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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The Resident 5x19 Review: “All We Have Is Now” (Love and Loss) [Contributor: Justine]

“All We Have Is Now”
Original Airdate: April 19, 2022

The Resident is back with one of the most emotionally devastating episodes this season. This is certainly saying something, considering that this season has almost exclusively consisted of stories designed to inflict the maximum amount of emotional damage on viewers. We knew this episode was coming and yet it made it no less devastating. It was a testament to the talent to all involved that the story was enthralling right to the end. 

The focus on Carol was just so poignant, sweet, and a lovely tribute to a supporting character who has been among the best. Denise Dowse is such a star, and the depth of love she’s brought to this character is astounding. The way that this show made a point to portray palliative care, something that is still seen as scary and unknown, is great. At its best, it’s an approach to care that fully centers the patient and allows them to live life to the fullest. Carol deserved nothing less, and it was so touching to see her final days surrounded by so much love.  

The dual focus on AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) and his grief was what elevated this episode to another level. Warner is an absolute star, and you can’t help but feel so deeply for what his character has gone through. The show didn’t really go deep into the loss of AJ’s father. He was given an opportunity to grieve this loss and it was beyond heartbreaking to watch. This particular story was such an honest portrayal of grief from beginning to end.

Elsewhere, Devon (Manish Dayal) and Conrad (Matt Czuchry) were making medical miracles happen by teaming up together again, something this season has focused less on. Their mission was to save a patient from rabies after... connecting with the Earth didn’t exactly go according to plan. This story was a perfect venue for these two to show off their diagnostic prowess. Janice (Mick Szal) was the resident who got the spotlight and for a while, it was unclear if she’d be able to prove herself. She managed to rally and we love to see it. 

Bell (Bruce Greenwood) continued his crusade for medical justice, and upped the ante in his advocacy for one patient who was the victim of one terrible doctor. Though the decision ultimately cost him his coveted seat on the Georgia State Medical Board, it was so satisfying to see Bell choose to do the right thing. He rightly called out physicians who take advantage of the blind trust of the public they’re often given. As a side note, it was great seeing Bell back on TV, using his image for good rather than promoting snake oil salesmen. There will no doubt be consequences for his actions here, but right now Bell doesn’t seem to care (in the best possible way).

If this episode had any weakness, it was the continuation of the sperm donor story. It was great to see Devon finally supporting Leela (Anuja Joshi), even if it was ultimately misguided. It was a shame we’ve only gotten to see Leela recently in the context of this story, rather than on her making her goals a reality. A balance can surely be found somewhere. Padma (Aneesha Joshi) was the voice of reason, and her advice to simply trust the universe to provide ultimately proved to be right. If anything, this episode gave somewhat of a resolution: AJ had a moment of clarity and would only agree to be the sperm donor if he could be a present father.

The Resident has not disappointed yet with the second half of this season. So many characters have gotten a chance to go on deep, meaningful journeys that so many viewers will be able to relate to. The emotional devastation we’ve seen so far has never veered into emotional theatrics. Instead, we’ve been gifted with a venue see emotions and the human experience mirrored back at us. Hopefully this trend continues. 

Other Things:

  • We now know that Emily VanCamp will be returning for this season’s finale. This is just further proof that this season isn’t finished taking viewers on an emotional rollercoaster.
  • The less Trevor I see, the more nervous I get about what he’s getting up to off screen. It can’t be anything good, and it will likely be a massive bombshell.
  • “All doctors benefit from the shield the white coat provides. I have too. Malpractice breaks our oath to do no harm, but it also destroys the public trust in even the best doctors. And the bad ones are few. They need to be weeded out, and the guard dogs need to be reminded of who they're meant to protect.”
  • “I realize I don't like being alone. So if we're going to do this, I don't want to just be a donor. I gotta help you raise this kid. I want to be a father.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Flash 8x11 Review: "Resurrection" (Ronnie’s Return?) [Contributor: Deborah M]

Original Airdate: April 13, 2022

We’ve got a Caitlin-centric episode of The Flash this week, something I don’t think we’ve had for quite a while. Unfortunately, slightly sloppy writing undercuts any tension early on and we’re left with some bad circumstances we saw coming from a mile away. Meanwhile, not really appearing in this review: Iris’s time sickness is getting worse. Green sparkles everywhere!


It’s flashback time! Wow, the show is flashing back to season one quite a bit these days, huh? Well, I guess technically the flashback we get to Caitlin meeting Ronnie for the first time is pre-season one. Anyway, it’s a pretty cute little scene between the two of them and, since they’ve been seeding the idea of her finally moving on from Ronnie this season, it’s good to remind everyone what she’d be moving on from.

Back in the present, Caitlin is chatting with the killer black flames. In Ronnie’s voice, the flames ask her to join them in order to save them, then say something about “memories in the snow.” That’s nicely cryptic, well done. Later, when Team Flash is discussing their black flame problem and find out there are possible victims that predate the O'Shaughnessy's Bar victims this plotline started with, Caitlin sweeps in with a fully-formed theory on why she thinks the black flames are actually Ronnie. The theory is backed up by the fact that Caitlin recognizes all the victims, including the newly surfaced ones.

Basically, Caitlin matched the radiation of the black flames to that of a singularity, which is what Ronnie died in. She theorizes that, since energy can only be changed and not destroyed, Ronnie could have been transformed into the black flames when he died. When Barry mentions the whole “killing people” hobby the black flames have but Ronnie certainly did not, Caitlin just dismisses it as Ronnie being confused and full of a grief hormone at his time of death. The grief hormone reacted with the singularity and resulted in a being that feeds off the same hormone in others — i.e., a being that eats grief like the black flames do.

After dismissing Barry’s idea that the flames could just be messing with her like they did with Chester (I almost thought the show had forgotten about that bit), Caitlin says she thinks Ronnie wants them to save him with the quantum splicer that allowed him to be Firestorm years ago. She even punches a few keys and pulls a blueprint of the quantum splicer up on a monitor to jog everyone’s memory. I swear only a few hours, tops, could have passed between Caitlin’s scene with Ronnie-Flames and this one, so how in the world did she manage to put this whole theory together, complete with visual aids ready to go on the Team Flash command center computers? I bet Caitlin was a dream to have on team projects back in school. 

While the rest of the team is on board for this plan to essentially bring Ronnie back to life, Barry is wary and — since this episode is not about Barry learning a lesson — we know from the start that Caitlin’s plan is a bad one. Basically announcing that this whole thing is going to fail or backfire in some way by depicting Barry as so completely against it kind of ruins the story, in my opinion. We’ll get more into that later on, though.

Even if I couldn’t predict bad things to come by the way Barry resists Caitlin’s plan, I’d still probably consider her breaking up with her new boyfriend jumping the gun a bit. Without waiting to see if Ronnie can actually be saved, Caitlin meets up with Marcus, tells him everything that’s going on (including her side job helping the Flash, although if Marcus could meet Frost and not assume Caitlin’s got some connection with the Flash he’d be pretty dim) and then they break up. He seems to take it well, though he’s certainly weirded out by the fact that his relationship is being ruined by a resurrection, and leaves her with a poignant Plato quote about tending to one’s heart like a plant or something.

Because he’s the correct one in this situation, Barry is double-checking that the modifications to the Fusion Sphere are complete and ready as everyone’s backup plan. He raises some good questions to Frost when she finds him, such as why Ronnie took seven years to show up again if he turned into the black flames as soon as he died. Even more questions are raised when Cecile gets bombarded by Ronnie’s voice and the undeniable feeling that Ronnie doesn’t want to be saved; he wants to die.

This splits the possible plans of action in two: either follow Caitlin’s heart toward rescuing Ronnie, or follow Cecile’s powers and destroy the black flames, freeing Ronnie from his torment. Since we really need an either/or situation for the drama, it’s also revealed that using the quantum splicer on an unwilling participant will cause an explosion. The team seems to fall in with Barry and Cecile while Caitlin and, later, Frost, decide to work alone and save Ronnie.

There are a couple more flashbacks to moments during Caitlin and Ronnie’s relationship, including one where the two of them have gotten their car stuck in snow on the way to a romantic bed and breakfast. Caitlin is especially upset because she planned to propose, but a romantic little conversation with Ronnie has her kneeling in the snow and proposing anyway, only to have him present her with an engagement ring. It’s a really cute little scene and, combined with the earlier quote about “memories in snow,” tells Caitlin where she’ll find Ronnie next.

The Flash finds Ronnie first, though. Barry uses the Fusion Sphere and successfully captures Ronnie, but Frost shows up and freezes the sphere, releasing him. Caitlin approaches the black flames, has a few more flashbacks (some of which were actually on the show) and places the quantum splicer on him, regaining his body.

Even though everyone is all smiles and “we can’t wait to get to know Ronnie” after, Caitlin’s happiness is cut short when she finds Ronnie staring creepily out the window. When he turns around, he reveals that he’s not actually Ronnie — Ronnie is really dead — and that he calls himself Death Storm.

Okay, here’s the thing: the show has established this pattern of Barry being right all the time and the audience gauging how they’re meant to feel off Barry except for episodes where it is patently obvious that Barry is wrong and needs to be wrong in order to win a lesson. This means that, for anyone who watches this show regularly, we all knew less than ten minutes into the episode that Caitlin/Ronnie wasn’t going to work out. It’s incredibly frustrating that the writers would completely deflate the tension in what would otherwise have been a pretty intriguing episode, and a rare spotlight episode for Caitlin to boot.

Anyway, in other news: Iris has gotten disappeared by Tinya in revenge for Iris disappearing Tinya’s mom.

Other Things:

  • Paused to read Chester’s livestream chat again. Poor Techluver5898 is still mourning the drone killed by their cat.
  • Caitlin and Ronnie after simultaneously proposing to each other: “My answer’s yes, by the way.” “So’s mine.” Genuinely really cute.
  • Joe’s joke-gasp when Allegra calls him “grandpa” was the funniest thing in this episode.

The Resident 5x18 Review: “Ride or Die” (We Are Family) [Contributor: Justine]

“Ride or Die”
Original Airdate: April 12, 2022

The Resident continues to make a valiant effort at wrapping up all of the stories that have been introduced in its fifth season. This season has essentially been unrelenting when it has come to putting characters through some of the most significant challenges they’ve ever faced. This episode featured the beginnings of the ends of stories fans we’ve followed in the second half of the season. Some characters were put center stage after a long time in the background, and others didn’t get nearly enough screen time. 

The first story that seemed to be on hiatus, if not discontinued entirely, was the mob story. In many ways, this story was, up until now, confined to the abstract. This episode dispelled any doubts of the dangers of the mob. The danger of those committing medicare fraud, and manufacturing fake prescriptions in Conrad’s (Matt Czuchry) name is never in doubt. After being in a supporting role for most of this season, Conrad was in a starring role as more of a detective. It suited him. 

For Cade (Kaley Ronayne) and Conrad, it was back to the beginning of when they first met. Since Cade’s been introduced, it’s sometimes been confusing to get a firm sense of where this relationship is supposed to go. Were they meant to be good friends? Lovers? It’s been murky. However, this episode gave viewers more clarity: Conrad realizes that Cade is just a version of him. That’s why their dynamic works so well sometimes, but falls flat at others. The show is simply trying to recreate a character that we’ve already come to know and love.  

After making a big impact in episode 17,  Zach (Alan Aisenberg) faced a trial by fire. He’s so imperfectly human, and one can’t help feel sorry for him. The teamup between Zach and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) wasn’t one we thought we needed, and yet it was played to perfection. AJ was a vintage version of The Raptor this episode, and it’s been far too long since we’ve seen him in action. He’s always been a fantastic mentor, if his teaching methods are slightly unorthodox. He shows he actually cares about patients and the resident doctors under his charge by demanding excellence from himself and those he mentors.

On a more heartbreaking note, AJ’s mom, Carol (Denise Dowse), in the final stretch of the her illness. It’s been a long and winding rode for her and her palliative care journey. The Resident deserves so much credit for not only shining a spotlight, but portraying positively an aspect of healthcare that is still so misunderstood and made taboo. The essence of palliative care is living life to the fullest, and distilling what is really important to patients in the midst of their illness. It’s in these moments that the staff at Chastain prove how much of a family they have become. AJ is in excellent hands, being loved and supported by those around him as he loves and supports his mother who is approaching the end of her life. 

On a happier note, this episode unlocked a new character that is already so lovable. New anesthesiologist Jayci (Jeena Yi) is completely whacky in the best possible way. She proved her chops as a physician working overnight. Only the best healthcare providers prefer the nightshifts. It takes a special person to have that kind of commitment. Jayci is for sure going to be an excellent addition to the family. 

Finally, KitBell shippers got a lot of content this episode. Bell (Bruce Greenwood) is still clearly getting used to navigating his professional life with a disability. It was so admirable to see Kit (Jane Leeves) insist on the love of her life being accommodated so he was still able to perform surgery. Seeing these two work together is always such a joy, and the two of them opting for the night shift when they’re such senior staff gives them a whole new level of respectability. 

One of the challenges The Resident has is having just so many compelling characters who can realistically be the focus of an episode that some things get lost. This episode was no exception. Other equally compelling characters were left on the sidelines, while their just as enthralling co-stars had the limelight. It’s always a tough balance to strike. As a benefit, fans can certainly look forward to more character-driven storytelling from this very deep talent pool. The final episodes of the season are shaping up to be a wild ride. 

Other Things:

  • Devon (Manish Dayal) again proved he does in fact still have a bedside manner. Is it just his girlfriend he feels the need to put down?
  • On that note, this episode didn’t have nearly enough Leela (Anuja Joshi). We’ve had so much setup to watch her change the world. It’s a shame these last couple of episodes haven’t let her character grow and shine.
  • Still no Trevor (Miles Fowler). Every episode he isn’t in, I get more nervous when I think about what he could possibly be up to. I have a distinct feeling they’re saving this story for the big finale. 
  • “I got this Boss Voss. Oh, no, there goes my snow bunnies. They're brand new!”
  • “You need my help. Prescription drug scams are favored by the mob. They kill people who threaten their revenue stream. That's why we handed this over to the FBI.”
  • “My mother and I want to thank you for the exceptional care that you provided. You've been nothing but remarkable. You've helped with some really tough decisions ... and I just want you to know that it means a lot. It makes all the difference in the world. I know my mother will hold all of you in her heart for the time that she has left.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The Flash 8x10 Review: "Reckless" (Slapdash Storytelling) [Contributor: Deborah M]

Original Airdate: April 6, 2022

This week on The Flash: Frost is targeted by the black flames. Caitlin and Frost’s mom returns, significantly nicer than she was in previous appearances. Iris is infected with green time sparkles that steal stuff. People decide things and then decide the opposite thing in a matter of moments. I am bored and slightly confused by what the writers are doing.


We start where we left off last episode, which is Iris getting the bad news from Deon about her time sickness. They’ve been using illness language to describe what’s been happening to Iris, but actually something’s coming for Iris and affecting time as it goes. I get the feeling the writers didn’t quite know what they wanted time sickness to be before they set this plot up and now they’ve realized that temporal tuberculosis isn’t quite as narratively compelling as an enemy the team could possibly fight in a pre-hiatus finale episode.

Iris’ plotline, while doubtlessly going to fuel future episodes, is a series of almost-nothing-scenes in an episode of almost-nothing-scenes so I’ll just summarize it up top before we get into the A-plot: Iris has to stay in Coast City so Deon can stabilize her, which is fine on her end because she still wants to hunt down angry teenager stereotype Tinya’s mom. They find the mom, but clearly Iris wasn’t as stabilized as Deon led her to believe, because she ends up disappearing a whole room full of stuff and then Tinya’s mom via green time sparkles. Oops!

Meanwhile, in Central City, I think the writers wanted to go for a mother-daughter connection between the parallel plotlines because Caitlin and Frost’s mom, Dr. Carla Tannhauser, is brought in to help the team find a way to capture the black flames. Like the ghost connection between the Central City plot and the Coast City plot last week, this connection is so fragile that there’s a chance I’m making it up on my own in a desperate attempt to find cohesion in the episode. Regardless, Frost has brought her mom into the fold because the black flames have decided to target her, but they only burned her instead of outright killing her like previous victims and her scientist mom has insight.

Team Flash knows the flames target grief but don’t know what kind of grief or if there’s an extra element to who it picks. For a moment, they think Frost has that extra element and they could figure it out via her — but Carla nixes that idea by proposing that the cold fusion flames actually wanted Frost for fuel supplied by her cryo-kinetic powers. With this in mind, Frost wants to use herself as bait to capture the black flames.

The plan seems smart and doable, but Barry’s against the idea of putting Frost in danger and vetoes it outright. Y’know. Even though Frost is a superhero who puts herself in danger every time she goes out into the field. Even more senseless for the narrative, it takes one brief conversation in the next scene for Frost to convince Barry to let her be bait anyways. It’s the first of several bizarre about-faces in this episode.

Because we’re not even halfway through the episode yet, the initial plan does not work and Frost gets knocked out by the black flames when they try. She wakes up later to a worried Caitlin berating her for endangering herself. Both Frost and Carla think the plan is still a solid one; they just need to make Frost seem tastier to the flames so they’ll go right for her instead of hesitating again. Caitlin is mad that Frost has no self-preservation and is mad at Carla for enabling it, accusing her mom of seeing Frost more as a science experiment than a daughter.

Before leaving, Caitlin basically tells Carla that if Frost dies, Caitlin won’t ever speak to Carla again. The dynamic between Frost, Carla, and Caitlin is genuinely interesting, which makes it doubly frustrating that this episode does nothing with any of it. The scenes throughout “Reckless” just seem like scenes that needed to be there to fill time and hit story beats. There’s no emotional weight to most of them and, in cases where a little kernel of a good concept exists, nothing is explored enough to be engaging or fulfilling.

Case in point: Carla finding Frost after getting yelled at by Caitlin, the two having a heart-to-heart, and Frost essentially saying she thinks her whole reason for existing is to protect Caitlin because she was manufactured by their father. It’s an interesting insight into Frost’s sense of self that the episode really does nothing with and it could’ve been the foundation of a whole episode exploring Frost’s relationship with Caitlin as well as her relationship with Carla and the trio’s connection as a family.

Anyway, we also get an obligatory pep talk scene between Barry and Joe, then the mission is back on track because Caitlin has done a one-eighty and decided she’ll let Frost be bait after all. This is, I think, the third time this happens in the episode. The second time was when Carla agreed with Caitlin not to help Frost endanger herself with the plan and then, in the same conversation, decided she would help Frost endanger herself with the plan after all. These people are making me dizzy.

Turns out, Carla has a latent cryo-power gene they could use to double up Frost’s energy and better entice the black flames for capture. Does everyone have latent superpower genes in this universe now? Also, anyone want to take bets on when the show will do a “supervillain plans to tap into everyone on Earth’s latent meta gene to devalue the specialness of metas” plot, a la The Incredibles? They have to eventually do something with this idea, right? It can’t just be a convenient way to make metas outside of the particle accelerator explosion, right? Right?

Frost and Carla are strapped in next to the Spencer-Gifts-looking Fusion Sphere. They have a little moment, hold hands, and get frosty enough to attract the black flames. It seems to work, with the flames getting sucked into the sphere, but then the flames start fighting back and Carla goes into cardiac arrest. She says it’s worth it if she dies and they capture the flames, which is just heavy-handed enough to give Frost a moment of realization before she tackles her mom out of range of the Fusion Sphere and thus lets the flames go free.

After, Joe is initially mad that Team Flash let the black flames go, then changes his mind when he realizes it was to save Carla’s life. It’s almost comical at this point. Were the writers just bored? Was this their little game during the writing process? There’s no way they didn’t realize what they were doing.

Once again, an episode ends with the black flames still on the loose and Team Flash only slightly closer to being able to stop them. This time, they theorize that they’ll be able to come up with an artificial cryo-kinetic signature that could attract the flames without needing Frost or Carla there to act as bait. So why didn’t anyone mention that at any point during this episode, in which the primary tension was centered entirely around Frost being bait? Don’t know! Stop asking questions!

But one last scene before we go: Caitlin is visited by the black flames, and they quote something Ronnie said to her in the past. Ooh, intriguing.

Other Things:

  • Yes, the mother-daughter moments between Frost and Carla and between Tinya and her mom were touching. No, they weren’t touching enough to make up for this haphazard episode.
  • Sue uses her Rich People Connections to get the adoption agency to override a no-contact order on Tinya’s case, which seems all kinds of illegal but... rich people, y’know?
  • I’m not even going to touch the various paradox-related questions that arise around Iris’s time sickness erasing things and people from the timeline.

Grey’s Anatomy 18x15 Recap: “Put it to the Test” (Tick, Tick, Boom) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Put it to the Test”
Original Airdate: April 7, 2022

The latest hour of Grey’s Anatomy will surely enrage fans by the time it ends. The three remaining original characters are given major tests, and not all of them pass. Any Grey’s Anatomy purist should be upset with the outcome of this episode, and we have been gifted a month to stew about it before new episodes resume on Thursday, May 5, and take us to the end of the season. The latest storylines were surely conceived before the show’s season 19 renewal, so there is still time to right the ship.


The episode begins with Bailey and Meredith separately arriving at the hospital in the morning, both eager to start a fresh day. Mer meets a stretch limo in the ambulance bay, which contains Nick and an organ transplant cooler. Nick is thrilled to be in Seattle and that Catherine sent a private jet and limo for him. He’s also excited that he is working on a top-secret transplant today with Mer and a bunch of residents, who have no idea what they will be working on. Bailey comes outside and meets Nick for the first time and profusely thanks him for coming. She believes the timing is perfect, as the hospital needs to be impressive that day.

We then see the reemergence of Schmitt. Helm visits the still-depressed doctor in his basement. She drops off a massive pile of mail for him and asks him to come to work for the residency program’s review. Schmitt doesn’t know what she is talking about, so Helm informs him about the complaints against the program and how people are ripping it apart on social media. Helm tries to convince her best friend by telling him that she knows he has been hurting, but she has worked too hard for the residency program to be shut down. She needs Schmitt to be there for her just for one day and leaves him to ponder whether to help or not.

Back at the hospital, Bailey holds a meeting with the department heads/top attendings about the visitors the hospital will have from the medical accreditation council. Bailey informs the doctors that the visitors will be focusing not just on the residency program, but on them too during their site visit. Winston speaks up to ask how the residents can do grand rounds with Mer and Nick if the residency program is being examined. Bailey feels that the grand rounds showing groundbreaking medicine is great for Grey Sloan Memorial. Owen explains to the group that the program can be shut down if the visit fails, but Bailey assures them that won’t happen because they will show their visitors who they are and impress them. She announces that Richard will be the first person interviewed during the site visit, which Richard quickly nixes. He tells Bailey that his physician review starts shortly, so he can’t participate in the site visit. Bailey’s incredulous look says it all.

Elsewhere in the hospital, grand rounds start with Nick and Mer presenting their patient to a group of residents. The patient is Mason Taylor, who was declared brain dead after being hit by a drunk driver, and he will be the recipient of a kidney transplant. The residents are very confused why they would do a transplant on a brain dead patient instead of harvesting his organs for other potential transplants. Nick explains that the kidney donor is a farm-raised, genetically modified pig. Wright is immediately excited that they are performing a xenotransplant, which we will learn more about later on.

Bailey chases Richard down the hall after the meeting, and she is none too happy that he scheduled his physician review the same day that the residency program is under review. Richard gets her frustration, yet he has to go through with it because he found someone who would be unbiased toward him with the exam. Right on cue, Bailey and Richard walk into Hamilton and Kai. Bailey is shocked to learn Hamilton and Kai will be Richard’s evaluators, and her stress levels continue to increase when two women from the medical accreditation council arrive at that exact moment. They split into their rightful groups of three to begin their separate review processes.


We then get footage of the three major events going on at the hospital weaved together in small bites that are almost shown too quickly to process. Before Richard’s test begins, Amelia finds Kai and tells them that Richard needs to pass the test because he is important to the hospital and her, but Kai knows they can’t be swayed by personal feelings. Hamilton and Kai start the review with a series of brain games (which actually look fun). 

Nick explains to the residents that Mason wanted to donate his organs, but couldn’t due to a long history of cancer. Instead, his wife donated his body to research. Nick goes on to say that seventeen people die each day waiting for a kidney transplant, and his xenotransplant research can make the long transplant lists go away in a few years. They will do the first-time transplant in Mason’s hospital room. Nick helps the residents reason that they are experimenting on a dead guy because they can’t perform a xenotransplant on someone who has something to lose. They fasten the kidney to Mason’s groin, that way they can see the organ while assessing its performance and the area has great blood supply.

While those two things are happening, Bailey is giving the two accreditation women a tour of the hospital. She wants to show them everything it has to offer. One of the ladies would like to speak to all the residents directly and wants to start with Schmitt. Bailey puts them off by saying the residents are experiencing groundbreaking medical innovation, so they shouldn’t be interrupted. The visitor then tells Bailey that it is impressive that such innovative cases are making their way to the hospital considering that Grey Sloan Memorial has lost seven physicians recently. Bailey chalks that up to a higher number of retirees this year, which prompts the women to ask about Hayes. Bailey semi-lies and smoothly tells them that he moved back to Ireland for a family matter. The trio walks up to Mason’s room just as Wright comes out to tell the rest of the residents and Mer that the transplanted kidney is producing urine. The timing is perfect for the visitors to see the success, and Bailey takes the opportunity to introduce them to Mer. They get another quick jab in when one says that it’s a rare opportunity for the residents to get to work with Mer these days.

We get a short reprieve from the challenging site visit to see Schmitt complaining to his mom. After looking at the harmful social media posts that Helm mentioned, Schmitt realized that his mom is responsible for the online criticism. They argue about the situation, and Schmitt doesn’t want his mom to fight his battles. Mrs. Schmitt thinks her son needs help because his teachers failed him, which has led him to want to give up his career and break up with Nico. Schmitt defends the teaching he has had and says that he failed, not the attendings. Mrs. Schmitt goes to leave the basement when her foot slips on a stair, making her fall backward down the flight of stairs. Schmitt immediately calls 911 and tells them that his mother hit her head, is unconscious and unresponsive, and her left leg is internally rotated and shortened, which could be a sign of a femur fracture. 

At the hospital, Richard is still doing neurological tests with Hamilton and Kai to test his ability to process information in short amounts of time. They take a short break to talk, and Hamilton tells Richard that he knows there is a difference between slowing down a bit and being a danger to patients. He has no problem with slowing down and goes off on a tangent about how part of their job as they get older is to recruit the next “you.” The comments lead Richard to figure out that Hamilton is trying to poach Mer, which infuriates the Grey Sloan Memorial loyalist.


If you thought Richard and Hamilton had a bad conversation, just wait for the accreditation visitors’ discussions with Grey Sloan Memorial’s top attendings! The two women interview Winston and Maggie separately, and Bailey is in the conference room for both talks. Winston goes first and is asked why he transferred to the hospital. He talks about how he wanted to work with Maggie, which they see as an issue since they are now married. Maggie is asked if she always dated her students, which Maggie instantly rebuffs. She wants to know how her marriage has anything to do with the residency program, and the women explain that they have heard about Grey Sloan Memorial’s history of inappropriate sexual conduct, which they have to take seriously.

The interviews then go into the actual workplace. The group runs into Owen first, who appears to be working a bit while still on crutches. The women ask Owen when he can operate again, and he thinks he will be back in the OR soon. Bailey touts the hospital’s physical therapy department and how much of an asset Owen is as a former army surgeon. They have read his study on burn-related illnesses in veterans and want to know how the study can keep moving forward after several patients have died. Cut to Teddy’s interview, in which she defends Owen’s study by saying many burn patients die from their injuries and that it isn’t unusual. They next talk to Link while he is in a patient’s room. Link starts off great by saying how he turned his life upside down to work at Grey Sloan Memorial instead for the Seattle Mariners, but it quickly takes a wrong turn when he reveals too many personal details and struggles that make it seem like he hates his life. Bailey is seething to the point where you know she wants to melt him with her gaze.

Elsewhere, Nick asks the residents to get a biopsy of the transplanted kidney to test for viability. He leaves the room and runs right into Mason’s wife, Jan. Nick apologizes for her loss, and Jan really wants to see Mason. Nick says she can see him later, but not right now. Jan gets a little hysterical and tries to push past Nick, but he stops her. He asks Jan to remember what she consented to and how it can save thousands of lives, but if she goes into the room, the study will be over. Jan can’t believe that her husband beat cancer only to be killed by a drunk driver. Nick consoles the grieving wife, which Mer sees from down the hall. 

Over at Schmitt’s house, Mrs. Schmitt is not doing well and an ambulance has not arrived yet. Schmitt remembers his ABCs (airway, breathing, and circulation) and goes into doctor mode to check his mother’s status. He finds that she has a tension pneumothorax, which causes him to panic that the ambulance is taking too long to get there. 

Back at the hospital, Richard can’t focus on his tests because he is too mad about Hamilton bringing up that he is poaching Mer during the assessment. Richard is also annoyed that Hamilton would try to court Mer while Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program is under scrutiny. He feels that losing Mer could shut the program down for good. Richard is then interrupted by a phone call from Schmitt, who asks his mentor for help since the paramedics haven’t arrived to help his mom. Without telling Hamilton and Kai what is going on, Richard leaves the room to help Schmitt.

Richard instructs the resident to get a knife and sterilize it with alcohol wipes to perform a thoracostomy. Schmitt isn’t sure he can do it, and Richard reminds him that he has done dozens of them. Schmitt cuts into his mom’s chest with the knife and cuts into the chest wall with scissors to relieve the pressure of the pneumothorax. She immediately starts breathing better, but there’s a lot of blood. Schmitt realizes that the injury is significantly worse than he thought and is relieved when the paramedics arrive.

The action switches back to Bailey and the accreditation women talking to Jo about the surgical residency program. Jo sings praises about Bailey, but the women are only interested in why Jo left surgery. She explains why she made such a big career decision, and she is asked if Bailey tried to dissuade her from leaving surgery. Jo says Bailey did, but they still don’t understand why she would throw a promising surgical career away. Jo argues that she uses her surgical skills everyday as an OB resident and urges that there is no better residency program or better chief than Bailey. She excuses herself to deliver a baby. The next person on the interview list is Richard, so Bailey tries to stall by suggesting they take a break while she finds him.

We then go back to Richard, who is still on the phone with Schmitt. Richard asks for an update, and Schmitt reports that they are ten minutes away from the hospital and asks if Richard can get the OR prepared for his mom. They hang up right as Bailey walks up to Richard. He informs Bailey about Mrs. Schmitt’s injuries and in the next breath, he asks if Mer has spoken to her. Richard knows it is not the day to add more problems to Bailey’s plate, so it’s odd that he felt it necessary to bring that up right then and there.


Mer finds Nick near Mason’s room and learns that the transplanted kidney is not making urine anymore. Nick explains that Mason’s blood pressure is plummeting, which is causing the blood flow to his groin to not be strong enough to perfuse the kidney. He sent the residents away and tried everything to fix the problem but can’t seem to reverse it. Nick needs the transplant to work and wants to give Jan some good news. Mer knows the worst part of being a doctor is telling families that a loved one didn’t make it and knows he has that in every case. Nick says that if his study works, that would go away. Mer thinks all the bad news-giving weighs on him and makes him shake a little in his sleep, but if she puts her hand on him, he stops. Nick gently says that no one has ever told him that before. 

Their conversation is interrupted when Bailey walks up and furiously declares that Mer is taking the job in Minnesota. Bailey is rightfully angry that Mer didn’t have the respect to tell her herself about the offer or that she would probably take it. Mer claims that she hasn’t made a decision yet. Bailey escalates the situation by stating that she and Grey Sloan Memorial’s program raised Mer and taught her all she knows. She thinks Mer is selfish to leave in the middle of a physician shortage and the residency program being under review, especially after the hospital made plenty of concessions to allow Mer to work in both Seattle and Minnesota. 

Bailey starts having trouble breathing and grabs her chest. She continues though, saying that Mer is the same girl that’s “following her handsome attending all around the hospital” and brings up all the issues with the beginning of her relationship with Derek. Mer has enough, and Nick tries to step in to stop the argument. Bailey tells him to stop because she knows where he stands. That upsets Mer further, and she tells Bailey not to speak to her or Nick that way. She reminds her boss that Nick is at Grey Sloan Memorial doing them a favor. Bailey starts to stumble, and they help her sit down as Mer pages cardio.

As Bailey gets the help she needs, Mer and Nick talk about what just happened. Mer is pacing in the hallway saying that she needs Bailey to be okay, while Nick informs his girlfriend that Bailey got in her head. Mer tells him that Bailey has been in her head since she was an intern, but she has never seen her go off like that before on anyone. Nick thinks the blowup is making Mer reconsider the Minnesota offer, and Mer says that she loves Bailey, even though she doesn’t like her right now. Nick knows and then asks if Derek was married when Mer met him because he doesn’t remember that part of the story. Mer shoots back that it was a lot more complicated than that, but feels that Bailey just showed how she sees her. This makes Mer realize that a doctor can’t stay at the place they did their residency forever because the doctors there will never see you as anything more than what you were in the beginning and not the person you become. Wright peeks out of Mason’s room to inform Nick that the kidney has started making urine again, so Nick and Mer put their conversation on the back burner to check it out for themselves.

Meanwhile, Maggie checks out Bailey, who didn’t have another heart attack. Maggie assures her that everything is fine, but she needs to slow down. She asks where Richard is, and Bailey tells her about his assessment, which Maggie didn’t know about. Maggie tells Bailey that she needs to start doing less and handing more work off to other people, otherwise she will have another heart attack. Bailey doesn’t think that is an option because the residency program is falling apart on her watch. She’s been stretched too thin at work, has a new toddler at home, and Mer might be leaving, which is all too much for her to handle. Maggie is shocked to hear about Mer because she didn’t know that either. It is and isn’t surprising at the same time that Mer talked to Zola and Nick only about moving to Minnesota and no one else.

Amelia finds Kai outside, and before she can say a word, Kai tells her that they can’t say how Richard is doing on the test. Kai asks if Richard might have dementia or a drinking problem because he took a phone call in the middle of the assessment and left without saying a word. Amelia knows neither are true and has done a lot of things that have shown a lack of judgment herself. Link walks out to meet an incoming ambulance and overhears the tail end of Amelia’s comment. Kai says hi and introduces themself and asks if he is Scout’s dad. Link introduces himself, and Richard walks out right as an ambulance pulls up. 

Kai tries to ask why Richard is assisting Link when Schmitt opens the ambulance doors and explains the situation with his mom. Schmitt is a bit hysterical that they were fighting and his mom slipped down the stairs. He feels it is his fault, and Richard assures him that he saved her life. Schmitt wants to go with his mom, but Richard sternly tells him that he can’t. Kai allows Richard to help the Schmitts before concluding his tests. After Kai and Amelia go back inside, Schmitt reveals to Richard that his mom is responsible for the residency program’s woes and feels that everything, from his patient’s death to his mother’s injuries, is his fault. Richard hugs Schmitt and comforts him as one of the women from the accreditation council watches from the background.


With vintage footage from the early days of Grey’s Anatomy interspersed between new footage, Richard finally gets his chance to talk to the women from the council, and Schmitt talks to Hamilton and Kai about his experience with Richard as residency director. Richard tells the women that teaching is his calling, which is uniquely satisfying for him, and he admits that he asked for a physician’s review himself to make sure he was still competent enough to be a doctor. He doesn’t want to retire, but if that’s what he has to do for Grey Sloan Memorial to keep its residency program, then he will step down. It’s a powerful speech that reminds us yet again what a treasure the character of Richard Webber is. 

After the interview, Richard concludes the rest of his tests with Kai and Hamilton. Kai quickly tells him that they didn’t need the interview with Schmitt because Richard passed with flying colors on his own. Hamilton congratulates Richard, and Amelia busts in to let them all know that Mrs. Schmitt doesn’t have any head trauma and that she is going to make it. They are all excited by both pieces of news, and Amelia gives Richard a big hug when she learns he passed. On his way out, Hamilton tells Richard that not everyone gets a second chance at operating, so he should take advantage of the opportunity. Hamilton and Richard leave the room, and Amelia sticks around to apologize to Kai for her behavior earlier, as she was worried about Richard. Kai completely understands and realizes that Richard is Amelia’s Hamilton. 

Bailey meets with the women from the accreditation council, who tell her that the hospital’s residency program is one of the best that they have seen. They noticed the residents are genuinely excited about their work, and the attendings care enough about the hospital that they were nervous for the meetings. They can feel the sense of community and family at the hospital and they were greatly impressed by Richard. However, what they saw during their visit doesn’t quite override what is on paper: Grey Sloan Memorial doesn’t currently have enough surgeons to maintain a healthy teaching program. They unfortunately have to place the residency program on probation effective immediately and will give Bailey a list of improvements that need to be made if the hospital wants to continue the residency program. The women will be back for another visit in a few weeks to see if the situation has been rectified, or they will shut down the program for good. They wish Bailey luck and leave for the night. 

Elsewhere, Nick and Mer finally allow Jan to see Mason, but the two doctors speak for a moment first. Mer informs him that Bailey will be okay and that she spoke to Maggie, who told her she now knows about the offer. Nick shows Mer that the transplanted kidney has produced a whole bag of urine, which is a major accomplishment. Mer is very proud of Nick’s first step towards changing the face of transplant medicine and says he needed that win. Mer brings Jan into the room, and they tell her that the transplant worked. They leave her to grieve and see Mason, and it’s easy to see that Mer is getting flashes back to when she said goodbye to Derek. She gets a little teary eyed and tells Nick that she is ready to start over. She is going to take the offer, and Nick hugs her. 

Bailey has yet to realize that her actions have pushed Mer further away instead of making her want to stay. The Minnesota offer and potential residency program shutdown storylines were clearly written with the intention of things that could happen at the end of the series prior to another season being picked up. We all know that Grey’s Anatomy only works when all the current characters are working in Seattle at Grey Sloan Memorial. The show is Seattle and can’t survive or thrive elsewhere. It is fun to see a main doctor do something at another hospital for a few episodes, but the novelty tends to wear off quickly (i.e. this season’s Minnesota storyline went on a little too long). Grey’s Anatomy will no longer be Grey’s Anatomy if Mer moves to Minnesota. The good news is that there are enough episodes left this season for these storylines to be rectified. Here’s to hoping that the writers and producers figured this out themselves and fixed it by the end of the season and didn’t wait for the fan reaction first.

The Resident 5x17 Review: “The Space Between” (A Broken System) [Contributor: Justine]

“The Space Between”
Original Airdate: April 5, 2022

The Resident returned for a second week in a row and continued this season’s trend of turning up the emotional damage for the characters. It wasn’t all bad, however. The sweetness too was dialed up to an alarming level. Both worked to near perfection.

This season has seen Conrad (Matt Czuchry), who once was the show’s central focus, take a more supporting role. This arrangement has worked well, allowing other characters on the show to have their own stories and take center stage. This episode, however, was different. Conrad returned to a starring role, and it was good to have him back.

Conrad’s new primary job as a dad to Gigi suits him incredibly well. It’s always hard to see a child sick or in pain. It was clear by how fiercely Conrad advocated for his young patient that he was exactly what the little boy needed at that moment. The case gave Conrad a chance to flex his diagnostician muscles, which we haven’t seen in a long time. It was also a timely reminder (as if we needed one) of how much we love Gigi and how her personality grows by leaps and bounds every time she appears on the screen. 

This episode was also a close look at an issue that affects millions around the world, mainly senior citizens. Polypharmacy is defined as a patient taking five or more medications daily. Sometimes patients need this. Other times, like what we saw in this episode, it can cause a catastrophic chain of events that can mask serious health issues. Taking the Chastain residents on a field trip to a long-term care home was exactly what they needed. 

This episode did a fantastic job of systematically breaking down exactly how polypharmacy happens at the individual patient’s level and the damage it causes. Too often, the prevailing wisdom of treating the elderly in particular is simply to keep medicating them for symptoms without investigating the root cause. It also was a reminder for fans of the show that Devon (Manish Dayal) does in fact have a bedside manner and can be an excellent teacher when he wants to be. 

Relatedly, who knew that Zach (Alan Aisenberg) would end up being the hero this episode needed? This group of residents was introduced already in a really smart way, but they haven’t been seen very often in the second half of this season. Especially Zach, who arguably is portrayed as the most lost of the residents we’ve seen so far. So it was great to see him find his stride. Even though he had to face the tragedy of losing a patient, he was clearly able to self reflect and realize that the medical specialty of gerontology is woefully understaffed.

This gerontology storyline gave viewers a chance to see George Wyner guest star as Dr. Arthur Kravitz. His relationship with Gloria (The Carol Burnett Show alum Vicki Lawrence) was so sugary sweet. As sad as the ending was, it was so wonderful to see a love story between two elderly people who clearly had so much more love to give. There was the added benefit of  having an adorable look at a KitBell future, sure to make shipper fans rejoice. 

Finally, the Leela (Anuja Joshi) and Padma (Aneesha Joshi) egg donation story still isn’t done. This episode did do a good job of showing how quickly this can get complicated. Although in real life this process does take a very long time and requires many thoughtful decisions, hopefully this story can come to a satisfying conclusion for everyone involved sooner rather than later. As an aside, Padma and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) do make an adorable couple, even if they’ve already gone their separate ways.

This week’s The Resident episode was another return to its source material. This is where this show shines, shining a spotlight not only on corruption in the medical profession but also spotlighting the very real people who fall through the cracks of a broken system. Pair this with lovable characters and delicious ships, and you have a recipe for success. With the countdown to the end of the season ticking away, hopefully The Resident can maintain its focus on the best it has to offer.

Other Things:

  • I thought that the Cade (Kaley Ronayne) thing was DONE done at this point... until I watched the preview for the next episode. Truthfully, it’s unclear what else there is to be done with this story. I desperately hope I’m wrong.
  • Still no Trevor (Miles Fowler) either. This character was set up to be part of the main cast this season, but he’s still conspicuously absent. Clearly there’s more to tell here too. 
  • As was the case in the last episode, this episode didn’t feature nearly enough Leela and that’s just sad. She’s the shining star of the series at the moment and deserves far more of the spotlight.
  • “Do you think we'll still be that in love when we're their age?” “Why wouldn't we be?”
  • “Gloria wasn't just another fragile old lady. She was strong and loved. She deserved more time. But every doctor looked at her like she was just another lost cause. No one cared enough to see that by just treating her symptoms, they were actually making her worse.”

Monday, April 4, 2022

The Flash 8x09 Review: "Phantoms" (Ghostbusters) [Contributor: Deborah M]

Original Airdate: March 30, 2022

The Flash is inching a couple plots forward this week: Iris’s time issues and that potential metahuman serial killer we learned about last week. For the second episode in a row, we’re low on laughs and hijinks and high on themes of grief. I know I wasn’t complaining about having a heavier episode last week, but that was when I was under the impression that the thematic elements were a one-off — yet here we are again. Considering what we find out about the cold fire killer at the end of this episode, I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be dipping into this particular well several more times over the season.


At STAR Labs, Chester has made a scanner that could help them locate the cold fire metahuman as soon as they “flame on.” He wigs out every time he glances at the display board and photos of the two previous cold fire victims. Chester’s reaction doesn’t make a lot of sense at this point in the episode, but I’ll come back to that for proper nitpicking when it’s relevant.

When an alert for the cold fire does come in, Barry arrives too late to save the victim. The next we see, the place is a crime scene and Barry and Chester are there as CSI. Again, Chester is leary of the fried body and briefly zones out, only to be pulled back to reality when it’s revealed that some of the black fire that killed the person is still lingering on the corpse. Barry phases out, speeding to Chester’s lab to retrieve a vacuum tube thing they can hold the fire in. That’s a new power Barry just displayed, right? The phase-then-zoom power?

Back in Chester’s lab, Barry leaves the science part of the investigation in Chester’s hands while he goes off to fill Kramer in on what they know. Chester is clearly wary of the black flame (which is a really cool looking special effect, by the way) and the next thing we know, it has escaped its tubular prison and started to engulf the whole room! But then Chester is woken up by Allegra, Cecile, and Frost to reveal that it was just a nightmare.

Later, Allegra and Chester are talking before being interrupted by the black fire engulfing the room again, except this time it’s not a nightmare. Allegra hits the distress button on her phone that calls Barry, and even though the usual spinny-arm-tornado attack Barry uses against fire does nothing to it, the black flame briefly forms the vague shape of a human before disappearing without a trace.

Chester confesses to Allegra that he thinks the black flames are the ghost of his father. When he saw the human-shaped form the flames took, he felt like he’d been transported to the moment his father died in a fiery accident. And here’s my issue with this, and Chester’s throughline of being afraid of the flames/its victims: Chester never encountered the actual flames before now, and when he investigated the first body last episode he didn’t seem too afraid of it. For this idea to make sense, Chester should have encountered the flames at the beginning of the episode, had the implication that he was personally connected to them and scared by them, and then continued to hit that beat until this confession moment revealed what he’d been thinking about every time he zoned out. It’s like something was edited out of the episode that shouldn’t have been.

With that nitpicking out of the way, we return to the show: the black flames are invading STAR Labs. Barry and Frost go to distract (?) the flames, leaving Chester to technobabble everyone to safety. But Chester can’t make a dent in the flame’s progress and he starts to fall into despair — which Cecile can sense, but not entirely from Chester. She realizes the despair and grief is actually coming from the flames, which crowd into the room before taking the form of Chester’s dad. 

Cecile tells Chester that the figure of his father, which is urging Chester to take his hand and go with him somewhere, is feeding off Chester’s grief and he needs to fight against it. Allegra urges Chester to think about how much his dad loved him, which pushes Chester into a lovely little false montage of him showing his father around STAR Labs as he thinks about how proud and impressed his dad would be with the man Chester has become. It’s enough to knock Chester out of the thrall of the black flames and he “sends them packing,” as he puts it to Barry when asked later.

With this new development in the black fire meta situation, Joe was able to track down a connection between all the victims so far: each one was suffering from some kind of grief. The team surmises that it is attracted to and feeds off grief, and Chester adds another level of difficulty when he explains that the fire wasn’t being controlled by a person with metahuman powers at all — it was, itself, the thing they were fighting. Cecile confirms that she felt emotions from the flames, and everyone arrives at the conclusion that the flames are alive.

In the aftermath, Cecile and Allegra comfort Chester with the knowledge that everyone on Team Flash is a bunch of traumatized, grief-stricken orphans so he’s not alone! And they’ll all help him work through his specific brand of trauma together, because they’re a family! Then Cecile probably senses the romantic feelings between Chester and Allegra and bounces, leaving the two of them to continue making googly eyes at each other but not actually doing anything to progress their relationship.


Iris gets a temporal check-up from Deon and explains her weird memory lapses. She even mentions meeting up with Deon in the train station during that alternate reality where Joe died, but Deon doesn’t remember it. He laughs it off and starts to head out, but then he picks up mutations in Iris’s… time aura? I’m not entirely sure what Deon looks at when his eyes go green and glowy. He says he wants to run things by the other Forces and Iris shouldn’t bother Barry with whatever’s going on until he has more answers. Oh, secrets! Those never end poorly.

At Iris’s media empire office, Sue Dearbon is back, bearing the gift of info-dumping! There’s a potential meta in Coast City people are calling a ghost because it can walk through walls, and it turns out latent meta genes are just a thing and Central City isn’t all that special because Sue’s seen metas all over the world. Hmm... that doesn’t sound correct, but fine. Iris wants to go with Sue to check out the meta, but she clearly has ulterior motives.

In Coast City, Sue calls Iris out on her distracted behavior and they find the meta they’re looking for in a coffee shop. Her name is Tinya and she’s one of my least favorite archetypes: the snotty, overly hostile, independent teenager. Tinya fries Iris’s phone and runs off.

With Iris’s phone out of commission, Sue has to download the dark matter app so she and Iris can track Tinya down again but it’ll take something like seven hours. In the meantime, the two have a little chat about what’s really bothering Iris and Iris confesses that she needs a distraction from her time sickness problems. Sue tells Iris she needs to stop trying to distract herself and just confront her fear head-on. This conversation leads to a revelation on where to find Tinya: an abandoned apartment that was the last known address of Tinya’s mother. 

Yeah, it’s just a storyline about Tinya wanting to find and impress her mom with her new superpowers vaguely connected by the thinnest plot thread of Tinya being a “ghost” in Coast City and the cold fire being a “ghost” haunting Chester. I think the writers definitely could’ve pulled these two plots together a lot better.

We end with Barry and Iris video chatting about their respective storylines. Iris wants to make Tinya a superhero; Barry wants to keep Iris safe from the black flames. Just after they say their goodbyes, Deon arrives to tell Iris he knows what’s wrong with her, and it’s not good news. Guess we’ll get that info next episode!

Other Things:

  • Why didn’t the black flames go after Barry last episode when he was grieving his dad?
  • Really good acting from Brandon McKnight as Chester this episode, by the way.

Grey’s Anatomy 18x14 Recap: “Road Trippin’” (Family Ties) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Road Trippin’”
Original Airdate: March 31, 2022

Family ties are at the center of this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Have you been wondering lately about why we know so little about Winston? Look no further than “Road Trippin’” which finally gives some insight into the cardio rock star. We also get a peek into three developing stories that surely will drive the remainder of the season for better or worse. 


The episode begins with Maggie and Winston walking through the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial and into a conference room, which happens to be the same one that Schmitt’s M&M took place in. There are lots of different doctors in attendance for the two cardio docs’ morning meeting about Fernanda, a 13-year-old girl road tripping across the country who Maggie met in Boston last fall. Fernanda has congenital aortic valve disease, which has led to aortic stenosis. She has had two unsuccessful heart surgeries, which Maggie proclaims will change today. They will do a Ross Procedure, and only seven programs in the country have done one, which gets all the doctors really excited. Maggie asks the residents if they know what the procedure is, and they all raise their hands immediately. She calls on Helm, who describes the procedure as moving the pulmonary valve to where the aortic valve is to prevent the life-long need for anticoagulant therapy. 

Maggie says the surgery is very beneficial for pediatric patients because they move the patient’s own valve, so it will continue to grow with them. Winston says that the procedure is more challenging on pediatric patients though, and Maggie is one of a handful of surgeons in the country to do it successfully. Maggie is going to have one lucky resident join her and Winston in the OR, and Fernanda video calls in. Her family is driving from Boston in an RV since it’s too risky for her to be on a plane, and she tells the group they will be there in two hours. Maggie can’t even say, “Who is ready to scrub in?” before everyone raises their hand.

Amelia is looking at Owen’s latest back X-ray and states his spinal fracture is healing well. She asks how physical therapy is going, so Owen tells her that his strength is improving, he is putting more weight on leg every day with the help of the crutches, and is making lots of progress. Amelia wants to see him again in two weeks. Owen wants to go back to work today, and she shuts him down instantly, citing he needs to build up his endurance. Owen argues his endurance is fine, so Amelia throws a pen on the floor and tells him to pick it up without the help of a crutch. Owen knows he can’t and has lost, so he tries to argue that there is a physician shortage, but Amelia won’t clear him.

Mer and Zola are home sick and are hanging out in Mer’s room. Zola is tracking Fernanda through her website. Bailey calls Mer’s phone and Zola answers. Bailey wants to know where Mer is and asks to speak to her, but Zola says no. Mer convinces her daughter to pass the phone and coughs as she apologizes to Bailey. Bailey is not happy that Mer is sick, as she has three surgeries scheduled. Mer says she can try to get coverage, but Bailey hangs up when she spots Richard walking out of the elevator. Bailey is glad to see him and wants him to take over Mer’s surgeries, but he refuses and is handing over assignments until he gets his assessment. They argue, but Richard doesn’t trust himself right now. Bailey assures him that he is fine and that she trusts him. Richard stands firm that he won’t do patient care until after his assessment next week even though Bailey practically begs him. He leaves and resident Song runs over to tell Bailey that a patient in ER is throwing up blood and two ambulances are incoming. Bailey doesn’t know how she is going to get through the day.

Helm runs through the hall to catch up to Maggie and Winston after the meeting. She wants in on the surgery, so Maggie asks her to check if Fernanda’s scans are up to date. A nurse runs over to tell them that a patient just came in with an aortic dissection, so they run to the ER to help. In a trauma room, they find a patient with a sheet over him on the bed, and they think he must have been dead on arrival. When the sheet starts to move, Winston goes to look and a man jumps up from under the sheet, scaring the couple. The man laughs and so does the nurse. He gets up and hugs Winston. Maggie asks who he is, and Winston introduces his younger brother, Wendell. Maggie has only seen pictures of him and is happy to meet her brother-in-law.

The trio step outside to grab coffee. Winston is sour that Wendell didn’t RSVP to their wedding, and Wendell apologizes for not being there. He thought he would make it last minute, but he had some bad luck with jobs and couldn’t even afford a bus ticket to Seattle. Winston says Wendell should have called and they would have helped him out, but Maggie says they are glad he is here now. Wendell explains he has a new job as a medical sales representative for Trinity Labs. Maggie gets paged and excuses herself and Winston since they have a big case today. She suggests they get dinner later, which Wendell would like. Winston says he will call his brother when they are finished, and Wendell says he will keep himself busy.


Owen walks into the ER and asks Bailey if it’s this busy every day. Bailey tells him about her struggles, including not having enough doctors. Owen says he knows someone who can do Mer’s whipple, and Bailey tells him she knows Amelia didn’t clear him for surgery. Owen meant that Bailey should go operate and let him stay in the ER as the traffic cop to solve problems. He wants to be chief for the day to help her out, and surprisingly Bailey agrees. 

Jo, Teddy, and Wright go to check in on Laura. They are going to try the valve repair again today, with Teddy stepping in for Maggie. Todd walks in with an Edible Arrangements fruit basket, which Jo mistakenly thinks is for her when it’s actually for Laura. Laura reminds her brother that she can’t eat before surgery, so Todd turns to Jo and says, “So it is for you?” Jo smiles and accepts the gift.

Outside, Winston, Maggie, Helm, and a big crowd of people are waiting with signs and balloons to welcome Fernanda and her family to GSM. Winston asks Helm to have interns get the family anything they need when they arrive. The family’s RV comes blasting into the ambulance bay, and Fernanda’s father opens the door to tell Maggie that his daughter was feeling dizzy. Winston instructs Helm to get a gurney and joins Maggie inside the RV. Fernanda is lying in a bed, looking very pale and hypoxic. She is glad she made it to Seattle and promptly starts to crash. Winston scoops her up to bring her inside the hospital. 

Inside, Owen is back in scrubs and at the OR board instructing Wright that Teddy can have a different OR than the one she requested for Laura’s surgery. Wright is confused, so Owen states that Teddy thinks one of the ORs has a buzzing sound, but no one else has heard it so it doesn’t exist. Helm comes over to tell Owen that Maggie and Winston want a patient’s surgery canceled this afternoon in case they need an OR immediately after running tests on Fernanda. Owen begrudgingly agrees even though he thinks it will throw their schedule off. Helm asks if Bailey knows what Owen is doing, and he informs her that he is chief for the day and was chief of surgery for five years, which doesn’t impress her. She leaves, and Wendell steps up, saying he was asked to speak to the chief of surgery about an amazing opportunity.

Maggie and Winston examine Fernanda and find that her heart murmur has gotten worse due to dehydration. The parents feel guilty about making a sight-seeing stop instead of getting to the hospital sooner. Fernanda’s father is experiencing back pain too. Maggie will have someone look at the father and assures the family that Fernanda’s current condition is no one’s fault. They will do some more testing and go from there.


Jo takes the fruit basket out of Laura’s room and puts it on the nurse’s station for everyone to share. Teddy sees that they are going to be in her hated OR 2 and complains about it. Jo wants to go cram in another practice test for her OB resident exam before the surgery, but is stopped by Todd on her way out of the ward. Todd asks Jo if she wants to get dinner later, but Jo declines because she has to study. Teddy watches the awkward encounter go down and gives Jo a look. Jo tries to explain that dating Todd isn’t technically wrong since he’s not the patient, but Teddy stops her to say that she once married her patient for insurance reasons (R.I.P., Henry!), so she isn’t judging. Jo then tells Teddy that her fling with Link is over, and Teddy is shocked to find out Jo was sleeping with Link. Teddy is so surprised that she shouts it to the whole busy hallway, which embarrasses Jo. She reminds Teddy that they talked about this at Joe’s Bar, but Teddy was so hammered that she barely remembers that day. Jo decides to walk away as Teddy asks if she said anything at the bar, and Jo’s confused reaction is simply hilarious. Teddy goes to get in an elevator, and a woman walks out and asks her where the residency director’s office is. Teddy informs her that Richard isn’t in today, so she should try Bailey.

Winston asks Amelia if she will examine Fernanda’s father, and she is more than happy to help. They happen upon Wendell and Owen talking, which Winston isn’t happy about. Wendell is trying to sell Owen on drones that would be sent ahead of an ambulance with a defibrillator to save people faster. His company sells portable medical equipment, which is quite intriguing. Owen says he will bring the information Wendell gave him to the board, as he really likes the ideas. Wendell is excited to meet Amelia, as he has read her studies. Amelia is glad to meet him too and invites her fan to dinner while he is in town. Winston asks to have a word with his brother, and Amelia asks Owen why he is wearing scrubs. Owen’s deer-caught-in-headlights expression is priceless. 

Winston asks Wendell what he is doing and says he should have asked him before showing up at the hospital trying to sell things. Wendell semi-accidentally reveals that he used Winston’s name to get his current position, along with Maggie and Richard’s names. Winston is very upset that his brother lied, and Wendell says their father told him not to come to Seattle because Winston wouldn’t help him. For some unknown reason, Winston is also mad that Wendell still talks to their father. Wendell thought things would be different this time because he finally had a job that his brother would be happy and proud about, but he thinks their father was right. 

Back at the Grey/Shepherd house, Mer and Zola snuggle on the couch with blankets while watching a documentary about pandas. Mer gets a “feel better” text from Nick and a call from Hamilton, both of which she ignores. Zola wishes they got sick together more, and Mer was thinking the same thing. It is cute to see the mother and daughter spend some time together, especially since they have been apart a lot recently.

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Bailey gloats to Perez that her whipple procedure was perfection and brought her lots of joy. They run into the lady Teddy met earlier, but Bailey tells her if she is looking for the chief today, then she should talk to Owen. Bailey excuses herself to go do another surgery. The lady is annoyed and asks a nurse where she can find Owen, and I’m starting to get the feeling that this is not someone they should be putting off.


Winston finds Maggie right as Fernanda’s scans are completed, and she informs him that their patient’s condition, which was made worse by the dehydration, has gone from severe to critical. As they look at the scans, they realize that their risky surgery just became riskier, and Maggie is unsure she can fit a pulmonary valve in Fernanda’s smaller than normal ventricle. Winston is mad that the family took a sight-seeing detour, citing that they have made their job impossible due to their selfishness. He proposes that they cancel the Ross Procedure, and Maggie asks if that is his medical opinion or his way to punish the family for their selfishness. Maggie thinks his ideas are stemming from his own familial issues, but Winston assures her it’s based on the scans, though he will support whatever she decides.

Next, Laura and Todd are playing a card game, and Jo and Wright come in to take her to surgery. Laura is understandably worried about the procedure going wrong again, so Jo reminds her she and her baby survived and are fine. Jo gives Laura a pep talk about how she is the best person to help her since she has been studying so much and that their first priority is the baby’s health. The pep talk works, and they take Laura to the OR. 

Maggie then goes to talk to Fernanda’s family about doing a different procedure. We see that Fernanda’s father now has a back brace on and his wife is shoving an ice pack in it to help with the pain. Maggie explains that the new procedure is similar, but they need to enlarge Fernanda’s ventricle before moving the valve. The plan would be to cut the ventricle in half to allow more room for the valve and for the heart to heal itself without recurring stenosis. Maggie goes on to say that it is riskier because they have to cut around the fibers that control the heartbeat, which could cause heart block. The father asks if she and Winston have performed this procedure on someone as sick as Fernanda, and Maggie honestly replies that they haven’t. She wants the family to keep trusting her stating that this is Fernanda’s best shot. The mom wants to know how they know they can complete the procedure, but Maggie doesn’t answer. Fernanda reminds her parents that no other doctors would help her. Maggie feels this is the girl’s best chance, but they need to do it right now, so the parents agree to the much riskier surgery.

Winston finds Fernanda’s brother, Rafael, in the hall crying after he runs out of his sister’s room while Maggie was talking. Rafael states he is dizzy and that it hurts to breathe. Winston brings Rafael to a nearby room to sit and talk and instructs the teen to take deep breaths. He explains that a panic attack in this case is normal. Rafael tells Winston how he lost his soccer scholarship because he had to leave school to travel with Fernanda and that her condition is killing the family. His dad may have broken his back and his mom hasn’t slept in days. Rafael knows that the family being happy briefly may have killed his sister and feels that they keep getting punished. He doesn’t think his family will recover if Fernanda dies, and Winston comforts the young man when he breaks down in tears. 

Maggie is prepping Fernanda for surgery in the OR, and the full gallery includes Amelia, Perez, and Song. Owen walks in and wants to know why the residents are watching when they have other responsibilities. Perez tries to explain that they want the learning opportunity from watching a once in a lifetime surgery, but Owen reminds them that there is a physician shortage. He kicks all the doctors out of the gallery, telling them to do medicine instead of watching it. Amelia and a few other attendings stay behind, and the mysterious lady walks in after finally tracking down Owen. She is from the medical accreditation council and wants to talk. 

The scene cuts to Maggie and Winston scrubbing in. Winston says he was wrong to tell her to call off the surgery. Maggie is mildly terrified of the surgery, but she is very confident that she can do it. She tells Winston that she needs whoever is assisting her to be completely focused and asks if she needs to page Teddy. Winston delves into story mode to reveal that his mother had cancer, which caused Wendell and his father to freak out. Wendell would get into fights with anyone who crossed him, and his father drank and threw away money, which landed him in jail a few times. Winston continues to say that no matter what his father did, his mother always forgave him and even used her cancer treatment money to bail her husband out of jail. Winston says he freaked out on the inside, which led to panic attacks when his father and brother’s actions made things worse. He nearly quit his fellowship and derailed his life because of them, and he’s scared that Wendell will undo everything Winston has built for himself in Seattle. He vows not to let his brother get in his way, and he is ready to save not only Fernanda, but her whole family.

In another OR, Teddy and Wright are operating on Laura, with Jo watching the fetal monitor. Jo is a bit anxious about what Teddy is doing, and Teddy asks if she’s nervous because “fruit boy’s sister is on the table.” Jo doesn’t have to worry for long because the procedure goes smoothly.


In a conference room, Owen is informed by the lady from the medical accreditation council that they have received fifteen complaints against Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program in the last six months. Owen asks if the complaints were from the residents, and she replies that the complaints are all anonymous, so they could be from anyone. The complaints include working over 80 hours per week, being asked to perform surgeries without supervision, and participating in a program with a lack of teachers. She also witnessed him yelling at a group of residents. He apologizes, stating that they are understaffed, but the lady doesn’t think the students should be kicked out of watching a surgery that hasn’t been done before. She thinks the hospital has a systemic problem and isn’t sure why she is talking to him instead of Richard or Bailey, which leaves Owen speechless. 

In the OR, Maggie is ready to cut Fernanda’s ventricle in half, and she takes a moment to take a deep breath and make eye contact with Amelia. Winston tells his wife that the family was right to cross the country for her, which he knows because he did it too. We get a graphic surgery montage as the procedure begins in earnest, which includes a quick flash of Teddy and Wright joining the gallery after Laura’s surgery. As the surgery continues, we see Maggie separate the ventricle, cut out the bad valve and replace it with the healthy one, glimpses of the doctors in the gallery watching from the edge of their seats, and quick moments of Fernanda’s worried family waiting for news.

Elsewhere, Jo is studying for her exam in the hospital library and is interrupted when Todd knocks on the door. It’s unclear how Todd knew where to find her, but it’s cute he wanted to. Jo asks if Laura is okay, and Todd replies that she’s being her usual self, so she is fine. He thanks Jo for helping his sister and feels that she will pass her test with flying colors if she talks to all patients the way she does to his sister. Jo cheekily explains that there’s a bit more to the test than bedside manner, and Todd pulls out a bouquet of red roses for Jo. He also brought study snacks, which Jo says no one has done for her before. Todd says he has never kissed a girl in a library before, but he won’t check that off his list because he knows Jo is busy studying and doesn’t want to be a distraction. He wishes her luck on the test and leaves as Jo beams from ear to ear.

The moment of truth has arrived in Fernanda’s surgery: they are ready to take the girl off bypass. It takes a few seconds, but Fernanda’s heart starts back up on its own, leaving everyone sighing with relief. The doctors in the gallery applaud Maggie, Winston, and Helm for their success. We then see Maggie and Winston telling Fernanda’s family that the surgery worked, and they are ecstatic and hug the doctors. Maggie tells them that Fernanda has a long road to recovery, and Fernanda’s father thanks her for saying yes.

Over at Mer’s house, Mer and Zola are back in bed. Mer tells Zola that she has her worried face on, which Zola denies. Zola has noticed that Mer is dodging Hamilton’s calls and she won’t text Nick back and wants to know why. Mer tells her daughter that Hamilton and Nick want to talk to her about something, but she feels she should talk to Zola about it first. She tells Zola that she was offered a job in Minnesota that would require her to give up her job in Seattle. Zola asks if they would have to move, and Mer says yes and asks how she would feel about that. Zola asks if the new job would save a lot of lives, to which Mer replies, “Maybe.” She then asks if Mer would see Nick more, which takes Mer by surprise. Mer says she probably would see him more, so Zola asks if that would make her happy. Mer coyly says that she, Bailey, and Ellis make her happy, which makes Zola say that all three of them would follow her anywhere. Mer smiles at her eldest daughter with great pride, but no decision is made.

Back at the hospital, Winston and Wendell walk out of the hospital together, and Winston thanks his brother for coming back, but he still blames his brother for their mother’s death. Winston knows Wendell didn’t give her cancer, but he thinks she might still be alive if she didn’t put all of her money and energy into Wendell and their father. He knows that’s not fair, but he informs his brother that the cancer diagnosis took them out in different ways. Winston feels that their mother would be angry if she knew her death drove them apart and offers to have Wendell stay with him and Maggie if he wants to stick around. Winston will also try to introduce his brother to some people around the hospital, so Wendell assures him that it will be different this time. The reconciliation is a nice moment, and it will be interesting to see where that story goes from here.

Inside, Bailey finds Owen in her office and thanks him for giving her a one-day break from being chief. She did more surgeries in one day than she has since she was a resident, which has put her in a great mood. Owen immediately has to ruin that mood by telling her that their residency program might get shut down. The episode ends on that gloomy note, which is sure to be a big storyline for the rest of the season.