Grey’s Anatomy 16.08 Episode Review

Season 16, Episode 8: My Shot
(written by Meg Marinis; directed by Debbie Allen)

First of all, holy shit. That was an EPISODE. There’s not a more eloquent way to put it. When I tell you I sat on my couch and stared at the wall for 45 minutes after the episode ended, I mean it. Literally just sat there. I didn’t know what to do with myself. But now it’s Friday and I’ve had time to process things and get my thoughts together enough to start working on this review––which I’m going to go out on a limb and say will be a monstrosity. Here we go!

“When you sign a medical directive or a consent to surgery, there’s an important question we ask: ‘In the event of a possibly fatal complication, do you want us to use extraordinary measures to prolong your life? If your heart stops, do you want us to begin CPR? Do you want to be violently shocked with 360 joules of electricity? Do you agree to multiple injections of adrenaline into your veins or a tube down your throat? How far will you go to stay alive?'” – Meredith Grey

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Image courtesy of ABC

Before I really get going, I just want to say this: I felt like this episode was a love letter to Meredith Grey. But not a cheesy Hallmark kind of love letter. One where all of her mistakes come front and center again, but as they do, we remember why she did each of those things. LVAD wire? Trying to help her friend save her fiancé. (Also, there wasn’t much she could do by the time she got there, either.) Sadie’s appendix? Lexie had already screwed that up, so Meredith and Cristina literally saved her life. Alzheimer’s Trial? Trying to give Richard more time with Adele. Cornering Andrew in the elevator after Alex beat the hell out of him? She did that out of loyalty to Alex. Do you see where I’m going with this? Every single thing Ashley Cordova brought up, Meredith had a reason for doing, and it was usually driven by her loyalty and love for someone. Like Carolyn Shepherd told us way back in season 5, she doesn’t see things in black and white, and she never will.

Anyway. That was a ramble I didn’t anticipate including, but whatever. So, the very first scene of this episode is Meredith, Andrew, Alex, Amelia, and Maggie all in the car. I imagine they gave her some kind of pep-talk that we didn’t see, and I’m sure it didn’t help at all. Meredith really looks like she could puke at any second, and she straight up tells Alex she’s not ready when he asks. But isn’t it nice to see all of those familiar faces walking inside? That line, “turns out, I have a whole damn village” comes to mind here. (That’s from 1209, by the way.) People show up for Meredith because they love her and respect her as a surgeon. She really does have a village.

Also, the VO? I kind of feel like it’s Meredith talking to herself metaphorically. She’s the patient in this scenario, and she’s bleeding out. Does she want extraordinary measures? This hearing is her life support. If it goes badly, her days as a doctor are over. If it goes well, she gets her job back. Really, she gets her life back. Because Meredith doesn’t feel like herself right now and hasn’t in a long time. This is her Hail Mary. I didn’t catch that the first two times I watched this episode, but the third time I really feel like that’s exactly what’s going on.

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Image via ABC

“You have absolutely no right to ever mention my daughter’s name because you are the one who killed her father.”

How did you guys think it was going to go when Nancy told Mer to sit still and shut up? Yeah, I knew there wasn’t a chance in hell that would happen. Before we even saw Paul Castello, I recognized his voice. Good thing I watch alone in my apartment every week because I jumped off my couch and yelled at the TV like I was watching The World Cup. At first, I was surprised Dr. Castello was the person from her past they chose to bring back, but now I totally see why he was the best choice.

When Penny showed up at the dinner party in the 250th episode (how in the world was that 100 episodes ago??) I wasn’t actually that surprised. Meredith had enough interaction with her that I kind of assumed we’d see her again. And, when we get down to it, Penny was the only one who kept pushing for Derek to get a CT. She tried to save him, unlike every other doctor at Dillard. Meredith taking Penny under her wing the way she did felt natural. But Dr. Castello? Nah. He is responsible for Derek’s death in a way Penny never was, and Meredith knows it. And she’s got zero time for his shit, which I am so here for. She calls him out in front of everyone. Kind of like he’s doing to her? Yeah. The difference between the two of them is this: Meredith’s “mistakes” weren’t really mistakes, were they? She did all of those things deliberately. She had a reason and good intentions. Dr. Castello? Not getting a head CT for Derek was a poor judgment call that cost a life.

And calling him out the way she did, I think, helped her case. The members of the medical board heard her rattle off the names of her patients’ spouses. That showed them how deeply she cares. And it’s how much she cares that landed her here in the first place, right? And then, I think even hearing what she went through probably helped. Almost everyone in that room knew what went down when Derek died, but the two people voting on her future had no idea. And when she throws it all back in Dr. Castello’s face, they’re suddenly aware of the worst moment in Meredith’s life. And, if you ask me, that moment turned her into a better doctor. Maybe they saw that, too.

Meredith tells Nancy that she’s not going to let Dr. Castello take anything else away from her. Absolutely. But I think it’s more than just her license and Derek she’s talking about. It’s who she is as a doctor––as a person. In season 12, Owen has Meredith talk to the interns about breaking bad news to a patient’s family. If you need a refresher, here’s the scene:

Everything she went through when Derek died––that pain, that heartbreak––gave her a new level of compassion and empathy for her patients. It pushed her into a nightmare. That moment that changes everything? She’s lived it now. And she can use that experience to help young doctors recognize how important this part of the job is. And she can also use it to help her patients’ families see that they can survive the worst moment of their lives. If Dr. Castello were to yank her license, he’d be taking away one of the only good things that came from Derek dying. And there’s no way in hell she’s going to let that happen.


Let’s talk about Bailey real quick. (This won’t be quick, who am I kidding?) When she’s being questioned about Meredith, she’s like a totally different person than the Dr. Bailey I’ve known since elementary school. I know she’s a rule follower now that she’s the chief, but what the hell? I was genuinely shocked that she was so cold towards Meredith. Saying that they haven’t grown close? She basically says Meredith’s son’s name being Bailey is a coincidence. Saying that Meredith is no longer her Chief of General Surgery, in this context, pretty much means Bailey doesn’t respect her as a doctor anymore. It’s hard for me not to get pissed at her for being so small-minded about this whole thing. Suddenly, she’s willing to forget every good thing Meredith is and ignore their history.

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Image courtesy of ABC

I don’t think she realizes the scale of her reaction until she talks with Richard for the first time since she fired him. I really hit the nail on the head a few weeks ago when I said the reason Bailey’s so pissed is because she feels like Meredith betrayed her. But after hearing her talk to Richard, another layer is uncovered: she’s jealous.

In this episode, it’s revealed that Meredith didn’t even match at Seattle Grace and that Richard made some calls to get her in the program. Bailey’s pissed at him, too, because he’s always bending the rules for Meredith and she feels like he’s tanking his own career for her. And I think the reason she’s so mad about it is because Richard was her teacher. She doesn’t want to see the man who taught her to be a doctor give himself up for anyone. Especially not someone who’s so blasé about rules.

Richard sees Meredith as family, though. So, of course, he’s going to put himself on the line for her if it comes down to it. We’ve seen him do it more than once. There’s an episode in season 5 where we really get a glimpse into Meredith and Richard’s relationship. It’s right before the Post-It wedding, and Meredith’s patient is a little girl who shot her dad like 17 times to protect her mom. Remember that? Derek calls Richard out for not treating Meredith like a resident because he sees her as family. And he was right. Richard has never treated Meredith like she was only an employee––their history is too rich for that. And, if you ask me, a lot of what Richard does for Meredith is because he feels guilty for the part he played in her childhood turning into what it was.

If he hadn’t left Ellis the way he did, Meredith’s entire life would probably look totally different. Ever since Meredith told him about Ellis’ suicide attempt, he’s been trying to make things up to her. Now, don’t tweet at me all angry because I’m negating their entire relationship to guilt. That’s not what I’m doing. Those two love each other like family. Like Richard said, he would stick his neck out for her and he knows she’d do the same for him. I fully believe that. But that doesn’t mean Richard doesn’t feel an extra layer of responsibility for her because of his relationship with Ellis… and how it ended.

But then there’s Bailey. As close as she and Richard were, their history isn’t as deep. Do I think Richard thought of her as family? Yes. But the way she’s been reacting lately makes him question if she feels the same way about him. Bailey feels betrayed by one of her own, and now she’s realizing that that’s exactly how she’s made Richard feel. Huh. How about that? I’ve been waiting for this conversation to happen, to be totally honest.

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Image courtesy of ABC

After her chat with Richard, Bailey comes around. She walks back into that room and tells everyone what I wanted her to say a long time ago. That Meredith deserved to lose her job and pick up trash. But her license being questioned is ridiculous. She finally acknowledges how good Meredith is at what she does. We got a glimpse of the Bailey we all know and love. Do I think this will magically fix things between her and Meredith? Absolutely not. I can almost guarantee that we’re going to see her not trusting Meredith at work in the next episode. She’ll probably show up in her gallery, or hell, she might even scrub in. But they’re on the mend. I think Richard helped bring things into perspective for her. And hopefully, those two start to work things out, too.

Side note: I kind of did want Meredith to go work at Pac North, though. I really think there could have been a really fun competition between the two hospitals. But now I doubt that’s going to happen. Maybe they’ll merge? I have no idea.


I’m jumping around today. I’m so sorry. If you could see the notes I took for this episode, you’d understand. They’re a total mess that I can hardly even decipher. Let’s go back a little in the episode. Right before Bailey remembers she doesn’t hate Meredith. When those doors opened and Alex and Jo walk in with an army of Meredith’s old patients? I lost it. I saw Skyler Shaye immediately and I knew what was about to happen.

Seeing all of these people in the same room was kind of magical. We had Katie Bryce, who is one of the most iconic patients on the show, we had Ray the paramedic, who is from one of my favorite episodes, Gabby was there being cute as hell, we had Robin (Mer’s supervisor for work crew), we had Shirley, which caused me to yelp again because I love The Parent Trap so much it’s like my two worlds collided AGAIN. There were lots of familiar faces there. And they all had one thing in common: they were able to be there because of Meredith.

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Image courtesy of ABC

Hearing them speak again about how much Meredith means to them was so heartwarming. This is another part of the episode that felt like a love letter to Meredith Grey. I loved it so much. Such a trip down memory lane that is hard to find on TV shows these days, because things don’t last long enough to build up such a rich history. Grey’s has so much to pull from, and who doesn’t love that nostalgic feeling? I know I eat it up.

Choosing to bring Katie Bryce and Ray back was such a smart move. I think those two patients helped define who Meredith is as a doctor. Katie is an obvious choice. Ray, on the other hand, is less obvious but had just as much of an impact on Meredith, I think. She admitted how scared she was when she climbed into that ambulance with him. She was at a turning point in her life, her relationship with Derek was shaky at best, she was still pretty new to the whole doctor thing. This was the first time she became that person in somebody’s story. Stan, Ray’s partner, dies in that ambulance and Meredith is the one to tell his wife. Once Meredith finds her and brings her to Stan, she confides in Richard that that’s all she’s ever going to be in their story. The person who handed Stan’s wife the worst day of her life. Again, it ties back into that scene from season 12. But she had to push through those feelings and save Ray’s life. And while she did it, she had to help him realize he still had a purpose. And clearly, that day stuck with Ray, too. He’s proof that Meredith leaves a mark on her patients. That they remember her just as well as she remembers them. And now they’re all in a position to help her.

tumblr_n5qnf05cu61r1i627o4_250“…if I were dying, and a surgery stood between me and death, Dr. Grey’s hands are the only ones that I’d want inside my body. Taking away her license is signing the death certificates of countless future patients. She is a light in a broken system that she will fix whether you want her to or not. She is the sun, and she is unstoppable.” – Cristina Yang

And then the letters. THE LETTERS! If you guys could have heard the gasp I let out when Alex read Cristina’s letter with “Where Does the Good Go?” playing in the background. I’m not sure how I made it, to be honest. I have a feeling this scene was the one they tried to get someone to come back for. My guess is either Sandrah Oh or Kate Walsh, and let me tell you, I would’ve lost my mind if either one of them showed up.

I think Meredith’s patients’ stories and Cristina’s letter (and the fact that Alex had letters from four more highly respected doctors ready to go, too–– hi, Callie, Arizona, April, and Addison! We miss you!) helped solidify Meredith’s case. How could the medical board listen to everything these people said and decide that she doesn’t deserve to be a doctor? They can’t. Stripping her of her license at this point would have been such a slap in the face to everyone in that room. It would be like saying they didn’t matter, or that the medical system, in all its utter brokenness, was more important than the lives Meredith has saved and will save in the future. Am I being dramatic? For sure, but I still think it’s true. That’s the message they would’ve sent.

Ashley Cordova tried to undo all the good Meredith has done by dragging up all the rules she’s broken along the way, but it didn’t work. There’s no contest between a rule and saving a life. You save the life. Every single time. And that’s exactly what Meredith Grey has been doing since we met her.


And, uh, sorry to burst the happy bubble, but I need to talk about Meredith and Andrew now. I know, I know! I’m not happy about it, either. But it has to be done.

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Image courtesy of ABC

The past several reviews, I’ve talked about how I don’t feel like Meredith is letting her relationship with Andrew grow and develop. I still think that. Even more so after this episode. In the second half of last season, Meredith’s attitude towards her relationship with Andrew was totally different than it has been this season. She was letting herself have fun with him, but I feel like ever since she got fired, she’s been pulling away. The walls are going back up and she’s not letting him in. And after I watched the scene of them on the bench, I think I uncovered another layer of this whole thing.

She tells Andrew that they won’t make it if she loses her license. I was pissed she said it, but I think I know why she said it, too. After the plane crash that ruined all of our lives, Derek’s hand was really screwed up. He went a long time without knowing if he’d ever be able to operate again. And while he was in that place of uncertainty, Meredith started to hide things from him. You know that surgery she did on that private security guard? It’s episode 4 of season 9, I think. She does this super cool surgery and doesn’t tell Derek about it. Why? Because she doesn’t want him to resent her for being able to operate while he’s benched. Sound familiar? She’s in the same situation now, except she’s the one who’s facing the possibility of never picking up a scalpel again.

After it’s solidified that she will, in fact, get to cut again, she tries to take what she said back. She said she didn’t mean it. But she did. She may have said it out of the fear of being uncertain, but I do think she meant it. And I also think she’s right.

And then we’ve got Andrew starting to question things, too. When he heard Meredith go off on Dr. Castello, he heard her really talk about Derek for the first time. He saw the flash in her eyes, he heard how angry she still is over losing him. And he can’t help but compare how she felt––and still feels––about Derek to how she feels about him.

When Nancy comes out of the conference room and tells Meredith that the board is going to recommend that she keeps her license, she gives Andrew a hug, but it’s quick. She doesn’t really include him. I mean, he goes off and stands to the side by himself while she celebrates with everyone else, for crying out loud. Meredith has not made a spot for him.

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Image courtesy of ABC

When he shows up at her house later that night, I knew what was about to happen. He’s tired of Meredith not including him. He’s tired of being the only one investing in the relationship. And he’s tired of her playing hot and cold with him. And you know what? He should be. Andrew lists off the things he’s done for her, and her response kind of pissed me off. She tells him that she didn’t ask him to do any of those things. But his response is perfect.

“I did it anyway because I love you. Because I’d do anything for you.”

Meredith will not let him love her. Again. We’ve been here before with her. I think the reason she won’t let Andrew in is totally different than the reason she wouldn’t let Derek in, though. With Derek, she’d never been loved like that before. She had no idea how to accept it. With Andrew, she’s had it and lost it. I’ve said this before, and I’m going to say it again: she’s protecting herself from that kind of loss.

When he brings up Derek, Meredith goes on the defensive immediately. Which, okay, I get it. But Andrew wasn’t comparing her love for Derek to her love for him. He knows she’s not going to love them the same way. That would be impossible. But what he is comparing is the respect she had for Derek to the respect she doesn’t show him. That’s the root of it all. He doesn’t feel like she sees him as a partner. When Andrew asks her if a small part of her wonders if he’ll ever be her equal, she doesn’t answer him. What does that tell us? I honestly have no idea. I think she’s confused and terrified, and Andrew just wants to be let in and valued. And he’s going to walk away from her until she figures out if that’s something she can do.

But please don’t freak out. I really do think they’re going to make things work. He needed to say these things to Meredith, and she needs to understand how he feels before anything can move forward in their relationship.  They both love each other, but Meredith just needs to figure out how to let herself really go all-in again. She needs to remember that being in love, that being loved like that, is worth the pain that inevitably comes with it.


Dear God. I’m still not finished. I’ll try to move quickly through the next few things.

First up: Schmitt being the one who turned Meredith in? I did not see that coming. It was an interesting choice having him be the one who did it, though. He clearly looks up to Meredith and respects her tremendously. He’s one of the most lovable characters ever. You just want to root for him. But now we know that this whole shit show is because he went to Bailey about Gabby’s hospital bracelet. Ouch. To be fair, though, he just thought the hospital made a mistake. This is going to set up a big arc for him, I think. I mean, Helm is probably his best friend, and she literally idolizes Meredith Grey. How will she handle the fact that Schmitt is the reason Meredith got fired? (Except I don’t think he’s the reason she got fired. Meredith is the reason Meredith got fired. I’m speaking from Helm’s POV here.)

Okay, moving on. Jackson and Maggie. I yelled at the TV so loudly when they started leaning in. You guys know where I stand on them, I think, and I don’t want to get into it again. But I do think a lot of old feelings came rushing back for both of them because this whole thing with Sabi forced their worlds to collide. Maggie’s blaming herself, Richard is excluding Catherine from being involved in his family’s grief, and Jackson is just… there. Also, we didn’t really see Maggie and Richard interact with each other in this episode. I know she blames herself, but what about Richard? Does he blame her for Sabi’s death?

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Image courtesy of ABC

Last thing! Amelia. As quickly as I recognized Dr. Castello’s voice, I also knew he was probably going to die. Amelia being the one to find the hemorrhage in his brain was a cruel twist of fate, but one I’ve come to expect from this show. While Tom is operating on him, she tells Link that she’s had dreams about the day he dies. (Which, same.) She tells him she’s fantasized about sticking a scalpel through his brain, paralyzing him, and forcing him to lie in a bed and think about everything he took from her and Meredith. I don’t blame her at all for that, either. I’m sure if it were me, I would feel the same exact way. I do think, though, that if this storyline were to have taken place even 2 seasons ago, Amelia would’ve demanded to be the one who operated. She would have wanted to stand over his brain and know she had the ability to cause irreparable harm. Who wouldn’t? And it shows tremendous growth in her as a person that she chooses to pass it off. She’s even proud of herself because she knows her reaction would have been totally different in the past. She knows she’s grown. I loved how giddy she was when she got back to the hotel and announced to Meredith that she didn’t kill him. That was some nice comedic relief in such an emotional episode.


Okay. Whew. I think I’m finished. That is the longest review I’ve ever written. By like, 1,000 words. If you made it all the way down here, thank you! If not, oh well.

xoxo, J

Music from 1608:

“Extraordinary measures can have a cost. You may be alive, but life may not be the same as you remember. Your body may not move as easily. Feelings may be gone. And it can take a long time to recover. There’s a reason it’s a difficult decision. You just have to decide if it’s all worth it.” – Meredith Grey

 

 

Grey’s Anatomy 16.06 Episode Review

I love it when Grey’s night and Halloween collide. It hasn’t happened since season 10, and I’ve missed the extra level of weird. Also, if you dressed up as a Grey’s character, I want to see! Reply to my tweet (that most of you probably clicked on to read this) with a picture!

Season 16, Episode 6: Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard
(Written by Julie Wong; Directed by Pete Chatmon)

“Researchers have theroized that nightmares are the brain’s way of processing unsettling events of the past. Others believe nightmares are how our subconscious mind prepares us to deal with our real-life fears. Either way, they agree that nightmares are most commonly brought on by one thing: stress.” – Meredith Grey

Let’s start with Link and Amelia this week. They’re so cute I can hardly stand it. Things have been going surprisingly well for these two lately, so it was time to shake it up a little bit. Enter Link’s parents from hell. These two… whew. They are a lot. And they are very good at making literally everything about them. Not only are they making Link’s “cancer-versary” about them––which Link expected––but now they’ve made the baby’s arrival about them, too. Amazing!

But I actually think this means good things for Amelia and Link as parents. At the beginning of this season, Link talked about being scared of history repeating itself in regards to his childhood cancer. Totally understandable. But I also think maybe there was a little fear of becoming his parents mixed in with that. Growing up with parents who hate each other, I’m sure, takes a huge toll on the kid. Link even says he felt forced to take sides, which would have strained his relationship with both parents. And spending Christmas day on a plane? No way. He wants better for his kid, and I think there’s a voice in the back of his head telling him he won’t be able to do better. And I’m sure that voice gets louder when he’s actually around his parents.

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Image via ABC

Do I think he’s going to parent anything like how he was parented? Absolutely not. Even if things don’t work out between him and Amelia, I have no doubt that those two will raise that kid as a team. (If they don’t work out, I will also be sad.)

Which brings me to my next point: Teddy and Owen being a team. It’s refreshing to see Owen treat the woman he’s with like she’s something other than garbage. Cheers for that! Also, Teddy as a mom? Hilarious and I love it. She is so funny right now, and I think it’s because she’s so clueless about so much when it comes to babies.  I’m kind of waiting for the fallout here because things are going to well for them right now. After seeing the promo for next week’s episode, I have a feeling that things are about to get rough for Owen and Teddy, and probably even Amelia and Link depending on how Amelia handles things.

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Image via ABC

Anyway. Back to Teddy and Owen being good right now. So far, I’ve seen two major Grey’s themes pop up in this episode and they are 1) being afraid of becoming your parent(s), and 2) making Halloween costumes. Remember when Meredith and Derek were adopting Zola, Meredith was listing off reasons she was nervous about being a bad mom? One of them was that she didn’t know how to sew a costume. Now we’ve got Teddy stressing about not having time to make homemade costumes for Leo and Allison. But the zombie babies? Come on! I loved it. And I think I loved it because of how horrified everyone was by it. Teddy tried, you guys! She tried so hard!

And then we’ve got Bailey and all her hormones. Which I find absolutely delightful. She’s so different with this pregnancy than she was with Tuck, and I think that might be freaking her out almost as much as being pregnant again. In season 2, her pregnancy wasn’t much of a storyline. It just kind of was what it was. This time, though, we get to see a lot more of it. Like the fact that she cries over everything now. It’s so unlike the Bailey we all know, which is what makes it so exciting and fun to watch.

And the fact that she’s now got this new trick to try to keep herself from crying? Another layer of comedy. Which, by the way, this technique? It sometimes works. I do it when I’m angry and about to cry. It occasionally helps. Other times, I probably look like this:

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Image via ABC

And the reason Bailey looks like that? It is the same reason I, too, was shoving my tongue against the roof of my mouth. Anytime Tom talks about David (which does not happen often) gets me. I feel like Tom has built up such a wall that he’s trapped himself inside it. And it’s been so long that whatever is inside that wall is his whole world. The stuff outside? The things he’s protecting himself from? They don’t exist anymore. But every once in a while, something manages to sneak in. Something reminds him, and no matter how hard he tries to push it away, that memory works its way back into the front of his mind. Apparently, Halloween is one of those things.

You can see it on his face when he talks about David and the Storm Trooper costume how much he’s hurting. I think this moment between him and Bailey might actually be a stepping stone to the two of them becoming… not friends, but colleagues who can get along. Because now that Bailey knows about this part of Tom’s life, she also knows that the rest of it––the cocky, the arrogance––isn’t his whole personality. In fact, those things may be protecting him from everything else that’s gone wrong in his life. Tom is about as alone as you can be right now. His son is gone, Teddy just rode off into the sunset with Owen, I’m sure he had grown somewhat attached to the idea of Allison and she’s gone… he’s alone. Being an ass at work is a defense mechanism. And he’s good at it. I would love to see a flashback of Tom with David… to get a glimpse of who he used to be.

(Side note: when Tom was describing the Storm Trooper costume and Bailey knows exactly what he’s talking about and even chimes in with “episode 4”? That is how I feel when someone brings up Grey’s. I know exactly what episode you’re talking about before you even finish your thought.)

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Image via ABC

And real quick, before I leave Grey Sloan for this week, I want to talk about Levi. And that sunflower costume he made out of a trauma gown? Stop it right now! But the costume isn’t what I want to talk about. It’s the fact that Levi’s mom told him not to post a picture of him and Nico because his family would see it. Oh. That seems… uh… not great. Remember the “shame spiral” he and Nico talked about when they were brand new? I’m pretty sure it was during the windstorm when they were trapped in that ambulance. Yeah. It seems like Levi’s mom is now the one spiraling. It breaks my heart. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that she doesn’t want Levi posting because she doesn’t want their family finding out he’s gay. I’m wondering if maybe she’s accepted it privately, but not publicly. We saw her interact with Nico briefly, but right after Levi tells her Nico is his boyfriend, she leaves. Is she embarrassed to have a gay son? Maybe. I hate it, but I have friends who experienced that with their parents. I have no idea how it’s going to go, but I would like to see Levi and his mom (and maybe even Nico) have a heart-to-heart. I know there are a lot of people watching who would love to see their lives reflected on TV like that… something to make them feel less alone.

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Image via ABC

And now we’re shifting gears and I’m moving over to Pac North. Things are not going so great over there. Shocking, I know. Jo honestly fits right in dressed like a corpse. And her trying to scare Alex? Love it. I especially loved Alex telling her nothing is scarier than his real life. But to be honest, I’m really glad Alex is having so much shit thrown at him this season. The character growth in him is astonishing. If it were Bailey or Webber having to deal with this, nobody would be surprised when they handled it. But Alex? We’ve never seen him in a position of this much authority. He’s being thrown every curveball possible, and he’s working at what I feel like is possibly the worst hospital to ever exist, and he’s handling everything so well. 

In this episode, he’s dealing with a literal graveyard. Only this show, you guys. And Webber’s reaction? Also classic. He didn’t even seem surprised. Just kind of shrugged it off like, “yeah that explains a lot.” You know it’s bad when a mass grave makes things make sense.

And we even got a vampire wedding! Twilight is quaking. I kind of expected this to happen when Jo walked out in her wedding dress, to be honest. Alex got this look on his face, and I just knew it was coming. What I didn’t see coming? The word “pregnant” to come out of Jo’s mouth. I gasped. And then I felt like a fool. Because why would the one couple everyone wants to have a baby be included in this pregnancy outbreak? That’s not how things work on Grey’s. We all should know better by now! I did, however, laugh after I got over the initial irritation. That definitely felt like a little way of poking fun at everyone having babies this season.

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Image via ABC

And what about the whole Meredith Grey going to jail thing? Yeah, that. Maybe I should start talking about it now. First of all, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try to find a red prison jumpsuit for Halloween this year. I didn’t have enough time, though, so I stuck with the scrubs. Disappointing, but what can you do? Anyway. Meredith Grey went to jail. It actually happened. And you know what? I’m glad it did. She deserved it. I’ve talked about why I feel that way in other reviews, so I’m not going to get into it much here, but I will say this about it: I think this little stint in jail was good for her. She’s now faced consequences like she never has before, and moving forward, she (hopefully) won’t make the same mistakes.

Even while she sat in a jail cell, though, Meredith was still privileged in ways other people could only dream of being. Take her cellmate, Paula, for example. She chose to leave her two kids at home alone (while they slept!) so that she could go to work. If she didn’t go to work, that’s money lost. She needs that money to provide for her kids. It’s an impossible decision, but one so many people have to make all the time. And now she’s sitting in jail, unable to afford bail, while her kids are in foster care and she waits for a hearing. With a public defendant. Things do not look good for her. Meanwhile, Meredith is sitting there complaining about her medical license being up for review. Read the room, Mer.

Also, just real quick, did anyone else get a little panicky when Paula said Mer’s snoring sounded like a semi barreling towards her? Or was that just me? 1121 really messed me up, you guys.

Zola
Image via ABC

Things for Andrew and the kids aren’t so hot, either. Especially Zola. She had a rough Halloween this year, didn’t she? I love that she’s old enough now to have actual storylines, and this is a big one. The wings were my first clue of what was to come. As soon as I saw them, I knew Derek would come up a lot. I’m actually really glad she showed some hostility towards Andrew, to be honest. Not because I don’t love him, because I do. But because it would have been wildly unrealistic to have her just be totally okay with things. She’s old enough to understand what’s going on between him and her mom. And she was young when Derek died. I can’t even begin to make sense of the timeline in the Grey’s universe, but I’m guessing she was between 4 and 5, so the memories she has of him? Probably already fading a little. That has to be terrifying for her.

I actually think a scene between Amelia and Zola talking about that would be amazing.  Amelia was five-ish when her dad died, so that’s something they have in common. Plus, we never really see them interact with each other. I think that could be a really powerful scene about a child’s grief and how that grief evolves as they grow. Because it isn’t ever going to go away.

Anyway. Back to Zola and Andrew. Sometime last season, Meredith asked Andrew if he even liked kids. That conversation ended with him telling her that her only problem would be her kids liking him more than they like her. Well, that’s clearly not the case with Zola right now. Andrew is not used to kids not liking him, so this is probably throwing him for a loop. Not that he didn’t expect it, I’m sure he did. But expecting something to happen and it actually happening are two very different things. He’s never dealt with this before, and neither has Zola. They’re both new at navigating this kind of relationship.

It’s Jackson who gives Andrew the advice he needs. Which was kind of surprising, actually. It makes me wonder where he got that from. Probably his own experiences with his dad leaving? If Catherine dated after his dad walked out, he probably went through emotions similar to what Zola’s feeling right now. Jackson tells Andrew that kids always have a reason for acting a certain way and that it’s just a matter of figuring out how to get it out of them. He did it with their patient by acting like Alex (which was so pure, by the way!) and now Andrew has to do it with Zola.

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Image via ABC

“I don’t want to forget him.” – Zola Grey-Shepherd

And there it is. She’s terrified she’s going to forget her dad. It broke my heart. I saw a lot of people on Twitter getting really mad over the fact that she and Andrew had this moment in the OR gallery. And I don’t understand it one bit. They needed to have this conversation. Andrew needed to reassure Zola that he’s not there to replace Derek and to help her remember him. He told Zola the story of Isaac’s tumor (also very pure) and it helped, I think. Probably not a lot, but it was something. Andrew didn’t even know Derek, but he still gave Zola what he had to give her. He’s trying.

I think this moment between Zola and Andrew was absolutely needed. Zola’s been asking Meredith about finding love again and getting remarried for several seasons now, but it never happened. Now it is. Even if it’s something she wants for her mom, that doesn’t make it easy for her. And I’m sure it’ll get harder if things between Andrew and Meredith ever start to get serious. Because while Andrew is not there to replace Derek in any way, he will become a father-figure to those kids. Bailey probably doesn’t remember Derek at all, Ellis wasn’t even born before he died, so Zola’s really alone in this. It sucks and it makes me want to hug her forever.

And this raises another point. Zola and Meredith need to have a conversation. And I think it needs to be just the two of them. Like I said, Bailey and Ellis are young enough that they aren’t in the same position as Zola. This transition isn’t going to be as rough for them. Zola needs reassurance from Meredith that Derek isn’t going to disappear, that he’s always going to be her dad. She can’t get that from Andrew because he didn’t know Derek. He didn’t love Derek completely and then lose him. Zola and Meredith did. Meredith knows what it’s like to make room for someone new, and Zola needs to know it’s possible for her, too. She needs to see that it’s possible for her to love her dad and miss him while also having Andrew there and stepping into a new role. That’s the kind of reassurance and comfort nobody can offer Zola except for Meredith. And I hope she gets it.

I’ve got a few more things to say about Meredith before I wrap this one up. People aren’t mad at her and disciplining her for what she was trying to repair. Nobody thinks she was wrong for that. Even the jail guard told her to “keep fighting the good fight” as she was leaving. The issue she was trying to tackle is an issue everyone (with a heart) agrees on. The medical system is broken and insurance is too hard to obtain. It’s ridiculous. What they’re mad at her for and why she’s being punished is because of how she handled everything. I’ve been saying it for months. And I think she’s finally fully realized it, too. Thank God. I think maybe her conversation with Paula kind of woke her up a little bit. She realized how much she had going for her, how much privilege she has, and that she acted like the rules didn’t apply to her. I think if a judge were to ask her if she regrets what she did, her answer would be different now. Maybe something more along the lines of, “I regret how I approached the situation, but I don’t regret trying to fix something that’s so broken.”

xoxo, J

Music from 16.06:

Bigger Than Us – Hudson Thames
Castles – Freya Ridings
How You Like Me Now – Taki Waki

“Sometimes your worst nightmare comes true, but you find it’s really nothing to worry about. Occasionally you discover that what you most dread is really a blessing. And your life is better because you persevered despite your fears. But sometimes, your worst nightmare is truly scary. And it feels like it’s never going to end. That’s when support from friends and family is vital. You want to surround yourself with people who will wake you up from your nightmares and help you live your wildest dreams.” – Meredith Grey

 

 

Grey’s Anatomy 16.04 Episode Review

Season 16, Episode 4: It’s Raining Men (Written by Mark Driscoll; Directed by Michael Watkins)

Well, this episode was certainly dramatic, wasn’t it? Shit has truly hit the fan for a lot of people in the Grey’s universe. We’ve even got patients refusing treatment at Grey Sloan and opting for Pac North instead. Twilight zone, is that you?

“If you’re in an OR and it looks like the sky is falling, that’s because, sometimes, unfortunately, it is. I was once doing a laparoscopic appendectomy, perfectly routine, when out of nowhere, my patient developed an air embolus. Carbon dioxide that was filling his abdomen leached into his circulation. His blood pressure plummeted as the air bubble went to his heart, causing utter chaos. I started CPR, trying to keep blood flowing to his brain. We placed a central line as quickly as we could, but before we knew it, his lungs were filling with fluid. My routine lap appy was now a case of multi-organ failure. And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop it.” – Meredith Grey

Let’s break it down, shall we?

This list. Grey’s List. It’s causing all kinds of problems. One of them being Meredith didn’t even write her article yet, but here we are––90,000 likes in––with a PR nightmare for Grey Sloan. I was a journalism student in college. My degree is in public relations. This episode had me all kinds of worked up, mostly because I spent four years learning how to deal with stuff like this. And the doctors? I’m not really sure they dealt with it how they should have. Some of them had the right idea, but the execution just wasn’t there. But that’s a discussion for later. Right now, let’s talk about how Meredith got here.

We’ve known for a few weeks that she was going to write some exposé of the medical system. We knew it was coming. But I don’t think any of us expected it to go the way it did. I’d be lying if I sat here and told you all that I was glad Meredith decided to write something. While I didn’t expect her to just keep her mouth shut and do what she was told, I was not particularly interested in seeing her self-destruct. And if you ask me, that’s exactly what she did.

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Image via ABC

But I really don’t think it was intentional. A few reviews ago, I said that Meredith tends to think with her heart instead of her head. She is empathetic almost to a fault. She gets herself into trouble because she feels things so deeply. And while that is an admirable quality, it has also put her and a lot of other people in an impossible situation now.

Meredith is not totally to blame here, though. Whatever journalist published this royally screwed all of our doctors over. In the last episode, Meredith was reading off her pitches to Andrew, so we kind of knew the direction she wanted to take this article in. But what ended up happening instead? Her list of pitches is what got published, turning a well-intended article into something that has a very real chance of causing irreparable damage to multiple hospitals. And don’t EVEN get me going on that headline. It was a total clickbait headline. It had nothing to do with the content at all, and now people are literally choosing Pac North over Grey Sloan. But clickbait headlines happen all the time in real life, and I’m kind of glad it happened on the show. In real life, so many people never read beyond the headline. I do it sometimes. I’m sure you do it sometimes. (And some people even share articles based off the headline alone. I hope you don’t do that.) Seeing Meredith’s words being taken so extremely out of context and paired with a misleading headline is a good lesson for us as viewers: the headlines are not the story. A lot of times, they’re going to distract you from the actual point. Don’t fall into that trap.

Sorry, I definitely could go on a full rant about this. But I won’t. Back to the episode.

So, what does Meredith do now that control has been yanked from her? The article that she never even had the chance to write is wreaking havoc. If I had it my way, she’d go to work crew and stay the whole time and then she’d figure out a way to explain what happened to Bailey. And she’d force her to listen. Does Bailey have a right to be mad? 100 percent, yes. But do I think Meredith deserves the chance to really explain? Also yes. This was not what Meredith intended to happen, and I think, deep down, Bailey knows that, too. Those two need to have a serious heart-to-heart sometime soon.

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Image via ABC

“I love Grey Sloan. I own Grey Sloan. I wouldn’t write anything to tear it down.” – Meredith Grey

But is that what happened? Nope. If you paid attention to the background actors at all, you probably noticed that everyone is reading this list. All of ’em. And somehow, Bailey seems to be the last to find out about it. When she does? Shit. Now she has to go into damage control mode. Doctors are quitting, patients are canceling surgeries and refusing treatment… it’s a mess. It kind of seems that Bailey is alone, though, when it comes to alienating Meredith. The other doctors are rallying around her, for the most part. Alex even laughs about it… probably because it’s distracting people from the shitshow he now runs.

But I also think maybe Alex is missing the point. When Richard brings the list up, Alex shrugs it off, saying, “that place kicked us out.” But it isn’t about Grey Sloan. It’s about the medical system as a whole. The hospital isn’t broken, the system is. And Alex is just over here happy that someone else is getting the bad press for once.

Meanwhile, back at Grey Sloan, Bailey has named DeLuca chief resident. I did not see that one coming. It kind of seems like Bailey’s punishing him with the job, actually. Since people are now quitting and getting fired left and right, the schedule is all kinds of screwed up. And now it’s DeLuca’s mess to fix. Will there be a new resentment in his relationship with Meredith? Probably. We even saw a glimpse of it at the end of the episode. And I know a lot of you are not going to like what I’m about to say… but I agree with DeLuca to an extent on this. Hear me out.

Andrew
Image via ABC

Meredith’s speech about not being able to sit on her mountain of privilege and do nothing was amazing. I do not, in any way, want to take away from that. But. There are better ways for her to accomplish what she’s trying to accomplish. First of all, leaving work crew when she still had five hours left? Not the move. She leaves because she wants to go talk to Bailey. Yes, absolutely, she should want to talk to Bailey. I already said I want the two of them to talk it out. But, at this point, what would waiting five hours have changed? Nothing.

But she’s not thinking that way right now. Right now, the only thing Meredith is interested in is saving her relationship with the person who taught her how to be a doctor. And that can’t wait. I get the urgency she’s feeling, I do. She’s just managed to burn a major bridge between herself and Bailey, and the need to fix it is so overwhelming. And then she gets to the hospital, and Jo confirms what she’s been dreading: Bailey’s pissed as hell and blaming Meredith for the destruction.

When Meredith went into Bailey’s office, I braced myself to be heartbroken. And I was. Meredith is desperate to make Bailey understand that she had nothing to do with that list being published the way it was. I think Bailey knows that, but I also don’t think she’s got it in her right now to forgive anything. Meredith tells her she’s tried calling the publishers but they won’t budge and refuse to take it down. She offers to write a retraction. She’s doing everything she can think of to make it right. But then Bailey says it. “The damage has been done.” 

 

 

 

And I broke. Seeing these two fighting like this shatters me. It shatters me because I don’t know what side to be on. I feel like I’m straddling the line, unable to choose one side or the other. Because I don’t think there is a right side. Meredith’s intentions are noble and pure, but Bailey’s anger is understandable and we can’t fault her for it. Meredith made a mess and now Bailey’s the one trying desperately to clean it up. And it’s not getting better with time––it’s getting worse.

I think, ultimately, Bailey feels betrayed by Meredith. She all but tells her that in her office. Meredith is the surgeon she is largely thanks to all the time Bailey put into teaching her. And now Meredith has been fired and it feels like she’s bringing the hospital down with her. And while I bet Bailey is on the same side when it comes to the issues Mer’s exposing, it’s the way she’s handling it that’s making everything so tough.

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Image via ABC

Which is also where DeLuca’s head is at right now. He’s been supportive and wonderful, but this episode kind of sends him over the edge. Meredith leaving work crew early opens her up to even more repercussions than the ones she’s already facing. DeLuca is frustrated with her because he knows her. He knows her heart is in the right place, and he’s so insanely frustrated with how she’s handling things. And I don’t buy for a second that he doesn’t know her like Meredith seems to think. He totally understands where her head is, he just doesn’t like it. Which… same. In the season 15 finale, Meredith tells DeLuca he’s got to develop some sense for self-preservation. And now DeLuca is telling her the same thing. Because, like I said, right now? Meredith is in full self-destruction mode. And if you ask me, DeLuca is the only one in this pair who seems to have any kind of preservation senses turned on. (And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go into hiding.)

I’m back. And I’m not finished.

Let’s bring Jackson and Koracick into the conversation.

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Image via ABC

So, remember how I said at the beginning of the review that my degree is in PR? Let’s talk about public relations for a second. What Koracick was doing with that patient was PR for the hospital. Crisis management. It’s good press after something catastrophic happens and taints the image of a person, organization, or business. And we all know Grey Sloan could use some crisis management right about now. What Koracick is doing is trying to distract people from the list by highlighting the good that happens inside the hospital. To show that, publicity is required. It isn’t some dirty game he’s playing. It’s a genuine way to turn the spotlight back onto the things that matter. Now, is there such a thing as bad PR? For sure. People who say that isn’t true are lying to you. That list, for example, is bad PR. Which is why Koracick is doing everything he can to switch the focus.

And what does Jackson do? The opposite of what he should have done. Like Meredith, his heart was in the right place here, but he managed to screw some people over in the process. He could have easily taken the little girl’s parents aside and explained things to them. They agreed to be filmed. They weren’t tricked into anything. Did Koracick bribe them with free surgery? Maybe. But I also think he would’ve helped them regardless of their answer to being filmed. He may be an ass to a lot of people, but not his patients.

So now that Jackson has taken that PR opportunity away from the hospital, the younger doctors are even more worried about their futures. In the OR, Levi calls Jackson out, basically throwing in his face what he just denied the hospital.

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Image via ABC

“If you’d have let Dr. Koracick film it, it might’ve really helped this place. / You already have a career. Your future is safe no matter what. Not all of us have that luxury.” – Levi Schmitt

So, yeah. Jackson’s heart was in the right place. Wanting to protect a family’s privacy. Noble––just like what Meredith’s doing. But the way he went about it? Not great. There’s a conversation about privilege we need to have here. Meredith and Jackson both came into their careers as doctors with a one-up. They are both related to famous, highly respected surgeons. And now they’re both famous surgeons themselves, well established, successful, and in positions of authority at a huge hospital. They don’t need good press to be okay professionally. Doctors like Schmitt and the other interns, though, need Grey Sloan to stay afloat and have an overall positive image. Their careers depend on it. Could they go find jobs at other hospitals? Sure. But they shouldn’t have to.

At the end of the day, I do think Jackson screwed up here. He saved the girl and that’s amazing and wonderful, but he denied Grey Sloan the PR boost it so desperately needs right now. He could have easily done both of those things. But he ignored the headline problem because he could. Kind of like Meredith ignored the rules because she thought she could, too.

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Image via ABC

The sky really is falling, isn’t it? Damn. The only person who seems to be totally happy right now is Amelia. Which is strange. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad she’s finally catching a break. She has been through it. And she and Link just keep getting better and better each episode. I love it. And LINK LOVES AMELIA! When Link was sitting with his patient after telling him his girlfriend didn’t survive, I think it kind of hit him out of nowhere. The holy-shit-I-love-her-what-do-I-do face was there. And he tells her! While she gravity blankets him. Total swoon moment, you guys.

But seriously, how heartbreaking was that patient? A guy literally fell out of the sky, managed to hit the exact spot these two teenagers were, one gets a blood bath and the other dies? That is not a good day. And it leads Teddy to a little bit of a breakdown, which I think we’ve all had at some point or another. In the OR, Teddy and Maggie are desperately trying to save Alicia, Helm is going on and on about Meredith, asking Maggie to tell her how much she loves her and appreciates the article. When things start to go south, Teddy kind of freaks out, and understandably so. There are lots of feelings in Grey Sloan right now. And lots of questions that don’t have an easy answer.

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Image via ABC

“It’s not just the medical system that’s broken. It’s the whole world. Why’d the stowaway have to fall out of a plane? And how bad was his life that he had to climb in the plane to begin with? And why did this girl, who could have been anywhere in the world, been in the worst place possible? The whole world is broken. Now I have a baby and it just makes it so much scarier.” – Teddy Altman

She’s right. It isn’t just the medical system that’s so messed up. This world is a terrifying place to live in right now. It’s so screwed up that the idea of trying to fix it is debilitatingly overwhelming for most of us. (And for Meredith, too, I think. Which is probably another reason why she didn’t think things through and just went for it.) It’s almost impossible to look at something as shattered as our world and even have the slightest idea of how to start rebuilding it. It makes a person feel useless and helpless and completely inadequate, and I imagine to a doctor, those feelings are maybe the worst you could feel.

Other things that happened that I have less to say about but still want to mention:

  • I like Vic. I like Maggie. In a different world, I really think the two of them could be amazing friends. Maybe somebody will figure out a way to make that happen?
  • Bailey being pregnant again? I honestly don’t even know what to say about this because it was totally out of left field. It has the potential to be a nice humor boost since things are so tense right now. Hopefully, that’s the route this storyline is on and not something that’s going to shatter me four episodes from now. We’ll see!
  • Alex trying to recruit Owen was so funny to me. I tweeted about it, and I can’t really think of a more eloquent way to put it, so here:

And that’s where I’m going to stop this week. I’m actually kind of exhausted after this review. It’s not easy being hard on Meredith, but I had to do it. Hopefully you read all the way down to here to read this part: I love Meredith Grey. I want to see her succeed and be happy. But that doesn’t mean I agree with everything she does. She’s human and she screws up. What I want to see now is how she rebuilds.

Music From 1604:

New New – Club Yoko
I’ll Stand By You – Natalie Taylor
Long Long Time – William Redwood (not on Spotify)

xoxo J

“After multiple transfusions, emergent dialysis, and the fastest central line I’ve done to this day, my patient pulled through. But it taught an important lesson. There is no such thing as a routine surgery. Every time I step into an OR, I’m ready for the worst. It’s not a guarantee against bad outcomes, but it does mean, when the curveballs come, when the sky starts to fall, hopefully you’re less likely to get completely knocked off your feet.” – Meredith Grey

Grey’s Anatomy 16.03 Episode Review

You guys. I have been excited for this episode since they announced that Holly and Alyssa were going to be in it. I used to watch Charmed with my mom when it was still on the air, and I was giddy when I found out they were guest-starring as sisters. I don’t want to say anything review-ish here, but I will say that I was not at all disappointed with this mini-reunion between my favorite magical sisters.

Season 16, Episode 3: Reunited (written by Andy Reaser & directed by Michael Medico)

“In the earliest days of medicine––we’re going back thousands of years––doctors spoke of healing as a reunion. When we close a patient, connect severed tendons, repair a liver, we’re just reuniting the tissue. Restoring what was there before the illness. Ideally, it’s a happy reunion. But things get tricky when we fail to make the right connection. Or worse, when we reunite two things that were best kept apart.” – Meredith Grey

You want to know what I immediately noticed in this episode? I’m pretty sure George O’Malley was in it! For real! The footage that kicked off the episode looked an awful lot like the footage from season 3, episode 7 when the guys all went camping. Anyway. That isn’t really relevant to the review I’m trying to write, but I had to mention it. So, let’s get going!


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Image via ABC

Jackson and Vic. How do you guys feel about it? Because I kind of like them. I know we’ve hardly even seen them together, but so far, their dynamic is really playful and fun.

I know a lot of you are really upset about this new pairing and are super loyal to Maggie and Jackson as a couple, but I’m really enjoying watching Jackson and Vic get to know each other. A lot of people are also upset that they (Jackson and Vic) both seemed to move on so fast, but I’m really not. Part of me thinks I don’t get super attached to couples (or upset when they move on) because I want to write for TV. Don’t get me wrong, there are couples I love and want to last forever and couples I really don’t. But what I’m saying is this: I understand that the drama has to be there and I never expect anyone to stay together. I enjoy (or don’t) couples while I can and prepare myself for the moment they’re both with other people or one of them is dead. Because I know the odds are that it’s coming.

Both Jackson and Vic had super complicated relationships that just ended, so I don’t think something easy and fun is a bad thing for either one of them. Maggie and Jackson exploded and things are not good between them right now… at all. Vic had to keep her relationship with Ripley a secret for so long on Station 19, and by the time people figured it out, he died. Am I surprised Vic seems so okay? A little. But I’m sure we will see more of her fighting with the two emotions––having just lost someone she really loved and the possibility of finding someone new––in the future. I have a feeling that will be a major theme for her when Station 19 comes back on.

I also love the fact that Jackson seems to have met his match when it comes to the level of outdoors-y. Also, Vic moved a freaking tree. Like a badass. And that exam room scene? Hot damn. Honestly, I really expected Maggie to walk by the door when that was going on, and thank god she didn’t. That would have been a mess.

But what is Maggie up to? Oh, you know, just knowing everybody’s business again. Why is it that she’s always the one to know somebody’s pregnant? First Teddy and now Amelia? At least this time she’s keeping the secret FOR Amelia and not FROM her. That’s a plus.

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Image via ABC

Maybe it’s a good thing she’s got something good to distract her from thinking about just how livid she is at Jackson. Not that she’s forgetting about him… oh no. She’s dreaming about him. In the dream, she’s putting herself up against Vic. Comparing herself to her. Vic is the “hot firefighter” mascot, Jackson is on the football team, and Maggie is just… in middle school.  She’s creating scenarios where Jackson picks someone “better” than her. And I’m really not into that. I get why she’s doing it, but I hate seeing her do this to herself. And I really don’t want it to come between her and Vic, because I think they could actually be friends. Also, I think it would be kind of shitty to see two badass, amazing black women hating each other because of a guy… so there’s that.

Maggie is so insecure when it comes to her dating life. At work, she sees herself as totally capable and one of the best there is. But when it comes to dating? I think she assumes people see her the same way they did in school: too young, too weird, and super awkward. You know what I’d LOVE to see? Maggie in therapy. I think if she sits down and really revisits her younger self and starts to change the way she looks at herself, she would be so much happier in all areas of her life. I think everyone would benefit from therapy, but Maggie’s self-image issues would be something really amazing to watch her work through on TV. Imagine all the young kids watching who may see themselves reflected? And to see her actively working to learn to love herself? That would be a really powerful thing. I would have loved to see something like that when I was 15.

tenorSpeaking of therapy, Jo is doing so well since coming back to work! Do I think we’ve seen the last bout of dark and twisty for her? No. But right now, she is absolutely killing it. She’s a full-fledged attending now, and I just noticed that she’s the first doctor since Meredith’s class that we’ve seen go from intern to attending. She didn’t die before throwing on the navy scrubs. I feel like this is cause for celebration, don’t you? 

When Jo goes in to round on her patient, the first thing I did was squeal. Because it was Chessy! We got Charmed AND The Parent Trap in this episode! The second thing I did was laugh because Cheesy-but-not was zero percent interested in having anyone else but Meredith Grey do her surgery. I laughed because I knew that Jo could, without a doubt, perform the surgery and also because I figured she’d find a way to get Meredith in that OR.

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Image via ABC

Before I get to the surgery, though, let me talk about what’s going on with Meredith right now. She’s so flustered and annoyed. It’s delightful. I love the dichotomy between the seriousness of the insurance issue and the lightheartedness with which they’re treating Mer’s community service. It’s fun without downplaying the root of the problem. And the car scene with Meredith and Andrew? So cute! I loved how Mer was basically pitching article titles to Andrew, who was more than happy to listen to them. It’s also funny that Mer is living vicariously through him, even though his days at work aren’t much better than hers on the side of the road. I think this whole insurance fraud thing is making them a stronger couple, actually. 

Also, please tell me you all recognized the hat she’s got on. That is one of my favorite episodes ever. I’ve been holding out for another baseball episode for years now and I’m not giving up on the dream anytime soon. I’m willing it into existence.

Back to Chessy. I mean Shirley. She came to Grey Sloan for Meredith Grey to operate on her. Remember in the last review, I talked about how people come to that hospital for her? Now we’re seeing it. Shirley would rather roll the dice than have someone else operate on her. So what does Jo do? She makes it happen because she’s a warrior queen. (You’re welcome, CamillaLNews.) She gets Meredith into that OR come hell or high water. So Meredith is doing roadside FaceTime surgery now.

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Image via ABC

Dr. Bailey was still hostile and basically ignored Meredith the entire time, but I felt like it was progress. Until she literally hung up on her. Did you catch the face Meredith made when it happened? It kind of broke my heart. Her entire career, Meredith has looked up to Bailey. She wants to impress her. I also think Mer desperately wants Bailey to be proud of her. Not because she needs the affirmation, but because she’s been with her for so long. Bailey raised her from a baby surgeon to one of the best in the country. And disappointing her is the last thing Meredith ever wanted to do. She can’t regret what she did, but I do think that she wishes with everything she’s got that Bailey would be on her side. In season 9, when Bailey was dealing with all that CDC stuff, Meredith said to Jackson that they “stand by [their] doctors” and I get the vibe that that’s what she wants now. Everyone is standing by her except the woman she learned so much from. Of course that hurts.

Just like it hurts Bailey to watch her baby break a rule so big she’s basically left no option but to fire her.

And then we’ve got Quadri, who is saying everything I’ve been saying since the first episode of the season. And then what happens? She gets fired, too. I did not see that one coming at all. But the little speech she gave to Bailey was pretty badass and ballsy, wasn’t it?

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Image via ABC

“I put everything into matching here. Into working with her. And you fired her… We didn’t come her for Dr. Koracick or Karev or Avery, Dr. Bailey. We didn’t come here for you. We all had our choice in programs but we picked this one––I picked this one––and it wasn’t to watch Meredith Grey on a TV screen.” – Dahlia Quadri

 

Let’s talk about something happier. Like Bertie and Soyoung seeing each other again after 60 years apart. That was so. pure. I almost couldn’t handle it. I picked up pretty instantly that they knew each other because Bertie was pretty insistent that Maggie not use his full name, and then this random lady is wandering around saying “bird.” I didn’t expect some epically amazing and heartbreaking love story, though. But I’m glad that’s what we got.

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Image via ABC

If you read my last review, you should remember (seeing as I just got it up Thursday) that I talked about Amelia and Link choosing to go for this having a baby thing because they didn’t want to have something so big to regret. That theory was verified in this episode. Bertie and Soyoung listened to their fear instead of leaping into the possibility of something amazing, and even though Amelia had already made her decision when she met them, I do think they kind of solidified it as the right choice in her mind. After she and Maggie hear their story, Amelia tells Link that “they had something good and they let it go because it scared them. And they spent the next six decades regretting it.”

So now she’s leaning all the way in. And that means telling people about the baby. I loved the scene with Amelia, Link, Meredith, and Andrew. Double dates, please? Anyway. Amelia just blurts it out, which I kind of expected from her, and Meredith literally jumps up with excitement. Squeal included. Did NOT expect that. Not that I thought she wouldn’t be happy, but that’s a lot of peppy for Meredith. Whatever. It was a really cute scene. Maybe having a kid will bring Amelia closer to Meredith? Right now, it seems that she’s closer to Maggie, but I think with both of them having kids now, these two might start bonding more.

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Image via ABC

But you know what scares me a little bit? Amelia is Derek’s sister, and there’s a chance that this kid could come out looking like a mini-Derek. (It’s possible! Caterina and Patrick could pass for siblings, and nobody can tell me otherwise.) I’m probably reading way the hell too much into it, but I’m afraid a Shepherd baby that looks anything like Derek might stir up some old grief with both of them.


I’m a firm believer in saving the best for last, which is why I’m just now getting to the fact that we basically got A CHARMED REUNION!!  Did any of you watch Charmed? If you didn’t, you should start it now. It’s spooky season, so now is the perfect time. Also, just so you guys know this about me, I named one of my Webkinz (the black cat, no less) Piper. A Webkinz. From, like, 2005. So, yeah. I was really into Charmed. This episode fed my soul.

First of all, let me just say that I am so glad this storyline took place at Pac North instead of Grey Sloan. Everything that made this little reunion so wonderful could not have happened at a top-ranked hospital.

Richard spends all this time telling them about how pointless it is to hold grudges and that they should be grateful their (apparently not-dead) sister gave them back to each other. Funny that Richard is the one telling them to stop fighting, seeing as he’s been fighting with his own wife for a nice chunk of time now. Anyway. I spent the first half of the episode waiting for something witchy to happen, and I got it! I laughed out loud with the “bad energy” and the crystals Alyssa’s character brought in.

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And then the most amazing moment in the episode happens. Just as Richard disconnects the vent, the dead(?) sister’s phone rings. They both think it’s her friend, but when Holly’s character answers it, guess who it is! THE NOT DEAD SISTER! I howled with laughter, you guys. I knew something weird was going to happen, but I didn’t know what it was going to be. When she answers the phone and it’s their sister on the line, I lost it. And then Alyssa’s character asks if it’s her spirit. It was almost too much for me.

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AND THEN: “You plug her back in! Plug her back in!” That might just be my new favorite line in the series. (Just kidding, but it’s definitely up there.) I laughed over this for at least 15 minutes, you guys. I kind of giggled to myself while typing this, so I guess I’m still not over it.

Richard, on the other hand, was just totally over it at that point. At Grey Sloan, this would’ve been a huge deal. At Pac North? He became the living version of “shakin’ my head” and leaves Alex to deal with the mess. Seeing Richard work for this disaster of a hospital is so hilarious to me. And Pickens is just so good at that “dear god what is happening” face that it makes it even better. I don’t want him to go back to Grey Sloan. I’m enjoying this too much.

Other things that happened that I have less to say about for whatever reason:

  • Teddy and Owen. They’re actually kind of cute in this episode? I think part of the reason I’ve always had issues with Owen is how he treated the women he’s been with. And I think the reason he treated them kind of shitty is because they weren’t Teddy. It doesn’t make sense at all, because it’s not like Teddy was always a non-option. For whatever reason, it took him this long to get his head out of his ass and be with her, but I think maybe things are looking up for both of them? Their little hospital tour for Allison was cute as hell, also.
  • I’m still not over the fact that Tom took out a restraining order against Owen. Their little game of hospital hide-and-seek is hilarious to me.
  • I’m not looking forward to the tantrum I’m sure Owen will throw when he finds out Amelia is pregnant and happy about it.
  • Poor Levi. I just want to hug him and tell him he’ll get there. But how cute is he with Nico? I love those two.
  • DeLuca is turning into a really good teacher if you ask me. It’s fun seeing him in charge of the new interns (who I don’t think are actually interns anymore so I should stop calling them the new interns).
  • If Richard Webber cheats on Catherine Avery with Gemma I SWEAR. Also, just to put it out in the universe, every other woman he’s cheated on/left has ended up with Alzheimer’s. Let’s not keep that cycle going, Richard. Please?

I’m sure I could think of one hundred more things to say about this episode, but 3,000 words is long enough. I’ll end it there.

“We do our best to reunite the healthy cells and tissue, and if we do our jobs right, there’s another kind of reunion––the patients and their families, their loved ones, their lives. But those reunions can get tricky, too. If you had troubles before going into the OR, they won’t magically go away now that you’re healed. Some things will get better… others could get worse. Because when you let your guard down, you’re a lot more likely to go down a dangerous path.” – Meredith Grey

Look at me getting one of these out on time! See you next week!

xoxo, J

 

Grey’s Anatomy 16.02 Episode Review

Season 16, Episode 2: Back in the Saddle (written by Meg Marinis & directed by Kevin McKidd)

“When we get sick, our bodies launch a coordinated defense. It’s called the immune response. Once a germ’s detected, a team of white blood cells, protiens, and chemicals swarm to mount an attack. These cells catch up to the invaders and latch on, destroying them in their wake. Or at lesat that’s what they’re supposed to do. The body’s ability to come back depends on what you have to fight with… and how strong you are.” – Meredith Grey

So, basically, this is where we’re at: the status quo no longer exists. For anyone. I don’t think the pot has ever been stirred this much in the show’s history. Shit, we’re in the blender. Stirring is for amateurs and we are in the major leagues.

Let’s kick things off with Bailey. She’s really put herself in a bit of a situation, hasn’t she? Not only is she teaching a skills lab, but she’s also comparing everything they do to how Meredith and Alex would have done it. Kind of makes you wonder how she really feels about firing them, doesn’t it? If you ask me, she didn’t want to; she felt like she had to do it.

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Image via ABC

I can’t say that I’m in any way surprised by how Bailey is handing the insurance fraud situation, though. This is not the first time Bailey has acted like this after Meredith broke a rule. Just like I brought up the Alzheimer’s trial in the last review, I’m doing it again. Bailey had nothing to do with Meredith for a pretty good stretch after she swapped the placebo that was going to Adele with the actual drug. But I think that cold shoulder may seem like nothing compared to now. Back then, Bailey wasn’t running the surgical department. Now? The rule Meredith broke leaves a mess for Bailey to clean up. To Bailey, it probably feels like a betrayal. And it’s not just Meredith betraying her, either. She’s dealing with another one of her babies (Alex) and her own teacher (Richard) betraying her as well.

Maybe her deal is this: trying to prove that she doesn’t need the trio around to run a great hospital. I don’t know who she’s trying to prove it to, but if I had to take a stab at it, I’d say mostly herself with a side of Catherine Avery.

I’m not sure Catherine is impressed with her decision, especially since Tom now seems to serve as a buffer between them. Catherine probably blames Bailey for the state of her marriage, but what was she supposed to do? She couldn’t very well demand Richard’s job to be safe without doing the same for Meredith and Alex, but by saying nothing, she betrays Richard. She’s really in a lose-lose situation here.

So, not only does Bailey now report to Tom (her worst nightmare, I bet) she’s also having to work to keep people from leaving. I don’t think we really saw it, but DeLuca said something about other doctors quitting in solidarity, so there’s that. And also Jo comes back to work in this episode, and Bailey’s having to fight to keep her at Grey Sloan. Now that Alex is chief at Pac North, he’s offered Jo total control over her fellowship if she comes to work for him. And then he goes and offers her a full attending position. So what does Jo do? She basically gives Bailey the choice to either hire her as a general surgery attending or lose her, too. Huh. How ’bout that.

Speaking of… I’m getting major season eight vibes with Bailey and Meredith right now. Whenever George’s mom came in as a patient, she wanted Meredith to perform her surgery. Bailey, however, was still pissed off and in the mood to punish her for as long as possible. While Meredith did end up doing the surgery, Bailey was pretty hostile to her the whole time. And we all know why she acted like that, don’t we? She hates seeing the doctors she raised break the rules and get themselves into trouble. And now it’s happening again. Nobody should be surprised that she reacted this way. And nobody should be mad at her for it, either. Major rules were broken, even if they were broken for the right reasons.

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Image via ABC

Meanwhile, over at Pac North, things are… interesting. After Richard didn’t get the chief job, Alex swooped in and snagged it, hiring Richard as an attending. So now we’ve got two of the best doctors in Seattle working at the worst hospital in the city. I’m not going to lie, I’m really into this storyline. I want to see Alex and Richard work together and really start to turn this hospital around. We watched Richard bring Seattle Grace Mercy West from number 12 back up to the top, but we’ve never seen Alex tasked with something this big… or Richard, for that matter. Because Pac North is way further down on the list than 12th in the country.

I’m hoping that when Meredith’s cleared to work again, she goes to Pac North. Can you imagine? If that happens, I think we’d start to see a little competition. Patients come to Grey Sloan for Meredith, so what if she works somewhere else? Don’t you think they’d go there?  And then we’ve got the interns (are they residents yet?) who are literally in love with her. (Hey, Helm!) I wouldn’t be too surprised if some of the residents and interns jumped ship if Meredith were to throw on some green scrubs.

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Image via ABC

Before I really dive into what’s going on with Meredith, though, I want to talk about Maggie and Jackson. In the first episode, Jackson started hanging around Vic from Station 19, which I actually kind of like? I think they could be fun, and I also don’t think Jackson dating someone outside of the hospital will be a bad thing. His track record with other doctors is not so great. We’ve also never really seen him single, either.

I bet he was that guy in high school who always had a girlfriend, no matter what. I wouldn’t be mad if he and Vic start out as good friends and then turned into something more. Kind of like what some people wanted to happen with Meredith and Alex. (I’d like to point out that I was NEVER one of them.) That slow build could be a good thing for Jackson, especially so close on the heels of a pretty serious relationship ending. And also Vic’s fiancé just died in her arms. So she could probably use some time, too.

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But what about Maggie? I’m not going to come in here and say Maggie’s treating Jackson well, but who can blame her? I certainly can’t. Jackson kind of has been rubbing the break up in her face. That #freedom was a bit… wow. Maggie now feels like a victim, which she brings up in a conversation with her patient’s girlfriend. She says she stayed too long and ignore too many red flags early on, and then when Jackson did the breaking up, she suddenly turned into the one who got left. Which makes her feel like the victim. Is she? I don’t think so, but I’m sure it does feel that way. They both wanted out, but let’s not forget how Maggie’s last two(?) relationships on the show have ended: Clive was married and DeLuca couldn’t deal with the power dynamic.

“Let’s be honest, the pickings are slim for an educated, independent woman.” – Maggie Pierce

I’d say it’s the lack of control that she doesn’t like. Maggie’s super type A, so this is no surprise.

You know what I want to see for Maggie? I want to see her kick ass at work AND manage to find a guy who truly likes all of her little quirks. Maybe she and Jackson were good for a while, but I think they burned too bright, too fast and then they exploded. I want something slow and careful for her. Kind of like what Amelia’s doing with Link.

Or… what she tried to do with him. Before, you know, she figured out she was pregnant.

Maybe we should talk about that? We probably should.

At the end of episode one, when Amelia is asking Carina for a threesome, she realizes she’s pregnant. Awkward. I said in the last review that I thought now was as good a time as any for Amelia to get knocked up, and this episode did not change my mind on that at all.

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Image via ABC

In the past however many years since her last pregnancy, Amelia has grown leaps and bounds. She’s clean, she’s got a great job, she’s got a steady support system, and her relationship with the father, while brand new, seems pretty stable.

But those good things do not erase the bad that happened to her. In fact, this pregnancy drags all those old feelings back out. We could say the same thing about Link, too. They are terrified of history repeating itself. They’ve seen and gone through so much, and now they’ve got to decide whether or not they want to risk the life they have now for something with the potential to ruin them. Not as a couple, either, but as individuals.

They both have extremely deep-rooted fears when it comes to deciding whether or not to bring a new life into the world. Some of those fears are of the physical world they’d be handing the kid… as Link put it:

“What sane person turns on the news and thinks, ‘oh, great, the polar ice caps are melting, the planet is on fire, and all of humanity is whining about it on Twitter while doing exactly nothing to prevent any of it. So, yeah, I should bring a baby into this world.'”

So there’s that. And that reasoning is valid as hell. I think about that a lot, actually, and I know people who have decided 100 percent against kids because of the state of the world we live in. It’s terrifying to be here now. But then there’s the other side to his fear, which is of his kid getting cancer. During his conversation with Jo, we learn that Link’s own cancer wasn’t genetic. But he knows what it feels like to be the kid dealing with cancer, and even if the odds are extremely low of that history repeating itself, it’s hard for him to roll those dice.

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Just like it’s hard for Amelia to roll the dice and risk have what happened to Christopher happen again. The odds are that everything would be fine, but still. That whisper that things could go very, very wrong is always going to be there. And I’m sure there are times where that whisper is going to be the loudest thing in the room.

And, much to my delight, neither one of them hid from their fears. Amelia also didn’t hesitate in telling Link she’s pregnant either, which, I’m not going to lie, shocked me. I expected it to be at least three episodes before she said anything. But after I watched the episode again, I think I’ve got an idea as to why she didn’t hide.

She’s in control. For a long time, probably most of her life, she’s been controlled by something or someone. And before you tweet at me all angry, keep reading.

We already know that drugs controlled Amelia for a long time. But grief also controlled her. And I think Owen tried to control her, too. If I’m being honest, even Derek tried to control her. But now? She’s in a place in her life where she’s got control back. There isn’t anyone or anything making decisions and then forcing them onto her. It helps that Link is possibly the greatest man on the planet.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out how important it was for us to see Link leave Amelia the choice of what to do about the pregnancy. I love that she wanted his opinion, but at the end of the day, it is her body that’s going to change. And she’s the one who will have to take leave. (But I feel like Link would totally be the paternity leave dad, don’t you?) So don’t come in here with the whole “he’s the dad! He gets a say!” argument. It’s old. Until the kid is on the outside, Amelia (and anyone else who’s pregnant in the whole world!) gets the final say. Period.

Towards the end of the episode, they sit down to talk again. Amelia tells Link she thinks they’d make an awesome kid… and that she kind of wants to meet that kid. And apparently so does Link. They both have the kind of personality that tells me they do not like having things to regret. And I think that’s one reason they’re going for it. Yeah, they’re scared, but if things go well… it could be so amazing, and they don’t want to miss it.

So, I guess we’re going to meet the kid! It’ll be really interesting to watch how Amelia navigates the relationship now. She told Link in episode one that she goes all in too fast, and now, she’s even more in than she was with Owen. But I really don’t think it’s going to go bad for Amelia and Link. I can really see those two lasting for a while. With this show’s track record, probably until one of them dies. (Sad face.)

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Not seeing Meredith in scrubs for two episodes in a row is bizarre, isn’t it? In the last episode, it’s revealed that the medical board is going to pursue action and investigate… which means Meredith’s days as a doctor could be numbered. Do I think they’ll suspend her license? Absolutely not.

For now, though, she’s not supposed to be practicing medicine, but she literally cannot help herself. In fact, she’s seeing more of the same thing that got her into trouble in the first place. And because she’s Meredith, she really doesn’t give a damn what people are telling her to do. She’s going to help these people, no matter what it means for her.

Speaking as somebody who knows firsthand what it’s like to have subpar medical insurance, I can’t express my appreciation for this storyline enough. The fact that there are people in this country who literally have to choose between going bankrupt and treating cancer is infuriating, and I’m so glad the show is highlighting it. People go years without going to the doctor because even a check-up could set them back hundreds of dollars. That is not okay.

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Meredith has been told to lay low, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. She’s the type of person who thinks with her heart. She feels things so deeply that she truly can’t handle sitting still and letting something happen when she has the means to help. Regardless of what her bosses (or the court) say about it. What does that mean for her medical license, though? I know I said I don’t think it’ll get revoked, and I don’t, but I do think it would be interesting for the board to dig deep into her history as a doctor. There are other instances of Meredith bending the rules to help a patient. But it isn’t just her. She’s involving other doctors, too, and none of them are turning their backs. She’s sending patients to Alex and Richard at Pac North, she’s got Schmitt running her supplies, Jackson is doing consults in the parking lot… her coworkers seem to have the same mindset that she does–at least in this scenario.

And now she’s going to write about the things she’s seeing. I’m actually really excited about that. Will writing hurt her case? I don’t know. There’s the argument that the board did tell her to lay low, but there’s also the flip side which is that she’s such a great doctor and she treats people regardless of their circumstances. That should be a good thing, right? Not having insurance should not be a factor in getting treated or not. Now it’s Meredith’s personal mission to change the fact that, right now, that is exactly the case for so many people.

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There are other things I wanted to say about Meredith, but if I want to publish this review before episode three starts, I have to stop.

But I can’t not mention Tom getting shocked in the balls. I laughed so hard, you guys. I love Tom, I think he’s hilarious, and the fact that his ‘nads got “deep-fried,” really got me. And the fact that it was Owen? Classic. And now Owen is flustered, which is also funny. But the restraining order? I did not see that coming. I’m thinking Teddy is not going to have a good reaction to that, which will probably add a whole new level to this Teddy/Tom/Owen situation. I think it’s going to be really fun to watch.

Okay, I guess I’m done now.

“After we’ve been sick or hurt, our bodies remember. We learn from the past and develop tools to help us cope. Basically, the more we go through something, the better we can handle it if it happens again. Our bodies are prepared to bounce back. Or, so we think. Sometimes an unknown throws the whole thing off.” – Meredith Grey

Expect a review for episode three on Saturday. I’m caught up now, so they should be pretty regular from here on out!

xoxo, J