Thursday, April 20, 2023

Grey’s Anatomy 19x13 Recap: “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” (Fighting Words) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
Original Airdate: April 6, 2023

If you are looking for something happy and fun, you are in the wrong place because this episode of Grey’s Anatomy is the opposite. You may or may not agree with what occurs in the two main storylines involving the final implosion of Maggie and Winston’s marriage and a young rodeo bull rider nearly trampled to death who wants to keep riding. While there are two bright spots, with Lucas showing his medical chops and Link and Jo maybe taking a step toward becoming a couple, there isn’t much to smile about by the end of the hour.


The episode opens with Maggie and Winston at their first marriage therapy appointment, which they have sorely needed for months. Maggie is worried she will say the wrong thing, so the therapist assures her that there are no wrong answers in the session. The therapist asks them to say one thing they love and appreciate about each other. Maggie says Winston is kind, and Winston says he loves that Maggie came to the appointment because that means she admits they need help communicating. He also appreciates how hard she works, but Maggie takes it as a slight.

Link goes into Jo’s bedroom and finds her still in bed even though they are supposed to leave for work. He got the kids dressed and ready for the day, but Jo says she feels awful and needs sleep. Link volunteers to take the kids to daycare and leaves. We then see Ben driving Bailey to work. He has the day off and is taking two extra trips to spend more time with Bailey and secretly make sure she is safe, since he is extra worried about her safety after the protestor attack. When they arrive at the clinic, they see that the security perimeter has been extended around the entrance and extra officers are on duty, which makes Bailey feel safe. 

Before going to work, Mika goes to a donation center to give plasma for $75. However, the nurse says she is three pounds underweight and can’t donate. At the hospital, Schmitt video calls Carlos and asks to meet up if he has a break. Carlos reveals he is in Phoenix for his next job. He didn’t tell Schmitt he was leaving because he felt Schmitt was more interested in alone time in on-call rooms than talking. Carlos tells Schmitt to let him know if he is ever in Phoenix, which leaves Schmitt heartbroken.

The interns, minus Lucas, are walking through the halls of the hospital, and Simone is trying to find a maid of honor. She sort of asks Jules, but the latter doesn’t think she would be good at it. Lucas rushes in and asks Simone why she left him behind. Simone, Blue, and Mika all say that Lucas is always running late and that’s why he misses the group carpool. Mika grabs a donut out of a box thrown in the trash when she thinks no one can see her to gain weight, but Teddy sees her and is perplexed. Amelia comes up to Teddy as she hangs up her cell phone and asks if she is having a bad morning. Teddy didn’t realize part of her job is to be a reference for other doctors that hospitals want to poach. She is getting tons of calls about Maggie due to her article. Amelia doesn’t think Maggie would leave Grey Sloan Memorial, but she does look worried.

Owen is running the ER and in charge of the five main interns for the day. A trauma case is coming via the helipad, and Owen selects Blue to help him. The other interns are mad that they don’t get to help. A man named Seth comes stumbling into the ER asking for help, so Simone and Lucas run to claim him as their patient. Blue and Owen go to help a rodeo rider who was stomped on by a 1,000-pound bull. The medivac arrives with Georgia, a young woman who is very injured from the trampling. 

Back in the therapy session, Maggie reveals she has gotten lots of offers from other hospitals, which she gets any time she publishes an article. She talks about wanting to be part of a research project in Chicago to make artificial hearts. Maggie thinks it would be great, but Winston is against it. She wants to consider the offer, but Winston states he already moved across the country once for her and since Maggie lost all respect for him, he doesn’t want to move again. Maggie gets paged to help with Georgia, which annoys Winston. He is mad because he waited weeks for Maggie to agree to help and now she’s going to walk out in the middle of their counseling session. She sternly states that she is on-call for traumas, shows him the page for proof, and abruptly leaves.


Link took the kids to daycare and decided to take a personal day himself in order to be with Jo, figuring she would want the company. He brought her a latte and little donuts with pink frosting, which are her favorite. He knows she isn’t fine, and Jo still insists she is sick. Link disagrees and thinks Jo’s body aches are so she will rest and stay in bed. Link continues to make his case for most supportive man ever, and I found myself wondering why Link and Jo aren’t a couple yet every time they were on screen in this episode.

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Richard is examining Seth with Lucas and Simone watching. Seth says he has intestinal pain and came to Grey Sloan Memorial because it is the best hospital. Richard orders labs and a CT scan. In a trauma room, Owen, Amelia, and Blue are trying to help Georgia when Maggie arrives with Jules in tow. The worst of the injuries are a torn liver, unstable spinal fractures, and a massive hematoma in her chest. Georgia, who we learn is a teenager, asks them not to tell her parents because they freak out when she has bad injuries. The doctors are surprised to learn she has sustained severe injuries from bull riding before, and they argue over the best course of treatment. Amelia knows that without spinal surgery, Georgia will be paralyzed. Maggie doesn’t think she can operate on the hematoma because it will rupture. Amelia isn’t sure she can do her surgery if Maggie doesn’t do hers because it is too risky, which puts them at an impasse.

Elsewhere in the ER, Mika checks on an elderly woman who is coughing and has wheezing in her left lung. The intern orders a chest X-ray, but the patient declines because she can’t afford it. She doesn’t have medical benefits from her job and can’t afford health insurance. Mika is worried that her patient has pneumonia and can’t tell if it is serious without imaging. The patient says she can barely afford antibiotics, so Mika asks her to stay while she tries to get help.

Schmitt goes over to Joe’s Bar to complain to Helm about Carlos leaving without telling him. He feels that he was used for sex and doesn’t get why Carlos essentially ghosted him. Helm understands Carlos’ side and knows what the interns say about Schmitt. She doesn’t think he is the nice guy that he thinks he is and feels Schmitt might have been the one using Carlos.

Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Georgia’s parents arrive, so Owen, Amelia, and Maggie go over her injuries with them. They feel the safest option is to monitor Georgia in the ICU and not do any surgeries. Owen explains that Georgia might not walk again, but she will live. The parents understand the hematoma could rupture at any moment and decide to do the spinal surgery against medical advice because they want to save Georgia’s ability to ride again.

Richard and Lucas look at Seth’s scans, and the intern immediately says nothing is wrong. Richard tells Lucas that he is looking at it too quickly and needs to sit with the images longer and take a deeper look, which will come in handy later on. Simone finds out that Seth has been to five ERs in the past three weeks and left all with scripts for pain medication. The three doctors confront Seth about his history of drug use, which they also found in the records from the other hospitals. Seth says he doesn’t have a problem and explains he used Adderall back in the day to help him with his job. He didn’t tell them because he didn’t want the doctors to write him off and insists he doesn’t use the pills anymore. The scans come back clean, and Richard tells Seth he talked to the doctors at the other hospitals, who also didn’t find anything wrong. Richard is willing to do one more round of tests, but if nothing is wrong, he will discharge Seth. Lucas suggests sitting on the scans a little longer, but Richard doesn’t want to take his own advice.


Georgia is prepped and ready for surgery in the OR. Before they begin, Amelia asks Maggie why she didn’t tell her about the job offers. Maggie brushes it off, saying she gets plenty of offers when she publishes articles. Amelia says it doesn’t matter where Maggie is, but rather what she is doing. She suggests that Maggie doesn’t have to move to do the next big thing because Teddy and Richard can get her whatever she needs to do it in Seattle. Maggie says nothing and gives no type of response to her sister.

Downstairs, Lucas bounces ideas about Seth off Simone. She says the second round of labs came back negative and wants to discharge him. Lucas fights to keep Seth admitted, as his gut is telling him something is wrong with Seth and the patient is telling the truth. He asks Simone to have his back just this once since he always has her back. Simone reluctantly agrees to help him go down the rabbit hole.

In the OR gallery, Mika asks Teddy about her patient who can’t afford a chest X-ray and if it would be possible to get it pro-bono. Teddy tells her to bring it to accounting and fill out the proper paperwork, but it might take a day to get approved. Mika argues that she can’t wait that long, and Teddy sternly tells her that they cannot break the rules for even one patient. The intern states that she just wants to take care of her patient and isn’t looking for a handout. Mika also explains that she was eating a donut from the trash to gain weight in order to donate plasma because she too is broke. Teddy kindly says that she keeps protein bars in her office and Mika can take them whenever she wants. Down below, the doctors can’t believe Georgia’s parents approved the spinal surgery against their advice. Maggie asks everyone to stop bickering so they can all focus while Amelia begins to repair Georgia’s broken vertebrae.

As Simone and Lucas walk through the halls talking about what could be wrong with Seth, they are stopped by Schmitt, who tries to be friendly and ask how they are and what they are up to. The interns don’t know how to react and start explaining everything about their patient. They request more time to study the case. Schmitt immediately goes off on them and demands they discharge Seth and not question Richard again. Bailey overhears the encounter and realizes that Schmitt is acting just like she did when she was chief resident in a fun full-circle moment.

We then get to check back in on Jo and Link, who are lying in bed. Jo wants to go to GSM to check in on Tia and her baby, but Link assures her that he already did and both of them are fine. He tells Jo that she needs a day off after such a traumatic experience. Jo doesn’t understand why it is so hard for her to rest and wants to know how Link knew she wasn’t sick before she realized it and how he knows her favorite donut. Link simply replies that when you know someone for a long time, you start to notice things over time. He tries to make Jo feel better by telling her how he finds it hard to rest because he associates resting with misery due to listening to his parents fight through his bedroom walls when he was stuck in there while fighting cancer as a child. Jo thinks Link has trouble resting when he is not taking care of someone else because he learned to take emotional care of the people who were trying to take care of him. She thinks when he isn’t taking care of someone else, he doesn’t feel safe and that makes him anxious. Link thinks Jo can’t rest because she never had anyone take care of her and she stays busy all the time to compensate for that. When she is still, she feels the pain of not having anyone. They both hit the nail on the head, and the scene ends with a nice moment. Jo wants to nap, but she doesn’t want Link to leave. He brushes a strand of hair behind Jo’s ear and lays down next to her.

Lucas and Simone look at Seth’s scans and aren’t getting anywhere. Lucas juggles a soccer ball with his feet to help him unwind. Simone is happy to learn something new about him and reveals that she wants to get married without pomp and circumstance. She thinks it is sweet that Trey is a romantic and wants to make their wedding a moment they will always remember, but that doesn’t matter to her. Her words give Lucas an idea: he realizes the scans are frozen moments in time. He rearranges the images in chronological order on the screen to see if there are any small differences between each moment.

In the OR, Georgia’s hematoma bursts, causing her to instantly crash. Maggie says they have to flip her now to stop the bleeding immediately, but Georgia’s spine is still exposed. Amelia doesn’t want to leave it open, but has no choice. When they flip her over, Blue starts chest compressions. Maggie gives Blue and Jules instructions to switch on and off cardiac massage duties when she cracks the patient’s chest. Maggie opens Georgia in the front, leaving both sides of the teen wide open. We get a montage of the surgery, Georgia’s parents waiting, Lucas looking at Seth’s scans, and Winston worriedly watching from the gallery. The doctors find the hepatic vein injury just in time as Georgia becomes more acidotic. 


Mika gets back to the ER and finds her patient ready to leave after getting antibiotics and an inhaler. She can’t wait around because she has to get to work. She can’t afford to miss a shift. She doesn’t think Mika understands because she is a doctor with a cushy salary. Mika explains that she is a surgical intern making minimal money because the government pays her salary. She goes through all her various debts and talks about selling her blood for money too. She tells her patient that if it was her, she would get the X-ray, and so be it if the bill went to collections because at least she would still be alive. Her impassioned speech convinces her patient to stay and get the chest X-ray after all.

Bailey finds Schmitt in the ER and tells him how people used to call her the Nazi, which he finds very insensitive. Bailey explains that as chief resident, she thought she had to overcompensate and become someone people didn’t like. She realized her idea of herself became out of sync with who she had become. Bailey tells Schmitt that he is no longer an underdog and shouldn’t see himself that way. She tells him to be himself with the interns and bring pleasure and joy and not just be the muscle all the time.

Lucas and Simone have gotten Seth’s scans in order and find slight differences through some of the films. They see flare ups in his intestines and believe a foreign object could be in there. Richard comes in and is very angry that his patient has yet to be discharged. The interns have some explaining to do.

Maggie and Amelia tell Georgia’s mom that her daughter did well in surgery given the circumstances. She is recovering in the ICU, and they want to speak to the mom about Georgia’s bull riding, as they think she should give it up. The mom explains that the male members of the family are all champion riders and Georgia wanted to be like them. When she suffered a crushed trachea, the parents told her no more riding. Georgia became too depressed and couldn’t function, and the mom knows taking away her dream now would kill her. After the mom leaves, Amelia tells Maggie the mother needs to be a parent in this situation. Maggie sees the mom’s point and asks Amelia if her mom could have stopped her from doing drugs, which Amelia admits wouldn’t have happened. 

They see Georgia wake up and pull out her breathing tube in a panic. They rush into her ICU room, and Maggie tries to get the teen to put on an oxygen mask. Georgia wants to know when she can ride again, and Maggie replies that she could be walking in 4-6 weeks. Maggie and Amelia tell her not to go back to the rodeo, but Georgia doesn’t think they would tell her to quit if she was a man. Maggie understands Georgia’s point and switches gears. She understands Georgia’s focus and passion and knows what it is like to be a woman in a man’s world. She asks Georgia to stop fighting their help, and in that moment, I think Amelia knows her sister isn’t sticking around Seattle.

Richard, Lucas, and Simone do a colonoscopy on Seth. They find that he has a toothpick impacted in the wall of his intestine, which has been causing his pain. Richard is shocked that Lucas was right and explains that Seth’s pain will be gone after they remove it. As they remove the toothpick, Richard tells Lucas that he made an incredible save.


At the end of their shifts, the interns are all in the locker room trading stories about their day. Blue is excited that he had a beating heart in his hand, while Mika proudly says she convinced a patient to get a chest X-ray. Lucas thanks Simone and tells her that he has her back if she needs anything. She immediately takes him up on the offer and asks him to be her man of honor at her wedding because she needs a friend to get through it. Honestly, it’s a terribly cruel gesture when she knows the boy is in love with her. Lucas reluctantly agrees to the role. Schmitt pops in and says he heard all the interns did incredibly today. He invites them out for drinks at Joe’s Bar, and they think there must be a catch. Schmitt tells them to meet him at Joe’s, and the interns decide they are down for free drinks.

At Joe’s Bar, Mika asks Helm if they could use another bartender. Helm says the manager is hiring and will put in a good word for her, but she is concerned about when Mika would sleep. The interns sit at a table with Schmitt and do shots. Lucas reveals his man of honor status, so Schmitt takes the opportunity to be friendly and ask about Simone’s wedding. Blue asks Jules if she wants to get out of there, but Jules is apprehensive about having sex with him. She knows their rule was no feelings, and now she finds Blue hot. Blue says what if he has no feelings, and that’s enough to make Jules crack and leave with him.

Winston finds Maggie and asks if she wants to get take-out. She already ordered food, which makes Winston say, “Of course you already decided.” As he walks off, Maggie calls for him to stop. Maggie starts a monologue blaming Winston for their marital problems by saying, “I need to look at you when I say this. You invited me to dinner with your family and abandoned me when things got tough.” She says Winston left her with his family, which she didn’t like. Maggie continues to say that when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. She didn’t want to see that Winston is a person who retreats when things get tough, and he protects himself no matter what it costs anyone else. She feels that a marriage can survive a move to Chicago, but she feels he doesn’t want them to survive. Maggie accuses Winston of taking his love and retreating and states that she is right here and he is gone. She is irked that he couldn’t even think of saying something nice about her at the therapy session. The real kicker comes when Maggie tells Winston that she views his desire to switch specialties as him giving up on conflict and being a coward. She has decided to go to Chicago and use her passion to build hearts to save lives. Winston can, “Stay here and pretend you were the one who was abandoned, but we both know the truth,” Maggie concludes.

On a lighter note, Link picked up the kids from daycare and put Luna to bed to allow Jo to rest. He grabs Scout and brings him over to Jo, who is eating Chinese food on her bed and smiling at how great of a father Link is. Jo admits she is feeling better and clearly wants to say more to Link about her real feelings but chooses not to. The writers are really dragging their inevitable relationship out, and it is agonizing that Jo can’t admit her real feelings to Link.

Richard and Amelia attend an AA meeting at the end of the day. The former looks at his sobriety coin while the latter brings him a coffee and asks about his day. Richard admits he missed a diagnosis and almost lost a patient, but he was bailed out by a Shepherd, which makes Amelia smile. Amelia tells Richard that she is afraid of losing another sister, which appears to be news to Richard too.

The episode ends with Ben waiting for Bailey in the Grey Sloan Memorial parking lot. Someone puts a flier on his windshield, which makes Ben get out of his car to chase the person down. He doesn’t catch the culprit and is shocked to see that the flier has a large photo of Bailey with the words “Baby Killer” written over her face. Their address and Bailey’s personal phone number are also on the paper. Bailey comes out and asks Ben what is wrong. He shows her the flier and says, “We are not fine.” It seems the anti-abortion protestors are now coming after Bailey in a similar fashion to what they have been doing to Addison. Like Ben, we should all be a bit frightened of what is to come for our beloved Miranda Bailey.


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