Friday, November 19, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x06 Recap: “Every Day is a Holiday (With You)” (Thanksgiving Blues) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Every Day is a Holiday (With You)”
Original Airdate: November 18, 2021

It’s not surprising that a holiday doesn’t go quite as planned on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Without that classic trope, would it even be worth doing a Thanksgiving episode? The typical Grey’s drama fuels a day of disaster for some and hope for others. No matter how crazy the holiday gets, everyone is still thankful for what they have at the end of the day.


The show jumps ahead a few weeks to Thanksgiving, where we get to see how each member of the main cast spends the holiday. Amelia is back in Seattle and is starting to get prepared to make dinner early in the morning at Meredith’s house. She gets a text from Kai with good news about their Parkinson’s project, which segues into Nick dropping Mer off at the airport in Minnesota, where it is snowing hard. Nick is heading to his remote cabin for the next two days after he drops Mer off and almost makes it sound like he wants Mer to go with him. She’s tempted by his cabin, but she knows she needs to get home to her kids. As soon as she gets out of Nick’s Jeep and he pulls away, Mer gets a text from the airline saying that her flight has been postponed. 

Nico finds Schmitt in Grey Sloan Memorial’s cafeteria and wants to hang out after work. Schmitt tells his boyfriend that he’s happy that Richard assigned him to work on Thanksgiving because it might be a sign that he will be the next chief resident given that his solo surgeries are also going well. The conversation is interrupted when Schmitt’s mom shows up in the cafeteria with a full Thanksgiving dinner for Schmitt and Nico. Schmitt naturally protests a little, but his mom plans to have it all set up and waiting for him, that way he can eat whenever he is hungry and has time.  

Richard runs into Bailey in the hallway and is surprised to see her working on a holiday, especially when he knew she had plans with her family. Bailey recaps the events of the Station 19 episode for the viewers who didn’t tune into the previous hour as the explanation for why she came into work. For those readers who missed Station 19, there was a big dinner at the firehouse that Bailey attended with Ben and baby Pruitt. The day was abruptly ruined by Dean’s father showing up to take Pru, alluding to an upcoming custody battle. Bailey was upset over the ordeal, so she thought the best way to get her mind off it would be to work. Unlike Bailey, Richard is excited to work, as he enjoys his tradition of having a good bloody surgery every Thanksgiving.

Teddy walks into the hospital and runs into Owen, whom she is not happy to see. Owen, who just got off a shift, was supposed to go right home to help his mom make Thanksgiving dinner and watch the kids. Teddy was going to stay with Farouk and Megan until Owen brought food for his sister and nephew. They walk into Farouk’s hospital room together, and Megan immediately tells Owen that their mother is going to kill him. Teddy and Owen are glad to learn that Farouk is doing better and that his lungs are healing after an infection. Farouk is eager to get home after spending three weeks in the hospital, but Hayes informs him that he will have to stay for a few more days. With the family bickering over the holiday plans, Hayes jumps in to say that his boys are visiting their aunt in San Diego, so he will hang out with Farouk and play board games. Owen turns on the Thanksgiving Day Parade and promptly gets kicked out by Teddy.

In the ER, Schmitt and Richard are disappointed that they currently have one patient to treat. Schmitt thinks that it is still a little early and that they need to give people a little more time before they start fighting and things go wrong. Out of the blue, a car comes screeching into the ambulance bay, and Richard shouts, “Mine!” before Schmitt can even process what’s going on. They both run outside and find a pregnant woman getting out of her car. She promptly vomits and asks the doctors for help, that way she can be home in an hour to finish the rest of dinner. She hands them a pie, as she doesn’t go anywhere empty-handed, and Richard’s stunned face is truly funny. Schmitt asks Richard if he can scrub in if the case becomes surgical.

Back in Minnesota, Mer FaceTimes Amelia when she gets back to her hotel room. Mer is pissed that she’s missing the holiday because she doesn’t want to be like her mother, who missed most holidays. Amelia is fine with cooking for the kids. Zola pops into the video call to tell Mer that it’s okay she is stuck and that they know she tried to make it home. After they hang up, Link arrives at the house with Scout in tow. Amelia tells him that Mer is stuck in Minnesota, Maggie and Winston are stuck in Boston, and she’s now stuck making Thanksgiving dinner and watching four kids. Link decides to stay and help out, as he was going to be home alone anyways. Amelia is surprised Link didn’t have plans, but he explains that Jo is working and Scout was going to be with Amelia anyways. Link doesn’t want Scout to be shuffled between him and Amelia on the holidays like he was as a kid. Amelia agrees that they can figure out how to do holidays now. To lighten the moment, Amelia is terrified of messing up dinner and says that she followed all the steps and still thinks she got it wrong so far.


Jo shows up in the ER to help Richard and Schmitt with their pregnant patient, Ashley, who announces that she is 31 weeks pregnant and hasn’t been feeling well for over a week. She hasn’t had time to see her OB since she has four other kids to watch all day. Between the pain in her abdomen and the fever she is running, Jo decides to order an MRI to see what’s going on. Ashley asks the doctors to not call her family because she doesn’t want to interrupt Thanksgiving dinner. This never comes up, but someone must notice Ashley isn’t there, right?

Mer gets a call from Nick, and she shares her bad news with him. He asks why she didn’t call, and she says she did right away, but it went straight to voicemail. He explains that service can be a bit spotty on the mountainous roads. Mer tells him that the kids are taking the news better than her, so Nick suggests that they stay on the phone and talk for the final two hours of his road trip. Mer agrees and a quick awkward silence ensues. Nick asks if anything is off limits, and Mer replies that toes are the only thing she doesn’t want to talk about. He launches into a story from his first Thanksgiving as a resident. A younger brother tried to grab a knife from his older brother, and the older brother wound up slicing his whole finger off. They couldn’t find the finger, so Nick had to sew up the older brother’s hand. A few hours later, the younger brother returns to the hospital with the finger, which was found when their grandpa ladled it onto his turkey from the gravy bowl. The story makes Mer laugh, and they two presumably keep trading stories for the next two hours.

On his way out of the hospital, Owen sees Noah going into the hospital. Noah collapsed while at work bagging groceries at a grocery store and is having trouble breathing. Bailey meets Noah to help, and Owen decides to tag in too. Noah begs Owen for help, which is truly depressing. A chest X-ray reveals that Noah’s lung collapsed. He’s going to need a chest tube and more tests to rule out infection. Noah’s wife and son, Danny, show up and are rightfully worried. Noah asks Owen to take Danny elsewhere for a bit to take his mind off of what’s happening and to salvage part of the boy’s Thanksgiving, and Owen agrees to help.

Elsewhere, we see Farouk, Teddy, Megan, and Hayes playing Monopoly together. The three adults freak out a little bit when Farouk coughs, but the teen insists he is fine. Hayes talks some smack since he is crushing everyone, and Megan winds up making fun of Hayes for saying “games night” instead of “game night.” It’s another nice family moment that just screams “things are about to go wrong.”

We then see Ashley getting an MRI, with Jo, Richard, and Schmitt waiting for the scans to come up. Ashley can’t remember the last time it was this quiet and is almost enjoying the moment when she starts having horrible pain. The scans pop up on the computer in a moment of perfect timing to reveal free fluid in her abdomen, a possible abscess, and a potentially ruptured appendix. The doctors tell Ashely that she is going to need emergency surgery and that they will call her husband while she is being prepped.

Back at the Grey/Shepherd household, Link and Amelia are working well as a team to cook dinner. The timer goes off to remind them to baste the turkey, but when Link goes over to the oven to check on the bird, the oven isn’t on. By the looks of the turkey, he thinks the oven was on at some point and then was turned off. Amelia can’t believe that she screwed up so badly and doesn’t know what to do. It’s now the middle of the afternoon, so the turkey won’t cook in time for dinner. Link suggests they order Chinese food, but Amelia feels the kids need a proper Thanksgiving dinner since Mer isn’t there. To stop the sky from falling, Link opens the freezer and pulls out macaroni and cheese and bagel bites to make instead. He says they will have the turkey for dessert, which satisfies Amelia. 

The scene then changes to Mer and Nick’s on-going conversation, which has turned to sad family tales. Nick discusses how he had a Thanksgiving intervention for his sister some years ago and that his daughter, Charlotte, prefers Friendsgiving to spending time with him. Since he doesn’t do a family Thanksgiving, he spends the holiday at his cabin, which he then goes into great detail to describe to Mer. Right as he finishes his cabin talk, someone knocks on Mer’s door. She tells Nick that it must be room service and not to move while she puts her phone down to answer the door. Mer opens the door and finds Nick standing there. She is so shocked that she immediately closes the door in his face before opening it back up a few seconds later. Nick explains that he turned around as soon as he found out that she wasn’t going to Seattle, and Mer invites him in. It’s worth noting that Mer is wearing a fluffy white robe and was not prepared from an impromptu Thanksgiving date.

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Ashley’s husband has arrived right before her surgery. Jo explains that they will need to do an open procedure and that she will be in the OR the whole time in case the baby gets distressed and they need to do an emergency C-section. Ashley’s husband assures her that she will be okay, but Ashley doesn’t like that she has to sign a form allowing the doctors to perform a hysterectomy if necessary. They explain that that is a last resort if there is too much bleeding leading to them needing to do whatever is necessary to save her life. Ashley asks Jo if the baby needs to be delivered and they don’t have to remove her uterus whether they can tie her tubes. She can’t imagine having any more kids and needs to stay alive for her family. Her husband is shocked, and Jo agrees to Ashley’s request.

Owen and Danny are walking around the hospital when Owen gets a call from Teddy. She hears the hospital intercom in the background of the call and realizes that Owen is still in the building. Owen quickly explains that Noah is in the hospital and things are bad. Danny hears, so Owen tells Teddy they will talk later and hangs up. Owen brings Danny to a nearby room that is outfitted with a big TV and video games, which they get very into playing.

In Minnesota, Mer, now dressed in a pair of pajamas, and Nick sit at a little table in her hotel room and enjoy some room service and wine. Mer tells Nick about what the holiday would look like if she was at home and how she would be cooking. Nick says he likes to cook and thinks cooking is like surgery due having to be in the moment. Mer says that she is getting better about being in the moment again after so many months of being a patient in the hospital. Nick understands how tough that is and suggests they say what they are thankful for. He says he was grateful for Charlotte and still being able to do surgery. Mer is grateful Nick is there with her and for the wine too. Why did Nick say he was grateful instead of he is grateful? Mer picked up on that too, but it won’t come up for a little bit.

Thanksgiving dinner finally gets underway at the Grey-Shepherd house. Link and Amelia serve the kids bagel bites first, prompting the kids to ask where the turkey is. Link quips that he pardoned it and little Bailey asks what that means, leading to a cute moment between Bailey and Ellis when they understand the definition. Zola is reading a medical book or journal at the table and asks Amelia what avascular necrosis is. It’s nice to see that Zola is practically a young doctor in training already. As if the day wasn’t already crazy enough for the former couple, out of nowhere, Bailey asks what sex is, and Amelia and Link stare at each other like deer caught in headlights. The hilarious moment ends there, and we don’t get to see what happens next.


In the OR, Schmitt asks Richard if he can take the lead on Ashley’s surgery, but Richard insists on being the lead since it’s his tradition to do a surgery on Thanksgiving. Richard asks Jo about her holiday traditions, and Jo replies that she has none since she didn’t have a home or a family. In the middle of the surgery, Ashley’s baby starts to get distressed, so they quickly prep for an emergency C-section. Jo successfully delivers the baby, but she isn’t sure that they can stop the immense amount of bleeding that Ashley has.

Over in Farouk’s room, Megan and Teddy are hanging out while Farouk sleeps. They are both hoping that Owen will show up with some food soon. Megan tells Teddy that she doesn’t care about Thanksgiving, but Farouk has always loved the food. Teddy tells her sister-in-law that she volunteered to spend the day with her because she is avoiding Mrs. Hunt. Teddy doesn’t want to deal with her potential judgement of Leo wearing a dress and being himself. Megan tells Teddy that she needs to fight for her son at all costs, or she could just make Owen stand up to their mom. With that, Farouk starts crashing out of nowhere. Teddy quickly calls for a code and asks the nurses to page Hayes. She starts CPR while Megan freaks out.

We then see Teddy shocking Farouk as Hayes shows up to take over. Teddy tells Hayes that they won’t stop until they get him back, but Hayes doesn’t think that they will be able to revive Farouk, as his heart is too damaged. Hayes says that they have been running the code for 30 minutes, which made me immediately wonder what took him so long to show up. Hayes intervenes as Farouk’s doctor since Megan and Teddy are family and says they need to put him on ECMO. Megan agrees to his last resort plan since it is the only way Farouk may survive.

In the cafeteria, Nico sits down with Mrs. Schmitt since Levi is still in surgery. Mrs. Schmitt goes on a rant telling Nico that she thinks he and Levi will get married one day. She wants to know if they will raise their children Jewish and starts rattling off baby names based on family names. It’s pretty funny since Nico has no idea how to react or what to say, probably because he’s not looking to get that serious yet. Mrs. Schmitt then asks Nico if he has any genetic markers that they need to know about and goes on to say that Levi’s great-grandfather died of colon cancer.

To keep the lighthearted, comedic side of the episode going, we get to see a small glimpse of a classic Grey’s Anatomy dance party. Link is dancing with Mer’s kids in the living room while Amelia watches from the kitchen as she cleans up from dinner. Even Scout tries to dance by bouncing up and down while sitting. It’s a very cute moment of bliss, and a much needed sigh of relief within the episode. The kids theme continues back at the hospital, where Owen and Danny take a break from their video games to eat some burgers. Danny thinks it’s a little weird that they are eating burgers on Thanksgiving, but Owen doesn’t think it’s weird since they are enjoying it. Sadly, Danny asks Owen if there is any medicine that will help his dad because he knows Noah is always in a lot of pain. He has noticed that Noah can’t play baseball with him or cut the grass anymore and breathes funny most of the time. Danny also says that he hears his mom crying loudly in the closet sometimes. Owen tells Danny the truth by saying that his dad is really sick, which makes it tough. Danny asks if Noah is going to die, and Owen assures him that he won’t die today. Danny replies that he doesn’t want Noah to hurt anymore.

Bailey finds Noah’s wife in a hallway taking a moment to herself. She’s having a very hard time, and Bailey tells her that they got the chest tube in and could set up a home service to help them out. Noah’s wife knows that her husband is dying and is mad at herself for letting him take a job when he was in no physical shape to work. He insisted on getting a job because the bills were stacking up. Bailey takes her to an empty room and tells her to break down because it will help. Bailey knows it is unfair and tells Noah’s wife that she deserves to feel that. She wants her to take her turn to fall apart before going back to Noah’s room. Bailey closes the door and leaves Noah’s wife to cry. 


At the end of the night in Minnesota, a room service attendant takes Mer and Nick’s dishes away. Once the door closes, Mer gets really close to Nick and asks why he said earlier that Charlotte and surgery were his priorities. Nick replies that priorities can change and kisses Mer. Their make-out session heads to the bedroom for a wonderfully steamy scene. They finally sleep together and it’s absolutely perfect.

At Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen goes to Noah’s room and tells Noah and his wife that a nurse brought Danny to the cafeteria to get some ice cream and he will be back soon. Owen explains that he is taking over for Roy and will take care of all the veterans in the area. He is planning to go to Washington D.C. in Roy’s place too. Noah asks Owen how much longer he has because he can’t live with the pain anymore or put his family through it anymore. He doesn’t want to keep ruining holidays, which is so sad. Owen tells Noah that it will be over soon, so Noah announces that he would like to go home. The doctors discharge Noah, and Owen watches the family somberly leave together.

In a recovery room, Ashley survived her surgery and is resting. Her husband sits next to her, and Jo tells him that their baby boy is doing great and will stay in the NICU for the night for monitoring, though they can visit him. Jo explains that they had to perform a hysterectomy, but Ashely will make a full recovery. The husband wants to know why she didn’t tell him that she didn’t want to have more kids. He’s only ever wanted to take care of her and feels like he failed. Jo says that society doesn’t always give women a lot of permission to say what they need or ask for help. She suggests preemptively helping out in the future instead of waiting for Ashley to ask for help.

Schmitt goes to the cafeteria and sees Nico and his mom laughing. They saved a plate of food for them, and Mrs. Schmitt leaves the couple to themselves. Before she leaves, Mrs. Schmitt tells Nico that he is always more than welcome at her home, even if Levi doesn’t come with him. We then see Bailey crying in her office. Richard walks by and sees her, so he pokes his head in to see what the problem is. Bailey is crying over Pru, and Richard says that it’s hard to lose a parent at any age. Bailey just wants to hold the little girl and tell her everything will be alright, but she isn’t sure that she will get the chance. She knows it’s selfish, which is why she is crying at work. Richard convinces Bailey to come with him by showing her a delicious looking pecan pie. Owen goes to Farouk’s room and finds Teddy outside the room. She catches her husband up on the day’s events and reveals that she got Farouk on the transplant list. Owen goes into the room to comfort Megan. 

Back at the Grey/Shepherd house, Amelia has gotten the kids to sleep, and Link carved the turkey and put it in the fridge for them. Amelia tells Link that he is nothing like his parents, which prompts him to kiss her. Amelia doesn’t stop him, and they share a long kiss. After a few kisses, Amelia pulls away to say that nothing has changed for her. Link shows a little disappointment before deciding that he doesn’t care. They kiss again and sleep together on the couch.

Back in Minnesota, Nick tells Mer that he’s sorry that she didn’t make it to Seattle. Mer’s sorry Nick didn’t make it to his cabin, so he suggests that they could go when the snow clears in the morning and Mer says yes. The episode ends at Grey Sloan Memorial, where Richard and Bailey find Schmitt, Nico, and Jo in the cafeteria. They all sit together to enjoy the pie and spend the end of the holiday together. Richard tells the group that even if they are working or not in the mood to celebrate or aren’t about traditions, it is still important that they are spending time together. The doctors decided to write what they are thankful for on slips of paper and read them aloud, which is the perfect ending to the Thanksgiving episode.


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