‘Station 19’ Bosses Break Down Series Finale & Shocking Surprises


SPOILER ALERT: The following reveals major plot points from ABC‘s Station 19 series finale.

It’s the end of an era for fans of ABC’s Station 19 and series showrunners Zoanne Clack and Peter Paige spoke to Deadline about all the decisions that were made and the surprises that were revealed in “One Last Time.”

If you haven’t watched the episode yet, please come back to this later. You have been warned.

DEADLINE: We have so much to discuss but I must know, was that really Okieriete Onaodowan in the finale? I debated very briefly if he was AI Dean?

PETER PAIGE: The disrespect of [using AI], we would never. He was really there.

DEADLINE: How did you get him to come back?

ZOANNE CLACK: It was gorgeous. We called him up and told him we had this idea. It’s not gonna be like a big thing, but it’s really important. And he was like, “Stop talking. Yes.” So, he flew in from New York and he did it for us. He just realized the importance of [the scene] and how deep that went.

DEADLINE: I’m leaning into the shocking moments right now. Andy and Jack? Are they endgame?

ZC: They’re endgame for her at that moment. So each character was in a life-threatening situation when they had their flash forward and they saw what they needed at that moment. They saw what they needed to push on and move forward. He’s always been her rock and someone for her to lean on. I think in that moment, she was realizing, “Oh my God, it’s always been you.”

PP: In the present, you see he takes her hand and says, “You’ll never be alone.” And then at Vic’s going away party, you see these little moments of casual intimacy between them. I mean, she says his chili is better than Dean’s. If you’re not sleeping with someone, why would you say that? In my head, do we know what it looks like? I don’t know. Are they each other’s person? Probably.

DEADLINE: This is a firefighter drama but at its heart, this is a show about love and family. Vic and Travis ended up with a love story for the ages. Why did you go the route you went with Travis leaving with her?

PP: That is exactly right. It is a love story for the ages. I love that there are four love stories that the finale highlights. Andy and Jack, which is the conventional started at the beginning of the series and finished at the end, the heteronormative romance. Then you have [Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) and Ross (Merle Dandridge)] a Black power couple who find their softness and their joy and their sweetness in each other. We have a queer couple [Maya (Danielle Savre) and Carina (Stefania Spampinato)] who have overcome generations of fucking damage to be able to choose each other and create a life together. And then we have what I’ve been referring to as the platon-com, which is, that friendships are some of the greatest loves of our lives and they are not celebrated enough. Vic and Travis are each other’s person and they can build lives that support that and respect that and center that. It’s absolutely every bit as valid of a life choice as getting married and putting a ring on it. Look, rom-com is a part of the Shondaland vocabulary and we wanted to make sure we were honoring that in a way that felt fresh and unique. This is my favorite moment in the whole finale.

ZC: At one point, there was a lot of explanation about what happens when best friends move apart like when they grow apart. But we realized that we didn’t need to say all of that because it was in their moments, in their eyes and their actions. But that’s the reality; your best friends change as you go through different stages. But this was such a strong bond and such an important friendship that they did not want that to happen. And the way that they decided to not have that happen is to journey together.

DEADLINE: By that point, I understood why Theo and Vic weren’t meant to be. Not because of Theo or her, but it felt like they accomplished what they were supposed to together and they released one another to be happy.

ZC: We love that that was a piece of your thought process because we tried to lay in that perhaps they might get together. Perhaps there might be something with his injury that draws her back or the time that they slept together and she pushed him away. But he was so sad. As they say, people come for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

DEADLINE: Ben (Jason George) makes a huge and not unexpected decision to return to his surgical residency. Can we expect to see him on Grey’s Anatomy?

PP: As you said, I don’t think anything else would’ve made sense for him. That’s all I’m saying.

ZC: For Ben, it felt like a natural progression to what was going to be the end of the series. It wouldn’t have happened had we not had to go. But everyone had to move on and do different things. Push forward. And that felt like where he was going to push.

DEADLINE: We see Ben proud of his daughter Pruitt on many occasions. Similar to his destiny, she was destined to be part of Station 19. What can you share about that decision?

ZC: When we decided that the flash-forward would be [Ben and Miranda (Chandra Wilson)] looking at the different graduations for all their children, it just seemed like this beautiful moment that Pruitt was going to follow in the footsteps of both her father’s. Bailey was not going to be that happy about it but also understood.

DEADLINE: With Maya and Carina it was always them two against the world, except in all those moments they were battling each other. What can you share about ending their story as you did? They have both been through so much together and individually.

ZC: You know, we initially had two flash-forwards for each character that, due to time, we had to [cut], but we had a personal and a professional. One of the flash-forwards we had was about Maya with her daughter and having her doing some kind of sport and just being super supportive, even though like she was the last person to cross the finish line. So yeah, everything is all about full circle. They’ve gone through their traumas, they work through things, they’re in therapy and they are working towards a future together. We’ve already seen them go through adversities that will continue to happen, but we know that they can push through it. So this was honoring that.

DEADLINE: One of the biggest tragedies of the series is that we didn’t have more time with Johnny Sibilly who was perfect for Travis and vice versa. Is it ok if I imagine their happily ever after together?

PP: There are airplanes and he says he wants to travel. Travis has a vision of the three of them traveling together so it is definitely in the cards. We just thought that Travis needed to prioritize that love (for Vic) for now. It’s very it’s very, very possible that there is more to that story. Travis’s arc was conceived as he’s making a mess of things. He blows it all up with Emmett and Eli. He gets to deal with his father and finds himself suddenly ready and open for the real thing. And in the door walks Dominic Amaya and the rest will be left to to the tides of history.

DEADLINE: We will give you about 10 years before we start begging for a reunion. We want to see what all plays out for them.

PP: Great.

ZC: OoOooOh.

DEADLINE: Was the fire burning meant to be symbolic like, everyone is ready for a fresh start?

ZC: The wildfire was conceived from the beginning before we knew we were canceled. I mean, obviously there would have been a lot more cliffhangers than a season finale. [Laughs] But we’d always conceived of that and it did become kind of this beautiful metaphor as we proceeded to be canceled. But there was so much about showing our firefighters doing the job that they had been trained to do and showing it in the last two episodes. Thematically there were a lot of full-circle moments like, there were voiceovers in the first two seasons, so we brought those back for the last two episodes. The flash forwards are either bringing the past forward to push them on or showing how their growth has pushed them forward. So it was all very thematic, as you say, that you had to burn it all down to push them to their fast forwards. It really just helped propel everything.

DEADLINE: Did you have anything else in mind for storylines before the show was canceled?

PP: There were stories. Would we have loved to do a whole story where Beckett starts dating Ginny and how they get folded into the Sullivan/Ross relationship in an interesting way? Yes!

ZC: There was also a Carina arc. Remember when she grabbed her things and went out into the field? Part of the reason we were doing the lawsuit in the first place was that we really wanted to incorporate her more into the firefighting. She was maybe just a little bit trepidatious about medicine and practicing medicine and wanted to be out in the field more and do an EMS fellowship. She was going to suit up like probably episode 8 and then we were going to follow her out in the field and more integrated into the show for Season 8. But what we got was the moment of the finale, which was great, but not exactly where we were gonna take it.

DEADLINE: What do you hope viewers take with them from the series?

PP: It’s right there in Andy’s last speech. The show may be over but 19 is not a show, 19 is an idea, a construct, a way of seeing the world. Carry it forward. Carry it into your communities, carry it into your friendships, your relationships. Be the the values, the ethos that you loved here, be that in the world. That is the way to honor what you have loved about this experience.

ZC: That last shot that Peter so excellently framed of the 19 and then the song saying, “and it never ends,” coupled with Andy’s last speech is where we want that to go. Keep the good going and have that sense of community. Keep going.

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