They say you either 'go big or go home,' and boy did Station 19 Season 3 Episode 15 come to play.
The final few minutes were jam-packed with one twist after another and went by so fast I got whiplash.
Station 19 Season 3 has been an emotional rollercoaster and even with one episode left, there's still no telling where things will end.
First off, who was Pruitt Herrera?
A strange question to be sure. If it was asked after Station 19 Season 3 Episode 12, I'd have an answer. Now, though, it seems there was a lot about the late captain we were never privy to.
In hindsight, we only got to know Pruitt as the captain of Station 19 and the father of an adult daughter.
All the assumptions made about his life before then, such as the type of husband he was or what he was like as a father to a young Andy, might have to be revised.
Though it seemed out of the blue when Diane, the trauma therapist, brought up Andy's mother on Station 19 Season 3 Episode 10, that random line of questioning appears to have segued into a mystery surrounding her parents' marriage -- or at the very least, some sort of dark secret that's been kept from Andy her entire life.
Why, exactly, did Pruitt stop contact with Andy's mother's side of the family after his wife's death?
Andy: This seems like an ex-communication, like my dad cut Sandra off.
Sullivan: Well, do you remember that happening?
Andy: No, I don’t remember any of this. I mean, I don’t remember a lot from when she died, but something is off.
Sullivan: When my parents died it was too painful for a lot of people. You know, nobody knew what to say to me, not even my own family. They… they just slowly drifted away. It happens. Maybe your aunt just didn’t know how to handle the fact that her sister was gone and seeing you was a reminder.
Andy: OK, well if that’s true that… that sucks.
Sullivan: It does.
What was so awful that he decided to cut them out of his and Andy's lives for the foreseeable future?
With Pruitt dead, there's no way Andy will get the answers to these and the many other questions that must be circling in her head.
If he were alive, he'd probably tell Andy he was trying to protect her, that everything he did was for her own good.
However, Pruitt's been using that line since the beginning, and while that may have worked when Andy was a child, she's now an adult.
There are some things about her life that her father isn't supposed to meddle in, such as her love life and job, but yet he continued to do that up to his death.
Though it can be unnerving to think about because he was a good guy overall, Andy is right that Pruitt was controlling.
He made choices for her without bothering to ask if that was what she wanted.
And he barely ever apologized for doing what he thought was right.
While it's rude to speak ill of the dead, this new revelation does warrant some criticism on Pruitt's behalf.
Andy: I’ve always had this idea that my parents had this epic, amazing love story, that they were soulmates, meant to be. But what if they weren’t? What if they were just two messed up people who rushed into a family, and then one of them died?
Maya: Andy, do you think maybe it’s possible that you’re projecting your anxiety about your own marriage onto your parents?
Andy: Why can’t I just say something without someone writing if off as just... Can I… Can I just talk?
Maya: OK, OK, what are you talking about?
Andy: I’ve been going through my dad’s things, and I… I don’t know. I feel like… like maybe I didn’t even know who my dad was, like… like what do I actually know about Pruitt Herrera? He was… he was overbearing. He was… he was controlling. He was…
Maya: If he was controlling, it was only because he loved you.
Andy: Controlling because he loved you. That sounds like a Lifetime movie about a person who needs to escape.
Maya: Andy, you know who your dad was. We all do.
Andy: Do we, or do we just know the version of him that he wanted us to see?
Maya: No, no, you do not get to turn your dad into a bad guy. You won the lottery of dads, and now, just because he died, you are gonna tear down his memory ‘cause it’s easier than coping with the loss of him? No, I am not gonna stand by and watch you do that, not to my captain.
Andy: Not to your captain? Maya, he was my dad.
Maya: Yeah, and you should count yourself lucky.
Hopefully, it's not some terrible secret that alters Andy's life and makes her question her entire identity, but that will most likely be the case.
This is a show from Shondaland, after all.
Like Andy, Maya was having some serious daddy issues. And again like Andy, she's not exactly making the best choices.
Though Maya might not be ready to confront the truth about her father, there are hundreds of better ways she could have handled the situation.
Communication, for one, is key.
Sleeping with your ex, not so much.
All Carina and Jack were trying to do were be there for Maya, but instead of calmly stating she didn't want to talk about the subject any further, she lashed out at them.
This, of course, is a typical Maya fashion.
Maya: Yeah. I guess I am broken.
Jack: I guess we both are.
She even got into it with Andy when her bestie was questioning the type of man Pruitt was, something Maya found so egregious that she went on a tirade.
The only "good" thing to come out of all of this, if you can call it that, is that Maya does seem to realize she's engaging in some self-destructive behavior.
What she will do about that or if she plans to rectify it remains to be seen.
And while acknowledging that her father was abusive is not something that will happen for Maya overnight, let's hope she doesn't alienate everyone in her life while she works through her complicated emotions.
She's already cut off her mother, and things with Carina aren't looking great.
Maya will always have her firefighter family to turn to, but she might be too stubborn to admit that she needs them.
Things are definitely going to get worse for Maya before they get better but hopefully, she'll get through to the other side in one piece.
With there being so much packed into this episode -- to the point where it did feel a tad overstuffed -- the flashbacks surrounding Vic felt extraneous and out of place.
Viewers already knew Vic loved plays and did musical theater, as shown through flashbacks on Station 19 Season 3 Episode 9, so the few scenes featuring her in doing drama in community college offered very little new information.
Cooper: Let’s take five.
Pruitt: Oh, fire inspections take a lot longer than five minutes.
Cooper: Oh my god, fire inspection. For what?
Pruitt: For fire.
Cooper: Every single show you people do this, and every single show, it’s a huge waste of time and money. Fine, the city of Seattle thanks you for protecting them from the big bad community college drama students.
The only thing worthwhile we learned is why Vic decided to become a firefighter, but even that felt uninspired and lacking.
Why? Well, her reasons for becoming a firefighter were almost an exact replica of Dean's motivations, right down to meeting Pruitt on the scene of an emergency.
The argument could be made that the point of the flashbacks was to show why Vic took fire inspections so seriously.
However, the same goal could have been accomplished without all the unnecessary bells and whistles if Vic had simply confided in Travis, her best friend, about what happened when she was in college.
Sure, that tactic might not have been as effective from an emotional standpoint, but viewers barely knew Cooper.
The real tragedy was not that he died but that his death could have been avoided.
An emotional monologue from Vic while she was at the bar with Travis -- something Barrett Doss is more than capable of -- would have been just as effective.
Feelings aside, the flashbacks did explain why Vic had such a problem skipping fire inspections and gave further context to why she would risk insubordination.
Normally, it's not the best practice to condemn your boss, but sometimes, you have to take a stand, especially when there are lives on the line.
Sullivan: Montgomery, Hughes. The chief’s office sent over some addresses of inspections that they need fast-tracked today. Who wants some overtime?
Vic: So, is this just how it’s gonna be now? The battalion chief wants to spend time with his wife, so just the underlings have to work on their day off?
Vic: Got it.
Showing up at Sullivan's house was a ballsy move, but it was the right thing to do.
And in the end, Sullivan did the right thing too, though that wasn't his first instinct.
Though the battalion chief eventually came clean about Dixon's corrupt practices and covering up his theft of Fentanyl from the PRT, it was only after he got backed into a corner.
Sullivan probably would have had no problem cutting corners if there wasn't a clear and present danger to other people.
On Station 19 Season 3 Episode 14, he was practically giddy as he told Andy there were no lasting consequences for his indiscretions.
Whether Sullivan was in denial or didn't realize the full extent of their quid pro quo, Dixon's silence came with massive strings.
It wasn't just one favor Sullivan was going to owe Dixon; the battalion chief would have most likely spent the rest of his career under Dixon's thumb.
And again, he seemed resigned to his new situation, until Vic confronted him about the deadly consequences his actions -- or inaction -- could cause.
I thought I was safe. Jogging in the middle of the day. You hear about women getting raped in parks, and it’s like, well, duh. Why would you go running at night in a park? Like, it’s their fault.Darcy
However, instead of accepting responsibility right then and there, he tried to deflect the blame.
Yes, Ben forced Sullivan's hand when the doctor gave the battalion chief an ultimatum, but Ben didn't dig the grave in the first place.
Sullivan got himself into that mess all by himself, but even after 15 episodes, he still refuses to own up to his mistakes until there's no other choice left.
All season long, viewers have seen Sullivan repeatedly get himself into these messes, whether it be stealing opioids, forcing Emmett to keep quiet about the overdosing, or abandoning his command on Station 19 Season 3 Episode 12.
And with these indiscretions, he keeps making excuses as a way to justify his actions.
It's not until someone calls out Sullivan on his actions for the second or third time that the battalion chief will finally do the right thing.
It's exhausting watching Sullivan go through the same motions again and again but never really learning a lesson.
That's most likely because, up to now, there haven't been any real consequences.
And without real consequences, his misdeeds don't seem so bad.
Maya: Is it just me or are orgasms better in the daylight?
Carina: It isn’t just you. I actually did a whole study on female orgasms.
Maya: Oh, that’s a study I’d like to see.
Now, though, Sullivan could lose his job, along with possibly facing criminal charges.
Hopefully, that will be enough for Sullivan to finally get it through his thick skull that the way he's been acting isn't OK, and he needs to change his behavior.
Lastly, remember how the scrapped episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season 16 would have featured some big event that would most likely have resulted in the death of a major character? Well, could Jackson have been that character?
While the doctor seemed fine upon arrival at Grey Sloan Memorial, any number of things could have gone wrong from there.
There's a reason the hospital was once referred to as "Seattle Grace Mercy Death," and while Jackson wasn't shot at the hospital, that doesn't necessarily mean he's in the clear.
However, if Jackson was the intended victim of the series' neverending dead pool, it seems viewers will have to wait until Grey's Anatomy Season 17 for more answers.
Additionally, Grey's Anatomy viewers got promised that in the final two episodes of Station 19 Season 3 they would get an idea of where the last four episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season 16 were headed.
Well, it seems as though DeLuca was going to be diagnosed officially with bipolar disorder, based on Carina's comment about her father and brother suffering from mental illness.
Jackson: At least it went clear through.
Ben: Yep, you’re lucky.
Jackson: Oh yeah, the luckiest.
It's also likely that Jackson and Vic would have wound up in bed again (onscreen), based on Vic's comment to Travis at the beginning of the episode.
It's also possible, though, that their tryst happened off-screen but was addressed in passing on Grey's Anatomy.
Whatever did or did not happen is still unclear, but Vic still cares deeply for Jackson, as evidenced when she rushed off to the hospital.
It's safe to say the two are far from over -- unless Jackson dies, but that would just be cruel and unusual punishment for Vic.
It's a good thing we're watching a show that doesn't traffic in that. Oh, wait!
Some stray thoughts:
While it's great that Emmett finally came out to his dad and quit firefighting, does that mean his time on the series is limited since he's no longer a first responder?
Though problematic at times, Emmett has grown on me, and his relationship with Travis is adorable. But depending on how things shake out for Dixon on Station 3 Episode 16, Emmett could be leaving Seattle with his father in tow.
First Dean, and now Vic. Did Pruitt recruit every member of Station 19 off the streets? Was the late captain running Herrera's Home for Imaginary Firefighters?
I wish the installment had saved the exploration of an attempted sexual assault and the shame and confusion that comes with it for another episode, as there was hardly any time devoted to this very timely issue. The series just touched the tip of what could have been a very moving and powerful storyline.
With so many romantic entanglements happening right now, I'm afraid a love triangle of some sort is around the corner. No more love triangles, please.
So what did you think Station 19 Fanatics?
What is Pruitt's big dark secret about why he cut off contact with Andy's mother's family?
Will Maya alienate everyone around her?
Will Sullivan finally face consequences for his actions?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Station 19 online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.