Station 19 Season 6 Episode 16 Review: Dirty Laundry

In what feels like a familiar theme for the season, we’re once again in a situation where we must ask: how far will this unit go to save one of their own?

To take it further, what happens when that person they have to save is someone they’ve spent the better part of the season positively loathing? Because what’s abundantly clear from the end of Station 19 Season 6 Episode 16 is that Beckett needs real saving, support, and solidarity.

The hour also had Ross dealing with the fallout from her relationship with Sullivan, Theo eying the captaincy permanently, an emotional call, and Ben’s conflicted feelings about the sober house fire.

And, contrary to my very human blunder earlier in the season, this was the special hour with Station 19’s own Danielle Savre stepping behind the camera, making her directorial debut.

Naturally, she did a commendable job, and it was quite an installment to get her feet with as there were so many different facets to juggle, especially as the season nears its end. It was quite a feat.

The call alone was a series of moving parts that balanced the emotions of multiple characters while also depicting a tragic situation with high stakes and serious emotional fallout.

The pileup was tragic for a plethora of reasons. It was every parent’s worst nightmare, and it was positively gutwrenching that mother crying upon learning the news about her child.

We didn’t even need to hear it. It was enough to witness it, her breaking down within sight. And I particularly loved, for lack of a more appropriate descriptor, the scene of Ross picking up the backpack and making her way over to the woman, handing it to her and providing some comfort.

One of the most satisfying moments was when Maya went off on the guy who dared to complain about the holdup as if what they were doing didn’t matter– as if the people they had to save or who they lost didn’t matter.

People are so self-absorbed and only care about their own self-interest, and that jackass looks rightfully humbled after her scathing indictment.

Jack’s sentimental moment with the senior-aged gentleman was touching. While most of the others had a difficult task ahead of them, trying to address all the pressing issues of the scene.

Beckett: You are only 16, and life isn’t fair, and I’m sorry you had to learn that like this, but we are going to get you out of this car, and we are going to reunite you with your family, and you are going to live. You’re going to learn from this mistake, and you are going to make amends with yourself, OK?
Girl: OK.
Beckett: I’m sorry about your friend.
Girl: I’m sorry about yours.

But Beckett and the teen girl were an unexpectedly delightful development within this hour. It puts into perspective how little we know of Beckett and what type of firefighter and man he can be.

Everything we’ve known about him thus far has been colored by his addiction and personal issues that have weighed him down, made him hard around the edges, and, frankly, difficult to put up with altogether.

We’ve seen glimmers of moments where you can tell he’s capable of so much more, and the season did a good job of sprinkling those subtle moments here and there.

Who could’ve envisioned Beckett doing well on a Crisis One call? By the time they resolved the pileup, I couldn’t envision a better person to sit with that teen, talk to her, and make her feel as best as possible about an awful situation that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

He could speak to her through his own experience, getting personal in a way we have never seen from him, revealing that he’s changed in some capacity since he’s been away.

Vic noticed it instantly. You could tell it stirred up something in her overhearing Beckett’s conversation with this girl. It’s like she was eavesdropping or intruding on a moment, hearing something that she shouldn’t have, and got this peek behind the mask of a man we’ve been conditioned to positively loathe for a season and a half.

In the confinement of the car, we hear a man still reeling from losing someone he cared about, and he blames himself for it. He knows the role he played in depriving a wife and her baby of a husband and father.

The weight of that death is still something that he’s carrying with him, the culmination of everything and all his hardships and issues weighing him down.

I’m sorry to all of you. Well, not you, Powell. I was not myself for a very long time, and what you did, I think you all saved a lot of lives with that mutiny, and I’m grateful. I know who I am now, and I know what I want. And I will not be seeking my captaincy back.

Beckett

It made him the perfect person to relate to that young woman and guide her through that situation until she was safely out.

It also showed that he’d made some changes. Everyone had reservations about him from the moment he walked back into the station.

They haven’t been able to figure him out and don’t what to make of his presence. It was hard to decipher if he was blowing smoke up people’s asses, his laidback demeanor a ruse, or if he was sincere.

He fell back fairly easily as Theo continued his reign as captain. And the cordiality he showed Maya was enough to raise a few eyebrows.

But it wasn’t until his time in the car that the pieces started falling into place, and it wasn’t surprising that Vic’s wheels began turning around that time, too.

Beckett’s show of appreciation to everyone, grilling them steaks, sharing a meal with them when he previously refrained from such things, basking in the camaraderie, and being a genuinely pleasant person to be around — all of it was a sign.

His expression of gratitude to all of them, apologizing for his behavior and thanking them for saving him, was very much sincere, a bit jarring in a refreshing way, but then worrisome.

But it was the claw hammer that sealed the deal. It could’ve easily been some passive-aggressive move directed at Theo, but it wasn’t.

I almost wish that it was. Theo let it slip that Beckett didn’t finish rehab, but he’s still carrying himself like someone who had made some strides.

But giving away personal, meaningful possessions, expressing gratitude, extending care and love the way he did, combined with the guilt and blame he still carries over his friend’s death… all of these things are the making of someone who intends to take his life.

The only thing more upsetting about the prospect of that in and of itself is that a continuously frustrating Theo has dismissed Vic’s concerns and is damn right gaslighting her.

Vic has done the training for this. She has fantastic intuition on top of her skillset. Hell, even the stats support her assessment. I wanted to reach through the screen and throttle Theo’s pomade-wearing ass for once again disregarding his girlfriend like that.

He’s done it a million times this season because, for some inexplicable reason, short of an invasion of the body snatchers, Theo has become a world-class asshole for kicks.

But of all the times to treat his girlfriend like crap and denigrate her knowledge and feelings in a life-and-death situation where they could lose one of their own is the most outrageously enraging of all.

The irony is that Theo was reluctant to become captain again because he spent time atoning for all the errors that cost him a friend and brother.

He’s fallen into this role, stumbling through it, and has been insufferable since Beckett left.

I refuse to take orders from someone giving up before the fight.

Andy

But the very thing he’s tried to avoid, never wants to repeat, still carries with them, is on the verge of happening. If Beckett takes his life on Theo’s watch, he’ll never get over it. And it’ll be a hard lesson for him to learn. I’d hate for it to take something like that to rein him into the person we once respected and loved.

It’s been a challenging season for many of the characters. And most of them have taken a run at being unlikable. What’s fascinating about Beckett is that his story has always paralleled Maya’s in interesting ways.

They both have needed help for most of the season and have been insufferable and unlikable, showcasing the discomfort and ugliness of mental health issues and addiction. They’re not pretty, easy, or palatable, and they’ve hit that home repeatedly all season.

But this next stage for Beckett is a rough road too. It’s also one that that series has yet to explore, and sadly, it isn’t an uncommon issue within that field.

I only hope they can rally around Beckett before it’s too late. But the season has been raw and dark enough that it wouldn’t be surprising if they didn’t. And it would be devastating.

Theo and his minion Powell, who is an acquired taste at best, are excited over the prospect of him having the gig permanently, but Andy is coming for that seat, and by now, she has proven that she’s up for the task.

She was an unusual choice to advocate for Ross and Sullivan’s love story, but it works.

She still cares about Sullivan, and they’ve reached a point in their relationship where they can hold each other accountable and converse like two people who know each other well.

We’ve long since moved on from their love story, but there are still remnants of a special bond there, even if it’s hard to put into a box.

Sullivan is hurt, and so freaking stubborn right now. He won’t speak to Ross but won’t let anyone disrespect her. He showed pure grace for his ability to articulate why Ross has more than earned her stripes and is a better person than those sexist jerks without knocking them out.

Personally, he should’ve been allowed to get a few licks in, but whatever.

In a way, it probably opened his eyes a bit to what Ross always feared. She would always get the brunt of everything from all of this.

And she’s getting degraded in the news; the mayor calls for her resignation, and her subordinates disrespect her.

I love that Andy has been in her corner, and she can voice why it’s so essential that Ross is where she is and what that represents for other women, especially women of color.

Andy was the perfect person to be in Ross’ corner, and she effectively convinced Ross to fight when she was prepared to give up.

Ross wants her job and the man and is in the position of not having either right now. It’s upsetting all around because of some archaic red tape that seems to punish her more than anyone else.

Herrera, you’re going to make a damn good chief one day, and not because of me.

Ross

Ross has become such an integral part of this series in such a short period, and she’s evolved in such a beautiful way this season that you root for her and want her to win.

She’s been fighting all her life, so she can’t stop now. And knowing how crucial she was in encouraging Andy in her time of need, it was great to see Andy return the favor.

They’re quite the team and have an unusual but special dynamic, a friendship even. I also love that Maya has acknowledged and helped Ross and offers contrition and respect.

They’re all subjected to the sexism and trials of this field that they’re in, and it feels like we’re in a place where all of these women can mutually respect each other and recognize that they’re in this together.

Ben spent most of the hour at the hospital watching over Milo and bonding with Milo’s mother. She, too, felt guilt for kicking her son out and finally felt free from dealing with his addiction.

It was some heavy stuff, but the most pertinent part of the arc was that Milo woke up and blamed Ben for everything, telling him he hated him.

If I never have to see Benjamin Warren on the verge of sobbing while holding his chest as if to keep a panic attack or breakdown at bay, it will be too soon.

My heart shattered for this man. He did everything he could and nearly died trying to save every soul in that house and to get treated as if that wasn’t enough, or he didn’t care, was unfathomable.

Ben has been under too much stress and didn’t deserve that. But this season is hellbent on kicking everyone in the teeth, so here we are.

He’s getting a much-deserved award for his bravery during that save, but he can’t even enjoy the honor because he’s beating himself up.

One of the weirder points of the hour was Jack and Travis’ moment. They haven’t known what to do with Jack for the past two or three seasons.

And then, in the weirdest time, they’ve all but said as much, with Travis randomly acknowledging that Jack is a better person now when he routinely has the most inconsistent character development of all the characters, including the newer ones.

You lied! I hate you.

Milo [to Ben]

His entire storyline during this installment, all two minutes of it, was that he got emotionally attached and sentimental about a case. But it’s infinitely better than him randomly falling, hitting his head, and having a concussion in the background.

Over to you, Station 19 Fanatics.

What did you think of Savre’s directorial debut? Are you worried about Beckett, and do you think this is headed somewhere dark?

Should Ross fight it out? Who should be captain: Theo or Andy? Hit the comments below!

You can watch Station 19 online here via TV Fanatic.

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You’ll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on Twitter.

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