Saturday, February 25, 2017

Grey’s Anatomy 13x14 Review: “Back Where You Belong” (Coming Home) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Back Where You Belong”
Original Airdate: February 23, 2017

In one of the more aptly-titled episodes of the year, the doctors of Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital are forced to face their personal demons in order to aide their patients. This is a pretty common theme of the past few years, but this episode was done particularly well. Through not-so-subtle parallel patient stories, all of the major storylines of the season start to come full circle.


One doctor has been suffering more than the others this season, and it may not be who you are thinking. Jo has been dealing with Alex, DeLuca, and her own personal turmoil all at the same time. It’s hard not to feel bad for her, even though she did bring all this on herself. Now that Alex is out of his impending jail sentence and back at work, it seemed as if one of Jo’s stressors was eliminated. Unfortunately for her, Jo faces the psychological struggle of her past when a patient’s life looks similar to her own.

Jo’s patient-of-the-week is a dying boy, whose mother is donating her kidney to him. Things get complicated when the long-lost father shows up to the hospital, who is revealed to have beaten the mother in front of the son years prior. Naturally, Jo doesn’t want to allow the father to be near the patients after they express their discontent. She goes through a mental struggle when the father becomes the only viable option for a kidney for the son (the surgery on the mother goes awry). Jo clearly has trouble dealing with the situation, as it makes her think of her own abusive past. It was good to see Jo have to overcome her personal aggression to save her patients, and it came via some great acting by Camilla Luddington. While this story hasn’t quite wrapped up yet, since Jo’s mysterious husband has yet to appear, Jo is finally heading in the right direction.


The Meredith/Riggs/Maggie love triangle was blooming in the late part of last season and the early part of this season. They cooled down a while ago, but it’s about to start up again in the next new episode. For now, we just have to deal with Riggs having a slow breakdown, Maggie trying to console and understand him, and Meredith being stubborn (more on this in the next section). Riggs and Maggie team up to help a Jane Doe with probable psychological problems after she wanders into the emergency room and collapses. They locate the parents of the woman through the serial number on the pace maker they remove, and the parents say that their daughter had been missing for twelve years.

Riggs becomes increasingly emotional throughout the episode, as he reflects on searching for his lost fiancée. He struggles with the fact that the parents of his patient gave up on searching for their daughter, moved on with their lives, and are now blessed with having her back. He would give anything to get his Megan back, a truth that is shown just through his eyes. Maggie wants to help Riggs talk through it, but he doesn’t want to share his feelings or story. I felt bad for Maggie because she only wanted to help. Riggs is a tortured soul, but I have a feeling that he and Meredith might actually be good for each other. I haven’t liked the idea of them together since the character of Riggs was announced last year, but after Meredith’s speech to Maggie at the end of the episode, it might be a good time for both of them.


Bailey and Meredith also have loose ends to tie up. Bailey takes a few hours off from the hospital to go talk some sense into Meredith. Like typical Meredith, she refuses to come back to the hospital unless Richard gets his title and the residency program back. Like typical Bailey, she won’t budge and wants Meredith as her supportive number two. Stuck in no-man’s land, Bailey leaves while Meredith stands firm. Bailey’s next move is to send Richard in to talk some sense into Meredith, who gives a heartfelt speech about how she doesn’t want to be her mother that made me tear up.

Meredith listens to her father figure and takes her job back. Thankfully, Meredith’s little non-accomplishing strike comes to an anti-climactic end. I mean, how long could Meredith stay away from the hospital she owns anyway? This was one of the most boring and ridiculous storylines of the Minnick/Richard saga, so I am very glad to see it end.

To wrap it all up, Alex came back to the hospital, Meredith took her job back, Jo faces her hidden feelings, Maggie tries to get out of her rut with Riggs, and Riggs shows some good emotion during the first time he’s been featured in a few episodes. Some stories wrapped up while others took a turn for the better in an episode that questioned ethics, morality, and the human psyche.


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