Friday, December 10, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x07 Recap: “Today Was a Fairytale” (Confessions) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Today Was a Fairytale”
Original Airdate: December 9, 2021

After a few weeks off, Grey’s Anatomy came roaring back with a big reveal. While some fans may have seen it coming, it’s a pretty large surprise that will surely add some juicy drama down the line. We also get to spend more time in Minnesota than ever, which leads to some good payoffs as well. 


The episode begins at Jo’s loft, where Link is moping while looking at pictures of him and Amelia. Jo’s trying to get ready for a day out with Link and the kids. Link complains that Amelia keeps saying that nothing has changed for her, and Jo doesn’t want to hear about it anymore. As he keeps scrolling, Link happens across a photo of him and Jo working at a restaurant together before they both became doctors. While it seems like a fun moment for the friends, that picture sets up an episode full of past and present reveals. Over at Grey Sloan Memorial, Maggie surprises Winston at a coffee cart and he is beyond happy to see her. She came back a day early because she didn’t want to be away from him any longer. It’s a sweet reunion, and Winston decides to bail on his plans to spend the day with his wife.

In Minnesota, Meredith and Nick arrive at the hospital together. Mer is upset that she had to stay an extra day for an emergency meeting that Hamilton called. Mer gets a call from Bailey, who is very unhappy that Grey Sloan Memorial’s booth at a medical student convention got moved to a lesser spot. Bailey gets even madder when she finds out Mer won’t be attending the convention, and Mer realizes she forgot to hit “send” on a text to her the night before. Mer tells Bailey she will make it up to her before hanging up, which she will do by the end of the episode. Bailey is joined by Dr. Lin, but neither knows where Winston is. Winston is too busy sleeping with Maggie in an on-call room at the hospital and decides not to answer Bailey’s text.

Mer finds Amelia and Kai in the lab and asks if they know why Hamilton called a meeting. Hamilton walks in and announces to the group that he fell and sprained his wrist because his foot gave out. His Parkinson’s is getting worse, and he wants to know why they aren’t moving faster to find a cure. He wants the experimental surgery now, but the other doctors insist they aren’t ready yet. Hamilton goes on a small tirade and tells Mer that he hired her to get things done. Mer reminds him that the team is working around the clock and that groundbreaking medicine doesn’t happen overnight. Hamilton snaps back that everyone knows if Mer wants something, she finds a way. He also says that he will fire Mer if she doesn’t make the surgery happen ASAP. Mer is steamed from her confrontation with Hamilton, so she complains to Amelia afterwards that Hamilton is like her mother, Ellis. Mer is also mad that she had to stay an extra day and be away from her kids just to get yelled at. Amelia tries to help by saying that the team is making progress on the injections for the surgery. She suggests that Mer takes the day off while the rest of the team continues to solve the rest of the issues.

Back in Seattle, Link and Jo take the kids to the park to see a play. They continue to talk about working at the restaurant together as they walk. Link is still in a pessimistic mood and even quips that he hates that Jo talks so much to Luna. They sit down to watch a small production of Rapunzel. It’s the first time that Jo is seeing the tale, which confounds Link. She doesn’t like the story either. When an actor tries to climb Rapunzel’s hair, he falls off the tower. Jo and Link run up to the stage to help.

The actor, Jeremy, has a thready, irregular pulse and is in a lot of pain. He has an open femoral fracture, which Link has to reduce and splint immediately because the injury is cutting off blood flow to his leg. Jeremy screams when Link sets the leg before immediately crashing. A female actor tells the docs that Jeremy has a heart condition and wears a medical bracelet while Jo starts CPR. Link sends the friend to get a defibrillator from the park.


It’s never stated where the medical student convention is located, but given that a bunch of Grey Sloan Memorial’s top surgeons were supposed to attend, it’s more than likely somewhere near, or in, Seattle. Bailey pitches a student on Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program, but the student leaves without leaving her info when another student says a Chicago hospital is giving out deep dish pizza. Bailey sees another hospital giving students massages, while the hospital has nothing flashy. Lin says they should have done a dog and pony show too. Bailey replies that they were supposed to have Mer, Owen, and Winston to pitch students, but they all cancelled. Both doctors agree that they need an idea to get students’ attention quickly.

Over in Minnesota, Mer goes to find Nick after he sends her a text. She gripes that she may quit after the way Hamilton treated her. Nick hands her a tablet to look at scans of a patient’s adrenal gland tumor. Nick explains the patient was a living kidney transplant donor and he had worked on the case. He wants Mer to operate and partially resect the kidney to save his own butt. Mer agrees to help, but the way Nick presents the case is a little off.

In the lab, Amelia and Kai are working hard on cell cultures. They talk about research and why Kai got into that field. Kai has been working on the project for two years, and Amelia cheekily says she doesn’t have that kind of patience. Kai explains how they didn’t want to be an MD and found the science aspect more interesting. They ask Amelia why she went into neuro, and Amelia supposes she picked that specialty to be like her brother. Kai asks who her brother is, and Amelia tells them they are now her favorite person. The pair’s latest cell culture winds up not working, and Kai gets very mad and storms off.

At the park, Jeremy’s leg is bleeding profusely, making Link worry that an artery was torn. He improvises by packing the wound with diapers to help stop the bleeding, and then uses one of the actor’s belts as a tourniquet. Jeremy’s friend comes back with the defibrillator, and Jo instructs her to put the pads on Jeremy’s chest. Link and Jo keep shocking Jeremy, but they can’t get a normal heart rhythm because his medical condition makes his heart beat irregularly. The ambulance they called still hasn’t arrived, and they need epinephrine to revive Jeremy. Link runs to the audience to see if any parents have EpiPens, and he manages to get a few. He injects the first EpiPen into Jeremy’s leg, but realizes it will take too long since you have to hold the pen for a few seconds to fully release the medicine. Jo asks the friend to take over CPR so she can help Link administer the EpiPens. After the third one, Jeremy’s heart restarts and the ambulance arrives at the same time. Link tells Jo that he will ride in the ambulance and to meet him at the hospital with the kids.

Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Mer examines her new patient with Nick and his favorite resident, Dr. Jordan Wright, who will be assisting in the OR. Mer explains to the patient that he has a rare kidney tumor, but she thinks she will be able to remove all of it. The patient asks if Nick can be in the room, which everyone agrees on. Amelia goes to check on Kai, who is pacing outside. Kai wants to know if Mer walks, will Amelia leave too. Amelia doesn’t really say what she will do and tries to sidestep the question. She thinks walking will help boost their creativity, so the two doctors take a stroll. After a few minutes, Kai is done with the break and is ready to get back to work.

We then get to see a sweet moment at Grey Sloan Memorial between Winston and Maggie. Winston asks how her dad is, and Maggie is happy to report that he is doing better. She doesn’t think her dad wanted her to leave and tried to prolong her visit. Maggie enjoyed spending time with her dad, but she also hated being away from Winston. In one of the best lines of the season, Winston tells Maggie, “You are my dream come true.” His phone goes off with a cardio page, but he doesn’t answer since he wants more quality time with Maggie.

The hospital's table at the medical student convention has a big crowd to hear about the Webber Method from the participants themselves. Richard, Schmitt, and another resident have shown up to help pitch Grey Sloan Memorial to the students. Schmitt and the other resident talk to the students about how the Webber Method gives them more autonomy, bigger caseloads, and lots of solo surgeries. The students seem very interested, until they get notifications that their personalized tote bags are ready to be picked up at another hospital’s booth.


Jo finally makes it to the hospital with two strollers in tow and barely gets down the hall before she is stopped by Jeremy’s friend. The friend would like an update and can’t get any information because she’s not family. Jo obviously just walked through the door and doesn’t know anything. The friend explains how Jeremy is her best friend and that they are family from how closely they have worked together for many years. She needs to know that he’s going to be okay, so Jo asks her to watch the kids so she can check on him herself.

Back in the lab, Kai and Amelia try another cell culture. They go back to their previous conversation, and Kai describes how they like research because finding the unthinkable is an amazing feeling. Well, that feeling will have to wait because the latest culture is unsuccessful. After some problem solving thinking, Amelia realizes that the issue is temperature-related and that they need to find a way to keep the cells cold in the needle for them to work. The pair excitedly tries to figure out a way to make that happen.

In the OR, Mer and Wright work on resecting the tumor while Nick supervises and attempts to micromanage Mer. The patient’s blood pressure starts to elevate, which causes Nick to get anxious. Mer asks if he needs to step out because he is too invested, and Nick says he is fine. Mer then asks if he doesn’t trust her, which prompts Nick to finally reveal the truth. The patient is actually Nick’s long time best friend, who also happened to be Nick’s kidney donor. Mer immediately kicks Nick out of the OR and isn’t happy that she didn’t know that info in advance.

In the hospital OR, Link begins to operate on Jeremy’s leg, and Teddy scrubs in to help with the cardio side of things. Jeremy starts crashing again, so Teddy takes over and says they need a temporary pacing kit. Link starts CPR so Teddy can place the pacing wire. The scene changes back to the Minnesota OR, where Mer and Wright have gotten their surgical field back under control. Mer tells Wright that she sees why he is Nick’s favorite resident, as he has been a star in the OR. Wright is impressed that Mer trained under Bailey and starts singing Bailey’s praises. He also says working with Mer is the highlight of his career. Mer asks why he didn’t do his residency at the hospital if he wanted to learn from Bailey, so Wright explains he didn’t match at Grey Sloan Memorial, which broke his heart.

Back in Washington, Maggie shows up at the hospital convention booth and says hi to Bailey. She apologizes that she and Winston are late and says that he is parking the car. Bailey is pissed and wants Maggie to fix the day’s problems because everything is not okay. She explains that they shouldn’t have to throw gifts at students to attract them and doesn’t want to beg for students’ attention. Maggie suggests she takes a break, so Bailey storms off.

Over in the lab, Hamilton watches Amelia and Kai try cooler needles that were chilled in a freezer. They think the key is injecting the cells before they have a chance to warm back up. Amelia tells Hamilton his constant questions aren’t helping, but quickly changes her tune when the test works. The new culture hits a 92% success rate, which meets the FDA’s 90% viability standard. Hamilton is elated and hopes he didn’t run off Mer. Amelia is stunned that they may have found a cure for Parkinson’s.

After surgery, Teddy and Link tell Jeremy’s friend that he’s going to be fine. He needs a permanent pacemaker and will make a full recovery. Teddy takes the friend to visit Jeremy, and Link stays behind to talk to Jo. She thinks that the friend is in love with Jeremy. Link believes they can be best friends and also be in love. He then casually drops a massive bomb by telling Jo that he had a huge crush on her when they were younger. Link only worked at the restaurant to be near her. He wound up changing his tune to be her best friend because he saw that that’s what she needed. Jo clearly had no idea and is absolutely shocked. With a smile, Link says he doesn’t know what he would do without her. He starts walking away to go get changed and says they should grab dinner on their way home, leaving a stunned Jo in the hallway. It’s funny that Link doesn’t realize that he dropped a bomb on Jo and that Jo doesn’t know how to react.

Mer goes to find Nick after surgery and tells him that his friend is going to be okay. She was able to remove the full tumor without any damage to the kidney. Nick thanks her and talks about playing Little League with his friend, who also sat through all of dialysis with Nick. He didn’t want to put that burden on Mer and make her personally involved, which is why he didn’t say anything in advanced. Mer replies that she’s always personally invested, whether she knows the person she’s operating on or not. She tells him that there’s no such thing as a body on a table for her and that she even makes up little stories about her patients if she doesn’t know their stories. Mer says she can handle the burden, which is her way of saying, “Don’t do that again.” Nick asks Mer if she made up a story when she operated on him. Mer didn’t have to because he told her everything in advance. A relieved Nick tells Mer that he owes her one before she walks away.

We then see Jo and Link eating Chinese food at home. Jo announces that she Googled Rapunzel to find out how the story ends and recites the parts they didn’t see. She hopes they will both still get their happy ending and that maybe this bad patch they have been going through is the middle part to finding their happily ever after. Jo poses a very good question: “When two people have been there for each other, don’t they deserve to be happy?” Link latches onto that idea, but not in the way Jo was hoping. Link realizes he has been holding onto a fairytale and that his relationship with Amelia doesn’t have to be like that. He can wait and doesn’t need to marry her now. He loves her and thinks that can be enough. Link decides he will go pick up Amelia from the airport and leaves. Jo looks kind of devastated, which makes it clear that she was talking about her and Link being happy together. This is quite an interesting pickle that was presented in this episode. It should be very interesting to see how it all plays out in the second half of the season.

Speaking of Amelia, we see her and Kai leaving the hospital for the night. Kai says they are lucky to have Amelia as the lead neurosurgeon on the Parkinson’s project because she saved the study. Kai thinks Amelia became a neurosurgeon because she is driven by process and outcome. They are both glad that they will continue to work together since Hamilton is keeping the band together. Kai asks Amelia if she would like to go out to dinner, but Amelia has to decline since she has to catch a plane. She is happy that she will see Kai next week, and I can’t wait to see Amelia’s reaction to whatever craziness Link tells her when she gets back to Seattle. 

The episode ends at the hospital when Mer shows up at Bailey’s office to talk. Bailey is still mad at Mer. She’s also upset that she recruits the best students and teaches them everything she knows only for them to all leave and make groundbreaking contributions to medicine elsewhere while she spends the whole day trying to convince new students that she is worth their time. Bailey is not wrong and her frustration is warranted. Mer has someone that she wants Bailey to meet, and Wright walks through the door. He wants to transfer to Grey Sloan Memorial, and Mer praises his talents to Bailey. Wright tells Bailey that he wants to learn from her. Mer smiles and leaves as Bailey says she’s listening. Wright sits down to pitch Bailey on why he wants to transfer. This is truly a great ending to the episode because Bailey finally gets the love, respect, and win that she is looking for.


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