Thursday, May 12, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 18x16 Recap: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” (Commitmentphobes) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“Should I Stay or Should I Go”
Original Airdate: May 5, 2022

Can’t the good doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial catch a break? It feels like they have all been struggling more than normal for the past two seasons, and it doesn’t look like the tough times are going to get any easier any time soon. Here’s hoping the super stressed out characters catch a break by the end of this season’s finale, because they have earned it!


Every day seems to be worse than the last in Seattle, and this episode is no exception. The hour starts in the morning with Bailey waiting for a smoothie outside the hospital. She’s depressed about work and is not thrilled when Wright shows up. Bailey tells the resident off and wants him to leave her alone, which is made worse by Catherine seeing their exchange. Catherine is already upset about the residency program’s probation and is about to show Bailey just how unhappy she is.

Owen and Teddy arrive at the hospital with their kids, and Owen is finally walking on his own again without crutches. It’s his first full day back at work and he knows he is moving a little slow, but he is excited to be back. Leo has his hair longer than normal and is wearing a cowgirl costume. Pretty much out of nowhere, he announces to his parents that he is a girl. Teddy tells Leo that he is a boy, and it’s clear from the expression on his face that Owen doesn’t agree with Teddy’s parenting choice.

We then see Helm and Schmitt sharing an elevator ride on Schmitt’s first day back as a resident. He is still wearing his glasses, which indicates his confidence isn’t fully back. Helm is worried about the residency program going under, but things are much worse for Schmitt when the elevator stops on another floor and Nico gets in. No one says a word during the awkward situation, and Nico exits on the following floor. 

In Bailey’s office, Catherine chews out Richard and Bailey about how she doesn’t want her legacy tainted by the residency program debacle. She announces that over twenty of the Fox Foundation hospitals are being checked in on after Grey Sloan Memorial was placed on probation. Meredith walks by outside and finds her sisters eavesdropping on the conversation. Amelia and Maggie say that Catherine has been chewing Bailey and Richard out for ten minutes without letting either of them get a word in. Maggie complains that her cardio fellow quit and urges Mer to stay. Mer stands her ground by saying she is still leaving and made up her mind before stuff hit the fan. She insists she’s not leaving just for Nick, and Amelia backs her up since she too is pro-Minnesota. With perfect timing, Addison Montgomery walks up to the sisters and wants to know what they did to the hospital. Amelia hugs Addison and comments on how her friend knows how to make a great entrance. Addison is easily the highlight of this episode, and it would be great to have her stick around a little longer.

Winston’s brother, Wendell, is still in town and is pitching a cutting-edge piece of technology to the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial. He gives a presentation on a patch that shows heart stats through an app to allow doctors to monitor their patients from anywhere all day. Wendell tells Maggie and Winston afterwards that he is going to pitch the device to two other hospitals in the afternoon. Naturally, Maggie jumps on the chance to try something new and help Wendell out and asks for some samples to try on her patients. Winston is less convinced, but he doesn’t go against his wife.

Elsewhere, Todd surprises Jo in the hall by showing up unannounced with cookies. He heard about the residency program shutting down and wants to know how that affects her. Jo assures him that it’s just the surgical program that is in trouble and that nothing changes for her. He has to go to a meeting and can’t stay, but he’s happy that they are going out on a date later that evening. The camera pans to Link, who is standing in the background and overhearing the whole conversation. Jo sees him afterward, and Link tells her that he didn’t know she was still hanging out with Todd. Link thinks she’s trying too hard to like Todd, which is a bit of a low blow.


Owen is working down in the ER, and Teddy finds him to talk about what happened with Leo earlier. Teddy thinks their son is confused and needs a therapist. Owen is about to disagree, but he is interrupted by a woman helping a bloody man walking into the ER. The man’s arm was cut off by a conveyor belt at their workplace, the woman brought the arm with her and promptly faints after the doctors help get the man to a trauma room. Link hops in to help Owen with the man. They know that their patient is going to need a marathon surgery to reattach his arm, and Link asks Owen if he is up for it, so Owen assures him that he wants in. Teddy and Wright help the lady who fainted. She saw the accident happen and was horrified. She feels faint again as she explains what occurred.

Addison is back at Grey Sloan Memorial with Tovah, the patient she successfully transplanted a uterus in earlier this season. Tovah is eleven weeks pregnant with the last of her deceased husband’s sperm, but something seems to be wrong, which is why they returned to Seattle. Addison wants Mer’s help and asks her how much Hamilton offered her. Mer is surprised the offer is public knowledge and says she has pissed too many people off for entertaining the offer. Addison doesn’t miss a beat by saying it’s like she never left, since Mer is still annoying everyone.

Back in Bailey’s office, Catherine is now talking to just the chief of surgery. She wants Bailey to focus on keeping the surgical residents and save the program. Bailey thinks the best way to get the program back on track is to hire more attendings to ease the short staff struggles, but Catherine doesn’t want any outside surgeons hired until the residents commit to staying and giving good reviews to the accreditation board. Catherine wants Bailey to talk to all the residents that day while she watches, which Bailey is not thrilled about.

In the OR, Owen is excited for his first career arm reattachment surgery. Amelia shows up to help, and Link is excited to get started. Their patient starts to crash before they even begin, and Owen immediately starts CPR. He knows the hospital has a blood shortage, but they are going to need more blood if their patient is to survive. They get him back, but he’s too unstable to operate. The doctors are discouraged that they can’t save both the patient and his arm.

We then check in on Addison, who has Schmitt on her service. An ultrasound on Tovah shows diminished blood flow to her uterus. Addison and Schmitt realize that there must be a blood clot and assure Tovah that the baby is fine even though they need more scans. Schmitt picked a heck of a case for his first day back and isn’t thrilled when Addison asks him to page both Richard and Mer. Schmitt tries to tell her that they aren’t exactly on good terms, but Addison doesn’t care one bit if they are at odds or not.


Owen and Link’s patient is in the ICU on a ventilator. Teddy and Owen bring his coworker to see him, and Owen tells her about the complication and why he isn’t stable enough for the reattachment surgery. He also informs her that the arm won’t survive much longer and they will probably lose it. The woman feels the accident was her fault because she saw the conveyor belt not working properly the day before and didn’t say anything. After she goes into the room to see her friend, Teddy reminds a distraught Owen about the military veterans they have seen lose limbs and go on to live good lives. Owen doesn’t want to accept that it is over and decides to attempt to save the arm.

Mer arrives in the scan room where Addison and Richard are waiting for Tovah’s scans to process. Addison is worried about losing the fetus and the uterus and wants Mer and Richard to get along. It’s clear Richard has no intention of playing nice with Mer, as he still feels betrayed. The three doctors start brainstorming ideas to save Tovah’s baby and uterus. When things get a little snippy, Addison says she needs both of them to help and act like adults because she won’t let her patient burn with the hospital.

In another part of the hospital, Bailey sneaks up on Jo and scares the younger doctor. Bailey has come up with a plan to save the surgical residency program and it hinges on Jo. She explains to Jo that she is desperate and in need while reminding the resident how good the hospital has been to her when she too was in need. Bailey tells Jo she needs her to be a surgical attending again and wouldn’t ask if it wasn’t urgent. Jo doesn’t want to throw her OB residency down the drain, so Bailey assures her that she can return to OB when things get better and the program is back on track. Bailey doesn’t want to beg, but she isn’t above strong-arming Jo into doing what she wants. The conversation ends with Jo unsure of what just happened or what to do.

In a patient room, Maggie and Winston try the first heart patch sample on one of their patients. As they explain the benefits of the medical device, the patient states that he doesn’t believe in it. The patch immediately glitches and shows that the patient is dead when he is very much alive. Winston removes the patch and places it on his own arm, yet the software thinks he is dead too. 

In an OR, Owen has created a new circulatory system to save his patient’s arm. Link and Amelia are incredibly impressed, and Teddy arrives when they leave. Teddy sees what Owen is working on and reminds him that he is doing a military procedure that hasn’t been approved for civilian use. She doesn’t want the army to have attention on them given Owen’s recent extracurricular activities. Teddy also apologizes for the way she handled things with Leo. She wants to create a plan to help him, but Owen only wants to focus on their patient for now.


Addison, Richard, Mer, and Schmitt scrub in together to operate on Tovah, and Richard starts reminiscing about his former students. Mer tries to stop him immediately because she doesn’t want to hear his loyalty speech, so he decides to talk romantically about Addison’s residency instead. Seems like he will do anything to annoy Mer. We then see Winston and Maggie testing another patch in an on-call room. Winston isn’t surprised the patches don’t work, but Maggie is more optimistic than him. The second patch works immediately, so Maggie decides to increase Winston’s heart rate to see if the technology will work. He starts kissing her neck, and the software shows that he is flatlining. Instead of trying another patch, they decide to have sex. 

Link finds Jo in a lounge and apologizes for his earlier behavior. Jo tells him about Bailey wanting her to save the program. She doesn’t know what to do and wants to have dinner with Link to talk it over. She knows Todd doesn’t know how to talk about medical stuff, so Jo decides to ask Link to join her and Todd at Joe’s Bar after work. Link agrees to third wheel their date night, and it’s pretty big of him to want to be in that awkward situation.

Maggie and Winston leave the on-call room and want to find Wendell to tell him the patches don’t work. Lucky for them, Wendell is walking down the hall and comes over to ask for a review on his product. Winston flat out tells his brother that it didn’t work. Wendell thinks he must have given them the beta discontinued model and will give them the FDA approved consumer model next. Maggie says they can try the other model and gets Winston to agree too.

Back in the OR, the dream team is implanting a stent in Tovah’s vein to free the blood clot. Mer wants to know why doctors have to owe the hospital that they did their residency in. She feels the hospital broke from COVID-19 and wants to move on. Addison counters that the hospital broke without Meredith, especially since she is Grey Sloan Memorial’s mascot. She continues to say that Mer was never just Richard’s student, which is why he is so upset at her betrayal. Before they can discuss the topic any further, a complication arises when the vessel over clots. Addison thinks they will have to remove the uterus and fetus, but Mer thinks they can try something else first. They decided to switch to an open surgery to try to save Tovah’s pregnancy.


Bailey and Catherine are back in the former’s office, and Bailey lovingly looks at photos of Pru on her phone. Wright comes into the office, and Catherine tells him she has heard good things about him. Bailey asks him why he draws before surgery, and Wright explains that drawing tells him that the body is worth his time and taking a closer look at. He feels the body is a work of art. Bailey gives Wright a stack of papers and asks him to sign forms that will transfer him back to his original residency in Minnesota. She states that they haven’t filled his spot, but Wright doesn’t understand why Bailey wants him to leave. Catherine is incredibly mad, so Bailey explains that Wright is one of the best residents, which is why he needs to leave. She knows she might fail to save the surgical residency program and doesn’t want to orphan the residents. She wants to protect his future and begs Wright to go back to Minnesota before it is too late. She quips that he can even learn from Mer there to lighten the heartbreaking moment.

Back in Tovah’s surgery, the entire team is working well together with no ribbing. Schmitt is even handling himself well, and Mer and Richard are back in sync for the time being. The surgeons remove part of Tovah’s vein, remove the blood clot, and then reattach it. The blood flow immediately looks good and there are no leaks. However, there isn’t a fetal heartbeat and the hard work was in vain because it was too late to save the baby. Addison is understandably incredibly upset, and Mer tries to comfort her.

Winston goes with Wendell to his brother’s car to look at the other patches. When they get there, Wendell admits that there isn’t another model. He got a loan and bought the patches after seeing a presentation about them online. He didn’t know they didn’t work and thought he could make a lot of money off them. Winston is mad that Wendell lied to him and knew he shouldn’t have trusted him. Wendell continues to say that he is out $10,000 and put all his money into the patches. He will need Winston’s help to pay back the loan, but Winston doesn’t seem to want anything to do with his brother after the lies are revealed.

Back in the arm’s OR, Owen’s procedure worked, and the arm is alive and well. Teddy is still with him, so Owen tells her that he thought this might happen with Leo for a while and will listen to what Leo wants. Teddy thought Leo was just playing dress up. Owen feels they should follow Leo’s lead, even though Teddy isn’t completely on board yet.

Down the hall, Catherine busts into the scrub room after Tovah’s surgery and starts yelling at Mer about her leaving. Apparently, Catherine wasn’t aware of Mer’s decision until Bailey told Wright he can learn from Mer in Minnesota. Considering how upset Richard is at Mer, it’s incredibly surprising he didn’t mention it to Catherine. Mer doesn’t want to have a screaming match now and would rather talk about it another time. Addison asks them to stop because a woman just fought and lost a pregnancy and they need to take a moment to honor her. She storms out, and her emotional plea does the trick. Elsewhere, Owen’s patient’s wife has arrived at the hospital. He tells her that they will be able to do the reattachment surgery in the morning, so at least this episode has one happy ending.

Next, Addison tells Tovah about the baby and apologizes after her patient wakes up. Tovah cries while Addison assures her they will try again as soon as they can. Schmitt chimes in and takes charge by telling Tovah that when his grandfather died, he learned the Kaddish prayer from a rabbi. It helped him with his loss, so he pulls a chair up next to the hospital bed and sits and says the prayer in Yiddish. Schmitt holds Tovah’s hand while she cries, while Addison watches from outside the room. 

Richard walks up, and Addison tells him that she feels like she failed Tovah. Richard asks why she doesn’t remember her residency fondly, so she truthfully states she only remembers the bad parts. Addison knows she couldn’t complain about anything because she would lose her spot. She acknowledges that that used to be the culture. Addison tells Richard that he is trying to save an old version of a broken program and that he needs to find a new way to train surgeons. She urges him to try again. 

Later that evening, Todd, Jo, and Link have dinner together at Joe’s Bar. They discuss Jo’s options, and Todd thinks about it in science terms. He thinks she should consider doing both by moonlighting as a general surgeon even though it would be more work. It would give her the best of both worlds and still make Bailey happy, and Link agrees that she should go for it. Jo isn’t sure since she has a tiny human at home, so Link kindly offers to help with Luna. Todd offers too, and then rescinds his offer when he realizes he knows nothing about babies. Link is clearly uncomfortable as the third wheel, and it will be interesting to see if this becomes a full blown love triangle or not.

We then see Owen sitting outside the hospital on a bench at night. Teddy walks out and sits down next to him. She wants Leo to be happy and doesn’t want to mess parenting up given that there are a million ways to get it wrong. She doesn’t think either of them knows how to handle it and doesn’t feel going all in right away seems right. Owen reminds her to simply love Leo and listen. He understands it is complicated and thinks they should get a therapist for themselves, so she agrees to therapy to help them process everything.

Back inside Grey Sloan Memorial, Nico and Schmitt find themselves in the same elevator once again. Schmitt tells his ex that he was in pain and knows what he did, but he did continue to show up when Nico was in pain. Nico says that is the difference between them and walks out on the next floor without another word. It’s clear Nico is still hurting from Schmitt unceremoniously dumping him, and he has every right to not want to make it right at this moment.

In Bailey’s office, Catherine comments that she has arranged for a phone call with a consultant to help come up with a better plan to save the residency program. Bailey has had enough and decides to take an impromptu vacation to spend time with her kids because they need her. Catherine counters that the hospital needs her more, but Bailey is done being the superhero. She thinks she can leave if Mer is allowed to leave. Bailey tells Catherine that she respects her and wants her to hear her when she says she isn’t quitting or taking a leave. She just wants to take a vacation day or two because she isn’t any good to the hospital in her current burnt out state of mind. Round of applause for Bailey for finally taking care of herself!

Mer gets home after a long day to find Nick waiting for her. She wasn’t expecting him, and he came prepared with a speech. Nick asks Mer to stay in Seattle because he doesn’t want her to resent him for her leaving Seattle when Grey Sloan Memorial is in a bad state. He also needs the kids to get used to him before they all live in Minnesota. He has decided to take a few months of vacation time and move to Seattle, where he will get his own place and will temporarily work at the hospital. Nick’s offer is incredibly nice and well thought out, yet Mer is very upset with him. She feels she has the right to leave because she did everything that was expected of her. She doesn’t understand why, if she wants to leave, she is considered disloyal when everyone else from her residency class left. Mer feels it is her decision, has made up her mind, and thinks Nick’s speech is patronizing. Nick explains that he wasn’t suggesting they stay in Seattle forever, rather long enough to save Grey Sloan Memorial’s residency program. Then, they can go wherever they want. Mer is still a bit upset, so Nick tells her that her angry side is slightly scary. In the end, Mer agrees to stay, but just for a little while. Here’s to hoping this new life in Seattle with Nick will be the push she needs to never leave!


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