Sunday, January 20, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 15x09 Review: “Shelter from the Storm” (Three Elevators) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Shelter from the Storm”
Original Airdate: January 17, 2019

It’s been a long two months, but the wait is finally over! Grey’s Anatomy is back with seventeen new episodes that are sure to contain even more OMG moments — starting with the midseason premiere’s continuation of the havoc a wind storm causes in Seattle on one fateful day. Unfortunately, we have to wait until March to find out how the crew of Station 19 fared, but it’s safe to say that no one at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital is going to forget this storm.


Thank goodness this episode starts right where it left off: the power in the hospital has gone out, leaving doctors and patients trapped and in need of some serious help. The backup generators come on quickly, yet they don’t have enough power to move the elevators. The first half of the episode focuses on the three occupied and unmoving elevator cars, causing the doctors to come face-to-face with the problems that they have been repressing this season. The first elevator becomes home to the most awkward pregnancy reveal of all time.

Owen, Teddy, and Amelia were transporting a dying patient when they were trapped in an elevator. Since they have nothing else to do, Teddy and Owen quickly start talking in code about Teddy’s situation, which Owen had just learned moments before. Being the smart cookie she is, Amelia quickly catches on that something isn’t right, and the cat is let out of the bag. The shocked Amelia literally doesn’t know what to say for once, while Owen yells at Teddy for not telling him the news sooner, especially given that she has been in town for weeks. Just as the three doctors really start getting into it, their patient crashes.

Unsure of what to do both medically and in the new situation she has been thrust into, Amelia struggles to help Owen and Teddy save the patient’s life. With minimal supplies and space, Owen and Teddy decide to get creative and perform impromptu trauma surgery in the elevator. I think we all should be as in awe of the situation as Amelia is as she watches her colleagues work. Granted, Amelia is also clearly contemplating her role in the ever-complicated relationship with Owen, given that his history with Teddy is on full display in front of her. While performing this very complex surgery, Owen and Teddy feel it is the appropriate time to continue discussing the pregnancy. Teddy finally admits that she didn’t tell Owen sooner because she saw how happy he was with Amelia and his new family and didn’t want to disrupt their life. She goes on to say that she is sixteen weeks pregnant, doesn’t know the gender yet, and plans on staying in Seattle permanently. Amelia barely lets Teddy’s apology get out of her mouth before another argument ensues, which ironically became the perfect moment for the elevator doors, and flood gates, to open.


Everything is tumultuous inside and outside the second elevator, which happens to be the only one anyone in the hospital seems concerned about fixing. Bailey, Helm, and the braindead patient — whose heart is supposed to be given to matchmaker Cece — occupy this claustrophobic elevator. Bailey and Helm have the same feelings about being trapped but show it very differently.

At first, Helm panics about not being able to get the patient to the OR in time to save Cece, while Bailey appears calm on the outside and snaps at Helm to get a grip. Bailey knows that showing signs of panic will not help their situation, but after a bit of time has passed, the tables turn. Helm winds up having to calm Bailey down after she goes into a spiral. Both doctors fight to stay emotionally okay, as help is on its way. But more on that later.


Finally, it's the elevator you have all been waiting for! There’s just something about those elevators at Grey Sloan that tend to send sparks flying, which is just what Meredith was trying to avoid. Unwilling to acknowledge that she has any romantic feelings toward anyone, Meredith is upset at her current situation — being stuck in an elevator with Andrew DeLuca, who is so head-over-heels in love with her that it hurts. While I personally don’t like the idea of DeLuca and Meredith having any sort of non-professional relationship, it was interesting to see how time in a shared space slowly started to break down Meredith’s walls. Poor DeLuca tries everything he can think of to get Meredith to realize that they have chemistry.

Meredith spends a majority of their shared time fending off DeLuca’s advances and attempting to keep her mind on getting out of the elevator and to the OR for Cece’s transplants. DeLuca’s charm starts getting to Meredith when he reveals he is a secret Doctor Who fan and says their situation is just like the T.A.R.D.I.S. — a magical place where the regular rules don’t apply. Much to his chagrin, Meredith puts the kibosh on that real quick.

Eventually, DeLuca decides to have a real conversation with Meredith and opens up about his past. He tells her about how he came to live in America and discusses his father for the first time. DeLuca reveals that his father was a famous surgeon in Italy but, like all of the characters’ backstories on this show, he made some pretty big mistakes. Feeling insecure — and not totally trusting Meredith — DeLuca proceeds to tell her his father’s story in his native Italian. Daddy DeLuca suffers from mental illness and went on a surgical manic craze, where he operated on seven patients straight with no breaks. Four of those patients died, and thanks to friends in high places and a big wad of cash, Daddy DeLuca was able to cover up what he had done. By the conclusion, DeLuca is happy that he told someone his story, and Meredith’s walls start to visibly crack.

Meredith realizes that she is beginning to have feelings and decides to distract herself by having DeLuca pick her up so she can see if there’s a way out through the vent in the elevator’s ceiling. DeLuca brings Meredith down and embraces her before she can say no. He asks again why they can’t date, so Meredith says she doesn’t want to make the same mistakes she has in the past. DeLuca smartly asks if her marriage and kids were a mistake, which puts Meredith on the defensive about her real reasons for not wanting to pursue him.

To get off the topic, Meredith asks DeLuca to talk to her in Italian again. Taking the language of love seriously, DeLuca starts saying that he wants to kiss Meredith and that she will eventually let him, which will lead him to never stop kissing her. With his profession of love on full display, Meredith responds in Italian, “Did I tell you I took three years of Italian in undergrad?” DeLuca is a bit surprised that Meredith knew everything he was saying, making everything just a bit steamier. The two continue to embrace, and — as DeLuca goes in for the kiss — Meredith decides that maybe it’s not such a bad idea. Just as their lips are about to meet, the elevator doors fling open.

The biggest tease of an elevator ride ends just as promptly as it started, but what happens in elevators might not stay in elevators...


While everyone is still trapped, Alex and Jo are enjoying their time at home on their second honeymoon. Alex keeps getting texts about what is happening at the hospital and decides he is going to attempt to get there since everyone needs his help, leaving the very drunk Jo behind. The wind continues to whip around at the hospital so upon his arrival, Alex winds up finding shelter in the same ambulance that Nico and Schmitt have made into their love shack. All three are incredibly shocked, and Alex quickly leaves, telling the other two to get back inside and help out.

In the meantime, Jackson, Qadri, and Link have found the elevator that Bailey and Helm are in and try to open the doors with varying means of force. They all know that Cece is not doing well as she awaits surgery in the OR, where Maggie is keeping watch over her. As they try to beat the doors in, Jed, the hospital’s head of maintenance, shows up and helps bust the doors open. Alex arrives just in time to see that the elevator car is slightly below the floor, but there is enough room to get the all three occupants out. Link, Alex, and Jed help Bailey, Helm, and the patient get out of the elevator. Jed struggles to get out and refuses help. He pulls himself up and out of the elevator right as the power is fully restored and the elevator car starts to go down, which crushes his legs.

Alex and Link manage to get the elevator to come back up to free Jed, while Bailey and Helm have already rushed to the OR. After freeing Jed, Alex goes to the OR to inform Bailey what has happened. Still shaken from being trapped, Bailey decides to leave the OR and have Alex finish harvesting the new heart for Cece. Instead of going to help out in Jed’s surgery, Bailey returns to her former office for some privacy. In a moment of panic, she texts Ben to see if he is okay. As she tries to recover, Alex storms into the office and starts ranting about how Bailey can have the job back. Bailey says that she bailed on the surgery because she knew she was freaking out. Ben texts her back and says that he is fine, which causes Bailey to break down and use Alex for support. She tells him that she has been struggling and begs him not to quit because she needs time to fix herself. She asks for his help, and Alex sympathetically agrees.


Now that everyone is free, we can get back to our regularly scheduled surgeries. Teddy, Owen, and Amelia get their patient to the OR and quickly stabilize him. Amelia sees that her help is no longer needed, which can be taken two-fold, and leaves. The patient survives the surgery, which allows Owen and Teddy to finally take a breath and have a meaningful conversation while scrubbing out. Owen says that he really wants to be involved with the baby and is happy that Teddy is sticking around. It’s good to see the two of them on the same page about something this season. As they start to ponder what their new reality will look like, the excitement and nerves prove to be a bit much for Teddy, who starts crying. Owen comforts her by saying that they will figure it out.

Things are a bit more heated in the next OR, where Jackson and Link start operating on Jed. Nico and Schmitt show up a little while later. Link doesn’t think that Jed’s legs can be saved due to the extensive nerve and blood vessel damage. Jackson stops him from amputating by suggesting a way to potentially save them. He goes a little overboard in his presentation, which shows that he isn’t as focused on simply saving his patient as he is on mirroring his struggle to accept that his mother is sick and the fact that he might not be able to save her. Link agrees to try and save Jed’s legs, and Jackson’s methods work. The positive surgery leads Jed to keep his legs and have a (small) chance at walking again.

The third OR turns chaotic when Cece’s transplants don’t go the way everyone had hoped. Helm brings the harvested heart to the OR and stays to assist Maggie, Meredith, and DeLuca. The heart is transplanted successfully and beats on its own after being taken off bypass. The team moves on to the kidney transplant, but Cece crashes not long after. Everyone frantically tries to save Cece’s life, and Meredith even goes as far to beg her patient to hold on and keep fighting. In the end, Cece doesn’t make it through the surgery, leaving a room full of very upset doctors. Meredith stays behind to close Cece up and thanks her for all her help in a sweet parting monologue.


Elsewhere in the hospital, Richard has spent the day taking charge and trying to keep himself busy. He runs into Betty, who is roaming the halls, early in the episode. The two team up to find ways to help others in the hospital, but Betty eventually splits off from Richard to go back to the ER. Toward the end of the episode, Richard finds Betty frantically searching through cabinets in a room and asks her if she came back to the hospital to steal drugs. Betty pleads with Richard to not tell Amelia what she was doing, but Richard says he wouldn’t be a good doctor if he didn’t say anything.

On her way to find Betty and Richard, Amelia bumps into Owen, who apologizes for the mess he has made by getting Teddy pregnant. In a very sweet moment, Amelia tells Owen that she was the one who told him to go to Germany, so he’s not at fault. Owen says that they will figure things out, but he wants to stay with Amelia. Amelia tells Owen that he can’t commit to her when there’s another option on the table. She decides to give him some space to weigh his options and make a decision. Her speech feels more like a goodbye than an “I’ll wait for you,” but it was good to see Amelia move forward emotionally. However, she doesn’t tell Owen what Betty has been up to.

Amelia eventually finds her way to Betty and Richard, and tells Betty that she wants to put her in a rehab facility to give her the best chance possible at getting sober. Betty sadly agrees without arguing while a somber Richard looks on. On his way out of the room, Jackson and Maggie find Richard. Jackson asks him if he has heard from Catherine, which Richard has not. Jackson and Maggie proceed to pull Richard into another room to tell him about Catherine’s cancer.

The episode closes with Meredith coming out of an elevator as DeLuca walks down the hall. He stops to ask if she’s all right and says that they should go on a date that night... right as Link walks up to see if Meredith still wanted to get drinks. Meredith realizes the mess she’s gotten herself into and says that she is being haunted by Cece. She tells both that it has been a long day and she wants to go home to her kids. Meredith says she will see them both later, thus officially starting that long-awaited love triangle and leaving the two flabbergasted men behind.


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