SPOILER ALERT: The report includes details about the Season 3 finale of Station 19.
After all the drama encountered this season, the firefighters of Station 19 are letting loose. ABC’s Season 3 finale, titled “Louder Than a Bomb,” kicks off with the crew dancing and drinking the night away. Everyone is having a good time — except Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz), who’s still trying to put the pieces of her past together while dealing husband’s recent suspension after he confessed to using fentanyl. More on these later.
The next day, the hungover crew is summoned to handle a five-alarm fire at PAC North hospital. At the scene, Maya’s (Danielle Savre) dad shows up to cheer her on at work, which turns out to be a disaster.
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While evacuating the remaining civilians in the building, Ben (Jason George) and Travis (Jay Hayden) encounter a 250-pound man with a bad back who is stuck in an MRI machine. Fearing that he might not make it out alive, the guy confesses that cheated on his wife before his marriage but never told her, which in turn prompts Travis to admit his own transgression: He is sleeping with Emmett (Lachlan Buchanan), despite knowing that he doesn’t love Emmett the same way Emmett loves him.
Elsewhere, a doctor scrambles to save her research that can lead to a cure for lymphoma. The team discovers that bombs have been strategically placed throughout the hospital by anti-choice people who don’t agree with Alba’s (Katy Sullivan) embryo testing.
Racing against the clock, Dean (Okieriete Onaodowan) — being the only one who trained with the bomb squad — volunteers to transport the dynamite to an autoclave that would contain the blast. Not willing to risk Dean’s life for the sake of his infant daughter, Jack (Grey Damon) takes over and manages to get the bomb in the box on time. Unfortunately, the lymphoma researcher doesn’t make it, but the crew is able to save her work.
Also, Michael Dixon (Pat Healy), who was on the scene of the fire is but seemed more interested in getting press attention, is taken into custody, and charged with fraud and extortion.
Meanwhile, Andy is so distracted by finding answers about her father and trying to track down her Aunt Sandra that she pays little attention to Sullivan’s (Boris Kodjoe) impending surgery.
Sullivan, knowing that Andy is coping with the death of her father, makes excuses for his new wife, but Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), who is performing his surgery, expressed concern that this could lead to a relapse. Her worries are confirmed when Andy is not there for Sullivan when he wakes up from surgery and cries out for morphine.
Andy, who has been recollecting the last fun day she had with her dead mom, bumps into Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) at Grey Sloan Memorial. She confides that she hasn’t seen her extended family since her mom’s death and thinks she killed herself. Ellen explains how powerful the brain is in repressing traumatic memories.
Speaking of repression, back at Pac North, Maya’s father becomes irate when he believes she is ignoring him and siding with her mother, who recently revealed to Maya that she had left him after years of abuse. As Maya turns to walk away, her dad aggressively pulls her ponytail. At that moment, Maya realizes she has been denial about her father’s abuse, a denial that contributed to her breakup with Carina (Stefania Spampinato). After giving herself a haircut, she finds Carina and begs for forgiveness.
After the awkward moment from earlier in the day when Dean is startled by the fact that he slept in the same bed with his best friend-turned-secret crush, Vic (Barrett Doss), Dean asks Vic to move out. Also, Travis breaks things off with Emmett.
Back to Andy. She finally gets in touch with her aunt, who tells her she’s coming to Seattle because what she has to say to Andy can’t be done over the phone. Not only does Andy reunite with her aunt, she finally learns the truth about her mother. She’s alive!
Deadline spoke with Station 19 showrunner Krista Vernoff, who broke down Andy’s shocking discovery as well as what’s to come in Season 4.
DEADLINE: Can we talk about the fact that Andy’s mom is still alive? I mean, I just can’t imagine what kind of toll that’s going to take on her.
KRISTA VERNOFF: Right? I have to say that every time I watch that cut, I gasp at that moment along with Jaina, even though we planned that. It was the very first decision we made in the writers room for Season 3, so we were planning toward it. We planned it, we wrote it and still every time I watch that cut it shocked me and I would burst into tears for her, for Andy. It’s a major revelation.
DEADLINE: Have you guys started working on Season 4? Is there anything that you can tell us about what kind of toll this is going to take on her? It certainly has to change her.
VERNOFF: Absolutely it changes her, but we don’t have a writers room together for Season 4 yet, so that will be the fun of our work over the next couple of months. I mean, for sure Andy is having a reckoning. She’s having a period in her life where it all comes tumbling down, and delusions fall away, and the stories she was told as a child turn out to not be true, and the big question is, what is true? Why did her dad lie to her about this? Why did her mom participate in this lie? What has happened? I think that’s going to be a big deal in Season 4.
DEADLINE: What went into the decision to bring the storyline of Andy’s mom back at the beginning of the season. What was the reasoning behind that?
VERNOFF: I don’t know if there was reasoning so much as a feeling that it was true. We felt like it was true that there was more to this story than we’d been told. We felt like it was true that there was more to this story than Andy had been told, and so that’s the story. It’s like the story told itself to us, and we wrote it down.
DEADLINE: I have to say that Pruitt [Miguel Sandoval] is one of my favorite characters on the show, and he’s beloved amongst the Station 19 crew. How might this affect his legacy? I’m hoping not too bad — it’s hard not to love him.
VERNOFF: It’s hard not to love Pruitt, and in my mind, Pruitt was up on a pedestal. Andy had put him up on a pedestal, the crew had him up on a pedestal, and what I think is that even heroes are human. Any time you put a person up on a pedestal, it strips them of their humanity. We like to think in black and white. People are either heroic or they’re evil, and I think that all human beings live in shades of gray. Pruitt is a hero and he had a complicated life and he made some complicated choices. I had some ideas about why he made those choices, but I think that they had more to do with his limitations as a human being than they had to do with anything that’s evil. I don’t think we’re trying to tear down Pruitt. I think that we’re taking him down off the pedestal and looking at his limitations that caused him to make some decisions that Andy’s going to have to unpack in Season 4.
DEADLINE: Yeah, and that’s very relatable. We have people in our lives who we revere, but like you said, everybody’s human, and everybody has made mistakes or made choices that they’re not proud of.
VERNOFF: It is so often the case, when a person loses a parent, that that person learns more about that parent at the memorial than they knew about them in life. Like a child — even when that child becomes an adult — has one perspective on their parent, but their parent had a whole life. They had whole friendships and relationships and romances that predate their marriages. There’s always more information, so there’s always more revealed, and that’s what I think is happening here, but in an intense way because her mother is alive.
DEADLINE: Are there any themes or storylines that you would like to explore for next season that maybe you didn’t get to in the previous season — not just Andy but any of the characters on the show?
VERNOFF: I feel like there is a huge amount to explore in Season 4 because of where we left off Season 3. Andy and Maya both emerged from denial about the reality of who their parents were and what their childhood was. I think there is opportunity for them to either reconnect in their friendship or fracture further. I think that there are opportunities for Maya to discover who she’s going to be romantically now that she understands that she had mistaken abuse for love and support, and how that will create more space for her to have loving, supportive relationships. I’m excited to explore Jack as he emerges from loneliness and begins to build family for himself. I’m really excited to explore Vic and Dean’s friendship and Dean’s decision to withhold the information that he’s falling in love with her, his decision to prioritize their friendship and the fire station crew over his romantic feelings. I think there’s just a lot of gray. And Sully and Andy’s marriage.
DEADLINE: Should we be worried?
VERNOFF: It’s worrisome any time anybody dives into anything as quickly and in as much trauma bonding as they did. That doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. It doesn’t mean there’s not hope for the marriage, but I do think that it’s an uphill climb. Love isn’t always enough to sustain a relationship, and Andy’s going through a lot and Sullivan’s going through a lot. I’m excited to gather the writers. I’m excited to see who Ben becomes in the wake of what he went through this season, and I just feel like Travis getting brave enough to admit to Emmett that he doesn’t love him, that he’s not in love with him, I think took as much bravery as Maya telling Carina that she loved her. I’m excited to get into the room with the writers and begin to explore all of the characters and all of the things that the season finale of three have set us up for.
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