Station 19: Maya’s Children Storyline Repeats Grey’s Anatomy’s Cristina Mistake

Maya’s decision to have kids in Station 19 is a sudden and unearned 180 that befell Cristina in Grey’s Anatomy, along with other Shondaland women.

In Station 19, Maya Gibson recently made the sudden decision that she was ready to have children, but her storyline, unfortunately, repeats the same mistake Grey’s Anatomy made with Cristina. Since Carina (Stefania Spampinato) and Maya’s (Danielle Savre) wedding at the end of Station 19 season 4, the two have been in discussions about having children together. Carina has always wanted kids, while Maya never believed being a mother was the right choice.

The topic had cooled off after Maya gave a heartfelt monologue explaining that she needed time to truly think about the consequences of having children and that she couldn’t promise Carina that they would ever have kids. Heartbroken but tired of the fight, Carina gave Maya space. However, after Dean Miller’s death in Station 19’s crossover episode with Grey’s Anatomy, his daughter Pru (Janai Kaylani) comes to the station’s Thanksgiving celebration and Maya takes care of her. During this short time, Maya comes around to the idea of having kids, and by the end of the episode, she declares to Carina that she is ready for children.

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This switch is a sudden 180 that feels unjustified, and it’s one made multiple times across Shondaland shows, most notably with Cristina (Sandra Oh) in Grey’s Anatomy. Even though it was a potentially season-long emotional arc for Maya in Station 19, it was suddenly resolved in a single episode where it wasn’t even the main storyline. Maya’s sudden, unearned change of heart isn’t unique to her story; this depiction of women being adamant about not wanting children, suddenly having one anyway, and realizing they were wrong is common amongst Shondaland shows. In Grey’s Anatomy alone, Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), and Cristina Yang all followed this exact same storyline. The only one to not end up having kids was Cristina, who left in Grey’s Anatomy season 10, but that decision is subtly punished by writing the character off the show. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that if Sandra Oh had remained on the show, she likely would’ve had kids with Owen.

Making it worse, during Maya’s few brief scenes with Pru, she struggles to take care of Pru properly, and Carina, an OBGYN and sister to Grey’s Anatomy’s Andrew Deluca, has to swoop in to help. If anything, these moments should have intensified Maya’s fears of having children, not suddenly made her feel prepared and ready. Especially considering the custody battle established between Ben and Miranda and Dean’s parents over Pru, Maya could’ve learned to manage her fears over the entire Station 19 season, but the show instead chose to rush the decision in one episode’s side story.

The Station 19 storyline also completely ignores the reasons for not having kids that Maya had given earlier in the season. When Maya tells Carina that she’s ready to have kids, she explains it’s because having kids didn’t feel scary anymore, but that was never the real concern in the first place. In the monologue from earlier in Station 19 season 5, Maya gives the real reason she doesn’t want kids: she’s afraid of ruining her career, similar to Cristina in Grey’s Anatomy. The show had established previously with Andy’s mother that once women have kids, they are usually expected to leave duty as the job is not designed for moms. In the latest episode, when Maya and Carina take care of Pru, this is never addressed. Instead, it’s thrown away for convenience, and there’s no further discussion on what might happen to Maya’s career in making this decision.

While this storyline happens to real women, it happens so often in Grey’s Anatomy, and now Station 19, that it seems to be the only dramatic arc Shondaland shows are capable of giving professional women. This “epiphany cycle” that these characters go through reinforces the idea that women who don’t want kids just don’t know what they want yet. Choosing to not have kids is still a stigmatized decision, and this depiction doesn’t help. Moving forward, hopefully, the next female character who doesn’t want children gets to stay strong in that decision throughout her whole story.


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