Monday, November 20, 2017

Grey’s Anatomy 14x08 Review: “Out of Nowhere” (Paper Trail) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Out of Nowhere”
Original Airdate: November 16, 2017

This might be the craziest winter finale yet, as all hell breaks loose at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Cyber terrorists render the hospital’s technology useless, meaning chaotic issues for all the doctors. Some of the major storylines include Meredith stuck in the middle of an open abdomen procedure with no access to the blood bank, Maggie and Jackson’s patient knocking on death’s door as an ECMO tube bursts, Alex doesn’t know what life-saving medicine to give his young patient without access to his medical records, and Jo gets one heck of a shocking surprise. Then, the episode ends, leaving the characters and audience in limbo for the next two months!


The crisis-of-the-week is more damaging, and enlightening, than in the past. An unknown person, or group, decided to hack into the hospital’s mainframe, shut down all of the technology, and change all of the codes and such. The hacker is holding the technology, including all patient records, ransom for roughly $20 million. It really isn’t clear why this is happening, so you just have to roll with it. Unfortunately for the doctors, all of the patient records are digital, with no paper trail anywhere in the hospital. All of the heart monitors, scan machines, surgical equipment, etc. are offline as well.

This is a painstaking lesson in not relying 100% on technology. Each character has their own interesting storyline that coincides with the attack. Meredith and intern Schmitt are in the middle of a laparoscopic splenectomy when the attack starts. Of course, she has no idea what is going on and decides to switch to an open procedure, which requires blood bags. Schmitt goes to get the blood from the blood bank, but can’t get in because the room has a keypad that is controlled electronically. Upon Schmitt’s arrival back to the operating room, Meredith is extremely frustrated and says that she wouldn’t have done an open procedure if she knew she didn’t have access to blood. Funny enough, Schmitt’s blood type is O negative, which is the universal donor blood type, so Meredith sets up an impromptu transfusion to continue her surgery. And that is where her story ends for the episode.

Alex finds himself in a worse situation than most when he is forced to make a life-or-death judgement call. His kindergartner patient has a rare blood disorder that causes blood clots and strokes. When the kid starts having some odd symptoms, no one knows which medicine he was given earlier in the day since it was only recorded electronically. Newly-minted chief resident Jo spends the episode trying to hunt down the patient’s nurse to help Alex make the right call. Just as she is trying to get back to Alex, who is about to administer an unknown medicine to the patient, she is stopped by a truly surprising guest star. But, more on that later. The episode ends before we know what drug Alex gave his patient and if he made the right call, which is a tough cliffhanger to swallow.
Tough Love

The one positive of the winter finale is Jackson and Maggie sort of admitting their feelings for each other. Jackson tells her he is glad they aren’t from the same family, and Maggie flirts with him the entire episode, again. When will these two hook up already? They really need to cut the nonsense and get together.

Their shared patient in the episode needs to be transferred to another hospital because the ECMO machine keeping him alive could become compromised from the cyber-attack. While sharing a nice moment on the transport helicopter, an air pocket causes one of the tubes of the machine to come loose and start spraying the patient’s blood all over the place. Some will find this horrifying, while other may laugh at Jackson and Maggie’s reactions to being spurted with lots of blood. After getting soaked in blood, they finally get things under control, but I’m not so sure the patient can survive with the amount of blood he lost. Their story, too, ends in limbo.


Okay, time to get back to Jo’s adventures. After a pretty rough year or so, Jo’s life seems to finally be getting better. She is back and living with Alex, is at the top of her surgical game, and became the hospital’s chief resident. Naturally, Jo wants to prove herself in her well-earned, new position and takes it very seriously. However, poor Jo can never catch a break! On her way back to Alex and his patient with the information to save the kid’s life, she is blindsided when she literally runs into her estranged, abusive husband: Dr. Paul Stadler.

This was quite a shocking turn of events because there was no indication that Paul would show in the episode. Props to ABC for keeping Matthew Morrison’s name off of the guest starring list to add the element of surprise. I’m sure we all thought we wouldn’t see Paul return until sometime in the second half of the season, since Jo filed for divorce two episodes ago. It’s great to know that the show is going to tackle domestic violence through their still-untold story right away, and it’s sure to be a spectacle. All we know for now is that Paul came for Jo quickly, has lots of unresolved anger toward her, and will certainly create a ton of drama.

Grey’s Anatomy will return on Thursday, January 18th at 8/7c.


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