Barrett Doss is a gosh damn force.
It gets a bit frustrating that the series puts this character through so much hell. Still, when you get installments like Station 19 Season 5 Episode 11, where she, to put it bluntly, acts her ass off, you begrudgingly roll with the neverending heartache and trauma.
The hour deftly tackled a few things, but the abortion storyline was a powerful one.
Chemically induced abortions aren’t what you often see on network television or any for that matter. A series will often opt to mention the procedure but have it take place offscreen. Of course, that’s assuming that the character doesn’t change their mind when they’re in the stirrups and decide that they want the kid after all.
The timing of an installment like this is something else, as it’s topical, to say the least.
Interestingly, this season Station 19 has taken a refreshing approach to cover a plethora of women’s health issues that rarely see the light of day, from thorough, casual conversations about menstruation, to endometriosis, child planning, pregnancy, and abortions.
But what’s admirable and goes a long way in normalizing these discussions is how their female characters talk about these things freely among themselves, but the men are also involved.
By incorporating male characters — whether it’s Jack good-heartedly explaining menstruation to a young boy worried about his sister, or it’s Theo supporting Vic through every part of her abortion process, reading up and staying informed without her walking him through it, and honestly discussing his mother’s experience, it made these discussions and topics “human” issues rather than female ones.
So what wine do you think pairs with an abortion, do you think? It would be red, wouldn’t it?
It can’t be stressed enough how rare it is to see that. When it comes to women’s health and bodies, there are so many stigmas, shame, and judgment around that. When you see a series delve into these things without all of that, it’s powerful in its own right.
Vic didn’t have any moments of doubt about what she wanted. She was not ready for a child now, and while she didn’t close the door on possibly having one in the future, she recognized the right choice for her now was to terminate it. And she was met with unending support in the matter from Andy, Travis, and Theo.
They delved right into it. Vic took the pill within five minutes of the hour. And they didn’t shy away from her and Theo’s emotions and how unpretty and painful the process was.
Her hormones were all over the place, she was emotional, and she didn’t want to look at the monitor. She sang and joked her way through the experience because she didn’t know how to react or express herself. Vic was nervous, antsy, and itching to get out of there.
She had such a vast array of emotions, and Doss struck the perfect chord with each and every one.
Theo: You doing okay?
Vic: You know I never didn’t want you ini my life, Theo. I didn’t want to be in my own life. I wanted my life to leave me alone, and I just shut everything out when Miller died it was like Lucas had died all over again. It was like all this grief was in my cells and it activated. I was pulling me down into a time portal. I was grieving Miller, and Lucas, and my grandma, and my drama teacher, and now this new grief.
It made you cringe when she lashed out at Theo. He’s such an incredible man, and all he’s ever done is support the ever-loving hell out of her. He managed to have all the appropriate responses and words — he got to express himself and his feelings when she asked for them, but he didn’t center himself in this decision she made about her body.
Funnily enough, you’d have thought a situation like this would further tear the two apart, but it brought them closer together. I even pose the question to those of you who may not have been on board or invested in this relationship, are you now?
Theo wanted to be there for Vic every step of the way, and her default seemed to be pushing people away. She couldn’t understand why he needed to be there when she took the next pill or why he wouldn’t leave her side as the process began.
Deep down, she knew how awful she’s been to Theo, so Vic figured she didn’t deserve that type of love and support.
Carlos Miranda matched Doss scene by scene, and if there were ever doubts about their chemistry, it was laid to rest here. Theo took everything Vic threw at him in stride, and he didn’t waver.
Theo: Why don’t you want me in your life? You keep finding ways to whittle me down, and shut me out, you know, I’m in this relationship, too?
Vic: What relationship?
She assumed that because of her actions of kissing Jack and pushing him away, it meant they were over, and he let her know that wasn’t the case. In his mind, there was still a “them.” He wasn’t ready to give up or stop fighting for them, even if it meant he had to put up with her pushing him away.
Theo’s opening up and telling Vic about his mother was one of the best scenes of the hour. His perspective as a child, seeing how his mother was not in a place to have another child, and defending her to his religious aunts was such a poignant message.
It showed how he had such a profound understanding of the situation, and he handled it and Vic beautifully the entire time.
Whatever Vic needed from him, he gave her. No request was too outlandish. He fed her, got her chocolate, and sang for her offkey when she asked him to, and at some point, it hit her that he wasn’t going anywhere.
The overwhelming, unconditional love he had for her seemed to get through to her, and once she saw that, she couldn’t turn it away. It was enough to get through to her for the first time since Dean died. And like a dam, she spilled all the emotions she held in for so long.
Finally, they were able to have the conversations they needed to have, and it was such a breakthrough for Vic individually and the two of them as a couple.
When Vic talked about how the grief leveled her, and she mentioned how Dean’s death triggered all of the losses from Ripley to her grandmother, your heart ached for her. She was able to explain to Theo that he wasn’t the problem. She wanted out of her entire life.
And he received that and provided her with the comfort he had been extending for months. When they told each other how much they loved each other, it was so well-earned in that beautifully tender scene in the bed.
It feels like a turning point in their relationship, and it’s good that we have that and another couple who are solid.
Sadly, we don’t have that with Travis and Emmett.
Vic: Theo …
Vic: I love you.
Theo: I love you too, Vic.
No one deserves what Travis did to Emmett, from stringing Emmett along all this time while he’s the topic of conversation for Travis and his friends to that humiliating public condemnation of their relationship.
What exactly is Travis’ deal? Is he allergic to happiness? Should he be in the lonely, sex-addled hearts club with Jack and Andy?
The call with Harry was intense. You felt awful for this man who was willing to set himself on fire rather than process that his wife left him because she fell out of love with him.
The moment Travis stepped into the gasoline puddle, it got more nerve-wracking because it was likely that he’d go down with Harry, too, when the man inevitably dropped that lighter.
As much as Travis attempted to talk Harry down, it probably didn’t help matters that he admitted he could relate to Harry’s ex-wife. Of all the ways that he would get around to addressing that he’s falling out of love with Emmett, that is by far one of the worst. If Emmett never speaks to him again after that, he’d be within his rights.
The frustrating thing about their relationship is that we’ve seen how Emmett has grown and evolved since his introduction, but Travis, someone who’s been part of the series’ entire tenure, remains stagnant. When exactly does he get to do the work, rise to the occasion, and improve for himself and others?
So far, all Emmett has done these days is love Travis, but Travis is resenting him for petty or unfair things, and it’s annoying. He said all of that and kept implying that he doesn’t have the strong feelings for Emmett that he does with him, but then at the end of the hour, he suggested that he does care about Emmett and doesn’t want to break up.
What? It’s confusing! I’m angry on Emmett’s behalf.
At least Andy and Jack are making a pact to improve their lives and get their crap together. It’s doubtful that they’ll succeed in the “no sex” portion of it, but they’re two people who need to figure some stuff out.
Call Emmett. Be honest. Be sorry. And it’ll be okay.
You would think that Andy would’ve realized that she did something similar to Sullivan that Harry’s wife did to him, but her self-awareness is coming in small increments.
Warren’s self-awareness is all over the place, and it’s hard to keep up. His griping followed by the apology felt weird because I assumed he had already learned his lesson when he begrudgingly agreed to go to therapy during Station 19 Season 5 Episode 10.
Sullivan and Beckett didn’t get too far in their arc either.
It’s good that Sullivan reached out to Webber for advice on proceeding with Beckett. It sucks that Beckett doesn’t have anyone with whom he’s close. Andy seemed like she planned to talk to him personally, but then she backed down.
Sullivan may not like it, but he should help Beckett as much as possible, not solely because Beckett thinks Sullivan and Ross are romantically involved.
As angry as Sullivan got about Beckett’s implications, isn’t that what happened? Ross promoted Sullivan because she knows him and has feelings for him. Sullivan and Beckett both have this leverage on one another but can’t do much with it. But all we need is for Beckett to get some help.
Is anyone else agreeing with Maya over Carina with the donor situation?
Maya and Carina are the best, and for the most part, they’re happily married and are a great place with their relationship. However, they also do this thing where they don’t address some pressing issues, and instead, you sense tension building. At some point, you know it’ll boil over.
If Carina is carrying the baby, and she already has all of these associations with this child that will coincide with her family, then Maya should at least be able to pick the donor.
Interestingly, though, now, Maya wants the donor to be someone they know. Her argument for that makes sense. However, the question is who they both know and can agree would be a suitable donor for them?
They kept joking about the Jack thing, but it’s not feeling like a joke anymore. Who else would they ask? Travis? They don’t know Beckett well or like him.
You know they won’t approach Warren about something like that. It would be weird if they went to Sullivan. Who will the donor be?
Maya and Carina need to sit down and hash out more of the details, though. They keep withholding things from each other as if they’re afraid to have a disagreement or something, and it’s not doing them any good.
You get to carry, and it’ll be your egg, shouldn’t I get to win this one?
But this process is still an exciting one, so I look forward to how it’ll play out.
Over to you, Station 19 Fanatics! Are you rooting for Vic and Theo? What are your thoughts about Marina’s potential donor? Hit the comments!
You can watch Station 19 online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.