Thursday, April 22, 2021

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Maya Creates the Space for Everyone at the Station to Express Themselves Completely in 'Get Up, Stand Up'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 4.12 "Get Up, Stand Up"

In the wake of national outcry after the tragic murder of an unarmed Black man, Maya brings in Dr. Diane Lewis to grief counsel the team.

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.

"Get Up, Stand Up" was written by Krista Vernoff and directed by Daryn Okada

Earlier this week, a Minnesota jury affirmed that George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. The video showing a knee on his neck for nine minutes and twenty-nine seconds was exactly what it seemed to be. That conviction isn't justice though. It's the first step towards accountability. Justice would mean George Floyd would still be alive today. Justice would mean Black people and other communities of color would feel comfortable and protected in this world. It's an unnerving and unraveling experience. It's constant as well. It threatens to be all-consuming. So many people see themselves in George Floyd. They could easily be that person being abused by the police. They could easily be the person who winds up death because another person felt threatened through their sheer existence. Explaining those emotions over and over again is exhausting and unbearable as well. People who don't have that lived experience should absolutely listen. They also have the responsibility to educate themselves. They must be good and worthy allies. Discrimination is rampant throughout this world. Having no hatred in one's heart is no longer good enough. One has to work to eradicate those feelings elsewhere as well. Until everyone is safe, then no one is truly safe. That is the overall message of this episode. It's difficult and emotional. Maya does her best to support her team. Bringing in Dr. Lewis once more seems to be the best way she can care for them. Making a personal sacrifice to support others is also just as valuable. She needs to speak out and be supportive of others doing so. It has to be genuine and authentic as well. Too many people fall in line with the performance of activism. Chief Dixon isn't an ally to communities of color in Seattle. And yet, people are willing to suddenly give him credibility because he puts on a performance for the cameras. It's disgusting. It doesn't truly reflect the pain that is present in the world. He has contributed to that as well. He has encouraged and strengthen these systems. The pressure is unbearable to so many. It's easier for Sullivan to punch his fists into various objects instead of putting into words all that he is feeling. It's not healthy. His friends try their best to support him. He can't turn his back on them either. He has long had concerns about Miller's lawsuit. He can't allow his desire to promote up the ranks once more derail the ambition of another Black man. The world is putting them against each other. In order for one of them to succeed, it has to be in this specific institution while ensuring another has to fall. It's inspiring to see the faces of those who work at Station 19. Pruitt created a wonderful and inclusive space full of respect and honor. These characters aren't perfect though. Jack fears saying the wrong thing. He worries being silent is also a problem. He has put in the work through therapy though. He appreciates Diane calling him out on his imperfect behavior. He needs that. His friends need support from him as well. People need to recognize this hatred and bigotry in all of its forms. It's not good enough to simply acknowledge this one instance as being wrong. That should be apparent from the video. It's heinous. It never should have happened. That's how the system is capable of operating though. That can't be denied or ignored. Neither should the hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic. Neither should discrimination against the color of one's skin or who someone loves or how someone identifies their gender. These aren't faraway ideas that were wept out of the world through various movements across the years. It is still rampant. People are still suffering. Awareness is a good thing. This episode calls attention to a lot of these pent-up emotions. Actions are equally important. That's the way to create a more just society. Protests erupted across the entire world as a reaction to seeing the murder of George Floyd. That happened on top of the ongoing pandemic. The past year has tested the human spirit in undeniable ways. It's striking. It threatens to tear us apart. Things can hopefully get better. But again, that is entirely dependent on the willingness of people to do the work. This episode helps acknowledge the pain and suffering. Everything has changed. Now, that difference needs to be made abundantly clear. Sometimes though, all it takes is creating the space for someone to feel acceptance, compassion and understanding while crying. That is deeply felt in a way that strikes at the core of what this entire moment must entail.