Jaina Lee Ortiz explains explosive return of [SPOILER] in Station 19 season finale
Warning: This article contains spoilers if you haven’t finished watching Station 19's season 3 finale.
ABC's Station 19 took a different turn when showrunner Krista Vernoff was handed the reins for the show's third season, which saw every character pushed to the brink.
This was especially true for the drama's protagonist Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), who lost not only her childhood friend Ryan (Alberto Frezza), her colleague Rigo Vasquez (Rigo Sanchez), but also her father Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval) — the only parent she had since the death of her mom when she was 9. But Andy's life got flipped upside down yet again when in the finale's final moments she came face to face with her deceased mother, who is very much alive and has a lot of explaining to do.
Ortiz spoke to EW about Andy's tumultuous path, her uncertain marriage to Captain Robert Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe), and where she goes from here.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Krista Vernoff came in this season and changed the game! What's it been like to play Andy, whose gone through the ringer?
JAINA LEE ORTIZ: I really love how Krista came in adding so much to the fire that we already had. Every character had this rollercoaster of events in their life that they were going through and she came in bringing a thunderstorm for us. All the characters, especially Andy, had life-altering experiences this season and I think those moments are important for growth and very dramatic for the audiences to watch. She's been to hell and back. As an actress, I was really grateful to play in this darker space full of twists and turns.
Andy and her dad's relationship was very hot and cold, but he was her only family. How does that change with her mom being alive?
I have absolutely no clue because they don't tell us anything. But I will tell you this: The story of Pruitt has not ended, there are still so many questions left unanswered. We kind of have an idea of the kind of person he was and his legacy, but there are so many hidden secrets that we're finding now. Will that lead us to answers or a different set of unanswered questions about him and his past? Hopefully, we can continue to see Miguel in the role as part of the flashbacks. I really love that he went out as a hero while saving his family doing what he loved to do. He wouldn't allow cancer to take him, he left on his own terms.
What does Andy's mom's return mean for her?
If everyone thinks Andy's already been to hell and back they ain't seen nothing yet! After seeing her mom alive, it may be time for her to check into Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And I do want to take a moment to mention how proud I am of this episode because it was full of girl power! It was written by Emmylou Diaz and features Patricia De Leon in the role of my mom and her sister Sandra was played by Laura Cerón— all Latinas. Having them as part of this season was really the cherry on top. We lost two Latinos in this season, Rigo and Miguel. I was so excited saying, "Yes, bring on two more!" Plus, they're all women and that made me happy.
Andy fell in love and married her captain so her father could walk her down the aisle, but she's spiraling. What can we expect?
It's really hard to say what will happen to them because everything was so rushed. I think Andy married Sullivan more for her dad than for herself. I know that she's definitely in love with him, but I also think she was feeling lost when it all happened. Her dad died knowing that she found love. But getting married for someone else doesn't create a solid foundation for the relationship. They haven't had the time to really get to know each other and grow together as a couple. Plus, you throw in his drug addiction issues, his surgery, and Andy dealing with her grief and where does that leave us? I hope that they last and I hope that they have babies so they can grow up in the firehouse. Life is messy and because it's messy it makes it beautiful.
So you believe this relationship is the real deal?
Oh, absolutely! I don't think Andy needs to get with any more guys, she's done her rounds already. There's been a lot of jumping around with everyone, but hey, it's Shondaland and what's great about it is that there's nothing wrong with female empowerment and owning our sexuality.
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I think the fans are going to go crazy when they see Meredith because she's not made an appearance in season 3 at all. Meredith bumps into Andy while she's having a nervous breakdown and she was really there for her. We see her hug Andy and we've established neither are really huggers, so it made that scene where they embrace all the more beautiful. Meredith gives her advice almost as if passing the baton to her. Everyone's going to love it!
Speaking of the fans, they want to buy the calendar. How can they purchase it?
Honestly, I don't know what's happening with the calendar. We're working on the details for that because we were thinking we could maybe sell them to raise funds for charity. Stay tuned on that front...
Any wishes for season 4?
I would love for Andy to get some answers. l would love for her to go to therapy. I would love for her to rebuild her relationship with Sullivan. I think it would be a great idea for her to take some time off of work and get her s--- together. Hopefully, she can work on filling in those holes left from all those years her mother was gone so she can connect the dots. I put my trust fully in Krista and the writers who really did a great job, knowing and trusting that they're going to take care of us.