Spoilers ahead for the winter finale of Station 19 Season 4, called "Out of Control."
Station 19 has come to an end in 2020 after only five episodes, and the winter finale had been hyped as one half of a crossover with Grey's Anatomy. James Pickens Jr. was announced as a guest star for "Out of Control," which confirmed at least one Grey's character who would appear. Fans had every reason to expect a two-parter in the shared universe of the two shows. After just the episode of Station 19, however, I'm ready for ABC to stop hyping crossover events that aren't really crossovers.
Yes, James Pickens Jr. did appear in "Out of Control" as Richard Webber, but only in one brief scene, and hardly an essential scene. I for one don't think that makes the Station 19 winter finale really qualify as a half hour of a crossover event. Since the trailer for the episodes of both Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy explicitly referred to "THE WINTER FINALE CROSSOVER EVENT," I think it's fair for viewers to have expected a lot more cohesion between the shows.
There were certainly ties between the shows, with one of the kidnapped girls and the kidnapper being taken to Grey Sloan after the girls set a fire to alert would-be rescuers that they were inside the house, and the episode description for the Grey's Anatomy winter finale revealed that Station 19's Jay Hayden and new series regular Stefania Spampinato would have a part to play.
But these were mini character crossovers with a slight story connection, not a grand two-part extravaganza on the same scale as previous crossover events that were rightfully hyped as such. Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy have delivered events that were downright cinematic; this was not one of them. Normally, this wouldn't bother me too much, but "Out of Control" was a pretty intense episode of Station 19 with a killer cliffhanger that deserved to be hyped on its own rather than as half of a big crossover event that wasn't actually anything big.
The Station 19 winter finale continued with the plot that has led me to suspect that another Grey's Anatomy spinoff is on the way and pitted the heroes of Station 19 against the cops of the Seattle Police Department. The firefighters' efforts to save two kidnapped girls ended with Sullivan and Miller arrested for obstruction of justice after a scary encounter with cops who weren't afraid to pull their guns and arrest people of color on extremely dubious charges.
This episode isn't going to matter in the grand scheme of things for its slight connections to the Grey's Anatomy winter finale, but it was a game-changer for Station 19. Admittedly, I might be biased against how ABC sold the winter finales because I can't help but compare Station 19/Grey's Anatomy on ABC to NBC's One Chicago shared universe, with One Chicago routinely delivering mini crossovers but only hyping crossover events for the two- and three-parters that bring the characters from the shows fully together.
I've also had my criticisms of how Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy handle their crossovers in the past, and not just because I still don't have a name for the shared universe like "One Chicago" on NBC and "the Arrowverse" over on The CW. The shows are both solid on their own, and they do well in the ratings. They don't need to be sold as crossing over every time a premiere or finale comes along.
Be sure to vote in our poll below with your thoughts on Station 19/Grey's Anatomy crossovers! Unfortunately, Station 19 fans are in for a long wait before seeing what happens next after the cliffhanger that saw Miller and Sullivan carted off by the cops. The midseason premiere of Station 19 airs on Thursday, March 4. For some viewing options during the wait for Station 19 to return, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule.