What an hour!
Jason George got to direct Station 19 Season 6 Episode 5, which was a heck of an installment for him to take on, with some significant moves taking place professionally and personally for our station.
Marina took some steps forward only to fall back again, and Jack was back but with a new connection that could either heal or harm him further.
The opener with Andy was interesting because we saw her talking to her mother about the dates she’s gone on and trying on some outfits in preparation for a new one.
It wouldn’t be unexpected from a mother and daughter or even close friends, but Andy and her mother have so much history that their normalcy and simplicity were a bit jarring.
It was this reminder of how unresolved things feel between Andy and her mother. Surely, Andy still harbors some feelings about everything that’s transpired and all the new information she learned. Sometimes it feels like we’ve skipped past all that without recognizing the complex emotions the situation should evoke.
But Andy seems to be in her best possible place these days, and they’re showcasing how she’s ready to date again, which is quite nice, especially after everything she endured.
The setup is right there for the taking for her and Eli, Travis’ new manager, to blossom into a romance. The bantering back and forth between the two has undernotes of sexual tension.
Eli is very clearly attracted to Andy, and since she was just speaking to her mother about needing a man who isn’t “squishy” and can handle her, all signs point to Eli.
After Dixon leaked information about Travis’ arrest, he could juggle his version of flirting with Andy with managing Travis’ crisis.
Eli is good, and he knows how to handle the political spectrum. He’s more knowledgeable about Vic’s ordeal, and now that she found a new passion in getting a girl’s program to spark interest in firefighting off the ground, she wants to direct her focus there.
You could tell that Travis was tempted by how Eli could assist him, but he didn’t want to turn his back on Vic, so it was a relief that she gave him an out.
And when she alluded to why she didn’t see the leak coming, how Travis’ arrest at the time drudged up memories of Ripley, your heart ached for her. Anytime we get a Ripley mention, it’s a sucker punch.
Eli knows how to spin things to his advantage since Travis’ actions would only appeal to his base rather than put them off, and he can manage to build a profile for Travis and actually let his constituents know who he is, revealing his strong identity rather than trying to play it too safe.
And Vic can devote her time to this new program. From the sounds of things, she and Theo will both have their respective projects and are on the cusp of becoming a power couple.
While Theo didn’t outright say it, it’s apparent that he’s ready to reclaim the title of captain after working through his issues after his own experience with Michael. And I’m 100% for this move.
Theo is such an underrated character who too often gets reduced to supportive roles to other characters, and he’s due for a storyline that’s all his own.
I cannot think of a better person who is in the best possible place and could be the most effective captain than Theo. He’s close enough to everyone to genuinely care about them and do what’s best. They’ve become his family, and he takes that seriously.
But he’s also just enough of an outsider to be more objective than the others. He doesn’t have a messy history at that particular station that would hinder his ability to lead or step on toes.
He’s already implied that he’s been silently trying to corral, lead, and ensure everything is on track. He may as well have the title to back that up.
Theo isn’t wrong about the low morale at the station and the poor, ineffectual, or non-existent leadership. Everyone vying for the position or at odds is so self-absorbed these days that they’ve lost sight of this being a unit, a team.
Outside of bringing someone totally new into the position, it will be a mess of people challenging authority, being bitter, and so forth.
And Theo has quietly gotten to a point where he’s learned from his past errors, forgiven himself, and knows he can do better. He’s in this for the right reasons.
He’s been more vocal than ever, and he wasn’t discouraged by Ross, who wanted to ensure that he knew his allegations’ seriousness.
But Theo is simply being honest that Beckett is a good firefighter but a terrible leader. They can’t keep functioning like this. Something has to be done, and Ross has looked the other way or not made any significant moves since all the other concerns were brought up.
Theo is a man of action, and I hope we continue to see that.
Ironically, Beckett wasn’t too bad on the call at the battery factory. At one point, it seemed like he would fight someone if necessary because he was passionate and determined to get everyone out alive.
You know things are bad when Beckett gets rattled and goes into his version of Beast Mode.
The poor employee conditions at the factory were sickening, and those workers better sue the company and anybody else for all they’re worth after their experience.
They worked to free those employees before it was too late and were on quite a short timeline. The case was great for showing some of what Ross actually does, and something about her making those phone calls made me wish we saw her with a storyline revolving around her job more than her love life.
Ross deserves that. We see this woman of color in an unprecedented position and took work. We rarely see what that looks like for her because we’re only getting this back-and-forth secret relationship with Sullivan and everything that comes with that.
It would round out her storyline more, especially when Maya frequently accuses her of behaving like the men on the job and upholding sexism, if we got more of what she does to confirm or deny that.
Andy and Sullivan’s call dovetailing into the battery factory one was a nice touch and struck many emotional notes.
Rafael was dying because of that job at the factory. He lost a friend because of it, too. And that’s what had him up on that roof professing to die by his own hands rather than the slow, painful one in store for him.
Andy and Sullivan were both doing well responding to the crisis, and he seemed to take what both of them said into account often. They listened to what he had to say and did a great job relating to him.
But in the end, his devotion to the other workers, learning that he was the key to getting them out alive, did the trick for him.
By the time he and Sullivan accidentally careened over the ledge, Rafael didn’t want to die. He’ll still need all the services he can get, but at least he got to save his colleagues first, and he has this new purpose of spending the rest of his days making the company pay.
The Marina content was enough to give their fans some severe whiplash. Their opening number was smoking hot and sexy.
Stefania Spampinato is freaking stunning, and her sexy lingerie was impossible to turn down. Hell, even I was looking respectfully.
Her reenacting their first night together was incredibly sweet and a beautiful way for the two of them to reconnect. Visually, I appreciated how they started things off with the pair talking through a literal wall; they took their necessary steps to get on the same side.
Their conversation spoke to how much they love one another and was a reminder of what the two of them have and share. Yes, they have a rough patch right now, but that’s real, and it’s what happens with any couple, and it’s something they can get through with the work.
The reminder of how much they love each other is what even they and we can cling to when they’re having these issues.
The two of them undoubtedly have that physical connection. The scene was a precursor to some tender, sensual lovemaking. That has never been a problem for them, but the emotional connection requires work.
Like Maya, flying high off of that opening scene was easy because they felt themselves again. But the reality was that lovemaking is only a band-aid for problems, not the solution.
By the end of the hour, Maya was right back to shutting Carina out, and she was gaslighting the hell out of her too. Carina isn’t letting up on her request that Maya gets help.
The unfortunate part is neither is Maya. She truly believes she has a handle on things and can do them her way, but her way hasn’t been working. The problem with short-term coping mechanisms is that they eventually fall through and no longer provide the proper aid.
When that happens, you have to resort to something new. None of Maya’s ways are healthy, but she keeps clinging to them because they’re all she knows, and she hopes the result will somehow end up differently.
She’s too stubborn to see that all aspects of her life are falling apart right now because she refuses to face her issues head-on and does whatever she needs to address them.
Yes, talk therapy isn’t for everyone, and maybe that’s not something that works for or speaks to her, but she hasn’t even considered or looked into other options.
And she’s reached a point where she gets defensive and deflects by projecting things on Carina and others. It was low when she brought up Carina’s father as some attempt to delegitimatize Carina’s valid concerns.
Maya keeps pushing at Carina, testing how far she can go with it, but if she’s not careful, Carina will reach her breaking point. Based on her taking the pregnancy test by herself, she already has.
Maya will need a full-blown breakdown before getting her breakthrough, but every time it feels like she’s hit rock bottom, that isn’t the case. Man, it’ll be emotional when that inevitably happens.
Jack seems like he’s putting in the work to get better on his end. It’s a slow process, but not as glacial as what’s happening with Maya.
It took the entire episode before he got a haircut and shaved, but thankfully, we’ve seen the last of gruff, scruffy, hobo Jack.
Ben wasn’t one to mince words when he pointed out that Jack opened the door to something when he came back into Pru’s life. It was only fair that he get himself together after doing that because now Pru expects to see him, and he has to be at his best when that happens.
It felt like Jack was hanging around the station without having much to add until we neared the end.
He had an issue with the clinic’s direction, and it was such an odd thing for him to fixate on when he’s been gone all this time, but I loved how Ben checked him on that, too.
He, Carina, and Jack worked on this project together because they all brought different skill sets and perspectives, making it different but more effective. Without Jack to provide his input and k
knowledge as a former street kid, Ben and Carina could only operate based on how they best knew things.
The clinic would be a good start for Jack as far as easing him back into everything. And Andy is beyond thrilled that he’s returning. Their moment on the rooftop was sweet.
But Brooke’s appearance could potentially undo Jack just as he’s trying to get himself back together. However, it could be the key to him getting some closure and healing.
We knew that Jack’s parents had a few kids, so it only made sense that they’d introduce one of the other ones. No way that the entire family didn’t want anything to do with Jack or weren’t curious about anything.
She wandered into the clinic and spent the entire day dealing with the hilarious weed cookie couple and dodging a urine test, but she lost the nerve to give Jack the envelope directly even though she was right there.
The photograph and message felt like a lifeline, a cracked open window after Jack faced a firmly closed door.
Clearly, Jack’s parents never forgot him, and they held onto that photo for sentimental reasons. However, it’s not Brooke’s or their brother’s job to speak on their behalf. Jack’s parents come across cowardly when they won’t face him, but their sentiments are expressed through other people.
It’s meaningless drivel when that happens.
But Brooke seems like she may have a story. Perhaps she’s the black sheep of the family, and the prospect that she has another brother out there who can maybe understand her or make her feel less alone is appealing.
They wouldn’t introduce her into the story if they don’t intend to explore this more, so Jack may be pondering this now, but he’ll likely reach out to her. It could be interesting whenever he does.
Over to you, Station 19 Fanatics. Should Theo make a run for captain? What are your thoughts on Marina? Sound off below.
You can watch Station 19 online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.