Saturday, April 3, 2021

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Travis Confronts the Pain of His Past That He Has Been Carrying for Years in 'No One Is Alone'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 4.09 "No One Is Alone"

Vic and Travis' friendship is put to the test as they respond to calls to help two best friends in need. Jack realizes he has a greater impact on Marcus than he realizes. New details about Travis' late husband's tragic death are revealed.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"No One Is Alone" was written by Rochelle Zimmerman and directed by Stacey K. Black

This show has never allowed the death of a loved one to prevent one of the main characters have having a future full of romantic intrigue and possibilities. Those past heartbreaks are still tragic because of the circumstances involved. Everyone at the station recognizes the severity of their job and the potential risks involved. They are heroes willing to make that sacrifice if necessary. The lives of the people left behind are absolutely devastated though. It's important to focus on those stories as well. So much of Travis' life has been defined by Michael's death on the job. It's something that has always shaded his character on the series. It's a part of him. He was expecting to spend the rest of his life with Michael. That's what he imagined for his future. Unfortunately, that isn't the life he continues to enjoy. He has had several relationships since that tragic event. However, none of them have particularly been successful. He has always held himself back because of the love and affection he still constantly holds for Michael. He still wakes up each day and feels the pain of that loss. It is inescapable. He doesn't understand how others can act as if their losses didn't ultimately matter. He is baffled by how Vic has moved on following Ripley also dying on the job. He has never confronted her about this. He has never felt the need to explode their friendship in that way. And yet, he personally feels betrayed now. He understands that Vic wants to be in a relationship with Theo, the man he has long blamed for Michael's death. The show needed to provide more context for that harsh understanding. It does exactly that in this episode. This hour is almost completely focused on the evolving dynamic between Travis and Vic as friends. Sure, there are a few brief moments where Theo is helping Jack with his new home life. However, that isn't really the focus of the episode. Of course, it also provides the understanding that Theo is becoming a part of the ensemble. He's not solely integrated into Travis and Vic's stories. He is joining the station. He potentially has a future independent of how Travis and Vic feel about him at any specific moment. Bishop sees him as a valuable sub for when the station needs it. That also requires Travis and Vic to have a conversation about what this means for them. It actually forces Travis to confront the emotions he has bottled up for four years. It has destroyed his life for much longer than it should have. He has held onto this pain because of his perfectionist ways. This is the way he processes life. It isn't all that beneficial. However, this is the way he perceives the world and the value relationships have within it. He can't betray Michael by forgiving the actions that led to his death or moving past it at all. That means he has essentially been stuck in his life for years. He has meaningful friendships. He has attempted to move on. He fundamentally keeps swinging back to this same position. He has been unable to escape. He has been trapped. He can't let go. It's simply been easier to blame Theo as being responsible for Michael's death. He was the captain who misjudged the direction of the wind. A mistake like that can be deadly. It could have been prevented. Theo's life was destroyed by this as well. He too has punished himself. He asked for a demotion. He too believed that he couldn't accept happiness after what happened. He has to always be in pain as a reflection of what happened to Michael. It's also difficult to recognize the pain within oneself in comparison to how another is dealing with the same situation. That is the lesson that comes from the pair of best friends Travis and Vic keep treating for overdoses. They are both suffering from addiction. They feel the need to help the other before themselves. They struggle. It ends in death. That may be the outcome from all of this pain and suffering. It doesn't simply ease once one recognizes that the future can no longer play out as it always has. Travis understands that he has to let Michael go and reflect more on the beauty their relationship had instead of just how it ended. It's difficult and emotionally grueling. He does that here. He still has more work to do. However, it seems like his friendship with Vic is on the path to improvement once more. That's rewarding. These two didn't need to be broken for longer than an episode. They need to call each other out from time to time. They do that here. It leads to these breakthroughs. That suggests better times ahead for both now that they make these admissions about the losses they've shared and the hope they can have as well.