Friday, October 4, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 16x02 Recap: “Back in the Saddle” (New Beginnings) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Back in the Saddle”
Original Airdate: October 3, 2019

After a whirlwind, time jumping premiere, Grey’s Anatomy is back with a more standard episode. It appears that the action picks up relatively close to where we left off, which lets the stories presented in the first episode of the season to further develop. Every character has a new beginning this week, so there is a lot more positivity in the air.


The first scene shows DeLuca visiting Meredith at her community service “job.” While he is there, Meredith receives a message saying that her hearing with the medical board about the status of her medical license will be held in three months. She isn’t happy that she has to wait in limbo for that long, but decides to continue practicing medicine by helping her fellow workers with their medical problems. On the other side of things, Bailey is at home complaining to Ben about not having Meredith, Richard, and Alex working at the hospital anymore and how much she hates having Tom Koracick as her boss. Of course, these are problems that Bailey caused herself... not that she is willing to admit it. With Victoria Hughes visiting last week and Ben appearing in this episode, I’m starting to wonder if we will have a Station 19 character visit every episode of Grey’s Anatomy while the former is on hiatus.

In the happiest storyline of the episode, Jo declares to Alex that she is ready to go back to work, and he’s surprised she is willing to go back to Grey Sloan Memorial. He offers his wife a fellowship with no strings attached at his new hospital, Pacific Northwest General (Pac North for short). The show then flashes to the Grey/Shepherd/Pierce residence, where Amelia tells Maggie that she has yet to inform Link that she is pregnant. Maggie is dealing with her own complications, and complains about being single and how much she hates Jackson for moving on from their relationship so quickly. Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen arrives for his first day of work post-paternity leave and has the world’s most awkward elevator ride with Tom and Link, where he finds out about Tom’s new position.

Tom has brought on a fifth-year resident from Johns Hopkins. Bailey has decided to take a more hands-on approach with the surgical interns and residents to make up for her guilt in firing three of her best doctors. Tom’s protégée is part of Bailey’s group, though we don’t get to see much more of him other than his introduction. After they pull into the parking lot of the hospital, a scooterist rides into the side of Maggie and Amelia’s parked car, and he becomes the trauma patient of the episode. In other first steps news, Alex and Richard get off to a bumpy start on their first day at Pac North when they realize that the hospital is worse off than they thought: the elevators not working and there are only two surgical residents to service the entire hospital.


The moment we have all been waiting for arrives when Amelia finds Link and decides to blurt out that she is pregnant in a stairwell at the hospital. Link is more than stunned at the news that his girlfriend is roughly eight weeks pregnant with his child and is even more surprised when she word vomits about her past complications with pregnancy. Amelia runs off after getting a page, leaving a speechless Link in her wake. Jo shows up at Grey Sloan Memorial to tell Bailey that she is ready to come back, but she wants freer rein with her fellowship after Alex’s offer, which is what Bailey wants too. Back at Pac North, things keep going downhill when the CT scanner breaks and a patient almost dies in the waiting room. People keep entering the emergency room asking for Richard, saying that they were sent by Meredith Grey.

Meredith has started a street clinic for her fellow community service workers and has an incredibly long line of new patients during “work.” Schmitt arrives to drop off supplies that Meredith asked for, and it’s nice to know that Meredith still has an ally within the hospital. She takes a look at her supervisor, Robin, and wants her to be seen by Jackson for a potential tumor in her neck. While they make their way to Grey Sloan Memorial, Bailey holds a skills lab for her group and says that whoever finishes the practice graft they are working on first will get to perform it themselves in a real surgery later that day. Down in the emergency room, the scooterist is awake and blames Maggie for running him over, while Maggie vehemently denies his accusations. Owen is helping Maggie treat the patient, whose luck is about to get worse.


Two plots collide when Jo and Link sit down to chat. Jo is extremely happy that two hospitals want her, while Link shares his surprising news. Link is scared about the possibility of bringing a child into the craziness that is the world we live in and starts listing all the things that could go wrong, including cancer and gun violence. He isn’t sure he wants Amelia to keep the baby, but Jo reassures him that he will be an excellent father.

Back at Bailey’s boot camp, DeLuca finishes the graft first with Helm finishing one second on his heels. Bailey ignores DeLuca and declares Helm the winner, which understandably doesn’t sit well at all with DeLuca.

Things go from bad to worse in the emergency room when the scooterist’s broken rib hits his heart, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. While trying to save her patient’s life, Maggie freaks out about the possibility of the guy dying after he accused her of running him over. Owen tries to get Maggie to calm down, to no avail, and Maggie almost blurts out that Amelia is pregnant.

Back at Pac North, Richard tells Alex how upset he is at his current situation. Richard wanted to spend his entire career at Grey Sloan Memorial and doesn’t accept that he can’t work there anymore. It’s hard not to feel sympathetic for Richard even though he did have a hand in Meredith’s insurance fraud scandal. In an attempt to test fate, Meredith has brought Robin to the Grey Sloan Memorial parking lot and made Schmitt bring a portable ultrasound outside so she could run a test on their patient. Schmitt is very concerned at being caught and losing his medical license when Jackson happens across the group. Meredith asks for his help to biopsy the growth in Robin’s neck, after explaining how she is trying to help people who have had the healthcare system fail them. Jackson semi-reluctantly agrees to help out and brings Robin inside.


Back in the emergency room, Owen and Maggie manage to save their patient after performing impromptu surgery and shocking his exposed heart nearly 20 times. Tom walks in right before they get the patient’s heart started again and walks behind Owen as he pulls the paddles out of the patient’s chest cavity. The paddles, which are still charged, accidentally hit Tom down low. The shock is hilarious for everyone... but Tom. In a different part of the hospital, Jackson and Schmitt perform a biopsy on Robin. Schmitt is concerned that Bailey is going to question him about the missing supplies and asks for Jackson’s help in covering it up. Jackson quickly agrees to cover for Schmitt because he is still good friends with Meredith and will do anything to help her out. Meredith has at least two new allies, which may come in handy down the road.

Amelia and Link meet up in the afternoon to talk more about their baby. Link starts to change his mind about the situation when he hears Amelia’s story about her dead baby, Christopher. She reveals her hidden struggle with his death and how she never considered having another child because she couldn’t go through the same pain again if something tragic were to happen. Link is visibly moved by Amelia’s speech and tells her that whatever she decides to do with the baby, he will be by her side supporting her. He will be the supportive father if she wants to keep the baby, or he will drive her to the appointment and be with her if she doesn’t want to keep it. Amelia clearly wanted Link to say he didn’t want the baby and is conflicted with his response.

In the operating room, Bailey, Helm, and DeLuca are working on the same surgery together. Helm thinks her solo graft is going well until the sutures don’t hold and the patient starts bleeding out. She begs Bailey to help out, but Bailey instructs DeLuca to take charge of the situation. DeLuca saves the patient, yet isn’t happy with the way Bailey handled things.


In the final section of the episode, all of the various storylines are resolved as usual. First up, Meredith, Robin, and Jackson are sitting in the hospital’s lobby discussing the test results. Robin has thyroid cancer and is glad she didn’t have to wait two months to get an appointment with another doctor and have the cancer progress. While they are talking, Bailey and Helm walk by. Helm is excited to see Meredith, but Bailey is less than thrilled to see her former mentee sitting there. Bailey’s annoyance levels continue to increase when DeLuca calls her out for treating him poorly due to his connection to Meredith. In a jaw dropping moment, Bailey tells DeLuca that it wasn’t personal and that he should dump Meredith before associating with her ruins his budding career. Bailey is never this petty, and it is shocking to hear her speak with so much ill will about Meredith.

Even though their first day at Pac North didn’t go as expected, Alex asks Richard to help him turn the place around to prove Bailey wrong. He wants to show Bailey their worth by making vast improvements to Pac North together. Richard agrees to help, and it should be quite interesting to see what they do to try and fix up the broken down hospital. At Grey Sloan Memorial, Jo talks to Bailey again to let her know that Alex has now offered her a spot at Pac North as a general surgery attending. Jo wants the same position at Grey Sloan if Bailey wants her to stay there. Bailey agrees to make Jo a general surgery attending to get one up on Alex and to start fixing the giant hole left in the general surgery department after Meredith and Richard were fired. Jo should have been promoted to attending a long time ago, so it is nice to see her finally get her due. Hopefully her new job will help lift her spirits.

Owen decides to make up with Tom and apologize for shocking his privates, but his apology is not accepted. Tom says that he has gotten a restraining order against Owen, which is ridiculous given the incident was a complete accident and it was Tom’s fault for walking behind Owen. It’s unclear how this will play out given that the two men work in the same hospital and staying 500 feet apart is not always going to be possible.

At home, Meredith tells DeLuca that she wants to publish articles about compromised healthcare based on her experiences of caring for her new “coworkers.” DeLuca warns her that she shouldn’t do anything too radical while her medical license is under review, but we all know that she won’t heed the advice. The episode closes with a heartfelt final discussion between Link and Amelia, who have both decided that they want to keep the baby. It looks like we are in for the second season in a row of baby fever!


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