Sunday, April 8, 2018

Grey’s Anatomy 14x18 Recap: “Hold Back the River” (Medical Frontier) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Hold Back the River”
Original Airdate: April 5, 2018

Once again, there’s a lot happening at Grey Sloan Memorial. It’s the first time in what feels like a long time that all of the main characters have something important going on and are all in the same episode. Since each doc has a significant story, let’s cut right to it and dive into the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy.


It’s hard to say which of the many plots is the most important in this episode, but the most anticipated surgery finally occurs. Amelia, Tom Koracick, and DeLuca decide to test their groundbreaking ultrasound wave theory on Noah, the boy with the tumor that causes seizures. The procedure turns out to be much more grueling than they all thought, and they almost fry the poor kid’s brain several times. After a prolonged surgery, the docs fear that they might have killed Noah when he doesn’t wake up after the anesthesia wears off.

Luckily, the boy wakes up and appears to be back to normal the next morning. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see any post-op scans, so there’s no way for us to know whether the procedure was a complete success. Amelia and Tom do decide that the procedure is too risky to try again any time soon and that they need to continue to fine tune it before using it on any more patients. Alex is beyond unhappy when Tom tells him that he won’t perform the surgery on young theater lover Kimmie because her tumor is too advanced and they had more issues than anticipated with Noah’s lesser tumor. Alex has a hard time accepting that Kimmie is not going to make it, and this could be a patient that throws him off the rails again.


Since every character has gotten a very personal episode or arc this season, it should come to no surprise that it is finally Richard’s turn to deal with something unexpected. Richard’s longtime friend and AA sponsor Olive Warner arrives at the hospital via ambulance and is wearing a DNR (do not resuscitate) bracelet. Ben gives Richard the details and tells him that he resuscitated her before noticing her bracelet. While that is a big oops on Ben’s part, Richard is more than happy that Olive is still alive. He isn’t thrilled that she didn’t tell him about the DNR and wants to do everything he can to help his dying friend.

Richard brings in Meredith and Maggie to help Olive since he feels too close to the case to be practical. The sisters know that there is nothing they can do to help Olive’s liver failure and other problems, but Richard won’t accept her fate. Meredith is very concerned that losing Olive will cause Richard to spiral again, which is something no one wants to see happen. Richard has always been the nicest, most pleasant character, and he doesn’t deserve to circle the drain again. Meredith enlists Maggie to be the one to tell him that he has to accept Olive’s wishes and the fact that there is nothing either doctor can do.

Meredith made a good choice there because Richard definitely seemed to take it better coming from his daughter. By the end of the episode, Richard comes to terms with losing Olive soon and even shows his progress through throwing an improvised AA meeting for Amelia, Olive, and himself. All three characters needed each other’s support, so it was a really nice moment to watch.

Meredith and Jo are also continuing their Surgical Innovation Contest project by attempting to bond cells with different polymers to grow mini livers in mice. Finally, one mouse has grown a small liver. Surprisingly, the test subject grew the liver with just the cells and no polymer at all. This is a huge breakthrough for Meredith and Jo, as they may no longer have to worry about Marie and her polymer. Plus, maybe they can figure out the science in enough time to save Olive... but don’t count on that happening.


Last episode’s emotional moment between dying Rabbi Eli and April has lasted and made a profound impact on April’s mindset. She spends this episode going back to her old, happy ways and believing in God again. April goes on a hospital apology tour, since she feels bad for treating everyone terribly for the past few weeks while she was having a mental breakdown. Everyone is pretty accepting of April and her past behavior and is very happy to see her out of that funk. April knows that she screwed up, so it will be nice to see her acting normal again in this last stretch of episodes. It appears that she might be able to go out on a high note instead of in the doom and gloom that she brought on herself over the past several episodes.

Maggie and Jackson are finally happy together and aren’t really hiding their relationship anymore. However, there might be some trouble in paradise for these two in the next episode thanks to April’s apology to Maggie. April runs into Maggie on her way out of the hospital and apologizes for her behavior at game night. She goes on to tell Maggie all about her messy few weeks, including how she slept with an intern and Tom, and that she also kissed Jackson in a supply closet. Well... that didn’t go over well with Maggie, who didn’t know about the kiss. It will be interesting to see if Maggie and Jackson have their first fight and what happens between them, even though nothing big actually happened between Jackson and April.

Ben and Bailey seem to be getting back into a normal routine too. They have a few scenes this week that make it seem like they are still adjusting to Ben’s new firefighter schedule. Thankfully, Grey’s Anatomy hasn’t cut Ben out entirely now that he stars on Station 19. While the couple still has a lot to figure out, it is nice to see that they are making it work and still have the same love and support for each other.


The most shocking storyline of the episode revolves around an oncologist faking cancer diagnoses for healthy patients and giving them chemotherapy that they don’t need. Arizona and Owen treat two women who were in a car accident and learn that the one woman was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She tells them that her doctor has promised her that she will fully recover, and Owen isn’t buying the false confidence. When they do a full body scan to see what damage the woman has sustained from the accident, Arizona and Owen notice that there are no tumors anywhere in the patient’s body.

Owen is immediately angry and tries to get intern Schmidt to get the patient’s records from the oncologist’s office. When they won’t send the records over, Owen’s rage intensifies. He believes that the doctor must be scamming patients and illegally forcing them to go through treatments they don’t need for his own profit. Owen and Arizona decide to pay the doctor’s clinic a visit by having Arizona play patient. They go to the clinic and don’t reveal they are doctors, so then they can catch the doctor in the act of faking a cancer diagnosis. Arizona gets checked for breast cancer, like her patient, to show that the doctor is lying. However, Owen and Arizona are shocked to see that the ultrasound shows two lesions in one of Arizona’s breasts.

Arizona is overwhelmed with the news that she has cancer. They rush back to Grey Sloan and have April do another ultrasound on Arizona to confirm the other doctor’s diagnosis. This ultrasound shows nothing wrong with Arizona, who is relieved to find out that she isn’t sick. Owen thinks the quack doctor must be faking the ultrasounds, thus making patients believe they are sick. The real sick person is this awful doctor, who almost gets a taste of his own medicine when Owen goes back to his clinic. Owen scares the doctor pretty well before the cops show up to arrest the guy. Owen almost has another rage episode between learning about the fake cancer diagnoses and his failed attempt at winning Teddy over. He is going to need to find a way to live with Teddy’s rejection before he really messes up again.


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