‘Station 19’ 100th Episode Recap & Showrunners Q&A: Space Needle Disaster Interrupts Andy’s Pinning Ceremony As Tensions Skyrocket

‘Station 19’ 100th Episode Recap & Showrunners Q&A: Space Needle Disaster Interrupts Andy’s Pinning Ceremony As Tensions Skyrocket

SPOILER ALERT! This post contains details from the 100th episode of Station 19.

After last week’s grueling 24-hour shift, Station 19 fans were probably hoping for a heartwarming story to celebrate the series’ 100th episode milestone. Well, that’s not exactly what showrunners Zoanne Clack and Peter Paige had in mind.

When the episode begins, everyone is still reeling from their last shift. Something is clearly still going on with Vic, Ben and Travis are still on the outs, and Maya is trying (and failing) to lift everyone’s spirits. To make matters even worse, Andy informs everyone that Theo has left Station 19.

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But wait, that’s not all. Literally minutes later, Natasha tells Vic that the Seattle Fire Department is eliminating Crisis One as part of their budget cuts. Somewhere in there it’s also revealed that Ben is potentially taking steroids, presumably for his back injury. That is sure to come back to bite him.

At this point, it’s maybe five minutes into the episode and, just when you think it couldn’t get more grim, it does. Andy’s pinning ceremony, which should be a happy affair, is interrupted by a power outage and a call that the Space Needle is on fire due to a power surge at the sub station across the street. No one is really in the right frame of mind to be handling this, but they rush out to the scene anyways.

Vic and Travis head for the elevator, where there is a group of people stuck mid-air. One young man is having a panic attack and, as Vic is propelling down to help them, the woman inside begins to have a seizure. She calls for backup but, for the time being, it’s just her trying to manage a fairly chaotic situation. Tensions grow between the husband and the young man having a panic attack, because the young man keeps taking Vic’s attention away from his wife. Eventually, Maya and Beckett arrive as backup, but they’ve got their own issues, because Beckett doesn’t seem to trust Maya all that much.

Meanwhile, Robert and Ben are headed into the fire. Before they can manage it, the fire surrounds them and the hose they were using runs dry. It’s looking quite bleak for them and, after an explosion in the room, everyone on the ground begins to panic. Andy, who had been struggling to manage the situation and was definitely doubting her position as captain after that last rough shift, jumps into action and leads her team inside with extinguisher spheres, saving the two men at the eleventh hour.

After everything is under control, Mayor Osman holds a press conference outside the Space Needle to thank the SFD for their hard work and assure the public that everything is fine. Except, everything isn’t fine. Vic blows up (figuratively, of course) in front of the crowd, telling them that Crisis One is the reason she was able to help those people in the elevator, and Mayor Osman is trying to eliminate it. Back at the station, Andy orders her to go home and cut her shift early.

During the commotion after his rescue, Robert drops the engagement ring he’d gotten for Natasha, and she finds it on the ground. Back at the station, she finally lets him propose to her.

And as if all that isn’t enough, Carina’s been dealing with a crisis of her own all day after an impatient driver tried to speed around her in a parking garage only to slam into another car and seriously injure the people inside. She helps them out and, just as she’s decompressing from that, she’s informed that her eggs aren’t viable, so she won’t be able to do IVF. She’s devastated, but Maya suggests that they use her eggs to get Carina pregnant instead.

Finally, the episode ends with Andy’s pinning ceremony. This time, there’s not a call to interrupt the special moment.

Deadline spoke with Clack and Paige about crafting the 100th episode and what to expect as the final season of Station 19 draws to a close.

DEADLINE: When you thought about what you wanted the 100th episode to be, what were some of your goals?

ZOANNE CLACK: Our goals were to be an iconic episode for an iconic milestone, dealing with an icon of Seattle. So we really wanted to give justice to the city that we have been protecting for all these many years and just really make it action-packed and a lot of team building. That was kind of the goal, but also we had a previous thought that Peter likes [to share].

PETER PAIGE: I think the goal was with the 100th, we wanted to be the best of everything that the show is. You want to be the most action-packed, the most emotional, you want great humor, you want great character growth, with all of those things working at their very, very, very highest level. So you need to put the team in a really interesting, challenging situation. We talked first about going to Korea. Two of our characters are half Korean. We thought that would be really interesting personal opportunities, and we can create a firefighter exchange with a South Korean station and create some interesting action where they’re fighting fires in unknown circumstances. We just thought that could be really, really cool.

We couldn’t get it together in the amount of time that we had after the strikes before we came back, and then we were like, ‘Okay, we’re setting that down. What can we do that we’ve never done before, that takes the show to an 11?’ One of the first thoughts that came to us was what if we save the Space Needle?This thing is impossible, and it was terrifying. I’m not gonna lie, two days before we started shooting this, I was like, ‘We have to rewrite this. This is crazy.’

CLACK: But I will say that the Space Needle people were amazing.They helped us sort through all the little nooks and crannies of the Space Needle and exactly what was going on there.

DEADLINE: Speaking of character growth, Episode 4 is so pivotal to the growth that happens in Episode 5. By the time this episode begins, they are all at their wits end.

CLACK: It’s about the team being fractured and having Andy on her leadership journey, having to bring them all together. Also just having such an incident that they have to depend on each other and they have to realize what’s really at stake from them being fractured. I think the perfect vision of that was the difference in the pinnings, from the beginning when it was very rote, very just mechanical, and then at the end when it was emotional and really heartfelt. You could really understand the journey that they went through from Episode 4 to the end of Episode Five.

PAIGE: We really thought of Episode 4 as a springboard into the 100th. We very specifically, in the architecture this season, we knew we wanted a real nadir at that moment so that ascending the literal Space Needle, the literal tallest structure in Seattle, would feel even higher. I do think we did that really successfully. We wanted Andy to have a big, big, big fail, which is something that 19 is not used to, and certainly she is not used to. But it just makes the victory all this sweeter.

DEADLINE: What is going on with Vic? That public outburst during the press conference is surely going to get her in hot water.

CLACK: Well, Vic has gone through so much just in the entirety of the show history. She often will deflect it with humor and not really go through it — push it down, push it back. But she would always be there for everyone else. Then of course when she took over Crisis One, she started taking the psychology [on]. So she was really there for everyone else and this is kind of a reflection of putting all of that on yourself. Not just for Vic, but for anybody who’s going through this kind of burnout, empathy fatigue. It’s just starting to really gnaw on her.

She has this history with Crisis One where Dean started it, she took it over, she pulled it up to where it is now. That was the one thing that she was keeping together. In her professional life, she was still on it. She was doing beautifully. She had one little crack in the middle of saving the people on the elevator, but she pulled it off using her Crisis One [training]. For [Mayor Osman] try to use that as the reason [they saved the day] but also knowing that he has taken it away, that was just the last straw for her. She’s gonna go through a journey.

PAIGE: I don’t think we can even say it’s her bottom just yet.

DEADLINE: With these cuts looming, there was already so much tension. I can’t tell if her outburst will make it worse or better, or maybe worse then better?

PAIGE: Well, the mayor ain’t happy. The third line of Episode 6 is, ‘We’re trying to save your job.’

DEADLINE: So, things are only getting more intense. We’re not taking our foot off the gas pedal.

PAIGE: Not yet. Yeah, we only have 10 episodes, so we had to get as many miles out of them as we could.

DEADLINE: There is a lot of strife in this episode but also some happy moments. Robert and Natasha are finally engaged. Why was this the right moment for that to happen?

CLACK: Natasha has been in this tug of war with the mayor, AND she’s been back and forth. She’s been giving a little piece of herself away. She’s not been who she really wants to be, not been her best self. So, in this episode, she sees that Robert is about to die. She understands why she’s been saying no all the time up to this point, because she loves this man. She wants to be with him. But when she realizes that he’s about to die, and that she’s been giving little pieces of herself all of this time, she realizes what she needs to move forward, and that’s what she asked for.

She’s very literate with her needs, and when she confirms that he is able to give it to her, then she can move forward. Sullivan has just been this beautiful, wonderful, light, funny character throughout the first half and so he’s not giving up. It was up to her to understand why she was saying that. I think in that moment, she was able to understand herself better and therefore was able to open up more for him.

DEADLINE: I will say, her needs were very valid as a woman. To see him validate her was great.

PAIGE: I’m so glad. I love the softness that they allow for each other. These two soldiers, who both of whom can be real hard asses. There’s a moment in Episode 6 where they even talk about it a little bit, who’s the uptight one, [and] are teasing each other. People are very multi-dimensional, and it’s been really nice getting to crack him open and see his playful boyishness. It’s such a lovely color on Boris, the actor. I’m so grateful we got to put it on the show.

DEADLINE: What the heck is going on with Ben?

PAIGE: What is going on with Ben? Ben is keeping secrets. Secrets are not good.

DEADLINE: I know that everyone at Station 19 will be so disappointed in him but all I could think about when he pulled that needle out was that Miranda is going to kick his a**.

CLACK: [Laughs]. Well, Miranda Bailey does appear on our show.

PAIGE: Any time Ben is keeping secrets from his friends and Miranda Bailey, you have reason to be concerned.

DEADLINE: Maya and Carina finally seem to be getting a happy ending in this episode after going through some issues in the last episode. How did you come to the idea that Maya should donate her eggs?

CLACK: We’ve had lots of discussions. It was like, maybe Maya could get pregnant but then she firefights. Can she be on the desk? How boring would that be? We’ve just really set this tone for Carina that she really wanted to actually carry a baby. So we figured the best way to have the both of them together would be to have Maya donate her eggs. I think that egg donation is not something that’s very common to discuss openly, but that women do all all the time. So we thought it was really an interesting way to both have the partners together and fully participating as a team in this IVF process, and bring up this egg donation thing that’s hardly ever discussed publicly.

DEADLINE: It was a sweet moment for them, especially as they’re really new to parenting, deciding that despite the hardships they’re facing with Liam, they are committed to growing their family.

PAIGE: Like we said, we wanted the 100th episode to touch on all these iconic storylines that we’re carrying through the the entire series, and that was certainly one we wanted to have a big pivotal moment.

DEADLINE: As you mentioned, the pinning ceremony at the end is really beautiful, as is they montage of Andy. Why was that the note you wanted to end on?

CLACK: We’re just looking back at all of the beauty that was and will continue to be.

PAIGE: It’s 100. This show starts with Andy’s ambitions to become captain, that’s where it starts. And here we are 100 episodes in, it felt fundamental to the architecture of this series, looking back a little bit on what she’s been through to get to this moment wearing her father’s badge.

CLACK: I also think that since we made her captain in Season 6, and this was such a pivotal episode and the pivotal moment, we wanted to reset that. She is captain, and now that she’s really come into her own after coming off of [Episode] 4, where she was like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ To have had her victory, it was just perfectly set with that pinning where she’s like, ‘Yes, I can do this.’ Now the second half will be how she’s going to do this.

DEADLINE: So, we know we’re not taking our foot off the gas pedal. Is there anything else you can say about the final five episodes?

CLACK: I think more of Station 19 — the chaos, the action, the love, the community. There’s a lot of community in the back half. A lot of just the team coming together to go against outside forces and be stronger together.

PAIGE: It’s a show about family, fundamentally. It was important to us, I think, to look at the ways that families grow and change and evolve, and how they can evolve in ways that are difficult and painful and beautiful and important all at the same time.