Friday, February 8, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x12 Review: “Girlfriend in a Coma” (Recovery) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Girlfriend in a Coma”
Original Airdate: February 7, 2019

This week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy showcases the doctors’ relationships through a passage of time. Using a patient’s care and treatment as a lens for bringing the show into present time works well for the most part. The patient’s recovery is just as important as the main characters’ as they recover from their own various issues.


The patient of the episode is Natasha, the woman who fell off a balcony on her wedding day from a few episodes ago. The episode covers a few months — from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day — to show Natasha’s progress and decline. She is in a coma for the first month or so after Meredith, Jo, Link, Nico, and DeLuca operated on her. After she wakes up, she is in pretty good shape and continues to improve for a bit. By the end of January, Natasha’s condition takes a turn for the worse, and the surgeons have to remove a part of her bowel that died and put her back on the ventilator.

By her side the whole time is her loyal fiancé, who is unsure of how to keep on living if Natasha doesn’t make it. Natasha continues to go downhill, making recovery seem impossible. On Valentine’s Day, Natasha and her fiancé decide to take her off the ventilator and let her pass away peacefully. They both know that they have fought as hard as they could and that Natasha has been given the best possible care. Her injuries were too severe, and they are happy for the time that they have had.

After taking the patient off the ventilator, Alex has an idea to make Natasha’s dream come true: all of the main and recurring doctors gather in Natasha’s room for an impromptu wedding. They all hold up their phones and tablets with pictures of the stars to give Natasha the wedding under the stars she had dreamed of. The happiness of the wedding doesn’t last long, as Natasha takes her last breaths mere moments after the ceremony ends. Natasha’s story is very moving and mirrors the ups and downs that many of the other doctors face in this episode.


The passage of time also lets us finally see a very pregnant Teddy! Owen and Teddy’s relationship continues to be strained and awkward, whether it’s a holiday or a regular neonatal exam. They clearly haven’t figured out their new dynamic yet, even though Owen promises that they will make their own traditions with their baby. Owen tries a few times to reach Teddy in this episode, but she shuts him down. At least they are happy when they find out that they are having a baby girl! Tom Koracick is still romancing Teddy over the few month span of the episode too. I like whatever is happening between the two of them, and their characters could be good for each other. Tom clearly cares about Teddy, since he takes her to a spa for manicures and pedicures for Valentine’s Day.

Owen’s struggles continue as he tries to balance his emerging family life with Teddy and his current dysfunctional family. Amelia and Owen seem to be going strong and are a united front when it comes to Betty and Leo. Betty has been in rehab for several months and drops some big bombshells on Amelia and Owen during a visit: she tells them that she is starting to go through the twelve steps of recovery and has gotten to the step where she tells the truth and apologizes for her wrongdoings. Well, she has a lot to apologize for because it turns out her name is not Betty (it’s actually Brittany), her parents have no idea that she was pregnant and has a son, and she ran away from home when she got pregnant so she didn’t have to face her parents. Oh, and she really misses drugs.

Owen and Amelia are shocked to hear Betty’s, uh... Brittany’s, truths. It seems that this family is living a soap opera. Brittany is reluctant to the idea of reaching out to her parents and telling them where she has been and what she has been going through over the past year and a half or so, which Owen and Amelia aren’t happy with. Owen struggles with the truth about Brittany because he wants to do the right thing and contact her parents, but he doesn’t want them to potentially take Leo away from him. Good news: Brittany’s parents are coming to town in the next episode, so Owen won’t have to agonize about it for too long.


The episode also features our first look at Catherine’s long road to recovery. Now at home and taking it easy, Catherine is having a difficult time adjusting to being a patient. She refuses to accept help from anyone, much to Richard’s annoyance. Catherine’s recovery is especially tough for Jackson, as he is unsure of how to react and what to do. Thankfully, Maggie becomes his rock by explaining that she knows exactly what he is going through. It’s nice to see Maggie put Jackson before herself and help him get through hard times. Catherine has a few ups and downs throughout the few months post-surgery, but by the end of the episode, she has taken physical, emotional, and mental turns for the better.

Bailey is also trying to put her life back together, and is in a healthier place. She spends the three months pleading Ben to come back home and be with her, but Ben isn’t quite as eager as his wife. Ben tells Bailey that she broke his heart and just because she is ready to get back together, it doesn’t mean that he is. Bailey fails at explaining to Ben why she was struggling and wanted a break in the first place, and finally admits to him that she is seeking help for her anxiety. After a while, Ben has a change of heart and shows up on Valentine’s Day to build Bailey the treehouse that he promised her after her heart attack. Bailey is very moved by the gesture and agrees that their relationship is forever. It’s nice that Bailey and Ben have finally let bygones be bygones and get back together.


The final story of the episode is a giant game of cat and mouse being played by Meredith, Link, and DeLuca. Meredith has been teasing Link and DeLuca for far too long, and both men have pretty much had enough of her games. Surprisingly, Meredith acts like a little kid and constantly blows off the men after making plans with them. DeLuca constantly calls her out on her rude actions, and his bitterness and desperation make Meredith sink even lower. On Valentine’s Day, Meredith asks Link to dinner in front of DeLuca. After Natasha dies, DeLuca pulls Meredith up to the roof for a surprise dinner, which she wants to leave so she doesn’t stand up Link. DeLuca convinces her to stay, and the two finally have their long-awaited first kiss.

Link is pretty mad that he got stood up by Meredith and appears to be over her for now. Grey’s Anatomy seems to be wasting two opportunities here. They have been teasing a love triangle for months, and this episode doesn’t pay off. Granted, Meredith rarely makes up her mind quickly, so I’m sure we will see more of the love triangle. There is also a new episode of the show airing on Valentine’s Day next week, so it’s odd that they wasted the chance at having a real holiday episode.


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