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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Image via ABC

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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Image via ABC

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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Image via ABC

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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Image via ABC

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

Grey’s Anatomy 16.01 Episode Review

Hot damn, it’s been a long time since I sat down to write one of these. Over a year, actually. I’ve since graduated college, moved to LA, and started a full-time job. So, sure. Let’s add these reviews back into the mix, too. Why not? It’ll be fun!


Season 16, Episode 1: Nothing Left to Cling To (written by Krista Vernoff & directed by Debbie Allen)

“The organs in the human body have entirely different functions. The cells, which make up those organs, act independently of each other. But in a healthy body, seemingly independent cells quietly depend on the functioning of the others. Because when one system stops working, the others aren’t functioning for long.” -Meredith Grey

Disclaimer: Please read this review as if you have not already seen episode 2. That’s how I wrote it.

So this first episode seemed to dive pretty deep into loyalties. We’ve got Bailey’s loyalty to the hospital, we’ve got Alex and Richard’s loyalty to Meredith, we’ve got Meredith’s loyalty to her morals… I could keep going. Just about every storyline in this episode revolves around who’s loyal to what, and the repercussions of these loyalties are kicking this season off.

First I want to talk about Jackson and Maggie. Their loyalties, in my eyes, seem to be to the person they want each other to be. Remember last season Maggie was talking about how Jackson loves her but doesn’t actually like her? I really think that’s true. They’ve both spent their entire relationship trying to morph each other into someone else. The conditions in which they got together were pretty… uh… wild. April’s crisis of faith kind of freaked Jackson out, and then there was Clive (remember him?) who ended up being married. I think Maggie was looking for something easy, and Jackson wanted something stable. In the end, neither one got what they wanted, and in my opinion, they held on way too long.

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I think it’s a pretty obvious comparison re: Jackson/Maggie and their patients. The rope holding Maggie and Jackson together snapped. They held on for as long as they could, but, unlike Jai and Mari, there wasn’t anyone wandering through the woods to save them.

Now the question is, how will Jackson and Maggie react? From what we’ve seen so far, Jackson is seeking out comfort in other people (hey, Vic, hey!) and Maggie is lashing out. We know Maggie takes things personally, and this is no different. For example, take this bit of dialogue between them:

“There is something there that is broken beyond repair.”
“In this metaphor, am I the thing that is broken beyond repair?”

“Not you. Us.”

See what I mean? Maggie thinks Jackson sees her as something broken and not worth fixing. But I don’t think he sees her that way at all. And as much as this pains me to say, I kind of agree with Jackson here. Their relationship is done and Maggie is not handling it in the best way. (More on this in the next review!) She’s not handling it well at all, which is actually a cool dichotomy because she seems to be the sister Amelia and Meredith always go to when shit hits the fan for them. And the shit has very much hit the fan for both of them, too.

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Image via ABC

Then we’ve got Teddy, Owen, and Tom. They’re also a mess. Everyone’s kind of a mess right now, actually. If you’ve been reading these reviews for a while, you already know my feelings on Owen. Those feelings have not changed. In the past, Teddy has gotten in the middle of every single one of Owen’s relationship. And it isn’t her fault, either. Owen seems to be the one to constantly bring her up. And then he goes and chooses everyone but her. Why? I have literally no idea. I do NOT want to see the inside of that man’s brain. But now we see Owen as single for the first time, and Teddy is right there. And she just popped out his kid. So it kind of feels like kismet for those two.

But then I think about Tom and I really just want Teddy to give Owen the finger. Let’s face it: Tom was much better to Teddy last season than Owen ever was. And we’ve already established that Owen’s track record when it comes to choosing Teddy and putting her first is not great. Her relationship with Tom, while short, was really sweet. He was there for her in ways I don’t think Owen ever has been. But let’s face it: Teddy has always been loyal to Owen. Always. There is too much history between them for her not to be, in my opinion. The feelings there are so intense and so old, it seems impossible for them not to be together. But then you’ve got Owen, whose loyalties are really whack. So whack that I don’t even know what they are. Is he finally going to step up and be loyal to Teddy and to his own feelings? I guess we’ll have to wait this one out and see what happens.

Also, just real quick: seeing Teddy on maternity leave makes me miss Cristina even more. Can you imagine how amazing it would be if she were there? It was so gloriously awkward when Bailey handed Tuck to her way back in season 2, I just know it would be hilarious if she were around to witness this.

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Also hilarious? Dr. Webber working for an app. I mean, the reason behind it isn’t so funny, but it did make for some good laughs for a minute. Since I’m a sucker for a theme, let’s talk about the loyalties we’re seeing with Webber and Alex, and to an extent, Bailey.

 

Last season, when Bailey called everyone into the conference room, Alex and Webber didn’t hesitate to admit to being part of Meredith’s antics, regardless of the consequences. They were loyal to her. And that didn’t come as a surprise. This is not the first time we’ve seen them putting personal loyalties before their jobs. Webber, for example, took the fall for Meredith when she messed with Derek’s trial in season seven. It cost him his job, but he did it anyway. And Alex… well, after the disaster that was him telling Owen Meredith messed with the trial, he’s been pretty loyal to her. As he should be, considering he’s gained the title of being Mer’s person. But Bailey? She’s always been loyal to the hospital. I’m not saying she’s only loyal to Grey Sloan, but since becoming chief, she’s made some calls that Webber probably wouldn’t have been able to make because of where his loyalties lie. And we all know there’s nothing Meredith could do that would make Alex fire her.

And now we’re watching the repercussions of that. Even more so in the second episode.

But what about Meredith’s loyalties? Where do they lie? It isn’t as cut and dry as personal versus professional in her case. If we really want to categorize it, I think Mer’s loyalties lie with her morals. A loyalty that has cost her personally and professionally already in the past. She’s proven over and over again that, more often than not, she’s going to choose the more moral option, regardless of the rules she’s breaking along the way. And in this case, the rule that she broke was a big one. And she’s not going to apologize for it, either. The judge also asked the questions we were all asking last season: why didn’t she just pay for the surgery herself? Did she regret what she did? She called the system out for being broken, which it absolutely is, and when the question of regret comes up, she tells the truth:

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“To the extent that I can knowing there’s a very sick little girl out there who’s beginning to feel better.” – Meredith Grey

She’s never been one to sugarcoat anything or to say things she doesn’t feel are her truth. She wouldn’t be Meredith Grey if she apologized for choosing her morals over medicine.

And then what happens? Mer gets community service and starts seeing more of the exact same thing that got her into trouble in the first place. And then, to top it all off, the medical board decides they’re going to investigate. Awesome!

And while I’m talking about Meredith, and since I didn’t write any reviews for last season, let me just say this: I adore her and DeLuca. I also love that DeLuca is being a little bit snarky to Bailey right now. Loyalties!

You know what else was awesome? Alex re-proposing to Jo. I melted. But all the stuff that led up to that moment for them? SO IMPORTANT!

Jo had it rougher than anyone last season, and I really appreciate that nobody rushed that storyline. And this season, we’re seeing another layer. Jo seeking out help is something I’m so glad we’re seeing on TV. I went to therapy for the first time in college, and I wish I had done it sooner. I’m a big believer in therapy, and I think everyone would benefit from it. Wanting to be the best version of yourself and seeking help to make that possible is not weak. But sometimes, like Jo, we’re in such a dark space that asking for help feels weak. It feels like we can’t do what should come naturally. But, of course, that isn’t true at all.

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Not only does Jo feel weak, she feels like she’s dragging Alex down with her. Which is why she gives him an out. And he thinks about it. Probably because, in the past, he’s been burned by the people he loved. Izzie disappeared on him. His mom wasn’t able to take care of him and his siblings so he ended up in foster care. This is the first time he’s really had the choice to leave before he gets left. We’re back to the loyalties. In a way, Jo thinks she’s being loyal to Alex by letting him go. She wants what’s best for him, and right now, she doesn’t think that’s her.

“You’ve had enough pain and crazy to last you a lifetime. You deserve someone who doesn’t break like glass.” – Jo Wilson

Alex’s response to that? Dropping to one knee. Thank god, otherwise, I’d be really mad at him, and I don’t like being mad at Alex. He’s proven that he’s loyal to Jo. Would it be easier to leave her? Maybe. But he loves her, and he knows that she makes him better. And he also knows that she’s not weak, and she’s doing the work. What kind of man would he be if he left her to do that alone? Not a very good one.

Last but not least, Amelia. Oh, Amelia. At the beginning of the episode, she’s decided that she wants to slow things down with Link. She really likes him, and I think that’s why she’s deciding to tread carefully. With Owen, everything happened so fast, and then they crashed and burned. I’m not saying she didn’t love Owen, but I do think being with him took so much out of her that now she’s being very conscious of her own wellbeing. Maybe she’s even choosing to be loyal to herself? To her own happiness? Yeah, I think so. It’s about time.

Link and Amelia could be something really special, which is why I think she’s is so hellbent on taking things slow.

And then, BAM! A baby!

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Image via ABC

As soon as Amelia gets it together, there’s suddenly a whole new level to this thing with Link. And this thing won’t really let them go slow. It’s a fast-pitch ball and she’s got to swing or she’ll get hit. (Me? A sports metaphor? What’s happening?)  But let me say this: I really do think now is a good time for her to get pregnant. I know it wasn’t what she wanted to happen, but she’s more ready now than she ever has been. She’s figured out what she wants, she’s got her head on straight, and she’s with a guy who actually values who she is as a person. Maybe this will be a good thing.

“Just as organ systems are codependent for survival, so are human beings. Studies have shown that our happiness––and health––depends upon our relationships not just functioning, but thriving. Sometimes the best we can do is bear each other’s burdens and ease each other’s pain. And hold each other’s hands in the dark.” – Meredith Grey

I’m already working on the review for the next episode, so you should see that soon! For the rest of this season, expect to have reviews by Saturday night. I’ve missed writing them!

xoxo, J

The Last Empty Box

The Last Empty Box came to be during the 2018/19 school year. At Murray State, (which is now my alma mater?!) I was part of the TV Club, and we had our own film festival every semester. This particular festival, each team was handed a fortune cookie and the script had to be based on whatever fortune was inside. Don’t ask me what the fortune said, I don’t remember. I just know this script is what I came up with. Enjoy.

*Most of you have probably already seen this. We released it several months ago, but I just updated the blog and added a nice little spot for it here, too. 

xoxo, J

Grey’s Anatomy 14.24 Episode Review

Wow! It’s been so long since I took the time to write one of these, but I couldn’t NOT do one for this episode. It was full of humor and love and happy tears––it’s one of those episodes that I know I’ll go back to when I need a mood boost. I was really nervous about this season finale, I’m not going to lie. I was really prepared for doom and gloom, but I’m so happy we got this instead!  Continue reading Grey’s Anatomy 14.24 Episode Review

Grey’s Anatomy 14.11 Episode Review

A Miranda Bailey centric episode? YES PLESE! A Miranda Bailey centric in which Miranda Bailey has a heart attack? Oh… maybe not? It was a pretty stressful, infuriating hour, but we all (including Miranda Bailey) made it through! So let’s talk about it! Continue reading Grey’s Anatomy 14.11 Episode Review