Thursday, November 8, 2018

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - A Busy Shift Keeps Andy from Having a Serious Conversation with Sullivan in 'Last Day on Earth'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 2.06 "Last Day on Earth"

Just when Ryan agrees to talk it out with his dad, Greg Tanner makes an unexpected visit to Station 19, leaving Ryan and others confused. In an effort to connect with his crew, Captain Sullivan enlists the help of an unlikely source for some bonding tips.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of ABC's Station 19.

"Last Day on Earth" was written by Phillip Iscove and directed by Steve Robin

This is a somewhat disjointed episode because it features a lot of small groups of characters splitting off to do the job the show has largely portrayed them doing together. Andy and Maya go off on multiple emergencies. Some are seen and some aren't. Then, Ben, Miller and Travis go to help a woman whose arm is stuck in a garbage disposal. And then, Jack, Vic and Sullivan respond to a completely different call. All the while, Ryan and Pruitt are at the station trying to help Greg Tanner after he is mugged. So, there are a lot of small stories happening throughout this hour. And yet, it doesn't quite build to a satisfying whole. When Andy finally has her talk with Sullivan, she starts talking about the many incredible things she did during this shift and how much she loves this job. She will continue to fight for it. It's such a passionate speech. However, the audience only gets to see Andy and Maya rappel down a cliff to help a victim. The other emergencies that she is called away to aren't seen at all. Moreover, the drama with Ryan and his father is mostly a personal storyline that highlights how Andy may think her friend is broken because of the abandonment issues from his father. As such, it becomes less about reviving Greg back to life than it is about that seeming betrayal where Andy can't be objective about any of this either. As such, that final moment feels a little less earned. It doesn't help that the entire hour builds up this dreaded talk where Andy believes she is going to be severely punished because she yelled at the captain during the previous shift. She is then surprised when Sullivan just wants to become friendly with her. She may even get the wrong message from that. It's clear that Sullivan hasn't really been an active part of his own life since his wife tragically died. He has been stuck. There is the hope that Station 19 will be able to pull him out of that funk. But he is having a difficult job trying to connect with his officers and get him to respect him in this job. They do so because they honor the chain of command. But he wants their respect on a personal level. He just struggles connecting with them as friends. He has already made the impression on them that he is a difficult man to impress who is very stern and opinionated. He doesn't notice some of the obvious things around the house - like Pruitt wanting to get his job back or that there is a walk-in who needs to be treated. And so, that final moment feels a little forced and stiff. It has the potential of developing into something more that allows the station to act as a family completely once more. Everyone does respect Andy after all and Pruitt told Sullivan that he needs an ally at the station in order to be respected. It just comes at a time when it feels like the show is advancing the stories of many subplots forward just a little bit because it needs to make progress at this specific point in time. And so, Ben opens up about Bailey needing space in their marriage while Jack learns that Vic slept with Ripley. Those are huge actions that are bound to carry major consequences. Those are just destined to play out in later episodes while mostly just keeping everyone up in the air in a satisfying way here.