Grief is messy, and Vic and Jack are having the worst time of it.
Andy asserted herself as captain, Maya and Carina had the sexiest time of things, and Miranda and Ben are all in with fighting for Pru on Station 19 Season 5 Episode 7. Still, the most eye-popping moment of all was the time Vic and Jack spent together.
With Dean gone, will Vic and Jack lean on each other too much?
The split houses thing is a lot to take in, but the cool thing about it is it gives the series a chance to show most of our primary characters on their day off while still depicting the excitement of firefighting and responding to calls.
While Travis, Ben and Miranda, and Jack and Vic were having some emotionally heavy days, and Carina and Maya were in pure bliss, bringing happiness and fun the hour needed, Andy, Theo, and Sullivan brought the action at Station 23.
Andy is proving to be a great captain, and with the addition of Duval to the station, a necessary one.
To be fair, Andy jumped on the sexism too quickly when the others were making jokes at Duval’s expense. Initially, it seemed like they genuinely were kidding around without any other alternative motives, and Duval took it in stride.
Every woman should get to define her boundaries, and she gave the impression that no one had crossed any of her yet. But after a while, everyone’s treatment of Duval became increasingly terrible and unnecessary.
People in their position often like to hide behind hazing and whatever they experienced in the past, but a level of degradation and sexism came with their actions.
And Maddox was the worst offender. His behavior with Duval was already abysmal, but it carried over to how he reacted to Andy as interim leader, too.
Under my watch, this station will feel comfortable for everyone in here.
He doesn’t have respect for her, not the same level that he would have if a man were in her place, and it was as plain as day when he defied her orders on a scene. It’s one thing to be a jackass while back at the station when the stakes are limited and don’t endanger anyone.
However, the cardinal rule is to follow your superior on the scene. The entire squad’s lives and those of civilians depend on it. Firefighters go into every situation with a game plan, and there’s no room for people to go rogue off the cuff.
Maddox is out of control, though. His behavior at the scene of the fire was downright disturbing. He left Duval hanging in search of more action, and he treats the job as if it’s something he’s getting a high from rather than a serious endeavor. All parts of the job are essential, but his only interest is fighting the fires and damn everything else.
If that’s a consistent attitude for Maddox in the field, it could cost him his life or someone else’s. He treats the firehouse like a frat house, and every day is a party.
He needed a reality check, and thankfully, Andy gave it to him. She put her foot down and demanded her respect from the gaggle of goofballs that were supposed to be her squad. It seemed to be effective, too.
It’s annoying that she has to go above and beyond to assert herself for a bunch who wouldn’t respect her authority without her making a scene. She’s right that they wouldn’t have challenged Theo the same way.
And her speech summed up everything it needed to, especially about how the station should and would, under her watch, be a safe, comfortable place for everyone, free of their childish crap. Duval appeared to appreciate that, and it was a great show of leadership for Andy.
It was also a good thing she put Maddox on desk duty. Maybe the guy who only likes putting out fires will learn a lesson and heed her message now that he’s pushing papers for a while.
I slept with him, Beckett. I wasn’t trying to get a job or anything else. I slept with him once, and I was letting him down easy.
Andy is a great captain, and she does well at Station 23. But Sullivan would take his genuine compliment and turn it into a suggestion that she show more ruthlessness and climb a ladder. She doesn’t share the same ambition and willingness to do whatever to get where she wants as Sullivan does.
The strain in their relationship is difficult to witness most of the time, and there are many things about their relationship where they both messed up royally. But where are they going with the two of them anymore? Were they always this incompatible?
It was downright bizarre that Sullivan even bothered to approach Andy about her ambitions when it’s such a sore topic for them, but he got more than he wanted when she admitted that she slept with Beckett.
Andy was in the wrong to start badmouthing Sullivan with Theo. They needed a sub, and Theo and Sullivan worked well together.
While Theo probably should’ve steered the conversation away when Sullivan started his opinions about dating other firefighters, he has managed to separate his relationships with Andy and Sullivan.
On the job, Andy should refrain from commenting on how well Theo gets along with her ex. It makes it seem like she’s trying to turn him against Sullivan or wants Theo to stay on her side.
Speaking of sides, Travis has avoided choosing when it comes to his parents and the aftermath of his father coming out. But while he’s had moments to confront his father about his actions toward Travis, this hour focused on Travis and his mother.
She wanted out, and you can’t blame the woman after the bombshell that wrecked her life. She couldn’t keep living in the lie after everything that happened, but her husband seemed to think that she’d stick around, and they’d carry on as before.
Though, Mrs.Montgomery making a break for it was a bold move for her. They’ve always presented her as a codependent person who doesn’t make waves or respond well to change. She has a subservience that shaped her marriage and her relationship with Travis.
And that was the center of their discussion as she apologized to him for not showing up at his wedding. She loved her son unconditionally, but she didn’t stand up to her husband or take a stand when it mattered most, and it’s something that Travis has carried for a long time.
She admitted that she knew his father was demanding on him for years, fearing Travis’ homosexuality or maybe his own. It was a turning point in his relationship with his mother for Travis. She took ownership of her actions and her weakness. She knew she should’ve done more and been better for him.
It felt like some deeper elements to the Montgomerys relationship that the hour didn’t voice, and it was an odd choice. Mrs. Montgomery should’ve taken accountability for her actions, undoubtedly, and Travis deserved to hear his mother’s apology. But they’ve opted for so much nuance with this storyline, and it’s not a black and white thing.
However, sometimes it feels like they’ve tried to absolve Mr. Montgomery too much, and this time, it was like they shifted blame to his wife.
On the other hand, the Millers won’t take any accountability for their actions that prompted their son to assign custody to Ben and Miranda.
Dean’s mother is a force to be reckoned with, and she’s always been a difficult character to swallow. She’s controlling, demanding, and demeaning every time the series shows her, and now that she’s grieving her son, it’s infinitely worse.
Her comments to Miranda and Ben were so biting and disrespectful. She treats everyone around her as if they’re beneath her, and her lack of respect for any of the people around her is such an offputting thing. You can understand why Dean didn’t want his child with his parents permanently.
She showed Miranda at that moment why Ben was adamant that they fight for Pru so hard. Dean’s mother couldn’t respect anything about her son’s choices when he was alive. She tried to micromanage everything he ever did to meet her standards. To let her do the same thing after his death would mean she succeeded in doing the same after he was gone.
It would strip Dean of his agency even in death. It’d mean that he can’t even rest in peace with this woman.
Ironically, Dean’s father appears aware that his wife goes too far. But he’s submissive to her. He intervened when things got heated between her and the Warrens at some point. And he was the one willing to call them when Pru woke up asking for Bailey.
Miranda: You’re right.
Ben: We’re going to fight? We’re going to fight for her.
Miranda: We’re going to fight for her.
Mrs. Miller couldn’t even get the words out; her pride and hurt wouldn’t let her. It’s Bailey that Pru is calling out for because she and the others are Pru’s family. The Millers don’t comprehend that family is so much more than blood.
Carina and Maya have a happier grasp on this. Their happiness and love for each other are so pure. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the intoxicating love bubble they are in right now.
Typically, it feels off when there’s such a happy or sexy storyline amid all the other heavy emotions happening throughout the hour, but it worked in this case.
After everything they’ve gone through thus far, Maya and Carina are in this beautiful place where they want to start a family of their own. Life is short, as they’ve all learned, so why not seize the moment.
Carina is such a romantic. You’d expect Maya to come home and catch some shut-eye on her day off.
Still, instead, Carina came up with the adorable idea of having all the romance and sexcapades that would happen when a couple is trying to make a baby. It all led to them going over all the donors to determine who was the best candidate to help them conceive.
They both looked smoking hot the whole time, and the conversation between them was easy.
You could hear the wonder, awe, excitement, and longing in Carina’s voice when she spoke about helping others start families. From the moment she opened her mouth, you knew that she would want the whole experience of carrying and delivering their child.
And Maya wanted that for her. She also wants a baby as beautiful as her wife, and while they could’ve gone in a darker direction again, with Maya wondering if she’d pass on bad traits or something, they thankfully kept it light and sweet.
Maya: You want to be the one who carries.
Carina: We can talk about that. I know you’re an athlete, and it might be something you want to experience. And for the egg, we can do IVF.
Maya: No, it should be yours. I want to have a little you I want them to have these eyes, and this nose, and this freckle. I want to have another version of you I can count my blessings on.
Jack and Vic’s arc was heavy enough.
Travis was right about the two of them spending time together. It makes sense that Dean’s best friends would be the perfect people to help each other through their grief. Their hurt feels different than that of the others. For them, Dean dying is like them losing a piece of themselves.
Jack was not doing well at all, and it wasn’t surprising to hear that he hadn’t been back at the station since the holiday. It was more distressing to see that he’s been staying at the boathouse and barely taking care of himself.
And if the Millers aren’t already coming across villainous despite their grief, they were rude as hell to Jack while informing him that they were selling the place. Yes, it’s their right to do so, but their lack of compassion for the people in Dean’s life of whom he loved is frustrating.
Jack has a way of reverting to the street kid who doesn’t have anyone, and it hurt to see him leaving a place that felt like home. Where does he even go after this?
The renovation project was a good idea, although Travis will flip out when he sees his bathroom. What started as Vic fixing a towel rack has turned into her and Jack destroying the entire bathroom. But it was cathartic for them to hit on things and get their anger out.
Their conversation was good, too. Vic and Jack could relate to each other about how they grieve, and there’s something special about the bonding they shared during those moments.
In a way, Vic is probably the only person Jack could be himself around in such a state. He keeps grieving in spurts, making it all the more heart-aching.
Grey Damon gave a moving performance when Jack busted the wall and began sobbing. It pierced the heart when he wondered why he was feeling that way, and you knew the pain was too much for him to bear.
The moment Vic reached out to hug him, you knew that kiss was inevitable. The two of them mentioned that sex was one of the ways that they coped during their dark points.
They both fall into bed with people to stop them from thinking. It’s one of the few ways they can feel something other than pain. And the two of them together probably made them feel as if they were closer to Dean.
Jack lost siblings before, and Dean’s death has reopened that wound and upended his world again. And Vic is still grappling with the realization that Dean was in love with her. It’s something she can’t let go of, and her questioning Jack about it showed as much.
Why can’t I stop feeling this way?
But whiskey and grief lead to poor decisions, and there’s no telling how far they would’ve gone if they didn’t manage to pull themselves away from one another. It could be a brief, one-time thing they could explain away with their drinking and emotional state, but why does it feel like this may lead to something else?
It’s doubtful it ends here. Theo could probably make sense of things where they are now, but it’s likely to get much messier. Theo has been trying to do everything to support Vic during her mourning period and set aside that Dean was in love with Vic to his dying day.
But how much more can he take if he finds out about Jack and Vic? And Jack has worked so hard not to fall into these messy habits, but here we are again. He’s macked with almost every woman he’s worked with by now. Is it a regression for Jack?
Over to you, Station 19 Fanatics.
What are your thoughts on the custody battle? Are you surprised by that Jack and Vic development? How adorable were Carina and Maya? Hit the comments.
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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