Friday, March 13, 2020

Grey’s Anatomy 16x17 Recap: “Life on Mars?” (How Low Can You Go?) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Life on Mars?”
Original Airdate: March 12, 2020

After last week’s goodbye to Alex Karev, life is getting back to normal for the central docs at Grey Sloan Memorial. However, not everyone is ready to move on to their next chapter. It seems like a few ongoing storylines are coming to a head, so expect an overload of drama over the next few weeks.


The episode begins with our favorite BFFs Link and Jo at a train station ready to commute to work. Jo has been staying at Link’s place for the past week, as her apartment reminds her of Alex. A young couple displaying their love for each other with lots of PDA irks Jo, who doesn’t want any reminders of love or happiness. Over at Grey Sloan, Meredith has just told Amelia about Alex’s departure while on an elevator ride. While walking through the halls, the sisters are at odds over what to talk about because Meredith won’t share her feelings about Alex leaving and Amelia refuses to talk about, or to, Link unless he decides he loves her no matter who the father of her baby is.

Life is even worse for Teddy, who isn’t very interested in Owen’s attempts to start planning their wedding. He has enlisted his mother’s help in planning, but Teddy doesn’t want to deal with him. Things get worse for her when they get into a packed elevator that includes Koracick and Maggie. Koracick decides to be overly friendly to both Teddy and Owen, which makes things a bit awkward. His weird small talk reveals he will be treating a VIP patient today. Koracick, Teddy, and Maggie leave the elevator on the same floor, and Teddy pulls Koracick to the side to talk. She fears that his weirdness will tip off Owen about their dalliance, which she clearly didn’t tell her fiancé about. Teddy also tells Koracick that she doesn’t think sleeping with him means anything, but we all know that’s probably not true. Koracick walks off, and Maggie decides to tell Teddy that the elevator ride was very uncomfortable. Maggie believes something is up, so Teddy admits to sleeping with Koracick.

Outside, Vic meets Jackson at a coffee cart. Jackson is none too pleased that Vic moved into his place after losing her apartment without telling him. She apologizes and tells Jackson that she is going to move in with fellow firefighter and bestie Dean, who is a newly single father to a newborn. Jackson isn’t sure how he feels about that, but Vic says he has nothing to worry about... which makes Jackson even more uncomfortable.

Back inside, Richard is very mad that his furniture from his Pac-North office is being delivered to his current office. Bailey approaches to find out what the commotion is about as Richard declares he doesn’t want any of the furniture. She doesn’t know what his problem is, even though we know he is struggling with the idea of giving up surgery. Down in the ER, Meredith and Schmitt examine a woman, Noelle, who fell off a ladder after feeling dizzy while painting a house. Noelle reveals she is a Type-1 diabetic and has been rationing her insulin injections because she can’t afford them. This deeply upsets Mer, who admits her patient after finding fluid in her abdomen.

Koracick finally meets his VIP patient, who is taking selfies with a nurse. The patient is the CEO of a big tech company and just so happens to be the guy responsible for the failed rocket launch that caused a massive fire on last week’s Station 19. The VIP thinks he must have a brain tumor or a neurological condition because he couldn’t possibly have miscalculated anything with the rocket. It’s a typical case of a rich, smart guy thinking that he is perfect and can’t make mistakes, so logically, he must be sick.

Back in the ER, Jo and Link are waiting for an ambulance to arrive, so Jo takes the opportunity to tell Link that he should talk to Amelia and work things out. Of course, he is being as stubborn as Amelia and doesn’t want to talk to her. The ambulance arrives, and Jo and Link find that their new patient is one half of the pair they saw at the train station making out earlier. His girlfriend explains that he fell onto the tracks on top of his guitar and they didn’t hear the train coming. The guy is in pretty rough shape. Severe burns on his arms are causing compartment syndrome, which needs to be taken care of immediately. Amelia joins Link and Jo just in time to help save the patient’s limbs by cutting his arms with a scalpel in an attempt to relieve the pressure.


In what has easily been the biggest powder keg situation of the past few weeks, DeLuca is in mandatory therapy and can’t operate or treat patients until he is cleared by his therapist. He doesn’t know why he is in therapy and explains to his therapist that he was simply passionate about his last case. He once again denies having any symptoms of mania and feels that he’s had a few stressful weeks and that’s it. I wish we had seen a shot of the therapist rolling her eyes at that comment.

Now back to our current awkward situation that is very likely to blow up in everyone’s face: Teddy has been attempting to avoid Owen, but her fiancé finds her and pulls her into a stairwell to talk. Teddy decides that this is the perfect moment to blurt out that Amelia’s baby might be Owen’s, and she isn’t sure whether Amelia knows who the father is yet. Owen doesn’t believe he could be the father, but now understands Jo’s previous comments in a recent surgery. Teddy wants to know what it would mean for their relationship if the baby is his, but Owen doesn’t answer because he is in shock.

Koracick decides to bring Meredith in for a consult on his VIP patient, which isn’t the best idea considering Mer is currently fuming about the state of healthcare. The VIP tells Mer that he read her infamous listicle about hospital issues, and Mer is so not impressed. She is actually furious that the VIP called Catherine for a favor and has a whole wing to himself when there are plenty of sick people that need the rooms. Mer gets a page that Noelle is in CT, so she tries to duck out of the consult. Koracick wants her to focus on the VIP, so Mer hands him off to Jackson. Mer thinks the VIP should be Jackson’s problem because Catherine is his mother and caused the mess.

Jo, Link, and Amelia update their patient’s girlfriend on his status, which includes a brain injury and the need for immediate surgery. Over in CT Owen and Schmitt are checking Noelle’s scans. Owen doesn’t know what to do with himself, so he is chilling in the CT room. Mer walks in and starts complaining about the VIP patient, but Owen is too out of it to listen. He snaps out of it when Noelle starts crashing in the middle of the scan. The three docs rush to help her and decide she needs immediate surgery.

Back to the Richard situation, Bailey pages Richard to his office to talk and surprises him by having all of his old furniture arranged in his current office. This sets Richard off big time, and he starts yelling at Bailey and says he wants an empty room. Bailey says she will fix it and starts to realize that something is up, but Richard doesn’t tell her about his shaky hands. He prefers to be self-destructive and throw some furniture around instead of talking about his problems. Bailey gets a page that Koracick is ruining the hospital and leaves.

Elsewhere in the hospital, Vic meets up with Jackson again to talk, but Jackson urges her to leave and enjoy her day off. He would rather stop by Dean’s house later to talk, but Vic feels that Jackson has a problem he’s not telling her. Jackson explains that he understands Dean is her best friend, but feels that Dean has a crush on Vic. He also doesn’t like that Dean has hit on Maggie before and that Vic would be helping to raise Dean’s baby when she hasn’t even met his own kid. Why the Dean hitting on Maggie thing bothers Jackson is beyond me considering their nasty break up. Jackson would prefer to finish the conversation later, but Vic wants to know where they are in their relationship. Jackson says he needs to process everything and stops the conversation.


In the OR, Link, Jo, and Amelia are saving their patient’s life. They think they will need Jackson to clean up the sutures on the patient’s arms later so they don’t leave nasty scars. Things start to get awkward between Link and Amelia, so Amelia leaves Link and Jo to dress the wounds. In another part of the hospital, DeLuca is trying to help handle the overflow of patients. He sees Bailey and asks her to let him treat patients. He reveals that Richard has passed off his entire service, so there are a lot of people who need to be seen. Bailey wasn’t informed that Richard isn’t seeing patients and is not happy about learning that info.

Things are also going bad for Noelle, who is bleeding out in the OR. Mer and Owen are frantically trying to save her, while Mer rants about how this never should have happened. She hates the fact that Noelle is in bad shape because she couldn’t afford her insulin. It appears that Mer is back on the health care reform kick, so expect more of this going forward. Teddy’s bad day also continues when she decides to talk to Maggie again. Maggie is literally the worst person to be confiding in about anything. Teddy tells her that she told Owen about Amelia’s situation and starts to bad mouth Amelia, which doesn’t sit well with her sister. Maggie says before Teddy judges Amelia, she should judge herself for sleeping with Koracick and not telling Owen when she herself was pregnant. This brings Teddy back to reality and makes her realize she is going to have to pull herself together and face the truth.

Koracick has his own crisis when the VIP patient doesn’t believe that he and Jackson have found nothing wrong with him. The patient can’t accept that he must have made a mistake and suggests to Koracick that he could have missed something and have a serious condition. He feels that he will go to jail without a diagnosis and offers to give Grey Sloan Memorial a massive sum of money in exchange for a diagnosis. The VIP asks Koracick to take a look at the scans again and see if anything was overlooked. Koracick isn’t sure what to do, so he seeks out resident rule-breaker Meredith’s advice. He finds her and Owen leaving the OR and learns that Noelle died, which has left Mer in an even worse mood. Koracick asks Mer what she would do if she had the kind of money that the VIP has, and Mer starts listing off all sorts of healthcare reforms. Koracick asks Mer how she decides which rules to break when so many people need help. Mer says that she goes with her gut and hopes what she does improves the mess of the world by a little bit, which inspires Koracick.

Link and Jo tell their patient’s girlfriend that he is out of the woods, but will have a long recovery and be in the hospital for a long time. The girlfriend doesn’t want to stick around for him even though he left his dream behind for her. Link finally agrees with Jo that all love sucks eventually, but Jo decides to take back her previous comment. She says that she can’t hate Alex when so many things remind her of his love. She is mad and hurt, but also knows Alex is the reason she will rise again and make him a fool for leaving her. Jo continues to say that Alex changed her for the best and made her feel worthy of love. She tells Link not to blow it with Amelia because he has the choice that she didn’t get. In just one week, Jo appears to have gotten over her husband leaving her.

Bailey confronts Richard for a third time and asks him why he gave up his service. Richard says he has had a bad temper lately and apologizes. He says he didn’t arrive at the decision easily, but he is stepping away from surgery indefinitely. Bailey doesn’t want him to step down, and Richard asks for her support in his next journey. Bailey feels that the hospital still needs him, but Richard would rather step away at the top of his game. The office reminds him of his old life and he needs to move forward, which is why he freaked out about the furniture.

After talking to Mer, Koracick goes to speak with the VIP patient. Koracick says that he took another look at the scans and thinks he has an aneurysm that could influence judgement. It could resolve on its own or need surgery down the road. The patient wants to know when he will know if he “needs” surgery, so Koracick replies that he will know when Grey Sloan Memorial sees the size of the check. Koracick shakes hands with the devil, and even though he thinks he is doing a good thing, there’s no way this won’t come back to bite him in the end.

At the end of the night, Jackson finds Vic waiting for him outside the hospital. Jackson says that things don’t feel right and that he’s past the point in his life for messing around. He wants to take some time to get to know Vic better, but Vic decides breaking up is the better option since Jackson can’t accept her new living situation, which he wanted in the first place. Bailey and Mer aren’t having the best of days either and they talk in one of the lounges. Mer is missing Alex and says he would make her laugh on bad days like this. Bailey starts a speech about how she dreamed of being the last one left in her class, but it felt extremely weird when it actually happened. She tells Mer that at some point, it will feel normal. Mer isn’t sure how to handle life without Alex, and Bailey thinks that’s a good time to tell her that Richard is stepping down from surgery. As if Mer needed one more thing to worry about or deal with.


Teddy goes to Koracick and apologizes for using and hurting him. Koracick is not in the mood for this conversation, but Teddy continues, talking about how she feels Owen might choose another woman again. She hates that she keeps hurting Koracick when he makes her laugh and feel good. Koracick doesn’t think he is a good guy, especially after making a deal with the VIP; but Teddy shows him that she feels the opposite by making out with him. Koracick locks the door to his office, and they presumably sleep together again.

DeLuca appears to have had a bit too much to drink when Jo sits down next to him at Joe’s Bar. He’s drunk and tells Jo that he wants to hook up with her. She rightly throws her drink in his face and tells him that he is not okay and is not himself. She urges him to get help before it is too late, but I don’t think there is any way to help DeLuca now. Teddy’s day also continues to be wacky when she arrives home and finds Owen cooking dinner for her. Owen tells Teddy that she isn’t a replacement for anyone and they will figure things out as it happens. Owen declares his love for her again and apologizes. Teddy is crying and can’t believe how great Owen is.


In the moment we have been waiting several months for, Link shows up with a guitar in the rain on Amelia’s front porch. He debates knocking, but Amelia sees him through the window and opens the door before he commits. He says that he wanted to write her a song, but needed to tell her he doesn’t want to live without her. He was in pain, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t love her. He then declares his love for Amelia and gives a passionate speech about how he doesn’t care whose baby it is. He fell in love with her and the baby and is in no matter what. Amelia is extremely happy to hear what Link has to say and kisses him. She says she needed to hear that, especially because the paternity test results came in and show that Link is the baby’s father! She also wants him to write her that love song now that things appear to have worked themselves out. Link is beyond thrilled that he will indeed be a father, and the episode ends with them reuniting.


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