Saturday, December 19, 2020

Grey’s Anatomy 17x05 Recap: “Fight the Power” (The Ballad of Miranda Bailey) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Fight the Power”
Original Airdate: December 10, 2020

Miranda Bailey takes center stage in the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, as she deals with quite the personal dilemma. As COVID rages in Seattle, a very sick Tom Koracick is brought to Grey Sloan Memorial in rough shape. Jo has a moment of hope and bliss with a surprise assignment in an otherwise depressing episode. Let’s dive into these main storylines.


It is clear from the get-go that the episode will revolve around Bailey, as she gives the opening voiceover and appears in the first scene. Bailey has been sleeping in her office most nights, as she has little time or energy to make it to her hotel. We see her morning routine, including a FaceTime call with Ben. As she makes her way through the hospital, Bailey has a video call with her dad. Bailey’s dad is having a hard time with her mom’s dementia and she always tries to leave the assisted living facility they are living in. The news is very concerning to Bailey, who urges her father to not go outside or let her mom go outside, before ending the call to get to work.

A little while later, Bailey and Maggie have a conversation about the increasing number of COVID cases in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Maggie says that three new COVID positive patients have come into the hospital that day from the same home. Bailey asks which one and is surprised to hear Maggie say the name of the place where her parents live. She runs off to call Ben. A panicking Bailey asks her husband to pick up her parents and bring them to her hotel room, which she feels will be a safer place for them. Ben naturally agrees to help, but he’s in for a surprise when he gets to the assisted living facility. 

Bailey makes her way back to the desk where Maggie is working. Maggie informs her that her phone has been ringing like crazy, and Bailey sees that she has nearly 20 missed calls from Ben. Right as she calls him back, Ben comes rushing into the hospital in front of Bailey with her very sick mother on a gurney. Maggie and Bailey immediately bring Bailey’s mom to the COVID ward. They have a difficult time taking care of her because she doesn’t understand where she is or what is going on. Bailey decides to sing to her agitated mother, which helps her calm down. Mrs. Bailey calms down enough to let them help her and even starts singing along. Later in the day, Bailey checks in on her mother. Maggie informs her that her mom’s condition is worsening and that she is going into multi-system organ failure. Bailey knows that her mom wouldn’t want to be on machines or kept alive with medications, but isn’t quite sure what to do. She wants to call her dad, but she doesn’t know how to tell him that the love of his life won’t make it through the night. 

Instead of immediately calling her dad, Bailey decides to visit Meredith. Even though she is still sleeping 99% of the time, her stats have been slowly getting better since she got into the trial. Bailey tells a sleeping Meredith that she misses her. As Bailey starts talking, we see her on the beach with Meredith. Bailey describes how she’s always had big emotions and that her mom helped her manage her feelings as a kid. She goes on to tell Meredith that her mom has Alzheimer’s and never told her because she didn’t want to bring up old pain for her or Richard. Bailey says it would be a lie to say that it hasn’t been hard or painful even though she is a doctor and knows a lot about Alzheimer’s. She feels like she knows nothing and has a hard time talking about it. Meredith solemnly responds here and there on the beach, even though Bailey can’t hear her. The touching scene ends with Bailey wishing that Meredith was awake so they could really talk.

Bailey goes back to her mom’s room and has her dad video call in. Her mom is awake, and her dad is now quarantining at Bailey’s hotel room. Bailey’s mom recognizes her husband before falling asleep, leaving father and daughter to talk. Mr. Bailey really wants to be at the hospital with his wife and wants his daughter to call him back when her mom wakes up again. Mrs. Bailey has heard the whole conversation and is crying in her sleep. Bailey tells her mother that if she’s ready to go, it’s okay. She assures her mom that they will be okay and that they love her, but don’t want her to suffer. Mrs. Bailey wakes up and says that she’s not ready to die. Bailey replies by saying she understands if she is tired and that she loves her. Mrs. Bailey again says that she’s not ready to die and that she wants to go home.

Bailey takes some time outside to think. She leaves a voicemail for Ben to tell him that she thinks her mom was lucid and needs help deciding what to do next. Maggie finds Bailey and joins her on the bench she’s sitting on. Bailey explains how her mom said she wasn’t ready to go, which made Bailey feel overjoyed before feeling mad. She’s mad that no one told her that her mother was sick. Bailey doesn’t want her to suffer from Alzheimer’s anymore, but she doesn’t want COVID to be the reason she dies. Bailey doesn’t want her mom to be another statistic as a Black woman dying from COVID. She is having a hard time coping with the fact that her mother was perfectly healthy and is now struggling to breathe.

Maggie understands that it isn’t easy and that the situation is confusing and hard. She tells Bailey that with her mom, fighting at all costs didn’t give her a better peace of mind at the end and might have done the opposite. Maggie realized in hindsight that it was easier to fall back on acting like a surgeon rather than a daughter. She knows Bailey will never be ready to say goodbye to her mom and tries to help her realize how much she has done for her mom and that her mom has lived an amazing life. Bailey isn’t having any of it because she feels guilty for bringing her parents to Seattle right before the pandemic hit. She believes that if she hadn’t forced them to leave New York, they would be fine. Maggie argues that Bailey couldn’t have known any of this would happen and that she shouldn’t feel guilty about it. Bailey realizes that she needs to be a good daughter, and Maggie assures her she is doing that by giving her mom the best care possible while keeping her comfortable. Maggie wishes she could have given her mom a more dignified death.

The last scene of the episode shows Bailey and Richard watching her mom from outside her hospital room. Bailey’s mom is getting worse, and Richard tells her that she needs to go see her mom because she will never forgive herself if she doesn’t. Bailey wants her mom to be surrounded by her dad and family, but doesn’t want anyone to get exposed. She is scared, and Richard says they will go in together. Once inside, Bailey sings to her mom while crying. Mrs. Bailey wakes up and listens as Richard joins in the song. With a tear in her eye, Bailey’s mom closes her eyes and passes away with her daughter holding her hand. The loss will definitely impact Bailey, and it will be interesting to see how it will affect her work. 


The other COVID patient of the week is none other than Tom Koracick, whose condition has gotten very critical. Helm, Teddy, and Owen meet the ambulance that brings Koracick to Grey Sloan Memorial. His oxygen levels are dropping quickly, which concerns the three doctors. Before they can bring him inside, Koracick has a seizure on the gurney. Once they get him to a trauma room, Owen kicks Helm out because residents can’t help COVID patients. Koracick wakes up in a delirium and doesn’t know where he is or who Teddy and Owen are. They quickly decide Koracick is going to need CT scans immediately.

Teddy sends Koracick’s scans to Amelia and video calls her for a consult. Amelia decides that the best course of action would be for her to go into the hospital and examine Koracick herself. She hangs up and gives Link specific instructions for each of the four kids under their care. Amelia is glad that Link wants her to go help Koracick, especially because she doesn’t want her friend and mentor to die. Koracick means more to Amelia than Link knew, and she accidentally lets it slip that she once slept with Koracick. Amelia quickly walks out the door before explaining anything to Link. 

Over at the hospital, Amelia examines Koracick and updates Teddy on his status. Koracick has neural deficits, and Teddy tells Amelia that he asked for his son in the middle of his delirium. Amelia wants to watch him for a bit and see if he responds to treatment. Teddy and Amelia then have a real conversation about life. Teddy asks how baby Scout is and complains about not being able to see her own kids before asking if Amelia knows what happened with the wedding getting called off. Amelia assures Teddy that she has done much worse than her and hurt more people. Teddy feels that everyone ignores her, which makes her feel like she is wearing a scarlet letter. Amelia ends the conversation by promising to keep a close eye on Koracick for Teddy and thanks her for getting Meredith into the COVID trial. 

Later that night, Amelia is ready to leave the hospital after triple checking Koracick’s vitals. Teddy thanks her for all the help, and Amelia leaves Teddy to visit a sleeping Koracick. Teddy talks to him and says that she isn’t sure if he was too sick to answer the door or if he was ignoring her when she visited the other day. She continues by saying that they mean enough to each other that, even though she hurt him more than she can imagine, a repair can be made. Teddy hopes Koracick remembers some of the things he doesn’t hate about her in order to salvage their friendship. She says that he won’t be able to get rid of her unless he gets better and tells her himself. Koracick squeezes Teddy’s hand and wakes up. He jokingly tells her that he was ignoring her when she came to his house and asks for a friendly sponge bath. It is good to see that Teddy and Koracick will be able to repair their friendship because they both could really use a friend.


The last big storyline of the episode follows Jo. Schmitt tries to wake his roomie up first thing in the morning, but Jo doesn’t want to get up for work. She hates that she can’t operate and can’t stand having to see the refrigerated car of dead bodies. Schmitt needs her to get up because he needs a ride to work. Jo begrudgingly helps him out and is still looking over the patient from two episodes ago who had the liver baby. Schmitt, Jo, and new intern Khan find her labs concerning and determine that they need to do another scan. The new mom is upset that she hasn’t met her baby, but Jo reminds her that the baby is still on a ventilator and that it isn’t safe yet. 

To cheer her up, Khan goes to the NICU to let the patient FaceTime with her baby. Jo and Schmitt interrupt and inform their patient that the CT scan shows she has an abscess in one of the blood vessels in her liver. It’s causing a pseudo-aneurysm and will need immediate surgical intervention. The patient gets mad again because she has waited eight years to become a mom and feels that it will never be real at this point. The three doctors feel bad for her and bring their patient to the OR for surgery. Things don’t go as well as expected, so Jo changes the plan mid-surgery to remove part of the liver to save the patient’s life. 

The surgery is successful, and the patient survives. While scrubbing out, Khan tells Jo how happy he is to have been a part of that surgery. Jo is confused because the patient may still need a transplant and isn’t out of the woods. She also can’t imagine that Khan would find that surgery exciting when he was formerly a vascular surgeon in Syria. Khan insists that he was impressed with Jo’s skills, which brightens Jo’s day. 

Shortly after, Khan finds Jo in the hall and tells her their patient hasn’t woken up yet. Jo wants him to keep looking after the patient and sends him on his way. As Jo goes to walk away, a nurse grabs her and says she needs a doctor immediately to help deliver a baby. Jo tries to tell the nurse that she isn’t part of the OB department and hasn’t delivered a baby in a long time. The nurse drags Jo into a room and the doctor immediately jumps in and quickly delivers the baby. Jo is overjoyed to see the birth and the new family. She continues happily watching the new family until the nurse interrupts her moment and asks her to sign some paperwork before leaving.

Later that night, Jo recounts her tale of surprisingly having to deliver a baby to Schmitt. Jo liked that she was the first person in the world to hold the baby boy and that seeing the new family was the happiest thing she’s ever seen. However, she feels that the whole thing was a random fluke and that she will be back to the same old nonsense tomorrow. Jo then wonders if Carina is so happy all the time because she delivers little bundles of joy. Schmitt thinks Carina’s happiness probably comes more from her orgasm study, but Jo ignores him. Jo shocks her roommate by saying that she is considering changing specialties because she is tired of not being happy. She doesn’t think the change would be that insane if surgery isn’t bringing her joy anymore. Schmitt urges her to sleep on it before making any decisions, but it seems like Jo may have made up her mind. It’s unclear whether Jo will make her choice in next week’s two-hour winter finale crossover event, but we will soon find out what she wants to do with her life.


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