The path to healing is a beautiful thing to witness.
We got an infinitely better balanced and toned hour with Station 19 Season 6 Episode 8, and it didn’t disappoint with strong performances by the series’ women yet again.
The long-awaited progress for Maya kickstarted with Diane’s return, and it was beautiful work by both Savre and Thoms.
Maya’s ongoing battle with her trauma and the ramifications of it on her life has been an ongoing and brutal storyline in the series for some time.
It was unbearable to witness as every second we thought she reached rock bottom, she and circumstance would somehow find a trap door.
But now, we’re on the pathway toward getting on the other side of it, and while Maya still has a long way to go, the payoff is very much welcome.
The only criticism, if there is one, about the execution of the arc is that they’re expediting the healing and progress, with Maya readily accepting Diane’s help after an endless descent.
I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to lose, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to lose!
Even within the installment, Maya went from still livid that she had to speak to Diane after Carina placed her on a 51/50 hold to opening her mind to everything that Diane presented to her and welcoming multiple therapy sessions in the future.
It was a quick change-up, which feels like they’re aware of how long they dragged on Maya’s dark period and want to jump into the next phase as quickly as possible to devote time to the healing.
The hour appeared to take care with how they wanted to depict Maya’s steps toward breakthrough and Diane’s methodology as a therapist.
You could sense that some research was involved with techniques and how to portray them. And as a result, it strengthened those scenes.
But, more than anything, the performances genuinely knocked everything out of the park. Savre did some incredible work during this installment and deserved her accolades.
Depicting someone as complicated as Maya at such a rough point in her life takes some serious talent and work, mainly to produce something raw and compelling.
Maya has been through it, and it showed up all over her face, from the lack of sleep to the sunken, dull light missing from her eyes; we could feel the place Maya was in, which wasn’t good.
There was some great cinematography and direction during this installment, which really shone through in those scenes with Maya in her apartment.
You won a race on a sprained ankle and won gold. You can sit with pain, Maya.
Diane has such a calm and effective presence, and it wasn’t long before she tapped into something for Maya. It was all she needed to chip through Maya’s protective exterior; it was an emotional ride from that moment forward.
We already knew the source and root of Maya’s problems had been linked to her father and how he made her feel. And Diane got Maya to tie that to her dogged pursuit of winning and how she equates it to her worth.
If she doesn’t win all the time, she’s not worthy, and if she’s not worthy, she’s not lovable, and it’s been a constant cycle of that for the entirety of Maya’s life.
And she could trace that back to her three-year-old self witnessing her father dole out and then withhold his love and respect for her cousin based on whether or not she won a race.
Maya internalized that and knew she couldn’t have her father’s love unless she won and he saw her as worthy. And she spent the entirety of her life chasing after that type of validation.
Initially, when things started to get too emotionally painful for Maya, she wanted to detract from it with her need for meds to treat her injury. But then Diane helped her see that even that was rooted in her emotional pain more than any physical kind.
The sobbing session was brutal, but it was a necessary step in Maya working through some things and something long overdue for her.
And then more work came in the form of talking to her three-year-old self, reminding her of her worth and that she didn’t have to win everything all the time.
If Maya can love this version of herself, pour into her, then she can love herself now.
I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to lose, I don’t want to lose. I don’t want to lose!
The depiction of that by visually showing us Maya hugging, rocking, and loving on an actual manifestation of her younger self was beautifully done.
Both Maya whispering soothing and encouraging words and kissing the forehead of this manifestation of herself on the couch and spooning and protecting this sweet younger version of herself in bed as the closing shot of the hour were enough to give you chills.
Maya moved forward leaps and bounds during this installment, and while rushed, the series handled most of it beautifully. And she’s eager to get back to Carina, talk to her, and have her return home. Diane didn’t tell her what to do regarding reaching out, but she was right to encourage Maya to get some sleep first.
For most of the hour, you could tell how one of Maya’s biggest priorities was apologizing to Carina and making things right. It was what she mentioned and asked about more than she did her desire to return to the job.
But thankfully, without Diane telling her as much, Maya concluded that she needed to learn to love herself and help herself before she could rush to Carina.
For the sake of their relationship, Maya knows she needs to work through some things and be a better version of herself. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair to Carina.
And with that realization comes the knowledge that the Marina reunion and their next stages will be worth every penny.
They aren’t implying that one session with Diane is enough to “fix” Maya, and it’s a relief to hear that Maya intends to them for the foreseeable future and that they intend to treat Maya’s healing journey like the marathon that it is rather than a one-episode sprint.
It would be interesting if they extend some similar storylines to Vic, who has endured so much trauma and the effects of it spill out often.
She was an utter mess when that second collapse happened at the house with Theo and Travis inside. In those moments, all she could think about was that she had nearly lost another love and her best friend.
She’s been through both before and barely on the other side of those losses. Vic is a character who we don’t get to see process some of the things she’s gone through as often as we should.
Vic’s breakdown with Theo allowed her to express herself in a way we rarely see. The series showed some awareness of how Vic can slip into the Strong Black Woman trope.
Vic: If I let these feeligns even an inch past the dam I have in my throat, I would drown this whole building. Theo, you almost died today.
Theo: I know.
Vic: No, you and Travis. My boyfriend and my best friend.
She even mentioned how she’s tired of always doing all the nursing and that sometimes she needs a nurse, too. It aligns with the trope that Vic must always be everything to everyone else at her own expense, and no one ever notices or takes it for granted.
Her expressing all that to Theo and ending up in a three-way hug with him and Travis was one of the best and most endearing moments.
One of the primary reasons that the scene got scarier in the first place was because of Beckett’s poor management. He’s a mess and has been since his arrival.
If any other storyline needs to get a move on it, it’s Beckett’s drinking and poor leadership. We’ve been dealing with his behavior, putting the team at risk for a while now.
Whether he’s drinking or not, he isn’t a great leader, and it’s hard to know what they intend to do with his character. More often than not, he’s just there being unlikable these days.
It would be a fascinating twist if Maya became the key to Beckett getting the help he needs. Andy made her efforts after the last call, but it sounds like things will get worse.
Beckett is tired of facing ire and judgment no matter what he does, so he’s willing to give into his baser instincts. He and Andy usually have some unspoken understanding, but that’s long been abandoned.
Beckett needs serious help. His pathway to getting it is unclear, and he lacks a support system because of his behavior.
Is there a way that Beckett can get better? And are they just setting things up for Andy to take his position?
Eli spent much of the hour discussing how great Andy is and that she’s essentially the glue that keeps everything and everyone together.
It feels like they’re setting her up for this position without making her the person who is willingly seeking it out. But there’s only a matter of time before Beckett is out of the job.
He’s started drinking again, can’t hide that forever, and he’s had too many close calls at scenes for it not to become a problem.
No one trusts nor respects him. He has no interest in winning over the team. And there is some merit to him implying that he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t with this group.
But Andy is also correct in calling him out on not having his own version of leadership — they have yet to see it, and he still needs to show it.
They have done wonders with showcasing Ross’ leadership and growth, though.
It was another strong installment for her when she didn’t subscribe to the BS Dixon was trying to sell to the public.
He and the department are under scrutiny, and there were even discussions about the FBI investigating the violation of civil liberties and other things.
Ross and the firefighters aren’t the ones who look bad. Dixon’s implication that both departments needed to salvage their images was ridiculous.
Dixion having the audacity to ask Ross for an endorsement was the most unfathomable thing of all.
There’s no world where Ross would publically endorse the man who watched cops put a gun to her head because a young boy had cake ingredients he wanted to get home.
Sullivan: You got it right.
Ross: I did?
Sullivan: My love, you got it right.
But Ross hasn’t been one to speak out and defy orders until now.
They’ve subtly given her a “Redemption” arc to get through, and she’s thriving because of it.
They tied so much of Ross’ character for too long to her romantic relationship with Sullivan. Now, we get to see more of who she is outside of that.
She can be such a badass woman and leader, and I’m glad we see that, even if Ross’ actions have her grappling with what it means for her to be more than a good little soldier who follows orders.
Ross did the right thing by calling the cops out in front of the press and encouraging them to get proper Crisis One training. She’s holding them responsible and not sugarcoating anything or lying.
It took her on the end of the officer’s gun, and her watching them nearly kill a kid for trying to get home to break something in her. She can’t go back to the person who aids the status quo.
But she made an enemy out of Dizon, the entire department has, so we can probably expect Dixon to kick things up a notch as an antagonist.
Over to you, Station 19 Fanatics. Are you thrilled Maya is making progress? Sound off below.
You can watch Station 19 online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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