Not even COVID-19 could stop these firefighters.
The world around them may have drastically changed, but Station 19 will always be there for each other and the community at large.
Like Andy said at the end of Station 19 Season 4 Episode 1, they're a family.
Coming off the heels of Station 19 Season 3 Episode 16, the biggest question on our minds was how could Elena possibly be alive.
Standard rules about deaths on television aside, it was a twist no one saw coming.
Andy: When you left, did he tell you he was going to say you were dead?
Elena: No, he asked what am I supposed to tell a 9-year-old girl about why her mother left her, and I said, ‘I don’t know. Tell her I’m dead.’ But I didn’t mean it, just like I didn’t mean to leave you that day.
Andy: But you did. You left. And my father made the decision it would be less painful for me to grieve you than to know you abandoned me.
So once the writers decided to end of that cliffhanger, there was no coming back.
It then became the question of offering a reasonable explanation for why Elena seemingly faked her death without destroying Pruitt's memory in the process.
It was a thin line to walk, but the writers did an admirable job.
Pruitt came off better than expected, as his whole reasoning for pretending Elena was dead was just so Andy wouldn't be put through the pain of knowing her mother abandoned her.
That would have been consistent with the man we spent three seasons getting to know and love, but the real clicher came later when it was revealed Pruitt went to see Elena in New York after 9/11.
By Elena admitting that Pruitt offered to take full responsibility for lying to Andy if only Elena would come back proved our faith in him wasn't misplaced.
He may have made the wrong decision by lying to his daughter, but his heart was in the right place, right up until the end.
Elena, on the other hand, didn't come off looking too good.
While her tale of woe was sad, it still doesn't excuse her leaving.
I got pregnant and I thought I was wrong. I was told I was wrong. I was told I would love being a mother. I was told the minute I held you in my arms that I would forget about every dream I had before you, but that didn’t happen. You were born and I loved you, but I also resented, and I resented your father for getting to do the one thing we both wanted to do. I was so depressed. I became unstable, self-loathing, angry, violent. That was a different time. No one ever talked about mental health back then, especially not for mothers. I felt hopeless. I felt like a failure. I wanted to die because there was no way out. There was not a way out that wouldn’t destroy you, but I loved you. I still love you, Andy.Elena
If not for Andy pestering Sandra, Elena never would have told Andy the truth.
It would be one thing if Elena had contacted Andy after Pruitt's passing, saying how sorry she was for leaving.
However, Elena's apologies just felt hallow.
Until she was prompted, she never apologized to Andy.
She just went on about how she felt trapped and had to leave.
We shouldn't begrudge Elena for doing what she had to do to take care of herself, but she could at least been more contrite about her actions.
Even if she didn't know Andy thought she was dead, Elena had to know that leaving would inevitably scar her daughter.
Who wouldn't have unresolved emotional issues if their parent left out of the blue?
If you’re watching this, my dad was probably your hero. He was mine. He was a great firefighter but an even better captain. He brought the best out of everyone by demanding nothing less. He was a natural leader as anyone who’s ever worked with him knows. He built great firefighters, future captains, maybe even future chiefs, but beyond that, he was the best father he could be, and that wasn’t easy to do, especially on his own. My dad was faced with some pretty terrible choices when I was a kid, but he did what he thought was best for me at the time, every time. He chose to protect me above all else, and while he may have made mistakes, I have no doubt he’d make them all again if he thought it was best for me.Andy
For Elena, though, she was more focused on trying to play the victim and garner sympathy from the daughter she abandoned rather than owning up to what she did.
There was still a way for Elena to be sorry for how things played out while still maintaining she did what she had to, but that's not how the conversation went.
Instead, this revelation just opened up a whole new can of worms for Andy, and she doesn't even have the person she's closest to in the world to lean on for support.
Yes, Andy and Sullivan have temporarily separated, and while it's the right thing for Sullivan, it couldn't have come at a worst time for Andy.
She just lost her father and found out her mother's a liar.
All she probably wants is to hold her husband in her arms and have him tell her everything's going to be OK, except she can't because Sullivan needs to focus on his sobriety.
Though it's terrible timing for Andy, all I can say is it's about time.
When Sullivan and Andy rushed into marriage on Station 19 Season 3, we all knew this wasn't a step they should be making so soon.
They literally just started dating when they already heading down the aisle.
Sullivan: You’re not supposed to make any big life changes when you’re in early sobriety. I knew that; I was barely sober. And you, you were about to lose your dad. We had no business getting married.
Andy: So, so you regret it?
Sullivan: No, no, and I never will, but if I want to stay clean, we need some time apart.
Andy: 90 days.
Andy: Totally, totally separated?
Sullivan: But together.
It quickly became clear the newlyweds weren't likely to survive their first year of marriage until they realized they had to deal with their giant emotional baggage first.
And thankfully, Sullivan has come to that conclusion.
He now realizes if he and Andy are going to make their marriage work, they need to spend some time apart to get their heads on straight.
This is especially true for Sullivan.
Right now, his sobriety is the most important thing, and he can't be there for Andy as a husband until he's gotten some space to figure things out for himself.
It was the right call for the couple.
The only problem is that Station 19 is a Shondaland drama, and the writers can never just let things be.
So while Sullivan and Andy may think they'll be reunited in less than 90 days, we, as the audience, know the truth.
Vic: How does someone even date during a pandemic?
Travis: Same as before. You just text each other for weeks until someone stops responding.
Something -- we don't know what yet -- is going to get in their way, and it'll be quite a while before they get back to their happily ever after.
Let's just pray it's not another damned love triangle.
Elsewhere, the pandemic was front and center this episode, as the series wasted no time in reminding us just how crazy the actual world that we live in is.
The result was mostly positive.
What especially worked was seeing how the pandemic has affected our favorite characters' lives.
From the firefighters having to stay apart from their families to discussing how to make romantic relationships working during a pandemic and having a virtual funeral for Pruitt, all those things really hit home as to how much the novel coronavirus has affected them, even on the smallest level.
Those touches may seem small, but they were necessary to convey just how much everyone's lives have been upended by this.
What didn't work was the 'emergency of the week,' where a bunch of high school seniors broke the lockdown just to party.
Travis: I hate teenagers. I hated teenagers even when I was a teenager.
Vic: ‘Cause they’re so stupid?
Travis: ‘Cause they’re so stupid.
While it was clear the show was trying to send the message that we should be adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing masks, it just felt heavy-handed.
It felt more like a public service announcement than something that happened organically and detracted from the rest of the episode in how preachy it felt at times.
What may have worked better would be if Tucker and Joey had decided to do something stupid like this, so at least the lesson at hand would hit a little closer to home.
Watching Bailey and Ben give the boys the lecture of their lives would have made the message more effective.
Also, that'd mean we'd get more Bailey and Ben scenes, which is never a bad thing.
Even if the midst of the pandemic, they are still #CoupleGoals.
Some stray thoughts:
While my jaw didn't drop to the floor, Travis's father being in the closet is still a surprising turn of events. Hopefully, this storyline will allow Travis and his father to get the closure that they both desparately need.
It may also bring them closer together, and it'd be great if this was the catalyst for Travis's father finally accepting his son for who he is because that guy is pretty damn amazing.
Vic was a complete badass this episode. Her telling Owen off was great. Oh, how I've missed seeing this side of her.
It seems like the Dean/Vic romance isn't going anywhere because while Vic may be oblivious, Dean seems to have accepted how he feels. What he does next still remains to be seen, as it's just as likely he'll bury his feelings and ask Sasha to move in or tell Vic that he loves her.
Whatever happens, it'll most likely not be happy, at least for the foreseeable future.
Romance seems to be in the air for Jack and Nora, and I don't hate it. Jack deserves some happiness after everything Andy and Maya put him through. Good on him.
So what did you think, Station 19 Fanatics?
What are your thoughts on Elena?
Are Sullivan and Andy making the right choice in separating?
Did you like how the series incorporated the pandemic?
Hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the season premiere, remember you can watch Station 19 online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.