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.

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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 16.05 Episode Review

First of all, let me just say that anytime Elisabeth Finch writes an episode, I am guaranteed to cry. Every. Damn. Time. This episode wasn’t any different.

Season 16, Episode 5: Breathe Again (written by Elisabeth Finch; directed by Chandra Wilson)

“Some of the world’s top trauma specalists have proven that our brains may forget the tramas we survive, but our bodies, especially our nervous systems, always keep score. Memories are stored in our shoulders, spines, stomach, or hands, without us ever knowing. We assume a painful backache or a shaky hand is something harmless, random. But it could be more. It might be our bodies reminding us of what we’ve endured and warning us not to let it happen again.” – Meredith Grey

So, what’s life throwing at our favorite TV doctors now? Well, uh, lots. Babies, jail time, therapists who try to kill themselves but actually no they don’t… there is a lot happening. Let’s get going.

I want to talk about Jo first. We see her in two very different places in this episode. I actually think watching these two opposing times in Jo’s life simultaneously like this really helped bring attention to the drastic change she’s been able to make for herself. When we go several episodes, or sometimes even a hiatus, between something traumatic happening to a character and them starting to heal, the process may be overlooked. It seems like magic. Clap your hands and boom, they’re better. In this case, we’re seeing Jo at rock bottom and we’re seeing her get back on top. But we’re also seeing her fight to climb out.

When she found out about her parents last season, she was in the darkest place we’ve ever seen her. And instead of skipping over the hard parts, we get to watch her claw her way back. We’ve seen it a little from other characters––Owen’s N.E.T therapy last season, Bailey’s therapy for OCD, and Meredith with Dr. Wyatt in season 4––but never to this extent.

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Image via ABC

I can’t even begin to imagine how Jo felt when she saw Carly, her therapist, hooked up to a ventilator after an assumed suicide attempt. I’m not surprised at all that she went into that hypobaric chamber, though. In therapy, Jo’s safe space was in an OR, so maybe she felt like bringing Carly to her safe space (albeit this is not an OR… close enough) would save her. I don’t know what was going on inside her head, but that seems like a pretty good guess to me. So now Jo’s sitting there and watching the woman who helped her pull herself out of a really dark time have air forced into her lungs by a machine. Questioning her own ability to keep going when her therapist quit is not a big leap for her mind to make. Even though it’s revealed that Carly didn’t try to commit suicide, that idea of a therapist needing help is something I want to see more of on TV. (It’s also why that’s a major plot point in the pilot I’m currently writing. I had to plug myself there. Couldn’t resist.)

But let’s talk about the actual therapy sessions we see in this episode. First of all, I had never heard of EMDR before. I did a little bit of research on it before I sat down to write this, and I totally get why 1) Jo’s pissed at the lightbar, and 2) why this form of therapy would have been extremely beneficial for her. Carly tells Jo that they want to work to move beyond her “capital T Traumas” and Jo’s pretty dead set against having any. Which, girl. She’s got a lot of stuff to work through, and at first, she’s resistant to even admit they’re things. She’s sought the help, but it kind of seems like maybe she was having trouble admitting that these things that happened to her are things worthy of needing help to work through. Maybe she thinks other people have had it worse, and because of that, she shouldn’t need any help. It isn’t true, of course, but I think maybe that’s where her head was at. And I can absolutely relate. I’ve been there.

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Image via ABC

Jo hasn’t let herself feel angry at anybody. Except for herself for not being angry at anyone else. That’s why Carly damn near throws a party when Jo walks into her office pissed as hell. For so long, Jo’s been pushing that anger down and covering it up with shame (which she named as a core feeling) and feeling helpless.

It probably doesn’t make any sense to Jo that she can feel angry at her mother. Maybe she thinks if she lets herself feel the anger, she’d also feel guilty because she now knows that her mother was put into an impossible situation and was hurt about as badly as a person can be hurt. But Carly points out that while her brain may not remember what it felt like when her mom pulled away from her, her body does. When she was in that diner, Jo’s body felt the same thing it did when she was 5 days old: the person who is supposed to love you more than anything in the world abandoning you. Twice. That’s where the anger comes from. That feeling that her body will never forget.

So now she’s finally letting herself feel the anger and that’s when the breakthrough happens. She’s been scared to be angry before now because all she knows is the kind of anger that ends with broken ribs and punctured kidneys. Healthy anger isn’t something she’s familiar with. And once she lets herself feel that anger––at her mother, at her father, at Paul––she can finally start to move past it.

Which brings me back to the hospital and inside the hypobaric chamber. Jo probably felt pretty unstoppable when she came back to work. She went and did what she needed to do and now she’s in a better place than she has been in a long time. Even while she’s dealing with seeing her therapist in this condition, she’s able to help Bailey, who’s also freaking out over having a new baby. (Which, can you blame her? She’s about to send one kid off to college and all of a sudden, she’s got start from the beginning and do it all over again? Whew. No thanks.)  I loved seeing Bailey and Jo interact like this. One, it shows the tremendous growth in Jo, but also lets us see a more vulnerable side of Bailey that doesn’t come out all that often.

Bailey’s listing off all of these feelings coursing through her. There’s happiness, excitement, love, and probably a little bit of awe mixed in there somewhere. And then she gets to terrified. And she says “but” instead of “and.” And Jo’s response is possibly my favorite thing she’s ever said on the show:

“And terrified. It’s a therapy thing. You listed all of these positive feelings and then you said “but” as if being terrified erased everything that you said prior. But the happy, the terror, it’s all there.” – Jo Karev

Bailey
Image via ABC

I had never thought about that before. I say “but” all the time. Don’t you love it when something that happens in a show makes you think, “oh wait, I should maybe stop doing that”? Feelings can contradict each other and still exist at the same time. It’s something I knew but not something I ever really noticed in my own head, if that makes any sense. Like, take this for example: when I write something new, I always get excited about it. And it also always scares me to share it. See there? I said, “and.” Except, a lot of the time, I use a “but” instead and then I never share whatever it is that I wrote––a poem, a story, a script––with anyone. It’s not the same as what Bailey is going through at all, but I still saw a little bit of myself in her. It reassured me that I’m not the only one who shoves the happy and excited down and covers it up with the terror.

And I think Jo used this tactic in this episode, too. I’m sure she was feeling terrified when Carly showed up. And then she started using what she learned from Carly to calm herself down. There was the terrified and the control and she felt both at the same time.

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Image via ABC

And just real quick, since I already talked about Bailey a little, can we PLEASE talk about how pure Ben’s reaction was? This storyline is wild to me, and I’m honestly shocked it’s happening, BUT his reaction makes it hard not to be excited about it now. I also think there’s a huge comedy potential with this, which I think I said last week, too. I still believe that. I can’t wait to see Tuck’s face when he finds out. I’m also interested to see how this news impacts Ben at work, which I’m sure we’ll get to see when Station 19 comes back on in approximately 100 years.

You know who else has been gone for 100 years? Catherine Fox. And Richard is entering dangerous territory that I am NOT here for. I love Richard Webber and I’m sure you all know that. But the man does not have the best track record with wives. And now Gemma is buying him stacks of pancakes and offering to have an affair like someone offers you a piece of gum. It’s not that I don’t trust him, but it’s also exactly that. To be fair, he does totally call Gemma out and even tells her to get to a meeting, but I’m still worried about his marriage. I wonder if we’re in for A Different World battle? That could be entertaining, not going to lie.

Richard
Image via ABC

But there is something Gemma said that I think is worth digging into a little bit. I’m sure she meant this as a jab to him as a husband, but I think it’s actually a lot more than that, and it’s something Richard needs to evaluate about himself. Gemma tells him that when things get tough, he either finds comfort in a bottle of vodka or another woman. And you know what? She’s not wrong. I hate to say anything bad about him because he’s like my generation’s TV grandpa, but… we all have things.

We never got to see the beginning of his affair with Ellis, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the stress of being the only black resident in his class paired with Ellis’s stress over being the only female resident in her class made for some pretty intense… um… feelings? They were both the outliers, so it’s pretty natural to assume they’d become friendly. Very friendly. So, uh, yeah. And then Adele gets Alzheimer’s which would be stressful enough on its own, but I’m sure that reminded him of Ellis, which added to the stress. And in walks Catherine. (I swear, if she starts showing any signs of any kind of dementia…) Richard’s track record with stress and affairs is pretty consistent… and not in a good way.

But I also think Richard is more stable right now than he has been in a while, so I’m worried but not super worried. Plus, I have no doubt Catherine would put him right back in his place if he tried anything.

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I saved Meredith’s stuff for last this time. And she’s got a lot of stuff. Last week, I was as annoyed with her as I ever have been, but this week? I just wanted to give her a hug. She cannot catch a break. This is the first time this season she’s skipped something and I wasn’t ready to shake her.

So, Zola needs another surgery. I’ve been waiting for this to happen since, like, season 11. I knew it was coming, it was just a matter of when. And why not make it at the most inconvenient time for Mer? Not that there’s ever a good time for your kid to need brain surgery, but you get my point. And then Andrew, poor guy, tried to get Meredith to go to court. Not the move, man. His reasoning was sweet, don’t get me wrong, but like, we all knew there was no way in hell Mer was leaving that hospital. He obviously tells her to go to court because he doesn’t want her getting into any more trouble than she’s already managed to get herself into, but also because he knows that the odds are in Zola’s favor. If he thought something was going to go wrong, he never would’ve brought it up. And also, he very well may have been thinking about after Zola’s surgery. Which we now know Meredith likely won’t be there for.

Mer and Zola
Image via ABC

And then, because he’s Andrew and he’s an angel, he offers to sit with her instead of going into surgery. Ugh. I love him. I was not surprised at all when Meredith told him to go with Zola, though. She knew she’d have Amelia and Maggie and she wanted Zola to have somebody familiar with her. If you ask me, that right there proves what Mer’s feelings are. But she’s fighting them like hell. I expect nothing less from her.

While Zola is in surgery, Meredith goes full dark and twisty mode. Again, not surprised. Remember how last week I said Andrew was the only one in self-preservation mode? Yeah, not anymore. Meredith is trying so hard to convince herself (and everyone else) that she isn’t as in love with Andrew as she actually is. That little rant about him being sexy and fun but maybe nothing more? Nope. Don’t believe that even for a second. I think she’s terrified of how much she wants him to be more than that. She could use some of Jo’s therapy techniques right about now.

“Have you seen my life? The people that I’ve lost?” – Meredith Grey

Not admitting to her feelings and how strong they are is her way of protecting herself.  It’s not logical, but feelings rarely are. She allowed herself to love Derek with her whole heart. And then she lost him and it almost broke her. Now she’s scared to really jump in with Andrew because she’s scared of facing that kind of loss again. Allowing herself to feel that kind of love means opening herself up to even more heartbreak. And that right there is why I think love is actually kind of terrifying. Because somebody is going to get hurt. Someone’s heart is going to break. And in this case, there’s a 50 percent chance it’s going to Meredith’s. I think the battle she’s having with herself right now is this: is having that feeling again worth the inevitable pain?

 

And Andrew is frustrated with her, not only because of all the work crew stuff but also because she’s so stubborn when it comes to their relationship. Andrew is no stranger to being heartbroken. Remember Sam? She literally moved to Switzerland to avoid being deported. But before that happened, he straight up said they weren’t good for each other. And he also knows she’s off in Europe working for Cristina Yang and doing great. He’s never lost someone he loves the way Meredith lost Derek. And he’s never loved someone the way Meredith loves her kids. Those are big things. And they’re things Andrew has no way of understanding. It’s nobody’s fault. But it’s also the thing holding Meredith back more than anything else.

I’m kind of waiting for this all to click for Andrew. Or, you know what, I can totally see Maggie and Amelia getting involved and telling Andrew what’s going on in Meredith’s head. He never knew Derek, he showed up after the episode that ruined my life, so he never saw them together. And he didn’t know Meredith well enough to recognize how badly she was hurting. I’m not sure that he realizes she’s terrified of love because she’s so used to having it ripped from her.

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Image via ABC

Speaking of Maggie and Amelia, there’s some stuff I want to bring up about both of them, too. When they were all waiting on Zola to get out of surgery, Maggie announces that her truest love might be surgery. I think that might be true. Right now. But you know what I think needs to happen with her? I think she needs to remember why she loves herself. There’s a speech Cristina gave to Owen sometime around season 5 about how Burke took pieces of her, and how she couldn’t let that happen again. I think that’s where Maggie is. When she was with Jackson, she let him chip away at her. It wasn’t huge things, but they added up, and suddenly she didn’t recognize herself anymore. She became a version of herself Jackson could love… but in the process lost the version of herself that she loved. And that right there is why those two were not going to work. (And if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to prepare myself for the DMs I’m going to get because of everything I just said.)

I want love for Maggie. I don’t want her to just have work and sisters and nieces and nephews. I think she’ll find it, but in the meantime, I’m not mad about watching her fall in love with her work and hopefully find herself again in the process.

And then there’s Amelia. This has been my favorite season for her by a landslide. She’s actually one of my favorites right now. She’s recognizing that she just jumps right into things and crosses her fingers that they turn out well, but she’s not beating herself up for it. If anything, she’s embracing it. Especially when it comes to Link and the baby. It’s weird seeing her so calm about such a drastic, life-altering thing. In the past, she’d turn to drugs or flee the state. Now though, she’s just letting things happen and preparing herself to learn something if it goes wrong. I think that seems like a pretty good way to live your life.

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Image via ABC

Okay, back to Meredith’s stuff. Which now apparently includes jail time. Last week, I thought she deserved everything she got handed. She left work crew early to deal with something that could have waited so she got summoned to court. She deserved that. But this? Skipping court because your daughter’s having brain surgery? Not unreasonable. I imagine that Meredith would not be spending any time in jail had she made it to court in this episode. Do I think she deserves to spend a few hours in jail? I mean, yeah. But not because she missed court to stay with Zola. It’s for everything else she’s done in the past several episodes. Meredith Grey is not above the rules, and now she’s facing the consequences. Does it suck? Yeah. Is it the end of the world? No. She could’ve been put in jail from the beginning. She got herself into this mess. And, if she does what she’s supposed to, it could be over soon.

Also, one more thing that I want to talk about because I think it’s so funny. Helm is literally a Meredith Grey fangirl and I love her for it. First, she gets giddy that Meredith gave her her cellphone number. Then she uses no less than 15 emojis while updating her on Zola’s surgery. Then she comes into the lounge after the surgery is over and expects a hug. Did you notice Maggie in the background during that part? She was cracking up. Same. I feel like Helm is a real-life fan who somehow made her way into Grey Sloan. It’s amazing.


I’m adding something new to these reviews. I’m going to start linking you guys to the music from each episode now. I’m going to go back through the other season 16 reviews and add the music, so you can go check those out if you need to update a playlist!

Music from 16.05:

Explaining to Do – Trent Dabbs (not on Spotify)
Little Bit of Lovin’ – Elle King
Silhouette – Unions
Need You Now – Dean Lewis

“Trauma doesn’t tell time. It can’t tell if we’re eight or forty-one. If our kids have the chicken pox or if we have the biggest surgeries of our lives to prepare for. And when it sneaks up on us, it’s easy to think we’re right back at square one. But the truth is, even when our brain convices us we’re lost, if we try hard enough, our bodies remind us there’s a way back and prepares us for whatever fight lies ahead.” – Meredith Grey

xoxo J

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.

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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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Image via ABC

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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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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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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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