“I figured most people are maybe lucky enough to get one big love. I had mine,” Travis Montgomery (Jay Hayden) confided in fellow firefighter Dean Miller (Okieriete Onaodowan) in a previous episode of Station 19.
Travis’s bereavement, the loss of his husband, was the focal point of the show, several episodes offered rare insights into coping mechanisms and mantras that he began to use during the aftermath of the tragic event. But… just who was Travis’s husband and how did he die?
So, let’s talk about how Travis’s husband died on Station 19. From “stir fry sex” to offering additional help to newcomers on the team, Travis developed many strategies to cope with losing his husband, Michael (played by Jonathan Bennett).
A lot of episodes see the firefighter openly discussing his negative feelings, his sense of lonliness, and the sense that his world will never be right again. Through his character, fans get a chance to learn more about the grieving process, and how it differs from person-to-person.
Michael’s figure is brought up in passing, through Travis’s monologues, there is only actually one episode that focuses on the two of them together.
“Ice Ice Baby” revolves around Travis’s nostalgia-tainted past, capturing beautiful memories, romantic moments, and just shows how loving the two of them were. The episode tells the story of Michael and Travis’s relationship, focusing on the events that take place prior to Michael’s death in 2015.
“It’s nice to see a little more of [Travis]’ tender side, the way he interacts with Michael — the guy that we’ve been talking about for two seasons,” Jay told TV Guide. “We finally get to put a face on him and see what that relationship was like, and maybe see a different part of Travis that changed a lot once Michael died,” the actor added.
“It was great to find out what their domestic life was like. The role we play as husband and wife, or husband and husband, or wife and wife. The patterns that we slip into. This one does the dishes, this one likes the couch really clean. This is how when one person gets angry, this is how the other one calms them down. Sometimes it’s with a touch, sometimes it’s with a look, sometimes it’s with words,” Jay explained in an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
The series of flashbacks touch on Travis and Michael, fighting for Travis’s parents acceptance, detailing their struggle for recognition, their attempts to tackle his father’s homophobic views, and more. The couple poured a huge amount of effort into convincing his parents to attend their wedding–asking his mother to read a poem at the wedding–but the parents ultimately boycotted the event.
The episode also reveals, Michael died during a workplace accident. He was given the wrong instructions by a newly appointed captain, and this feeds into the way Travis’s work ethic evolves, urging him to be cautious, take care of his team mates, and pay extra attention to new people on the team.