Friday, November 1, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 16x06 Recap: “Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard” (Happy Halloween!) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard”
Original Airdate: October 31, 2019

Unlike last year’s tear-jerking Day of the Dead episode, Grey’s Anatomy has gone all out on a comedic Halloween hour. This might be one of the most fun episodes to watch as of late. Between the haunted hospital and characters in “scary” situations, it’s impossible not to snicker through this one.


The scare fest begins with Meredith snoring in a jail cell. Upon waking up, we learn that she is getting out of the brig today. The scary part is that we never learn how long Meredith was imprisoned for, or why we have never heard her snore before now. Jo has decided to properly celebrate Halloween by donning her wedding dress as a costume. With her face painted to make her look like a corpse, Jo tells Alex she is going to have a relaxing day off at home. Alex, on the other hand, is stressing about his meeting with potential investors.

Halloween doesn’t get off to the best start at the Grey/Pierce/Shepherd household. Zola asks Maggie when Meredith is coming back from sleep over community service, which might be the best analogy for jail that I’ve ever heard. Maggie is having a hard time looking after the kids and is grateful when DeLuca arrives to drive them to school. Unfortunately for him, trying to help Zola with her costume prompts a “You’re not my dad!” outrage.

Over at Pac-North, Alex and Richard are trying to complete their investor pitch without a hitch. Their pitch includes how they are trying to enhance the flow of the ER and teaching programs, with the hope of getting more funding for a much-needed skills lab. Right as Alex mentions that the new research wing construction is on budget and schedule, a construction worker interrupts with a problem. Alex leaves Richard to finish the tour, and you know the patient with a geyser of blood shooting out of the abdomen in a nearby room signifies how bad things are about to become.

Things start to get spooky at Grey Sloan Memorial too when Bailey confides in Amelia about her pregnancy. These two practically never share scenes, yet they become quick friends when Amelia gives Bailey advice about how to deal with the stress and cravings. Amelia giving Bailey advice is something I never thought I’d see. After getting away from her boss, Amelia is stopped in the hall by Link, who wants her to come to lunch with his parents. Halloween happens to be Link’s “cancer-versary,” or the day that his doctor told him he was cancer-free. Apparently, Link and his divorced parents meet every Halloween for lunch to celebrate. The more Link talks, the more nervous Amelia becomes. She is less than psyched about meeting his parents for the first time and having to tell them she is pregnant.

Jackson, DeLuca, and Schmitt have a young patient named Mary Rose who can’t be exposed to UV light without getting severely burned. Mary Rose has been treated by Alex her whole life and wants to see him. She presents with burns on both arms and claims not to know how she got them. The patient is upset by the news that she will have to have surgery and stay the night in the hospital because Halloween is the only day she can go outside and be a normal kid. As we collectively wipe the tears from our eyes, Jackson tells Schmitt to organize the annual Halloween party that Alex used to throw in order to lighten the spirits of the children in the hospital. Speaking of Alex, the construction worker at Pac-North brings him to a pit they have been digging. Work stopped when they found several skeletons in the ground.


Bailey, Teddy, and Koracick are outside to help with an incoming trauma. When the ambulance arrives, they learn their new patient is a teen who was hit by a car while walking to school. Don’t worry, the ax sticking out of his body is fake and part of his Halloween costume, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t cause real damage. Back at the potentially haunted hospital, Alex finds Richard and tells him about the mass grave the construction workers found. He isn’t sure how to break it to investors that a 100-year-old burial ground for mental hospital patients happens to be right where a new research wing is to be built. Richard says that Pac-North is haunted just as Jo walks in with her wedding dress coated in fake blood. Alex doesn’t like her joke or the fact that she too thinks the hospital is haunted upon learning about the mass grave. Things get real spooky when all the patients in the ICU have arrhythmias at the same time, prompting Alex to ask Jo to stick around and help out.

Before Link and Amelia’s lunch from hell begins, we get a quick shot of Link’s parents waiting in the restaurant saying how they hate surprises. On that good note, Link and Amelia arrive, and Link’s mother asks how long they have been seeing each other. She’s a little surprised it’s only been a few months, but the surprises keep coming when Amelia goes into full word vomit mode... everything from her living with her ex-husband and raising two kids with him to Link trying to get with her sister Meredith first makes an appearance. The shock factor only increases when Link’s parents then announce that they are getting remarried, and the bewildered look on Link’s face says it all.


The laughs take a short break to check in on Jackson and DeLuca. Jackson asks how Meredith is handling jail, and DeLuca complains about trying to not be her kids’ parent. The advice from Jackson that follows makes DeLuca realize that he can have a relationship with the kids without them thinking he is trying to be their new father. Now it’s time to get back to the comedy. Teddy and Bailey start to have a very real conversation in the OR. Teddy feels she is a bad mom because Owen threw her off by showing her the handmade costumes that his mom had made for him and Megan as kids. Owen’s mom was an army nurse and super mom at the same time, which makes Teddy feel inferior. She then declares that she and Owen skipped too many steps and went from being best friends to a family of four overnight.

As she says she doesn’t know what they are doing, the camera pans over to Koracick, who has been in the room the whole time and quietly listening. Awkward doesn’t even begin to cover it, and Teddy feels very embarrassed by forgetting about Koracick once again. After putting in his two cents and leaving, Teddy and Bailey are left to remove the teen’s pancreas after realizing that the fake ax caused some very real damage.

Jail doesn’t seem to be suiting Meredith too well, as she is pacing in her cell while staring at the clock. Her cellmate tells her to stop, but Meredith is mad that her paperwork hasn’t arrived from the courthouse allowing her to leave. Things aren’t going well over at Pac-North either. Owen, Alex, and Jo are trying to figure out what is happening to all the ICU patients. They find a transfusion form in every patient’s chart and come to the conclusion that they all must have been given bad blood. As they go to check the blood bank, all the patients start to crash again.

Link might be having the worst day of any of the characters. At the already cringe-worthy lunch, Link’s dad tells the story of how he got back together with his ex through dating apps that kept matching them up. They met up to laugh about it and realized that those apps weren’t so wrong. The usually level-headed Link loses it when his father asks him to be his best man at the upcoming low key wedding. Link laughs in his face and describes the terrible details of their divorce. His parents forced him to pick sides, making Link hate his life. Link describes all the horrible things they made him do, but the worst has to be the reveal that he double majored in college just so his parents could go to different graduation ceremonies. Link says that he literally doesn’t know what to say about his parents getting remarried, blurts out that Amelia is pregnant and that they won’t put their child through what happened to him, and storms out. The icing on the cake is that his parents look less than thrilled that Amelia is pregnant.


The Pac-North blood mystery gets solved pretty quickly when Alex finds that the blood bank is not at the right temperature, which has made the blood go bad. Good news is that they now know how to help their patients. Bailey and Teddy’s patient is also going to be okay, but the two doctors might not be. Bailey is clearly struggling with hormonal issues and tells Teddy not to worry about her kids’ costumes. She says spending time with the kids is more important, but Teddy doesn’t look convinced.

Over at the prison, Meredith tells her cellmate how she got jail time. After Meredith is done griping, the cellmate tells her story, which is way sadder. The cellmate has two kids and works two jobs to make ends meet. After her childcare for the night fell through, she put her kids to bed and went to work her night shift. One of the kids woke up, realized they were alone, and called 9-1-1. The police didn’t want to listen to her story, and she accidentally hit a police officer with an errant gesture while talking. She was arrested for assault and still hasn’t had a court hearing. She also can’t afford bail, her kids are in foster care, and it might be another month before she gets a hearing. If this doesn’t scream reality check for Meredith, then I don’t know what will make her realize her situation isn’t so bad.

Outside of the restaurant, Amelia tries to calm Link down. He is quite mad, but manages to divulge a hilarious story about attempting to Parent Trap his parents as a kid. Amelia tells him that she thinks he’s angry that his parents are making his cancer-versary all about them. She goes on to say that she understands family dysfunction and that he needs to decide whether to leave or give his parents a chance to do better. Back at Grey Sloan, Schmitt is approached by a small child while setting up for the Halloween party. The kid asks Schmitt to help him find a costume, which leads to Schmitt taking the rest of the day to embrace the holiday and make the kid the sunflower costume he wants. Maggie has arrived at the hospital after picking up Meredith’s kids from school and wants DeLuca to watch after Zola after she refuses to go to daycare. Zola is not happy about the situation, but doesn’t have a choice since Maggie has a surgery to get to. DeLuca is just as unhappy, but he tries to be a good person anyway and agrees to help.


DeLuca leaves Zola outside of Mary Rose’s room before joining Jackson to check up on their patient. The girl is still asking for Alex, so Jackson does a decent impression of him. Mary Rose says that she got the burns on her arms from running outside to catch her kitten that had gotten out of the house. She didn’t have time to put on her jacket and apologizes for her mistake. She asks Jackson not to tell her parents and assures him she won’t leave the house without her protective clothes again. As they leave the room, DeLuca notices that Zola has run away.

Amelia has convinced Link to give the lunch one more chance, so they rejoin his parents. Of course, his parents say that there could be two weddings in the future, which doesn’t go over well with Link. He and Amelia both immediately say that they have no plans to get married and simply want to raise their child together for the time being. The parents go on to discuss their wedding and ask Amelia when her due date is because they have already put down a deposit on a place for the third week of April. Link nearly launches himself across the table, but the look on his face is enough to have his dad backpedal and say they can work the wedding around when the baby is born.

Just as Meredith has finally started to bond with her cellmate, her paperwork arrives and she is free to finally go home. Her boyfriend had better hurry up and find Zola if he wants the family reunion to go well. DeLuca luckily finds Zola hiding out in one of the OR galleries and takes the chance to ask her what he did to upset her. Zola explains that Derek helped her fix her Halloween costume before he died and that she doesn’t want to forget him. DeLuca is touched by the story and launches into a “you will never forget him” campaign. He finally starts to bond with Zola by telling her stories about Derek, who he never met. Zola particularly likes the story about lab tech with the massive spinal tumor, which should make the entire audience smile with nostalgia.
Even though things are going much better over at Pac-North, the staff is convinced that the hospital is being haunted by the skeletons found in the mass grave. Alex has pretty much had it with the conspiracy theories and explains how everything that has happened has a rational explanation. As he says that he wants everyone to get back to work and stop worrying about the burial ground, Richard and the group of investors walk by. This prompts the stunned investors to turn around and walk away.


Back at Grey Sloan, Bailey finds Koracick, who is being a major grumpy pants. Bailey calls him out, so Koracick explains how Halloween was his and his son’s thing. He gets very emotional when he starts talking about a Luke Skywalker costume that his son was so excited to wear one Halloween, but he never got to wear it because he died two weeks before the holiday. Bailey bursts into tears, and the scene quickly turns and has Koracick consoling Bailey instead of the other way around, leading to some more laughs. Pac-North’s day is also coming to a close, and Alex wants to take Jo home. She tells him how good of a job he is doing at the hospital, and Alex reveals that the investors decided to give him the funding in spite of the whole burial ground fiasco. Alex wants to celebrate by going to the courthouse and getting married for real, which is easily the biggest and best shocker of the night.

Celebrations continue at the Grey/Pierce/Shepherd house when Amelia makes Link a plate of candy with a candle in it to mark his cancer-versary. Meredith surprises everyone when she walks in still dressed in her jail attire. Of course, the kids think she has a great costume, while the adults are trying to hide their smiles. Back at Grey Sloan, Teddy tells Owen that she won’t be a super mom and can’t live up to his mother’s standards. Owen says he only brought the costumes to see if they would fit the kids, not to shame Teddy. Too late because Teddy was inspired by the costumes after all, as she shows everyone that she dressed Leo and Allison up as zombies, much to the dismay of literally everyone who works at the hospital.

The episode ends with a trio of happy endings. The hospital’s Halloween party is a big success, and everyone has a great time. Alex and Jo are finally officially married, but the ceremony doesn’t go quite as planned. Jo decides to prank Alex, and the audience, by announcing that she is pregnant in the vows. Alex couldn’t be more excited, but she says that she is just joking. They get married as the audience does a collective sigh, but maybe that’s a hint that it won’t be long before a little Karev will be running around. The third ending shows that Meredith posted her cellmate’s bail, and it seems that Meredith has an idea of what she wants to do with her life if the medical board takes away her license.


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