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.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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.


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