Captain peer reviews crash and burn
Credit: Mitch Haaseth/ABC
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It’s peer review day for the captain’s race and Chief Ripley isn’t playing around. He has one question for the team: Jack or Andi? Seems simple enough. By this time, Station 19 firefighters should have picked a hashtag, right?

Not so fast. The morning’s events have muddied the waters and emotions are all over the map. When the alarm rings, the firefighters rush to find a guy hurt from a simple fender bender. A dumpster ran out from nowhere. Even though he’s totally fine, Jack is asked to take the victim, Peter, to the hospital as a precaution. On the way back, the team rolls up on a crashed party bus. Bodies strewn everywhere.

The dilemma: Protocol dictates that Peter must go to the hospital. Jack wants to follow the rules. Herrera, who is acting captain, calls dispatch and learns that Station 23 is eight minutes away. She chooses to help the bleeding people.

I’d like to take a moment to publicly announce that if I was one of the bleeding people and I saw an ambulance whiz by me as I laid on the ground with a bus on top of me, I’d be pretty annoyed. #TeamAndi

Needless to say, there were extenuating circumstances that no one could have predicted. We get the details through Chief Ripley’s interviews. And we get to play the game, “What would you have done in this situation?”

Chief Ripley is eager to talk to Warren. His rookie opinion is a fresh perspective on the two contenders. Warren takes this as a compliment and proceeds to give a detailed assessment of Peter’s inability to drive. When he gets to the part with the party bus, he makes it a point to say that he and Andi were on the same page. “We are here now. We help now.” He also tells the Chief that Jack did not agree with Andi’s decision.

Victoria is rough with Ripley. She takes offense that Station 19 was “breaking protocol all over the place.” It wasn’t a clean call. He wasn’t there. Patients were all over the place and the team stabilized every single one. PS: It took Station 23 eight minutes to get to the site. If anyone is to blame, it’s Chief Ripley. BURN!

That’s right. Victoria tells the Chief that Station 19 averages five minutes to get to a call. They set the bar for response times. If Ripley is smart, he will get the other stations to raise to Station 19’s level. Additionally, don’t give someone else the keys to their castle. Pick Andi or Jack and be done with it.

This interview was not as passionate as Victoria’s spiel. Montgomery is calm, but firm. He believes a captain keeps a team safe above all else. Clearly, Montgomery’s husband died due to lack of leadership and poor decision-making. He knows it’s hard being the captain, since he filled in that one time. But it’s no excuse. (Recap continues on next page)

To no one’s surprise, Maya is all about greasing the wheels for Andi. When Ripley brings up the incident in the A-Car, Maya confirms that Jack was the perfect guy in the perfect place to handle that situation. And Andi put him there.

What situation you ask? Well, it turns out that Peter is what they call a drug seeker. Since he was stable enough for Andi to make the decision NOT to take him to the hospital, Jack was stuck babysitting. But the guy was so nice! And normal! When Peter insists Jack take the gurney he’s laying on to help the victims, Jack makes him sign a release form and then hauls that gurney out to the site. Let the record show that it was needed.

When he gets back, he sees Peter standing in the middle of the ambulance with supplies littering the floor. He calms an agitated Peter down immediately. Maya notes that Jack did the best he could in an impossible situation. Ripley’s response: “So Jack was there when things escalated and he handled it. You’re saying he arose to the occasion when Andi broke the rules.”

Is that what she’s saying? Did Maya just inadvertently switch to Team Jack?

Miller can’t say enough nice things about Jack. He is always 10 steps ahead of the group, including the time Peter punched through a glass window in the ambulance to score some morphine. Jack had to get physical and it took Miller to help him sedate the guy. Sure, he wasn’t supposed to leave Peter alone, but Jack did the right thing in a hairy situation.

Ripley has one question for Miller: Will you align with Jack or Andi?

Miller takes a long drink of water and asks him to repeat the question. Love it.

At the end of the night, we see Ripley run through his list one more time. He learns from Warren that Andi is a rule breaker and Jack gets into fights with patients. This concerns Warren that Ripley didn’t hear him correctly, but the Chief has moved on. NEXT! Victoria gets reprimanded for yelling at him. Clearly this is how she has been captained at Station 19 and that is not a good look for either candidate. Whoopsie.

The Chief listens intently to Montgomery as he sings Andi’s praises for saving all those people. He concedes that Jack is great, but Andi thinks like a captain. I did not see that coming. Maya lists all of Jack’s best qualities and Ripley interrupts her with a sly, “So he’s like a captain.” Miller finally answers the question and chooses Andi.

Everyone comes out of the room looking defeated at the end of the day. All agree that Ripley is a conversational Jedi, yet they believe it is important that he choose someone from Station 19 to be captain.

Meanwhile, Ripley has moved on to the final interview. As Captain Herrera sits in his chair receiving chemotherapy, Ripley asks him who he believes should take his place. The entire episode, Herrera has been singing his daughter’s praises and he is annoyed that his opinion hasn’t been heard.

Now with the Chief sitting across from him, he gives his final answer: Team Neither.

Does this mean we will get new blood in Station 19?

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