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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 18x19 and 18x20 Recaps: “Out for Blood” & “You Are the Blood” (Blood Bath) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Out for Blood”
Original Airdate: May 26, 2022

A two-hour season finale that also doubles as the series’ 400th episode is the way Grey’s Anatomy goes out for the year. It’s a wild ride to the finish that sees big risks have massive consequences. It’s not all stress and chaos because fans are treated with the return of Jackson and April in the second hour, along with Ellis Grey in the both hours as the negative voice in Meredith’s head. Grey’s Anatomy has always known how to go big for its season finales, and this one is a real doozy.

LITERAL AND FIGURATIVE STORMS ARE BREWING

The first episode begins with Mer and Bokhee in the OR struggling through a surgery. Mer sees Ellis instead of Bokhee, and Ellis starts berating Mer with negativity, telling Mer that she is losing control. Mer wakes up with a gasp, and it turns out she was dreaming. However, her dream was an omen... even if she doesn’t realize it yet. 

It’s a rainy day in Seattle, and Maggie and Winston would rather hang out than go to work, but the accreditation council is coming that day. Winston wants to go to Boston to get Maggie’s money back from Wendell, but Maggie doesn’t want it back and would rather return to their old lives. He feels he needs to fix things, and Maggie asserts that she wants Winston to let it go and not get involved in the bad stuff that Wendell got himself into. Winston doesn’t want her interfering with his brother and infers that Maggie doesn’t understand because she doesn’t really have siblings. That really angers Maggie, and Winston tries to backpedal by saying he meant she didn’t grow up with her sisters. 

Mer and Zola sit in the kitchen looking at houses online. Nick is packing some things and states that he won’t miss the rain. Mer laughs at the fact that he has only been in Seattle for a month and is already complaining about the rain. Zola wants to know if they will be leaving if the residency program continues, and Mer says they would eventually leave. Amelia runs in to show them that their Parkinson’s trial paper has been published, and they are all excited to show it to the world.

We then see Todd walking Jo and Luna into the hospital with an umbrella. As they get to the door, Todd tells Jo that she was amazing the night prior and he wants to see her again later that night. Jo doesn’t seem as into it as she usually would. Jo goes inside and walks into an elevator that Link is in. Luna starts crying, and Jo tells Link that Luna didn’t sleep because of Todd. He stayed over for the first time and they had sex. After, Todd told Jo that he loved her. Link cringes as Jo says love is a big word for her.

Upstairs, Schmitt, Tseng, and Perez are talking with Simon and Kristen in Simon’s hospital room. Schmitt tells them the story of how he dropped his glasses in a patient’s abdominal cavity during surgery and makes the group laugh. Richard walks in to check up on Simon, who is now on oxygen and not doing well. Richard tells the group that the hospital has a blood shortage and a donation center is being set up in the lobby. Simon jokes that he wants to donate blood, which unexpectedly foreshadows what’s to come.

Owen and Teddy are in the ER and learn the hospital is out of O- blood. A man named John walks into the ER looking for Owen and finds him. He explains that his wife, Rosie, is a sick Marine, and Heather, Noah’s widow, said Owen could help them. Owen takes them to a private room to talk, and John tells him how Rosie did three tours in Iraq and came back with a bad cough that eventually turned into pulmonary fibrosis. They have tried every treatment and nothing helps. Owen thinks John is there to get Rosie into his pulmonary fibrosis study, but he’s not. John and Rosie live in Utah, where physician assisted death is illegal. Rosie is dying and needs medication from Owen to die with dignity. Owen apologizes and tells John that he can’t do that, so John threatens to go to the police if he doesn’t get the drugs. 

FINDING ANOTHER WAY

Bailey calls a meeting with all the attendings to talk about the blood shortage. She explains that their blood bank is at a critically low level and all elective surgeries need to be canceled. She is trying to find an emergency supply of blood to be delivered, but in the meantime, Bailey asks everyone to donate their blood to help. After the meeting, Mer and Nick walk down the hall, and a nurse congratulates Mer on her Parkison’s article. Nick tells Mer about a patient of his that has a tumor in her portal vein. He wants to know if a whipple procedure might work and shows Mer the scans. She doesn’t think he would get clear margins with that surgery, so she asks to meet the patient and take a look herself. Back at the blood drive, Schmitt and Helm wait for their turn to donate. Schmitt realizes he can’t donate his blood because gay men who have been sexually active in the past three months at the time the blood is drawn are prohibited by law from donating blood. Both he and Helm think that is absurd, and that awful truth becomes a recurring theme for the episode.

Nick and Mer go see his patient, Cora. Cora’s older aunt, Sally, is watching a soap opera with Nick while Mer examines Cora. Mer thinks they could try the whipple, but they wouldn’t be able to get 100% of the tumor. It might give her more time and lessen her pain though. Cora explains that Aunt Sally raised her and now she takes care of her aunt, so she needs to get better.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Owen finds Teddy and tells her about John. Teddy is very angry that Heather is telling other people about the service Owen provided for Noah. Owen doesn’t know what to do because he could go to jail. Teddy thinks John could be faking the whole thing, and Owen assures her it is real because he video chatted with Rosie and has her medical records. Owen decides he can check the military database to confirm she is who they say she is, and Teddy suggests they find another way to help if Rosie is actually a veteran.

Upstairs, Kristen is yelling for help and Link, Winston, and Schmitt run into Simon’s room. Simon can’t breathe and starts to code. The doctors know they need to intubate him, but Simon says no. He knows he might never wake up, but Kristen gives them permission to intubate and save him.

Downstairs, Maggie and Amelia are giving blood and having a heart-to-heart. Amelia knows the day should be celebratory because of the article, but she’s in a down mood. Maggie asks if she has heard from Kai, and Amelia is intensely aching from the breakup. Maggie talks about how Winston hasn’t heard from Wendell and won’t stop obsessing over him. She also tells her sister about their morning conversation in which Winston implied Maggie doesn’t know what it’s like to have siblings. Amelia understands where Winston was coming from. She knows that she and Maggie are sisters in the best ways, but it is different with her biological sisters that she grew up with. Amelia also tells Maggie to not attempt to stop Winston from obsessing because she won’t be able to. Maggie thought she knew Winston, but is finding that didn’t know a lot about him and didn’t anticipate some of his actions.

Jo goes to check on Link in the scan room while he waits for Simon’s latest images. Link is glad to see Jo and needs a distraction. He asks if she broke up with Todd, but she has not. Jo really likes Todd and likes how nice he is, but he does have flaws, like narrating his life out loud, that annoy her. Link starts to sing opera as a joke, which makes Jo leave. Simon’s scans appear on the computer and show that his cancer is much worse than anticipated.

Outside the hospital, Nick and Mer get some fresh air while trying to come up with bold surgical moves to save Cora. Mer wants to cut around the tumor a little at a time, but knows they can’t with the critical blood shortage. Nick has a lightbulb moment and suggests they do the whipple outside of Cora’s body by removing her liver, pancreas, and intestines. They can remove the tumor and then transplant her organs back inside her abdominal cavity. Mer is in, and they bring their idea to Richard, who thinks it’s a bad and irresponsible move. They want Richard to scrub in to help out, but he knows today is not the day to go rogue and perform a twenty-hour surgery when they will find out whether the residency program is dead or not the next day. Mer thinks the surgery is so cutting edge that it could single-handedly save the program. Richard still won’t budge and won’t help them. Nick thinks they should wait a few days for things to calm down at Grey Sloan Memorial before doing the surgery, but Mer pulls a classic Mer move and decides she will do the very risky surgery anyway.

THE EXECUTIONER ARRIVES

In another room, Maggie, Winston, and Link examine Simon’s latest scans. There are more tumors now, and the cardiothoracic surgeons aren’t sure they can get his lungs to work. Link reminds them that Kristen is 36 weeks pregnant and needs him to survive until she can have a safe C-section so Simon can meet his child. He asks if ECMO would buy Simon time. Maggie thinks Simon could bleed out if they tried, so Link pleads with Maggie to meet Kristen before making a final decision.

Richard and Bailey meet with Ms. Blake from the accreditation council when she arrives at Grey Sloan Memorial. They tout how they have hired six new attendings and their residency teaching cases are up 40%. Blake saw Mer and Amelia’s Parkinson’s trial article and is happy with the positive attention it will bring the hospital. She is excited to see if more of the issues she previously flagged have been addressed too. They walk into the blood drive, which makes Blake instantly appalled. Bailey explains to her that the whole country is in a blood shortage, so they took matters into their own hands. Blake thinks it is a terrible idea for residents to give blood during their shifts. Bailey counters that it’s voluntary and that a nationwide problem shouldn’t count against them.

Next, Link, Maggie, and Winston talk to Kristen about ECMO for Simon. Kristen is instantly in, so Winston tries to explain that there will be a big risk of clots and could make Simon die quickly. Maggie knows that Simon can’t recover from his cancer, and if they put him on ECMO, they will have to unplug him at some point, which may make it harder. Kristen disagrees because the whole situation has been impossible. She explains that Simon wants her to tell their son that they met and wants that one last thing for him. She’s fine with the fact that it could be harder for her since it’s just one more impossible thing to add to the list. As long as Simon meets his son, Kristen approves of ECMO. Winston and Maggie say they will try their best and give her some much needed hope.

Elsewhere, Nick and Mer bring their surgical idea to Cora. They want her to know how difficult it will be and make the consequences clear. Cora is afraid and doesn’t know what will happen to her Aunt Sally if she dies. Mer knows the surgery is tricky, but it is her only chance of survival. Mer tells Cora that she needs to take care of herself, which makes Cora agree to the procedure.

We then see Teddy and Owen meet John outside to talk. Owen tells John that they will help, but it’s a complicated situation. They need him and Rosie to relocate to Washington and become residents, that way Rosie will be able to qualify for physician assisted death. Owen and Teddy will cover the cost. They also tell John that they have to assess Rosie and can’t give her medication without seeing her because that wouldn’t be ethical. John is enraged and doesn’t want to relocate. He says that Rosie wants it to look like she died in her bed. He knows Teddy and Owen are veterans and begs them to allow his wife to die with the dignity and honor that she lived with. Teddy tells him that she is deeply sorry, but they can’t do what he is asking. John storms off into the rain without accepting the offer.

PERFECT FINALE DRAMA

Back inside, Mer and Nick start Cora’s surgery in the OR with Bokhee and Helm assisting. They find the tumor and see that it’s a bit more complicated than they thought. Nick isn’t sure they should keep going, but Mer affirms this is Cora’s only chance to live. They will need to save every drop of blood to transfuse back into Cora, which will be difficult. Richard and Blake walk into the gallery and are not happy with what they are seeing. Helm wants to know if, when Richard said no to the surgery, he meant he wouldn’t do it or that no one should. Mer doesn’t answer and keeps working. 

The next few minutes show intercutting scenes of Cora’s surgery, Simon being put on ECMO, and Kristen waiting for news. Link takes Kristen out of Simon’s room so Maggie, Winston, and Schmitt can put him on ECMO. In the OR, Nick and Mer clamp off the blood vessels and remove Cora’s organs. They put them in a tray and start working to excise the tumor.  Link brings Kristen some food in the waiting room, and she asks him if she is being selfish for putting Simon through ECMO. Link says that the first time he saw his son, his heart left his body from the amount of love he experienced, so it will be worth it. Simon’s blood pressure starts to drop, so Maggie and Winston start working faster. Mer and Nick remove the tumor and begin to put Cora’s organs back inside her abdominal cavity.

We cut to Bailey on the phone trying to find out when the shipment of blood will arrive. She is annoyed that it is delayed from the rain storm and suggests that she should pick it up herself. Schmitt busts in, making Bailey hang up her call, and says that his blood is just as good as anyone else’s. He wants to help and thinks the prejudice against gay men is awful. Bailey agrees that the law is very wrong and tells the resident that if she wasn’t in charge of the rules, they wouldn’t be having this conversation (i.e., she would tell him to go ahead and donate). However, she can’t let him donate his blood, so Schmitt storms out as John walks in to report Owen. 

Jo finds Todd with a giant teddy bear in the lobby. The sight seems to be the last straw, and she tells him that they aren’t a good match. He doesn’t understand because he wants to be with her. Jo thinks it is more casual for her than it is for him, so she apologizes and breaks up with him. Todd is rightfully stunned as Jo walks away.

In the OR gallery, Richard tries to lighten the mood by telling Blake that only a few people at Grey Sloan Memorial have done the kind of surgery that Nick and Mer are currently doing. Perez, who is also watching, overhears and says that he is glad Mer postponed leaving. Blake didn’t know Mer was leaving, which is a huge strike against the failing residency program in her eyes. Mer finishes operating on Cora’s liver and has Helm bring it to Nick for autotransplantation. Helm quietly tells Nick that she approves of him and Mer together as Nick starts inserting the liver. 

Elsewhere, Kristen, Link, and Maggie go see Simon, who is now awake. Simon tells Kristen that he wants to name their son Jamal after her, because the name means beauty. After the touching moment, Maggie meets Winston outside to talk. She asks what his blood type is because she finds it weird that she doesn’t know. They share their blood types, and Maggie turns things more serious by saying she feels like they knew each other better when their relationship was long distance. She is constantly surprised by things she doesn’t know about him and the decisions he makes. Maggie never knew about Wendell either and starts turning the conversation into a fight. She feels like she doesn’t know Winston and that he doesn’t get her. Maggie loves him, but she now thinks they might have gotten married too quickly. 

In one of the lounges, Owen and Teddy start packing their belongings. Owen thinks he can go to Utah and help Rosie, but Teddy won’t let him. She loves every part of him, but she won’t let him go to prison for this. She says they will run since it is their only option. Bailey walks in and shuts the door behind her. She wants to know if John was spouting lies or if all he said is true. 

As the tension rises quickly, Mer and Nick are almost done with Cora’s surgery when she starts bleeding. They will need more blood to keep up with the amount she is losing. Surgical scenes intercut with ones in the lounge where Owen tells Bailey the truth, and she can’t get past his criminal conduct and that he stole drugs from the hospital. Things start to go downhill in the OR, while Bailey wants to know if what Owen did is now outside the statute of limitations. Owen assures her he didn’t commit murder, rather he did right by the dying soldiers. Mer starts to stumble during the surgery and is plagued by Ellis’ doom and gloom in her head. She doesn’t have a plan to move forward, so they need to stop the surgery since they don’t have enough blood currently. They will resume when the blood arrives, and they will wait in the OR in the meantime. It is the perfect moment for Bailey to get a call from Ben, who is at the site of an accident. The transport vehicle carrying the blood crashed and all the blood is trashed. Bailey is in disbelief, and we get a glimpse of the literal bloodbath on the road. 

This is where episode one of the two-part finale ends, and it would have made a great cliffhanger if it aired on a separate week. Thankfully, you can keep reading to find out what happened next!



“You Are the Blood”
Original Airdate: May 26, 2022

The second part of the finale just so happens to be Grey’s Anatomy’s 400th episode! It starts with a bang as we see Jackson eulogizing Catherine. I’m sure every fan thought they were missing something until we find out he’s doing it as a sort of joke while he, April, and Harriet are visiting Grey Sloan Memorial. Catherine is getting her latest round of treatment and asked him and April to eulogize her while she is still alive so she could hear it. Jackson is also visiting on official Fox Foundation business, and any fan will know this is a special episode when one of the Grey’s Anatomy unofficial theme songs, “How to Save a Life” by The Fray, is playing in the background. That’s one of many callbacks to come during the monumental hour.

We then see firefighters Ben and Travis from Station 19 cleaning up the literal blood spill that closed the first hour. Travis is also mad that he can’t donate blood as a sexually active gay man and hates the law. He doesn’t understand why it still exists when doctors can test blood for HIV. He truly believes the blood shortage would be over in a week if that law changed because the gay community loves to rally behind causes. They search the wreck for any blood bags that didn’t explode so they can at least deliver something to the hospital.

Back at the hospital, Mer and Nick are still in the OR with Cora as they wait for more blood to arrive. They had sent Helm for a status update, and she runs back in to say there is no blood. She tells them there was an accident with the blood and that the transport vehicle spun out in the rain. Mer goes into a slight panic and decides to get Cora to the ICU, which Nick thinks is absurd. Mer thinks if they pack her with enough gauze, it will bridge her enough until more blood arrives. Mer turns to the gallery and asks everyone up there to give blood to help them out. That action makes Mer think back to her first day at Grey Sloan Memorial, when she and her fellow newly-minted interns were in the gallery together (the show depicts this in the first of many flashback scenes this episode).

In the lounge, Bailey tells Owen and Teddy about the accident and can’t believe she has a position shortage to deal with too. She had one problem solved and now more have popped up. Bailey also realizes that no one is covering the ER, but that problem is solved when April unassumingly walks into the lounge. Bailey immediately gives her a coffee and tells her to cover the pit, which April does.

We next see Simon and Kristen talking about their future son as Simon gives her instructions. Maggie, Winston, and Schmitt are also there. Simon asks why all three of them are there, and Winston says that all surgeries are now canceled due to the blood shortage. Kristen starts having contractions, so Schmitt pages Jo.

Ben and Travis arrive at Grey Sloan Memorial’s ambulance bay with 37 units of blood. April meets them outside, and Ben is surprised to see her. April explains how she is still Pavlov’s dog because when Bailey yelled at her, she heeled. Ben tells April she will have to close the ER to all traumas because they won’t have enough blood, and April knows that will give Bailey something else to yell about.

BURN IT TO THE GROUND

Jackson and Blake walk through the halls of the hospital and talk. He tells her that the Fox Foundation is committed to doubling its funding for Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program and its success. Blake brings up the fact that Mer is leaving, and Jackson tries to pretend for a moment that Mer may stay before admitting she has plans to leave. Blake is still upset at overhearing that news from a resident and wants to know what else is being hidden from her.

Owen and Teddy continue their conversation with Bailey and explain what happens to some soldiers from the wartime experiences and how it causes horrible health problems. Teddy asks Bailey what if it was Ben in their shoes, and Bailey is firm that Ben wouldn’t break the law. Teddy doesn’t believe these soldiers should be left to die horribly, so she and Owen are working to change the laws. Owen says they know firsthand what these soldiers have sacrificed and experienced, which is why he had to fight for them. Bailey may understand where they are coming from, but she is still disturbed by everything.

April has closed the ER to new incoming traumas and is in the pit taking her own blood. Amelia walks in to lend a hand and hugs her former colleague. April is happy for Amelia’s article and asks for an update on Catherine’s cancer. Amelia tells her that she is planning on talking to Catherine’s oncologist later on and will give her an update then. She sits down and starts crying and tells April how she is going through a breakup. April asks if she fell in love, and Amelia doesn’t think so because it didn’t feel the same as the other times she was in love. Amelia says she felt seen and known and fit like two puzzle pieces with Kai. She explains that Kai doesn’t want what Amelia wants or has because they don’t want kids. April asks if she is sure it’s over, and Amelia replies that it feels pretty over. April tells her friend to never say never because sometimes love comes back around, which should make you swoon over her current relationship status.

Upstairs in the ICU, Nick, Mer, and Helm have Cora situated in her new room. Helm again questions why they did the surgery, and Mer replies that if they didn’t remove the tumor, Cora most certainly would have died. This prompts Mer to have flashbacks of Derek asking her why she took out a tumor in a rough voice. Richard comes into the ICU and disrupts Mer’s memory and demands to know why she had to do the surgery. He rants about how Mer never cares about the consequences of her actions and how she may have killed the residency program by doing the surgery. Richard concludes by saying that Mer is burning Grey Sloan Memorial to the ground as she leaves, which would finally make Ellis proud of her. The harsh remarks make Mer think back to the times when Derek, Ellis, and even Richard yelled at her in the past. After Richard leaves, Mer tells Nick and Helm that the tumor had to come out before storming out herself.

In Simon’s room, Jo has arrived and is talking to Kristen about her pain. Jo wants to take Kristen to the OB floor to examine her and check the baby, which makes Kristen panic about not wanting to leave Simon. Kristen starts bleeding, and Jo tells her they have to go now. On her way out, Kristen asks Simon to stay alive and tells Link to keep him alive for her. Jo, Maggie, and Schmitt get Kristen on a gurney and run through the halls of the hospital with her. The two senior doctors send Schmitt to find some blood for Kristen when Jo realizes she has a placental rupture that will need to be fixed surgically. Winston has stayed with Simon, and Schmitt runs back to Simon’s room looking for blood. He needs the blood they are giving Simon for ECMO because he and Kristen are the same blood type. Simon tells Schmitt to take the blood bags and save Kristen. Winston gives Schmitt the blood, and Schmitt runs to the OR. Link comes back into the room and finds out what just happened. Simon asks the doctors to take him off ECMO and give all the blood to Kristen to save her and their baby.

Elsewhere, Mer is still spiraling and is thinking about Ellis. Nick walks up to check on her, and Mer tells him that Ellis told her not to come to the hospital because she didn’t believe Richard had what it took to teach Mer properly. Mer doesn’t like being told what to do, so she did it anyway. Nick reiterates that they could have waited to do Cora’s surgery, which makes Mer think that Nick agrees with Richard that she must be sabotaging the residency program on purpose. Nick tells her that she is incorrect; rather, he believes Mer is insecure about leaving Seattle, which is impairing her judgment. Cora starts to code, and they run to save her.

THE END OF AN ERA

Blake happens across the room where Bailey, Owen, and Teddy have been talking. She has been calling Bailey, who simply says, “It’s been a day.” Blake informs Bailey that the ER is closed to new traumas, which Bailey wasn’t aware of but is not surprised by. Bailey asks if they can have a few minutes, so Blake says she will wait in Bailey’s office. Bailey invites Blake to donate blood while she waits, and Blake walks out. Bailey tells Owen and Teddy that the world is broken in a thousand different ways that she can’t fix. She needs to call the police because if she doesn’t, she could go to jail too. However, she needs to manage a life-threatening blood shortage first, which might take her a few hours. Bailey says she will accept Owen and Teddy’s resignations and wishes them both the best of luck before leaving the room. 

Owen and Teddy spring into action immediately. Owen wants Teddy to get the kids while he goes home to pack what he can. Teddy thinks they have to go right that moment, so Owen decides to contact Amelia to get the kids for them. As they walk through the halls one last time, police officers start walking in their direction, so they turn and walk the other way and out of Grey Sloan Memorial, possibly forever.

We then get a happy scene in which Catherine is reading a book to Harriet in Richard’s office. Amelia comes in and says she heard about the preemptive memorial, and Richard quips how Catherine likes hearing compliments. Amelia spoke with Catherine’s oncologist, and the tumor is responding very well to the chemo trial. Catherine is officially living with cancer instead of dying from it again. The couple is elated by the news, and it’s great to have one happy moment in an otherwise bleak episode. 

The happiness doesn’t last long because the scene then cuts back to Winston and Link, who tell Simon he still has a chance to meet his son. Link tells Simon that it has been a tremendous privilege to be his doctor, and Winston says it was an honor to witness his love story. Simon tells them that Kristen changed him, noticed every little thing about him, and showed him how to love himself. He wants them to tell her that his life was well lived, as he knows he probably won’t see her again.

Back in the ICU, Nick and Mer have been performing CPR on Cora for 30 minutes. She is in DIC and desperately needs blood. Mer thinks back to when Derek was shot, and she says the same words to Cora as she told Derek about not leaving her. Mer won’t give up, even when Nick tells her to stop as we see blood pouring out of Cora’s nose. 

In the OR, Maggie, Jo, and Schmitt deliver Kristen and Simon’s baby. They are out of blood, and blood is pouring out of Kristen in another gruesome scene. Winston comes in with one last bag of blood and wants to take the baby to Simon. They try to save Kristen, and once the baby is checked out and ready, Winston takes him to meet his father. In another perfect vintage Grey’s Anatomy moment, “The Story” by Brandi Carlile plays in the background. Grey’s Anatomy has always used some great music, and it’s nice to hear some of the favorites back in this episode. 

We then check in on the other gory scene: Cora’s ICU room. Nick tells Mer that that’s it, and she finally stops CPR. She replays the memories of Derek dying in her mind, pulls off her gloves, gives the time of death, and walks out. Winston arrives in Simon’s room with the baby, and Link tries to wake up a fading Simon. He opens his eyes as Winston puts the baby on his chest. In a truly touching moment, Simon gets to hold his son, says the same “Hello, forever” line that he constantly says to Kristen, kisses the baby’s cheek, then dies with him on his chest. Winston takes the baby, and Link is visibly sad to see Simon pass. In the end, it was nice that the writers decided to let Simon hold on just long enough to meet his son and have that sweet moment he wanted.

Amelia brings Leo and Allison to Joe’s Bar to meet Teddy and Owen. They can’t tell Amelia what is going on and can’t tell her where they are going. They assure her that everyone is fine, but they have to go. Amelia tries to protest, so Teddy asks her to let them go. Amelia tearfully says she can’t lose them and starts to cry. She needs to at least know where they are going, and as they leave, Owen promises to call soon. 

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Mer sits down with Sally to tell her that Cora died. She explains that they did everything they could, but Cora went into organ failure. Sally can’t remember who Cora is due to some unknown memory issue, which makes Mer think back to Ellis deteriorating from Alzheimer’s. Elsewhere, Bailey finds Helm, Schmitt, and a ton of men in the halls. The residents explain that they put out a call on social media to their gay, sexless friends to help donate blood. Tons of gay men showed up in response, including Nico, just like Travis said they would. Bailey tells Schmitt that she will fight the “stupid rule” with him, which makes Schmitt’s day.

In the ICU, we see that Kristen survived her surgery. Maggie and Winston introduce her to her baby as Jo and Link watch from outside the room. Kristen cries while telling the baby, “Your daddy loved you beyond the beyond.” Jo looks at Link, and he walks away. Link goes outside in the rain for some fresh air, and Amelia comes running back to the hospital. She asks if he knows what’s going on with Owen and Teddy, but Link doesn’t know anything either. Amelia decides to apologize to Link for breaking his heart and making him feel blindsided. She had forgotten how much that hurts, and if she had remembered, she would have handled things differently. Link responds that without her, he never would have had a kid because he is too clinical. However, Scout changed his world, so he doesn’t hate Amelia. Link says he still loves her, but not in a painful way anymore. After a full year of pining, it’s nice to see these exes finally make up and be friends again.

Bailey finally decides to go talk to Blake in her office. Blake heard about the accident with the blood transport vehicle, and Bailey tells her about the blood drive’s success through social media. Bailey wants to be fully transparent with Blake and tells her that Teddy and Owen have left, but she will have candidates lined up for their positions very soon. She goes on to say that Mer is also leaving, and even though she will be hard to replace, they will persevere. Blake brings up the unnecessary surgery that Mer performed and believes she wasted blood for no reason. Blake says that working with the same people for too long can make it feel like a family and blur the lines of who is in charge. She knows that is how rules get broken and things get messy, especially when students are also in the mix. With that, Blake announces she will have to shut down the residency program. Grey Sloan Memorial’s residents will be orphaned, but the accreditation council will try to get them into spots at other hospitals. Blake tells Bailey that the hospital needs to start over from scratch. Bailey sees a group of residents waiting for news outside her office window and gives them a sad look. 

TURMOIL

With the residency program officially dead, Bailey and Pru erase all the surgeries from the surgical white board while the residents clean out their lockers. Mer watches them pack and remembers her time as a resident and all the things that happened in the old locker room. We get tons of quick moments of the original cast of residents in a “best of the locker room” montage. We then see Owen, Teddy, and their kids on a plane, but we have no idea where they are going or if they are officially leaving the show or not. Catherine and Richard then leave the hospital while holding hands, but we will learn what they are up to shortly.

It’s fitting that it is the end of a day, and Winston and Maggie sit in their car in the parking lot before going home. Winston says he never told anyone that he loved them until he said those words to Maggie. He didn’t say it lightly, didn’t propose lightly, and explains that it takes him more time to open up than some people. Maggie responds that she is the same way. She also loves her sisters and states that they are her sisters even though she grew up an only child. She goes on to say that it takes a lot to tell her secrets to anyone. Winston doesn’t think they got married too quickly. He thinks they just need to keep learning about each other and protect their love. They kiss as another classic callback song, “Where Does the Good Go” by Tegan and Sara, plays for the audience. 

Inside, Link goes to daycare to pick up Scout and finds Jo there with Luna. They share a long glance, which prompts Jo to repair her friendship with Link. Jo asks Link and Scout to come over and watch Encanto with her and Luna because he is her best friend and favorite person and needs their relationship to not be screwed up. Link accepts the invite and says that he will sing along to every song in the movie just to annoy Jo, who rolls her eyes. Could this be the official start to something proper between the best friends?

Before leaving for the night, Jackson and Mer finally get to talk. Jackson tells her that Richard and Catherine are taking a sabbatical to travel and see the pyramids. Catherine is hoping Jackson will run the foundation in her absence and that Mer and Bailey will restart the residency program together. Jackson asks Mer to stay at Grey Sloan Memorial for the time being because her Parkison’s article is causing a lot of noise, and if she leaves, the hospital will be sunk. He believes Mer’s fame and reputation is how they will rebuild the hospital. Mer instantly resents Jackson for asking her to stay. Jackson reminds her that her name is on the building, but Mer shoots back that it is actually Lexie’s name. Jackson also says there is nothing worth saving if Mer and Richard leave. 

Bailey walks up to Jackson and Mer and does something truly shocking. She gives her keys to her office to Mer and tells her, “You broke it, you bought it.” Bailey declares that she needs to protect her health and sanity and quits without giving any notice to Jackson. She says she has cookies to make with Pru and leaves the hospital without another word. Jackson turns to Mer and tells his friend that she is not allowed to leave now. He will offer her twenty percent more money than Minnesota offered her and make her chief of surgery. Mer wants to be interim chief of surgery because she believes Bailey will come back for her job. April walks up to say hi, and Mer is less than thrilled to see her. Harriet is napping in the stroller and the family is ready to leave for the night. Jackson tells Mer to think it over and that they will talk the next day before leaving with April. When they get into the elevator and the doors close, Jackson and April finally kiss and affirm that they are back together in the happiest moment of the episode. It’s doubly happy as we get Grey’s Anatomy’s favorite song, “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, playing too.

It has finally stopped raining, and Amelia goes to leave Grey Sloan Memorial for the night. On her way to her car, she drops her keys in the parking lot. When she stands up, she sees Kai standing in front of her. Kai says they haven’t been able to sleep, and Amelia walks over and they passionately kiss. I think it is safe to say Kai will be back next season in some capacity. 

The episode fittingly ends inside Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Mer is sitting in Bailey’s office chair and thinks back to a very prominent line that Cristina said to her years ago in regards to Derek: “He’s very dreamy, but he’s not the sun. You are.” After the clip, Nick walks in and Mer tells him that he should go back to Minnesota where his life is because her life is in Seattle. Nick doesn’t think she intentionally sabotaged the program and wants to make that clear. He tells Mer that she has spent her whole adult life in one place, which makes it hard to leave. He says that no one knows what really drives them and that everyone has issues and drama and that Mer has more than her fair share of that. He thinks that their unsuccessful surgery made everything harder, and the two things aren’t unrelated. Mer wants to know why he didn’t stop her. Nick thought he would have been wrong to stop her because she is Meredith Grey and doesn’t like being told what to do. Mer cries while telling him to go and that she has a lot of work to do there. Nick walks out, and we are treated to a long montage of the best, worst, and most impactful moments over the last 400 episodes of the show. When the clips stop playing in Mer’s head, she sees her younger self looking at her through the office’s window, which prompts her to snap out of her thoughts. She runs out the door and calls for Nick, but he is nowhere to be seen. 

Nick, Owen, Teddy, Schmitt, Helm, and the rest of the residents’ fates are the most up in the air by the end of the season, as there have been no official announcements on if any cast members are leaving the show. We do know that Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. will all be back for season 19, so Mer, Bailey, and Richard will be back in some capacity. It looks like Mer will be staying in Seattle after all, but we will have to wait until the fall to find out what else is in store for the hospital.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Flash 8x15 Review: "Into the Still Force" (Perhaps Too Still) [Contributor: Deborah M]


“Into the Still Force”
Original Airdate: May 18, 2022

This week on The Flash: the show tries to push us into the actual time sickness arc that’s been a stalled plotline since the start of the season. Since virtually nothing is accomplished during this episode’s trip into the Still Force besides making me slightly nauseous with swooping camera movements and too much green lighting, I can’t exactly call the endeavor a success. I’m also realizing that the other storylines in this episode didn’t really move things along, either. When The Flash focuses on the Still Force, they sure do like to keep things still.

PROGRESS WOULD BE NICE, ACTUALLY

Barry figures out Iris is missing when he goes to her office and sees she’d barely gotten a sentence into typing up her latest article. From my perspective as a writer, half a sentence in eight hours is totally normal — but Barry senses danger. A speed-search of the city yields no Iris, and neither does a satellite scan from the S.T.A.R. Labs computers. Barry also recruits Cecile to help by scanning with her empath powers and Chester widens the computer search to the entire world, but neither detect Iris anywhere. Team Flash’s computers can scan the entire world for a single person in seconds? I know this is off-topic but yowza, that is creepy. That is a bad thing, Team Flash.

Cecile mentions going to the last person to help Iris disappear, Tinya in Coast City. Barry zips there to find Tinya in a coffee shop, stealing sandwiches. He tries to get her to help him find Iris but it goes nowhere because she’s a bratty teenager caricature and boy, I always forget how much I hate these kinds of characters. 

Tinya leaves and Barry looks around to find the whole coffee shop paused. Deon makes a well-timed reappearance to tell Barry he’s been infected by the time sickness and needs an isotopic sensor to track down Iris via that glowy green tracking particle he planted in her like, three episodes ago. The isotopic sensor’s broken, so Deon tells Barry to get it fixed and he’ll find him. Then Deon explodes into green glitter.

Meanwhile, Mark Blaine has to deal with Caitlin’s plans to Frankenstein herself up a new frosty sister and I know I’ve dunked on this character every time he’s shown up, but I find his bewilderment in this scene pretty great. Especially when Caitlin blithely mentions she needs to rob Frost’s grave for more hair because the sample she stole from her sister’s corpse during the funeral is decaying too quickly. He also brings up the “tried to resurrect her dead husband” disaster Caitlin literally just went through, which was a sticking point for me when this topic was raised last week. It’s Mark Blaine: Unlikely Voice of Reason! 

Mark peaces out, on account of all the crazy, but this means nothing because he just comes back to help her at the end of the episode. Being the Unlikely Voice of Reason was short-lived, huh, Mark? You’re officially the Totally Likely Voice of Bad Ideas once again.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the team is dubious about this whole “Barry going where only gods can go” plan, but Barry says he trusts Deon to not get him killed in a metaphysical other-space. Joe, Very Likely Voice of Reason, keeps bringing up potential snags in the plan, like Deon not being able to track a particle he created himself and whether the other Forces agree that Barry and Deon’s idea is the best one. When Barry says he hasn’t been able to contact any of the others, he theorizes they may have also gotten time sickness. Joe thinks everyone should slow their roll before launching Barry into another plane of existence. They ignore him.

The group separates, but Joe catches up with Barry and he’s got his concerned father voice on, so you know Barry’s destined to learn some kind of lesson before this episode is over. (Spoiler: the lesson is “Listen to Joe.”) Barry thinks Deon getting time sickness is his fault because he delayed too long on finding a cure, so now he owes it to everyone to go with Deon’s plan. Joe looks disappointed.

After Chester fixes the sensor and hands it off to Barry, Deon shows up to pull him into the Still Force and warns Barry that “things are about to get real weird.” A primary criticism I have of this episode is things didn’t get weird enough. Mostly, things just got tinted green. Yeah, there are also little jumps and warps between the past, present, and future, but Deon and Barry’s little excursion into the Still Force is largely just them walking through empty pre-existing sets that have been lit with a lot of green lighting.

The sensor picks up Iris’s signature and Barry and Deon travel to find a loop of Allegra fighting with Central City Citizen’s office mean girl, Taylor. After that, Barry and Deon run into Tinya’s mom, who has been stuck in the Still Force for weeks. Barry wants to help find her but Deon insists they get to Iris first because she’s the key to everything.

Deon and Barry find the tracking particle floating in Iris’s CCC office, sans Iris. Deon steals the particle and the isotope sensor, then shoves Barry into a Still Force version of the West household. It looks like a betrayal, but then Deon arrives (as a green glitter cloud) to steal Nora from 2049 so that she can help Barry where he can’t. I genuinely don’t know what this episode wants me to think about Deon, which is my other major gripe about it. If Deon’s trying to help, I don’t get why he was so hostile to Barry when taking the sensor. If he’s not trying to help, I don’t get what stealing Nora would do to hinder Barry’s progress. His actions are confusing, meaningless, and critical to the episode all at once and that’s not a good way to tell a story.

After a father/daughter reunion hug and a brief pep talk from Nora to Barry about believing in instincts or love or whatever the pep talk theme is this week, the two get to work figuring out a way to escape. Nora gives Barry the idea to use Iris’s hairbrush (which somehow still exists in the future even though it disappeared into the Still Force many episodes ago; I’ve given up trying to understand this show’s concept of time) as a focus for connecting with the Still Force. Meditating sends green-tinted apparitions of Barry and Nora into the real world, where a confused Joe tries to get them to explain before they disappear, leaving behind the totally physical hairbrush. Joe looks frustrated by his life. I don’t blame him.

Barry connects to the Still Force and uses that connection to connect Nora. Trying to speed out only ends with them bouncing off a temporal barrier. It turns out that the trick to trick to successfully getting through the barrier and returning home is focusing on the future moment where they successfully get through the barrier and return home. No, I’m not going to try to understand how that’s not a paradox. You can’t trick me into thinking logically about your nonsense, The Flash!

Nora goes back to 2049. Iris is still stuck in some unknown location in the Still Force. Deon maybe needs rescuing, or fighting. The episode ends, and progress on the time sickness plot has not been made.

Other Things:

  • Other plotline: Chester’s open-source tech could have been (but wasn’t) used by evil. However, his entire harddrive gets copied by someone. I’m amazed by the download speeds on S.T.A.R. Labs’ internet, because this nefarious individual got those files fast.
  • Note: every time Deon appears in the real world, it’s preceded by an extended scream but we never actually see him screaming. I know it’s not supposed to be hilarious, but it is.
  • Okay, so if past, present, and future all exist in the Still Force simultaneously, how is the constant warping not standard behavior? Unless it’s meant to just be like, layered on top of each other, which would be a way cooler concept.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Resident 5x23 Review: “Neon Moon” (Poignant Farewell) [Contributor: Justine]


“Neon Moon”
Original Airdate: May 17, 2022

The Resident returns to wrap up its final season, and it’s an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. With the chaos of the season, it was calming to have the finale be a poignant reflection of these characters' journeys so far. This episode is very nearly everything a season finale should be, while leaving the door open for plenty more stories to come. 

Of course, the main draw of this episode is the return of Emily VanCamp, reprising her role as Nic Nevin. In a season that’s been dedicated to chronicling grief and loss, it was so appropriate that Conrad (Matt Czuchry) revisits his wife in flashbacks and is able to process his grief and say goodbye.

Nic’s return was also closure, in that it gave fans a chance to actually see her as a mother. With VanCamp appearing primarily by phone in the first part of this season after Gigi’s birth, we never got to see her be the mom she wanted to be so much. It was adorable seeing her fuss over leaving Gigi at home with a babysitter for the first time. It will always be sad fans only got to see this tiny glimpse of this part of her character. It was cathartic for fans as well. Nic’s death shook The Resident to its core. She was such an integral part of the show for the first four seasons, and she’s been missed all season long. While it may have made sense from a story perspective, the time jump still left a massive hole that only Nic could fill. 

Although these last few episodes, in particular, have been setting up Conrad and Cade (Kaley Ronayne), the way this finale left their story was ingenious. It’s clear Conrad hasn’t made a choice between Cade or Billie (Jessica Lucas). This is actually very wise. It was also a nice touch to show these two women bonding without Conrad. Perhaps there’s hope for this love triangle yet.

Although KitBell shippers didn’t get a wedding, there’s plenty of content to swoon over in this season finale. Kit (Jane Leeves) and Bell (Bruce Greenwood) have more than proven this season why they’re the definitive couple to cheer for in this series. Although the finale lacked a KitBell wedding, the truth is it will probably be that much more satisfying when they finally say “I do”... next season, hopefully!

It turns out that Devon (Manish Dayal) leaving was a fake-out. While I can get behind a good fake goodbye, I’m left asking... what was the reason? Was it so that we can appreciate what a great character he is? Truthfully, this hasn’t been Devon’s strongest season. While he’s always been a dynamic character, this season hasn’t given him as many chances to shine. 

Regardless, it looks like there is in fact still hope for Devon and Leela (Anuja Joshi). The surrogate baby storyline seems to have worked itself out in the end after causing so much chaos. Hopefully if Devon and Leela are back together in earnest, they can be honest with each other and open about their dreams for the future. This storyline also gave Padma (Aneesha Joshi) the chance to actually be the voice of reason, which was a nice change. And A.J. (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) being a father is what he deserves, and he’s going to absolutely nail it.

Cade was arguably at her most relatable in this episode. Whether it’s seeing her contrasted with her father Ian (Andrew McCarthy) or seeing her bond with Billie, she was actually quite endearing. Her worry for her father, despite their tumultuous relationship, speaks volumes about her character.

Speaking of Ian, this episode left him in a very interesting position. I am curious to see how much more Dr. Ian Sullivan we get as the show continues into season six. He’s certainly made a strong case for how he would mix up the dynamic at Chastain Memorial. Perhaps he’s worth a closer look.

The Resident managed to pull together a season filled with change and chaos together with a touching finale. Although so much of this episode is bittersweet, it was ultimately a worthy send-off to Nic, in particular, and a new beginning for so many characters we’ve come to know and love. The stage has been set for season six and the countdown to the fall begins. 

Other Things:

  • Winston (Stephen Wallem) is BACK! Seriously, The Resident needs more Winston always.
  • That "Neon Moon" cover by Charly Reynolds? Transcendent. Seriously, there are no words. Is it the best version of that song? Very possibly.
  • This show also needs more Jessica (Jessica Miesel). In real life, she’s such a fantastic advocate on social media for actors. Definitely worth a follow. 
  • “You guys broke up way too fast. It's kind of a pattern with you. You're a relationship wrecking ball.”
  • "Why are you getting dressed?" "I'm discharging myself." "You can't be your own doctor." "Oh, wow. The apple fell directly under the tree."
  • “Maybe you shouldn't fight these memories. Maybe they're trying to tell you something. The past doesn't go away, if you don't deny it, you learn something from it.”

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 18x18 Recap: “Stronger Than Hate” (Sad Reality) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Stronger Than Hate”
Original Airdate: May 19, 2022

Three main plots drive the story of the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy. As the show approaches the end of its eighteenth season, lots of little seeds are being sowed to presumably be reaped in the finale, which also doubles as the series’ 400th episode. A dinner party, a heinous hate crime, and a cancer treatment friendship throw our favorite doctors for a loop.

PARTY TIME!

The episode opens with Maggie washing vegetables in Meredith’s kitchen. Winston pops in to announce that the kids are cleaning their rooms. Maggie is excited that they are throwing a dinner party for the extended family and close friends to welcome Nick to Seattle. Winston is sour that he didn’t get a party, and Maggie’s motive for this dinner is to grill Nick. Winston tells his wife that Wendell is staying at a nearby hotel on their dime while he waits to hear about a potential job in Boston. We then see Amelia sleeping with Kai in a hotel room in Seattle before they get ready to attend the party together.

At the hospital, Mer walks down the stairs into the lobby and runs into Nick, who is on his way out to get to her house. Nick says he loves living in the same city as Mer, and Mer quips that she hopes he feels the same way after the dinner party. Nick thinks it will take more than her sisters and kids to scare him off, and it’s clear that he really hasn’t gotten the full effect of the extended Grey/Shepherd/Pierce clan yet. The comedy continues as Nick leaves and Bailey walks up to Mer. She is very excited for the party and wants Mer to leave to go get ready for the dinner. It’s fun to see Bailey finally excited about something.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Richard and resident Tseng are consulting on a case together. He tells her to go home because she has worked too many hours. It appears that Richard is already implementing his new residency strategies. Richard runs into Catherine, who is on her way to a chemotherapy treatment. Catherine tries to convince him to go to Mer and Nick’s dinner party, but Richard wants to stay with her for every step of the new clinical trial she is in. Richard declares that he won’t break his promise and will ditch the party to be by Catherine’s side.

Amelia and Kai arrive at Mer’s house and are welcomed by Maggie and Winston. Amelia introduces Kai to her sister and brother-in-law for the first time. Maggie is a little annoyed that Amelia forgot to bring a bag of ice so Winston leaves to go get one. Amelia asks what she can help with, and Maggie tasks her to stop the kids from breaking each other. The doorbell rings, and Nick arrives with a bottle of wine. Ellis and Maggie open the door together, and Ellis is a little disappointed that Mer isn’t home yet. Maggie makes a joke about Nick being on time to the minute, and he states that his perfect timing is a transplant surgeon thing. Before they can make it past the doorway, the doorbell rings again, which exasperates Maggie. Teddy and Owen are at the door with two more bottles of wine that will surely be needed as the night goes on.

UNEXPECTED

Back at the hospital, Mer runs into Schmitt on her way out the door. Schmitt tells Mer that he will be staying at the hospital to step up and help instead of going to the dinner party. Their nice moment quickly changes when a victim of a hate crime arrives in the ambulance bay with a police escort. An older Asian-American woman named Alice was viciously attacked and has serious injuries. Mer instantly decides to stay and help treat her. 

Upstairs, Catherine is getting her treatment while Richard searches for new trials on his tablet. Simon is also getting his latest round of cancer treatment as well, and his wife Kristen mistakes Richard as Catherine’s oncologist. Catherine explains that Richard is her husband and asks when Kristen is due. Kristen says she is now 35 weeks pregnant. Richard suggests a nanotech trial to Catherine, so she asks Simon and Kristen if they have picked a name for their baby as a distraction.

Back in the ER, Mer, Lin, Schmitt, and Tseng are treating Alice in a trauma room. Nico walks in and instantly recognizes Alice’s injuries as a hate crime. The police officer that brought Alice in hangs around in the background, and it’s worth noting that the police officer and three of the doctors treating Alice are all Asian-American. Mer wants to order a CT scan to see the extent of Alice’s injuries, and Nico already knows he will have to operate on her fractured arm. He asks to be paged when they are done with the scans and is highly affected by his new patient.

At Mer’s house, Nick helps Maggie make a salad, and Owen offers to lend a hand too. Owen asks Nick how long he has been working at the clinic in Minnesota. Nick replies that he has been there for sixteen years and talks about how he stayed there for his sister and niece and their troubles. Winston is back with ice, and Teddy is looking for games to play. Maggie reminds Teddy that she is at a dinner party. Link and Scout arrive next. Amelia takes Scout, and Link waves hi to Kai and is much warmer to them in this episode. Amelia introduces Kai to Scout too.

Bailey then walks in the open door and sadly, no one notices her arrival. The cold non-welcome instantly makes Bailey salty. Teddy sees her boss and tries to convince her to play Boggle. Bailey isn’t interested, so Teddy reminds her that she is the ambassador of fun. Bailey then notices Mer hasn’t shown up to her own party, so Nick offers her a drink. The doorbell rings again, and Maggie and Winston are surprised to see Wendell with a bouquet of flowers. He asks to join their dinner party, and Maggie allows him to come in.

Winston immediately wants Wendell to leave and tells Maggie he needs a minute to not make a scene. Maggie worries that Winston isn’t okay. Out back, Nick checks the coolers for a drink while Link tends the grill. It’s Link’s turn to question Nick, and he asks if Nick likes music (he does). He then asks Nick’s opinion on sports. Nick doesn’t like the idea of kids playing sports, but he enjoys biking and hiking. Link tells Nick about how he and Amelia took care of four kids while Mer was in the hospital with COVID and sneaks in a question about whether Nick is friends with Kai or not. Nick tells Link how great Kai is, which makes Link think Amelia traded up. Nick quips that he hasn’t known Link long enough to confirm or deny that. He then texts Mer to see if she is okay, and Mer apologizes for not being there.

HERE TO HELP

Inside the house, Kai finds out about Amelia’s involvement in Owen and Teddy’s kids’ lives, which appeared to be more than they were expecting. Amelia goes to put Scout to sleep, while Owen helps little Bailey with an app on his tablet. The two Baileys then fist bump in the best moment of the episode. Winston and Wendell talk in the kitchen, where Wendell is nervous about his vendors coming after him. Nick walks in and meets Wendell, which makes him wonder if everyone at the party is related. Nick and Wendell hit it off, which makes Maggie skeptical. She tells Winston she wonders if Nick is a conman like Wendell because the only other guy who has charmed her as much as Wendell is Nick. 

At Grey Sloan Memorial, Mer and Schmitt go to talk to Alice’s husband and family, who are in the waiting room. Mer explains that Alice suffered a serious attack that caused facial and arm fractures. She is in surgery but also has a splenic injury that could possibly heal itself, so they won’t operate on that yet. Alice’s husband tells the doctors that Alice went to the store to get chocolate syrup for dessert after their weekly family dinner. She is a retired city worker and insisted on taking the bus to the store. Mer and Schmitt assure him that they will let him know as soon as Alice is out of surgery and they can see her. The husband wants Alice to know that the whole family is here and that she is not alone. Mer says she will tell Alice and tells the family she is very sorry the attack happened.

In the chemo ward, Kristen has a contraction while doing a puzzle with Simon. Catherine is reading a book, and Richard thinks they should make a wellness room at home. Kristen says they did that, and the room quickly turned into a storage room. She has another contraction, so Simon thinks they should call Jo because he thinks it is too early. Kristen thinks maybe it isn’t too early since her only goal is for Simon to meet their son.

Down in the OR, Mer watches Alice’s surgery from the scrub room. Lin, Nico, and Nurse Bokhee work on her. Lin talks about how she wanted to use her mom’s makeup as a kid to look more white. Nico understands that feeling. Lin wanted to feel normal, and Nico wants to know if Asian-Americans will ever be seen as anything other than foreign. Lin says COVID didn’t help their situation because Asians were blamed for the virus. Bokhee chimes in to say they are all Americans and that Lin’s face is American. Mer checks Alice’s vitals, and Lin reports she is okay for now. Mer tells Alice that her husband and whole family are there, that they will take care of her, and that she is not alone. Mer apologizes to everyone in the OR and says she will be back in a bit before leaving. Schmitt finds Tseng in the gallery crying. Tseng couldn’t go home while a hate crime victim was there. She can’t believe that no one called for help or intervened or took a video of the attack. Schmitt agrees that it is incredibly awful and wishes he could help.

Jo arrives at the chemo ward to check on Kristen and determines she was having Braxton-Hicks contractions. Catherine tells Richard to stop hovering over her and get out of the way. Jo wants to monitor Kristen for a bit, but she won’t leave Simon. Catherine suggests Richard should take Kristen upstairs to get checked out and leave her and Simon to have some quiet time. They all agree, and Kristen and Richard leave to go with Jo.

THE DINNER PARTY

Back at Mer’s house, everyone is hanging out in the den. Winston asks Nick where his favorite place to do a transplant is. Nick really enjoys San Diego and Bailey does too. Turns out, Bailey and Nick know the same surgeons in San Diego. Winston says the whole house is competitive and launches into a conversation about Boggle. Nick discusses how Boggle is about math, not words, which Bailey completely agrees with. It’s wonderful to see that Bailey and Nick do have a lot in common. Winston and Teddy really want to play Boggle and try to get everyone to play.

In another room, Owen and Kai play with the kids’ trains. Link comes in looking for Scout and finds out he is upstairs with Amelia. He finds them in a bedroom, where Scout is in pajamas and Amelia is reading to him from a medical journal. Link asks Amelia if she wants him to take Scout, but Amelia’s good. Link doesn’t mind since she has a date but Amelia insists that she will continue her Scout time. 

Downstairs, Wendell comes inside after taking a phone call so Winston asks who he was speaking to. Wendell won’t say and Winston tells his brother to leave. Wendell quickly spills that the people he owes money to aren’t good people and they know he is in Seattle. He knows he has to disappear and wanted to ask Winston for cash. Winston is incredibly mad, especially because Wendell can’t know for sure that he wasn’t followed and that puts Winston’s family at risk. Wendell reminds Winston that he is his family. Winston wants Wendell to leave Seattle that night, and everyone sees the drama go down from the den. 

After the drama settles down, Kai looks at family photos in the den. Owen gives them a beer and apologizes for them being on kid duty. He asks if they have or want kids, and Kai tells him about how their nieces and nephews are enough for them; their career is their baby. Owen says they sound like Amelia before she had Scout. In the backyard, Link and Teddy lounge and talk. He sold his last engagement ring the week prior and still doesn’t know why he bought so many. Link thinks he burned his relationships with both Amelia and Jo to the ground. Teddy brings up that she knows about Jo, and Link says he doesn’t like that Jo has Todd. He misses his friend and hates that he never sees her, but he also wants what is best for her. He isn’t sure if he should tell Jo that he occasionally has small feelings for her, so Teddy tells him to not say anything.

We don’t actually get to see the dinner party, which is a real bummer. Instead, we get Bailey telling Maggie that the dinner was fantastic after the fact. Maggie is upset that Nick helped clean and make the food because he is the guest of honor, but he didn’t mind at all. She also apologizes for Wendell and how complicated that situation is. Nick tells Maggie a bit about his sister. He doesn’t see her much, but she is still incredibly manipulative even when she is sober. He struggles to say no to her and always winds up being heartbroken by her. Nick’s words help Maggie understand Winston’s emotions a bit, which she definitely needed. 

THE HOSPITAL

At Grey Sloan Memorial, Schmitt finds Nico in an on-call room by himself. Schmitt sees that Nico punched the wall and hurt his hand, so he asks if he is okay. Nico says he is fine, but Schmitt leaves and comes back with an ice pack. Nico accepts Schmitt’s help, and Schmitt wraps the ice on his ex’s hand.

In another room, Richard is sitting with Kristen, who asks if the clinical trials he has been looking into are successful. She talks about how she didn’t realize when Simon got cancer that one of the options was that he could keep living and still have cancer. Richard understands since that is Catherine’s current situation. Kristen talks about how she was in denial for a long time about being able to beat Simon’s cancer and that she became obsessed with conceiving so he couldn’t die. She was so happy to get pregnant and be a family, until she realized they had always been a family. Kristen didn’t let Simon accept and grieve the fact that he might not survive and left him alone in it. Richard says no one wants to be alone and holds her hand.

Elsewhere, Mer arrives at Alice’s ICU room to find her crashing. Schmitt is there, and they find that she has free fluid in her abdomen, which makes them think her spleen ruptured. Schmitt starts CPR, and Mer knows they will need to shock her. She decides that Alice won’t make it to the OR, so they will have to open her up in the ICU. Mer won’t let Alice die, so she and Schmitt suit up to operate. Bokhee comes to help as well, and they start operating on Alice’s abdomen. They remove her spleen and stop the bleeding. After the impromptu surgery, Mer, Nico, Lin, and Schmitt go update Alice’s family. Mer tells the family that Alice will be okay, and her husband thanks them. Nico states they will continue to monitor her for the next few days, and Mer leaves the doctors to celebrate the good news with the family.

Catherine and Simon are still receiving their treatment when Richard comes back to check in on his wife. The conversation with Kristen truly affected him, so he decides to have a heart-to-heart with Catherine. Richard tells Catherine he wants her to live forever and would make that happen with surgery if he could. He wants to know if she is putting herself through treatment just for him because he doesn’t want her to do that. He would be okay if she wants to stop treatment, but Catherine assures him that she wants to continue. She sometimes needs time to think without judgment or worrying what’s next, but she wants the treatment. She also tells Richard that his constant seriousness makes her feel worse. She knows cancer sucks, but she still wants to live and laugh. Richard nods and wants to come up with a good joke to make things less serious, which makes Catherine laugh. 

PARTY CRASHERS

Back at Mer’s house, Amelia finds Kai in the backyard on a swing. Kai thinks Amelia’s family and friends seem like good people, and Amelia wants them to get to know all of the family more. Amelia also promises that Scout normally isn’t as fussy as he was. Kai is happy to have seen how amazing of a mom Amelia is to Scout and Mer’s kids. Kai then tells Amelia that they don’t want kids and don’t want to put work second. Amelia wants to know why they didn’t say so before, and Kai states they will never change their mind about kids, ever. Naturally, Amelia wants to know what that means for them because she thought things were going well. Kai did too, but isn’t sure now and doesn’t want to lead Amelia on.

With one relationship potentially on the outs, another is continuing to go strong. Teddy and Owen walk to their car after the party and talk about how much fun they had. Teddy is clearly tipsy, and Owen tells her he won’t doubt that she knows how to have fun again. They kiss a bunch of times and decide to have sex in their car. Bailey catches them right before they start and tells them to go home because they are parents. It’s a comedic end to the dinner party and a perfect callback to Mer and Derek having sex in a car.

Inside, Maggie tells Winston that Wendell left 45 minutes ago. Winston apologizes for Wendell, and Maggie informs him that she gave Wendell the money he needed to pay back his lenders. Winston didn’t want that, and Maggie knows it was a lot of money, but he’s her family too now. Maggie is shocked when Winston says he also gave Wendell the money, and they realize they got swindled. 

Nick finds an upset Amelia alone on a swing outside. She asks him to stay since it is nice and quiet outside. He asks if it is true that you can see the northern lights from Seattle, and Amelia tells him it is very slightly visible sometimes. She informs Nick that everyone was vetting him at the party, but Nick knew and makes a joke about it. He doesn’t blame them because everyone loves Mer. Amelia says that everyone will miss her a lot. Nick asks if she has any questions for him, which was very nice of him. Amelia simply says that Mer left once after Derek died and disappeared for a year. She never felt closer to Mer than while she was gone, because they were both drowning in pain and grief. Amelia thinks Nick makes Mer happy and feels that Mer deserves to be happy. Amelia goes on to say that others would have been broken by a fraction of what Mer has survived and wants Mer to have happiness and joy again. She only asks that Nick want that too, and he nods.

Back inside, Nick has set up a private dinner for him and Mer, who finally walks in the door. She is happy Nick is still there and apologizes for being so late. She is surprised by the dinner, and Nick thought that she might want some food and company after a long day. They hug, and Mer says, “I love you.” Nick replies, “I love you too” as they continue to hug and smile and the episode ends.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The Flash 8x14 Review: "Funeral for a Friend" (Many Mourners Mourning) [Contributor: Deborah M]


“Funeral for a Friend”
Original Airdate: May 11, 2022

This week on The Flash, the team mourns the loss of Frost in their own particular ways while a metahuman of the week scenario happens in the background. Breaking up the episode into focused mini-storylines that just barely brush against each other was a clever way to do an episode like this, which is more focused on character and less on a binding plot device like a villain. Fingers crossed that the events toward the very end don’t undermine everything “Funeral for a Friend” managed to accomplish.

DISTRACTED HEROING

As with any post-character-death episode, this one opens with a sad montage of people staring into the middle distance or looking at significant items around them while they mourn the lost loved one. The montage is interrupted when Team Flash has to stop a robbery in progress, but the mourning continues. Everyone is so distracted by their grief that they completely botch the heroics, allowing the robber — Blockbuster — to get away.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry calls a meeting with everyone and tells them they still have to be able to protect the city even though they’re in mourning, so get it together already. Caitlin shows up in the middle of the meeting just to tell everyone she’s not going to Frost’s funeral, then leaves. The writers definitely could’ve come up with a way to make dropping that plot point a little less clunky.

When Caitlin leaves, Joe dives in with the saddest of pep talks, saying they all need to find ways to honor Frost so that they can heal as a family. This is the jumping off point for the split storytelling format the episode follows until the funeral scene at the end.

IRIS

Iris is talking with Cecile about what they’re going to do to honor Frost. Cecile has decided to take on more pro-bono work helping metahumans but Iris hasn’t figured hers out yet. She wants to do an obituary but writing from a personal perspective on Frost would reveal her as a member of Team Flash. Considering that neither Allegra nor Cecile wear costumes or masks while in the field as Team Flash members and Iris associates with both of them, I think those dots are going to be connected regardless.

Iris pawns the obituary off on a CCC staff member, but when she takes it to Carla Tannhauser for review she concludes that it’s too impersonal. Iris confesses to Frost’s kinda-mom that she didn’t think she really knew Frost well, so she couldn’t find a way into writing the obituary. Carla thinks the obituary isn’t what Frost would’ve cared about anyway and Frost was more concerned with saving people, which gives Iris an idea to instead do a series of interviews with people Frost has saved.

CHESTER & ALLEGRA

This slice of the story is probably the weakest of the bunch, with Chester and Allegra mostly just bickering the entire time. It does introduce the running beat of Mark Blaine being the unlikely voice of reason, though. Basically, they have to go haul a drunken and grieving Mark away from trashing Central City’s only bar, O’Shaughnessy’s, and he tells them their arguments aren’t really arguments. They’re just showing each other how they view the world differently, like Frost used to do for him.

Then he passes out. After dumping Mark on a bed in the medlab back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the two of them decide to honor Frost by hanging her jacket from her first superhero costume up for display.

BARRY

After making a brief cameo dressed for kayaking during Chester and Allegra’s story, I assumed Barry’s was going to be weird. Turns out, he’s crossing off items on Frost’s bucket list. We see him building a snowman on top of Mount Everest, sculpting a snowflake out of ice, zipping in to hang one of Frost’s paintings on a wall in the Louvre, and winning a hotdog eating contest that CCPD is inexplicably holding in the department lobby. Frost sure did have a wide array of interests, huh?

Mark wakes up in the lab and interrupts Barry watching the scanner for Blockbuster. He can apparently provide enlightenment just as well hungover as he can while drunk, because after a short conversation during which Barry admits that crossing things off Frost’s bucket list doesn’t really feel complete, Barry suddenly gets what he needs to do.

CAITLIN

Caitlin’s story starts where we last saw her snapping that she wasn’t going to Frost’s funeral. Then we see her packing away Frost’s things from her apartment, including the painting Frost hung, photographs, and a coffee mug with a Frost-lips-colored lipstick stain. So she really did wear blue lipstick all the time? Her powers just... applied lipstick to her face? The implications of this are mind-bending. When she’s finished packing Frost away, Caitlin appears to sit on her couch all night until morning breaks and Barry knocks on her door.

After insisting again that she’s not going to the funeral, Caitlin lets Barry inside her apartment because he says he wants to apologize about what she overheard the previous day. Caitlin snaps at Barry a bit more, but then Barry asks her what Frost would have wanted her to do and that’s what gets through to her. She admits that she doesn’t want to go to the funeral because she thinks that seeing Frost in the casket will mean she’s really gone, and it’ll be too much after living her life with Frost always there for her. Even before she had a name, Frost was the voice in Caitlin’s head making her braver, and Barry tells her that voice won’t be gone. In fact, always keeping it with her is the way for Caitlin to honor Frost.

Of course Caitlin does show up at the funeral. She gives a touching eulogy about keeping the good parts of Frost — like her selflessness and unique outlook and love for her friends and family — alive to honor her. After the funeral, the whole team has gathered at Joe and Cecile’s house to share fun stories about Frost but they’re interrupted by alerts about Blockbuster and have to go be heroes. Caitlin stays behind with Joe, but when he leaves to get them both some coffee she turns all shifty and makes a call.

The person she called was apparently Mark. She’s stolen a genome sequencer from somewhere and recreated laboratory conditions in the middle of her apartment, and she wants Mark’s help in her mission to bring Frost back to life. 

Okay, first of all: when did she have the time to move all this stuff? Two: has she learned nothing from the “bringing her fiancĂ© back from the dead” fiasco that led to Frost’s demise in the first place? And three: I swear, if this show pulls this bait and switch again I’m going to be furious. It was bad enough when they made a huge deal out of Frost going to jail forever, only to break her out a couple episodes later. 

No offense to Frost, I like her, but when you’ve dedicated a whole episode to her death, this character better freaking stay dead.

Other Things:

  • Cecile is in the action team now? And neither she nor Allegra have costumes? Iris had powers for about a day and got a fully designed hero costume, but these two don’t get anything?
  • Speaking of which: the mean CCC staff member who hates Allegra wants to “investigate” these new Team Flash members. What investigation? They literally wear street clothes and no masks, you could run a Google image search on them and probably find their social media accounts.
  • Green sparkles strike again: Iris has disappeared. Mean staff member basically witnesses this and shrugs it off. They only hire the best investigative journalists at the Central City Citizen!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Resident 5x22 Review: “The Proof is in the Pudding” (Falling Hard. Literally) [Contributor: Justine]


“The Proof is in the Pudding”
Original Airdate: May 10, 2022

The penultimate episode of The Resident is here and we have questions. This episode was another wildly uneven one, full of uneven storytelling punctuated with moments of heart. This entire season of Fox’s beloved medical drama has been filled with even more chaos than usual, which is saying something. Through it all, the team at Chastain Memorial can’t seem to stop getting into situations that are often of their own making. 

The newest addition to Chastain, Andrew McCarthy as Dr. Ian Sullivan, is the worst in the best possible way. The parallels between him and Bell (Bruce Greenwood) are immediately obvious. He’s seen as a god among patients, but only a select few close to him know the truth: he’s a danger to those he’s supposed to be caring for. Unfortunately, this story seems like it’s an accelerated version of what could have been a much longer, satisfying arc.

Cade (Kaley Ronayne) was in focus again this episode, recovering from a shooting. It’s still clear though that much of her character development has happened off-screen. The Resident seems committed to investing in a budding romance between her and Conrad (Matt Czuchry). Ronayne and Czuchry are trying their best with the story they’ve been given. It’s too bad the show hasn’t spent more time developing Cade as a character. She’s only been shown in relation to Conrad and her father. It’s a disservice to restrict her like this.

Devon (Manish Dayal) is also put in the spotlight this episode, perhaps for the purposes of saying goodbye? His obvious success with clinical trials, not to mention his development of a successful rabies protocol, puts him in a stellar position career-wise. Kit (Jane Leeves) and Bell are clearly Devon’s parents, trying to convince him to stay. Honestly, he deserves this. 

Devon’s talk with Conrad this episode kind of read like closure on this relationship. There’s even a callback to Conrad’s advice about being a doctor (that if it was easy, everyone would be one). Is this the end for Devon’s career at Chastain and his relationship with Conrad which started this whole series? So much of this episode read as a goodbye. With no official announcement at time I am writing this review, the future of this character remains unclear. 

KitBell shippers had a lot to love this episode, and perhaps a lot to get emotional over. These two have essentially become parents to the entire hospital, not just Devon. The fact that Kit sees through the new Dr. Sullivan is so on brand for the woman who takes no one’s nonsense. Poor Bell is clearly struggling. This show has so far done a commendable job emphasizing the unpredictability of MS in so many patients. 

One team-up that is was great to see again was Billie (Jessica Lucas) and AJ (Malcolm-Jamal Warner). As two of Chastain’s best surgeons, it’s a shame these two don’t get a chance to work together more often. The two of them give off the sweetest friendship vibes when they’re together. This episode, they’re given a chance to be open and vulnerable with each other. It’s further proof that they deserve more screentime together. 

On this note, though, why does the show keep doing Billie so dirty like this? The show has insisted on setting up Conrad and Cade, and now Billie has to jump in to create a love triangle and set herself up for rejection? This character deserves so much better, especially after all the trauma she’s been through. Maybe Devon’s not the only one who should be thinking of leaving Chastain. 

Relatedly, another incredible character who’s been stunted the last few episodes is Leela (Anuja Joshi). When did this character get so vicious and vindictive? In this episode, she’s just mean to Devon. It’s a far cry from the dynamic, career-driven character we’ve been introduced to. I’m unsure if it was the baby storyline that derailed this character, but her development has been disappointing to say the least. 

With all of this said, The Resident has set fans up for an explosive finale. Fates hang in the balance and plenty of stories need resolutions. Hopefully, everything can all come together in the end. If fans are lucky, we’ll get KitBell wedding bells/elopement in some form before we say goodbye to the Chastain for another season. 

Other Things:

  • Bell’s podcast appearance on a show about unaccountable doctors is source material reference! (The Resident is based on the book “Unaccountable” by Marty Makary)
  • With all of the physical falls this episode, we can only hope no one has a significant head injury. I know intellectually that it would grind the story to a halt, but could we not at least mention worrying about concussions?
  • Gigi continues to be such a precious baby. I would defend her with my life. Seeing her here is just a reminder that Emily VanCamp is coming back for the finale, and are we ready for that emotionally? Unknown but unlikely. 
  • “We've got four marriages between us, do we really need a ceremony?”
  • “We have plenty of great surgeons. Your daughter needs you.”
  • "Now I'm going to say something selfish." "Okay." "Don't break up the team."

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 18x16 Recap: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (Commitmentphobes) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Original Airdate: May 5, 2022

Can’t the good doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial catch a break? It feels like they have all been struggling more than normal for the past two seasons, and it doesn’t look like the tough times are going to get any easier any time soon. Here’s hoping the super stressed out characters catch a break by the end of this season’s finale, because they have earned it!

MORE DIFFICULT EVERY DAY

Every day seems to be worse than the last in Seattle, and this episode is no exception. The hour starts in the morning with Bailey waiting for a smoothie outside the hospital. She’s depressed about work and is not thrilled when Wright shows up. Bailey tells the resident off and wants him to leave her alone, which is made worse by Catherine seeing their exchange. Catherine is already upset about the residency program’s probation and is about to show Bailey just how unhappy she is.

Owen and Teddy arrive at the hospital with their kids, and Owen is finally walking on his own again without crutches. It’s his first full day back at work and he knows he is moving a little slow, but he is excited to be back. Leo has his hair longer than normal and is wearing a cowgirl costume. Pretty much out of nowhere, he announces to his parents that he is a girl. Teddy tells Leo that he is a boy, and it’s clear from the expression on his face that Owen doesn’t agree with Teddy’s parenting choice.

We then see Helm and Schmitt sharing an elevator ride on Schmitt’s first day back as a resident. He is still wearing his glasses, which indicates his confidence isn’t fully back. Helm is worried about the residency program going under, but things are much worse for Schmitt when the elevator stops on another floor and Nico gets in. No one says a word during the awkward situation, and Nico exits on the following floor. 

In Bailey’s office, Catherine chews out Richard and Bailey about how she doesn’t want her legacy tainted by the residency program debacle. She announces that over twenty of the Fox Foundation hospitals are being checked in on after Grey Sloan Memorial was placed on probation. Meredith walks by outside and finds her sisters eavesdropping on the conversation. Amelia and Maggie say that Catherine has been chewing Bailey and Richard out for ten minutes without letting either of them get a word in. Maggie complains that her cardio fellow quit and urges Mer to stay. Mer stands her ground by saying she is still leaving and made up her mind before stuff hit the fan. She insists she’s not leaving just for Nick, and Amelia backs her up since she too is pro-Minnesota. With perfect timing, Addison Montgomery walks up to the sisters and wants to know what they did to the hospital. Amelia hugs Addison and comments on how her friend knows how to make a great entrance. Addison is easily the highlight of this episode, and it would be great to have her stick around a little longer.

Winston’s brother, Wendell, is still in town and is pitching a cutting-edge piece of technology to the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial. He gives a presentation on a patch that shows heart stats through an app to allow doctors to monitor their patients from anywhere all day. Wendell tells Maggie and Winston afterwards that he is going to pitch the device to two other hospitals in the afternoon. Naturally, Maggie jumps on the chance to try something new and help Wendell out and asks for some samples to try on her patients. Winston is less convinced, but he doesn’t go against his wife.

Elsewhere, Todd surprises Jo in the hall by showing up unannounced with cookies. He heard about the residency program shutting down and wants to know how that affects her. Jo assures him that it’s just the surgical program that is in trouble and that nothing changes for her. He has to go to a meeting and can’t stay, but he’s happy that they are going out on a date later that evening. The camera pans to Link, who is standing in the background and overhearing the whole conversation. Jo sees him afterward, and Link tells her that he didn’t know she was still hanging out with Todd. Link thinks she’s trying too hard to like Todd, which is a bit of a low blow.

BAD DAY AT THE OFFICE

Owen is working down in the ER, and Teddy finds him to talk about what happened with Leo earlier. Teddy thinks their son is confused and needs a therapist. Owen is about to disagree, but he is interrupted by a woman helping a bloody man walking into the ER. The man’s arm was cut off by a conveyor belt at their workplace, the woman brought the arm with her and promptly faints after the doctors help get the man to a trauma room. Link hops in to help Owen with the man. They know that their patient is going to need a marathon surgery to reattach his arm, and Link asks Owen if he is up for it, so Owen assures him that he wants in. Teddy and Wright help the lady who fainted. She saw the accident happen and was horrified. She feels faint again as she explains what occurred.

Addison is back at Grey Sloan Memorial with Tovah, the patient she successfully transplanted a uterus in earlier this season. Tovah is eleven weeks pregnant with the last of her deceased husband’s sperm, but something seems to be wrong, which is why they returned to Seattle. Addison wants Mer’s help and asks her how much Hamilton offered her. Mer is surprised the offer is public knowledge and says she has pissed too many people off for entertaining the offer. Addison doesn’t miss a beat by saying it’s like she never left, since Mer is still annoying everyone.

Back in Bailey’s office, Catherine is now talking to just the chief of surgery. She wants Bailey to focus on keeping the surgical residents and save the program. Bailey thinks the best way to get the program back on track is to hire more attendings to ease the short staff struggles, but Catherine doesn’t want any outside surgeons hired until the residents commit to staying and giving good reviews to the accreditation board. Catherine wants Bailey to talk to all the residents that day while she watches, which Bailey is not thrilled about.

In the OR, Owen is excited for his first career arm reattachment surgery. Amelia shows up to help, and Link is excited to get started. Their patient starts to crash before they even begin, and Owen immediately starts CPR. He knows the hospital has a blood shortage, but they are going to need more blood if their patient is to survive. They get him back, but he’s too unstable to operate. The doctors are discouraged that they can’t save both the patient and his arm.

We then check in on Addison, who has Schmitt on her service. An ultrasound on Tovah shows diminished blood flow to her uterus. Addison and Schmitt realize that there must be a blood clot and assure Tovah that the baby is fine even though they need more scans. Schmitt picked a heck of a case for his first day back and isn’t thrilled when Addison asks him to page both Richard and Mer. Schmitt tries to tell her that they aren’t exactly on good terms, but Addison doesn’t care one bit if they are at odds or not.

IMPRESSIVE SAVES

Owen and Link’s patient is in the ICU on a ventilator. Teddy and Owen bring his coworker to see him, and Owen tells her about the complication and why he isn’t stable enough for the reattachment surgery. He also informs her that the arm won’t survive much longer and they will probably lose it. The woman feels the accident was her fault because she saw the conveyor belt not working properly the day before and didn’t say anything. After she goes into the room to see her friend, Teddy reminds a distraught Owen about the military veterans they have seen lose limbs and go on to live good lives. Owen doesn’t want to accept that it is over and decides to attempt to save the arm.

Mer arrives in the scan room where Addison and Richard are waiting for Tovah’s scans to process. Addison is worried about losing the fetus and the uterus and wants Mer and Richard to get along. It’s clear Richard has no intention of playing nice with Mer, as he still feels betrayed. The three doctors start brainstorming ideas to save Tovah’s baby and uterus. When things get a little snippy, Addison says she needs both of them to help and act like adults because she won’t let her patient burn with the hospital.

In another part of the hospital, Bailey sneaks up on Jo and scares the younger doctor. Bailey has come up with a plan to save the surgical residency program and it hinges on Jo. She explains to Jo that she is desperate and in need while reminding the resident how good the hospital has been to her when she too was in need. Bailey tells Jo she needs her to be a surgical attending again and wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t urgent. Jo doesn’t want to throw her OB residency down the drain, so Bailey assures her that she can return to OB when things get better and the program is back on track. Bailey doesn’t want to beg, but she isn’t above strong-arming Jo into doing what she wants. The conversation ends with Jo unsure of what just happened or what to do.

In a patient room, Maggie and Winston try the first heart patch sample on one of their patients. As they explain the benefits of the medical device, the patient states that he doesn’t believe in it. The patch immediately glitches and shows that the patient is dead when he is very much alive. Winston removes the patch and places it on his own arm, yet the software thinks he is dead too. 

In an OR, Owen has created a new circulatory system to save his patient’s arm. Link and Amelia are incredibly impressed, and Teddy arrives when they leave. Teddy sees what Owen is working on and reminds him that he is doing a military procedure that hasn’t been approved for civilian use. She doesn’t want the army to have attention on them given Owen’s recent extracurricular activities. Teddy also apologizes for the way she handled things with Leo. She wants to create a plan to help him, but Owen only wants to focus on their patient for now.

WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?

Addison, Richard, Mer, and Schmitt scrub in together to operate on Tovah, and Richard starts reminiscing about his former students. Mer tries to stop him immediately because she doesn’t want to hear his loyalty speech, so he decides to talk romantically about Addison’s residency instead. Seems like he will do anything to annoy Mer. We then see Winston and Maggie testing another patch in an on-call room. Winston isn’t surprised the patches don’t work, but Maggie is more optimistic than him. The second patch works immediately, so Maggie decides to increase Winston’s heart rate to see if the technology will work. He starts kissing her neck, and the software shows that he is flatlining. Instead of trying another patch, they decide to have sex. 

Link finds Jo in a lounge and apologizes for his earlier behavior. Jo tells him about Bailey wanting her to save the program. She doesn’t know what to do and wants to have dinner with Link to talk it over. She knows Todd doesn’t know how to talk about medical stuff, so Jo decides to ask Link to join her and Todd at Joe’s Bar after work. Link agrees to third wheel their date night, and it’s pretty big of him to want to be in that awkward situation.

Maggie and Winston leave the on-call room and want to find Wendell to tell him the patches don’t work. Lucky for them, Wendell is walking down the hall and comes over to ask for a review on his product. Winston flat out tells his brother that it didn’t work. Wendell thinks he must have given them the beta discontinued model and will give them the FDA approved consumer model next. Maggie says they can try the other model and gets Winston to agree too.

Back in the OR, the dream team is implanting a stent in Tovah’s vein to free the blood clot. Mer wants to know why doctors have to owe the hospital that they did their residency in. She feels the hospital broke from COVID-19 and wants to move on. Addison counters that the hospital broke without Meredith, especially since she is Grey Sloan Memorial’s mascot. She continues to say that Mer was never just Richard’s student, which is why he is so upset at her betrayal. Before they can discuss the topic any further, a complication arises when the vessel over clots. Addison thinks they will have to remove the uterus and fetus, but Mer thinks they can try something else first. They decided to switch to an open surgery to try to save Tovah’s pregnancy.

MAKE IT OR BREAK IT

Bailey and Catherine are back in the former’s office, and Bailey lovingly looks at photos of Pru on her phone. Wright comes into the office, and Catherine tells him she has heard good things about him. Bailey asks him why he draws before surgery, and Wright explains that drawing tells him that the body is worth his time and taking a closer look at. He feels the body is a work of art. Bailey gives Wright a stack of papers and asks him to sign forms that will transfer him back to his original residency in Minnesota. She states that they haven’t filled his spot, but Wright doesn’t understand why Bailey wants him to leave. Catherine is incredibly mad, so Bailey explains that Wright is one of the best residents, which is why he needs to leave. She knows she might fail to save the surgical residency program and doesn’t want to orphan the residents. She wants to protect his future and begs Wright to go back to Minnesota before it is too late. She quips that he can even learn from Mer there to lighten the heartbreaking moment.

Back in Tovah’s surgery, the entire team is working well together with no ribbing. Schmitt is even handling himself well, and Mer and Richard are back in sync for the time being. The surgeons remove part of Tovah’s vein, remove the blood clot, and then reattach it. The blood flow immediately looks good and there are no leaks. However, there isn’t a fetal heartbeat and the hard work was in vain because it was too late to save the baby. Addison is understandably incredibly upset, and Mer tries to comfort her.

Winston goes with Wendell to his brother’s car to look at the other patches. When they get there, Wendell admits that there isn’t another model. He got a loan and bought the patches after seeing a presentation about them online. He didn’t know they didn’t work and thought he could make a lot of money off them. Winston is mad that Wendell lied to him and knew he shouldn’t have trusted him. Wendell continues to say that he is out $10,000 and put all his money into the patches. He will need Winston’s help to pay back the loan, but Winston doesn’t seem to want anything to do with his brother after the lies are revealed.

Back in the arm’s OR, Owen’s procedure worked, and the arm is alive and well. Teddy is still with him, so Owen tells her that he thought this might happen with Leo for a while and will listen to what Leo wants. Teddy thought Leo was just playing dress up. Owen feels they should follow Leo’s lead, even though Teddy isn’t completely on board yet.

Down the hall, Catherine busts into the scrub room after Tovah’s surgery and starts yelling at Mer about her leaving. Apparently, Catherine wasn’t aware of Mer’s decision until Bailey told Wright he can learn from Mer in Minnesota. Considering how upset Richard is at Mer, it’s incredibly surprising he didn’t mention it to Catherine. Mer doesn’t want to have a screaming match now and would rather talk about it another time. Addison asks them to stop because a woman just fought and lost a pregnancy and they need to take a moment to honor her. She storms out, and her emotional plea does the trick. Elsewhere, Owen’s patient’s wife has arrived at the hospital. He tells her that they will be able to do the reattachment surgery in the morning, so at least this episode has one happy ending.

Next, Addison tells Tovah about the baby and apologizes after her patient wakes up. Tovah cries while Addison assures her they will try again as soon as they can. Schmitt chimes in and takes charge by telling Tovah that when his grandfather died, he learned the Kaddish prayer from a rabbi. It helped him with his loss, so he pulls a chair up next to the hospital bed and sits and says the prayer in Yiddish. Schmitt holds Tovah’s hand while she cries, while Addison watches from outside the room. 

Richard walks up, and Addison tells him that she feels like she failed Tovah. Richard asks why she doesn’t remember her residency fondly, so she truthfully states she only remembers the bad parts. Addison knows she couldn’t complain about anything because she would lose her spot. She acknowledges that that used to be the culture. Addison tells Richard that he is trying to save an old version of a broken program and that he needs to find a new way to train surgeons. She urges him to try again. 

Later that evening, Todd, Jo, and Link have dinner together at Joe’s Bar. They discuss Jo’s options, and Todd thinks about it in science terms. He thinks she should consider doing both by moonlighting as a general surgeon even though it would be more work. It would give her the best of both worlds and still make Bailey happy, and Link agrees that she should go for it. Jo isn’t sure since she has a tiny human at home, so Link kindly offers to help with Luna. Todd offers too, and then rescinds his offer when he realizes he knows nothing about babies. Link is clearly uncomfortable as the third wheel, and it will be interesting to see if this becomes a full blown love triangle or not.

We then see Owen sitting outside the hospital on a bench at night. Teddy walks out and sits down next to him. She wants Leo to be happy and doesn’t want to mess parenting up given that there are a million ways to get it wrong. She doesn’t think either of them knows how to handle it and doesn’t feel going all in right away seems right. Owen reminds her to simply love Leo and listen. He understands it is complicated and thinks they should get a therapist for themselves, so she agrees to therapy to help them process everything.

Back inside Grey Sloan Memorial, Nico and Schmitt find themselves in the same elevator once again. Schmitt tells his ex that he was in pain and knows what he did, but he did continue to show up when Nico was in pain. Nico says that is the difference between them and walks out on the next floor without another word. It’s clear Nico is still hurting from Schmitt unceremoniously dumping him, and he has every right to not want to make it right at this moment.

In Bailey’s office, Catherine comments that she has arranged for a phone call with a consultant to help come up with a better plan to save the residency program. Bailey has had enough and decides to take an impromptu vacation to spend time with her kids because they need her. Catherine counters that the hospital needs her more, but Bailey is done being the superhero. She thinks she can leave if Mer is allowed to leave. Bailey tells Catherine that she respects her and wants her to hear her when she says she isn’t quitting or taking a leave. She just wants to take a vacation day or two because she isn’t any good to the hospital in her current burnt out state of mind. Round of applause for Bailey for finally taking care of herself!

Mer gets home after a long day to find Nick waiting for her. She wasn’t expecting him, and he came prepared with a speech. Nick asks Mer to stay in Seattle because he doesn’t want her to resent him for her leaving Seattle when Grey Sloan Memorial is in a bad state. He also needs the kids to get used to him before they all live in Minnesota. He has decided to take a few months of vacation time and move to Seattle, where he will get his own place and will temporarily work at the hospital. Nick’s offer is incredibly nice and well thought out, yet Mer is very upset with him. She feels she has the right to leave because she did everything that was expected of her. She doesn’t understand why, if she wants to leave, she is considered disloyal when everyone else from her residency class left. Mer feels it is her decision, has made up her mind, and thinks Nick’s speech is patronizing. Nick explains that he wasn’t suggesting they stay in Seattle forever, rather long enough to save Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program. Then, they can go wherever they want. Mer is still a bit upset, so Nick tells her that her angry side is slightly scary. In the end, Mer agrees to stay, but just for a little while. Here’s to hoping this new life in Seattle with Nick will be the push she needs to never leave!