Thursday, May 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Vic Lashes Out Over the Expectations for Her at the Funeral in 'For Whom the Bell Tolls'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 2.16 "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Following a life-threatening situation that left the future of a member of Station 19 unclear, the crew gathers to face the outcome. Andy and Ben respond to a man impaled by a chandelier. Station 19 is called upon to organize shipments of supplies and assist with wildfires in Los Angeles.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of ABC's Station 19.

"For Whom the Bell Tolls" was written by Barbara Kaye Friend and directed by Tessa Blake

Many of these characters have been touched by death long before Chief Ripley died. That was such a tragic twist that ripples throughout the entire fire community here. It's the main focus of this hour as well. Sure, Andy and Ben go out on a call to help a guy impaled by a chandelier while the other firefighters are preparing supplies to help people in California battling a major forest fire. But the predominate focus is on how everyone is coping with this latest tragedy. Some of the most effective moments come from the characters one would least expect as well. Maya has always had her life put together. But she is an absolute mess throughout this shift. She is crying constantly despite not being close to Ripley at all. This just happens to be the tragedy that forces her to break and show just how much she has bottled up her entire life. She can't live that way forever. It may also explain why she is lashing out at Jack and Andy now. She doesn't want to do that and manages to mend both of those relationships along the way. Meanwhile, everyone at the station is trying to convince Vic that she needs to attend the funeral. She doesn't want to do that. She sees herself as no one according to any kind of official document. Her colleagues at large don't know the truth of the relationship she had with Ripley. Even her closest friends were in the dark until he was on his death bed. She kept all of this a secret. They were talking about marriage in order to live out in the open and be happy together. They will never get that happiness though. Vic fears that she has just lost out on the love of her life. She is mourning this tremendous loss that could fundamentally change everything for her. Ripley died while happily together with Vic. He was beaming with joy over that fact. Vic has to live on though. She wants to focus solely on work. She aspires to put on a brave face. She keeps convincing herself that she doesn't deserve to be front and center at the funeral. She is angry and upset. She lashes out at Travis when he is just trying to help her cope with all of this. She didn't loss a spouse like he did though. She was never given that opportunity with Ripley. It's startling to see even Travis fail to connect with her. That makes it seem like she maybe won't attend the funeral after all. And then, Levi shows up at the station. It's such a simple and unexpected gesture. But his presence in being able to deliver his condolences while sharing Ripley's final message is so moving. It forms a connection that also changes her life. She sees value in herself and what this relationship was. She may still prefer to live in the little bubble they had. But the reality is setting in as well. She is trying to make that progress by opening up to the waiter who was always so friendly to them at the diner. All of this grief also harkens back to the tragic losses that Sullivan and Andy have experienced as well. Andy sees everything just piling up in her life and only adding to the pressure of this moment. She doesn't want to worry about Sullivan and Ryan. She's also hearing the bells that marked her mother's passing and how Pruitt was in shock afterwards. Meanwhile, Sullivan worries so much over the eulogy but is free to deliver a stirring speech after being given the permission to just be raw and honest. That's what people are looking for through this moment. It's just about connecting and relaying the experience that can best define who Ripley was. It's a daunting task but everyone just has to approach it one bleeder at a time. That's solid advice as they all face the unknown moving forward. Hopefully, they succeed as a team who care about each other.