‘Station 19’ Bosses Warn ‘Careers, Lives, and Dreams Could End’ in Series Finale


Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19 was canceled so late that the writer’s room had already mapped out the firefighter drama’s Season 7 storyline. “We were very surprised,” recalls showrunner Zoanne Clack, “because Disney had just moved our whole production to the Disney lot, so we figured that they were pretty invested and we would probably have a few more seasons to go. We had fleshed out a lot of what we wanted to see in the season and thought that we could tell this story on a long arc because it was such a short season and we’d tell some of those stories in Season 8. We had to reconfigure what we could tell and what we’d have to leave on the table.”

Co-showrunner Peter Paige shares that having to cut many storylines “absolutely was tough. A lot of gold we left in that there river.” With the series end looming, Paige and Clack talked to each cast member. “They were craving resolutions for those long character journeys,” Paige says. The producers set that up with a two-part wrap-up concluding with a “beautiful” Grey’s Anatomy crossover in the series finale.

The penultimate episode focused on Station 19 — led by Capt. Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz) — battling an intense conflagration heading toward Seattle. “One of the biggest [fires] we’ve ever done,” says Paige. “We wanted to construct a finale where we got to see not only character arcs that find some resolution, but also firefighting action where they would be challenged to call upon the lessons they learned over the last seven seasons.”

Jaina Lee Ortiz on 'Station 19'

Disney/James Clark

Despite the most stringent precautions, the wildfire got out of control endangering some of our favorite characters in one last cliffhanger. When the series finale opens, we’ll see how critically Theo Ruiz (Carlos Miranda) — who left his less-than-helpful private EMT company and volunteered to join his former team — was injured after being crushed by a falling fire-weakened tree. We’ll also discover the fate of Lt. Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), who was trapped by the encircling fire at the same time that her wife, Dr. Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato), learned she was finally pregnant.

For those who we expect will survive, it seems that Vic Hughes (Barrett Doss) — Theo’s on and off girlfriend — will continue her emotional journey. “We needed to resolve her in a way that doesn’t leave her bitter and burnt out,” Clack explains. Her story, says Paige, “is a reflection of her belief that we can do better for ourselves and each other.” That led to her decision in the previous episode to head to D.C. to lead Crisis One. The program, started by her late, dear friend Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan), helps mental health victims without police involvement.

“Her great passion in life was always to help people and be of service,” says Doss. As the show ends, she says, “we’re seeing the culmination of seven seasons of trauma and grief for Vic. We’ve never gotten a chance to see her deal with the consequences of her losses.” Among those losses were Miller and her fiancé, Fire Chief Lucas Ripley (Brett Tucker). “She has always shielded her deeper emotions, but now she’s experiencing a bit of a breakthrough.”

Vic’s leaving 19 will be heartbreaking both for her and her longtime friends, especially her “person” Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden), who she asked to come work with her in D.C. after he had pleaded with her to stay. “Managing all this loss and the accompanying emotions changing her career is terrifying for her,” says Doss, “but she’s following  a dream.”

While Travis loves Vic platonically, after a dissatisfying mayoral campaign and failed romances, he hopes to find a safe place where he has people he loves surrounding him. “I believe that he’s a reached a stage in his life that he’s finally open to love again,” says Hayden. His husband, a fellow firefighter, died before the show premiered and, Hayden notes, “he may be better equipped for a successful relationship.” Could that be with the comforting EMS firefighter Dominic (Johnny Sibilly)? Or will he face the change he fears and move to Chicago with Vic?  Perhaps the sexy dream he had about Dom might be a tip the scales on that one.

Barrett Doss and Jay Hayden - 'Station 19'

Disney/Eric McCandless

But for Travis, losing Vic, the actor shares, “will be incredibly hard. In a different way, this brash loudmouthed girl is the love of his life.” Doss agrees: “This impending separation makes for a pretty emotional last episode.”

Though Andy’s safety in the fire is unclear, what is clear to Paige is that her promotion last season paid off. “We got to spend time really exploring the highs and lows and the pros and cons that come with your dreams getting realized.” Look for “a nice resolve on how she’s going to run Station 19 differently than any of the other captains (including her late beloved father, Pruitt Herrera, played by Miguel Sandoval).

As for her personal life, could Andy, who’s divorced from now Lt. Robert “Sully” Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe), get back with earlier love Jack Gibson (Grey Damon), currently a dispatcher after being injured out of firefighting? “That’s none of your beeswax,” Paige responds with a chuckle.

Speaking of romance, unless something very shocking happens, we can expect continued sparks between the engaged Sully and Fire Chief Natasha Ross (Merle Dandridge). “I’m so happy seeing these hard asses find their softness, joy, and humor in each other,” says Clack.

It also seems probable that Ben Warren (Jason George) will finally heed the fact that “his body is less interested in him being a firefighter than his mind,” says Paige. Which means an expected return to his job as a surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. “He’s one of those fortunate people that has more than one passion under the big umbrella of helping people.”

Jason George, Barrett Doss on 'Station 19'

Disney/James Clark

The series finale is “definitely bittersweet,” Clack reveals “There’s action, there’s love, there’s happiness and there’s extreme injuries. It’s going to be a killer.” Adds Paige: “Careers, lives and dreams could end.”

Nonetheless, Clack sounds hopeful. “We’ve taken these characters to a place where you’ll miss them, but you’ll have good feelings about where they land.’

In the end, Paige sums up: “It was a real honor to tell the stories of firefighters, real life superheroes who give so much to our communities in exchange for very little in return. And one of the things that sets Station 19 apart is, while it indeed is a firefighter show, it is also fundamentally a show about women and black, brown and queer people navigating systems that aren’t necessarily set up for them to succeed. Through those two lenses, we find Station 19 at its very best.”

Station 19, Series Finale, Thursday, May 30, 10/9c, ABC





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