Thursday, December 10, 2020

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Jack's Personal Life Takes a Hit During the Pandemic as Miller Confronts Sullivan in 'Don't Look Back in Anger'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 4.04 "Don't Look Back in Anger"

The team responds to a difficult domestic dispute involving a pregnant woman. Meanwhile, Travis struggles to deal with a family crisis, and Maya and Carina's relationship continues to grow.

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 next episode of ABC's Station 19.

"Don't Look Back in Anger" was written by Brian Anthony and directed by Bethany Rooney

The Station 19 crew decided that love and treatment were what Sullivan needed in response to the mistakes he made. He didn't deserve to lose his job even though he abused his authority. People made mistakes. And yes, several are held to higher standards than others. It's unfair. However, it's necessary for the show to depict that it's not a uniform response amongst his colleagues. During his disciplinary hearing, it was important for many of them to show their support for Sullivan. That's the reason why he still has a job. He still gets to work at Station 19 even though he has been demoted. Miller was conveniently absent from that moment. People noticed that. He has a different response. He sees Sullivan's actions not only as being destructive for him but for the next Black firefighter who wanted to climb the ladder. He knows that their community will be judged harshly based on the mistakes that one individual makes. It plays into stereotypes which can only set back everyone to prevent progress from being made. Miller doesn't have to love or forgive Sullivan. That's the consensus elsewhere. Everyone views Miller as the problem. And yes, not everything in Miller's behavior can be justified and tolerated. On a fundamental level, these first responders need to be able to trust each other. They need that support whenever they go into the field and face the unknown. Miller's hostility towards Sullivan highlights his anger towards the system and to those who fail. He too wants to pass so much blame onto Sullivan. It is deserved in some moments. Sullivan has to take responsibility for his actions. Being an addict definitely fueled how he behaved. But he can't use that as an excuse for everything without learning from it. He still has to grow as a person as well. Only then can he be fully welcomed back with open arms. He and Andy are making a major sacrifice in their marriage. They are spending several months apart so that Sullivan can grow more secure in his sobriety. He needs that to ensure that he is balanced when they do return to each other. It's more difficult to keep their distance now that they are working together once more. They can still have conversations too. They can be real and vulnerable with each other. That hasn't changed. They have always counted on the support and perspective the other brings. Sullivan simply has to do better in the future. He has to earn back the trust because it has been damaged. People are entitled to their own responses. He can't grow upset because one person responds differently than the rest of the firehouse. It's only when the dynamic turns antagonistic that a problem emerges. It forces a conversation to happen. One that highlights the inequalities and discrimination within the system. It's something that Sullivan and Miller have to confront frequently. They don't know the other's experiences. They have some guess as to what they have faced in their lives. However, they are individuals with different perspectives too. As such, it's perfectly acceptable for them to view things differently now. It doesn't always have to be healthy. It just can't get in the way of the jobs they are doing. These personal relationships do often complicate the way the firehouse conducts their jobs though. When responding to an emergency, they project how that situation reflects back onto their personal lives. Andy has been furious with her parents. Maya fights against the urge to be just like her father. A case with a terribly display of parenting makes them talk about these issues. It offers perspective. That's all that they can reasonably take away from all of this. They walk away with a new understanding. That doesn't immediately solve all of their problems. It just shows that communication is the first step. Friendships are needed to build better and more productive lives. It's not healthy to bottle up emotions. Of course, it's also clear that Jack wants to become a family with the people he's saved along the way. It's devastating that Marsha has tested positive for COVID-19. The other three are negative though. The future is uncertain for them but they are comforted by each other. That's the human connection necessary during these dark times where anything could happen. The anxiety is high but the support is there to help deal with it all too.