Why Did Brett Tucker’s Lucas Ripley Leave Station 19?

Station 19 has managed to gather a whole host of adoring fans since its initial premiere in 2018, making it a gripping drama in its own right. Though the show often crosses over and follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, Grey’s Anatomy, it is able to captivate audiences with its dramatic plot lines and intriguing characters. As such, when a character leaves the show, it often alters the canon forever.

Lucas Ripley is a fan-favorite character and played a large role within the Station 19 universe. Yet, when he left the show in 2019, many fans were left heartbroken and felt that his departure would leave a large hole in the crew. Plus, the fact that his departure was spread out across three episodes showcases the tension and heartache behind the plot. But why did this detailed character decide to leave the show after just three seasons, and is there a chance of him returning?

Who Is Lucas Ripley?

Lucas Ripley is a substantial part of Station 19’s lore, mainly because he was assigned as the Fire Chief for the Seattle Fire Department. With his head-strong nature and comforting sense of confidence, there’s no denying that Ripley took his job very seriously and was keen to keep his team in good spirits. Due to his pivotal role within the fire department, Ripley was often involved in a selection of hard-hitting cases. Not only did these experiences shape him as a leader and as an individual, they led him to endure a lot of upset and anxiety.

Alongside his strong attitude, Ripley also managed to create some strong relationships within the fire department. However, he also managed to create a few rifts, especially because of his stubborn personality and need to be in control. Yet, even under all this strain, Ripley still strives to complete his day job and keep his options under control. Regardless of his flaws, Ripley helped to shape and progress key plot points in Station 19, making him one of the most significant characters within the Grey’s Anatomy universe.

Ripley’s Trauma Indicates His Dedication to the Role

Just like the team at Grey Sloan Hospital, the firefighters at the Seattle Fire Department also experience their fair share of stress and anxiety. Though it’s not surprising that Lucas Ripley accumulated a few mental scars throughout his career, his response to these issues helps to make him a very admirable man. In Season 2, Episode 4, “Lost and Found,” Ripley attends a group therapy session to discuss his anxieties surrounding the recent skyscraper fire. During this episode, Ripley gets a lot of things off his chest and then encourages his teammates to do the same. This shows that he’s not afraid to express his feelings in a therapeutic sense and understands how this process can also benefit others. Thus, he doesn’t just expect his subordinates to get straight back to work after a traumatic event; he wants them to take the time to process the effects of this difficult situation.

Viewers notice a similar response in Season 2, Episode 1, “No Recovery.” Here, Ripley introduces his crew to their new captain, Robert Sullivan. Previously, Ripley had taken on the role for a short while until the crew could find someone to fill the role full-time, so it’s clear that he wanted the best possible person for the job. Yet, Sullivan wasn’t going to play happy families and promised the team that he would work to whip them back into shape. This gives audiences a deeper insight into Ripley’s character and how he would rather give his teammates a sense of guidance and structure rather than be their friend all the time.

His Love Life Leaves a Lot to Be Desired

With his smoldering looks and charming demeanor, many fans quickly fell in love with Lucas Ripley, and it seems that many other members of the Seattle Fire Department felt the same. Yet, the dedication and obsessiveness he shows to his job, doesn’t translate well when it comes to his romantic relationships. For example, in Season 2, Episode 5, “Do a Little Harm…” the viewer gains a look into Ripley’s relationship with his ex-partner, Eva. Even though the pair had only been together a few months, Eva often made Lucas sleep on the couch. Thus, this is a clear sign that their relationship was quickly breaking down and that his wife may not be able to handle the stress of his job as a firefighter. In turn, Ripley showcases signs that he was struggling to balance the difficulty of his work alongside the slow demise of his marriage.

Even with his relationship with Vic Hughes, Ripley highlighted more of his all-or-nothing attitude. In Season 2, Episode 15, “Always Ready,” Lucas tells Vic that he would be willing to get married a third time if their relationship continued to progress in the right direction. As such, it could be argued that Ripley’s strong sense of loyalty and dedication often led him to rush into situations that needed a little more consideration. In turn, Ripley’s determination may help him at work, but it may not help him when it comes to his personal life.

Why Did Lucas Ripley Leave Station 19?

Lucas Ripley’s departure from Station 19 was incredibly tragic and resulted in his death at Grey Sloan Hospital. In Season 2, Episode 14, “Friendly Fire,” the crew attends to a vast fire at a coffee processing plant. Ripley enters the fire with full force to save the captain but doesn’t calculate the risks of such a monumental decision. Later that day, Ripley collapses in the street and is taken straight to the hospital.

This situation crosses over into Grey’s Anatomy Season 15, Episode 23, “What I Did for Love.” Here, the team discovered that Ripley suffered from aortic stenosis, which would explain why he passed out so suddenly. Lucas is happy with this diagnosis and prepares to be discharged. Just as he leaves the hospital room, it turns out that his calcium levels are critically high due to exposure to toxic chemicals, and the doctors at Grey Sloan are working against the clock to save him.

Ripley’s final appearance on Station 19 was in Season 2, Episode 15, “Always Ready.” Lucas learns about his test results and travels to the Seattle Pres to receive treatment. Plus, many of his other teammates start to suffer from similar symptoms, creating widespread panic among the crew. But, his body didn’t respond to the treatment in the way that the doctors hoped, and he eventually passed away. This death symbolizes the complex nature of the Grey’s Anatomy universe and highlights how these shows can connect with audiences on a deeply personal level. In reality, the actor who portrays Ripley, Brett Tucker, left the show to pursue other acting opportunities. As Station 19 prepares to draw to a close, it’s clear that Lucas Ripley’s influence on the crew is incredibly poignant and will probably last until the show’s conclusion.

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