No one can say that Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19 didn’t load up its two-hour premiere with enough kindling to keep the new ABC drama burning for seasons to come. In the first hour alone, the series dished out an accidental marriage proposal, a love triangle, a death sentence, an ersatz Meredith and Cristina, and from what we were told, an excellent vegetarian chili. But did the goings-on at the titular firehouse leave you as excited for future installments as Station 19’s crew was about the prospect of actually getting to slide down the pole? Read on. After we go over the episodes’ biggest twists of plot, you can grade the premiere in the poll that follows, and weigh in in the comments.
‘WET STUFF ON THE RED STUFF!’ | As “Stuck” began, the firefighters of Station 19 — among them Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz) and her person Maya (Danielle Savre) — rode to the rescue of a woman named Tiffany whose apartment had been set ablaze by the computer she’d been using to cyberstalk an old flame. When the crew learned that she hadn’t been home alone, they desperately searched for Charlie — who turned out to be her dog. (As if what? That would make him less search-worthy?) “Dibs on the puppy,” called Dean (Okieriete Onaodowan), eager to play the hero. Rolling their eyes, Andy and Maya agreed that, once they were running the show, that kind of Superman BS wouldn’t fly. Back at the station, when Ben (Grey’s transplant Jason George) wasn’t trying to convince anyone who’d listen that his name wasn’t “new guy” and that he could “do more than just clean hoses,” we discovered that gay fireman Travis (Jay Hayden) was a helluva chef and that Captain Herrera (Miguel Sandoval) had long been looked after by daughter Andy. His “Baby Rambo” had even dragged him back from New York after he’d gone to lend a hand in the wake of 9/11 — when she was only 12!
Andy hated that old story but quickly forgot it during a supply-closet make-out session with fellow firefighter Jack (Grey Damon)… during which she discovered in her groping more than his abs — an engagement ring. Since she was clearly taken aback, he asked if she wasn’t into the idea of marriage or the idea of marrying him specifically? Before the moment could get any awkwarder, they were saved by the alarm and took off for another apartment fire. At the scene, Seattle PD cop Ryan (Alberto Frezza) was parked in front of the hydrant, so Andy moved his police car with the fire truck. “I’m telling my boss,” he cried. But this sort of expensive tomfoolery didn’t seem to be anything new for Andy and Ryan. They went back a long way, Maya told Ben, and had even been each other’s prom dates. Upstairs, Jack lost track of the captain, and by the time he was found, he was unconscious, not breathing and didn’t have a pulse. (The trifecta!) Seconds after Andy got her dad’s heart beating again, she and her fellow firefighters leapt out of the window and onto air cushions — with their out-of-it captain in tow! — just as the room exploded as if it was spinning into Wonder Woman.
‘LET’S GET HIM TO THE HOSPITAL RIGHT DAMN NOW!’ | Before taking off for Grey Sloan, Ben tried to go all doctor on the captain and had to be held back by Travis. If Warren’s orders had been followed, “you would’ve killed him,” Travis said, “right in front of his daughter!” Nearby, Andy was so livid with Jack for having misplaced her father that, when he asked if she was OK, she shoved him, paving the way for Ryan to be the one to calm her down. At the hospital, Meredith asked the same question and, sensing that the answer was no, ushered Andy into a supply closet so that she could break down in private. “OK, that’s enough,” Grey said after a minute. “Put your game face on” and go be brave for the others. Later, Bailey reported to Andy & Co. that the captain had pulled through just fine. So why did Mer need to speak with the patient’s daughter privately? Turned out, the captain had Stage 2 cancer. And, he said when confronted by Andy, she didn’t have time to be mad about him keeping it from her, either. He’d be stepping down immediately and putting Jack in charge until the department found a permanent replacement.
That evening, Tanner, who’d just moved back next door to the Herreras, checked in on Andy, who responded to his understanding of her day from hell by kissing him. Since she was three beers in, he tried to do the gentlemanly thing and not let her take it any further. But, when she went so far as to volunteer to take a breathalyzer, off they went to dull her pain. The following day, Maya reassured Andy that her sleeping with Ryan hadn’t been a big deal, she’d just been “recycling” an ex. A former Olympic athlete, Maya also suggested that her friend forget about the boys and instead “find your medal and go after it.” At the station, Ben admitted during Bailey’s visit that he thought he’d be a better firefighter than he was thus far. Her advice? “Stop showing off… Just be good.” Later, after helping a woman who’d gotten stuck between two buildings while trying to take a drunken shortcut — and receiving Jack’s promise that, as captain, he wouldn’t overlook her the way her dad did —Andy decided to go for her “medal” by having Pop promote her to lieutenant so that she could vie with her boyfriend for the captain’s job. As “Stuck” drew to a close, Ben made inroads with his new colleagues by vowing to become fluent in “fire nerd,” and everybody found out about both the captain’s condition and Andy and Jack’s hopes to succeed him. And another thing, Andy added, “Every day is a damn pole day starting right now.”
‘YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING’ | As “Invisible to Me” began, the captain warned Andy that battalion chief Franco — her ticket to captainhood — was a taskmaster, but she remained, perhaps unwisely, unfazed. No sooner had Franco entered the station than she announced that Andy and Jack were the least interesting things on her schedule. (There’s strict, and then there’s just plain unpleasant.) In short order, Franco explained that Andy and Jack would take turns being in charge, and months later, a decision would be made. Up first was Andy, who needed Jack to tell the firefighters to listen up when she spoke. At least she probably made up some ground with Franco by putting a tardy Dean on reception duty. Their first call of the day was a fire at the school of — what were the odds? — Ben and Bailey’s son, Tuck. Turned out, the teen had pulled the fire alarm to get his dad there stat to help with Ava, the principal’s teenage daughter who was giving birth in the bathroom. (And no, Tuck wasn’t, as his dad feared, the father.) Outside the school, Andy was affected by Ryan’s arrival. (Had she liked Jack at all?) She was also affected when the principal assumed that Jack, being a guy, was in charge. Alas, her first day as acting captain got worse when Ben called for supplies from the aid car, and she had to admit that, the alarm having been false, she’d sent it away.
With the help of Ben’s sparring partner Vic (Barrett Doss), Ava delivered to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot” her baby — inside the amniotic sac! Miraculously, with the firefighters’ assistance, the newborn pulled through. Finally, Vic filled in the principal on what had just transpired, and Ben gave Tuck instructions on how not to get busted for pulling the alarm (either by the authorities or, worse, his mother). Back at the station, Dean flirted up a storm with JJ, a young woman who brought in a fire alarm that her sometime boyfriend had bashed when it interrupted a lovemaking session. Though Travis all but accused Dean of being a sex addict, he still sprung him from desk duty when another call came in. At a home for seniors, Edith (Marla Gibbs) confirmed what Travis already suspected: that the distressed resident was hard-of-hearing Mr. Page, who this time had gotten his testicles stuck in his shower chair. Once he was freed, Travis commiserated about the old fellow’s loneliness, admitting that when his firefighter spouse had died in the line of duty, he used to order take-out just to talk to the delivery guy outside the house for a few minutes. At least Dean was able to buoy Mr. Page by letting him know how eager Edith had been to stop by for a pick-me-up. En route back to the station, Travis admitted to Dean that yeah, he’d had “grief sex” with the delivery guy.
‘A LOTTA PEOPLE GET FIRST-DAY JITTERS’ | At the station, Jack asked how it felt to Andy to sit in her father’s chair. He reassured her that Vic was wrong to question the way that she’d followed protocol by sending away the aid car, and insisted that he’d have done exactly what she had by going for the promotion. Although “I might have given you a heads-up,” he added. Still, he felt that he was a shoo-in for captain and cockily offered her pointers. (Sooo… the whole engagement/relationship issue is… a non-topic?) That night, the firefighters were about to hit the sack when they were called to the site of an accident involving a car and an overturned tanker. While Travis and Dean worked to extract the car’s driver from his vehicle, Vic and Ben treated the tanker driver. But the situation was even worse than it at first appeared — an ethanol fire, invisible to the naked eye, was blazing. Only when the firefighters cut their headlights could they see how high the blue flames already were. Vic and Ben were in especially dire straits, separated by the fire from their crew — and with an unconscious man who couldn’t, as they could, run. Alas, it was so bad, “the air hurts,” Vic said.
With hazmat still five minutes away, Vic’s shoes were starting to melt into the road — props, this s— was scary! Didn’t think they’d kill off a main character in the premiere, but this was so scary, I thought, “Wow, maybe they would.” Sensing her panic, Ben kept her calm by wordlessly reminding her of her own “I’m a Little Teapot” method of pulling through insanely difficult scenarios. Desperate to save them, Andy had the fire truck driven through the blue flames, and whew, it worked — they rescued Vic, Ben and the tanker driver. As the hour drew to a close, Ryan delivered the captain back to the station (since Andy’d forgotten him). “Nicely done,” he told his daughter — about the blue-fire rescue, not leaving him at the hospital. Vic was admitting to Ben that she’d never gotten that close to dying before when Tuck showed up for a tour. When an alarm ended that tour before it even began, Tuck reassured his dad, “This is your job — you gotta go.” Andy flirted up a storm with Jack — so OK, she must like him at least a little — and he, in turn, sexily advised her to prepare to be crushed in their competition. And finally, Dean, Ben and a firefighter we hadn’t met had to bust into JJ’s apartment. She’d fallen off a ladder reinstalling the fire alarm. Turned out, it hadn’t been broken — there was a fire raging in the crawl space above her place! They had to get out right! That! Second!
So, what did you think of Station 19? Are you Team Ryan or Team Jack where Andy’s concerned? And were you getting the sense that Vic might be developing a crush on Ben? Grade the premiere below, then hit the comments.