'Station 19' Says Goodbye to One of Its Own — How Will They Handle the Loss?
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 15, Episode 23 of Grey's Anatomy, "What I Did for Love," and Season 2, Episode 15 of Station 19, "Always Ready."]
Station 19 has suffered its first major loss, and now, those left behind must find a way to move on.
But that won't be easy, especially for Vic (Barrett Doss). In the latest Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 crossover, Maggie (Kelly McCreary) treats Ripley (Brett Tucker) after he collapsed and finds a systolic crescendo/decrescendo murmur consistent with aortic stenosis. When no one can reach Vic, Ripley is determined to track her down himself — so he can accept her proposal — against doctor's orders.
He leaves the hospital just before his labs show signs he may have been assigned to a dangerous chemical, possibly hydrofluoric acid. Because the aortic stenosis has already put stress on his heart, Maggie worries about pulmonary edema, respiratory stress, and arrhythmias.
When Ripley answers Sullivan's (Boris Kodjoe) call, he learns the severity of the situation. "If it is hydrofluoric acid, once the process starts, it progresses very quickly," Ben (Jason George) warns him. Ripley then checks himself into the nearest hospital, where his symptoms (coughing, trouble breathing, and a burning in his throat) are treated as "urgent."
The others are eventually able to reach Vic, who had been on another call, and she gets to the hospital, only for Ripley's sister, Jennifer (Bre Blair) to pull the family card and shut Vic out. Jennifer blames her for not having a "safe" job she could have used to entice Ripley away from his risky career. Once she learns of Vic's proposal, however, she brings her back into the fold.
But there's nothing Maggie or anyone can do for Ripley except keep him comfortable and say goodbye. Vic can't bring herself to say goodbye at first, until Montgomery (Jay Hayden) walks her to his room. In Ripley's final moments, he not only accepts Vic's proposal, but he also suggests they get married right then. She'd rather it just be them in that moment.
"I was really ready to spend the rest of my life with you," she tells him. "At least I get to spend the rest of mine with you," he says. It's possibly the most heartbreaking moment of the series to date.
After he dies, she walks out of the hospital, and while the rest of the station joins her at the end of the episode, Vic's not necessarily looking for all of them to help her grieve.
Losing Ripley will "have a really profound impact on her," Doss told TV Guide. "She's going to have to rely on other people to help her get through this and that's not something she's used to doing." Though she'd help anyone else going through the same thing, she's not looking for someone to do the same for her.
But if anyone can help her through this, it is Montgomery, who did lose his husband, also a firefighter. "He certainly offers a level of experience with this sort of grief that he can help guide her through this process," Doss said. It's only a question of if she'll let him help her.
And based on the trailer for Episode 16, "For Whom the Bell Tolls," she may not let him at first. She refuses to go to Ripley's funeral and snaps at Montgomery when he tries to talk to her. "I lost the love of my life," she tells him.
Station 19, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC