Thursday, May 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Miller and Ben Fight to Stay Alive After Falling Overboard Into the Ocean in 'I Guess I'm Floating'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 4.13 "I Guess I'm Floating"

Ben and Dean wrestle with life and death after the Black Fighter's Coalition banquet.

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.

"I Guess I'm Floating" was written by Daniel K. Hoh and directed by Paris Barclay

Miller has the total support of Station 19 in his lawsuit against the police department. However, that's not enough. The rest of the department is telling him to put an end to it now. He doesn't have much support outside of his chosen family. They don't see this as the right way to effectively bring change. It's better for him to shut up and take this abuse in the hopes that he can climb the ladder and implement his own policies. That's the way that others before him have done it. And now, the Battalion Chief is proud to have an annual banquet for Black firefighters. It's not enough though. It's acknowledging their presence without actually implementing policies to target issues that directly impact their standing in the world. Miller wants to attack this toxic culture. He knows the vital need for police and fire to work together. He also can't stay quiet in the face of so much heinous abuse that has embedded itself in so many structures in society. And now, his job of convincing minds either got a whole lot easier or harder. His Battalion Chief has a heart attack and falls overboard. Miller and Ben jump in to save him. He is quickly pronounced dead. Miller holds on to preserve this life for as long as he can. Eventually, the body washes away. Miller and Ben have to make their own fight for survival. It forces them to reflect on everything that matters in their lives. The lawsuit is a huge part of that. Ben continues to offer unconditional support. He also wants Miller to know that he doesn't have to carry this burden by himself. He can't be placing the hopes and failings of bringing about systemic change entirely on his shoulders. His direct superior is dead now. He was against the lawsuit. He also came from a place of being able to have a conversation about its merits. He too was a Black man in the department who knew how to navigate these complicated relationships. He has his own valid perspective. His replacement may not come from the same place. This immediate obstacle for Miller is gone. Whatever comes next might be worse. It's simply unknown. Right now, Miller and Ben have to focus on staying alive. It's a perilous journey for them out there on the water. They know that their friends will notice they're missing and will do something about it. But it's not until they wash up on shore the next morning that they are found. They fear that they are going to die. They make promises to care for each other's children should the worst happen to one and not the other. Miller is still relatively new to parenthood. He is still navigating having his parents back in his life. That now extends to JJ's parents as well. They learn about Prue's existence and want to also be involved. Miller's family is expanding. However, he doesn't feel close in these personal relationships. The bonds he has at the firehouse are more meaningful. That includes his grand romantic feelings toward Vic. She declares her love for him after he is found on the beach. That may just be her expressing her love for him as a friend. His love is more than that though. The show will probably have to clear that up soon. Of course, Vic also cares profoundly about Prue. She will do whatever it takes to keep Miller's daughter safe even when things are uncertain. Meanwhile, Ben reveals that he has testicular cancer. Surgery is his only option. He hasn't scheduled it yet because he is still trying to wrap his head around it all. This is something he has kept to himself. Bailey has tried her best to talk some sense into him. She will be broken if he is taken away from her too soon. She can't handle even more tragedy in this year. That too amplifies the stakes of this moment when these men could die. They survive because they hold on to each other. It's a grand expression of love and connection. These men recognize the individual nature of their desires and loves in this world. They respect what is meaningful to them and fight to uplift that notion no matter what. At the end of the day, they have to save themselves. They can only do so much for the lost soul out at sea. They are rewarded in being found. It's a miracle. One that could be completely life-affirming moving forward. However, it also comes across as if this experience will shape them in interesting ways. Seeing how those play out may actually determine how successful this story turns out to be. A wait-and-see approach isn't always the best strategy. The story is depicted well and the tension is intense throughout the hour. It's also clear the consequences will be the more crucial development from all of this.