Have we finally turned the corner on this whole COVID-19 pandemic madness, or was Marsha's miraculous recovery just thrown in at the end to provide us with a false sense of security?
Either could be accurate, but as vaccinations ramp up across the country, we can't be held responsible for wanting television to fast forward a little to the present, where things aren't so doom and gloom.
We can't escape COVID no matter how hard we try, but it's far better when the global health crisis stays in the background, serving as a plot point rather than a prominent storyline.
This was the case for most of the episode, as the pandemic was just a focal point through which to view most of the storylines.
Jack: It’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be sad.
Marcus: It’s not fair.
Jack: I understand, so hit the bag. Hey, we can’t solve this, and we can’t fix Marsha, but we can hit this bag. We can take all of our anger out on this bag because it was made for that. Come on, hit it. You can do better than that, come on.
Take Maya and Carina, arguably the best couple on the show, for example.
Though little time was devoted to this subplot, Carina found herself grappling with an expiring visa and whether Maya would accompany her girlfriend when she left for Italy.
It was somewhat anti-climatic in the end, though, as Carina decided to return to Italy with little complaint.
Sure, she wasn't thrilled to leave the United States at first, but the more she thought about it, the more she realized Italy was where she needed to be at the moment.
Her country is in distress from the pandemic, and after losing her brother and some of her extended family, it makes sense that she felt like she needed to go back.
However, that decision didn't cause much drama between Carina and Maya, as at the last moment, Maya decided to go with Carina instead.
So, we were spared a long-drawn-out and dramatic argument, which is ideal, but something about this still feels off.
It's as if the lack of drama is a sign that the other shoe will drop at some point soon.
Maya: I’m coming with you.
A couple can't be allowed to be this happy for this long, right? It has to be a setup.
Maybe Maya backs out at the last minute, or Carina can't re-enter the United States, as something like that feels more in line with this show.
Couples just aren't allowed to live happily ever after in a vacuum because if that were true, Sullivandy's marriage wouldn't be in so much trouble,
The marrieds have constantly been bickering since officially getting back together, largely due to Sullivan's insecurity.
He can't get past his demotion, and it's negatively affecting his marriage, as he refuses to believe Andy when she tells him she doesn't care about his rank or title.
They keep having the same fight over and over, but by never fully addressing the issue at hand, the problem never gets resolved.
It keeps festering beneath the surface, and it's only a matter of time before they hit their breaking point.
Things are only getting worse, not better, as Sullivan's desire to get back what he lost only intensified by the hour's end.
Sullivan: I’m applying for lieutenant.
Andy: I’m sorry. I could have sworn you just said you were applying for lieutenant.
Sullivan: Gregory might have implied that if I helped with the Miller situation a promotion could follow.
Andy: The Miller situation? Whoa, that’s whoa. And you’re actually considering it?
Sullivan: Well, the chief and other brass, they’re not happy with Miller’s lawsuit against PD. You saw…
Andy: Robert, what they did to you, to him.
Sullivan: I know what they did, OK. I know what they did, and a lawsuit’s not going to change a damn thing.
Andy: And you’re willing to trade your principles for a title?
Sullivan: I’m not saying it’s right. What if I keep getting promoted and I make changes we need top down.
Sullivan: Andy, you always say you don’t care about the title, but you’re ashamed of me.
Andy: Ashamed of me?
Sullivan: You didn’t tell your family I got demoted.
Andy: Robert, don’t pretend that is about me or our marriage on any level. This is about you saving your own career.
Sullivan: It’s called triage, and our marriage doesn’t need saving. Our marriage is the only good thing I have in my life. Do you understand that? You are the only good thing in my life. Please don’t make that an our problem.
His ambition is blinding, and he can't see past his own wants, willing to do whatever it takes to regain his former rank, even if that means undermining his friend and fellow firefighter.
He can claim this is all for the greater good, how he can enact more change from the top-down, but that's malarky.
Everything Sullivan is doing is for himself, not Station 19, Andy, nor their marriage.
He's willing to sacrifice his morals and sell out his friend to rejoin an archaic institution that doesn't believe all of its firefighters deserve to be treated equally.
It's disheartening to see Sullivan throw everything he's worked so hard for away, but the former battalion chief doesn't see it as such.
To him, he's doing whatever's necessary to get his life back on track, but to Andy and the rest of Station 19, it reads as a massive betrayal.
Plus, the last thing Dean needs is someone else telling him to drop the lawsuit, especially after Battalion Chief Gregory made it clear where the Seattle Fire Department stands on the matter.
Dean should be getting support from his fellow firefighters, not being told to tow the party line and play nice the Seattle Police Department.
Gregory: I’m not saying it was all worth it or that everything was perfect after that, but looking at you, looking at 19, I went through hell to get to where I am, Miller, to get you all her with me. I walked through fire.
Dean: I know, sir. I’m not saying you didn’t. I know you walked through fire. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t have to anymore. I’m trying to put out that fire. That fire that you walked through, sir, I’m trying to cut the gas line altogether.
The police need to be held responsible for what they did, and if suing the department is the only way to put pressure on them to enact meaningful change, then all of Station 19 should be behind Dean.
He's dealing with enough pressure and blowback from outside the firehouse; he doesn't need it coming from within.
However, now that Sullivan has chosen the opposite side, it'll be sure to cause division within the firehouse, as lines will be drawn in the sand and sides taken.
It's not going to be pretty when everyone else finds out about the backdoor deal Sullivan has cut, and it's uncertain if Station 19 will ever be the same.
Elsewhere, Travis made two important breakthroughs, the first of which involved his closeted father, Paul.
It's been interesting watching this storyline evolve from Travis discovering his father's gay to this point where Travis and Paul were able to have an actual conversation about Paul's sexuality.
Paul may not be ready to come out just yet, but it was nice to see Travis and Paul connecting for once instead of Paul just dismissing everything Travis said.
Weirdly, Travis's discovery about his father has set him free, as it provided an answer to a question that has been haunting him since he was little: Why did his father hate him?
Travis: Did you know that for most of my life I thought that it was my fault that you hated me, that I had done something wrong. For you to never come to any of my wrestling matches or meet any of my friends, not coming to my wedding and making mom follow suit. I just I couldn’t figure out why you hated me so much.
Paul: Travis, I could never hate you.
Travis: I know. I mean I know that now. You actually hate yourself. I just wish it didn’t take you so long to figure that out because that night with the soup, I could have used a dad that loved me, who loved himself, but instead, you just walked away.
Paul: I didn’t know what to say.
Travis: You should have said, ‘You’re loved. You’re supported, and the way you feel and how you love is valid. It’s important. You are important. And whoever you love or whatever path you take, I’m gonna be here for you without question or pause or judgment. I’m here for you, and I love you.’
All of that pain and trauma doesn't just go away because Travis now knows it was never about him, but it does lift Travis's burden believing it was his fault.
Everything Paul put Travis through was just Paul projecting his hatred at himself, and now that Travis sees that, it allows him to put a painful chapter of his behind him.
Now, Travis can stop carrying that weight and can move on his life in more than one way, as his second breakthrough was that he realized he was ready to move on from Michael.
And with whom, you may ask? Well, it seems to be Emmett, which is completely fine by me.
Yes, Travis and Emmett have gotten to a good place in their friendship, and a relationship could risk that, but it could also be the best thing for them.
Travis pushes Emmett to be a more honest version of himself, and Emmett isn't afraid to call Travis out when he's unreasonable.
They're a good match, and both are in a place where they could make an honest go at a relationship.
Some stray thoughts:
When Carina announced that her visa was expiring, did anyone else think Maya would propose so she could stay in the country? It would have been fast and somewhat rash, but it would have made sense after everything Carina has gone through lately, so clinging to family would be understandable.
Jack is settling into the role of Marcus's father quite nicely, but I'm still not sure I buy Jack and Inara as a couple. It still seems like Jack is more in love with the idea of being part of this family than he is in love with Inara. Maybe, I'm wrong, but they seem like they're good friends rather than a couple.
So what did you think, Station 19 Fanatics?
Are Maya and Carina about to hit a major setback?
What are your thoughts on Sullivan's decision?
Are you tired of COVID?
Don't forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you missed the latest episode, remember you can watch Station 19 online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in October 2021.