Thursday, May 16, 2019

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - The Station Is Completely Out of Their Element During a California Wildfire in 'Into the Wildfire'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 2.17 "Into the Wildfire"

The members of Station 19 pack their gear and head to Los Angeles to help battle a deadly wildfire raging out of control. While the team works to evacuate residents, they meet Terry, and Ben makes a split-second decision that changes both of their lives.

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 season finale of ABC's Station 19.

"Into the Wildfire" was written by Stacy McKee and directed by Paris Barclay

The last few episodes of the season have been emotionally brutal. They have been some of the highlights of the series to date though. As such, it's significant that the actual finale decides to trade those emotions for a high-stakes emergency. That's certainly a choice. Plus, there are some big moments here that were directly set up by the season that needed some kind of resolution. Something needed to happen between Andy and Sullivan. Ben needed to find out if he would be joining Medic One. The rest of the character drama was mostly just ensuring that the futures for the ensemble were in flux as well. Of course, those weren't the immediate highlights of this concluding hour. It's all about the action. Even these firefighters can be taken out of their element from time to time. They are all very skilled at this job. And yet, none of them have actually battled a raging wildfire before. It's a new experience for all of them. But they feel the need to help California contain this blaze before it destroys any more of the state. It's absolutely massive. Of course, Station 19 quickly finds themselves trapped in one portion. They aren't the ones who determine whether or not this fire will continue to be an issue. They are just helping out. They are responsible for one job. Afterwards, they head back home to deal with everything that has just happened. Sure, there are plenty of life-changing moments that happen out in the field. The story proves just how sudden new fires can pop up in this environment. When Station 19 arrives in this neighborhood, they are helping with the evacuation and cleaning up the brush. It doesn't take long before embers start falling down on this neighborhood and trap everyone inside. There is also a ton of interference over the radios with no understanding that water tankers or medical air lifts will be coming any time soon. They are essentially stranded fighting for survival. Ben finds himself in a situation where he feels compelled to amputate a man's hand in order to save his life. That's a decision that could have massive consequences. The team makes him believe that it was the right decision given the circumstances. The leaders at Medic One could have a different response especially with his track record of acting impulsively in high-pressure situations and not always making the right call. It should be fascinating to see how much his past comes back to hurt him and if he has even learned any lesson from his experiences at Station 19 over how to best act in these dangerous situations. Meanwhile, Andy and Sullivan are trapped outside when fire starts to rain down. They have to find safety underwater in a pool. That moment informs their dynamic so much because it appears to clarify to both of them that this relationship is more than simply being friends. Once they are safely back in Seattle though, it's much more complicated because the attraction and impulse is there but Sullivan ultimately backs out of it. It may be moving too quickly for him. It mostly just leaves Andy upset about how all of this could ruin their relationship both personally and professionally. Some of the other big cliffhanger moments are Ryan deciding to keep the money that his father left behind for him, Dean learning that his new girlfriend once dated Maya and Travis being arrested for assault. Those are all bound to create even more personal drama heading into the third season. It should be interesting to see what new showrunner Krista Vernoff (who also oversees Grey's Anatomy) plans on doing with all of these characters.