Thursday, March 30, 2023

Grey’s Anatomy 19x11 Recap: “Training Day” (Part One: The Horrible Truth of Reality) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Training Day”
Original Airdate: March 23, 2023

One of the most divisive topics takes center stage again this week on Grey’s Anatomy. Addison checks back in for the first day of a new fellowship program plagued by a group of hostile protestors outside of Grey Sloan Memorial. Nick finally returns as well and has a lung transplant on his plate that quickly gets derailed when the living donor gets into a car accident and suffers blunt chest trauma on his way to the hospital. This powerful, eye-opening first of a two-part storyline showcasing the current horrors of the real world is truly well done in every way and packs quite the shocking gut punch at the end.


The episode begins with Bailey chasing Pru around her house in the morning when the little girl doesn’t want to brush her teeth. Bailey complains that she has a big day ahead of her and starts singing to get Pru to cooperate. We then see Simone and Mika start their day at the intern house. Simone gets out of bed when Trey FaceTimes her to talk about wedding plans. He has been looking for wedding venues in the Baltimore area and found a great one that is typically sold out. They have an opening for the beginning of June, but they would have to book in the next few days. Simone walks into the bathroom to brush her teeth while Mika takes a shower after running. Apparently the girls are that close now. Mika complains that there isn’t any hot water.

Owen, Teddy, and their kids are walking into the hospital via the ambulance bay ER entrance when an ambulance pulls up and stops them in their tracks. Teddy says she will take the kids inside and let Owen go save a life unsupervised. Owen jumps right in, and it appears that the couple is finally in a better place based on the nice way they are communicating. Inside, we catch up with all the interns in their locker room, where Lucas has just finished taking a hot shower. Blue and Mika bombard him with insults about not paying the gas bill and having to spend more time at the hospital to shower since they don’t have hot water at home. Jules watches with a smirk on her face as Lucas apologizes.

Teddy finds Bailey outside on a balcony, and Bailey says she made her another pie, which is in the lounge. Bailey knows the hospital budget can be difficult, so she really appreciates the support for the clinic. She asks if Teddy saw the article circulating online about Addison and the PRT. Teddy alerts Bailey that people are trolling the article. Addison arrives looking very exhausted and overrun. She is still herself and cracks a joke about selling the PRT in Illinois because she was low on cash. The shocked look on Bailey’s face is priceless. She flew to Seattle and hid the PRT until the bad press slows down. They go inside and are joined by Carina and Jo to help welcome a class of OBGYN fellows from states that have banned abortions. They are there for a clinical rotation to learn about abortion care. Addison tells them she has been to some of the states they are from and has seen the desperation and heartache of women there and has even seen lives lost due to abortion restrictions. The fellows are excited to begin, while Mika and Blue watch from the other side of the room and discuss wanting to join to work with Addison.

Elsewhere, Lucas is presenting a patient named Jessica to Nick and Maggie. Jessica has pulmonary fibrosis and is having a single lung transplant from a direct donor, who happens to be her boyfriend. Yes, Nick is finally back after a three-episode reprieve, yet they never mention why he hasn’t appeared the last few weeks. Jessica tells the doctors her boyfriend offered to donate his lung to her, but her mom doesn’t think it is a good idea. Maggie tells Lucas to alert her when the donor finally arrives.

Down in the ER, Owen asks the nurses why the way the department is run has changed. Winston walks up and admits he changed some things while he was running the ER. Owen tells everyone that he wants to return to his old triage protocols and filing systems immediately. One of the nurses tells Owen that Winston bought them all lunch every Friday and asks if that will still occur. Owen says he is not opposed to Winston continuing to buy them lunch and walks away to help patients. 

In the clinic, security officer Marcus tells Bailey that there are protestors blocking the entrance to the hospital. Bailey brushes it off since they typically get a few peaceful protestors a day, but Marcus takes her outside to show a troubling scene of a non-peaceful mob screaming at the hospital while hoisting harshly-worded signs in the air. The day just went from decent to horror show without any of the doctors realizing it yet.


Owen and Jules are on their way to the ambulance bay to meet a patient coming in with blunt force trauma. He asks if she paged Winston, and Jules states she didn’t know she should page him now that Owen is in charge. Owen instructs her to call the attending due to the type of injury, so Jules complies. Owen meets the ambulance, and the EMT tells him the patient is 24-year-old Ryan, who has sustained multiple rib fractures from a car accident.

Blue and Mika have decided to stick around the clinic and help out there for the day. They go to help their first patient with a medical abortion and find two women playing cards on a hospital bed. The interns think the one woman, who is clearly very pregnant, is the one asking for the abortion, and they ask her how many weeks pregnant she is. The woman, Andrea, answers that she is 34 weeks pregnant, so Blue says they can only do a medical abortion in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Mika says they can’t do a surgical abortion at this point either. The friend chimes in that the abortion is actually for her, which relieves the interns. She is six weeks pregnant and wants to abort. Mika and Blue say they will do an exam and then give her medication. The friends ask if the protests are going to happen all day, as they can eerily hear it in the background. Little do they know the shouting is the least of their concerns.

Bailey and Addison call Teddy, and the former complains that it took eight calls before the chief of surgery picked up. Teddy apologizes and says Richard is helping her with budget stuff, and we see them in her office on the call together. Addison tells Teddy and Richard that she knows the protestors are there for her. Bailey says security wants to close the clinic for the day and that there are at least 100 protestors. They want to know what they should do, which is the purpose of the call. Teddy thinks for a minute before deciding the clinic should stay open and security should call for backup. 

Maggie finds Nick in an imaging suite and isn’t happy to learn Lucas hasn’t uploaded Jessica’s pre-op scans yet. She asks how he is, and Nick replies he has been good but busy. He has been picking up organs all over the country this week, which he is obviously doing to keep his mind off the Meredith moving away situation. Maggie asks if he has plans to travel to Boston. Nick wants to go to Boston and says he gets a text once a week from Mer about how she is getting lost in the city’s streets. Maggie knows Mer is overwhelmed and admits she is only getting updates from Zola. Nick blurts out that he told Mer he loved her and she pretended she didn’t hear him. Maggie assures Nick that Mer is complicated and that he makes her happy, so he shouldn’t give up on her. Lucas comes in to announce he just uploaded Jessica’s scans and apologizes for getting distracted by house things. Maggie chastises him and says he can’t get distracted if he wants in on the surgery.

Back in the ER, Winston, Owen, Simone, and Jules are treating Ryan. Winston has found displaced rib fractures and a hemothorax. Simone goes to log Ryan into the hospital’s system and finds out he was on the schedule for a lung transplant today. It turns out Ryan is Jessica’s donor! Ryan starts to crash, and the attendings announce they need to intubate and get him straight to the OR. Winston makes a pit stop in Jessica’s room before going to the OR to tell the patient the bad news about Ryan. Maggie and Nick are there too, and Jessica cries as Winston tells her Ryan’s lungs were damaged. Jessica tells them he goes by RJ and starts coughing when she can’t catch her breath. Maggie and Nick say RJ can’t give his lung to her that day and might not possibly ever be able to donate now. Jessica is only worried about RJ and not herself. She asks them to do whatever it takes to save him, while her mom doesn’t care at all about RJ and only wants to know how fast he was driving.


We get a montage of Carina, Addison, and Bailey teaching the fellows about abortions followed by Mika giving her patient the medication for an abortion with Jo supervising. Jo tells the patient she can take time to think about it when she hesitates, but she just doesn’t like pills. She is sure that she isn’t ready for a kid yet and justifies the decision to herself by saying she can’t be a mother, but she can be a great aunt to Andrea’s baby. The patient takes the pills and is happy with her decision.

Lucas is on the phone at a nurse’s station still trying to pay the gas bill. Maggie finds him, and he quickly hangs up. She wants him to come up with a plan to help Jessica since she isn’t getting a transplant that day. Maggie states Jessica will remain on the UNOS list, and they need to send her pre-op scans and labs to them to confirm her status hasn’t changed. Amelia happens to witness the conversation and comes over to see if he is okay. Lucas explains he is overwhelmed and needs the passcode for the gas company. Amelia tells him Mer and Maggie were in charge of utilities, so he will have to ask Maggie. Lucas doesn’t want to since she is already annoyed with him and asks his aunt to ask Maggie for him. Amelia tells him no because she doesn’t want to get involved.

While Jules and Simone are scrubbing in for RJ’s surgery, the latter complains about her living situation. Jules offers to have Simone stay at her place whenever she wants, which is the first time we are hearing that Jules is not living in the intern house. Jules quips that Simone would like her roommate because she wouldn’t want to sleep with her. Simone wants to know how Jules knows about her and Lucas and admits they kissed twice. Jules says she was guessing and didn’t know until Simone confirmed it. She makes a great comment: “The kiss was that good, huh?” which gets under Simone’s skin.

Back in the clinic, Jo gives Bailey a status update on the patients. Addison then tells her that the fellows are doing great. Bailey talks about how they had 100 applicants and that one even said on the application that it would be great to be trained by Addison. She suggests they could do the program once a month if Addison wants to come back, but Bailey knows it must be hard. She knows visiting her family is a priority, but she would love to have Addison back whenever she can come. They are interrupted by a brick crashing through the window and hitting Blue in the head. It knocks him to the ground, and the stunned doctor is left with a bleeding head wound. Once they have the situation slightly under control, Teddy calls Bailey and says no one is to leave the clinic before she can come up with a strategy to safely evacuate. Richard can’t believe what is happening and asks if Blue is okay. Teddy asks what the protocol is for this type of situation, and Richard admits there isn’t one because the manual was written before Roe v. Wade was overturned and violent protests were breaking out around the country. Teddy decides to take immediate action to make sure no more bricks are thrown at the hospital or her doctors.

We then see Mika perform a neuro exam on Blue in the clinic. He must be fine because he is telling Mika that she is doing the tests wrong. He just wants a steristrip so he can get back to work. One of the female fellows comes over and apologizes for the situation. She posted a photo of herself on social media that morning with a description about the fellowship program. She thought Seattle would be a safe place because people believed in reproductive rights there. She wants to resign, but Mika gives her an impassioned speech about not letting them win by having one less doctor to help women. 

In the OR, Winston, Owen, Jules, and Simone receive messages that everyone is to stay away from the clinic due to the violent protest. Winston is working to preserve RJ’s lung tissue so he can donate to Jessica at some point. Owen doesn’t think that should be the focus, but Winston wants to try a risky procedure that involves clamping off the lung to fix it. Owen urges the doctors to work quickly if they want to be successful.

Over in the clinic, Jo alerts Bailey that the patients are getting restless and that she found a trainee crying in the bathroom. Bailey calls a team meeting for all the doctors to try and settle their fears. She gives a great, classic Bailey speech that starts with why she named the clinic after her mother. She tells a story about going to the grocery store with her mom at age seven and getting stuck in line behind a young woman with a fussy baby. The woman didn’t have enough money to pay for her groceries, so Bailey’s mom paid for hers. Young Bailey asked if she knew the woman, and her mom replied that she knew her enough to know she was struggling and when we can help someone who is going through a tough time, we should. Bailey says they are all currently struggling as doctors and women’s rights advocates. They need to help one another and lift each other up because that’s how they will get through this tough time. Bailey asks Addison if she has any advice for the group since she has been on the front lines, but they are interrupted by Andrea’s friend alerting them that Andrea’s water broke. Addison quickly walks away and into a storage closet and closes the door behind her.


Nick finds Lucas and asks if he did Jessica’s discharge papers yet. Lucas completely forgot and admits as much. Nick says it is okay, and Lucas goes on a rant about not knowing what he is doing at Grey Sloan Memorial now that Mer is gone. He knows he keeps screwing up with patients, paperwork, and not paying the gas bill. It has left him wondering if he is only in the program because of his aunt and not that he deserves to be. Nick gives some great advice in saying that the things you worry about are almost never the things that go wrong. He knows Mer didn’t accept Lucas into the program out of sentimentality because she is too good for that and Lucas is too.

Bailey finds Addison crying in the clinic’s supply closet. She tells her friend about a woman who stands outside the clinic every Tuesday with a sign that says, “Please don’t do this.” The woman doesn’t yell and the sign is polite, even though it still hurts the doctors to see it. Addison rebuffs that she had to buy a bulletproof vest to protect herself. A friend also recommended getting a gun or a bodyguard because many doctors are getting attacked on the way to work. She reveals that her husband and son have to stay at his sister’s house because their house was vandalized after protestors found and leaked her personal information online. Addison says she wouldn’t do anything differently if she had the chance to and knows she can’t quit because there are patients who need the care she can provide. She feels like she is putting her family and the clinic in danger and doesn’t know how to tell new OBs that they will be okay when she isn’t. Bailey hugs and holds Addison as she weeps on the floor.

Teddy and Richard walk through the hospital’s halls and are approached by Link, who wants to know if she has heard from the clinic. Link volunteers to go check on the situation, and Teddy immediately shoots him down. Schmitt joins them, and Teddy proclaims there is too much noise for her to think. When they get to the top of the lobby staircase, they see the space flooded with people. The protestors have blocked the entrance to the clinic, so the patients with appointments for a slew of non-reproductive issues couldn’t get in. Schmitt isn’t sure what to do, so Teddy asks the group if they want to help her with a new idea.

Over in the clinic, Andrea is fully dilated and doesn’t want to push. None of the day has gone according to her birthing plan, and her best friend assures her that she is there for her. Andrea also planned for her baby to be born to sounds of joy with a curated playlist and doesn’t want the baby born with the hateful protestors screaming in the background. Bailey starts singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the same song she sang to Pru at the beginning of the episode. One by one, each of the doctors, interns, fellows, nurses, and the best friend all join in, and the whole clinic eventually stops what they are doing to sing along to help out power the negativity outside too. Addison hears the joyful music from inside the closet and laughs and smiles to herself as the moment touches her.

We get a few quick cuts of all the storylines in succession to show what is happening across the hospital all at once. In the OR, RJ’s vitals are dropping, and the surgeons need to move faster to save him. Winston exclaims that there are too many tears in his lungs. Andrea’s bestie starts videoing her birth in the clinic. Jo is assisting Carina when Addison emerges from the closet to help too. She takes over when they realize the baby’s shoulder is stuck and they need to rotate her. We then see Teddy happily overseeing Richard, Link, and Schmitt giving care to the displaced clinic patients. Lucas gives Jessica her discharge paperwork to sign, but the patient wants to stick around to see RJ when he wakes up from surgery. The scene cuts to the OR, where RJ is about to code. Winston finishes the procedure just in time and removes the clamp from the lung to see if it inflates. Thankfully, the surgery is a success, much to the relief of all the doctors involved. Back in the clinic, Addison tells Andrea to push one more time and a baby girl is born. The entire clinic is thrilled that something good came out of an otherwise scary day.

RJ is now in a hospital room recovering and is still asleep and intubated. Lucas pushes Jessica inside in a wheelchair for a visit. Simone is there and tells Jessica that Winston was able to remove minimal lung tissue, meaning RJ may still be able to donate a lung to her. Jessica doesn’t care and still only wants her boyfriend to be okay. She starts talking to the unconscious RJ about their first kiss, and the camera captures a perfect awkward moment of Lucas and Simone standing next to each other. The former is definitely thinking of their first kiss and glances over at Simone, who looks like she is trying to erase the memory from her brain. Jessica tells RJ that her life changed in an instant when they kissed. Lucas swallows real hard, and Simone flees the room as it becomes too much for her.

Elsewhere, Richard finds Teddy and is happy that they didn’t have to turn patients away during the tough day. He is thrilled that Teddy never lost sight of the most important thing: keeping people safe. Richard finishes by telling Teddy she did a good job and is an excellent choice for chief. Over in the clinic, Jo gets a few texts from a harried Link asking if she is okay. She replies that she is fine and appreciates him checking. Bailey tells Jo to get Mika and Blue and the three of them need to help the incoming police stop the protestors from stampeding anyone leaving the hospital.

Upstairs, Nick finds Lucas in an imaging room. Lucas tells him the combination of medication Jessica should be on to buy her more time for a transplant, and Nick proudly tells the intern he is correct. Nick tells Lucas the story of how it took him four times to pass the MCATs and get into med school. Someone helped him figure it out, so he wants to give back too by showing Lucas the best way to present cases to Maggie the way she needs to hear it. He explains that Lucas should use fewer words, fewer details, and start with the patient’s name. It’s a nice moment to see Lucas get a new mentor, and I hope this part of the storyline continues.

As she is cleaning up for the night in the locker room, Simone gets a video call from Trey. He asks her about some wedding details, and Simone blurts out that they should get married next month. She uses the excuse of moving up the ceremony so her grandma can still come and suggests they hold the wedding in her grandma’s backyard as it would mean a lot to her and Simone. Trey is thrilled to move up the date and agrees instantly. 

In the ER, Winston asks Owen if the protestors are still outside, and Owen reports that only a few are left after Seattle P.D. arrested some and pushed the rest back. Owen compliments Winston on his amazing save in the OR and suggests he stick to surgery so patients don’t suffer. Teddy walks up and Owen tells her that being chief suits her, which is further proof that these two are back on the right track.

Bailey, Addison, Jo, Carina, Mika, Blue, and the fellows go to leave the hospital for the night and are happy to see no protestors outside the clinic doors. The fellow who previously thought the brick attack was her fault stops in the middle of the street to thank Addison for teaching her. She states that she is 28 weeks pregnant herself and chose the fellowship over a babymoon. She drops her books in the street, and Addison leans down to help her pick them up. Out of nowhere, a car comes flying down the street going full speed toward the two doctors. Bailey yells at them to get out of the way, but it is too late. The car plows straight into the fellow, who rolls over the hood and roof of the car, and clips Addison, who falls and hits her head on the pavement. The car flees the hit-and-run scene, and a group of protestors come back from around the corner as the other doctors spring into action to save two of their own. 

Just when I was starting to think that there hasn’t been a big medical emergency with a Grey Sloan Memorial doctor in a while, we get a shocking episode ender. I think I speak for all the fans when I say they can’t bring Addison back just to kill her off!


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