[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Thursday's episode of Station 19. Read at your own risk!]
Travis (Jay Hayden) had a major breakthrough on Thursday's Station 19 when Vic's (Barrett Doss) feelings for Theo (Carlos Miranda), the man responsible for Travis' husband's death, forced Travis to realize it was finally time to move on. The road to making that decision was a rocky and emotional one, to say the least.
It turns out that Theo wasn't just Michael's (Jonathan Bennett) captain, he also went through the academy with Michael and Travis. He and Michael were roommates when Michael and Travis started dating. He was there the day they got engaged. They all drank champagne together when Theo was promoted to captain, despite everyone thinking perhaps it was too soon. It was Theo's inexperience that led to Michael dying in the field and it was a transgression that Travis could never forgive, punishing both of them to go through the loss of Michael without the other person who knew him best.
Theo's betrayal had a lot to do with why Travis took Vic's attraction to him so hard, but over the course of the episode, it was revealed that the real reason Travis was upset was because Vic was doing so much better at moving on from Ripley's (Brett Tucker) death than he was at moving on from Michael. A tense day on the Aid Car together led to a lot of fights about how to grieve, who had the more righteous reason to be upset, and how Travis' intention to bury everything was only suffocating him. At the end of the day, Travis realized he needed to focus on how good his too-brief time with Michael was instead of letting himself be torn up about how it ended.
It's clear that Travis intends to start a new chapter in his life, but does that mean there's room to forgive Theo or start a new romance? TV Guide talked to Hayden about the revealing episode and what it means for Station 19 going forward.
How cathartic was this episode for you? I know that I had a good, healthy, ugly cry over it and now my sinuses are cleared.
Jay Hayden: You had the perfect amount of fluid ejected out of you for the perfect COVID test if you needed one [laughs]. It was great, because as you know, as a lot of the audience knows, Travis has been talking about this guy since Episode 1, Season 1. And we've never really gotten to find out how it all happened. To be honest, it was a running joke [with] the cast. We would make jokes about, 'Oh, here we go. Travis is going to talk about his dead husband again.' So it was great to finally unpack all of that and kind of tell the whole story — so very cathartic.
Travis seems really ready to start a new chapter at the end of this episode. What is the most obvious change we're going to see in him in the immediate future?
Hayden: His general outlook on life has changed. He's kind of grown as a human being and with that growth, he now has the willingness to change and be a little more open to things that he was closed to in the past. I think you're going to see a whole new Travis, maybe. I mean, don't worry. He's still going to be grouchy all the time, but I think maybe more open. You heard Vic say, "You still have a crush on Emmett." Vic is his best friend. She knows him, usually better than he knows himself, so we'll probably see him deal with that.
I was going to ask about that a little later, but since you brought it up: Should we be hopeful for a Travis and Emmett reconciliation?
Hayden: I'll tell you this: I love working with Lachlan [Buchanon]. He is the funniest guy in the world, so I really enjoy being in scenes with him. So am I rooting for Emmett and Travis? Yeah, I guess I am rooting for him and Travis because that means Lachlan and I get to work together more.
Even if Travis is ready to let go of Michael and try to move on, does that necessarily mean that he is also in a place to forgive Theo as well, or is that going to take more work?
Hayden: What I love about [this] episode is that we don't wrap everything up. There was an extremely traumatic experience that those two guys went through together. That cannot mend itself through one meeting or one impactful episode. I think it's going to take a little while and I don't know when or where they'll meet up again, but I really think those upcoming scenes, whenever they happen, are going to be really great because it's the mending. It's a little deeper than when you scratch your knee, so it's a different kind of healing process. Will they be friends or foes? I guess we'll see as we continue along the season.
On top of that, even if Travis is able to get to a place where he forgives Theo, would he be open to his best friend and roommate dating the guy responsible for his husband's death? It's kind of a lot.
Hayden: I think Vic and Travis are coming to terms with a lot of things and realizing they are each other's person in a way. You still didn't hear them actually be like, "So can I date Theo or not?" That is still definitely up in the air and that has not been completely addressed. In my mind, seriously though, the dude killed my husband.
So, you Jay Hayden are not a fan of Vic and Theo being a thing?
Hayden: I'm not going to be able to handle [Vic] coming home and saying, "Wow, we got the greatest pizza and went to a movie. You remember that guy that killed your husband?" It doesn't feel right… I've worked with Barrett for four years and I am now too possessive. She's not allowed to act with anyone else!
What do you want most for Travis in this phase of his life?
Hayden: This is the truth. I want Travis to be the right kind of friend. I want him to support Vic and see her through to healthy relationships in the future because that's what she deserves. Now, does that mean Travis gets a healthy relationship? I think he would accept baby steps right now. He would like to clear his plate of some other issues first. There's still some stuff with his dad, with his family that needs to be handled. So I hope for Travis to continue dealing and unpacking some of his personal issues and then be a good friend to Vic because she deserves it.
What can we expect when he does tackle what's going on with his dad?
Hayden: Vic has mentored Travis in a way to see the world a little differently, accept some things and other people, then maybe accept things in himself, and then maybe be able to understand people a little better. I think that's going to pertain to his father and maybe there will be a different approach that will have a greater effect than the one he's tried.
Station 19 continues Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.