Thursday, October 7, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x02 Recap: “Some Kind of Tomorrow” (Convince Me) [Contributing Writer: Julia Siegel]

“Some Kind of Tomorrow”
Original Airdate: October 7, 2021

The latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy is all about the characters convincing themselves and others that tomorrow can be a better day. That message is strong and true throughout all four main stories, three of which may be recurring throughout the early part of this season. Big decisions are made to help shape the future, and I can’t wait to see where those choices lead the characters next.


Instead of beating around the bush, it’s best to discuss Meredith’s continuing arc in Minnesota first, as it is the most interesting and impactful story thus far. The episode opens with Nick slipping a note under Mer’s hotel door and walking away. Mer sees the note appear and opens the door, hoping to find Nick there. She calls his name, and he peaks back around the corner shyly. Mer likes his old school note, and Nick coyly explains that he didn’t ask for her phone number and didn’t want to wake her, so he wrote a note instead to ask her out. He verbally asks her to dinner that night, and Mer happily accepts. If you haven’t fallen in love with Nick yet, this will probably be the moment in Grey’s history you look back on and realize you are completely crazy about him. 

A little while later, Amelia arrives in Minnesota on a last-minute request from Mer. While they walk through the still-unnamed hospital’s hallways, Amelia rambles on about Scout not sleeping through the night anymore and quickly stops talking upon arriving at the Grey Center. With one look at the sign on the lab’s door, Amelia tells her sister-in-law, “You are definitely not coming back to Seattle.” Mer shares the lab’s purpose and wants Amelia involved, that way the two of them can cure Parkinson’s together. Mer then introduces Amelia to Hamilton, whom the latter examines. Amelia thinks Hamilton should change his course of treatment since the disease is unpredictable, but Hamilton isn’t interested in a Band-Aid. Rather, he wants something to make him whole again. He is very confident that his new lab will find the cure and asks Amelia to join the team.

Hamilton and Mer show Amelia around the lab, which Amelia is very excited to see has a robot arm to use for cell cultures. Mer wants to know what happens if they fail, but Hamilton assures her that he understands the risk. Amelia blurts out that she wants in and wants to change the world, but Mer is still hesitant to commit. The sisters have a one-on-one conversation, which proves to be revealing. Amelia wants to know why Mer isn’t signing on to the trial. Mer replies that her kids need stability and can’t be uprooted to Minnesota, and she loves her current job at Grey Sloan Memorial, which she just got back into the swing of after surviving COVID-19. Amelia assures Mer that running the trial will be a great example for their kids, not a hindrance. Mer also doesn’t want to take the risk of failing and killing Hamilton. Amelia understands, but feels compelled to try because people with Parkinson’s need more than hope.

As they leave the hospital for the day, Mer tells Amelia to go home to her baby. Amelia makes one last attempt at swaying Mer by telling her that she’s being ridiculous for not accepting the offer yet. Mer gets distracted when she sees Nick walk up several feet behind Amelia, who is oblivious. Amelia continues to say that this is Mer’s chance to get back to neuro and take a big chance. She doesn’t understand why Mer would walk away from the opportunity and pleads with her not to before getting in a car and leaving.

Later that evening, Mer meets Nick in her hotel lobby to go to dinner. Mer is all dressed up, and Nick tells her that she looks amazing, but she needs to change because she’s overdressed for what he has planned. They wind up going to a little patch in the woods for a picnic-style dinner and night of stargazing, which is the cutest date. Mer bursts Nick’s bubble by saying that she doesn’t stare at the stars, so he says that he will teach her. Nick asks about the top secret project she’s in town for, but Mer can’t tell him anything. He reveals that he struggles with the concept of secrets, which prompts Mer to give her personal feelings as details. She’s scared to say yes because she’s scared of failure. The study will be costly, risky, and written about no matter what, she says. Mer isn’t sure she wants the first thing she does after COVID-19 to be a public failure. She enjoys her comfy life and doesn’t want to risk that either. Nick knows that Mer isn’t the type of person to play it safe because he’s like that too. He assures her that win or lose, it will be a wild ride.

Nick’s words seem to do the trick because next thing we know, Mer is walking back into the lab to tell Hamilton that he doesn’t own her (i.e. the most Meredith way of saying yes ever). She wants and needs autonomy in picking the team, wants any progress to be public and accessible to all with Parkinson’s, and wants to move the lab to Grey Sloan Memorial. Hamilton says the lab is too expensive to move and he doesn’t have the time to move it either. Mer counters that she can’t move to Minnesota and proposes that she sets up a satellite program in Seattle and comes back and forth to Minnesota once a week. Hamilton agrees to her terms, Mer officially says she’s in, and they shake hands. What comes next is anyone’s guess, but it will be very entertaining to watch it all play out.


The next biggest and potentially more than one episode story follows Winston advocating for his latest patient to get the treatment she deserves. Winston and intern Sara Ortiz consult on a challenging case. Their patient, Rashida, had had two failed kidney grafts, is close to being in kidney failure, and is diabetic. Rashida was a travel influencer before her medical problems started, but can’t travel anymore due to her failing kidneys. She’s at the hospital for another attempt at placing a catheter for dialysis, which hasn’t been successful in the past due to a clotting disorder. She reveals that she has a family history of diabetes and fatal kidney failure and that she is also not on the transplant list, much to Winston’s surprise.

To get more answers, Winston finds Rashida’s nephrologist, who also works at the hospital. Winston inquires about why Rashida is not on the transplant list, and the nephrologist states that Rashida isn’t a candidate due to one kidney function level number called eGFR. He wants to get Rashida on the transplant list, and the other doctor hates that she doesn’t qualify too but there’s nothing they can do. Winston doesn’t like the answer that he gets, so he goes into research mode. After finding some surprising information, he finds Bailey and brings her up to speed on his findings.

Winston has found a file of another patient with nearly identical numbers to Rashida who did get on the transplant list. The only difference between the patients is that the one that got on the transplant list was white, and Rashida is Black, which is why Winston believes her eGFR number is lower. He talks about how history has a long line of assumptions with Black people’s medical standards in clinical formulas that is currently stopping his patient from getting on the transplant list even though she should qualify. Winston wants to write a letter to the transplant board to plead Rashida’s case and explain that they are using outdated metrics.

Later that day, Winston and Ortiz start the procedure to give Rashida a dialysis port. The procedure is a success, but Winston is still upset that Rashida can’t get life-saving care. He goes to talk to the nephrologist again and explains his findings on other patients on the transplant list with similar numbers from a bad formula that uses race as a factor. The nephrologist doesn’t initially believe Winston and says that the eGFR is a tried and true formula before starting to come around. Winston tells her that they need to find another way before storming off.

As he gets back to check on Rashida, Winston finds his patient starting to crash. Her blood has started clotting, so Winston and Ortiz have to remove the catheter. The nephrologist comes running in to see what happened, and Winston explains that he can’t reinsert the catheter. He becomes very assertive and says that Rashida is his patient now and needs better care. It’s a great moment for the character, as we haven’t seen Winston stand up and have strong beliefs before this episode. When Rashida wakes up, Winston and Ortiz tell her that they couldn’t get access for dialysis, but they managed to get her on the transplant list instead. Since we don’t see that happen on-screen, it’s unclear when the breakthrough happened. Rashida is overjoyed because she never thought she would see this day. Since this plotline doesn’t fully conclude, there’s a good chance it continues past this episode. In the very least, I do hope we see Winston continuing to fight for better care for all patients.


The third story of the episode adds some gravity to the heavier dramatic moments. We first see Link and Jo getting a system down living and taking care of their babies together, but Jo is still having trouble letting Luna go when they get to daycare at Grey Sloan Memorial. The action cuts to a different part of the hospital, where Richard is excited to get back to the old days. He is taking over the residency program for the day, and the residents have had to report at the crack of dawn, which they aren’t happy about. As they prepare for the day in the residents’ lounge, we learn that Alma Ortiz has transferred to Boston to work with Jackson and his foundation. Richard walks in and tells them to meet him in the skills lab in four minutes, which Helm complains is an eight-minute walk away. They are about to go back to day one and don’t know what’s about to hit them.

This part of the episode turns into some vintage Grey’s full of competition and fun. Once everyone is in the skills lab, Richard explains that their class of residents isn’t where they are supposed to be in their training after COVID-19 stopped surgeries for a long period of time. He has devised a set of four surgical workout simulations and skill assessments that will be graded on proficiency and speed to start whipping the residents into shape. The hospital’s attendings will be the judges of what the residents dubbed the Surgical Olympics, and the resident with the highest score will get to perform a solo surgery later that afternoon.

Before we get to see the first round action, Bailey is confronted by a Dr. Wong, who accuses her of avoiding him. He has been trying to tender his resignation for days, as he has decided to retire. Bailey doesn’t understand why he would leave, and Wong reveals he wants to write mystery novels about an undercover private investigator who is also a surgeon. Bailey tries not to laugh while saying that she is in dire need of physicians. Wong doesn’t find medicine fun anymore, which is really why he is retiring. Bailey sadly agrees to start his paperwork and knows the hospital can’t go on like this much longer.

The Surgical Olympics then begin with a suturing skills test. Link is helping Richard judge the first round and takes the job very seriously, which provides a lot of humor to the scene. The speed round is won by Schmitt, who is deemed the winner by Link. Schmitt is very excited and rubs his victory in his colleagues’ faces. Before more of the fun and games is shown, we are introduced to the patient who will have one of the residents’ first solo surgery. Jo is examining Robin, who presents with abdominal pain. She is surprised to find a strawberry lodged in a place where it shouldn’t be, but the patient isn’t surprised at all. Robin then reveals that she swallowed something too, which is the culprit of her pain.

We come back to the Surgical Olympics in the middle of round four, where the group has gotten very caught up in the games. Hayes has become one of the judges along with Link. Jo and Bailey pop in to see what’s going on as the residents cheer each other on. At the conclusion of the final game, Richard announces that Schmitt is the winner and will get to perform the solo surgery. Jo chimes in that he will operate on her patient, who needs a crystal egg extracted from her intestines. Schmitt is beyond excited and picks Helm to help assist him in the OR. 

Schmitt, Helm, and Richard scrub in for surgery, while Bailey, Jo, and the rest of the residents watch from the gallery. Richard is in the OR to oversee Schmitt and make sure nothing goes wrong. A nice surgery montage shows the operation going well, until they hit a little speed bump. Schmitt starts to lose his nerve, so the residents turn on the speaker and start helping from above by giving Schmitt advice. They help him get back on track, and he knocks the surgery out of the park.

After the surgery, Bailey tells Richard that she hasn’t seen the residents this happy in months. Richard is happier than all the residents that his plan is working. Bailey decides to be the bearer of bad news and reveals that their situation is getting worse with doctors leaving. They feel that they need to make the whole hospital remember why they are here and why they are doctors, which COVID-19 took away from them. Bailey wants to bring joy and the feeling of everyone being in it together back to the hospital that way the staff will remember why they wanted to be medical professionals in the first place. Richard slyly responds that he has some big ideas that might help, which we will start seeing next episode when Dr. Addison Montgomery returns.

The residents section of the episode concludes with Link and Jo’s home life. Link sings Scout to sleep while Jo feeds Luna. They sit on the couch together afterwards and have a heart-to-heart conversation. Jo knows that Link is upset and grieving from Amelia’s rejection and reminds him that she has been through that pain too. She talks about how she looked for joy anywhere that she could, which led her to finding OB and Luna. She assures him that she knows that life sucks right now, but he will be okay. Link gives his best friend a smile.


The final storyline of the episode revolves around the hospital’s military veterans treating a veteran and his young son. Teddy and Owen start their day by dropping their kids off at the hospital’s daycare. Leo is wearing an Elsa from Frozen costume, which prompts another parent to stare at him. Teddy thinks that the dad is staring at Leo because he is a little boy in a princess costume and confronts the man. The parent explains that he has been looking for that exact costume to buy for his daughter and wants to know where Teddy found it so he can buy one himself. Teddy feels bad for making an assumption and tells him that she will have to ask Owen where he got it. 

Owen goes to wait for an ambulance outside and is surprised that there isn’t a resident waiting for the call too. It seems that Owen didn’t get the memo about the Surgical Olympics. Two ambulances arrive carrying a father and son, Noah and Danny respectively. Owen instructs the EMTs to help get the patients inside while shouting for someone to find some residents to help, though that part will be in vain since they are preoccupied.  Once inside, Megan Hunt starts treating Danny with Hayes. It is the first time Megan and Hayes meet, and Hayes asks her if she is working at Grey Sloan Memorial now. Megan replies that Bailey asked her to help out for a few days while Mer is in Minnesota and then goes on to randomly tell Hayes how Mer performed an award-winning surgery on her. Hayes didn’t know that Megan was Mer’s patient and seems genuinely surprised at the info. With Mer spending a little less time at Grey Sloan Memorial in the near future, maybe Megan will stay for a bit longer to help out.

Owen starts treating Noah in one of the trauma rooms. Noah doesn’t want help and would rather see his son. Owen notices that Noah has a military tattoo and asks about what he did in the service. The two bond over their similar histories until Noah starts coughing up blood. Owen has a nurse page Teddy to meet them for a CT scan. Teddy arrives as Noah’s scan starts. She questions whether they should let Leo wear costumes to daycare, and Owen doesn’t get her concern. The scans reveal that Noah has severe scarring on his lungs, which they are upset to see.

The two doctors talk to Noah in a hospital room about the results, and he reveals that he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis a year ago. He knows that there is no cure and believes that his lungs were damaged from his time in the war. He says that the VA barely covers his medical expenses because no one can prove that his condition is service-related. Noah tells Teddy and Owen that he doesn’t want any treatments because he wants to spend whatever time he has left with his son. 

The two docs catch up with Hayes and Megan outside of Noah’s room to discuss possibilities. Megan and Hayes are happy to say that Danny is fine and can be discharged, and Megan explains to Hayes how Noah’s lungs were damaged from being in the military to help catch him up to speed as the one civilian present. Owen doesn’t accept that Noah doesn’t want treatment and wants to go to the VA to demand answers. The trio knows that they can’t save Noah and just need to make him comfortable, but Owen doesn’t believe that there are no other options.

Later on, Owen asks Hayes where Noah and Danny are. Hayes said that they left after Danny was discharged. Noah didn’t want to stay and signed an AMA form to leave on his own accord. Owen is pissed off that Hayes let Noah leave without them helping him. Hayes reminds Owen that Noah is terminal and has accepted his condition, which he urges Owen to accept too. Hayes is sorry for not asking Owen before letting Noah leave, but he’s not sorry for letting him go. Owen ultimately accepts that he can’t save Noah.

Teddy and Owen walk through the hospital, and she finally tells him about the “incident” that morning at daycare. She admits that she thought the other parent was being judgy, but he wasn’t. She is worried about Leo and wants him to be okay in the world. She knows that the world might not be kind to him and is worried that people will be cruel. Owen assures her that they will never treat Leo any differently, which will keep their son happy.


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