Station 19 series premiere recap: 'Stuck/Invisible to Me'
It's like 'Grey's Anatomy,' but with fire
It looks like Shonda Rhimes may potentially have another hit show on her hands. Think Grey’s Anatomy, but replace medicine with fire. Switch the pretty doctors for pretty firefighters, but keep the drama and the sexual tension. That’s Station 19.
The “Meredith Grey” at the center of the drama is Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz). Station 19 unfolds from her perspective, complete with voice-overs. Andy is tough, she’s strong, and she’s the captain’s daughter. The captain (Miguel Sandoval) adores Andy and loves singing her praises, even though she wants to be treated like anyone else. Sound familiar?
She’s also in a relationship with Lieutenant Jack Gibson (Grey Damon). Instead of on-call rooms and medical supply closets, firefighters get busy where you keep the hoses. (That’s not a euphemism. There’s an actual room with hoses.) While making out with Jack, Andy is surprised to find an engagement ring in his pocket. Jack goes on the defensive immediately, begging Andy not to freak out. Before we hear her answer, the alarm rings. I have a feeling that bell is going to cut into many conversations this season. It’s very convenient.
Andy drives the truck to the location of the fire and uses said truck to shove a police car that is blocking her red zone before berating the cop on the scene. Fun fact: The cop, Ryan (Alberto Frezza), is Andy’s childhood neighbor who took her to prom. I smell a smoky love triangle! Or is there a Seattle PD in our future?
Everyone rushes into the building to look for people left behind. Clearly this is a buddy situation; Jack is teamed up with the captain. Jack hangs a right to double-check a child’s bedroom, and when he comes back out, the smoke is so thick he can’t see anything, including the captain. Jack, the almost fiancé, has lost his almost father-in-law/boss. This is a perfect example of a horrible day.
Andy and her ride-or-die girl-power fellow firefighter Maya (Danielle Savre) scramble and help Jack find the captain. He’s unconscious, and the fire is too big to manage. The solution? Jump out the window, of course. Thankfully, the others have inflated handy pillow-like structures to break the fall. The captain is whisked away to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital while Jack, Andy, and Maya suck O2 likes it’s their jobs.
I’d like to take this moment to point out that the Station 19 firefighters call oxygen “O2.” Two syllables are easier than three. Plus, it sounds cooler.
Knowing that she and her dad are alive, Andy begins to hyperventilate on the scene, but luckily Ryan is there to help her breathe. Meanwhile, in the ambulance, Warren (Jason George) — a.k.a. Bailey’s husband from Grey’s Anatomy — goes all “I used to be a surgeon” and nearly kills the captain by giving him blood thinners. Fellow firefighter Travis stops him and reminds Warren that HE IS NO LONGER A DOCTOR.
Everyone rolls into Grey Sloan, and the captain is whisked away by Dr. Bailey. Andy takes this time to lay into Jack for leaving her father in the middle of a raging fire. Uncool, man. Jack chooses this point in time to insinuate that Andy is mad at him because he proposed.
Oh no he didn’t.
Three cheers for Meredith Grey! She notices Andy from the time she spent in Meredith’s OR holding a man’s heart a few weeks ago, when her character crossed over into the Grey’s Anatomy realm. Meredith assesses the situation, pulls Andy into the supply closet, turns her body to face the door, and stands guard so Andy can lose her mind in the comfort of a relative stranger next to a shelf of gauze. Ninety seconds later, Meredith turns back around and commands Andy to suck it up.
“Okay, that’s enough. Put your game face on. We’ve got your dad. Now you go be brave for them.”
This is Shondaland, ladies and gentlemen. (Recap continues on next page)
The good news is that the captain made it out of surgery. The bad news is that he has cancer. The captain decides to step down immediately, putting Jack in charge in the meantime. Andy goes home to wallow in the crap hole of a day she just had, when Ryan rings the bell. He’s officially moved back into town. And he’s worried about the Herreras. Both of them.
Andy shares that her father has cancer and that he’s promoting Jack to be the captain, which irritates her to no end. Ryan pumps her up with a thousand compliments. Then he encourages her to go after the captain’s job herself. She does most of the work anyway. In fact, he insists she talk to her dad about the job.
You know what never-ending support and confidence does for a woman in Shondaland, right? Within seconds, Andy’s seducing Ryan and his shirt is coming off. I’d like to see more of that in the future, please. Does this make me Team Ryan?
The next day Andy regrets sleeping with Ryan. She confides in Maya that she doesn’t know what to do, and Maya demands that she channel all that pent-up energy and do something with it. First, Andy saves a girl who is stuck between two brick walls — it’s exactly what you’re thinking. Then, she goes to her dad’s hospital room and asks him to promote her to lieutenant so she can be in the running for captain. Done.
Jack isn’t angry about the turn of events, per se, but he does seem to adopt a small chip on his shoulder. And something tells me that Andy’s sudden promotion isn’t going to sit well with others. Fortunately, the first thing Andy does when she earns her bars is to break her father’s cardinal rule of not sliding down the pole. If you want to see what Christmas is like for firefighters, this is it.
Later, the captain warns Andy that Battalion Chief Frankel will be stopping by the station to start the process of looking for a new captain. She’s going to be in and out without warning, so Jack and Andy better be ready to show her what they’ve got. In the meantime, both are in charge until new leadership is in place.
Right before the alarm rings, firefighter Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan) rushes in late. Andy puts him on desk duty while the rest answer the fire call at a local school. The principal assures the firefighters that no one is in the building and she’s positive someone pulled the alarm. Andy sends Warren and firefighter Victoria (Barrett Doss) in to sweep the halls.
They find the pulled alarm, with the blue “I DID IT” paint on the handle. To Warren’s surprise, he notices his son at the end of the hallway. His hands are hidden, and Warren immediately knows that his kid set off the alarm. But Tuck has a reason: There’s a pregnant girl in the bathroom and he didn’t know how else to get his dad there to help.
Why didn’t he go and grab a teacher you ask? Great question. The girl is the principal’s 13-year-old daughter. She doesn’t want her mother to know that she’s pregnant. Also, DID YOU READ THAT SHE IS 13?
Victoria takes point and calls Andy for supplies from the ambulance — the same ambulance that Andy just sent away. Terrible timing, right? As the girl begins to lose control, Victoria brings her right back by singing “I’m a Little Teapot,” of all songs, to take her mind off the pain. A bit of screaming and several complications later, voila! A baby! Now, how do we tell the principal?
So why didn’t the ambulance just turn around? Because firefighters Miller and Travis (Jay Hayden) were on another call to a nursing home. It seems Mr. Page got his boys stuck in his shower chair. It also seems that this happens frequently. Poor Mr. Page is lonely, and Travis empathizes, agreeing that the quiet is the hardest part. He tells the elderly man about how he lost his husband in the line of duty last year and he still feels alone, too.
That night, there’s another call to assist in an overturned tanker. Victoria and Warren help the unconscious driver of the truck, while another firefighter starts hopping around because his leg is on fire — only we can’t see the fire. Andy barks for them to put down their hoses because this chemical burns clear, and water only makes it spread. They need foam. But they don’t have any foam.
Victoria and Warren are on one side of the fire; the rest of their squad is on the other side. They do all they can not to inhale the smoke, but when the soles of Victoria’s boots start to melt, she assumes the worst. They are surrounded. She looks at Warren and they lock eyes, holding their breath. Then he starts the hand gestures of, you guessed it, “I’m a Little Teapot.” If these two teammates hook up, I might be angry. Do not cheat on Bailey, Warren. Do you hear me?
While Warren and Victoria are motioning their handles and spouts, the rest of the gang argue about what to do. There is no time! They can’t wait for the foam, and the flames are honing in on their family. Andy throws all caution to the wind and backs the truck right through the fire. Why didn’t they think of that three teapots ago?
After sucking up some O2, Warren heads out with Miller to check on a disturbance at an apartment complex. Miller busts through the door and finds the attractive woman he helped earlier in the day with her smoke alarm. It just won’t stop beeping! And it’s still beeping! Miller looks up and knocks a hole in the ceiling in this woman’s bedroom, and smoke pours out. He swoops her up like firemen do, and they rush out to safety. It’s everything you want in a fire rescue, that’s for sure.
Percolating on the adrenaline of clear fire, Andy sidles up next to Jack for a little smack talk. I thought his shirt was going to come off, but no luck. Andy’s just feeling the fire and channeling it toward Jack. Both want captain. Neither is backing down. Game on.
There’s definitely some heat. But I’m still Team Ryan.