Thursday, May 20, 2021

REVIEW: 'Station 19' - Maya and Carina Discuss What the Future Holds for Their Relationship in 'Comfortably Numb'

ABC's Station 19 - Episode 4.14 "Comfortably Numb"

Ben finally faces the health issues he has been putting off. Jack and Inara help their neighbor out of a trashy situation. Carina and Maya reevaluate their relationship.

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.

"Comfortably Numb" was written by Kiley Donovan and directed by Peter Paige

Maya and Carina are engaged. It's a happy celebration. One that inspires hope for their future. They will no longer have to live in the ambiguity of Carina's immigration status. Her being deported has been the big obstacle they've had to overcome in their relationship this season. They were stable and happy as a couple. They moved in together amidst the pandemic. It was rushed and forced. And yet, it has inspired great things as well. They've both dealt with loss. They both have things they are desperately afraid to confront in their lives. However, they make each other happy. This is home for them now. Being together inspires so much greatness for the future. It's enough to fill them with certainty that they can overcome anything that comes their way. Those fears and uncertainties still linger though. That extends out of Maya fearing that there is still so much they don't know about each other. They are deciding to get married even though they may be on different wavelengths about having children. They are getting married even though Carina doesn't believe in the concept. She has only seen marriages end in despair. This relationship has had plenty of turmoil as well. Them taking that step may actually push them over the edge instead of serving as a declaration of their love. Carina made her love known when she moved in. That was the big symbol in her mind. Marriage can allow her to stay in the country though. She is stubborn. Maya is as well. They butt heads. They clash. But they are always driven by their love for each other. They have these extreme reactions. One where the threat of leaving is always threatened. But they also have the strength and resilience to always come back. That is the pattern of their lives. It's messy and complicated. It's still joyful as well. The conversations they have here are tough and eye-opening. They still have so much more to figure out. They make this grand commitment to each other. This relationship is home. They are certain in that. As such, everyone else gets to appreciate what extends from that as well. Of course, Jack appreciates having a comfortable and boring relationship with Inara. He loves having broken his pattern of destructive life choices. He has built this family. It too is defined by so much love. Moreover, Jack and Inara stopped avoiding the romantic connection between them. They have made that commitment. And yet, it's also easier for Jack to go running into an emergency instead of being present and loving with Inara. That's part of his job. It's how he is wired. He can't avoid someone in pain. He also gets sucked into the story of messy personal choices. He reflects on having moved past that part of his life. That can be dismissive to Inara as well. She is deserving of a full and rewarding life. She doesn't want to be what someone settles for. She isn't fragile because of her past either. It's a complicated story. One glided over because of the sex they have. That will only deflect this conversation for so long. And finally, the show has fun in depicting Ben's fears about going under the knife to remove his testicular cancer. Sure, it's striking that Bailey is absent. That likely comes from a scheduling hurdle behind-the-scenes instead of the creative team thinking Bailey wouldn't be needed in this moment. She absolutely cares about his health. This is also a personal journey for him. One where he is strong in his masculinity because he's doing whatever it takes to be there for his family as long as possible. Nothing with this surgery should bruise his ego or make him feel less than. He is still just as deserving of love and appreciation. He survives. It's easy for his friends to make jokes at his expense. This was still a serious issue. One where people rally behind him in offering their support. Ben just needs his mother in this moment though. He's not dying. He just needs that comfort. He receives that grace too in a joyful and amusing way. That strength takes courage and conviction. He sees the various careers of his life flash before his eyes. He even sees the inspiration in the next generation. That's been his role in the circle of life. His life is still valuable. He is proactive about the situation. He doesn't cower in fear. He steps up and faces the truth. Some characters are willing to admit that here. Others struggle with their own uncertainties.