Grey’s Anatomy And Station 19’s ‘Bombshell’ Crossover Event Should Have Been The Premiere



Following a gas explosion, the firefighters of Station 19 are called to help. The episode, which carries into parent show Grey’s Anatomy’s following episode, features the prominent death of an original character, and is the most intense episode yet, after several fairly slow episodes.

Carly Philpott, Editor-in-Chief

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19.

It’s been 6 weeks since Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 had their crossover premiere, and to be honest, it’s been pretty slow so far.

This week’s crossover event changed that.

As a medical drama and a firefighter procedural, the two ABC Shondaland shows are known for their disasters. Almost every season has been punctuated with some kind of mass casualty event. Characters die, doctors fight to save every patient; it’s a bit formulaic, but it works. And usually, the biggest of those disasters are featured at the beginning and end of every season.

Not this season.

For Grey’s Anatomy, season 18 began sweetly with the wedding of Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) and Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). But, of course, in dramatic TV fashion, the wedding is interrupted and must eventually be relocated. It’s typical of a midseason episode – not a season premiere that could be the show’s last ever. The titular Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) isn’t even in Seattle – she’s in Minnesota, setting up the potential for her probable departure from the series. It was slow, and while it wasn’t a bad episode, it wasn’t a premiere.

Station 19’s 4th season ended with Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre) ousted from the captain spot, where she excelled for two seasons. Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz) and Robert Sullivan’s (Boris Odjoe) marriage was on the rocks after Sullivan played a role in removing Maya. The season also ended with Maya marrying fan-favorite girlfriend Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato), which was a sweet end to a season filled with COVID and separation. The season 5 premiere was mostly tying up these ends, with Andy transferred to a new station and Maya demoted to lieutenant. 19’s iconic firetruck went up in flames, and it was sad, but that was it.

Since then, most of the episodes have continued along with the same themes. Grey’s saw the return of the iconic and well-loved Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who we haven’t seen since season 8, and some other characters, including Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) and Megan Hunt (Abigail Spencer). Meredith brought her sister-in-law Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) to Minnesota with her, where Amelia seemed to be finding new love.

Meanwhile, on Station 19, Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan) is creating a program that seeks to remove law enforcement from mental health calls, Andy and Sullivan are grappling with divorce, and Maya and Carina are realizing they don’t see eye-to-eye on how – or if – they plan to build a family.

Essentially, the past couple of months have felt like a soap opera, with few exceptions. But that all changed this Thursday.

The Station 19 episode, which came first, began simply enough, highlighting the various relationships in the show. When a gas line exploded, igniting part of a neighborhood, 19 was called to help. Several firefighters are injured, including Vic Hughes (Barrett Doss), who goes into cardiac arrest after being struck by a wayward powerline. Carina is called on scene to assist with a young mother who has gone into labor. In the following Grey’s episode, we see how Owen, whose wartime PTSD has been a recurring character point, grapples with the stress induced by the loud explosion. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Meredith has invited Tom Koracick (Greg Germann), who left last season, to help with her and Amelia’s Parkinson’s cure research, and Amelia is flirting extensively with lab partner Kai Bartley (E.R. Fightmaster), the Grey’s universe’s first prominent non-binary character.

ABC had extensively hyped up this episode: from the very first promotional video, the tagline was “Not Everyone Will Survive,” and an explosion was seen to have rocked Seattle. Almost immediately, fans began to speculate who would be the character to go.

Many fingers pointed to Ben Warren (Jason Winston George), the Grey’s Anatomy alum whose career choices landed him at Station 19 as a firefighter and EMT. His wife, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), one of the only remaining original Grey’s characters, was at the forefront of much of the promotion, and some Station 19 actors seemed to be hinting that this was George’s final goodbye.

Other people pointed to Maya, Vic, Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden), and even Owen or his nephew Farouk (Bardia Seiri) as possible victims.

It was only this week that anyone began to suspect that Dean would be the one to die.

During cast Instagram takeovers, Onaodowan was notably missing. He has been absent from much of Station 19’s other promotions. And in the trailers for this week’s episodes, Dean seemingly disappeared after the first few scenes.

As it turns out, Dean was the character to go this week.

It was incredibly sad, but it also opened up so many new plot doors – Dean had only just told Vic he was in love with her, and he left behind a toddler daughter, Pru. And the intensity of the writing, acting, and visuals felt like we were getting back into Station 19 and Grey’s Anatomy again – even though we’ve already had four episodes this season.

Grey’s and Station 19 could have just as easily integrated the necessary beginning-of-season plot points, such as Meredith’s impending move to Minnesota or Andy’s marital problems, into this episode and the next one. If they’d done that, it would have drawn viewers in from the start, leaving more time for the inevitable storylines that will follow.

Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 started slow this season. But they didn’t have to. Episode 5 should have been the premiere, and we should’ve started the Grey’s season with a bang.