[Warning: The following contains spoilers from Thursday's episode of Station 19. Read at your own risk!]
It's official: You need more tissues to watch Station 19 than you do for Grey's Anatomy. We expected that Pruitt Herrera (Miguel Sandoval) was going to die in this season of Station 19 after refusing to get treatment for his second bout of cancer, but the former captain went out with a hero's death in Thursday's episode of the Grey's spin-off. He sacrificed his own life to save the crew from a storage locker fire that almost took out half the team -- including his daughter. While this definitely felt like a more fitting end for the character, it didn't make it less heartbreaking to watch it play out.
The episode started with Pruitt hanging out with his old fire buddies at the station as the A-Team got called out for the fire. It seemed like a pretty standard search and rescue for someone trapped in a storage facility, but when the place went up in flames, it turned into a deadly maze with Andy (Jaina Lee Ortiz), Gibson (Grey Damon), Montgomery (Jay Hayden) and baby Dixon (Lachlan Buchanon) stuck inside.
Pruitt heard his daughter gasping for air over the radio at the station and rushed to the scene to help. Refusing to take no for an answer from Maya (Danielle Savre), Pruitt climbed the unstable roof and began to hack holes in it in an effort to ventilate the building and get the team the oxygen they needed to get out. In the closing moments, he hacked at a soft spot in the roof and the whole thing caved in, getting the necessary air inside, but also taking Pruitt down into the flames.
If you were hoping for a miracle save, it isn't coming. The preview for next week showed the team decorating the station in black. Maya confirmed that Pruitt fell to his death in a scene where she snaps at Dixon Sr. (Pat Healy) about allowing her team to be emotional over the fact that Pruitt fell to his death to protect them.
This is the third major death on Station 19 in as many seasons. Andy's best friend Ryan (Alberto Frezza) died earlier in the season after he was shot in the heart by an errant bullet. Ripley (Brett Tucker) died after inhaling too many chemicals on a call. Both were devastating losses for the team in different ways, but Pruitt was a father to these characters -- figuratively and literally. This death might hit them the hardest of all.
The only silver lining is that we found out through flashbacks that Andy and Sullivan (Boris Kodjoe) had eloped before the fire. At the very least, Pruitt was able to see his baby girl get married before he died, and she'll know that he gave up his life to ensure that she would get to live hers. Even so, make sure to have your tissues ready for next week's episode because it is going to be rough.
Station 19 continues Thursdays on ABC. Beginning next week it moves to a new time slot at 9/8c.