Monday, March 23, 2020

Grey’s Anatomy 16x18 Recap: “Give a Little Bit” (Eruption) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Give a Little Bit”
Original Airdate: March 19, 2020

It’s Meredith’s big pro bono surgery day at Grey Sloan Memorial. With 25 patients to operate on in 12 hours, what could possibly go wrong? There’s also a case of potential human trafficking. Or is one of the doctor’s losing his mind?


The episode opens with Meredith calling and waking up a grumpy Jo at 5 a.m. because the latter is running late for pro bono surgery day. Mer is not happy that one of her doctors isn’t already at the hospital when they have 25 surgeries to complete in 12 hours. Jo is finally living at her apartment again after a week at Link’s, but she is sleeping on her couch because even looking at her bed is too much to deal with. Jo informs Mer that she isn’t going to go by Karev anymore, but doesn’t know what her name should be. After hanging up with Mer, Jo decides it’s time to take off her wedding band before getting ready to leave for work. Helm is Mer’s right hand woman/secretary for the day and has been tasked with keeping Mer and the entire surgical team on schedule. She tells Mer that she is a legend, but Mer prefers to think that public service doesn’t make her a legend. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we all agree with Helm on this one.

In the main hallway of the hospital, Maggie tracks down Richard to tell him some good news. She heard from her lawyer that Richard’s brother settled the lawsuit against her for the death of her cousin. This is actually very underwhelming to hear because the show made a big deal about bringing in Richard’s estranged family, killing one off, and suing Maggie for the death. Having the settlement occur off camera makes this larger storyline useless. Richard tells Maggie that he too had a call from a lawyer to inform him that Catherine is sending him separation papers. This has Richard in a bad mood, especially because Catherine is allowing him to keep his own house. He scowls when he says “allowing,” which made this conversation somewhat better. As Richard leaves Maggie, Mer literally hops over to talk to him about scrubbing in for a few easy general surgeries to help ease her pro bono schedule. Richard refuses to participate, which gives Mer an opportunity to guilt him by saying she doesn’t want to lose him. Richard assures her that they will always be friends, but he will not operate.

The somewhat awkward conversations continue when Amelia randomly pops into a lounge and announces to Jo, Teddy, and Owen that her baby’s father is Link. Jo says that Link already told her the news, while Teddy and Owen sort of stand there stunned and don’t really know how to react. Amelia is glad that everyone can move forward with their lives, but the looks on Teddy and Owen’s faces imply the opposite. Of course, the news makes Teddy freak out, as she has made some interesting decisions since thinking that her life with Owen could blow up from the Amelia situation. Funny enough, it was Teddy who blew things up this time, not Owen.

DeLuca has been relegated to clinic duty until Bailey decides to let him operate again, and he’s not too happy about it. Schmitt comes into the clinic looking for one of the pro bono patients, which makes DeLuca’s mood worse. DeLuca quickly finds a distraction when he starts examining a teenage girl with abdominal pain who came into the clinic accompanied by her aunt. The aunt informs DeLuca that she is the teen’s guardian and becomes more than a little overbearing when she starts answering all of DeLuca’s questions that he asks the teen. DeLuca is not pleased with the aunt, especially when she says that she wants to stay for the teen’s more thorough exam after telling him that she might have a UTI and that the girl has abandonment issues. DeLuca agrees to let her stay, but immediately starts to think that something is wrong with the situation.

Mer is ready to start the pro bono surgeries and rounds up her surgical group for a pep talk. Participating surgeons include Jo, Owen, Hayes, Helm, and Brody (one of the residents who was injured in the Joe’s Bar incident). One of the surgeons not participating is Teddy, who has a new patient in the ER. Teddy’s patient is Kyle, a military vet who was arrested on Station 19 for assault and attempting to blow up a store with a grenade. Kyle presents with chest pains and says that he has brain injuries, memory issues, and PTSD from his time overseas. Teddy is moved by his story and promises to help him. However, she is thrown for a loop when Kyle starts staring into space and she can’t get him to respond. Teddy pages Koracick for backup, thinking that her patient might be having a seizure.


DeLuca checks back with his patient, and once again, the aunt is doing all the talking and won’t let the teen talk. The aunt demands to know how long the tests will take because she has to get back to her other kids. DeLuca assures her that they will be out of there as soon as possible, then goes over to a nurse and asks for Bailey to be alerted that they might have a potential trafficking situation. He feels that the situation fits all the signs of trafficking and wants to contact the authorities immediately. He also tells the nurse to make sure the tests take as long as possible in order to delay the aunt and the teen from leaving. This is actually a really tricky situation that Grey’s Anatomy has laid out. At this point in the episode, there is no clear answer on whether DeLuca is right or whether he is having a manic episode. The girl and the aunt do look similar and could easily be related. The girl does not appear to be afraid of her aunt either. However, the warning signs of the aunt doing all the talking and not letting the teen speak, trying to rush things, and getting mad at DeLuca are very real. While watching the episode live, it was clear that no matter which way it wound up, things will not end well for DeLuca.

Mer is ready to take her first pro bono patient into surgery and goes to introduce herself. The patient’s daughter isn’t keen on Mer’s plan, as this is her mother’s fourth surgeon and the other three couldn’t help her. Mer tries to reassure the daughter that she is very confident that she can help her mother and that everything will work out. Koracick chooses this moment to tell Mer that one of the ORs is unavailable for the next hour because the wrong equipment was put in and now they need to get the right instruments and sanitize those. Mer is mad that things are being delayed when they don’t have any time to spare.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Amelia finds Link to tell him that she gave Owen and Teddy the news that Link is the father of her baby. Link reveals that he has received an offer from the Seattle Mariners MLB team to come back as their team doctor. He wants to turn down the offer because even though it would pay double what he previously made with them, he’s going to be a dad and doesn’t want a hectic traveling schedule again. He would rather be a present father than go back to his dream job, which shows just how committed he really is. Link decides to tell Nico about the opportunity and that he will put in a good word with the Mariners if he wants the job. Nico is ecstatic and really wants the job. Schmitt overhears their conversation and isn’t so sure about the position considering how it would affect their relationship. He asks Nico if they can talk about it, but Nico simply says that it would be dumb for him not to take his dream job if it was offered to him and walks away.

Back in the clinic, DeLuca’s patient asks to go to the bathroom, and the aunt quickly says that she will take her. DeLuca insists that a nurse should take her to the bathroom because he doesn’t trust that the aunt is really the girl’s aunt. The nurse comes back and informs DeLuca that Bailey is going into surgery and can’t come down for a consult. DeLuca isn’t happy, so he pleads with the nurse to take the teen to the bathroom in the event that this is a real trafficking situation. At least he gets the nurse to play along.

Amelia shows up to take a look at Teddy’s patient and Teddy is surprised that Koracick didn’t respond to her page. Amelia is actually the better doctor for the job in this case, and she winds up working really well with Teddy even though their personal situation is messy at the moment. Kyle starts getting violent when his girlfriend shows up. Teddy tells him that they had to alert her since she is his emergency contact, but Kyle doesn’t want her to see him like this. The police officers want to take Kyle to county jail after his outburst, but Teddy steps in to assure them that he needs medical treatment. She vows to keep Kyle in the hospital for as long as she can.

DeLuca hunts down Bailey as she walks out of an OR and immediately starts telling her that the teen’s aunt won’t let the girl out of her sight and that he can’t talk to his patient alone. He frantically presents the situation to Bailey, who immediately thinks that his trafficking theory is wrong. Bailey wants DeLuca to calm down and thinks they should reevaluate whether he’s ready to be back at work. DeLuca convinces her to at least take a look at the patient for his own sanity, so Bailey goes into the clinic alone to test the waters. She asks some standard questions about the teen and does a quick exam before leaving the clinic to angrily confront DeLuca. Bailey doesn’t think anything is wrong, even though DeLuca won’t stop talking about how he is right. Bailey decides to take DeLuca off the case and wants him to pass it along to another resident then go home, rest, and meet her in her office at 9 a.m. the next day. Even though DeLuca has had some mental difficulties lately, this is very unlike Bailey to ignore that a doctor thinks that there could be a very serious situation with a patient.


Mer goes to check on her first patient again whose surgery keeps getting delayed. The daughter freaks out, and Mer asks them to wait a little longer. In the OR wing, things are going better for the other docs participating in the day’s event as they prepare for surgery. Jackson is trying to find someone to go to a basketball game with him later that night since he was supposed to go with Vic and they broke up. He wanted Ben to go with him, but he’s unavailable due to a fellow firefighter’s death. Jackson did spend some time ogling Ben’s new Physician Response Team rig, so there might be a possibility that Jackson considers changing shows. Jackson first asks Owen if he wants to go to the game, but he says no. Jackson turns to Jo, but she won’t go because she’s an afterthought. Maggie has been sitting behind them the whole time and chimes in to tell Jackson to go alone, but knows he won’t because he can’t do things alone. It’s a solid little jab, but it doesn’t seem to faze Jackson. Koracick walks up, but Jackson decides not to ask him, as they still don’t get along well.

Amelia does an exam on Kyle while Teddy talks with his girlfriend outside of his room. Kyle tells Amelia about his terrible headaches and short term memory problems. He reveals that he doesn’t like taking medicine, especially hardcore drugs, because he forgets how many he takes. He also talks about how he loses his temper daily and tries to avoid his girlfriend because she doesn’t deserve that. Amelia tells Kyle that he too doesn’t deserve what is happening to him and walks outside to update Teddy. The girlfriend tells Teddy and Amelia that going overseas changed Kyle and that she isn’t sure she can make it work if he doesn’t get better. The doctors assure her that they will figure out a way to help him.

In an OR, Link and Schmitt are working on a surgery together. Schmitt takes the opportunity to ask Link about what being a team doctor is like. He’s not too happy to hear about the travel load, but Link assures him that it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Link suggests that Schmitt should tell Nico how he feels about the opportunity, and Schmitt is grateful for the advice.

DeLuca is starting to become more manic with every passing minute. He goes back to talk with the teen and her aunt and tells them that Mer is going to give her a free surgery for her abdominal hernia as part of the pro bono surgery day. They have an opening in an hour, and he wants to take the teen up to the OR floor immediately. The aunt really wants to go with her, but DeLuca says that they will escort her up to the surgical floor, but she can’t go past the surgical line. This seems to be a fair compromise and the aunt and teen agree. The nurse pulls DeLuca to the side and tells him that Mer’s schedule is packed and that she can’t do the surgery. DeLuca doesn’t care and says that he will do the surgery himself if he has to. He will do anything to get the patient away from the aunt, even though it is still unclear if he is right or wrong about the trafficking.


Owen and Jo are ready to scrub in for an easy pro bono surgery, and Owen tries to offer Jo some comfort about Alex. Jo doesn’t want to talk about Alex during surgery, which Owen understands. He says if she needs a friend, he and Teddy will be there for her. Mer and Helm walk into the scrub room since Mer thought her surgery was in that OR, but it’s actually in another. Helm reveals that DeLuca told her that Mer wanted the schedule to be moved around to accommodate another patient. Mer doesn’t know what she is talking about and wants Helm to tell DeLuca that she wants him to stay away from her schedule and the OR floor before angrily leaving.

Koracick finds Teddy in the hall, and they go into a closet to talk. She tells Koracick that Amelia’s baby is Link’s and that fact doesn’t change the way she feels about him. Koracick feels there is a “but” coming, and Teddy’s thoughts are interrupted by a page that Kyle’s MRI results are in. She leaves before they can finish their conversation, which doesn’t get fully resolved by the end of this episode.

DeLuca is pushing his patient in a wheelchair and gets her alone for a brief second. He asks her if anything is bothering her and assures her that she can talk to him about anything and feel safe with him. She says that nothing is wrong at all and that she wants to go home. DeLuca spots Helm and runs over to talk to her. Helm wants DeLuca to go away and wants nothing to do with him after he got her in trouble with Mer. She walks away, so DeLuca quickly takes the teen away while the aunt isn’t looking.

Teddy meets with Amelia to look at Kyle’s scans. Amelia thinks that his brain injury might be fixable. She then gets philosophical and asks Teddy if relationships are only about sacrifices, and Teddy says that’s all relationships are. She then says that even hypothetical sacrifices have consequences and storms out. Teddy goes from fine to not in the span of one sentence. I’m just as worried about Teddy’s stability as I am about DeLuca at this point.

Mer’s day is also falling apart. The surgical prep floor is full of people waiting for their pro bono surgeries that are getting close to rioting after all the delays. Koracick tells Mer that he will pay for any overtime that she needs and to make all the surgeries happen. Mer questions why he’s having a change of heart, so Koracick reveals that last episode’s VIP patient gave them enough money for a few pro bono days a year. Mer quickly realizes that the VIP bought himself a diagnosis in the form of a generous donation to the hospital, and she isn’t happy that Koracick sold out. Their conversation is interrupted by a code violet call over the loudspeakers alerting them to an issue in the ER lobby. Mer and Koracick rush down to the ER lobby to see what is happening, as a code violet means that someone is getting physical with hospital staff.

No one should be surprised that DeLuca has triggered the code violet. He has cornered the teen in the ER and is keeping everyone away from them. He wants the aunt to be arrested for human trafficking and won’t stop shouting. The wild look in his eyes shows that he has totally lost it, but that doesn’t stop Mer from trying to talk him down. The aunt tries to tell the growing mass of people (including Bailey, Richard, Carina, Jo, Maggie, and Owen) that she can’t believe DeLuca is accusing her of trafficking and denies his claims by saying the teen is her niece. Bailey, Richard, and Carina all try their hand at getting DeLuca to stand down, but he screams at security to detain the aunt.

DeLuca continues to attempt to get the hospital staff to believe him and tells them that they need to form a human chain around the teen to protect her. Mer starts a chain, and the main cast in attendance follow suit. However, they circle around DeLuca instead of the teen, which troubles DeLuca. The teen runs over to her aunt and hugs her, as she is now quite upset by the whole situation. Bailey wants security to escort DeLuca to her office. DeLuca jumps up onto a small table that is within the circle and pleads with the doctors to believe him about the trafficking situation through sobs. Bailey tells him that if he ever wants to step foot in the hospital again as a doctor he needs to go with security to her office immediately. DeLuca continues to cry and asks them to stop. He says they are all blind and allows security and Carina to escort him to Bailey’s office.

Quick sidebar: Does anyone else think it is weird that not one of the seven doctors in attendance to DeLuca’s meltdown even considered for a second that he might be right? It goes against all of these characters’ values to not take a situation seriously. If any other doctor in that hospital had reported that there was a potential human trafficking situation, would they have been shrugged off? The answer is no. The fact that no one can look past DeLuca’s mental breakdown to even question if there is any legitimacy to his claim is unreal. Sure, he didn’t handle the situation the best, but that’s because he is sick and needs help. It’s terrible that none of the doctors made an attempt at believing DeLuca.


The code violet officially ends, and Schmitt and Nico take a moment to talk. Schmitt asks if they can talk later without any distractions, which annoys Nico. Schmitt isn’t mad, but thinks they should talk about the Mariners job and how it could potentially affect their relationship. He talks about how relationships take sacrifice and compromise and feels he is the only one doing either. He’s tired of saying that he wants more and Nico not responding. Nico tells Schmitt that he hopes he will find someone who will give that to him and ends their relationship. The writing was on the wall for these two for weeks, so their break up doesn’t come as a surprise.

Hayes and Jackson finish up a surgery and have missed all the commotion with DeLuca. Jackson asks Hayes if he would like to go with him to the game tonight. Hayes thinks that Jackson has tickets for a football game and goes on a classic European rant about how American football is dumb and that soccer is the real football. Jackson tells him it’s actually a basketball game, but Hayes doesn’t like basketball and turns him down.

DeLuca storms out of Bailey’s office as Mer approaches and tells her that he quit. Bailey and Mer both want to help him, but he’s tired of being judged and called crazy. Mer follows him to the stairwell as he tries to leave and forces him to talk to her. DeLuca says that he doesn’t love her anymore, but Mer says that she loves him. She talks about how he went to jail for her and saved her from herself. She can’t let him walk away like this and asks him to take a suspension and reconsider. DeLuca says that he will take the suspension if Mer can get Bailey to call the human trafficking hotline and have the aunt investigated, just to be safe. Mer and DeLuca agree to the terms.

Mer goes back to the surgical prep floor, where a room full of people is still waiting. Amelia comes over to Mer and asks for a pro bono spot for her patient. Mer agrees after hearing Kyle’s story, but the daughter of Mer’s first patient is enraged that her mother has to continue waiting when Mer is giving up spots to other patients. Mer apologizes to the daughter and tells her that she is sorry that she has to advocate and fight so hard for her mother. Mer tells the entire room about how messed up the healthcare system is and that the hospital has a donor that will cover all the pro bono surgeries. She assures them that everyone will get the help they need, including Amelia and Teddy’s patient. Mer decides on the spot that the hospital will have a pro bono surgery day every month, much to the shock and surprise of Koracick. This is a classic Meredith fighting the system moment, which shows just how legendary this character really is. It’s also funny to see how Mer single-handedly decided to turn Koracick’s bad situation into one for good. Hayes looks very pleased with Mer’s announcement, as he was there watching too.

Teddy and Amelia go tell Kyle and his girlfriend that they can fix him and will do a pro bono surgery for him today. They also plan on testifying for him in court that his condition was caused by a brain injury, which should stop him from getting any jail time. Kyle and his girlfriend are super excited at the news, and Teddy and Amelia are happy that they came through on their promise. We then see the teen and her aunt leaving the hospital. The aunt snippily asks the teen what she said to DeLuca. The teen tries to convince the aunt that she didn’t say anything and that her stomach really did hurt. This chilling moment makes it appear that DeLuca was in fact correct about the situation, and no one can help the girl now that she is leaving the hospital.

Maggie and Jackson are talking while walking through the hospital, and Maggie reveals that Richard is stepping down from surgery. Jackson didn’t know and says that he hasn’t talked to Richard since his marriage with Catherine blew up. Richard walks by, so Jackson runs over to say hi and see if he has any plans for the night. Richard immediately thinks that Jackson is a spy for Catherine, which Jackson denies. He invites Richard to go to the basketball game, and massive basketball fan Richard is very happy to go to the game.

Jo walks into Joe’s Bar and sits down next to Schmitt, who tells her that he got dumped. He doesn’t know what to do now because he still hasn’t found his own apartment and is now homeless. Jo offers to let him stay with her for the time being. She says that her apartment is too empty and sad. She doesn’t want to leave, but needs something to change. Schmitt accepts her offer and says that they can be super sad together.

Amelia successfully operates on Kyle, and Teddy watches from the gallery. After the surgery, Koracick walks into the gallery to talk to her. He tells her that he has slept with tons of women but has a code and draws the line at married women. Koracick says that he doesn’t care for Owen, but doesn’t want to be the guy that sleeps with another man’s wife. He says he loves Teddy and wants to make it easy for her since she will soon be married. He tells her to go home and plan her wedding. He says he will be fine, but Teddy cries when he leaves.

We then see Link and Amelia in bed together. Amelia thinks that they can make his dream job work, but Link assures her that he doesn’t want it because there are new things in his life that he loves more now. Link is just the sweetest man. Amelia thinks it’s weird that everything will be put on hold for their kid and wants her and Link to hold onto their dreams and not let them slip away after the baby is born. Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen finds Teddy crying outside of the hospital. Owen asks her what is wrong, and she says that she is what’s wrong. Instead of telling him the truth, she says that she had a rough patient who has been through a lot. Owen is sure that Teddy helped him, and they hug as Teddy continues to cry. It’s obvious that Teddy doesn’t know who she wants or what she should do because she is clearly in love with two men. It should be interesting to see how this triangle fully plays out.

Bailey finds Mer in an office and tells her that she called the human trafficking hotline. They told her not to scare the suspect away, but Bailey knows the teen and aunt already left. She asks what if DeLuca was right before walking out, but doesn’t seem to actually consider that he could have been right. Hayes walks into the office with coffee for Mer and tells her that he sees the twistedness that Cristina referred to. He seems quite pleased with himself and with Mer, who thanks him for his help with the pro bono surgeries.

The episode ends with a shot of DeLuca riding his motorcycle and going over 100 miles an hour on an empty road. If this doesn’t scream massive red flags, then I don’t know what does. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of DeLuca, I’m very concerned for his safety at this point. His reckless behavior isn’t going to end well.


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