Thursday, February 28, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x15 Review: “We Didn’t Start the Fire” (The Record Breaker) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“We Didn’t Start the Fire”
Original Airdate: February 28, 2019

It’s official: Grey’s Anatomy is now the longest running primetime medical drama series in television history! Over the past fifteen years, Grey’s has managed to capture audiences through its unique blend of medical oddities and character-driven stories. The show has been incredibly successful thanks to the amazing writing staff, who continually keep the viewers interested in the characters’ lives and personal growth through plots that hit every emotional high and low.

However, Grey’s Anatomy wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for the very devoted fan base. Whether you have been watching for all 15 years or started recently, the fans have been an integral part of the show’s success.

And what better way to celebrate the record-breaking episode than to have the main plot of the week center on a party?


It wouldn’t be a proper milestone without a party, and having the episode focus on Catherine’s successful surgery bash was the perfect way to incorporate the show’s celebration. Of course it also wouldn’t be a Grey’s Anatomy party unless something went terribly wrong. Hint: did you catch all the blatantly obvious fire symbolism, from actual fires to the powder keg heating up between certain characters to the many-meanings title of the episode? Jackson is hosting Catherine’s get-together at his penthouse at her request... except that the guest of honor doesn’t want to show up at all. In her absence, everything starts hitting the fan.

The fun starts with the Grey-Shepherd-Pierce sisters’ struggles. Maggie learns that her med school rival, Kimberly, has published an article about her life-saving surgery from the previous episode that makes her look like the hero instead of Maggie’s risky and groundbreaking procedure. Maggie is furious that Kimberly is stealing her thunder and that all the other doctors like the article. Later in the episode, she has a candid discussion with Richard, who gives her the best fatherly advice in telling her that she needs to be bolder and take her thunder back by publishing her own paper.

Amelia is having a rough day of her own and doesn’t even want to attend the party, which is partially in her honor for saving Catherine’s life. After two weeks of recovery from her aortic dissection, Betty/Brittany is ready to move back home with her parents and baby Leo. Owen and Amelia both have a hard time saying goodbye to their children, especially since Betty/Brittany doesn’t actually say goodbye before leaving. Their bad moods continue at the party, where several things go down.

First, Owen is once again visibly upset by seeing Teddy and Koracick together. He becomes even angrier when he learns that they are going on a trip together. Second, Amelia feels like her relationship with Owen has hit another rut because they only got sort of back together when Betty/Brittany and Leo came into the picture. They have an argument about their relationship, in which Amelia accuses Owen of still being in love with Teddy. Owen refutes and says he just hates Koracick, and Amelia decides to break things off with Owen. As if things couldn’t get any worse, a third event occurs during Catherine’s toast.

Meredith is nervous about attending the party with DeLuca because they haven’t taken their relationship public yet. Before the party, Meredith tells Alex that she is dating DeLuca just to get it out in the open and make things less awkward. Her strategy doesn’t work very well because telling one person doesn’t equal telling everyone, which the couple finds out the hard way. Amelia bombards Meredith with her current issues at the party and says that she might spend the night with Meredith, who was happy to have the house to herself for once and wants to spend it with DeLuca. Being the nice person she is, Meredith doesn’t object or tell Amelia about her plans with DeLuca. Meredith breaks the news to DeLuca, and the two of them go into a guest room for some alone time... which gets interrupted when Richard accidentally walks in on them making out. A very embarrassed Meredith decides to “act normal” by taking over the caterers’ jobs and helping with cooking food.


Catherine’s party is crashed by a surprising guest: Helen Karev. Helen shows up at the hospital a few hours before the party to see Alex, but when Helm tells him Mrs. Karev is looking for him, he thinks she means Jo and ignores the message. Alex goes to the party and has Helm tell his wife to meet him there. Jo finds Helen in the waiting room of the hospital before she leaves for the party and takes Helen with her, as Helm told her to meet Alex there. To say that Alex is surprised to see his mother is an understatement, and he immediately jumps to the worst conclusions about why she is visiting.

It’s sad that after all these years and everything he has done to help her, Alex still can’t trust anything that his mother says or does. He doesn’t believe that she has shown up in Seattle for a simple visit. Instead, he thinks that she might be having another episode or psychotic break and calls her doctor to see if she has been doing well. Alex is even more concerned about his mother’s mental status when she starts freaking out about smelling smoke when no one else does. Helen tries to tell Alex that everyone needs to get out of Jackson’s apartment because there is a fire, but Alex doesn’t believe her.


As all of the chaos is erupting at her party, Catherine plans to not show up and convinces Bailey to go to the party together in her limousine. Catherine goes on a long rant about how Bailey needs to live life more and splurge, yet she won’t even allow herself a little happiness by attending her own party. Eventually, Catherine tells Bailey that she has no intentions of attending her party because she doesn’t feel right about celebrating a less than perfect outcome. She is terrified of living with cancer for the rest of her life. Bailey convinces Catherine to go to her party, and they arrive just in time for the fireworks to start.

Once they walk in the door, Jackson starts a toast to his mom and her recovery. At the same time, Owen confronts Koracick about him preying on Teddy, and Helen is freaking out about a fire. Owen and Koracick exchange heated words, which ends with Owen being punched in the face when he says that Koracick isn’t a father. Too bad Owen hadn’t previously known Koracick’s backstory and had to be told in the moment by Teddy, who immediately defends her boyfriend. Amelia leaves the party before the toast, since she can’t stand to see what is happening. After Owen gets punched and the fight is broken up, the fire alarms start going off as Helen exclaims that the fire is coming from the kitchen. Smoke starts pouring out of the kitchen, and everyone starts running out of the apartment. Alex is weirdly excited about the fire because he realizes that Helen wasn’t delusional.

Ben and other firefighters come to the rescue, and it’s too bad that a crossover with Station 19 didn’t happen. It turns out that there wasn’t a fire, but the smoke was caused by a plastic pan being put in the oven. Meredith and DeLuca are pretty sure that they started the fire while helping out after their make out session, but they don’t confess. The “fire” doesn’t really ruin the night for everyone, as Maggie, Jackson, Catherine, and Richard take the limousine for some family time. Catherine realizes that the most important thing for her is to celebrate each scan and test with her family, whether the results are positive or not.

Owen gets a big surprise when he gets home and finds Amelia there, who tells him that the Dickinsons have decided to bring Leo back. Betty/Brittany decided that she didn’t want to keep Leo, even though her parents did, because she wants to be a normal kid again. Owen and Amelia are once again Leo’s parents, but their relationship status is very much up in the air. Meredith and DeLuca are also surprised when they go back to his place to spend the night. Carina shows up with their father, which doesn’t seem to sit well with Andrew. Remember all those things that Andrew revealed about his father in the elevator to Meredith? Sounds like we are going to see that whole fiasco play out in upcoming episodes.


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