Friday, October 21, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 19x03 Recap: “Let’s Talk About Sex” (The Prodigal Daughter Returns Again) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Let’s Talk About Sex”
Original Airdate: October 20, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy is known for its social commentary and not backing away from the issues. And in this hour, the overturning of Roe v. Wade takes center stage. We should expect the show to continue to address topics like these throughout the season, just as it has done so many times in the past. And hopefully viewers enjoy the lighter-hearted take on sex education in this episode to balance out the heavier themes. 


The episode begins early in the morning with the doctors arriving at Grey Sloan Memorial. Luke skateboards to work as Simone walks and talks to her grandmother on the phone. Amelia is FaceTiming with Kai as she approaches the hospital. The on-and-off-again couple are still together and are trying to find time in their busy schedules to see each other. Kai turns up right behind Amelia, leaving the latter thrilled with the surprise visit. Zola has come to work with Meredith because she had a panic attack. Mer makes a comment about how Zola has missed a few days of school for the same reason. Zola wants to watch Mer’s bowel resection, but Mer sends her daughter to her office to work on her homework. Mer then catches up with Nick and Maggie, and the three doctors are excited to see Bailey come walking down the hall. She is there for the day to help Jo with a special project. Nick has given them the surgical interns for the day, and their new assignment is not one they would have picked.

In the interns’ locker room, Schmitt is still doing his best Season 1 Bailey impression and being harsh to the interns. He wants them to sign release forms, but won’t field questions on why. Bailey walks in with Jo and tells the interns to follow. She gives a passionate speech as the group walks about how the female body is now a warzone in this country due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Bailey has been working with Jo to create a sex education program for teens, and they are enlisting the interns to help create sex ed. videos that they hope will go viral on social media to spread the word about safe sex. Naturally, none of the interns want to help and are less than thrilled about the day’s work.

When the group gets to their presentation room headquarters, they find out that they will also be working with the one and only Addison Montgomery for the day. It’s always a pleasure to have Kate Walsh come back, and it really is time for her to come back to Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular. In typical Addison fashion, her first line to the interns is, “Don’t look so miserable. You are getting paid to talk about sex today!” Richard is in the room to help, but he too appears to not want to be there. Bailey is grateful that Addison came to help, and Addison is more than happy to lend a hand because she also can’t stand what is happening. She talks about the many 18-year-old women that have come to her office asking to have their tubes tied because they don’t want to risk having an unwanted pregnancy at college in a state that doesn’t allow abortions anymore. 

Jo comes over to reintroduce herself to Addison and reminds her that they met during grand rounds last season. Addison tells Jo that she has heard great things about her, which makes the younger doctor’s day. Then, Addison spots Luke across the room and goes up to talk to him. Luke looks like a deer caught in headlights as his aunt (yes, there is a comment that Luke still considers Addison his aunt) comes up to him and Simone. He tries to quickly interrupt her before she can give away his identity and plays off their interaction as if they are meeting for the first time. Addison is visibly confused at Luke’s behavior, and Simone catches on even though she is super thrilled to meet the legendary Addison.

Over in the ER, Teddy is complaining to Owen that they have no interns to help them. It’s worth mentioning that Owen and Teddy are still bickering a lot. Right on cue, Luke walks up to Teddy and asks her if he can help out in the pit and will do whatever is needed. Teddy’s anger only slightly wanes as she gains a helper. Luke is happy to get away from Addison, but it really is only a matter of time before everyone will know his true identity. 

Back in the presentation room, Bailey and Jo give the interns pre-written scripts for the videos they want to film. Richard decides he doesn’t want to take part in the videos and leaves. Blue tries to bail too, but Bailey puts a stop to the interns complaining by saying that this is their assignment and they have to do it. Addison reminds the group that young people across the country are attempting their own unsafe abortions since, in some places, they can’t get help medically. She wants to save lives with the videos and specifically help teenagers get safe sex education. This gets the interns attention, and they begrudgingly agree to help out. However, they are less than thrilled when Bailey brings in about 100 teens from Tuck’s high school, that way the interns have an audience to teach. It’s quite a funny moment to see the looks on the young doctors’ faces. 


Schmitt is working in the pit and is approached by Simone’s grandma, who asks if he has seen her daughter, Denise. Her dementia has taken over, and she thinks Denise is at the hospital and is in labor. Schmitt summons Luke to help her find her daughter, but neither of them know that they are talking to Simone’s grandma, or that Denise died giving birth to Simone. In another hall, Winston finds Nick to ask if he gave up the surgical interns for the day. Winston isn’t happy that he has to do rounds for his and Maggie’s patients since there aren’t any interns to help out. Nick tells Winston what the interns are working on, and Winston understands the importance of the project and agrees to start his rounds. Nick walks away and finds Zola meandering around the hospital. She admits that she wants to find a gallery to watch a surgery and doesn’t want to do her boring history homework. Nick tells her they can go see something cool and leads her to the skills lab.

Back in the presentation room, the teenagers are bored by the droll speeches the interns are giving. They are so bad at public speaking; even Jo and Bailey know it’s going terribly. The look on Bailey’s face is hilarious, especially as Blue struggles to say more than a few words of his speech. Addison leaves the room to take a phone call in a nearby stairwell. One of the teens, Lucia, also leaves the presentation and finds her way to the same stairwell. Addison sees Lucia in tears and asks the girl if she is okay. Lucia answers that her period is late, and she is scared that she is pregnant. Addison says that she can take her for a blood test and won’t tell her parents. Lucia agrees, so Addison walks her out.

Nick and Zola go to the skills lab, where Zola gets to play around with laparoscopic surgery tools. Zola is a natural and aces using the instruments on her first try. Nick is beyond impressed to say the least. Zola asks him if he always knew he wanted to be a doctor. Nick replies that he wanted to be many things before being a doctor, including the Flash, a professional baseball player, a science teacher, and an astronaut. He decided to be a doctor after his mother died.

Bailey rounds up the interns and asks them where their passion is. She tells them they need to put more effort and emotion into the videos and not simply read the facts. Mika blurts out that the facts are boring, so it’s not their fault that they aren’t inspiring their students. One student, a girl named Diamond, starts to have a medical emergency, so Jo and Bailey call for a gurney to help her out.

Over in the skills lab, Zola is playing a video game-like program. Kai walks in and asks to use a table to do some data analysis while Amelia is working. They tell Nick that the next phase of the Parkinson’s trial is going to start soon, which Nick is happy about. Kai asks how Nick is doing with his new position, and Nick says he really likes his new job and thinks he is doing well with it. Kai then spots Zola completing a cognitive puzzle and notices that she finished it much faster than adults typically do, which intrigues both doctors.

Elsewhere, Luke walks Simone’s grandma to the maternity ward. He looks up Denise’s name and finds her file in the hospital system. He quickly learns Simone’s connection to the hospital and is sobered by what he reads. Over in the imaging suite, Bailey and Jo wait for MRI results for Diamond. They discover that she has a large cyst in her abdomen and ovarian torsion, which will require immediate surgery. Jo is worried because she has never done this type of surgery on her own and Carina is busy in another surgery. Bailey tells Jo to find Addison to help out in the surgery and to get her privileges. Jo reminds Bailey that she needs privileges also to operate since she isn’t currently working at Grey Sloan Memorial.


While attempting to record yet another take of her video, Simone gets a page to go to the pit. She is more than happy to leave Blue, Jules, and Mika with the students. The three remaining interns huddle up to discuss the assignment. Blue only wants to operate and has no interest in helping the teens, and Jules decides to switch it up and give it one last try. She goes off-script by giving the teens sex advice. This immediately garners the audience’s attention, and the interns begin to care more too. The students are finally learning and even have questions for the eager interns to answer.

Elsewhere, Addison finds Schmitt, who begs her to let him out of teaching the sex education class. Instead, Addison asks for his help with Lucia’s pregnancy test because she needs to go to Diamond’s surgery. We then see Bailey and Richard walking through the halls as the former asks the latter for privileges to join Jo and Addison’s surgery. Richard ribs Bailey a bit before granting the privileges, and it’s fun to see these two get right back into their familiar dynamic.

Simone arrives at the ER waiting room and is surprised to find her grandma and Luke waiting for her. Her grandma thinks that she is Denise and asks to go home. Simone tries to remind her grandma that Denise is dead and that she is her granddaughter. Unfortunately, Simone’s grandma doesn’t understand and starts to panic because she only wants her daughter. Mer walks over at the perfect time and asks Simone’s grandma how she can help while taking her hand and telling her to take a few deep breaths. Simone’s grandma asks Mer to help her find her daughter, and Mer calmly replies that she would love to help her. Simone starts to cry at the overwhelming situation unfolding in front of her.

Back in the skills lab, Nick and Kai paged Maggie and Amelia to show them Zola completing cognitive puzzles at incredible rates. The aunts are shocked, as they too have never seen anyone finish the puzzles that fast. Nick asks them what they should do next and whether Zola should skip high school and go straight to college. All four adults are highly impressed at Zola’s newfound aptitude to say the least.

The episode then turns back into being a comedy when Jules finds Link in the pit and asks him to help out with the sex ed class for half an hour. Link is alarmed by Jules’ request, quips that he doesn’t want to lose his job, and tells her to find a couple to help out. As he walks away, Jules spots Winston. She asks him if he and Maggie can demonstrate sexual consent to a room full of teens. Without even thinking, Winston says no and walks away. The scene cuts back to the presentation room, where Teddy and Owen are talking to the group about consensual sex. It’s hilarious that the only couple willing to help is the one that currently can’t stand each other. It gets even funnier when Teddy starts describing the 11 erogenous zones, most of which even Owen didn’t know. She has a captive audience in her husband, the interns, and the teens. 


In the OR, Jo, Addison, and Bailey operate on Diamond. Addison mentions that everything has felt like a worst case scenario since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Jo adds that she switched specialties to OB to find joy and is now seeing teenagers die while attempting unsafe abortions. The discussion is cut short when Diamond starts excessively bleeding and crashes.

Schmitt goes to tell Lucia that she is in fact pregnant. Lucia freaks out because she only had sex one time and didn’t think she would get pregnant from her first time. Schmitt asks if she would like to keep the fetus, and Lucia doesn’t hesitate to say no. She doesn’t want her life to end as she starts her senior year of high school and thinks her parents will be furious when they find out. Schmitt tells her that her parents don’t have to know because as long as the fetus is under three weeks, they can medically abort with pills. Lucia agrees, so he goes to get an ultrasound machine to find out how far along Lucia is. 

Mer finds Simone sitting on a bench outside the hospital and tells the intern that her grandma has calmed down. Mer asks how long she has had dementia, and Simone replies that it has been two years, but her grandma has gotten significantly worse over the last six months. Mer tells Simone about her mom’s Alzheimer’s and recalls how she would act. Simone confides in Mer about her mom’s death and how she doesn’t think she can watch her grandma deteriorate further. She states that she put every effort into matching with a residency program across the country, and now she’s still in Seattle. Simone loves her grandma and knows she is the reason that she has made it this far in life, but Simone doesn’t know how to handle the current situation. Mer tells her not to keep telling her grandma that Denise is dead in order to make things easier for everyone. Simone asks if she can stay outside a little longer, which Mer agrees to. Mer also tells Simone that she really does feel her pain and that her door is always open if she needs someone to talk to. It is a nice moment between the two generations of surgeons, and it would be interesting to see that relationship develop, since I think Simone will be the strongest resident in her class.

Mer goes back inside and is paged to the skills lab, where she finds Kai, Maggie, and Nick watching Zola and Amelia from outside the room. They tell Mer that Zola aced every test much faster than adults, but Mer is mad that they are testing Zola without her consent. Mer already knew that Zola is smart and also wants to know why her daughter isn’t in her office completing her homework. Nick admits that the tests were an accident, and Maggie calmly says that Zola’s panic attacks can be explained by being gifted. Maggie knows firsthand that being gifted can contribute to mental health problems because she too didn’t think the same way as other kids and standing out that much was difficult to deal with. The group thinks that Zola needs to be around other kids who think the way she does, but Mer doesn’t want to hear it.

At the presentation hall, Bailey and Jo have come back after their surgery to find Jules still going way off-script. They are stunned at the response the new material is getting from the students. Jo knows that the videos will definitely go viral now and sees several students filming the interns. Jules says that they need to add dancing and music to the videos to have a further reach on social media.

In a quiet part of the hospital, Luke plays a round of cards with Simone’s grandma. She asks Luke where he is from, and he replies that he is from Connecticut but his dad is from Barbados. Simone walks in, and her grandma immediately thinks she is Denise again. Simone decides to pretend she is Denise, which keeps her grandma calm. Luke gets paged away, so Simone takes his place and plays cards with her grandma.

We then get to check in on the two patients of the episode. Jo and Bailey tell Diamond’s mom that the surgery was successful, but there were complications. The mom thinks it’s her fault for not seeing the signs of a problem, but Bailey assures her that she isn’t to blame for knowing that Diamond had an underlying problem. Addison and Schmitt give Lucia pills to medically abort her pregnancy. They explain the process and what will happen. Lucia is a bit nervous, so Addison gives the girl her personal phone number in case she needs to call if something is wrong.


The episode starts to wrap up with a montage of the interns and attendings recording hilarious dance videos to incorporate into the sex ed videos. It’s a highly entertaining minute or two, and it’s even better when they show Bailey and Richard watching it back in a conference room. Richard doesn’t get it, so Bailey explains that they have to speak the younger generations’ language to get the point across. He asks when he will see her again, and Bailey asks, “How does tomorrow sound?” She has decided that she doesn’t want to sit idly by while everything is crashing down and instead would like to reopen the clinic and center it around reproductive health. Bailey proposes that she will run the clinic for 20 hours a week and the rest of the time she will be an attending to teach and cut. Then she will have plenty of time to go home and be with her family without a massive amount of stress. Richard accepts her terms and welcomes her back to Grey Sloan Memorial.

Simone finds Luke treating a patient in the pit and thanks him for staying with her grandma. She also asks him to not tell anyone because she doesn’t want anyone’s pity. Simone then reveals that she knows Luke is a Shepherd. Luke is beyond surprised, so Simone explains that she knew the interaction he had with Addison was weird, which made her look him up. She hasn’t told anyone and is willing to keep his secret as long as he keeps hers. They agree, and it’s clear that Simone and Luke would make a good pair down the line.

Amelia finds Maggie doing a cognitive puzzle in the skills lab. Maggie discusses having to do the puzzles all the time as a kid and how she too had panic attacks caused by not being like everyone else. Amelia thinks that Maggie is reliving her childhood memories after seeing Zola, but Maggie says that she isn’t reliving it and is instead not sure how she completely missed that Zola is like her. Amelia assures Maggie that they will all make sure Zola gets the tools she needs to help her.

It’s the end of the day, and Richard invites Addison over for dinner as they walk out. Addison feels she should keep working, but Richard doesn’t want to see his friend run herself ragged. She is so upset with the world and feels erased due to her profession. Richard understands and explains that even if she spends every day fighting the good fight, she still needs to live and can come over to spend time with old friends. Addison accepts the invite, and it would have been nice to actually see the get together. 

Mer, Nick, and Zola leave together, and Nick wants to know how long Mer will be mad at him. Mer isn’t sure and feels lost with Zola. She is mad that everyone she loves went behind her back and broke her rules. Nick knows that Zola is a special kid, which makes Mer flash a smile at him. Nick cheekily says that he knew Mer couldn’t stay mad at him for long. 

We are then treated to some racy old school Grey’s Anatomy content. Owen gets home and finds Teddy on her laptop in their bed. He kisses her hard and they start having sex. Amelia and Kai are at what appears to be a hotel room. They make out and eventually sleep together. Link and Jo are at home hanging out on the couch together. Link gives Jo a foot massage, which leads Jo to say she learned about erogenous zones. He asks if he should stop, and Jo says, “It’s just a foot rub, right?” Link keeps going, but the sexual undertones are very strong. These two will be hooking up again soon.

Back at the hospital, Luke and Simone are working on tying knots together, while Blue and Jules look at each other with lingering stares in the locker room. They walk out together and go straight to an on-call room. Jules locks the door, and they immediately start making out. Jules tells Blue that this is a one-time thing and they agree that there will be no feelings involved. She says that she doesn’t even like him, and Blue quips that he isn’t for everyone. We get glimpses of the Owen and Teddy, Amelia and Kai, and Jules and Blue having sex, while Luke and Simone and Jo and Link give each other looks. 

The episode satisfyingly ends with Mer, Nick, and Zola arriving at Mer’s house. Mer sends Zola inside, closes the door, and passionately makes out with Nick on the porch. The show hasn’t gotten this steamy in a while, so it will be interesting to see if they keep this tone throughout the season or not. 


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