Welcome to the fourth installment of our 2021 Pride Month Series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
Maya Bishop, played by Danielle Savre, is the firefighter captain of Station 19 in Seattle on ABC’s Station 19. As the department’s first female captain, Maya had to fight for her position, even if it meant jeopardizing her long-time friendship with Andy Herrera. Her relationships with Andy and the rest of her team are special, and sometimes even a little complicated when it comes to Jack Gibson. She’s tough on the firehouse but only because she has to prove her worth. And nothing can ever get in the way of their friendship, even if she has to break some protocols and tell a coworker she can’t do something. Meanwhile, her relationship with Grey Sloan Memorial’s OB, Carina DeLuca, is an even more special one. Especially with what Carina’s been through the past year, Maya’s been the most understanding and supportive girlfriend she could ever ask for. Despite some rough spots in their relationship, Maya and Carina push through. Keep reading to see why Maya Bishop is being recognized in this Pride Month Spotlight.
Throughout the first season, we see Maya struggle with her surrounding relationships, both professional and personal. In the third episode, coworkers Andy and Jack are fighting over who gets to be interim captain at the firehouse while Captain Herrera is out. Maya and Travis are forced to pick sides, creating a rocky friendship between Maya and Andy. However, while on a stake out, the two fear for the safety of police officer friend Ryan and the two of them hash out their recent tension. All throughout the series, Maya and Andy’s relationship is like a typical sister relationship, despite them not even being related. They have a lot of fights and they make up a lot, but they always come back to each other because they know they can always count on the other.
While Maya has a great support system and a found family at the firehouse, her biological family is a different story. The seventh episode revolves heavily around Maya and her brother, Mason. When Maya sees him, he tells her that he’s doing fine on his own and he’s not using. He’s painting and he’s happy. Maya just cares about him but Mason doesn’t want her bothering him. When she leaves, it’s revealed he’s been living in a tent. Later on, Maya brings her brother supplies and insists that he take them. Even though Mason doesn’t necessarily want Maya’s help, she’s still there for him no matter what. Although Maya’s not as close to her parents, she is still to her brother even if he doesn’t want to be, since he doesn’t want her to worry about him. Her compassion and dedication show that she is always there for her friends and family, despite some rough patches in her relationships.
The second season not only shows Maya getting a promotion but also shows more of her relationships, including a budding one with Jack. In the 10th episode, when the two of them are called to treat minor injuries in a stalled subway train, they discover a disease may be spreading among the passengers and they initiate quarantine. While the situation is less than ideal and the passengers are not very friendly, the two of them later get pretty close after it and sleep with each other. Meanwhile, Maya suggests Dean use her as his fake girlfriend to get his mother off his back and at that, Jack sees how great she really is. Over the next few episodes, the two of them try to figure out what they really are and how they’re going to go about this new relationship. Especially how Andy could react since she and Jack have a past. However, in the season finale, they decide to go public with their relationship. This season really focuses on Maya and Jack’s relationship and how that affects not only themselves but people surrounding them.
As Maya is dealing with her personal relationships, her professional ones are about to get intense. At the beginning of the season, Andy, wanting to be on her own, decides to move in with Maya. However, in the seventh episode, Maya gets promoted to Lieutenant and the promotion would require her to transfer to Station 23. Not wanting to leave, Maya declines the offer. That would soon put her over the edge as a future candidate for her own station. When Jack confides in Maya a few episodes later about Dean’s family troubles and how it has him wondering about his own parents, Maya’s eager to help out. However, Jack doesn’t want her to act on it yet, which causes friction between them. Maya’s eagerness to help out a friend in need, even if it ruins her relationship, is why she’s such a good friend and partner.
Season 3 sees Maya start a new relationship. After realizing that she and Jack are better off as friends, Maya meets Grey Sloan OB/GYN Carina DeLuca at a bar. Although the relationship started off as nothing, after Maya called Carina when Dean’s girlfriend went into labor at the station, Carina told her, on FaceTime, that they could talk about anything and any time Maya wanted. When they realize that they are not just hooking up and they want to take things further in the relationship, knowing that they both, especially Maya, need time away, the two of them go on vacation together in the 11th episode.
Over the next few episodes, Carina would be there for Maya when she needed her, whether it’d be to comfort her about not being able to help her team during a massive five-alarm fire or when it came to family and bringing up old wounds about her father. However, after getting into a fight with Carina, Maya sleeps with Jack to blow off some steam. When she comes home, she sees that Carina never left. Maya admits to her what she did, and later begs her to take her back. She tells Carina she is willing to spend the rest of her life trying to prove to Carina that she can be trusted and Carina reluctantly tells Maya she loves her. This new relationship was only just the beginning for them, and it shows how supportive and understanding both Maya and Carina are of each other. They truly found someone that they love and they would do anything for them.
This season also sees Maya get a promotion at the station. Early on in the season, Captain Pruitt convinces Sullivan to not appoint Andy to Captain, which leads Sullivan to recommend Maya for the job. Maya getting the job over Andy creates friction on the team, as everyone knows that Andy deserved the job over her and it was practically a given. Meanwhile, Maya as captain is not working out for everyone, as she has a power trip and goes overboard when bossing her team around. Knowing that she needs everyone to work together, Maya takes them on a team-building camping trip in the fifth episode. However, she soon feels isolated and ridiculed by her friends, making her flash back to her youth when her father made her focus on her running career at the cost of a social life. The flashback makes Maya realize she doesn’t want to go through that again. She knows she needs her friends and in the following episode, she tries to repair her relationship with Andy, as it’s the most important one to her.
Later on in the season, Maya finds courage to stand up to her father when he openly belittles her in front of her peers. She’s had enough of her father and his verbal abuse over the years. She knows that she’s a good captain, even if her father can’t see it. Following Captain Pruitt’s sacrifice at a call, Maya stands up Chief Dixon and the review panel, who don’t like the way she did things. She doesn’t apologize for having feelings for what happened, for what her captain had done to save his team. Maya faces off with the department and stands up for Pruitt, knowing he knew that it was a death sentence. While it took Maya some time to really find her footing as captain, she’s been able to gradually grow into the role that she is so perfect for.
The latest season sees Marina take their relationship a few steps further. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the couple had been struggling with social distancing. With Carina at the hospital and Maya at the station, both doing jobs that require them to be on the frontlines, it was getting to them. In the third episode, Maya struggles to accept her nice life with Carina, waiting for something bad to happen, since every time she has something nice in her life, it usually goes downhill. The two of them talk and Maya suggests Carina move in with her. It would make things easier on the both of them and there’s no reason for them to be apart if they’re always tested anyway. However, in the following episode, Maya struggles with sharing her living space, making her fear she’s turned herself into a copy of her father, controlling and pushing people away. A couple of episodes later, Carina struggles with the loss of her brother, Dr. Andrew DeLuca, who was stabbed and later died at Grey Sloan. Maya takes time off from work to be there for her and even though she doesn’t know what to do as Carina is just in constant pain and not talking, Maya’s patient. She later brings Carina to the station and turns on the sirens so Carina can just let it all out.
Andrew’s death was like taking a part of Carina and Maya, though at times frustrated, was still supportive. She was with her at the hospital, she was with her at the memorial at Grey Sloan, she was with her at home. She knew that Carina didn’t have too many people in her life and Andrew was the one person in her family that she still had. Maya comforts and supports Carina over the next few episodes but in episode 10, Carina reveals she may be going back to Italy as her visa’s expiring. Maya volunteers to go with her and while at first it seemed like a good idea, Maya realizes she can’t leave. Not knowing how long she’ll be there for, knowing that she can’t leave her station. A few episodes later, though, Maya starts thinking about ways to keep Carina in Seattle after Carina reveals she doesn’t want to leave, her home is with Maya. Maya brings up the idea of marriage but Carina says she doesn’t believe in it because of what her parents went through. She doesn’t believe in a piece of paper telling them what their relationship is. Carina does end up leaving for Italy, leaving Maya heartbroken. However, after Carina talks with a friend back home while on her way to the airport, she realizes that she really does love Maya and she would do anything. She meets Maya and Andy at the hospital and tells Maya she wants to be with her, even if that means doing something she doesn’t necessarily wants to do because she loves her. Carina proposes and the two get happily engaged, meaning that Carina is able to stay in Seattle. Maya loves Carina and the pandemic only brought them closer together. This is only the beginning of their relationship and to see where they go from there will be something to look forward to next season.
This season also saw big changes for the station and the world. Set in the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maya has had to step up to her role as captain. While her team is on the frontlines during a global pandemic, they also soon start to experience racism from cops when they try to save two kidnapped girls in a house. Some of the team get pushed or knocked down by cops and then arrested. This creates friction between the police department and fire department and Maya, while wanting to be there for her black coworkers, knows that she has to cooperate with the police department since they have to work together. Things escalate when the news of George Floyd’s murder gets out. Maya brings in the department therapist so the team has someone to talk to. Not knowing how her coworkers are feeling makes it hard for Maya to truly understand what they are going through, but she tries. They go to protests together, they all talk to one another. Between the pandemic and this, Maya has had to work extra hard as captain and as a friend.
In the penultimate episode of season 4, word of Breonna Taylor’s murder is out. Protests spark all over the city and the station is getting ready to put up a med tent. However, Maya gets a message from the city asking them not to, so to not make it seem like the station is not on the police’s side. She suggests they still go, but as civilians who have medical training who stop at a drugstore for supplies and maybe borrow some stuff from the station. Maya’s leadership this season has been tested as she, the team and the world are going through mess after mess. And on top of her girlfriend’s brother dying and her having to go to Italy, Maya has proven time and time again, not just this season, that she will always be there for her family and her friends, no matter what life throws at her. Being captain has its disadvantages at times, especially when a worldwide pandemic paired with protests are an ongoing thing. She’s had to make some tough choices but in the end, they’ve always been for the best.
Over the last four seasons, Maya has seen a lot of growth, both personally and professionally. Her relationships with the rest of Station 19 reflect her as a captain and while she might still have a lot to learn when it comes to leading her team, she tries her best to be there for them and understand them, supporting them whenever possible and making the tough decisions. Meanwhile her life with Carina is just beginning. What their relationship is going to look like going into season 5 is unknown. The two of them will always love and support each other no matter what happens. It’ll be a new adventure for them both with some challenges along the way. Maya Bishop is a true leader and it’s clear she loves her friends, who are like her family, and her relationship with Carina only makes her an even better person.
All four seasons of Station 19 are streaming on Hulu. Season 5 premieres in the fall on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on ABC, followed by Grey’s Anatomy!