Thursday, May 14, 2020

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Andy Goes Searching for Answers About Her Mother While Maya Confronts Her Abuser in 'Louder Than a Bomb'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 3.16 "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. Sullivan undergoes surgery for his chronic leg pain.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"Louder Than a Bomb" was written by Emmylou Diaz and directed by Paris Barclay

This season aspired to analyze the upbringings of all the main characters. It delved deep into the formative moments that made them who they are today. Not only was it a tool to illustrate when and how they felt the call to serve as firefighters. It was also about the actions that have defined how they react to any given situation in the present. The past informs how these characters deal with stress. A lot of it can be sourced back to their parents. And yet, that wasn't the only dynamic that came to define the stories. In fact, it's clear that characters lingering too long on the past are destined to be blind to the hardships they currently face in the present. It's intricate storytelling. It helped the show feel more like a meaningful ensemble this year. One where it was easy to understand exactly who all of these characters are. They have all made mistakes. They may still be making mistakes. They just want to avoid falling into the same patterns as before. That may not lead to significantly better lives. However, it may be the introspection necessary to confront some harsh truths in order to move past them and accept the life that has been given to them. Andy is fixated on the idea that something more happened with her mother's death. She has quickly become obsessed with the fear that her parents didn't actually have a happy marriage. She fears that her relatives were kept away from her for a reason. She allows herself to enter into a dark headspace. Sullivan is more than willing to say that she is grieving and spinning out. That may be the way that Andy processes the unknowns of her life. People are so often willing to tell her what she can handle. As such, she feels like she is constantly being betrayed because people keep choosing to withhold information from her. She has had to deal with a lot of trauma this season as well. Ryan died tragically. Pruitt died as a hero. And now, Sullivan is having surgery to potentially heal his nerve condition. But Andy is too busy focusing on her own life to help him cope with the pain that all of this will bring for her husband. Love is absolutely present in their marriage. She is grateful that her father got to walk her down the aisle. However, Andy and Sullivan aren't on the same page about anything. Instead, Andy is too busy chasing clues about the past and eventually being stunned by the reveal that her mother is actually still alive. That's a massive cliffhanger. There has to be some explanation for why she abandoned Andy for all these years. It's also the show making a point in adding someone to Andy's family instead of cruelly taking another one away. Of course, there is an insane amount of tension amongst her firefighter family. They are trapped in a room with a bomb. They are racing against the clock to figuring out a way to survive the pending blast. They eventually find a solution. It just comes with the realization for Jack that he may always be getting trapped in this job. He has to find a way to cope with that. He may have a way to manage the stress through his new makeshift family. But even that may be built on a false premise of hope where they need each other for emotional support without ever being truly aware of how their actions could come across. Many characters are dealing with conflicts like that. Miller pushes Vic away because he is growing more and more confused about his feelings for her. He wants to blame her for the mixed signals she is constantly sending. But he shuts it down in a way that alienates her entirely from the conversation. Travis actually has the mature and appropriate approach with Emmett. That's just sad because he doesn't reciprocate the feelings Emmett has for him. Emmett has been liberated and his father has officially been arrested. That is a massive relief for everyone involved. But it's frankly more rewarding to watch as Maya confronts the ugly truth about her abusive father. She always props him up as the reason why she has been so successful. And now, he returns and needs to be heard at all times. It's exhausting and distracting. He gets in the way and Maya can't avoid him. That ugliness is staring her right in the face. She wasn't willing to admit it when her mother and Carina were telling her that it was abuse. It's tragic. But it's also uplifting because it ends in Maya and Carina reuniting. The future may not be perfect or easy for these characters. Mistakes are absolutely made here. And yet, the twisty journey will ensure that their lives have the possibility for improvement even if uncertainty may define so much right now.