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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x04 Recap: “With a Little Help From My Friends” (The Ultimate Test) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“With a Little Help From My Friends”
Original Airdate: October 21, 2021

If you missed the third episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I highly recommend you watch it before checking out this week’s hour, as it is a direct continuation of the previous stories. New character pairings and teaching methods take center stage again, which helps shake up the show in a good way. Plus, a new medical issue alludes to one doctor sticking around a bit longer than you might have thought. 

BACK IN THE SADDLE

This episode attempts to put equal focus on three storylines, two of which will continue to play out throughout the season. It is officially Richard’s first day as sole director of the residency program, which any Grey’s Anatomy fan should be happy about. Having Richard back in his best role is exactly what this season needs. In an on-call room at Grey Sloan Memorial, Schmitt and Nico enjoy a morning make-out session before being interrupted by Helm banging on the door. She shouts at Schmitt to check his phone, as he missed the text announcing Richard as the residency director yet again and Meredith’s impending trial. The text also says that he was supposed to be in the skills lab fifteen minutes ago, so Schmitt runs out in a panic.

Bailey meets up with Mer in the hospital and quips that she thought Mer would be in Minnesota by now. To say that Bailey is upset by Mer’s career news is an understatement. Mer informs her boss that she is leaving tonight, and both women wonder why their schedules have been cleared for the day. They run into Richard and Catherine, who reveal that they cleared the schedules to have help with a new teaching initiative. The four attendings head to the skills lab, where Richard tells the eager residents that they will get to act as attendings for the day and each perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (a.k.a. lap coli, a.k.a. gallbladder removal) on their own. He announces his new hands-on teaching approach as “the Webber method”, which will surely be used over and over throughout the season. Bailey looks Mer in the eyes and deadpans how she can’t leave for Minnesota because Richard has lost his mind.

Since Bailey is very hesitant about the day’s teaching method, Richard speaks to her and Mer privately to explain why he thinks his new idea works best. He feels that by having the residents perform simple surgeries on their own, the hospital’s physician shortage won’t be as much of a strain. Richard discusses how attendings don’t need to be in the OR for the whole lap coli procedure, rather they can pop in for the most important part which only lasts ten minutes. If the attendings only need to rotate in for ten minutes, they will have more time to perform other surgeries. Mer likes the idea and brings up how she keeps saying that they need to get the residents out of the lab and into live ORs. Bailey finally agrees, even though she still isn’t completely on board with the plan.

Right before the surgeries begin, Mer finds Bailey praying at the surgical schedule board. Mer tries to comfort Bailey by telling her it will be okay, but Bailey can’t get past the thought that they are putting patients’ lives in the hands of children. Mer reminds her that they were both young residents once too. The surgeries begin in earnest, and Mer, Richard, and Bailey go from OR to OR when they are needed. They rotate through as Catherine watches from the galleries above. Schmitt and Khan finish their lap coli so quickly that Schmitt asks Richard if he forgot something. Richard is impressed by their work and gives them another lap coli, since they made such good time. 

However, not everyone has good luck. Helm and Chee’s surgery doesn’t go as planned when the surgical field starts filling up with blood. Unsure of what to do, Helm decides to convert to an open surgery and asks a nurse to page an attending for help. Bailey is naturally upset by the complication. She tells Helm that they should have waited to convert to open surgery. Helm assures Bailey that she doesn’t know what went wrong, and Bailey pushes her aside as the patient continues to crash. Back in the other OR, Schmitt and Khan flawlessly complete their second lap coli. Richard is thrilled with the results of the day and deems the lesson a success.

Later on, Richard, Catherine, Bailey, and Mer celebrate the residents’ success. Catherine is happy that Richard conned her into agreeing with his idea, while Mer says that the high bar they set will make the residents expect this all the time. Richard wants to make solo surgeries his primary way of teaching, but Bailey wants to clip the plan. She doesn’t want to celebrate because in her mind, Helm cutting an artery without an attending in the room has ruined the success. Richard tries to remind her that complications can happen to any surgeon, yet Bailey still feels that attendings should always be in the OR. 

Richard explains his belief that they need to teach young doctors properly, otherwise no one will want to become surgeons. Mer seconds Richard’s thoughts by saying that Helm proved the system works because she did ask for help, Bailey showed up, and the patient survived. Bailey begrudgingly joins the toast and agrees that the Webber method is a success. We then see Schmitt pull Nico into a closet to make out. Schmitt is on a high from being a rock star in the OR, and it’s good to see the young doc have some confidence.

As Bailey goes to leave the hospital, she passes Helm sitting on a bench outside. Bailey asks her if she is playing the surgery over and over in her head. Helm asks her how she knows that, to which Bailey replies that she knows the feeling. Bailey sits down next to Helm to offer some advice. She tells the resident how she has made mistakes and so has Mer. Bailey tells Helm that she should feel awful about what happened because she would be in the wrong line of work if she didn’t. She explains that the awfulness sticks with you so you don’t make the same mistake again, which is how one becomes a great surgeon. 

At the end of the episode, we see Mer arrive in Minnesota and pass Nick as they go in opposite directions. They make plans to meet for dinner that night before going their separate ways. Mer is all smiles and super happy, and even just a few seconds of these two sharing the screen is the perfect ending to the episode. 

CIRCLING THE RABBIT HOLE

The second large story of the episode focuses on Addison and Amelia, who we finally get to see share a good chunk of screen time together since 2013. Amelia finds Addison sitting in Tovah’s room. Addison couldn’t leave Seattle because Tovah had a seizure and needed to be put in a medically induced coma. She wants to see the case through and needs Amelia’s help as a neurosurgeon to figure out why Tovah seized. After running a CT scan and blood tests, Amelia informs Addison that everything came back negative. Addison starts to unravel quickly, prompting Amelia to ask if she’s okay. Addison is obsessing over fixing Tovah and doesn’t want the answer to be that she is rejecting her transplanted uterus. Amelia decides to get an MRI, EEG, and rerun some blood panels to make Addison feel better.

The two doctors have a rather frank discussion while waiting for Tovah’s MRI scans. Addison randomly asks Amelia the question we have all been waiting to hear the answer to: Why did she leave Link? Amelia starts by saying that she felt Link was gas lighting her with a proposal. Addison asks if Link has a tendency to gas light her, and Amelia replies no. Addison doesn’t get why Amelia doesn’t think his well-planned proposal wasn’t romantic in that case. Amelia doesn’t really have an answer for that and instead goes into a speech about how she didn’t want what Link wanted. During the pandemic, she was drowning in kids, monotony, and boredom, which led her to think about doing drugs every day. Amelia explains that virtual meetings weren’t the same and didn’t work for her. She hated that she was hanging by a thread and that Link wasn’t. She felt like she couldn’t breathe while Link was thriving, and Amelia reveals she judged herself for that.

She feels that Addison is probably judging her too, so Addison launches into a talk on how she felt very similarly during the pandemic. Addison reveals that she drank so much wine that she thought about checking herself into rehab somewhere. She hated being stuck at home, especially during the initial lockdown. Addison had really dark thoughts like daydreaming about going to sleep and never waking up, which she says comforted her. Amelia hates that Addison went through that and thanks her for sharing, since they had similar feelings.

The scans don’t show any issues with Tovah’s brain, so the doctors feel that the seizure was caused by increased toxicity levels from the anti-rejection medications. With that answer, Addison is ready to go home to her family, and Amelia quips that the Grey Sloan Memorial staff will oversee Tovah for her as long as their names all get on the eventual publication for the trial. Addison tells Amelia that she doesn’t want to let Tovah die because the idea of a uterine transplant was what made her want to get out of bed in the morning. Amelia assures Addison that she isn’t being selfish and is instead doing everything in her power to help Tovah achieve her dream.

Amelia and Addison are in the room when Tovah wakes up after they get her medications under control. Addison gets to tell her patient that she didn’t reject the uterus and will remain in the trial. All three women are very happy, which is a nice ending to the story. After they leave the room, Addison tells Amelia that she almost left her husband during lockdown. She couldn’t stand that her son and husband were bickering about Game of Thrones, so she got in her car and drove off for two hours before realizing that she should go home. Amelia says that she didn’t leave Link when she wanted drugs and that she currently doesn’t feel crazy or want drugs. She knows she doesn’t want a ring or more babies and feels that Link left her, not the other way around. Amelia feels that the sanest thing she could have done was to let him go, no matter how much it hurt her. Addison smiles and says, “Look at you, Amelia Shepherd, all grown up,” before getting in the elevator and leaving. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Addison Montgomery, but they managed to pack in everything you would want from her in two episodes.

FAILING TO HELP

The other continuing story from the past few episodes follows Owen and Noah, who we see meet at a meeting for veterans who want the VA to be exposed for not paying medical bills. Noah’s former colonel, Roy, runs the group and plans to present information in Washington D.C. in a month to help veterans get the support they are owed. Owen wants Roy’s help with Noah’s case, but before he can say much, Roy starts coughing up blood. Winston meets Roy’s ambulance at the hospital, which Owen hitched a ride with. Noah drives to the hospital and meets them to inform the doctors that Roy has pulmonary fibrosis like him. 

While Owen and Winston take him for an MRI, Roy tells them all about how long he has known Noah for and their backstory. Winston finds a spot of lung cancer on the scans, which he knows will be terminal due to Roy’s pulmonary fibrosis. Noah is sitting with Roy when the doctors go to tell the colonel the bad news, but Roy wants Noah to stay. Owen tells Roy that he has lung cancer and that they can’t perform the lobectomy necessary to remove it because he can’t lose any of his lung due to his condition. Winston says they could do a very risky surgery that they don’t recommend, which would involve attempting to only remove the tumor. Roy wants to do the surgery so he can keep fighting and make it to Washington in a few weeks.

When the doctors return to take Roy to surgery, they find a big group of veterans there to support their friend. Roy is moved that everyone came, and he says he will keep on fighting. In the OR, Owen and Winston prep Roy. Owen assures Roy that they will hold someone responsible for his condition no matter what the outcome of the surgery is. Roy tells Owen that his condition is his own fault because he authorized the missile strike that caused his issues. The damage that the strike caused makes Roy question whether he deserves to live or not, which is a very sad moment.

Owen and Winston begin operating, and Owen is surprised by how damaged Roy’s lungs are. He tells Winston he has never seen tissue so damaged, and Winston says he only saw similar tissue once, in a COVID-19 patient. Owen thanks Winston for helping, and both doctors want to give Roy at least a few more months to make a difference in the world. They hit a little speed bump during the surgery, but quickly fix the problem. They know it won’t be an easy surgery, but Roy winds up surviving. 

After the surgery, Owen tells Noah, who is sitting by the colonel’s bedside, that Roy’s lungs are more scarred than they expected. Roy will have a tough road ahead of him, and Noah thanks Owen for caring, saying he is the first doctor to really care. Owen tells Noah that he is in the fight with all of the veterans. When he turns to leave, Roy starts to crash, so Owen promptly starts CPR. Winston comes running into the room and kicks Noah out. We hear them shock Roy three times before Noah walks away. 

We then see Owen and Winston finding Noah to tell him that Roy died. They explain that Roy’s lungs were too far gone, which put too much stress on his heart. Owen wants to help continue Roy’s work, but Noah doesn’t want his help. He tells Owen he never wanted his help in the first place, and Noah also thinks Owen made everything worse. The impassioned words hit Owen hard. Owen walks in an attendings’ lounge, where Hayes is packing up for the night. He asks Hayes if he would like to join him for a drink at Joe’s, as he needs a minute before going home to Teddy and the kids. Hayes agrees, and poor Owen doesn’t even know the other distressing piece of news from the day yet, but more on that shortly.

A HELPING HAND

Let’s take a break from the more dramatic plots to quickly discuss Jo’s first big OB story, which also lends itself as the humor of the episode. In the morning, Jo tries to get out of her car with Luna in GSM’s parking lot, but Luna won’t stop screaming. Hayes happens to be walking by and asks if everything is okay. Jo states that she is so tired that she might drop dead, so Hayes acknowledges how hard it is to be a single parent. As they are about to walk into the hospital, a car drives up behind them and honks. A man gets out of the driver’s seat and asks for help, as his girlfriend, Niki, is pregnant and going into labor. Jo asks Hayes to take Luna to daycare so she can help her new patient out.

Inside, Jo and Carina tell Niki that she is going to have a baby. The boyfriend is appalled because they have only known each other for four weeks and he wasn’t aware that she was pregnant. Niki’s chest starts hurting, so Carina orders a full vitals check and an EKG. In the hallway, Niki’s boyfriend asks Jo if she can give Niki her cellphone. Jo asks him to stay and hold Niki’s hand for a few hours, but he’s not ready to be a dad. He explains that they met online and that Niki lied to him, so Jo takes the phone.

Jo goes back to Niki’s room and asks her if she is experiencing some anxiety since all the tests came back normal. Niki wonders where her boyfriend is, then realizes that he left. She starts freaking out because she feels she can’t have a baby on her own. Jo assures her that she can do it. Niki tells Jo that her friends think she is crazy for having a baby by herself and that her parents moved across the country when they heard the news. Jo decides that she will hold Niki’s hand to be helpful and Carina can deliver the baby.

Carina comes back to deliver the baby and isn’t happy to see Jo holding Niki’s hand instead of working. Carina wants Jo to deliver the baby while she holds Niki’s hand. Jo gives Niki a pep talk that includes how having a baby “is worth so much more than your fear.” Jo tells Niki to push, and the baby’s shoulder gets stuck. Carina walks Jo through how to solve the issue and the baby is delivered safely. At the end of the night, Jo holds Luna while sitting on a bench outside the hospital. Jo tells her baby that they will go home once she has the energy to get to the car, which might not be until tomorrow.

NOT AGAIN

The last storyline of the episode introduces what is most certainly going to become a recurring plot. Megan Hunt is still in Seattle and helping out at Grey Sloan Memorial. She asks Hayes for a pediatric consult on a fourteen-year-old kid who she has seen playing soccer near her hotel. She has noticed that he has swollen ankles and seems a little out of breath and wants Hayes’ opinion. Hayes can’t give her much help without the examining kid. Megan thought he might say that and quickly walks away.

Shortly afterward, Megan finds Hayes again and tells him the patient is in Exam Room 4. As he goes into the room, Megan introduces the boy as her son Farouk, which you might have figured out from her previous description. After his examination, Hayes tells Megan that Farouk’s EKG shows some abnormalities and that he hears a heart murmur. Megan is slightly relieved to hear that she’s not losing her mind and making up medical conditions for her son. She tells Hayes that Farouk has a history of ear infections and had tuberculosis ten years ago in Iraq. She tells Hayes about how she raised Farouk while she was a prisoner of war, and Hayes replies that he didn’t know Megan served in the military too. With the new information, Hayes wants to do an echo on Farouk. Megan agrees to the test and asks Hayes to keep Farouk’s condition between them. She doesn’t want Owen to know and freak out before she has a diagnosis to tell him.

Later that afternoon, Hayes meets Megan in another room to talk about Farouk’s test results. Hayes informs her that Farouk has restrictive pericarditis, which was most likely caused by the TB. He is sorry that it is not better news, and Megan starts to cry. She apologizes for breaking down, and Hayes tries to comfort her by saying he understands. Hayes needs to consult with the cardio department, but he thinks Farouk will need surgery and wants to admit him. Megan says that Farouk has always been a good kid despite what the world has given him. Hayes promises he will do everything in his power to fix Farouk. Megan wants to process the news before telling Owen, so Hayes leaves to give her some space. With Farouk's heart issue, it appears that Megan will have a reason to stick around in Seattle longer than we may have expected. While the storyline is quite sad, I’m happy we will see more of Megan. Grey’s Anatomy will be taking the next few weeks off and will return on Thursday, November 11 with a big two-hour crossover event with Station 19.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x03 Recap: “Hotter Than Hell” (Redheads Rule) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Hotter Than Hell”
Original Airdate: October 14, 2021

The temperatures are rising in Seattle both literally and metaphorically this week, as Grey’s Anatomy brings a classic character home. That’s right, this episode marks the return of none other than Dr. Addison Montgomery. Whether you love her or love to hate her, Addison was an integral part of the show's early years. Why has she come back to walk the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial in season eighteen? Keep reading to find out!

BACK TO SCHOOL

A heat wave plagues Seattle, leaving the citizens who are used to much cooler temperatures to struggle without air conditioning. Meredith is back at home packing lunch for the kids, and Amelia is trying to find a way to stay cool since the house doesn’t have air conditioning. The sisters chat a bit and allude to Addison’s return. Amelia wonders if her old friend visiting will be weird before telling Mer that she wants both of them to move to Minnesota. Link walks into the kitchen and is not happy at what he overheard, but it’s unclear why he’s even at the house. After he walks out, Amelia says that Link’s lifelong goal is to cure Parkinson’s, which makes it harder to not tell him anything about the top secret trial.

Owen and Teddy start work early at Grey Sloan Memorial. Owen is still obsessed about finding a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis, that way he can help his patient Noah from the previous episode. Noah won’t return Owen’s calls, but that isn’t derailing the dogged trauma surgeon. Teddy tries to cheer him up by putting a funky jeweled hat on her husband and a pink ski hat on herself. She announces that it is Crazy Hat Day for ground rounds and that Bailey has named her the ambassador of fun to lighten the mood around the hospital. However, no one is excited that Hat Day is on the hottest day of the year.

The residents are getting ready for their shifts in their lounge and have a nervous energy about them because they haven’t found out who is coming to lead grand rounds. All at once, their phones get a notification that Addison will be their special guest, and they promptly freak out that they will be in the presence of another legend. Elsewhere in the hospital, Hayes walks up to Mer and gives her a coffee. They have a friendly discussion about the weather. Mer asks how his son Austin is doing, and Hayes is still having trouble communicating with him. Mer isn’t looking forward to her kids becoming teenagers soon. Her kids already don’t like her because they don’t want her to spend half her week in Minnesota. Hayes doesn’t like that idea either. Mer reveals that has been dragging her feet on telling Bailey and Richard about her new job, but she’s ready to tell them.

We then see the residents in a hallway being greeted by Richard and Bailey for the start of grand rounds. They introduce the group to the surgeon who will be running grand rounds for the day, and Addison walks around the corner looking as glamorous as ever. Ortiz takes her phone out and sneaks a picture of Addison, which is a funny moment. Addison isn’t totally thrilled to meet the group that is “screwing up the residency program” as she says, but even in her coldness, she impresses all the residents. Addison turns and walks away, and as the residents run after her, Bailey and Richard happily high five each other.

THE PATIENTS

The next part of the episode introduces the patients of the hour. Bailey is mad about the heat and is approached by Link in the ER. He wants to know why Teddy is in charge of fun and making him wear a cowboy hat. Bailey jokes that the heat may have influenced her decision making and walks over to a trauma room to check in on Dr. Lin, who is filling in at Grey Sloan Memorial while deciding whether or not she wants the chief of plastics job. She is treating a patient with Owen. Their patient got second degree burns on his butt from falling on the hot sidewalk without pants on. Lin is a bit cold towards the patient, who doesn’t get any additional screentime, and she wants to know where the residents are since she needs more help.

Of course, the scene changes to show exactly what those residents are up to. Addison, Richard, and the residents walk through the halls. Jo joins the group and immediately gets paged away, which will become a running gag for the rest of the episode. The residents whisper about Mer and Addison’s history even though none of them know the full story or more than an inkling of truth. Addison brings the group to a halt and singles Schmitt out to question him about blood vessels. Schmitt answers correctly, so Addison rewards him with presenting the case of the day. Addison brings the group into her patient Tovah Friedman’s room to announce that Tovah will be getting a groundbreaking procedure: a uterine transplant. Addison is working on a trial to get uterine transplants approved, which would be a game changer for pregnancies. 

Tovah tells the group of residents that she had a hysterectomy due to a hemorrhage, which led to the loss of her baby in the process. She has a history of miscarriages, but still wants to be a parent. She shares that her husband had cancer and froze his sperm before starting chemotherapy. He has since passed away, and Tovah wants to have his baby. Addison reveals that Tovah is the last patient in her trial, and if all goes well, the study will be published with one lucky resident’s name on the publication to. Jo slides back in the room just in time to introduce herself to Addison as everyone leaves. Addison asks Jo if she is an OB resident and when Jo says yes, Addison asks her to get her a coffee.

The other big patient of the episode is Rashida, whom Winston started treating last week. Winston is very excited to tell Rashida that a kidney is on its way to the hospital for her, but he has to find a surgeon to perform the transplant. Rashida is overjoyed and can’t believe that she will get a kidney. She tells Winston that she wants to thank the donor and their family, but Winston brushes that comment off.

Elsewhere, Mer finds Richard, who is happy to see her. Richard has many ideas on how to update the teaching program, which he wants to do with Mer. He proposes bringing in visiting surgeons every week and recording surgeries again to help the residents learn. Mer likes the ideas, but doesn’t get the chance to announce her news because Richard quickly takes the residents and leaves.

Winston finds Owen to sweet-talking him into operating on Rashida. He asks Owen because Richard and Mer are busy and he feels he can’t ask Bailey. Winston tells Owen how Bailey didn’t think his patient could get on the transplant list, but he found a way. Owen quickly asks if the surgery is illegal, and Winston says no and that he will owe him one. Owen agrees to perform Rashida’s kidney transplant. 

The last patient of the episode is Lily, a sixteen-year-old who had some sort of Jet Ski accident that went viral. Bailey meets her ambulance and didn’t think the video was real. Once inside, Hayes joins Bailey to help Lily, who starts throwing up. They find free fluid in her abdomen and need to get a scan to see what the damage is. Lily’s friend Micah shows up, and Hayes informs the teens that they need to call Lily’s parents. The kids refuse, as Lily hates her parents. Hayes insists that since she is a minor, they need to contact the parents, but Bailey lets it slide since Lily isn’t dying.

TURN UP THE HEAT

Addison preps Tovah in the OR by assuring her that the surgery will go well. While Addison, Richard, and Schmitt scrub in, the other residents get cozy up in the gallery and start comically discussing the dirty history of the show’s original residents. As the surgery starts, it’s nice to see that Addison still wears the same scrub cap as she did the last time we saw her. She tells the residents that they have to answer questions that she asks while she operates, which throws them for a loop. Addison doesn’t miss a beat as she asks questions, operates, and chats with Richard all at the same time. She even mentions that her son Henry is now eight years old! Jo pops into the gallery to observe and gets paged away again immediately. Addison is rapid-firing questions off when a weird sound makes everyone stop what they are doing momentarily. The air conditioning system shuts off, little to the knowledge of everyone in the OR.

As Bailey and Hayes wait for Lily’s scans, Hayes comments that the air conditioning is overworked just like the rest of the doctors. He also feels that all teens are losing their minds right now, but Bailey doesn’t think they have minds to lose. She has some good insight into the issue and says that if kids are locked up too tightly, their minds will get locked up too, and they don’t know how to ask for help. The two doctors are surprised to see that Lily has a perforated rectum, which will require surgery.

Back in Addison’s OR, the docs ask to lower the temperature. At some point, Richard must have left because he comes back in and announces that the air conditioning is out. They need to start rerouting surgeries, and he wants Addison to close as soon as possible because the non-circulated air will cause her patient to get an infection. Addison refuses to give up on the surgery, so Richard says she will have to double the speed. She asks for someone to find Mer, as she might be the only one qualified to help.

TENSING UP

Richard drags the residents out of the gallery to help with getting fans in different areas of the hospital. Owen and Winston run into Richard on their way to Rashida’s transplant and are informed that they need to cancel their surgery. Winston pleads with Richard to let the surgery go on because Rashida won’t get another chance. Richard apologizes and says that they need to stick to the protocol. After Richard walks away, Winston tells Owen that he chose not to put in a permanent dialysis port that way Rashida would get a kidney. Owen has another idea to save the kidney. There is a possibility that Winston crossed a line, and it will be interesting to continue following this story.

Mer scrubs into Addison’s surgery, and the long ago enemies congratulate each other on their successes. Helm is the last resident up in the gallery, and she starts pumping up Mer’s achievements over the intercom. Mer and Addison start operating, and this is not the way anyone would have envisioned them meeting again. In another area of the hospital, Richard can’t get the HVAC company to come repair their system. Teddy shows up and announces that she has diverted all incoming traumas from GSM, while Link angrily storms over to ask why his double knee replacement was cancelled. When they learn that the air conditioning isn’t going to be fixed anytime soon, Link and Teddy decide to team up to attempt to fix the HVAC system.

Over in the ambulance bay, Ben Warren arrives with the Physician Response Team rig. Owen called him to assist with Rashida’s transplant. In case you don’t remember, the PRT is a suped up larger ambulance that acts as a mobile operating room. The PRT was introduced on Station 19, but it has been sidelined for some time. Winston is excited for the solution and tells Ben not to tell Bailey, as she doesn’t know about any of this.

Back inside, we see Amelia get a video call from one of the doctors in the Parkinson’s trial in Minnesota. They go over scans of transplanted cells, and the results are promising. Amelia agrees to go up to Minnesota next week to help, and it’s not far-fetched to think that she might move there permanently. However, Mer might not be ready to make that commitment. Back in the OR, Mer and Addison work together to finish the surgery. Addison asks Mer what’s up next for her and jokes that she will be winning the Catherine Fox Award this year and that Mer can come in second. The banter stops when Addison loses blood flow response in a blood vessel. They quickly start to reopen the just-closed vessel to see if a clot formed.

NEEDING A FRIEND

Link and Teddy make their way outside to the HVAC system, which is way bigger than they thought. They decide to give it their best shot for the NICU babies, who definitely need air conditioning. Teddy tells Link that she was sorry to hear that things didn’t work out between him and Amelia. He apologizes for not going to her wedding, but Teddy brushes it off since it was impromptu, even though it was twenty years in the making. Link opens up a panel to reveal the electrical elements, and neither surgeon has any idea where to start.

In another OR, Bailey and Hayes are operating on Lily when Richard bursts in and asks what is so difficult about the ORs being closed. Bailey puts Richard in his place and says that she is continuing the surgery. Lily would be at greater risk if transferred, so Bailey won’t budge. Richard gives up and leaves them to it. Hayes is surprised that worked, and Bailey quips that it works on her teenagers every day. Next door, Mer and Addison remove the clot and restore blood flow. They are in perfect unison working together, which is nice to see.

Outside in the PRT, Owen and Winston start Rashida’s kidney transplant, and Ben gets to go back to his roots by being the anesthesiologist. Ben tells Winston the story of the PRT and why it got shut down while they operate. He still wants to make his dream a reality by bringing the PRT back to life. Winston says that he is typically a rule follower unless a patient can’t get a kidney that she deserves. His comments prompt Ben to ask if the surgery is illegal. Winston assures him that he didn’t steal the kidney, and they successfully complete the transplant.

Back at the HVAC system, Link fails to repair anything and gets mad. He really wanted to fix something since everything in his life is falling apart. He doesn’t think that Amelia thinks about him anymore even though he loves her. He doesn’t get what is going on with her. He didn’t want this life for Scout, and Teddy tries to comfort Link by telling him that she has been right where he is. 

Inside, Addison, Mer, and Schmitt emerge from the OR. The residents want to know if they had it out in the OR, and Mer shouts “We can hear you” as she and Addison get into the elevator. The residents run up the stairs to meet them, and Addison and Mer laugh in elevator. Addison starts to get a little overwhelmed by emotion, so Mer hits the stop button. Addison starts crying because she thought by coming back here to Seattle and GSM, Derek would be there. She wanted to “feel that he was still here in the city that he loved with the people that he loved but he isn’t and it’s real, he’s not here.” She’s sorry to do this in front of Mer because Mer really had to go through it. Mer assures Addison that Derek is here, and he is in his children. Mer would love for Addison to come over and meet them, and the women smile at each other. Addison tells Mer that she has never shied away from fighting for what she loves, so she wants Mer to fight for whatever her next project is if she loves it. Addison knows Richard will understand. Mer gives Addison a side hug as they start the elevator and get out on the next floor with residents watching from stairwell. 

FINDING SOME HAPPINESS

Addison talks to Richard after checking up on Tovah. He congratulates her, but Addison says true success will be when Tovah gets pregnant and has a healthy baby. Addison thinks the residents are almost there and that Richard was overdramatic by making it sound catastrophic. Richard thinks this generation just wants to complain, but Addison says they are just standing up for themselves because doctors are overworked. She says there is always room for improvement. He says, “It’s really good to see you, Addie,” and Addison replies, “It’s really good to see you too, Richard.”

Hayes checks up on Lily, and Micah asks if she will survive. Lily will be okay, but she has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Hayes needs Lily’s phone because they need to call her parents now. Micah still doesn’t want to give up Lily’s phone. Hayes talks about how hard it is being a teenager and that they have a good reason to be scared. Hayes grabs the phone from Micah and tells him that Lily will be “crapping in a bag for the next six months” and unless Micah wants to clean that up, he needs to unlock her phone. Hayes’ speech scares Micah into helping him out.

Mer finds Richard and wants to talk about the residency program. He really wants to work with her, so Mer tells him that it won’t be the two of them. Richard assumes that Mer is taking the job in Minnesota, and Mer tells him that she is going to split her time between the two cities. She will stay on as chief of general surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial, but she can’t do the residency program too. She thinks that Richard is the only one that should run the program, and Richard agrees to stay in the role.

Winston and Ortiz look in on Rashida, and they tell her the good news when she wakes up. Rashida makes a comment about Maggie, and Winston says that she is out of town. I guess that random comment is supposed to explain why Maggie has been MIA for the last two episodes. Winston gets invited to the morgue to cool down, and Ortiz follows him. Teddy and Link have set up a “party” in the morgue with snow cones to let the doctors cool down. Jo and Schmitt are hanging out, and Jo talks about delivering two babies in over 100-degree heat. Schmitt jokes that Jo will get in on the next cool thing like him, and Jo asks her friend to put in a good word for her with Addison. Bailey walks in and tells her ambassador of fun that she did a good job. In the lobby, Addison finds Amelia, and they are so happy to see each other again. Between big hugs and smiles, the air conditioning comes back on as they leave for the day. Mer invited Addison over, so they both make their way home.

Owen knocks on Noah’s door, but Noah opens and slams the door in his face. Owen tries talking to him through the door. He knows that Noah is scared and in pain because the military won’t take responsibility. Owen wants to try and fight for what is right for as long as they can. He wants to help every step of the way. As Owen walks away, Noah opens the door and agrees. Owen wants to know everything he knows and what the VA knows, and Noah invites him inside.

Addison and Amelia walk into Mer’s house as Zola and Bailey are running around. Addison emotionally meets two of the three kids, who ask her if she was “daddy’s friend.” She tells them that he called her Addie, and the kids ask if she wants some ice cream. They take her hands and walk her into the kitchen, where Mer has an ice cream bar set up. Addison is good with the kids and starts bonding with them over ice cream, while Mer and Amelia happily watch in the background. It’s a beautiful sentimental ending to Addison’s return to Grey’s Anatomy, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for her in the next episode.

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x02 Recap: “Some Kind of Tomorrow” (Convince Me) [Contributing Writer: Julia Siegel]


“Some Kind of Tomorrow”
Original Airdate: October 7, 2021

The latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy is all about the characters convincing themselves and others that tomorrow can be a better day. That message is strong and true throughout all four main stories, three of which may be recurring throughout the early part of this season. Big decisions are made to help shape the future, and I can’t wait to see where those choices lead the characters next.

OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME

Instead of beating around the bush, it’s best to discuss Meredith’s continuing arc in Minnesota first, as it is the most interesting and impactful story thus far. The episode opens with Nick slipping a note under Mer’s hotel door and walking away. Mer sees the note appear and opens the door, hoping to find Nick there. She calls his name, and he peaks back around the corner shyly. Mer likes his old school note, and Nick coyly explains that he didn’t ask for her phone number and didn’t want to wake her, so he wrote a note instead to ask her out. He verbally asks her to dinner that night, and Mer happily accepts. If you haven’t fallen in love with Nick yet, this will probably be the moment in Grey’s history you look back on and realize you are completely crazy about him. 

A little while later, Amelia arrives in Minnesota on a last-minute request from Mer. While they walk through the still-unnamed hospital’s hallways, Amelia rambles on about Scout not sleeping through the night anymore and quickly stops talking upon arriving at the Grey Center. With one look at the sign on the lab’s door, Amelia tells her sister-in-law, “You are definitely not coming back to Seattle.” Mer shares the lab’s purpose and wants Amelia involved, that way the two of them can cure Parkinson’s together. Mer then introduces Amelia to Hamilton, whom the latter examines. Amelia thinks Hamilton should change his course of treatment since the disease is unpredictable, but Hamilton isn’t interested in a Band-Aid. Rather, he wants something to make him whole again. He is very confident that his new lab will find the cure and asks Amelia to join the team.

Hamilton and Mer show Amelia around the lab, which Amelia is very excited to see has a robot arm to use for cell cultures. Mer wants to know what happens if they fail, but Hamilton assures her that he understands the risk. Amelia blurts out that she wants in and wants to change the world, but Mer is still hesitant to commit. The sisters have a one-on-one conversation, which proves to be revealing. Amelia wants to know why Mer isn’t signing on to the trial. Mer replies that her kids need stability and can’t be uprooted to Minnesota, and she loves her current job at Grey Sloan Memorial, which she just got back into the swing of after surviving COVID-19. Amelia assures Mer that running the trial will be a great example for their kids, not a hindrance. Mer also doesn’t want to take the risk of failing and killing Hamilton. Amelia understands, but feels compelled to try because people with Parkinson’s need more than hope.

As they leave the hospital for the day, Mer tells Amelia to go home to her baby. Amelia makes one last attempt at swaying Mer by telling her that she’s being ridiculous for not accepting the offer yet. Mer gets distracted when she sees Nick walk up several feet behind Amelia, who is oblivious. Amelia continues to say that this is Mer’s chance to get back to neuro and take a big chance. She doesn’t understand why Mer would walk away from the opportunity and pleads with her not to before getting in a car and leaving.

Later that evening, Mer meets Nick in her hotel lobby to go to dinner. Mer is all dressed up, and Nick tells her that she looks amazing, but she needs to change because she’s overdressed for what he has planned. They wind up going to a little patch in the woods for a picnic-style dinner and night of stargazing, which is the cutest date. Mer bursts Nick’s bubble by saying that she doesn’t stare at the stars, so he says that he will teach her. Nick asks about the top secret project she’s in town for, but Mer can’t tell him anything. He reveals that he struggles with the concept of secrets, which prompts Mer to give her personal feelings as details. She’s scared to say yes because she’s scared of failure. The study will be costly, risky, and written about no matter what, she says. Mer isn’t sure she wants the first thing she does after COVID-19 to be a public failure. She enjoys her comfy life and doesn’t want to risk that either. Nick knows that Mer isn’t the type of person to play it safe because he’s like that too. He assures her that win or lose, it will be a wild ride.

Nick’s words seem to do the trick because next thing we know, Mer is walking back into the lab to tell Hamilton that he doesn’t own her (i.e. the most Meredith way of saying yes ever). She wants and needs autonomy in picking the team, wants any progress to be public and accessible to all with Parkinson’s, and wants to move the lab to Grey Sloan Memorial. Hamilton says the lab is too expensive to move and he doesn’t have the time to move it either. Mer counters that she can’t move to Minnesota and proposes that she sets up a satellite program in Seattle and comes back and forth to Minnesota once a week. Hamilton agrees to her terms, Mer officially says she’s in, and they shake hands. What comes next is anyone’s guess, but it will be very entertaining to watch it all play out.

AN UNFAIR SYSTEM

The next biggest and potentially more than one episode story follows Winston advocating for his latest patient to get the treatment she deserves. Winston and intern Sara Ortiz consult on a challenging case. Their patient, Rashida, had had two failed kidney grafts, is close to being in kidney failure, and is diabetic. Rashida was a travel influencer before her medical problems started, but can’t travel anymore due to her failing kidneys. She’s at the hospital for another attempt at placing a catheter for dialysis, which hasn’t been successful in the past due to a clotting disorder. She reveals that she has a family history of diabetes and fatal kidney failure and that she is also not on the transplant list, much to Winston’s surprise.

To get more answers, Winston finds Rashida’s nephrologist, who also works at the hospital. Winston inquires about why Rashida is not on the transplant list, and the nephrologist states that Rashida isn’t a candidate due to one kidney function level number called eGFR. He wants to get Rashida on the transplant list, and the other doctor hates that she doesn’t qualify too but there’s nothing they can do. Winston doesn’t like the answer that he gets, so he goes into research mode. After finding some surprising information, he finds Bailey and brings her up to speed on his findings.

Winston has found a file of another patient with nearly identical numbers to Rashida who did get on the transplant list. The only difference between the patients is that the one that got on the transplant list was white, and Rashida is Black, which is why Winston believes her eGFR number is lower. He talks about how history has a long line of assumptions with Black people’s medical standards in clinical formulas that is currently stopping his patient from getting on the transplant list even though she should qualify. Winston wants to write a letter to the transplant board to plead Rashida’s case and explain that they are using outdated metrics.

Later that day, Winston and Ortiz start the procedure to give Rashida a dialysis port. The procedure is a success, but Winston is still upset that Rashida can’t get life-saving care. He goes to talk to the nephrologist again and explains his findings on other patients on the transplant list with similar numbers from a bad formula that uses race as a factor. The nephrologist doesn’t initially believe Winston and says that the eGFR is a tried and true formula before starting to come around. Winston tells her that they need to find another way before storming off.

As he gets back to check on Rashida, Winston finds his patient starting to crash. Her blood has started clotting, so Winston and Ortiz have to remove the catheter. The nephrologist comes running in to see what happened, and Winston explains that he can’t reinsert the catheter. He becomes very assertive and says that Rashida is his patient now and needs better care. It’s a great moment for the character, as we haven’t seen Winston stand up and have strong beliefs before this episode. When Rashida wakes up, Winston and Ortiz tell her that they couldn’t get access for dialysis, but they managed to get her on the transplant list instead. Since we don’t see that happen on-screen, it’s unclear when the breakthrough happened. Rashida is overjoyed because she never thought she would see this day. Since this plotline doesn’t fully conclude, there’s a good chance it continues past this episode. In the very least, I do hope we see Winston continuing to fight for better care for all patients.

SURGICAL OLYMPICS

The third story of the episode adds some gravity to the heavier dramatic moments. We first see Link and Jo getting a system down living and taking care of their babies together, but Jo is still having trouble letting Luna go when they get to daycare at Grey Sloan Memorial. The action cuts to a different part of the hospital, where Richard is excited to get back to the old days. He is taking over the residency program for the day, and the residents have had to report at the crack of dawn, which they aren’t happy about. As they prepare for the day in the residents’ lounge, we learn that Alma Ortiz has transferred to Boston to work with Jackson and his foundation. Richard walks in and tells them to meet him in the skills lab in four minutes, which Helm complains is an eight-minute walk away. They are about to go back to day one and don’t know what’s about to hit them.

This part of the episode turns into some vintage Grey’s full of competition and fun. Once everyone is in the skills lab, Richard explains that their class of residents isn’t where they are supposed to be in their training after COVID-19 stopped surgeries for a long period of time. He has devised a set of four surgical workout simulations and skill assessments that will be graded on proficiency and speed to start whipping the residents into shape. The hospital’s attendings will be the judges of what the residents dubbed the Surgical Olympics, and the resident with the highest score will get to perform a solo surgery later that afternoon.

Before we get to see the first round action, Bailey is confronted by a Dr. Wong, who accuses her of avoiding him. He has been trying to tender his resignation for days, as he has decided to retire. Bailey doesn’t understand why he would leave, and Wong reveals he wants to write mystery novels about an undercover private investigator who is also a surgeon. Bailey tries not to laugh while saying that she is in dire need of physicians. Wong doesn’t find medicine fun anymore, which is really why he is retiring. Bailey sadly agrees to start his paperwork and knows the hospital can’t go on like this much longer.

The Surgical Olympics then begin with a suturing skills test. Link is helping Richard judge the first round and takes the job very seriously, which provides a lot of humor to the scene. The speed round is won by Schmitt, who is deemed the winner by Link. Schmitt is very excited and rubs his victory in his colleagues’ faces. Before more of the fun and games is shown, we are introduced to the patient who will have one of the residents’ first solo surgery. Jo is examining Robin, who presents with abdominal pain. She is surprised to find a strawberry lodged in a place where it shouldn’t be, but the patient isn’t surprised at all. Robin then reveals that she swallowed something too, which is the culprit of her pain.

We come back to the Surgical Olympics in the middle of round four, where the group has gotten very caught up in the games. Hayes has become one of the judges along with Link. Jo and Bailey pop in to see what’s going on as the residents cheer each other on. At the conclusion of the final game, Richard announces that Schmitt is the winner and will get to perform the solo surgery. Jo chimes in that he will operate on her patient, who needs a crystal egg extracted from her intestines. Schmitt is beyond excited and picks Helm to help assist him in the OR. 

Schmitt, Helm, and Richard scrub in for surgery, while Bailey, Jo, and the rest of the residents watch from the gallery. Richard is in the OR to oversee Schmitt and make sure nothing goes wrong. A nice surgery montage shows the operation going well, until they hit a little speed bump. Schmitt starts to lose his nerve, so the residents turn on the speaker and start helping from above by giving Schmitt advice. They help him get back on track, and he knocks the surgery out of the park.

After the surgery, Bailey tells Richard that she hasn’t seen the residents this happy in months. Richard is happier than all the residents that his plan is working. Bailey decides to be the bearer of bad news and reveals that their situation is getting worse with doctors leaving. They feel that they need to make the whole hospital remember why they are here and why they are doctors, which COVID-19 took away from them. Bailey wants to bring joy and the feeling of everyone being in it together back to the hospital that way the staff will remember why they wanted to be medical professionals in the first place. Richard slyly responds that he has some big ideas that might help, which we will start seeing next episode when Dr. Addison Montgomery returns.

The residents section of the episode concludes with Link and Jo’s home life. Link sings Scout to sleep while Jo feeds Luna. They sit on the couch together afterwards and have a heart-to-heart conversation. Jo knows that Link is upset and grieving from Amelia’s rejection and reminds him that she has been through that pain too. She talks about how she looked for joy anywhere that she could, which led her to finding OB and Luna. She assures him that she knows that life sucks right now, but he will be okay. Link gives his best friend a smile.

VETERANS SUPPORTING VETERANS

The final storyline of the episode revolves around the hospital’s military veterans treating a veteran and his young son. Teddy and Owen start their day by dropping their kids off at the hospital’s daycare. Leo is wearing an Elsa from Frozen costume, which prompts another parent to stare at him. Teddy thinks that the dad is staring at Leo because he is a little boy in a princess costume and confronts the man. The parent explains that he has been looking for that exact costume to buy for his daughter and wants to know where Teddy found it so he can buy one himself. Teddy feels bad for making an assumption and tells him that she will have to ask Owen where he got it. 

Owen goes to wait for an ambulance outside and is surprised that there isn’t a resident waiting for the call too. It seems that Owen didn’t get the memo about the Surgical Olympics. Two ambulances arrive carrying a father and son, Noah and Danny respectively. Owen instructs the EMTs to help get the patients inside while shouting for someone to find some residents to help, though that part will be in vain since they are preoccupied.  Once inside, Megan Hunt starts treating Danny with Hayes. It is the first time Megan and Hayes meet, and Hayes asks her if she is working at Grey Sloan Memorial now. Megan replies that Bailey asked her to help out for a few days while Mer is in Minnesota and then goes on to randomly tell Hayes how Mer performed an award-winning surgery on her. Hayes didn’t know that Megan was Mer’s patient and seems genuinely surprised at the info. With Mer spending a little less time at Grey Sloan Memorial in the near future, maybe Megan will stay for a bit longer to help out.

Owen starts treating Noah in one of the trauma rooms. Noah doesn’t want help and would rather see his son. Owen notices that Noah has a military tattoo and asks about what he did in the service. The two bond over their similar histories until Noah starts coughing up blood. Owen has a nurse page Teddy to meet them for a CT scan. Teddy arrives as Noah’s scan starts. She questions whether they should let Leo wear costumes to daycare, and Owen doesn’t get her concern. The scans reveal that Noah has severe scarring on his lungs, which they are upset to see.

The two doctors talk to Noah in a hospital room about the results, and he reveals that he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis a year ago. He knows that there is no cure and believes that his lungs were damaged from his time in the war. He says that the VA barely covers his medical expenses because no one can prove that his condition is service-related. Noah tells Teddy and Owen that he doesn’t want any treatments because he wants to spend whatever time he has left with his son. 

The two docs catch up with Hayes and Megan outside of Noah’s room to discuss possibilities. Megan and Hayes are happy to say that Danny is fine and can be discharged, and Megan explains to Hayes how Noah’s lungs were damaged from being in the military to help catch him up to speed as the one civilian present. Owen doesn’t accept that Noah doesn’t want treatment and wants to go to the VA to demand answers. The trio knows that they can’t save Noah and just need to make him comfortable, but Owen doesn’t believe that there are no other options.

Later on, Owen asks Hayes where Noah and Danny are. Hayes said that they left after Danny was discharged. Noah didn’t want to stay and signed an AMA form to leave on his own accord. Owen is pissed off that Hayes let Noah leave without them helping him. Hayes reminds Owen that Noah is terminal and has accepted his condition, which he urges Owen to accept too. Hayes is sorry for not asking Owen before letting Noah leave, but he’s not sorry for letting him go. Owen ultimately accepts that he can’t save Noah.

Teddy and Owen walk through the hospital, and she finally tells him about the “incident” that morning at daycare. She admits that she thought the other parent was being judgy, but he wasn’t. She is worried about Leo and wants him to be okay in the world. She knows that the world might not be kind to him and is worried that people will be cruel. Owen assures her that they will never treat Leo any differently, which will keep their son happy.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Grey’s Anatomy 18x01 Recap: “Here Comes the Sun” (A Proposition) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]


“Here Comes the Sun”
Original Airdate: September 30, 2021

After a COVID-focused season 17, Grey’s Anatomy is moving into a fictional post-pandemic world to bring some joy and happiness back to the audience. Season eighteen promises to look more like the old Grey’s Anatomy that we all know and love. The fact that this show still manages to bring surprises, like the news that Kate Walsh is returning as Dr. Addison Montgomery this season, and massive “OMG!” moments that you won’t see coming (keep reading to find out the latest one) show the staying power of this series. 

THE OFFER

The season eighteen premiere is split into two distinct parts: one following Meredith, who is in Minnesota, and one following the rest of the doctors in Seattle. The Meredith storyline provides the biggest shockers, so let’s start with her. The episode opens in Grey’s Anatomy post-pandemic world with Mer overlooking her packed, boring OR schedule at Grey Sloan. Mer is happy to be back in the OR, even with a tedious schedule. She walks off to a nearby room to look at a message on her phone and discovers her long-deceased mom, Ellis Grey. In her typical demeaning way, Ellis asks Mer why she survived a pandemic just to perform boring surgeries. Mer wakes up to unsurprisingly reveal the opening to be a dream. However, the content of the dream is very important. Mer is clearly already feeling like she is wasting her second chance on life, and we get our first look at returning recurring guest star Kate Burton as Ellis, who will pop up here and there in a similar capacity.

We then learn that Mer is in Minnesota to meet with Dr. David Hamilton, played by new recurring guest Peter Gallagher, who is dedicating a research library in Ellis’ name. Mer gets a video call from Richard, and he’s worried that he will lose Mer to the Minnesota hospital that she is visiting. She insists that she is not there for a job interview, but Richard isn’t convinced. A little while later, Bailey video calls Mer and proclaims that Mer must give her two years’ notice instead of two weeks’ notice if she decides to leave Grey Sloan Memorial. Mer again insists that there is not a job offer, while Bailey believes Hamilton will con her. Mer hangs up, and right on cue, Hamilton tells her more about the research they are doing in Minnesota. He sweet talks Mer about her past medical research as they approach a door with a sign that reads Grey Center for Medical Research. Mer asks where the library is, and Hamilton tells Mer that this lab is for her if she wants it and the library is down the hall. Mer is stunned at the offer, even though Richard and Bailey called it.

Hamilton brings Mer into her research center and makes his best sales pitch to sell her on joining. He explains that the purpose of the lab is to develop an experimental surgery for Parkinson’s disease patients to potentially create a cure. He needs a surgeon on board to help him get the FDA approval he needs to start a trial. Mer inquires why Hamilton himself isn’t the surgeon involved, which prompts Hamilton to reveal that he is the patient. After the pitch, Mer gets a video call from Hayes, who asks if she has been offered a job yet. Hayes tells Mer that whatever she was offered she can’t take because he can’t keep doing interviews to fill open spots at Grey Sloan (but more on that later). She changes the topic by asking about his kids, which is a clear indication that these two have gotten a lot closer in between seasons. Hayes ends the call by asking Mer not to move to Minnesota.

THE BIG TWIST

Later on, Mer and Hamilton go to a fancy restaurant for dinner and more schmoozing. They have a thorough discussion about Parkinson’s and the upcoming trial. Hamilton tells Mer that when people see her name on something, they know it is cutting edge and take notice. He asks her if she wants to save him and plunges into the details of how the study would work. His final pitch is a pretty good one: Hamilton says Mer would be the public face to a possible cure for a disease that has devastated millions, which would be pretty hard to turn down. Mer responds by saying that she isn’t a neurosurgeon, but Hamilton knows she will attract the best. 

If you’re wondering when that big twist comes into play, then look no further! In the background of the restaurant, Mer and the camera catch a glimpse of a couple on a date. It’s a very brief shot, which might have you doing a double take. You might not be completely sure who you just saw until Mer goes to leave the restaurant and is stopped by an employee telling her that someone is waiting for her at the bar. Mer walks into the next room and is shown to a table where Dr. Nick Marsh is sitting. In case you have forgotten, traveling transplant surgeon Nick Marsh was played by Scott Speedman in a single episode three and a half years ago. He was an instant fan favorite due to his instant chemistry with Mer, who wound up performing a life-saving liver transplant on him. I never thought we would see him again, let alone as another surprise visit that will turn into him being a series regular this season.

Mer sits down at the table and immediately says that she didn’t think he saw her at the restaurant. Nick replies that Mer is hard to miss. Mer asks how his date was, and he goes on about how bad it was. The chemistry is instant and palpable again to both the audience and the two characters, prompting Mer to say that she is seeing someone. She says it’s not serious, then says that she actually isn’t seeing someone and isn’t sure why she lied. Mer continues to say that she was seeing someone, but his son had a hard time with it and now they aren’t dating. Yes, Mer is talking about dating Hayes, and it is not fair that their short-lived dates were not shown on-screen. Mer continues to say that she isn’t going to sleep with Nick and admits that he is easy to talk to. Nick reveals that his daughter went off to college, and he misses her and the noise. Mer opens up about nearly dying from COVID, and Nick says that she is a miracle like him. He feels that there is a little pressure to being a miracle because you have to figure out what you are going to do with it. Mer laughs and tells him that that has been haunting her dreams.

After their discussion, Nick walks Mer back to her hotel room and asks her how long she is in town for. She replies that she is there for a few more days and that she won’t let him into her room. He knows she won’t and walks away after saying goodnight. We all know, including Mer, that this will not be the last she sees of Nick Marsh on this trip or in general, which is cemented by his surprise series regular appointment. Will Mer stay in Minnesota for the Parkinson’s trial, to be with Nick, or both? Better yet, are we on the path to another classic Grey’s Anatomy love triangle between Mer, Nick, and Hayes? Time will tell, but this is clearly the story to watch this season.

MEANWHILE, IN SEATTLE...

The rest of this recap will follow the storylines in Seattle. Winston and Maggie are back from their honeymoon, which tells us this episode doesn’t take place too long after the previous season’s finale. They are stuck in surgery due to Seattle’s Phoenix Fair, which caused lots of havoc on Station 19. Maggie has injured her wrist during the honeymoon and doesn’t want to do surgery for a few days. We then see Link and Amelia in what appears to be a therapy session. Amelia talks about feeling ambushed by Link’s ill-fated marriage proposal and thinks that marriage is his only option for a relationship with her. It’s then revealed that they are actually at Scout’s one-year pediatrician appointment, which gave me a good laugh.

Over at Grey Sloan Memorial, Hayes finds Bailey and asks to talk to her for a minute. He invites Bailey, Ben, and their kids to come over to his house for dinner with him and his boys. Hayes reveals that his sons are struggling and need friends, which has prompted his invitation. Bailey is non-committal, so Hayes says that he is sorry he asked. 

The action changes over to a nearby park where Owen, Allison, and Leo meet up with Owen’s mother, his sister Megan, and her adopted son. It had previously been announced that Abigail Spencer would return as Megan Hunt this season, and it really is lovely to see her again. Teddy then arrives in a dress, carrying flowers. It turns out that they are about to stage a private wedding for Owen and Teddy! It’s just the seven of them because Megan reveals that Nathan Riggs is overseas and couldn’t be there. The causal wedding begins when the priest shows up. Right as the priest is about to officially marry the couple, a bunch of bikers from the Phoenix Fair’s underwear bike race crash in front of them, halting the ceremony.

Some comic relief comes in the form of Schmitt, dressed as a phoenix, knocking on Jo’s door. He is startled to see her out-of-control blonde hair when she opens the door. Jo is freaking out because she can’t study and take care of Luna at the same time. She wanted to do something different for her first day back to work and attempted to dye her hair, which went horribly wrong. Jo called Schmitt for help, and it’s entertaining to see the struggles of new parenthood.

Back at the hospital, Maggie sees Link and Amelia walk into the hospital and says hi to Scout. Link takes Scout to daycare, leaving the sisters to chat. Amelia tells Maggie how they turned Scout’s doctor appointment into couple’s therapy before changing her tune to say how happy she is for Maggie and Winston. She spots the brace on Maggie’s wrist and chuckles when she assumes Maggie has a sex injury. Elsewhere, Richard and Helm are waiting for an ambulance to arrive and are very surprised to see Owen and Teddy pop out of the ambulance with the patient, who turns out to be the priest. Owen explains that they were getting married in the park when the priest got run over by bicyclists, and Richard gets mad that they didn’t tell him about the wedding.

Link and Nico are called for a consult on one of the incoming traumas, and Link is in the worst mood he’s ever been in on the show. He fails to understand why Amelia won’t marry him and why his life is blowing up in his face. They arrive to help a woman with a lot of fractures from the bike accident. The patient and her wife were riding a tandem bike and crashed into the priest. They are worried that she might have potentially injured her autonomic nervous system. Link goes to check on the wife and finds Amelia treating her too, much to his chagrin.

We get a break from the tension by seeing Bailey, Maggie, and Hayes conducting interviews to fill GSM’s open surgeon jobs left behind by Jackson, Koracick, Jo, DeLuca, and other doctors who have quit due to pandemic burnout. The first doctor they interview is a pediatric surgeon. They like him until they find out he is not interested in taking part in the pro bono pediatric surgery program because he doesn’t believe in doing surgeries for free. That charmer is the first in a long line of comically unsuccessful interviews seen via a montage a little while later. The comedy continues with Jo and Schmitt arriving to work late. Schmitt goes running into the hospital, while Jo struggles to juggle her and Luna’s things. Jo can’t seem to function and drops an armful of items in frustration.

In the ER, Owen, Teddy, and Helm treat the priest. He begins to crash and has no pulse. They wind up having to operate immediately in the ER to fix his cardiac tamponade. Things continue to stay medically interesting in the imaging suite, where Link and Nico are waiting for their patient’s scans to come up. Winston walks in and asks them to look at his rotator cuff because he thinks he tweaked it. Nico says with a chuckle that rotator cuff soreness is common after a honeymoon. They immediately get serious when the scan reveals several spinal fractures, which upsets Link since they will need to get a neuro consult.

Amelia joins Link in the patient’s hospital room to discuss with her and her wife how the surgery will work to fix her spine. The wives fight and argue until the one with the spinal injury loses feeling in her legs. Link and Amelia rush her off for emergency surgery. Before we see that surgery, we get a peek at Teddy, Owen, Megan, and Helm operating on the priest. Teddy was under the impression that this priest was Owen’s mother’s favorite priest, but Owen reveals that priest wasn’t available so he had to hire a different priest. Teddy asks Owen when he asked the priest to marry them and isn’t happy to find out that Owen waited until two days prior. 

We then very briefly see the “crossover” part of this episode when Schmitt starts treating the guy who blew part of his face off with fireworks from Station 19. In the other OR, Link and Amelia are operating together frostily with Nico stuck in the middle. Their bitterness toward one another nearly causes their patient to become paralyzed, which causes them to snap out of it and get back to helping each other.

Before we see the rest of the surgeries, we get another interview with Bailey, Maggie, and Hayes! They finally have a solid candidate, Dr. Lin, and she is interested in becoming the chief of the plastics department. Lin gives some great answers, including that she knows they need her due to the doctor shortage. Richard busts in and interrupts the interview to grant Lin privileges to get her help with the firework patient. 

Back in the OR, Teddy is mad that she and Owen aren’t fully married and that they only got through half the ceremony. Owen seems to think that it counts, but he wises up by the end of the episode. To distract them, Megan blurts out that she and Riggs broke up. She calls their relationship a pandemic casualty and says that he rejoined the Army again and left. The priest starts to crash again before anyone can say they are sorry for her. Next door, Link, Amelia, and Nico can’t seem to find any bleeding in their patient’s spinal cord. Nico is unsure if there is any bleeding, but Amelia and Link find it and remove the clot to save their patient. In the third OR, Lin and Schmitt operate on the patient with the firework injury with Bailey, Richard, Hayes, and Maggie watching. They decide to continue the interview, and Lin tells them about her history while operating. She even keeps tabs on Schmitt the whole time, which impresses everyone.

A little while later, we see Teddy, Owen, and Megan informing the priest’s niece that her uncle died. The niece is glad that he at least died doing the thing he loved most in the world: performing a marriage. Teddy tries to hold back tears and runs off. Owen asks Megan what it means that a priest died on their table on their wedding day, as he is probably thinking their relationship is doomed again. Amelia and Link tell their patient’s wife that the priest died, but that her wife will make a full recovery. Unfortunately, she already thinks that her wife hates her and now won’t ever forgive her. Link clearly hates the conversation that is being had due to the negative comments about marriage.

The firework guy also survived and will be okay in the long run after more surgeries. Richard urges Bailey to formally offer Lin the chief of plastics position. Lin is flattered by the offer, so Richard wants to know what the “but” is. Lin says that she relies heavily on residents. She teaches by doing and can’t waste time in the OR by going through each step of a surgery in detail. She doesn’t feel that the residents at Grey Sloan Memorial are where they need to be in their training to work with her due to what she saw with Schmitt that day. Richard counters that the pandemic took a year of surgeries out of the residents’ hands. He gives her his word that he will make the residents better at their jobs, so Lin says she will consider the offer. 

After a hard day of work, Teddy and Owen go across the street to Joe’s bar, where the whole staff is waiting to surprise them. Owen tells everyone that they are going to celebrate the priest’s memory and get married now. Teddy isn’t sure about the plan, but Megan has already gotten ordained to marry them in ten minutes in the attendings lounge. Owen’s mom and the three kids are there too, which causes Teddy to cave. Owen apologizes to everyone for the last minute invitations and says it wouldn’t be the same without all of them. Megan picks up the ceremony where the priest left off, Teddy gives a nice speech about how much she loves Owen, and they officially get married this time as everyone cheers. The celebration is just what we need to nail the joy theme.

Link and Amelia are still at the hospital and didn’t attend the impromptu wedding, so Link takes the opportunity to talk to his love. He starts by saying that he knows that marriage is a faulty institution, but he wants to do it right for Scout and himself. Amelia says she can’t, so Link asks if she’s sure. Amelia responds, “I can, but I don’t want to.” She knows he used to want to be with her without being married. Link reveals he got through the last year because of her and learned that he wants a lifetime with her. Amelia says that she loves him and Scout. They share a kiss, and Link asks Amelia to marry him. She turns him down again, and Link walks away without another word.

Back at the bar, Hayes is sitting at the counter by himself, so Bailey walks over and asks what is happening with his youngest son. Hayes’ son is having panic attacks, which started when he found out Hayes was starting to date again. Hayes tells Bailey that he stopped as soon as he saw what was happening to his son, who is still very anxious. He has no idea what to do to help him. Bailey says that Hayes and the boys should come for dinner on Sunday, and Hayes thanks her.

Link finds Jo sitting in her car in the dark parking lot at Grey Sloan Memorial. She reveals that she never went inside the building and couldn’t take Luna into daycare. She couldn’t leave Luna’s side because she was abandoned and doesn’t want to abandon her daughter. Jo makes a joke about her hair, and Link laughs at her to lighten the mood. He tells her that she will feel guilty every time she walks out the door, which means Luna is number one in her mind. Link then says that he thinks it’s really over with Amelia. Jo doesn’t believe him and thinks it might still work out even though he is currently crashing on her couch. With one relationship cemented by marriage, one potentially torn apart by the thought of marriage, and maybe a new one on the horizon, there’s a lot to look forward to on this season of Grey’s Anatomy