Dear TV Writers: Your Fear of the Moonlighting Curse is Killing Your Show

What is the Moonlighting Curse, and why is it such a big deal to television writers? Read this in-depth look at the crippling phenomenon and find out!

Getting Rid of the Stigma: Mental Illness in Young Adult Fiction, by Megan Mann

In this piece, Megan brilliantly discusses the stigma of mental illness in literature and how some young adult novels are helping to change the landscape for this discussion.

In Appreciation of the Everyday Heroine

A mask does not a hero make. In this piece, I discuss why it's wrong to dismiss characters without costumes or masks as superheroes.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

5 Lessons We Can All Learn From Modern Love [Contributor: Jenn]


Love is messy.

And I’m not just talking about romantic love (though that is, in my experience, messy). I’m talking about the act of loving another person — a significant other, child, friend, parent or stranger. Love is messy because it requires sacrifice. We give, with open hands and hearts, knowing that our love may not be reciprocated. And even if it is, we give risking someone breaking our trust or crushing that love.

Like I said, love is messy. Because people are messy.

Amazon Prime’s Modern Love is an anthology based on a popular column from The New York Times of the same name. Throughout eight episodes, we witness all kinds of love between individuals. And through these little windows into love, we learn something about ourselves and the people around us.

I won’t pretend that Modern Love is a flawless TV series (tbh for a series set in diverse New York, there sure are a lot of white people), but what I will say is that it deeply touched me and I feel like there are quite a few lessons we can apply from its stories.

I’ll be sharing the plot of most of the episodes below (fair warning, I didn’t make it through more than five minutes of “So He Looked Like Dad. It Was Just Dinner, Right?” but the good news is that you too can skip it and it won’t make much of a difference at all!), so this is your spoiler warning. Ready? Let’s dive in.


Lesson #1: Platonic Love is Powerful


The first episode, “When the Doorman is Your Main Man” is probably the most deeply touching (save for the finale) of Modern Love starring Cristin Milioti and Laurentius Possa. Milioti plays Maggie, a young book editor and Possa plays her doorman, Guzmin. The two have a lovely platonic relationship: he looks out for her best interests, and she confides in him. The relationship never develops into romance, but I think that’s what makes this particular episode so important: love isn’t always romantic.

Platonic love can be as powerful as romantic love.

Maggie never feels judged or shamed by Guzmin. He never chides or taunts her; he always reminds her that he’s there and will support her no matter what. Her life is hers to decide, but he’ll tell her in a gentle, loving way when she’s too good for a guy.

Platonic love is often overlooked in television these days in favor of romantic love. That’s not to say one should always take precedence over another, but there’s something powerful about knowing that on Grey’s Anatomy, Alex will always be there to support Meredith and romance won’t be on the table.

Similarly in Modern Love, Maggie knows that she can count on someone who has no hidden agenda, no ulterior motives, and wants nothing but her happiness. There’s something so pure and unhindered about Guzmin’s love for Maggie. We watch him help her raise her daughter and push her out of her comfort zone to move to Los Angeles. Guzmin isn’t jealous, condescending, or selfish.

He’ll always be there with an umbrella. He’ll help Maggie because he loves her. And it’s beautiful.


Lesson #2: Self-Love Love Demands the Truth


“Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am” is a powerful episode in which Anne Hathaway (long live my Queen of Genovia) stars. This episode tells the story of Lexi, a lawyer who we learn, about half-way through the episode, is bipolar. But no one knows Lexi is bipolar or that she’s struggled with her condition since she was a teenager. She’s tried everything under the sun to help, but Lexi is locked in a prison of her own making: her silence and shame.

So she bounces from job to job, claiming she likes moving on. She pushes away potential romantic suitors, including Jeff (played by Gary Carr) whom she meets at a grocery store during a manic episode. Lexi goes through multiple, heartbreaking manic and depressive bouts throughout “Take Me As I Am, Whoever I Am.” Anne Hathaway does a wonderful job conveying the utter pain and frustration when Lexi is hit with an intense bout of depression as she puts on mascara for a date.

But the most powerful lesson we can glean from the episode is that love, especially self-love, demands honesty. We can’t truly love ourselves or others if we’re not honest with who we are, what we struggle with, and what we want. I’ve been in relationships and have watched friends’ relationships fall apart because one person is too afraid to let down their walls and let others in. Shame is a door we lock from the inside, believing that if anyone saw who we were — the ugly, painful, secretive stuff — that they wouldn’t love us. The truth is that the reason we hide is because WE don’t love those parts of ourselves. Until we learn to stare our insecurities, doubts, pasts, and shadowy parts in the eye and accept them, we’re just running.

I’ve seen what running and hiding does to a relationship. I’ve watched people crumble before my eyes because they can’t accept who they are, or what they’ve done. They can’t come to grips with the fact that they’re broken and messy so they put up walls and only let other people see them a certain way. I once dated a guy who said he never cried in public; he wouldn’t let anyone, not even his close friends and certainly not strangers, see him weep. He hid his emotions. He hid his brokenness. And that might not cost him dearly in the short-term (we never think we’ll have to pay a price), but it will in the long-term.

Love, at the very least, is sitting across the table and saying, “You’re not okay. I won’t try to fix you. I’ll just sit here in your brokenness with you.” And that’s what happens to Lexi. Her friend and colleague won’t let her be alone in her brokenness, but she also doesn’t pry or force herself or her expectations onto her. Slowly, Lexi opens up. And shame dissipates. Not permanently. Not forever. But something cracks and the light begins to pour in.

Self-love demands we take a hard look at the parts of ourselves we don’t like, and acknowledge that they’re present. They exist. Whether we choose to love or hate ourselves really does affect how we love others. We can pretend it doesn’t, and we can shove our emotions, insecurities, and self-doubt way down deep, pretending we’re fine. Pretending we’re not flawed.

But true self-love thrives when we’re honest with our shortcomings and issues. Admitting our cracks helps us step out of shame and into a light where we feel free to tell our stories, truthfully, to others we can trust. It allows us to get the help we need. And it also allows others to open up about their own struggles. Vulnerability begets vulnerability.

Self-love opens the door to all kinds of deep, meaningful connection. And I love that Modern Love focused on this through Lexi’s story.


Lesson #3: Romantic Love is Work


I thought I was going to skip “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive.” Not because I dislike Tina Fey (quite the opposite), but because the subject matter seemed too tense and real. A majority of Modern Love’s fourth episode is devoted to a sparring married couple; their relationship is on the brink of divorce. Sarah (Fey) and Dennis (John Slattery) can’t communicate or agree on anything. They’re fighting. Their kids are fighting. The couple is going to counseling but it’s not sticking. Even when the counselor tells them to find an activity to do together, they fight. They use tennis to wound each other. And Sarah’s breaking point, it seems, is when she snaps at one of her husband’s fans (he’s an actor) at dinner.

What I love about this episode is the thing I thought I’d hate: its realism. Often, we turn to romantic movies or television shows for escapism. We dream of what could be while fleeing from what’s happening in our real lives. “Rallying to Keep the Game Alive” is an apt title, because Sarah and Dennis finally hit a point in their marriage where they have to decide if they’re going to be honest and vulnerable or keep avoiding and shutting down. Both choose unhealthy ways of processing their emotions (Sarah gravitates toward anger while Dennis chooses to be emotionally distant or physically absent).

The turning point is when Sarah lays down her anger in favor of emotional vulnerability, and Dennis chooses to sit in the discomfort of the moment instead of checking out or running away. It’s a painful, but necessary, reminder that love is work. It’s a choice. It’s not something we’re innately programmed to do. We’re programmed to run, to hurt when we’ve been hurt, to fight back. Dennis’ apology where he doesn’t excuse his behavior or try to pin blame is so significant.

Sarah puts down her armor. Dennis apologizes. That’s it. That’s not the end of all their issues, but the start of their next step. And the beginning of an actual choice — to pursue their marriage.

Love is work, friends. Love is hard, hard work. And it’s forgiveness (within reasons, of course: don’t let anyone make you confuse abuse with love) when it can be, and tentative steps forward in trust.

Love can be good. But boy is it hard.


Lesson #4: Love is a Choice, Over and Over Again


People often tell us that love is a feeling, but that’s only partially true. Real, lasting love is a choice. A daily surrender. A constant decision that’s day by day and sometimes moment by moment. I dated a guy once who had a lot of emotional baggage and issues loving himself. As a result, he believed that love was a thing that was supposed to make him feel good. When he loved someone, he’d feel it and everything would fall into place; he’d love himself if someone else loved him first. Maybe I’ve been deprogrammed because of rom-coms but I told him that love is a decision you make even when you DON’T feel good about yourself or the person you care about.

A few episodes in Modern Love demonstrate the fact that love is a choice (one of them is the “Rallying” episode I noted above), but perhaps none more than “When Cupid is a Prying Journalist.” I adored this episode, and not just because it featured Dev Patel, who needs to star in all the rom-coms possible. I enjoyed it because it featured a realistic look at what it takes to make love work. It showed relationships falling apart, and the consequences of peoples’ decisions or indecision. Patel plays Joshua, creator of a dating app. He’s interviewed by a journalist named Julie (played by Catherine Keener) about the aforementioned app. In the process, the two strike up a friendship as they share stories of lost loves.

The conversation spurs both to reach out and take a chance on a love that they thought they’d left behind. Joshua’s relationship with his ex rekindles, and Julie’s relationship with her what-might-have-been doesn’t ever leave the ground. But the encounter leads them both to make decisions: Julie ends her stalled marriage, while her might-have-been decides to make it work with his wife. And Joshua professes his love, via Julie’s article, for his ex.

Finding or losing love isn’t the end of the story (a fact that’ll be reiterated in the season’s final episode), but it is a choice. Julie, Joshua, and every other character in this episode had to choose something: whether to end a relationship, forgive, or fight to keep love alive. Their choices were intentional, and I think that was really important to witness.

(Additionally, “Hers Was a World of One” features a beautiful display of this theme in its depiction of a found family. Tobin and Andy decide to adopt the newborn of a surrogate named Karla who’s young, homeless, and a lot to handle. The couple makes room for her in their lives and realizes how complex relationships, families, and preconceived notions of people can be. They choose to love her, even when she’s hard to love. And she chooses to connect with them emotionally even though it’s easier to do life alone.)


Lesson #5: True Love Moves Us to Action


“Talk is cheap.” 

“Actions speak louder than words.”

As much as we hate clichés, there’s a reason they exist: there’s truth in them. And clichés like the ones above hold one important truth about love: love, any love, demands action. Every episode in Modern Love depicts love being an action, a choice, and a thing someone does.

True love pushes us to keep changing and evolving — no matter what kind of love you’re talking about. “The Race Grows Sweeter Near Its Final Lap” is Modern Love’s season finale, and I love it for a lot of reasons: it nicely ties stories together through the season, it focuses on new love found in an elderly couple, and it’s hopeful. The finale tells the story of Margot (Jane Alexander) and Kenji (James Saito) who meet one another at a race. Margot invites Kenji to join the running club she belongs to, and the two strike a kinship that turns into love. They’ve both experienced a lot in life by the time they meet, including loss. But, as Margot says at Kenji’s funeral, new love in old age is something truly special.

Margot decides to walk home from the service rather than take a car, and as she walks, she passes runners. Something stirs within her and she begins to jog, clearly feeling freedom and joy. As she jogs and cars pass, the audience witnesses glimpses of the other storylines we hadn’t gotten before: of Karla meeting Tobin and Andy for the first time, of Guzmin walking home with Maggie in the rain, of Joshua running into Julia and her new flame, and Dennis and Sarah playing tennis in the rain.

All the while, life is moving. Love is still all around (I’m sorry, I just had to sneak in that reference somehow), and Margot is still running. But she’s not running AWAY from feeling; she’s running TO it. She’s not slowing down, even though she loved Kenji. She’s acting because she loved him.

In Modern Love, we see characters act out of love for each other more than we hear “I love you” uttered. That’s so important. And it’s something we can learn from.

The Flash 6x03 Review: "Dead Man Running" (Dark Matter Zombies and More) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


“Dead Man Running”
Original Airdate: October 22, 2019

This week on The Flash, we get a little bit of dark matter zombification, a more focused look at Ramsey Rosso, some character stuff, and a sprinkling of season arc angst. With decent B and C stories to supplement the rare Barry and Killer Frost team-up main story, “Dead Man Running” is a pretty jam-packed episode that still manages to seem focused — on both the single-episode story and seeding the ground for things to come in the season.

UNDEAD AND DEALING WITH DYING


The episode begins with some low-level villains getting taken out by an unseen, growling entity. It’s actually a fun fake-out, since you almost get the impression that these villains will be the metahumans of the week, or at least will have something to do with the conflict. These guys even have some internal drama that, in any other episode, would result in the even-lower-level villains turning on their usurper leader fifteen minutes before credits roll. But nope! They all get killed by the actual threat of the episode, leaving behind mangled and mauled bodies for Barry, Joe, and Frost to find during a CCPD investigation. Why is Frost there? Unclear. Do any non-members of Team Flash recognize her as Caitlin, but with blue lipstick and a gray wig? Unclear. Would it matter if anyone did find out Caitlin is Killer Frost? Unclear. Especially since this show has never exactly treated secret identities with the same reverence as other shows of the same ilk.

When Frost finds a stash of guns empty of dark matter ammo, she has a sudden epiphany regarding who the attacker could be. The next we see her, she’s holding an ice dagger against Ramsey Rosso’s throat. Barry stops her from going full villain on (what appears to be) an innocent man, but she remembers him meeting with Caitlin and getting angry over her refusal to help him obtain dark matter in the season premiere. You know, I’m a little confused about how aware Ramsey is of his inner dark matter demon — was he just pretending to not know where Romero’s oozing black shoulder wound came from during his autopsy recording in last week’s episode? Later this episode, he seems legitimately afraid of getting attacked by Romero even though he should know he can fend the zombie man off. Is it a Jekyll and Hyde situation where Ramsey is just possessed by the thrall of dark matter occasionally? I suppose things will be made more clear as the season progresses.

Anyway, the dark matter zombie needs a steady stream of said dark matter shoved into his oozing black shoulder wound in order to keep going. There’s news of another break-in at a location sure to have loads of dark matter and Barry and Frost arrive just in time to catch Romero in the middle of his rampage. Although Barry tries to cuff him, he easily breaks free. Frost ice blasts him out a window, which Barry doesn’t like so much. I don’t remember this deal being made, but Barry has three weeks to teach Frost how they do things on Team Flash and she’s failing. Frost insists it’s only because Barry is a crappy teacher. Hey, that’s what I’ve been saying!

The reason why Barry and Frost are teamed up on this Ramsey storyline goes deeper than Barry showing Frost the ropes, though. All three of them are fueled by a response to impending death: Ramsey is fighting, Barry has accepted it, and Frost — who is just learning what it means to be alive, only to get the news from Iris and Barry that the universe could be ending before Christmas — is lashing out at anything and everything around her. Most of the parallels are between Barry and Ramsey, but Frost is definitely in there as well.

Later, Ramsey is attacked by Dark Matter Zombie Romero (Oh, hey, I just got that reference!) but learns that his undead creation will follow his commands and mirror his movements. Barry doesn’t notice the father-monster bonding and instead lures Romero away and into the Pipeline, where one of those metahuman holding tanks should neutralize his powers. “Should” being the operative word, since Romero promptly breaks free. Frost freezes him by the feet and gets the bright idea to essentially OD Romero on dark matter, which works — and by “works” I mean it explodes him into chocolate pudding. Ew.

To end the arc, Ramsey is seen with a vial of Romero’s blended dark matter blood. Like Romero had, the blood follows Ramsey’s movements. Ramsey believes the zombie blood will heal anything, including the disease that’s killing him. He throws the blood at the wall, then sucks it up again. He declares that he needs more.

SECONDARY STORIES


But the episode wasn’t just about dark matter zombies! The other members of Team Flash were having adventures and figuring stuff out, too. First up: Ralph teams up with Cecile (and I’m still surprised at how well those two work together) when Ralph’s mother shows up, having just been arrested for armed robbery. Apparently Mama Dibney has quite the colorful past — and present, considering that her usual haunt is a gambling den and she’s a viable culprit in an armed robbery. Also, her name is Deb, which is weird for me personally.

Through a series of wacky hijinks, the trio uncovers the truth of Deb Dibney’s whereabouts during the robbery as well as a long-buried truth from Ralph’s past: though Deb told her son all her ex-boyfriends had died and he’d mourned them, she was actually lying to protect him from repeating the pain he felt when his birth father left the family. You know, I don’t think much about Ralph Dibney’s emotional depths, but his interactions with his mother were genuinely good this episode — just a teeny, tiny snippet of something that allowed the character to be more “real” than he was before. Good job, show!

Our other secondary plotline of the episode involved Iris and Cisco hunting for the new Harrison Wells duplicate after new cub reporter Allegra (from the last episode) spotted him in a photo. The new Harrison — “Nash” — Wells is an Indiana Jones type searching for a substance called Eternium, which I can only assume will become important later in the season. While not as character-driven as the Ralph plot, this segment of the episode was interesting in the way it explored Iris’s struggle with telling the truth about alternate universes and whatever to Allegra.

I’m glad to see that Allegra’s inclusion on Iris’s news team was more than just a throwaway ending for the last episode. It’ll be fun to see yet another instance of secret identities and the hidden realities of Team Flash meaning nothing when Iris inevitably breaks down and tells Allegra the whole truth.

Other Things:

  • It is really funny to me that Barry being a terrible teacher is a consistent character trait.
  • Barry throwing Frost her first ever birthday party was adorable. It’s a real shame he had to follow it up with telling everyone he probably has to die in order to save the multiverse.
  • Nash Wells is still looking for Eternium and finds some in a sewer. I don’t really know where this New Wells plot is going.

Monday, October 21, 2019

The Flash 6x02 Review: "A Flash of the Lightning" (Waves of Trouble) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]



“A Flash of the Lightning”
Original Airdate: October 15, 2019

First up: anyone else think this week’s episode is titled with some strange grammar? “A Flash of the Lightning”? What’s that “the” doing in there, The Flash? This has no bearing on my opinion of the episode, which I thought was well-acted and delivered a lot of interesting information but still seemed a bit slow for some reason. I just wanted to mention it.

THE MATTER OF ANTIMATTER


If you recall last week’s episode, the Monitor stopped by to drop the bad news that Barry’s gotta die or else the whole multiverse is doomed. To quote Iris quoting the Monitor: “To save the lives of billions the Flash must die — what kind of crap is that?” Oh, Iris. Calling shenanigans on comic book prophecies like the genre-savvy boss you are. Please never change, unless that change is an increase in screen time.

Barry and Iris come up with a plan to go into the future, to the day after Barry’s meant to disappear, and see what’s there to be seen. Armed with a mobile Gideon to let Barry (and the audience) know when stuff starts going wrong, Barry zips into the future. When he starts to approach the December 10, 2019 date he’s aiming for, something spits him back out into the present with a glowy wound on his leg and not much information. Turns out, the glow on that wound is antimatter (I wonder if it’s French Vanilla flavored?) and if Barry didn’t have super fast healing powers, he would have ceased to exist.

Time for yet another trip! Onto another Earth, rather than into the future: Barry pays a visit to Jay Garrick of Earth-3 because he’s apparently a top expert on antimatter. Jay has noticed antimatter popping up all over the place in “walls,” thus endangering all Earths everywhere. There’s no way past the antimatter wall physically, but Jay has built a device that could potentially send Barry’s mind past the wall instead.

Barry gets strapped into Jay’s device but things start going wrong quickly. Barry witnesses billions of timelines, all of which involve the destruction of everything. After witnessing all his loved ones get wiped out of existence, we see a different timeline where a running Barry seems to dissolve mid-stride in a sequence reminiscent of the Flash’s death in the actual Crisis on Infinite Earths comic book the upcoming Arrowverse event is based on. Jay and his wife (who’s a doppelgänger of Barry’s mom, fittingly) pull Barry out of a medical crash but he’s passed out for a while.

When he wakes up, Barry’s feeling physical pain from neural entropy and emotional pain from realizing that his death really is the only option for saving the rest of the multiverse. He gets carted back to Earth-1 and Iris, who’s still trying to stay positive in the face of her husband’s newfound negativity. Grant Gustin and Candice Patton seriously ace all their scenes together this episode, the one where they discuss their choices for the upcoming Crisis especially. Barry is utterly defeated, but Iris still has hope they’ll figure something out without losing Barry.

ELECTROMAGNETIC BOOGALOO


Speaking of good acting: Danielle Nicolet as Cecile got a lot of great stuff to do this episode as well. Cecile is carrying the Meta of the Week portion of things while Barry and Iris deal with the weight of the season arc, and she does an excellent job swinging from absolute faith in her empath powers to doubt and frustration. The meta she’s dealing with is named Allegra, who can control wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum and is about to be sentenced in a murder case when Cecile senses not only a lack of guilt in her, but also knowledge of the real killer.

Cecile turns to the rest of Team Flash (sans the Flash himself) to figure out how Allegra could have an eyewitness pin her at the scene of the crime but not be guilty. The first step is to talk to that eyewitness, but when they show up at the person’s apartment they find the witness dead and Allegra present at the crime scene. She throws UV waves directly at Ralph’s face, resulting in a nasty sunburn that matches the burns found on the first victim in Allegra’s case.

Twists and turns lead Cecile & Co. to the only logical answer: the cousin Allegra was with when they were caught in the particle accelerator explosion years ago hadn’t died, as Allegra assumed, but gained the same powers Allegra got and turned down a far more murderous path in life. Allegra thinks mentioning her theory of her cousin Esperanza’s survival is guaranteed to make anyone laugh in her face and call her crazy, but I’m not so sure why. In a city often dealing with everything from people who can call upon lightning to people who can turn matter into cubes, I don’t really think “someone I thought was dead could still be alive” would rank in the top twenty of a Central City citizen’s weird-o-meter.

Once she gets the truth from Allegra, Cecile calls up Ralph and Iris, who have gathered together five years’ worth of juvie files, and asks Ralph to look up Esperanza. Turns out, she was in a vegetative state after the particle accelerator explosion, not dead. More interestingly, though: Esperanza was taken from the detention center’s hospital by a shady company and her file was largely redacted. Even more interestingly: Esperanza attacks CCPD looking for Allegra, who she wants to kill to keep the secret of her survival a secret. Um... wouldn’t it be better to just lay low until Allegra goes to jail? No one was believing her about Esperanza being the real killer anyway.

Anyway, the attack on CCPD pushes Barry out of his convalescence and his defeated funk. He speeds over to the police station and faces Esperanza head on — literally. He gets one of those UV burns on his face for his troubles, but he does manage to get a good punch in to knock Esperanza out. Presumably, she’s apprehended after that.

At the end of the episode, Barry’s experience with Esperanza has taught him to face his impending doom with less of a mopey attitude, I guess? Iris is still adamant that he shouldn’t go down without a fight, but Barry is convinced his death is a definite possibility, especially if it’s what needs to be done to save Iris and the rest of existence.

Other Things:
  • The Killer Frost/Cisco/Ralph storyline this episode was also wonderful, though it didn’t fit into the main body of this review. It’s also really funny that Cisco had a convenient fix for Frost’s icy-echo voice effect and glowy eyes. Guess the folks in post-production weren’t on board to add those effects over so much screen time.
  • “It’s not getting any less ow.” I’m still amazed by how funny Ralph is now that he’s not being gross all the time.
  • Esperanza/Ultraviolet’s strobe fight set to rock music was pretty cool. Is every episode this season going to have a cool sequence vaguely related to music cues?
  • Speaking of cool: Joe this episode? Even more cool than usual. I can’t pinpoint why, but he is.
  • My only real problem with the Cecile and Allegra plot is that it sort of buried the lede on that shady business of turning metahumans into assassins.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 16x04 Recap: “It’s Raining Men” (Bad Press) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“It’s Raining Men”
Original Airdate: October 17, 2019

The lives for all the characters on Grey’s Anatomy keep getting more complicated. This week’s issues center on derailing any potential happiness that any of them have. Grey Sloan Memorial finds itself in even hotter water after an article slamming the hospital goes viral.

FALLOUT


Meredith’s problems keep piling up when a very harsh article gets published using her name. Amelia and Maggie tell Meredith that she is making headlines and has 90,000 likes and climbing for an online article, in list form, detailing various criticisms about healthcare, pharmaceutical companies, and issues at Grey Sloan Memorial. The problem is that Mer only sent the website her ideas for potential articles and neither wrote anything herself nor gave quotes. Meredith is shocked that the headline suggests that Grey Sloan is a terrible hospital and repeatedly says that she never said that.

The article spreads like wildfire, and we quickly get to see each character’s varying opinions of it. Alex thinks the whole thing is hilarious because of how true it is, while Jo is shocked that Meredith would bash the hospital that she owns. The residents and interns have mixed opinions on the article, but they seem to be in agreement that Meredith’s issues are valid. However, most seem to also feel that the bad publicity for Grey Sloan is not good for their blossoming careers. One even says that Qadri should be happy she was fired and got out while she could, and it is also revealed that the recently fired doctor has gotten a job in Michigan.

Bailey’s reaction to the news is the worst of the bunch, which is unsurprising. However, the way she finds out is a bit comical. Owen tells Bailey that he is going on paternity leave for as long as Koracick keeps his restraining order on him. As they talk, an ambulance pulls up to the ER with a dialysis patient with a burst fistula. The new patient finds out he is at Grey Sloan and immediately freaks out and says he will sue if he is brought inside. Turns out he has seen Meredith’s article and doesn’t want to be anywhere near what he thinks is a toxic hospital. Bailey is very confused, and Owen jumps into action by telling the driver to take them to Pac-North. Bailey goes inside, looks at her phone, and is instantly horrified by the article.

DeLuca thinks that it’s a good idea to see how Bailey is handling the news, which is a dumb move. We all know that Bailey’s reaction isn’t going to be good, so putting yourself in the line of fire is a bad move, DeLuca. He also has the bright idea to tell Bailey that the chief resident quit after seeing the article. In a surprising move, Bailey immediately appoints DeLuca as the new chief resident. In the next breath, she starts berating him about why he didn’t warn them about Meredith’s article and completely freaks out at him. Bailey is being irrational, but at least we get an explanation as to why at the end of the episode.

Koracick is also on a small warpath and is trying to come up with damage control solutions. His bright idea is to film Jackson’s upcoming surgery on a three-year-old child with abnormal skull growth to give the hospital some good publicity. Koracick’s theory is that Jackson successfully operating on a child and helping her have a better life will make them all look better. Jackson is wary of the plan, but goes along with it for the moment. Elsewhere on the patient front, Teddy is back at work full-time and gets a crazy case: a criminal stowaway jumped out of a plane mid-flight and landed on a group of people on the ground. The criminal died on impact, but Station 19’s Ben and Vic bring in a woman who was hit by the guy. Her crush injuries are pretty intense and lead to a very unorthodox day at the office for everyone.

FROM BAD TO WORSE


Meredith wants to make the whole article situation right and calls her contact at the unnamed website while at community service. She demands them to change the headline, as it is misleading and she never said that Grey Sloan is a bad hospital. The person clearly doesn’t care what Meredith says and won’t change it. Meanwhile, Jackson is very unhappy when he learns that Koracick has bribed his child patient’s parents for his publicity stunt. They will let a camera crew follow all of their daughter’s care and the surgery in exchange for the surgery being pro bono. Jackson doesn’t agree with the terms and makes it well known that he hates Koracick.

Owen arrives at Pac-North with the dialysis patient and tells the ER doctor that he needs to page the head of cardio and get the patient to the OR. The doctor tells Owen that they don’t have a head of cardio, so Owen decides to take the patient to surgery himself. Webber catches up with them and takes over the patient’s care. As Owen goes to leave, he bumps into Alex and is offered a tour of the hospital. Alex is smart and spots Owen being at his hospital as an opportunity to recruit another great doctor. Back at Grey Sloan, Teddy, Maggie, and Helm are attempting to help the patient who was crushed by the guy who fell from the sky, while Link tries to calm down the patient’s blood-soaked boyfriend. The boyfriend tells Link that the guy that fell from the sky exploded on impact, which explains why he is covered in blood and extremely shaken up. Link tries to calm him down and clean him up, but finding a piece of the dead man in the boyfriend’s sweatshirt starts the process over again.

Things aren’t going well for Meredith at community service either. She gets texts from DeLuca saying that the Bailey situation is not good at all and from Cristina saying that she should leave before Bailey kills her. Meredith decides that she should play the part of bomb squad and go diffuse the situation with Bailey. She tells her supervisor that she needs to leave and will make up the hours another day, but the supervisor is being tough and doesn’t want to let Mer leave. Meredith runs away from community service, which if reported by the supervisor, would put her back in court.

PATCH JOB


After checking on his young patient before surgery, Jackson sees that the camera crew is interviewing her father, who is giving a tearful account of how much help all the doctors at GSM have been. Koracick is super pleased with the footage, as he plans to use it to his advantage. Jackson angrily watches and undermines Koracick by cutting off the interview. Koracick ignores Jackson’s power move by saying now is a good time to go interview the mother. The powder keg is close to exploding at this point, and it’s unclear how far Jackson will go to stop Koracick.

Bailey asks Maggie to give her a cardio exam to make sure her heart is fine after not feeling well when learning about Meredith’s article. Bailey is worried that the news will give her another heart attack, but Maggie assures her there is nothing wrong with her heart. Maggie nervously tells Bailey that she thinks the problems Bailey has been having are hormonal. A little after the appointment, Ben visits Bailey in her office to try and make things better. He tries to make light of the article situation, which doesn’t make things better. Bailey gets hysterical and tells her husband that she is starting menopause. She completely loses her mind and sobs through the scene while telling him about all the feelings she’s been having and how she never thought menopause would be this hard. Ben is a saint and asks her to tell him what she needs because he is the best husband in the world and will do anything to make her feel better. Bailey just wants him to sit with her for a bit, but that doesn’t stop her hysterics.

At the end of their tour of Pac-North, Alex and Owen walk past a room where a patient is bleeding heavily while recovering from surgery. Owen immediately springs into action to help stop the bleeding and tells the incompetent Pac-North doctor to get out of his way. Like the good guy and doctor he is, Owen decides to try and teach the resident while trying to stop the patient’s bleeding. When the bleeding won’t stop, Owen volunteers to help Alex operate. Meanwhile, Meredith has snuck into Grey Sloan and finds Jo to ask how bad things are. Jo tells her that the residents are panicking and the other doctors are split on their feelings. However, she also says that once tempers calm down, she thinks the article will spark good conversations about healthcare reform since what Mer “wrote” is true.

Down in the OR, Teddy and Maggie are assisted by Helm to fix their patient’s crush injuries. No matter what they do, it seems the patient keeps going downhill. Right as things start to get even worse, Link comes in to give them an extra set of hands. He might be too late though, as it appears the patient might be bleeding out and going into cardiac arrest. Jackson has decided to fight back against Koracick by screwing up his publicity ploy. He enlists Amelia and tells his patient’s parents that Amelia is the better surgeon for the job. Jackson tells them that the surgery will still be pro bono with Amelia operating because patients mean more to him than good press. The parents agree to let Amelia help with the operation, and Jackson convinces them that they don’t need the cameras either.

NEW OPPORTUNITIES


Unfortunately, Teddy, Maggie, Link, and Helm’s patient succumbs to her injuries on the operating table. Teddy is especially upset by her patient’s death and declares that the whole world is broken for something like this to happen, not just healthcare. In an adjacent OR, Koracick is livid to find Jackson, Amelia, and Schmitt operating without the cameras present. He feels they kidnapped the surgery from him, as Amelia replaced him on the roster. Jackson decides to play his ace and tells Koracick that as the head of the board, he is technically Koracick’s boss and can decide if cameras record his surgery or not. He also reminds Koracick that all of his plastic surgery procedures generate a ton of money for the hospital, so he should back off.

After Koracick leaves, there’s a more graphic than usual montage of Jackson and Schmitt deconstructing and reconstructing their patient’s skull piece by piece. This scene isn’t for the faint of stomach, as Grey’s typically doesn’t show the grittier side of medicine. At the end of the successful procedure, Schmitt tells Jackson that they should have filmed the surgery because it really would have made a difference for the hospital, which further angers Jackson. Back Pac-North’s OR, Owen describes how bad the Koracick situation has gotten at Grey Sloan and how he refuses to work with Koracick after the restraining order incident. Alex takes the opportunity to formally offer Owen the position of head of trauma at Pac-North. The pitch includes allowing Owen to run and build the department however he wants.

Meredith decides to fall on her sword and speak to Bailey while she is visiting Grey Sloan. Bailey is less than thrilled to see her former student in her office and doesn’t want to hear Meredith’s explanations for what happened. Meredith tries to tell Bailey that her ideas were never meant to be published and how she had no idea it was happening or that the website would bad-mouth the hospital. She says the website won’t take the article down or change the headline. Bailey and Meredith both then agree that publishing a retraction of the story won’t help the cause either. Meredith apologizes for the whole ordeal and emotionally talks about how she could never say anything bad about Grey Sloan. For half a second, it looks like Bailey might understand Meredith’s pleas, but that quickly fades when she tells Meredith that the damage has been done and can’t be undone. Bailey kicks Meredith out, effectively ending anything that remained of their friendship.

THE LAST LAUGH


At the end of a very busy day, Koracick catches Owen and Teddy before they leave the hospital to tell Owen that he has decided to drop the restraining order and would like to offer him his job back. Owen practically laughs in Koracick’s face and tells him that he quit and wasn’t fired and doesn’t want his job back. Koracick and Teddy are surprised to hear that Owen has accepted a job at Pac-North, and Koracick smugly tells Owen to call him when he realizes the error in his ways.

The end of the episode essentially gives updates on the show’s couples. Vic finds Jackson after dropping another patient off at Grey Sloan and hears all about how he rebuilt a kid’s skull from scratch. She is surprised that he is being more humble than usual and says how impressed she is with his work. The love birds head to the cafeteria for a dinner date. At the Grey/Pierce/Shepherd residence, while spending some quality time together, Link tells Amelia that he is in love with her. He goes on to explain that love isn’t his thing because he is afraid of pain, but has decided that it’s time to dive in and see what happens. Oddly enough, Amelia doesn’t say that she loves him too, even though she has already declared her love earlier in the season.

Two other relationships are about to be tested back at Grey Sloan. Meredith talks to DeLuca about the article situation and admits that she doesn’t know how to fix it. She thought that her history with Bailey would work in her favor, not blow up in her face. DeLuca tells Meredith it was a bad idea to talk to Bailey and she shouldn’t have left community service. He gets angrier at her when she tells him that she has been summoned back to court for her actions. Meredith takes the opportunity to defend herself and says that she was only telling the truth in her article.

DeLuca fights back by saying she is being self-destructive and should have worked within the system to fix it instead of trying to blow it up from the outside. Now Meredith is rather upset with her boy toy and declares that if he thinks she can sit back and not say anything when there are giant problems then he doesn’t know her at all. The cracks that we all knew would at some point make themselves apparent have started to form. The episode ends with a quick scene in Bailey’s office with Maggie delivering her final test results. Maggie announces that Bailey is starting menopause, but she’s also pregnant! Bailey is utterly shocked and Maggie asks her to not keep it a secret. Considering Bailey isn’t Amelia, I’m sure the news will come out quickly.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 16x03 Recap: “Reunited” (Come Together) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Reunited”
Original Airdate: October 10, 2019

“Reunited, and it feels so good” is the perfect mantra for this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Former Charmed costars Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs guest star as, you guessed it, sisters who are reunited in the wake of a family tragedy. The pair checks into Pac-North (this episode is part of ABC’s “Cast from the Past Week” where Milano and Combs are reunited with Grey’s executive producers and one-time Charmed writers Krista Vernoff and Andy Reaser).

You know you are in for a good time whenever two guest stars of this caliber stop by for some antics.

PATIENCE IS A VIRTURE


The episode opens with a few shots of Jackson and new friend Vic Hughes going on a morning hike. The pair appears to be getting along great, though Jackson is surprised to see Vic’s firefighter strength when she moves a tree out of their path. It’s immediately obvious that it is only a matter of time before they become more than friends, but more on that later. Over at the Grey/Shepherd/Pierce residence, Amelia tells Maggie that she is going to keep the baby during their now-typical morning talk. Amelia admits that the situation is bewildering and that she isn’t ready to tell Meredith, Owen, or anyone else yet. As has become customary, Maggie gets in a few complaints about Jackson moving on from their breakup so quickly.

DeLuca keeps trying to earn the title of best boyfriend by dropping Meredith off at community service on his way to work. Their car ride discussion reveals that Bailey is punishing DeLuca for his ongoing relationship with Meredith by assigning him to run the ICU and not perform surgery. Meredith is currently working on pitching article ideas to different websites on various reasons why the healthcare system in this country is failing. DeLuca cautiously warns Meredith to not go too far with whatever she writes, as it could come back to burn her down the road.

It may be a new day for Alex and Richard down the road at Pac-North, but they still seem to be having the same problems. Their new MRI machine has arrived, after the old one broke in the previous episode, but the hospital doesn’t have the correct software for the new machine, rendering it useless. Richard is surprised to bump into his AA friend Gemma, who was introduced toward the end of last season. Gemma has gotten a job in the billing department of Pac-North, and Richard is glad to have another friend around.

Grey Sloan Memorial is also having its fair share of drama, which kicks off when Teddy brings baby Allison to the hospital and bumps into Amelia. Teddy is slightly frazzled at being a new mother, while Amelia catches herself mid-sentence when she practically says that she is pregnant. Teddy’s sleep deprived brain isn’t functional enough to catch Amelia’s slip up, so the pregnancy secret is safe for now. Owen is working on a trauma patient in the ER when Koracick comes into the room for a consult and kicks Owen out by enforcing his restraining order. Owen isn’t pleased that he can’t help his own patient and that Koracick is acting like a child, but this is what was to be expected when he was given more power. Jo seems to be the only happy doctor in the hospital and is very enthusiastic about performing a difficult surgery on one of Meredith’s previous patients. However, the patient is not happy that Meredith is no longer her doctor and doesn’t want Jo to remove her liver tumor.

We are then introduced to two squabbling sisters, Heidi (Combs) and Haylee (Milano), who are shocked to learn from Richard that their third sister fell 30 feet into a construction site and might be brain dead.

DISORIENTED


Back at Grey Sloan, the drama heats up when Amelia finds out during a hallway conversation that Link told Jo about the pregnancy. Amelia reiterates that she isn’t ready to tell people and isn’t happy that Link blabbed. Link defends himself by telling her that he had to tell his best friend. Thankfully, the argument is cut short when they run into an elderly Korean woman in the hall. The woman appears to be lost, and Link and Amelia decide she needs help since they can’t understand Korean.

Jo decides to be extra bold and asks Bailey to let Meredith come back to the hospital to perform one surgery on her patient with the liver tumor. Bailey immediately shoots the idea down and tells Jo that she needs to convince her patient to have the surgery because she won’t let Meredith step foot in the OR. Jo has a lightbulb moment and realizes that they can have Meredith be a part of the surgical team without her being in the building.

Maggie’s pity party continues as she is performing a heart procedure on an elderly gentleman named Bertie. During the procedure, he tells her all about how love makes everything better, but Maggie isn’t buying his advocating for love. And speaking of love, we get a glimpse at the chaos happening over at Pac-North, where Heidi and Haylee are at odds over whether or not to unplug their brain-dead sister. Alex and Richard watch as Heidi tries to convince Haylee that their sister wouldn’t want to continue living like this, but Haylee doesn’t want to give up hope. Poor Alex and Richard know they are in for a long day of arguing.

Back in Grey Sloan’s ER, Link and Amelia are treating their new patient for dehydration while looking for an interpreter. Nico happens to be close by and overhears the lady speaking Korean, which he also coincidentally speaks. Nico translates what the patient is saying and tells the other two that she has lost her friend that is a bird and that she seems disoriented.

Owen is also mulling around the ER and gets very upset when Koracick announces that he is entering the room, forcing him to leave once again. Jo brings Meredith into her patient’s room via video chat and says that they can have her in the OR the whole time with them to look over Jo. It’s surprising that Bailey has agreed to allow Meredith to supervise through video chat considering her disdain for her former mentee. However, Bailey has to get over it when the patient agrees that she will have the surgery as long as Meredith is there on camera the whole time.

FAITH


Teddy is still chilling at the hospital since she enjoys being there more than being at home. Owen finds her and Allison and suggests that they give the baby a tour of the hospital to take both of their minds off of things. Vic shows up at Grey Sloan when she brings in a patient while on aid car duty and visits Jackson. He notices that she has a cut on her forehead over her left eyebrow and says, in a very flirty manner, that he will fix her up. Amelia finds Maggie and wants her opinion on whether she should start telling people that she’s pregnant. Maggie feels that Amelia shouldn’t say anything yet so she and Link can enjoy their secret. Amelia and Link’s elderly patient doesn’t want help, but Nico suggest that they keep her for observation in case she has dementia. Maggie checks in on Bertie, who asks her to go on a walk with him.

Over at Pac-North, Haylee has left and come back with some crystals, which she thinks might help her sister heal. (Yes, the healing power of crystals reference shouldn’t be lost on viewers in the sly move to reference Milano’s witchy TV past.) Heidi doesn’t see the point in holding out hope when they know that their sister isn’t going to wake up. Haylee wants Heidi to have some faith that they could get some good news and not lose their sister, which is really too optimistic at this point.

Speaking of faith, DeLuca shows some good faith by teaching Schmitt how to do a simple procedure and then letting him perform it on their patient. DeLuca’s plan backfires when Schmitt royally screws up by dropping the guide wire into the patient’s heart. Bailey is beyond mad at DeLuca when she hears what happened, but he takes her wrath like a champ and doesn’t out Schmitt’s mistake, much to the surprise of Schmitt and the audience.

LOVE ALWAYS WINS


After some more bickering between Heidi and Haylee, Richard forces the sisters to stop arguing. The sisters quip that he sounds like their mom, but are moved when he says that they should use this hard time as an opportunity to become close again. He reminds them that they have each other to lean on in this tough time and that they need to make a joint decision on what care to give their sister in order to heal. The sisters immediately realize that Richard is right, and Haylee decides that Heidi is right in pulling the plug.

Meanwhile Jo’s surgery on Meredith’s patient is going very well, and Meredith is happy to be helping out via video chat. The other surgeons and nurses are glad that she is helping out too, but Bailey still isn’t enthused by the situation. Things go south when the patient has a massive hemorrhage in the middle of the surgery. Bailey scrubs in to help Jo out before the patient bleeds out. At the other end of the hospital, Maggie asks Bertie for advice on how to get Jackson out of her mind while on their walk. They pass by the Korean patient’s room, and Bertie and the woman recognize each other, much to the shock of the other doctors. It turns out that the pair met during the Korean War and fell in love.

Bertie tells the story of how they were supposed to meet on a train platform to go back to America together and start a new life. Unfortunately, he was reassigned to an earlier train and didn’t have a way of contacting her, and they never saw each other again. Bertie goes on to tell his long lost love about his life since then and how he has never forgotten her. The lady tells Bertie, through Nico’s translation, that she never showed up on the train platform either because she was scared to leave South Korea. She didn’t forget about him either and followed him on social media. She had seen his post about his surgery, which prompted her to fly to America to find him and see him again. This is quite a moving and lovely story that touches all the characters and exactly what this episode needed considering the Heidi/Haylee storyline.

While one couple is brought back together after many years apart, a new couple emerges in another room in the hospital. Jackson is stitching up Vic’s forehead, and the sexual tension in the air could be cut with a knife. She asks him is she is the first girl he has dated who is stronger than him and whether or not that is an issue. Jackson coyly says that he may not be stronger than her, but he has a lot of skills that she will find handy. With that cue, the two engage in a lively makeout session and decide that taking things slow isn’t going to happen. It’s easy to see Jackson and Vic working out long term because they have great chemistry and a second cross-show relationship makes perfect sense.

NEW BEGINNINGS


After all the love is outed, we finally learn that DeLuca and Schmitt’s patient is fine following Schmitt’s debacle. Schmitt doesn’t understand why DeLuca is taking the blame for his mistake, and DeLuca says it is ultimately his responsibility because he was in charge of the procedure. However, all is not forgiven, and DeLuca wants Schmitt to hold onto a guide wire for the next week in order for him to learn to never let go of it again in a procedure. DeLuca also makes Schmitt tell the patient’s family what happened to teach him a lesson. The other ailing patient at Grey Sloan also survives when Jo and Bailey are able to repair their patient’s hepatic vein and restore blood flow. Jo completes the procedure successfully, and everyone is super proud of her. Meredith is extremely proud of Jo’s successful outcome, but Bailey hangs up on her mid-praise.

The time has come for the brain-dead sister to be unplugged at Pac-North. While Richard is explaining what he is doing while turning off the machines one by one, everyone gets scared when a cell phone goes off right after the ventilator is turned off. Heidi finds her dying sister’s phone in her bag of personal items and picks it up when she sees it is her sister’s best friend calling. They get the shock of a lifetime when Heidi is told by the friend that her sister is alive and well and that her bag had been stolen. Heidi and Haylee immediately freak out that they have killed the wrong person and scream at Richard to plug whoever this woman is back in. It’s quite a comedic moment when they realize that they pulled the plug on someone they didn’t know.

It turns out that the injured and now-dead woman stole the wallet and was misidentified. Haylee starts blaming Heidi for mistakenly killing person. Richard intervenes and makes them realize that they have been given a rare second chance at fixing their relationship with their very-much-alive sister and that they shouldn’t waste the opportunity. The sisters agree with Richard and all is well again, except in Alex’s case when Richard tells him that the whole mess is a chief problem to fix.

After hearing Bertie’s story, Amelia tells Link that she is happy that they decided to keep the baby, but she’s scared at the same time, which is why she wanted to keep it a secret. In the same sentence, she has a change of heart and decides it’s time to tell their family and friends the good news, as long as he is by her side the whole time. You can practically hear the audience’s collective “aw” in the background during the sweet moment. In another moment of couple’s therapy, Nico doesn’t understand how Schmitt made such a big mistake and says that Schmitt needs to demand more of himself. Nico decides that they will spend the night in the skills lab practicing the procedure over and over until Schmitt won’t make the same mistake again.

Awkwardness then takes over the halls of Grey Sloan when Maggie bumps into Vic as she is leaving. Vic doesn’t want things to be awkward between them, but there’s no chance of that ever happening. The scene is very uncomfortable to watch because they are able to really drive the awkwardness of the encounter home. Things get more awkward when intern Qadri goes on a rant to Bailey about how all the interns and residents chose to work at Grey Sloan to specifically work with Meredith. Bailey irrationally fires Qadri on the spot for supporting Meredith. My bold prediction is that Bailey will not remain chief of surgery for much longer and will be removed from her position by midseason. She can’t keep punishing everyone who supports Meredith because it is completely unfair.

Owen and Teddy end their day by switching roles. Owen suggests that Teddy go back to work and let him stay home with Allison for a while since his current work situation is less than stellar. Teddy is very happy with the new agreement and decides to go change into scrubs and get to work at that very minute. Link, Amelia, Meredith, and DeLuca are also enjoying a couple’s night, where Amelia randomly blurts out that she is pregnant. The news stuns Meredith and DeLuca momentarily until Meredith starts jumping for joy. She is just a little excited to be an aunt.

The episode ends at Pac-North with a possibly touchy situation for Richard. After not being able to get a hold of Catherine to tell her about his chaotic day, Richard runs into Gemma again. She invites him out to dinner to talk about pulling the plug on the wrong patient, and the two leave the hospital together. Hopefully this doesn’t put Richard on another slippery slope, but only time will tell.

The Flash 6x01 Review: "Into the Void" (Flash! Ah-ah!) [Contributor: Deborah MacArthur]


“Into the Void”
Original Airdate: October 8, 2019

Unlike previous seasons of The Flash, I’m going into season six completely ignorant of everything the show has planned. Will the villain for the season be a speedster? A megalomaniacal genius bent on world domination? A time traveler? I don’t know! I’m really hoping this lack of knowledge will add suspense and obfuscate the show’s usual pacing issues. Can’t be bored of stuff when you don’t know where it’s going, right?

Anyway, this season opener was fun, with a good balance of action-y stuff and emotional stuff and pretty much all the characters getting something to do. That’s always nice. Overall, a solid debut for the show’s sixth season — and as a bonus, this episode has probably the best music moment of the whole series so far.

KING OF THE IMPOSSIBLE!


Moments after we ended last season, Barry and Iris are leaving the Time Vault where they’ve just finished listening to Nora’s sad goodbye message. As soon as they’re out of the room, an alarm goes off and they run back in to find Nora’s recording glitching and the little disc that held it frying in the futuristic SD card slot. So, Iris and Barry have lost their time-erased daughter’s final words to them, which... man, it’s no wonder Iris spends this whole episode looking like she’s about to crumble to pieces. Barry, by the way, takes the complete opposite route this episode and adopts overly cheery “can-do” attitude that he pulls out every time a new problem arises.

Speaking of problems: four months later, someone out there is making fake versions of the villain Godspeed for some unfathomable reason. The false Godspeeds look realistic but they only make a screeching sound the likes of which I haven’t heard since back when I’d connect to AOL via dial-up. This most recent Godspeed is the fourth one so far. I assume the spare Godspeeds is going to be a season arc thing?

But it’s not all about action heroics with Team Flash! You gotta make time for family cookouts, too. Iris and her father are both wearing kicky hats and there’s more than one Hawaiian shirt on display, so you know everyone’s having a good time. Seriously, though, it’s a cute little scene and further establishes how much the team is like a family. There are no horrible secrets being hidden from anyone, no dramatic interpersonal troubles, no lies... I enjoy a comic book show that just goes “all these people love each other and it’s great” and leaves it at that.

Unfortunately, plot rests for no one: Barry has to deal with a break-in, Caitlin has to go to a funeral, Cisco has science stuff, Iris wants to hunt down a box her father threw away, and Joe and Cecille are left with the washing up. I’m mad because there’s a whole pie in the shot that no one ate.

At the funeral Caitlin left for, a suave, English-accented man is giving the sort of eloquent eulogy only given by people on TV and movies. The funeral is for his mother, who was apparently a mentor of Caitlin’s while she attended med school with Suave Man, whose name is Ramsey Rosso. Ramsey invites Caitlin out for coffee, which means he’s destined for death and/or villainy. Sure enough, later he gives Caitlin an evil speech of evil in which he asks for her help obtaining dark matter in order to cure the disease that killed his mother. Caitlin refuses, and he essentially tells her she’ll rue the day! Rue it!

Meanwhile, Iris is at a junkyard and the attendant helps her find the box Joe threw away. Did Joe really throw away a box without checking what was in it first? Because the thing in the box — the thing Iris went to a junkyard to find — is Nora’s XS jacket. Sadly, as soon as she gets her hands on a memento of her lost daughter, a black hole opens and sucks it inside. It almost sucks the attendant and Iris inside as well, but it closes before they get to visit another dimension.

Other black holes are popping up around the city, including one that nearly sucks Caitlin in while she’s on her coffee date with that future supervillain. Notably, when Caitlin nearly gets pulled into a black hole in the middle of a coffee shop, she calls for Killer Frost to lend a hand but her alter-ego fails to appear. I assumed we’d have more Killer Frost is Missing drama because it’s always something with that frosty lass, but it turns out she was just kinda sulky about not being able to live her own life.

The main issue is those black holes. Iris has managed to put her investigative reporter skills to work and tracked down an online personality named Chester P. Runk. Chester is energetic and eccentric and a genius, judging by Cisco’s reaction to what he’s building on a recorded livestream. I assume the livestream is like, non-copyrighted Twitch or something but I don’t really know because, if you couldn’t already tell by my reference to AOL earlier in this review, I’m old and boring. Iris fast-forwards through a lot of Chester’s rambling and building a device that’s meant to contact aliens but malfunctions and creates a miniature black hole. The livestream cuts out as soon as Chester touches the black hole.

Cecille has apparently used her connections as DA to find Chester, and Iris shows up to question him about the black holes. There’s a snag, though: Chester is catatonic. Frustrated by the lack of progress, Iris storms out and Cecille follows, having caught on that Iris lost something belonging to Nora at the junkyard. They have a little heart-to-heart about the grieving process. Inspired by her own difficulty communicating, Iris goes back and see Chester, whose twitching finger is in tune with the pulse pattern of the black hole on the news playing on the hospital TV. You know what this means? Central City’s local news has no time delay! Also, Chester and the black hole are connected, and stopping the black hole will mean killing Chester.

The nerd sector of Team Flash figures out that the cycle of stimuli in Chester’s brain disappears halfway around, only to be completed in an energy cycle within the black hole. So, the team has figured out what the problem is, but not so much the solution — Cisco argues that they might have to let Chester die if it means saving the whole city. Barry, dropping the positivity buzz he’d had all episode, snaps that he won’t lose “anyone else,” so clearly this is very Nora-related.

After his blow-up, Iris talks to Barry about losing Nora. She explains that she feels awful about the black hole eating Nora’s jacket because, illogically, she thinks Nora will need the jacket in order to become XS. You know, the writing of this speech (and Candice Patton’s stellar acting) seriously sells that irrational part of mourning. In this case, it’s the idea that one’s future daughter needs a jacket to complete some sort of time loop and arrive at the place in her life she needs to be, but it’s just a very bizarre version of a very real thing.

But there’s no time for emotions — a black hole has opened up in Central City! Team Flash has determined that Barry will be going into the black hole to stop it from the inside. The bad news is, it might smoosh him into subatomic tininess. The good news is, the Speed Force is stronger than physics and we have a whole season left, so he’ll probably be okay.

Cisco, who has the best priorities, needle-drops the song “Flash” by Queen for Barry’s trip into the black hole — wait, Queen? This show can afford Queen?! Anyway, it’s awesome and I approve. With a little help from Nora’s time travel equipment, Cecille’s ability to carry Chester to S.T.A.R Labs (apparently she can bench her body weight, so that’s something), and some crowd control from Joe and Killer Frost, Barry saves the day and saves Chester to boot. He also managed to get Nora’s jacket out of the black hole, which doesn’t seem like it should be possible but it’s a heartwarming moment so I’ll allow it.

The heartwarming moment is interrupted by the arrival of The Monitor. Heeeey, Monitor. Monitor anything good lately? Oh, no, just the imminent destruction of the multiverse and/or the death of our hero on December 10, 2019? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Other Things: 

  • Cisco, Caitlin, and Barry are working on something called the “MAC” to augment his brain in order to predict the future and, for real guys? You’re going to mess with Barry’s brain? Sure, how could that possibly end poorly?
  • I kind of really like the friendship between Ralph and Killer Frost.
  • “He’s still, you know, glowing in the eyes with orange dark energy, but he’s in really good spirits!”
  • I like Chester and I want him to show up again.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Jenn’s Pick: 10 TV Shows That Are Worth Your Time [Contributor: Jenn]

Image result for tv apps

Welcome to the final few months of 2019! As we approach a brand-new decade soon (a shocking thought), it seems like we’ll soon be in the era of all-out streaming service wars. Between Disney, Apple, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO, and cable services, it can be overwhelming to find the time and money to watch television.

Regardless of the cost, you might be looking for a way to escape the plethora of parties or family engagements as the holiday season rolls around. And that’s where I come in! Whether it’s a new show or a show that’s returned for another season, there are numerous series out there deserving of your time. I’ve narrowed them down to ten. Let’s get started!

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10. Single Parents (ABC)


I’ve talked a lot about Single Parents on here, but it truly is a gem of a comedy series. It has a fantastic ensemble, the children in the show are just as important as the adults (and they get their own major storylines to prove it), the show is genuinely funny, and it has a big heart. The show is created by the same women who had a hand in New Girl, so if you enjoyed the blend of hilarity, shenanigans, and sweet moments that show was about, then you’ll love Single Parents.

This little-show-that-could managed to get a second season which is currently airing on ABC, so binge-watch the first season on Hulu and catch up now!

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9. Emergence (ABC)


I love fall TV pilot season. As a good friend of mine noted, it’s like our own version of college football kickoff! I tend to gravitate more toward comedy pilots than drama ones (or at least I have in the past), so I was surprised that this season saw a healthy mix of both in my queue. Emergence was one of the shows that intrigued me and it’s already proven to be a mystery-centric series. I like shows with cliffhangers that draw you in — not just shock and awe for the sake of shock and awe — so Emergence was right up my alley. It stars Allison Tolman as Jo, a police chief, who suddenly finds herself at the center of a mystery surrounding a little girl. Tolman’s Jo is kind, endearing, and immediately likable. There’s enough in the pilot to unravel in the future: Jo’s sick father, her ex-husband (played by Donald Faison), the ever-growing powers the little girl, Piper, seems to have. If you’re in the market for something interesting without too much of a scare factor, then Emergence is the series for you.

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8. Stumptown (ABC)


I couldn’t say no to a show that featured Cobie Smulders and a bearded Jake Johnson, and I didn’t regret it. The pilot begins with “Sweet Caroline,” a fight sequence, a dramatic freeze frame, and a cast of dimensional characters. Stumptown is an ABC drama series based on a comic of the same name. It centers around Dex (Smulders), a military veteran-turned-P.I. Dex is unabashadley blunt and cavalier in her methods and relationships, but beneath her harder exterior and emotional walls is a lot of loss and vulnerability. Not many people get to see the softer side of Dex, besides her brother, Ansel, and her friend Grey (Johnson).

Stumptown had a really nice mix of everything which is probably why I immediately gravitated toward it. It boasts an incredibly talented cast (not mentioned above was Michael Ealy who plays a detective and Dex’s sorta-love interest), plus a nice blend of mystery/cop drama and case-of-the-week serialization/comedy/heart. Cobie Smulders could sell me anything, and Dex is a really hard character to play. She’s sarcastic, deeply wounded, and also incredibly warm — but only when she chooses to be. Smulders strikes the exact right balance in her performance, and Jake Johnson’s Grey is equal parts endearing and complex.

Your next drama series should be this one!

9. The -ish Trio: blackish, grownish, and mixedish (ABC and Freeform)


I know I am cheating but I have to keep the -ish trio together. If you haven’t yet watched blackish, I highly recommend starting there. Though it’s not required, necessarily, to watch blackish before attempting mixedish or grownish, you’ll have a clearer picture of each series if you do. Plus, blackish is just excellent. It has this incredible way of portraying very real, very hard conversations with rawness, honesty, and humanity. The Johnsons are all so well-rounded that it makes their inter-family conflicts that much more painful because we’re reminded over and over again that they’re all human. That means they’re flawed. And no two characters think or act exactly alike on the series.

grownish is the second series in the -ish family, following Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi), the oldest of the siblings in blackish, as she goes to college. She meets friends, falls in love, and struggles with things a lot of college students do. grownish is very much a Freeform shows in the look and feel (as well as musical choices), but also in the way that Zoey is portrayed. The series’ title is apt, as Zoey is not quite an adult — and neither are her friends — which comes across clearly in the way they think and talk about themselves, their situations, and their problems. But I like complex characters — ones who you often don’t root for, or waffle about — and this show is full of them! (Plus it’s just a fun series.)

mixedish is the newest addition to the family, and it tells the story of how Rainbow Johnson (Tracee Ellis Ross) grew up. What I immediately loved about the pilot was the sentimentality of the final scene. It’s what sets the show apart from a lot of series on television right now, and what makes blackish such a stand-out show. There’s a tendency in television to skew toward negativity or darkness. The -ish trio really focuses on love, family, and dealing with the hard stuff together. mixedish, I can tell, will stay that trajectory.

mixedish follows Bow’s journey as she grows up in the 1980s in a mixed-race family. It’s going to be a series that focuses a lot on the era, and I can tell that — just like its predecessor blackish — it will handle difficult and multi-layered topics with grace and humor. Rainbow’s upbringing is fascinating and with Tika Sumpter and Mark-Paul Gosselaar playing Bow’s parents, there are plenty of opportunities for shenanigans and heart already in the series.

I highly recommend checking out this trio of series, especially blackish and mixedish as they’re currently airing on ABC!

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8. Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)


It took me too long to get into Schitt’s Creek (and I’m currently watching the show as I write), but I could immediately see the appeal. When the Rose family loses their fortune, they’re left with the only asset they have: a town called Schitt’s Creek that they bought as a joke. The rest of the series is a step of mishaps, shenanigans, and comedy as the Roses learn not only to build their lives but actually connect with each other and the townspeople.

Schitt’s Creek can be cackle-out-loud funny. But it’s a series that manages to surprise you with how it taps into the heart of relationships. Have you ever ever had those moments in TV comedies that sneak up on you because of how earnest they are? Yeah, just listen to Patrick sing “Simply the Best” and see if you have tears streaming down your face.

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7. Bless This Mess (ABC)


Bless This Mess is a quiet, chill, and quirky comedy on ABC that not many people even know exist. It might not be the shining star of the network but it’s a cute show starring Dax Sheperd and Lake Bell. It’s about a couple named Mike and Rio who move from New York City to Nebraska when Mike’s great-aunt leaves him a farmhouse. It’s a fish-out-of-water comedy series that features quirky characters, silly storylines, and some genuine heartwarming moments.

The relationship between Mike and Rio is the show’s cornerstone, and I’m interested to see how the series will continue to strike the balance between their marriage and the rest of the ensemble cast. If you haven’t checked out Bless This Mess, give the series a shot! Hopefully you’ll find it as enjoyable as I do.

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6. Four Weddings and a Funeral (Hulu)


Very loosely based on the romantic comedy of the same name, Four Weddings and a Funeral is a new Hulu miniseries that just concluded. It tells the story of a group of friends who are trying to navigate life, love, and loss in London together. When a show features an EP credit of Mindy Kaling, I immediately need to check it out. And while I found a few characters in the series to be frustrating, I can tell you one thing: This show is fun, and it also makes you feel. I didn’t expect to cry the second episode of the series, but I did. And the fact that I had feelings — positive or negative — toward characters means that the show is creating and stirring something in its viewers other than ambivalence.

Four Weddings and a Funeral is a rom-com that leans on tropes one moment and then subverts them the next. It cleverly depicts the passage of time, and balances stories between its main characters very well. It doesn’t try and drag out reveals too much, and it keeps you feeling and laughing along the way. Nathalie Emmanuel is stellar as Maya, who’s an ambitious woman who feels and loves well. Nikesh Patel is endearing as Kash, Rebecca Rittenhouse and John Reynolds play Ainsley and Duffy respectively and though their characters are complex and frustrating at times, they do a fantastic job conveying the layers of insecurity in both of them. Brandon Mychal Smith gets to play comedic relief and also one of the most earnest characters, Craig, while Zoe Boyle’s Gemma truly surprised me the most in the series (Sophia La Porta also is surprising in how deep and empathetic her character becomes).

If you’re looking for a miniseries that features laughter, love, and drama, then check this one out!

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5. A Million Little Things (ABC)


I have surprised myself with how much I’ve enjoyed A Million Little Things. Maybe it’s James Roday, maybe it’s the fact that this show can make me burst into tears, or maybe it’s that it picked up steam throughout the first season in storytelling. Regardless, this ABC drama has become a part of my “must-watch” queue these days. If you’ve never watched A Million Little Things and assumed it’s a carbon copy of This Is Us, you’d be incorrect. While there are shades of that emotional, family-centric drama series in this one, that’s about where the comparisons end.

A Million Little Things is about what happens when secrets are kept between loved ones: it really is a show about the importance of honesty, vulnerability, and connection. I expected to cry as I watched the series, but I didn’t expect to be hit with such a powerful wave of emotions regarding the human spirit and significance of community. There are fun moments peppered throughout the series, too, so that the heavy subject matter doesn’t overwhelm the show.

If you haven’t yet checked it out, I’d recommend the series. Try a binge-watch: it might surprise you!

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4. The Politician (Netflix)


I definitely finished the entire first season of The Politician in a day. That’s how easy of a binge it really is. To be honest, I’m still bitter at Ryan Murphy for the way he utterly allowed Glee to become the utter trainwreck that it was, but I think series that are over-the-top in terms of camp and drama are right up his alley. So that’s why when you watch this  Netflix series, the fact that teenagers talk in the way that no other teenagers actually talk, you can chalk it up to the fact that these are very wealthy, entitled characters in a very satirical universe.

The Politician stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart, an ambitious student who desires to become student body president. Payton is on a singular track to become President of the United States someday, which is why he needs (not just wants, but NEEDS) to win. He’s flocked by advisors and a supportive girlfriend, and chooses a cancer patient (Zoey Deutch) to be his vice-president. Soapy drama ensues, of course, when Payton squares up against River, the popular and athletic student, for student body president.

Everything about The Politician is over-the-top and somehow, a decent part of it works. And honestly almost all of it works not because of Ryan Murphy or any of his former Glee showrunners. It works because of Ben Platt. Platt humanizes a character who’s borderline sociopathic, turning him into someone we don’t necessarily root for, but definitely someone we can feel for. Platt gets to sing in the series multiple times which just really adds to the humanizing of Payton. And when Ben Platt cries, I think we all cry.

Additionally, Zoey Deutch is compelling in her role and deserves to be in everything from here on out. Gwenyth Paltrow plays Payton’s mother and though her role isn’t incredibly prevalent throughout, the significance of her relationship with Payton is central to the series (and also induced the most tears for me toward the end of the first season).

The Politician is something you can really breeze through, and I recommend spending a rainy afternoon doing just that.

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3. Superstore (NBC)


I don’t remember when I started watching Superstore, but when I did, I couldn’t fathom why I hadn’t been watching it from the start! Superstore is a workplace comedy starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, this NBC show focuses on the employees of Cloud 9, which is essentially like the show’s version of a Wal-Mart. It features running jokes, shenanigans, nuanced characters, and some really funny moments. It also surprised me last season with a finale that left an emotional moment hanging, with no real punchline. I love when shows are able to lean into some serious moments and topics, and Superstore’s characters can carry that subject matter.

If you’re not already watching this show for some reason, definitely binge-watch to catch up and then enjoy the Cloud 9 antics as much as I do!

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2. Fleabag (Amazon Prime)


I finally decided to watch Fleabag this year after so many people talked about it, and I wasn’t disappointed. The show’s an utterly brilliant, funny, occasionally dark, heartbreaking look at a woman — known to us as “Fleabag” — who is grieving and angry, trying everything she can (mostly including reckless behavior with men) to stop herself from feeling loss. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is so perfect in this role and series; she’s what will draw you in. Quite literally, too, because her character breaks the fourth wall and talks to you. The show will probably make you uncomfortable at times, and that’s what’s so amazing about it. Feelings are messy. People are messy. Life doesn’t work the way we think, and we all cope in whatever way we can — whether it’s healthy or not. Seeing Fleabag develop over the course of the two seasons though is so refreshing and the ways that she manages to cope and improve herself are very realistic. Progress and healing don’t happen overnight, and this series focuses on that.

Plus, Andrew Scott stars in the second season as a priest who’s very attractive and he’s simultaneously the best and most heartbreaking part of the show.

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1. The Good Place (NBC)


If you haven’t watched The Good Place yet, where have you been for the last few years? I don’t know that I’ll be able to say anything about the show to convince you to watch it that hasn’t already been said, but I’ll try. I love The Good Place. I think the writing and storytelling are concise, funny, and so very smart. I think the showrunners and writers care deeply about honoring the characters they’ve created, and I think that the show does a wonderful job of weaving in humor and heart. If you don’t tear up or cry watching the “girl from Arizona” scene this season, you’re probably a robot. The acting is impeccable, the callbacks and attention to detail are what I would expect from a Mike Schur show (and nothing less), and the ensemble is the heart of the series. You can tell when a cast clicks on and off set because it makes a difference in the way the show ends up. It’s clear when you watch The Good Place that the cast and writers understand and respect one another. It’s also clear that this show is devoted to focusing on the good of humanity — something a lot of shows would rather ignore.

I once remember someone saying that Parks and Recreation was “the comedy of optimism,” but I really believe this is just part of who Mike Schur is, at his core. It shines through in all he creates: the world is dark and bad, of course. But people are still good. There is still hope. And there is still work to be done in the interim. That is what The Good Place is all about.

So what do you all think? Have you checked out the shows I mentioned above? If you have, sound off with some of your favorites below!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Grey’s Anatomy 16x02 Recap: “Back in the Saddle” (New Beginnings) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Back in the Saddle”
Original Airdate: October 3, 2019

After a whirlwind, time jumping premiere, Grey’s Anatomy is back with a more standard episode. It appears that the action picks up relatively close to where we left off, which lets the stories presented in the first episode of the season to further develop. Every character has a new beginning this week, so there is a lot more positivity in the air.

FIRST STEPS


The first scene shows DeLuca visiting Meredith at her community service “job.” While he is there, Meredith receives a message saying that her hearing with the medical board about the status of her medical license will be held in three months. She isn’t happy that she has to wait in limbo for that long, but decides to continue practicing medicine by helping her fellow workers with their medical problems. On the other side of things, Bailey is at home complaining to Ben about not having Meredith, Richard, and Alex working at the hospital anymore and how much she hates having Tom Koracick as her boss. Of course, these are problems that Bailey caused herself... not that she is willing to admit it. With Victoria Hughes visiting last week and Ben appearing in this episode, I’m starting to wonder if we will have a Station 19 character visit every episode of Grey’s Anatomy while the former is on hiatus.

In the happiest storyline of the episode, Jo declares to Alex that she is ready to go back to work, and he’s surprised she is willing to go back to Grey Sloan Memorial. He offers his wife a fellowship with no strings attached at his new hospital, Pacific Northwest General (Pac North for short). The show then flashes to the Grey/Shepherd/Pierce residence, where Amelia tells Maggie that she has yet to inform Link that she is pregnant. Maggie is dealing with her own complications, and complains about being single and how much she hates Jackson for moving on from their relationship so quickly. Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen arrives for his first day of work post-paternity leave and has the world’s most awkward elevator ride with Tom and Link, where he finds out about Tom’s new position.

Tom has brought on a fifth-year resident from Johns Hopkins. Bailey has decided to take a more hands-on approach with the surgical interns and residents to make up for her guilt in firing three of her best doctors. Tom’s protégée is part of Bailey’s group, though we don’t get to see much more of him other than his introduction. After they pull into the parking lot of the hospital, a scooterist rides into the side of Maggie and Amelia’s parked car, and he becomes the trauma patient of the episode. In other first steps news, Alex and Richard get off to a bumpy start on their first day at Pac North when they realize that the hospital is worse off than they thought: the elevators not working and there are only two surgical residents to service the entire hospital.

LEAP OF FAITH 


The moment we have all been waiting for arrives when Amelia finds Link and decides to blurt out that she is pregnant in a stairwell at the hospital. Link is more than stunned at the news that his girlfriend is roughly eight weeks pregnant with his child and is even more surprised when she word vomits about her past complications with pregnancy. Amelia runs off after getting a page, leaving a speechless Link in her wake. Jo shows up at Grey Sloan Memorial to tell Bailey that she is ready to come back, but she wants freer rein with her fellowship after Alex’s offer, which is what Bailey wants too. Back at Pac North, things keep going downhill when the CT scanner breaks and a patient almost dies in the waiting room. People keep entering the emergency room asking for Richard, saying that they were sent by Meredith Grey.

Meredith has started a street clinic for her fellow community service workers and has an incredibly long line of new patients during “work.” Schmitt arrives to drop off supplies that Meredith asked for, and it’s nice to know that Meredith still has an ally within the hospital. She takes a look at her supervisor, Robin, and wants her to be seen by Jackson for a potential tumor in her neck. While they make their way to Grey Sloan Memorial, Bailey holds a skills lab for her group and says that whoever finishes the practice graft they are working on first will get to perform it themselves in a real surgery later that day. Down in the emergency room, the scooterist is awake and blames Maggie for running him over, while Maggie vehemently denies his accusations. Owen is helping Maggie treat the patient, whose luck is about to get worse.

DOWNHILL BATTLE 


Two plots collide when Jo and Link sit down to chat. Jo is extremely happy that two hospitals want her, while Link shares his surprising news. Link is scared about the possibility of bringing a child into the craziness that is the world we live in and starts listing all the things that could go wrong, including cancer and gun violence. He isn’t sure he wants Amelia to keep the baby, but Jo reassures him that he will be an excellent father.

Back at Bailey’s boot camp, DeLuca finishes the graft first with Helm finishing one second on his heels. Bailey ignores DeLuca and declares Helm the winner, which understandably doesn’t sit well at all with DeLuca.

Things go from bad to worse in the emergency room when the scooterist’s broken rib hits his heart, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. While trying to save her patient’s life, Maggie freaks out about the possibility of the guy dying after he accused her of running him over. Owen tries to get Maggie to calm down, to no avail, and Maggie almost blurts out that Amelia is pregnant.

Back at Pac North, Richard tells Alex how upset he is at his current situation. Richard wanted to spend his entire career at Grey Sloan Memorial and doesn’t accept that he can’t work there anymore. It’s hard not to feel sympathetic for Richard even though he did have a hand in Meredith’s insurance fraud scandal. In an attempt to test fate, Meredith has brought Robin to the Grey Sloan Memorial parking lot and made Schmitt bring a portable ultrasound outside so she could run a test on their patient. Schmitt is very concerned at being caught and losing his medical license when Jackson happens across the group. Meredith asks for his help to biopsy the growth in Robin’s neck, after explaining how she is trying to help people who have had the healthcare system fail them. Jackson semi-reluctantly agrees to help out and brings Robin inside.

JUDGEMENT DAY


Back in the emergency room, Owen and Maggie manage to save their patient after performing impromptu surgery and shocking his exposed heart nearly 20 times. Tom walks in right before they get the patient’s heart started again and walks behind Owen as he pulls the paddles out of the patient’s chest cavity. The paddles, which are still charged, accidentally hit Tom down low. The shock is hilarious for everyone... but Tom. In a different part of the hospital, Jackson and Schmitt perform a biopsy on Robin. Schmitt is concerned that Bailey is going to question him about the missing supplies and asks for Jackson’s help in covering it up. Jackson quickly agrees to cover for Schmitt because he is still good friends with Meredith and will do anything to help her out. Meredith has at least two new allies, which may come in handy down the road.

Amelia and Link meet up in the afternoon to talk more about their baby. Link starts to change his mind about the situation when he hears Amelia’s story about her dead baby, Christopher. She reveals her hidden struggle with his death and how she never considered having another child because she couldn’t go through the same pain again if something tragic were to happen. Link is visibly moved by Amelia’s speech and tells her that whatever she decides to do with the baby, he will be by her side supporting her. He will be the supportive father if she wants to keep the baby, or he will drive her to the appointment and be with her if she doesn’t want to keep it. Amelia clearly wanted Link to say he didn’t want the baby and is conflicted with his response.

In the operating room, Bailey, Helm, and DeLuca are working on the same surgery together. Helm thinks her solo graft is going well until the sutures don’t hold and the patient starts bleeding out. She begs Bailey to help out, but Bailey instructs DeLuca to take charge of the situation. DeLuca saves the patient, yet isn’t happy with the way Bailey handled things.

RESOLUTION


In the final section of the episode, all of the various storylines are resolved as usual. First up, Meredith, Robin, and Jackson are sitting in the hospital’s lobby discussing the test results. Robin has thyroid cancer and is glad she didn’t have to wait two months to get an appointment with another doctor and have the cancer progress. While they are talking, Bailey and Helm walk by. Helm is excited to see Meredith, but Bailey is less than thrilled to see her former mentee sitting there. Bailey’s annoyance levels continue to increase when DeLuca calls her out for treating him poorly due to his connection to Meredith. In a jaw dropping moment, Bailey tells DeLuca that it wasn’t personal and that he should dump Meredith before associating with her ruins his budding career. Bailey is never this petty, and it is shocking to hear her speak with so much ill will about Meredith.

Even though their first day at Pac North didn’t go as expected, Alex asks Richard to help him turn the place around to prove Bailey wrong. He wants to show Bailey their worth by making vast improvements to Pac North together. Richard agrees to help, and it should be quite interesting to see what they do to try and fix up the broken down hospital. At Grey Sloan Memorial, Jo talks to Bailey again to let her know that Alex has now offered her a spot at Pac North as a general surgery attending. Jo wants the same position at Grey Sloan if Bailey wants her to stay there. Bailey agrees to make Jo a general surgery attending to get one up on Alex and to start fixing the giant hole left in the general surgery department after Meredith and Richard were fired. Jo should have been promoted to attending a long time ago, so it is nice to see her finally get her due. Hopefully her new job will help lift her spirits.

Owen decides to make up with Tom and apologize for shocking his privates, but his apology is not accepted. Tom says that he has gotten a restraining order against Owen, which is ridiculous given the incident was a complete accident and it was Tom’s fault for walking behind Owen. It’s unclear how this will play out given that the two men work in the same hospital and staying 500 feet apart is not always going to be possible.

At home, Meredith tells DeLuca that she wants to publish articles about compromised healthcare based on her experiences of caring for her new “coworkers.” DeLuca warns her that she shouldn’t do anything too radical while her medical license is under review, but we all know that she won’t heed the advice. The episode closes with a heartfelt final discussion between Link and Amelia, who have both decided that they want to keep the baby. It looks like we are in for the second season in a row of baby fever!