NEW YORK -- What a cliff hanger! Or should we say, cliff crash, for the winter mid-season finale of Station 19 on ABC. The show's creator, Stacy McKee, took some time to talk about the big episode and answer our questions about what's coming up the rest of this season.
Q) The last image of the ambulance down the ravine was shocking! Can you tell us, will at least one of them (Andy, Sullivan or the patient) die?
A) I mean, I don't want to spoil anything! I will say that we will be spending some time on a very direct pickup when we come back, so you will get to see the fates of everyone in the ambulance and it might take a minute before you ultimately see what happened. We may play with time and space like we love to do, but we will be honoring that story and you won't feel like you've missed out on the immediate aftermath of what that particular crash was, you'll definitely get to see what happened afterwards and how it was resolved.
Q) Is Sullivan a possible love interest for Andy if he survives?
A) If he is, it would definitely make things really complicated. The whole idea about bringing a character like Sullivan into the mix was we just really loved this notion that we needed someone for everyone in the station to push up against. It's been sort of a discovery along the way for me too to see which characters, you know, to see the rapport they have and sort of the way they bounce off one another and it's been really fascinating to watch the growth between Andy and Sullivan because I agree with you, you're right, she is the one person who can hit the right buttons and peel back the layers, and in a weird way she's more open to it than a lot of the other people in the station are. Now that they've been through this crazy crash together, assuming they survive, it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference.
Q) Ben and Bailey are still on their sabbatical. How long can we expect this to last?
A) It hurts my heart! I'm such a fan first, but you know I wrote on Grey's for so many years, but although it's a juicy story it also hurts my heart! I'm like, "Oh, Ben and Bailey, I love you guys so much!" We'll see! The great thing about that story is that we've been able to coordinate with Grey's Anatomy and tell two sides of the same coin. So we get to tell it from Ben's perspective on Station 19, and Grey's Anatomy is telling it from Bailey's side and we've been working hand-in-hand with them, so I don't want to give any spoilers about how and when it might take another turn, but it will definitely be satisfying.
Q) Is it an effort to separate the shows a little?
A) It really doesn't, it's never been a conversation we've had. It's really about exploring what it takes, the thing I love about the Ben and Bailey relationship is that it's a real marital complicated relationship, it isn't just hearts and rainbows. We've watched the two of them over the years go through so many different challenges and they've really struggled sometimes, and they've always found a way to work through it in a really mature, adult way. Things can sometimes be unhealthy and then they find a way to make it healthy. So this was really a way of honoring that. You can't ignore the fact that he's chosen that for a third time and gotten an entirely new career and it's definitely triggering something in Bailey. It's more about wanting to tell a more complicated, emotional story.
Q) Dermot Mulroney is great as Ryan's dad. Will we be seeing more of him?
A) Yeah! I can't believe the casting, I can't get over how much they look alike. I was like, are you guys sure you're not really related?
Q) We saw Jack start to really fall apart this episode, what is going on with him and what can we expect to see as the season moves on?
A) We're definitely going to see him try and work on these things that he's struggling with. It's an important story to tell. We trapped him in this skyscraper in the finale last season and in the premiere this season. We have so many firefighter consultants and so many people who tell us you can't just experience these really traumatic events and you can't always shake them off. Sometimes they stick with you in a way you can't control and it just felt like an important facet of this world to show. And Jack just seems like a character who is really right for telling that kind of story. So we are going to watch him struggle, but we are going to now hopefully watch him overcome. I think everybody is really rooting for him to find his way through this.
Q) We saw Bishop get her promotion, but it came with a catch: she has to go to a different firehouse. Is it a choice for her on whether or not to accept that promotion or is it like, ok, you are moving?
A) It would be a choice for her, whether or not she would choose to accept it. That would mean that she might have to turn down a lieutenant position, if she chose not to accept it in order to stay at the station. Or she could petition to stay at the station, but it's not very typical, you don't typically have two lieutenants and one station. Yeah, she's definitely faced with a choice, especially when she discovers that the ambulance crashed and her friend was in there, some things might crystalize for her. The other firehouse is across town, and the fun thing is, we've referenced that station before a few times throughout the season and the series actually, so you never know. It's the station where earlier in the season Vic hooked up with a guy from that station, so it has a fun reputation. No question, we'll see her around.
Q) What has it been like working with the rest of the writers on the staff? I know you created the show, but have they helped you take it in different directions and give you new ideas? Can you describe what that process is like?
A) I have such an incredible group of writers, some I brought with me from Grey's Anatomy, some of them were brand new to the show when we started season 1, some of them were brand new when we started season 2, and I would be nowhere without them. They are so phenomenally talented, and everyday people walk in and say, "Hey I just read a cool story about a cool rescue a firefighter did in some cool place." And we just sit around and we craft crazy ideas and see if we can make them come to life, it's pretty excellent.
Q) Are some of these stories ripped from real headlines?
A) We pull from everything we can! We definitely pull from the headlines but we also pull from our firefighters who work on the show as consultants. We ask them for anecdotal stories, the saves, the cases that have stuck with you the most, both bad and good. We also pull from our own lives, from the time that you called 911 and you were stuck in the shower and they walked into your house and you were naked. We all have our own weird versions of stories, so we really try to pull from everything and see what makes the best story.
Q) Anything you'd like to add?
A) Just that the next segment of the show is going to be so juicy, I can't wait for people to see it because it's just going to be so good!