 3 of Station 19, many fires are still raging, and I’m not sure if they’ll all be put out by the end of next week’s finale. The episode is titled ‘Bad Guy’ and there are several who can be perceived as that in this week’s messy episode.
Vic and Montgomery are getting off shift when they’ve been tasked with some overtime from Sullivan. It’s not usual, per se, but it becomes even less so when they arrive at a fire inspection to find out that it’s been passed through by the higher-ups (Dixon) and Sullivan doesn’t question this order. Red flags are raised. This, to make it personal, is partnered up with flashbacks from Vic’s time in a community college in the theater department.
Pruitt is the reason she is a firefighter, a narrative that has been consistent for most of the firefighters at 19. When he gave them their inspection, he pointed out some hazards. Vic’s director, who seems to be a great support system to her through the loss of her grandmother, doesn’t listen. So, dress rehearsal goes up in flames, and Vic is rescued by, and you guessed it, Pruitt. We can only assume things didn’t end well for her director, Cooper, who she couldn’t get to before Pruitt rescues her.
It’s an emotional moment, one that shows how good Vic would be at her job one day, but also clarifies why what she guesses could be blackmail bothers her so much. While her director wasn’t insistent, she was, going as far to show up at Sullivan’s residence, making a plea for him to not let this slide. But, the comparison she uses – oxygen masks in an airplane to fire inspections – doesn’t sit well with the battalion chief, as his own parents died in an airplane crash.
Though, Sullivan doesn’t do a very good job at masking the situation he’s in. Vic knows what is happening, she just doesn’t know why. And it’s not very easy to get her to back down. I love seeing more about Vic’s life, and while her stage went up in flames, it was nice to see her in costume and singing. I wish this plot was a little bit more about her, as her persistence is only used as a motivator to push Sullivan’s addiction plot forward. It’s interesting that they’re still playing around with her relationship with Jackson. I don’t really think it is going anywhere.
I AM NOT A FIREFIGHTER
This one was a doozy. Right before a woman covered in blood shows up at 19, the PRT is called to a scene where a man was stabbed. Turns out, the two events are related. What a coincidence, right? The woman was assaulted by the man, she stabbed him, and Warren and Jackson are tasked with saving the criminal’s life. When they’re taken hostage by a drug addict with a gun, Emmett breaks down. There’s a scuffle, and Emmett’s anxiety causes a stumble, and the gun goes off, striking Jackson in the calf. Honestly, I thought he would be more hurt than he was.
Emmett seemed like he was in more physical pain than Jackson, and honestly, maybe he was. In an oddly, surprising moment, the addict runs off and immediately struck by a car. They end up losing both patients. But for Emmett, it’s not just a rough day as a first responder. He’s done. He comes out to his dad and quits (off-screen) and rushed to Montgomery at the bar, informing him and kissing him. I would have liked this plot more if it weren’t for this kiss. Seeing someone not being able to handle the stress of a firefighter’s job could be a compelling story, but the way they framed the plot in this episode, seemed it was just a way to push Emmett to Travis. There has not been enough development throughout this season to convince me to root for them. Which isn’t a problem with just this couple (see my section on Sullivan).
The beats from Emmett being engaged to a woman, to calling it off and coming out, to quitting SFD all together just doesn’t work for me. Every development seems sudden. If they are going to continue with Emmett on this show, I hope they can show the struggles that can exist with having so many major life changes in such a short period of time. Emmett needs to do this for himself, and not anybody else. But everything he seems to do seems to be for someone else, whether it be his father, whether it be his chief, or whether it be his romantic interest.
GOLD MEDAL CONFRONTATIONS
I felt like half of this episode was Maya yelling at people. I really try to be sympathetic to her, and there is reason to be. She went through a lot as a child, and her mother breaking away from the cycle of abuse was an obvious trigger to her. That being said, she said some awful things this episode. She’s in denial, clearly, but to tear down all of the most important people in her life right now: Carina, Andy, and Jack – it was glaring. I have to commend all of them for their patience. I love Carina. She is such a kind and supporting character, and I do like the fact that they brought her over to this show to be a patient partner to Maya. I like this use of her character a lot more than using her progressive views on sex as the butt of a joke every other week on Grey’s Anatomy.
Maya’s plot was pretty simple, however. Carina tried to help Maya confront the remaining trauma of her father’s treatment of her as a child. She shuts Carina out and leaves. Andy asks her for help, and she isn’t very helpful. And then Jack tries to speak to her about his concerns for Andy and she takes her anger out on him, using her knowledge of him professionally to inflict harm on him in an argument. And it wouldn’t be a Shonda Rhimes show if a fight didn’t turn into sex. Jack is probably my favorite character on the show, despite his affinity for sleeping with the wrong women, so seeing this regression hurt. But her outright telling Carina that she just had slept with Jack? That was cruel. Maya has been struggling all season, but I really hope they can push her to finally let people in because if this cycle continues much longer, it’s going to get boring fast.
Meanwhile, Sullivan is helping Andy sort through her father’s things. As they go through photos, Andy is reminded of old family members she hasn’t thought of in years. She begins to remember losing contact with them around the time her mother passed away. Sullivan tries to console her and tell her it’s a natural part of losing someone, but she’s insistent on something else lying below the surface, especially upon seeing a photo of her mother looking more unhappy than she recalled.
The hunt leads her to her father’s coworker, and she pointedly asks if there was something she didn’t know. He didn’t give her an answer in a very suspicious manner. Andy’s grief is very relatable in this episode, but this plot is still a little far-fetched for me. It’s a very significant choice to take a beloved character, albeit with his mistakes, and add something so devious to his backstory. Andy has lost so much this year, so I hope she doesn’t have to lose both her father and her memory of him.
THIS EPISODE’S BAD GUY?
Okay, hear me out. I loved Sullivan last season. This season, not so much. He was confronted so many times this episode, and every time he was, he exhibited the same behavior he has the majority of this season. It wasn’t until Warren spoke to him that he finally turned himself in, attempting to take Dixon with him, but this final scene was completely undeserved. I can’t remember a time until this penultimate scene that Sullivan actually took any responsibility for what he did. When he did, without any build-up, it fell flat. It didn’t mean much. The way he manipulated Emmett and Warren this season, continuously, and then tried to pass off his inability to take responsibility on wanting to be there for Andy, has not convinced me to forgive him.
Addiction isn’t simple, but I somehow do not trust the show to see this plot to the end giving his emotional recovery the attention it deserves. After all, we did see a pain medication seeker seek drugs and then get hit by a van. Is that foreshadowing for Sullivan’s inevitable downfall?
- “Never apologize for your emotional life.” I loved this quote and thought it was representative of Vic’s policy on life. She’s emotional, she shows it, and she uses it. And when she doesn’t, it’s her downfall.
- There were several mentions of Dean’s feelings for Vic. This still seems odd to me. Was I the only one who didn’t realize he had those feelings until he was called out on it?
- “Rolling in his … urn.” This made me laugh. Travis and Vic have some of the most entertaining lines.
- There were a lot of zingers tonight. “Not everybody needs therapy, Jack!” and “I don’t solve my problems with drugs.” Ouch.
- It was interesting to see Carina tell Maya that she was misplacing her grief, only for her to turn around and tell Andy she was doing the same thing regarding her father.
NEXT WEEK’S FINALE: LOUDER THAN A BOMB
“Andy becomes painfully suspicious of the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death and goes to her aunt looking for answers. Meanwhile, the members of the crew work to evacuate a doctor from Pac-North hospital and find themselves in a life-threatening situation; and Sullivan undergoes surgery for his chronic leg pain.” Station 19 will air Season 3 Episode 16, “Louder Than a Bomb”, on May 14, at 9:00 PM EST.
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