Thursday, November 17, 2022

Grey’s Anatomy 19x06 Recap: “Thunderstruck” (Midseason Trouble) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

Original Airdate: November 10, 2022

It may only be episode six, but we have made it to the midseason finale of Grey’s Anatomy. As we go into the annual winter hiatus, the doctors’ closest relationships are tested more than expected. A lightning storm has hit Seattle, which leads to a crossover event with Station 19. One patient from the first hour, who sustained severe injuries in a helicopter crash, becomes a patient in the second... but you’ll have to keep reading to find out how else the firefighters are involved in the episode.


The fall finale begins with Meredith in her bedroom typing out an email to the Grey Sloan Memorial staff to let them know that she is leaving. After she hits send, we see Luke and Simone studying in the hospital’s basement. Luke gets an email alert and tells Simone to check her phone. They are both stunned at the news. In the ER, Teddy is telling various staff members to stay inside away from the lightning. Owen arrives at work with the kids and shows Teddy Mer’s email. Teddy is also surprised. 

Link is making breakfast at his and Jo’s apartment, and Jo walks into the kitchen wearing her pajamas. She talks about how she won’t go to work because three omens have already happened: a lightning storm on the opening day of the clinic, Mer leaving, and Luna doesn’t have any clothes that fit. Link decides to help by finding some of Scout’s clothes for Luna to wear, which Jo appreciates. 

Mer goes down to her kitchen and finds Maggie and Amelia packing stuff. Maggie says she took the day off work to help pack, and Mer tells her not to bother since the movers and packers are coming over the weekend. Maggie wants to help and  tells her sister that her email was good. Mer has to go to work and has a whipple surgery with Nick. Maggie asks how Nick is handling the news of the move, so Mer tells her that they aren’t talking about it. Maggie wants Mer to stay and help, but Mer leaves. The power flickers and almost goes out, which scares Maggie.

Jo arrives at the hospital late and finds Bailey and Carina sitting outside the clinic. They tell her that the clinic can’t open because accreditation hasn’t come through. Carina is going to take as many of the scheduled patients as she can into the hospital as pro bono cases. Richard walks up with boxes of croissants to celebrate, so Bailey tells him the opening is postponed. He says the silver lining is that he could use Bailey’s help in the OR, so she agrees.

Elsewhere, Amelia walks into the same elevator that Luke is in. He hasn’t told anyone he is a Shepherd except for Simone, and Amelia is upset with him. Blue and Mika walk into the elevator on the next floor, so Luke tries to play off that they were talking about how he is assisting on Mer and Nick’s whipple. When they get to the next floor and everyone gets to get off the elevator, Amelia tells Luke that it’s over and forces him to follow her.

Blue and Mika arrive late to the skills lab and find Jules and Simone already there. Nick has been waiting for them and doesn’t like their tardiness. Amelia drags Luke in and tells the group that Luke has an announcement to make. Luke tells everyone that they have the wrong idea about Amelia and him and that he needs to clear it up. He announces that he is a Shepherd and that his mom is Amelia’s sister. Everyone is a bit surprised by the news. 

The interns all want to know why Mer is abandoning the hospital. Nick tells the interns to focus on their patients and save lives instead of worrying about Mer. He announces that Simone and Luke are in the whipple with him and Mer, and the rest of them will assist Teddy and Schmitt in the pit. Nick asks them to sit before they go and tells them that surgical excellence takes more than one person. He says that the interns are the programming and that the programming isn’t going anywhere.

In the ER, Mika runs up to help Teddy and Link with an incoming patient. An ambulance arrives with Ben and Theo from Station 19 bringing their patient to the hospital. In the first hour, a TV news helicopter crashed from the storm, and journalist Jonathan has a spinal injury. The firefighters cut him out still attached to his seat in order to keep him stable and not paralyzed. The doctors slowly take Jonathan out of the ambulance and bring him inside.


Winston arrives at Mer’s house with packing materials, and Maggie isn’t sure why he is there. He isn’t working until that night, so he thought he would lend a hand and ruin Maggie’s plan of avoiding him. The kids are running around the house so Maggie says she isn’t avoiding him and wanted to spend time with the kids before they left. Winston says he can help without talking, which we all know isn’t going to happen. Maggie tells Zola that they are starting in the attic and that she needs to watch her siblings. They both tell Zola to stay inside and away from the storm.

At the hospital, Mer, Nick, Luke, and Simone meet their patient Tessa, who is a children’s book author. Mer has Tessa sign some books for her kids and tells the author that she has been reading her books since she was a child. Simone is also a big fan of hers. Mer tells Tessa that the surgery to treat her pancreatitis is risky. Tessa has her next book idea lined up in her head. Nick wants to prepare her for every outcome, so Tessa tells him that she is prepared, but her readers aren’t. She feels her readers deserve an end to her stories and asks the doctors to do their best to save her life.

Richard is updating the new digital OR schedule board when he is interrupted by Owen, who wants to be the next chief of surgery. Owen feels he needs to be useful and thinks he is a good candidate since he already was chief for five years. Richard denies Owen immediately stating he can’t be chief with a suspended license. Owen is bummed, so Richard tells him that he is a great teacher and that if he needs something to do, he can help Schmitt in the ER.

Teddy, Amelia, and Link work to help Jonathan in the ER. He has two collapsed lungs, two spinal deformities, and is in shock. Jonathan starts to crash, and Mika brings his wife into the trauma room. They all know that they need to get him out of the chair he’s still strapped to. Amelia wants to cut him out immediately, but Teddy needs to make sure air is getting to his lungs first. She tells the group to place a chest tube and page Owen before they extract the patient.

We then see Schmitt walking toward the ER with Blue and Jules. The chief resident tells his interns that they will see gnarly injuries today because Grey Sloan Memorial is a Level 1 trauma center. The three doctors approach a family of two kids and a mom who got injured by a lightning current through the ground. The daughter is yelling loudly because she is having a hard time hearing. Schmitt runs off to help other patients, so Blue takes over ordering tests for the three patients.

In the basement, Luke finds Simone studying for the whipple procedure. She asks if he feels better now that his secret is out. Luke says it’s different, not better. Luke reveals his middle name is Shep, which is cute. He decides to go check in with Nick before the surgery, and Simone sarcastically says that her childhood is on the operating table so there won’t be any pressure. Luke tells Simone he will see her up there with a big smile on his face and leaves.


Owen has arrived in the trauma room and finds fluid in Jonathan’s abdomen with an ultrasound. The doctors are ready to cut him out of the chair, but Jonathan wants to talk to his wife first. He apologizes to his wife for resenting her for him leaving his dream job. He wants her to know how much he loves her and will make up for being a jerk every day once he is better. They start to cut the chair with power tools to free Jonathan. 

Jo goes to the pit and finds Schmitt running the show. She wants to help, but finds her friend’s behavior appalling when he orders her around. Even though she doesn’t like how Schmitt is acting, she helps.

Nick and Luke look at Tessa’s pre-op scans to prep for the surgery. Nick tells Luke that he is good enough to make his own name, which Luke appreciates. Richard walks in and wants to talk to Nick. Luke leaves the two doctors to talk. Richard wants to know if Nick is also leaving. Nick doesn’t know and has been so busy that he hasn’t thought about it. He is trying to think about what the right answer is, but he knows that it’s impossible to find the right answer with Mer. Richard knows Mer isn’t easy and also knows that there isn’t anyone else like her. Richard wants to be prepared across the board when Mer leaves because everyone will feel her departure. Nick agrees to keep Richard in the loop.

Simone goes to Tessa’s room to tell her it’s time for her surgery and brings a book to be signed. Luke walks up to the doorway and hears Simone talking to Tessa about her childhood. Tessa says that she tells children the truth in a way that helps them understand it in her books. She doesn’t want to die, but knows it is a possibility. She wants her doctors to tell her the truth too and signs Simone’s book while joking that it may be the last book she signs.

Mer finds Nick in the scrub room of their OR, and Nick makes it known that he is mad that he wasn’t told about Luke. He feels blindsided by the way he found out about Luke and Mer moving. Nick doesn’t know what to do, and Mer isn’t sure either. Mer wants to fight for their relationship, but she feels all the answers feel bad. Nick agrees by saying that if he asks her to stay, he’s a jerk. If he leaves Seattle, then he would be abandoning the resident class. He reveals that Mer hasn’t asked him to do either, and Nick counters that he gets that her family needs the move. It still sucks for him because there is no good answer, so he can only be supportive. Mer asks what he wants, and Nick replies that he wants to do the surgery because it’s the one thing they can currently fix. 

In the ER, Jules tells the family she is treating that the daughter has a perforated eardrum, which will heal itself. Blue debrides the son’s feet, as they are burned badly from the lightning. The son has burns all over his body, but everyone’s prognosis is good. In the trauma room, the doctors have finished cutting Jonathan out of the chair. Owen cautions everyone to move at the same time. Teddy counts to three, and they lift Jonathan out of the chair and onto a gurney. Jonathan screams while he is being moved and almost immediately loses his airway once he is on the gurney. They rush to intubate him and get him to surgery before it’s too late.


Back at Mer’s house, Maggie and Winston pack boxes in what appears to be one of the kids’ rooms. They find Mer and Derek’s wedding vows Post-It note, and Maggie wants to keep it in Seattle so Mer doesn’t accidentally throw it away when unpacking and decluttering. Maggie tells Winston that she knows she will miss Mer, but she is excited for Mer’s next chapter and for Zola. Winston brings up that he did some research and found that Grey Sloan Memorial has a fellowship for vascular surgery. He doesn’t want to fight, so Maggie suggests they wait to talk until after Mer and the kids move. Winston already filled out the application and got references and believes the fellowship is promising. Maggie thinks he will change his mind about switching specialties because he worked extremely hard at cardio. Winston argues that she only thinks that because the situation is not ideal for her. He asks her to think about what is ideal for him and for them as a couple.

Back at the hospital, Teddy and Owen find Jonathan’s wife in the waiting room and let her know that her husband is on his way to surgery. He is currently stable with a breathing tube. The wife states she didn’t want Jonathan to be a war correspondent, so he didn’t take his dream job. They assure her they will do everything they can and walk away to get to the surgery. In the OR, we see Mer, Nick, and Luke operating on Tessa while Simone watches. Nick tells Luke to take over from Mer for a step, which triggers Mer to be very protective. She isn’t sure Luke should be doing parts of the surgery, but Nick urges Luke to continue.

Jo is looking online for baby clothes for Luna while taking a break in the pit. Schmitt sees her and complains that they have tons of untreated patients, so Jo should get back to work. Jo is offended and says she won’t let Schmitt’s five minutes of power from being chief resident control her. She silences him by saying that in the world of general surgery, she is still an attending and he is a resident, meaning she doesn’t need to listen to him. Jo says she is there to help out of the kindness of her heart, so Schmitt reluctantly thanks her. She goes to help another patient, and the scene shifts back to Jules and Blue in the ER. Blue wants Jules to consult on the mom of the family they are treating. Jules quickly realizes that the mom’s bronze jewelry turned into copper after the iron in the metal was oxidized from the lightning. This caused it to melt into the woman’s skin. Jules is happy that she showed Blue up.

We then see Jonathan’s surgery as Teddy and Owen arrive in the OR. Amelia is going to stabilize several spinal fractures as fast as possible. Mika asks if she can assist, which Amelia agrees to. However, Amelia won’t let Mika touch anything because it’s too tricky of a procedure to help. Teddy kindly tells Mika that she is doing great, and the intern stays out of the way and watches. In the other OR, Mer is micromanaging Luke. Nick tells Luke that no matter what happened that morning, none of it matters there. Mer tells them to stop because it isn’t working. She kicks Luke out since he is spacing out and has Simone step in to assist instead. Nick fights for Luke, but Mer doesn’t care.

Back at Mer’s house, Maggie and Winston argue about Winston’s career change. Maggie thinks Winston is switching specialties to get away from her. Little Bailey runs upstairs to ask them to come see the lightning, and they both say, “Not now.” Maggie says she came to Mer’s house to have control over something. Winston assures her their relationship won’t make it if he stays in cardio. He’s willing to give it up because he loves her and thought she would be flattered. Maggie thinks it’s the dumbest thing she’s heard. She says giving up career goals is the opposite of what she wants or what she would do because she wouldn’t give up her passion. Winston says his passion is her but Maggie doesn’t respect that comment fully. They see lightning strike a tree outside the house, and Bailey screams in the background. Zola calls for Maggie and Winston in a panic.


After tragedy strikes, we see how Jonathan’s surgery is going. Amelia, Owen, Link, and Teddy are working hard to fix their patient when he starts crashing. His right lung collapses again, so Teddy works fast and furiously to fix it. Mika is astounded at how Teddy saves the patient, and they are able to finish the surgery.

Things are going better in Tessa’s OR. Luke watches from the background, and Bailey and Richard arrive in the gallery to watch the surgery. Bailey is also a fan of Tessa’s books and wanted to see how it was going. Richard thanks her for helping with his surgery, and he forgot how nice it was to operate with her. Bailey tells him that she won’t take over as chief when Mer leaves. Richard says that no one runs the hospital like she does, but Bailey won’t change her mind. She gets a call from Ben, and her face immediately drops. Down below, the surgery is almost done and they think Tessa will make it. 

Richard comes into the OR and tells Mer to step away from the patient and come outside to talk to him. She won’t leave, so Richard tells her that Ben called to say there is a fire at her house and that Station 19 is on their way. He tried to call Winston and Maggie, but neither is answering their phones. Mer goes to leave, and Nick tells her that he and Simone will finish the surgery. Nick coaches Simone through the last steps as they finish up. Mer arrives at her house, and Ben brings her to the kids, Maggie, and Winston, who are all okay. They tell Mer that lightning struck the house. Andy tells them to stay back, and Mer is in tears as she watches her lifelong home burn. Back at the hospital, Tessa survived the surgery and is now in the ICU. Nick tells Simone to stay and watch over Tessa. He also says that Simone did great in the OR today. She asks about Mer’s house, and Nick tells her that all he knows is that everyone is all right, which is all that matters.

Teddy and Owen tell Jonathan’s wife that he made it through the surgery. He had severe injuries and will have a long recovery. Teddy tells Mika to stay and do neuro checks on Jonathan every thirty minutes. Mika tells Teddy that she has eight siblings and that her parents always wanted a boy. They kept having kids until they had a son, and they told their daughters they could be anything they wanted. Mika always saw through the subtext that she wasn’t good enough, but that changed today when she watched Teddy save Jonathan. Mika says, “You are a badass boss lady surgeon, and I want to be you when I grow up.” Teddy appreciates the compliment and Mika leaves. She tells Owen not to crack a joke at her expense. Owen surprisingly says that he was going to tell Teddy to apply for the chief of surgery position.

Jules is practicing in the skills lab and Blue walks in. He stands behind her and wants to show her how to do what she is practicing. She asks him how he knows so much about lightning, and Blue counters that he wants to know how Jules knows about the melting points of precious metals. Jules tells him that her mom sold jewelry, and she and her brother would help sell it at farmer’s markets while their dad sold weed under the table. She used to wish, and still wishes, that her family would disappear. Blue reveals he spent a few years attending medical school in St. Kitts, where there is a lot of lightning. He didn’t get into medical school in the U.S., so St. Kitts was his only option. He was valedictorian, all-state track and field, and a chess champion in high school. Then his mom got sick and died and his grades nosedived. Blue thinks he and Jules would make a great team, and it’s nice to learn more about these two’s backgrounds.

Link brings a bag of clothes for Luna to Jo in one of the lounges. She’s thrilled and thanks him. They share a long hug, which is stopped when Jo gets a text and smiles. The red tape has been cleared, so the clinic can finally open. They meet Bailey and Carina outside the clinic, and Link takes photos of the three ladies cutting the ribbon on the Elena Bailey Memorial Clinic for Reproductive Health. Link asks about the name, so Bailey tells him she named it after her mom. Bailey says her mom spent her life fighting to give Bailey every freedom she deserved. They had a complicated relationship, but Bailey’s mom loved her with her entire heart. Bailey says her mom lived with love and courage, so now it’s their turn to do the same. They pop a bottle of champagne and celebrate the one good thing to come from the day.

Luke is in the intern locker room freaking out when Simone walks in. Simone gushes that Tessa is awake and that they succeeded in assisting on a big procedure. Luke says he failed, so Simone tells him that it could have happened to anyone. She doesn’t think him having a bad day is the end of the world. Luke doesn’t want Simone to be nice to him and starts yelling at her. Simone says he should thank her, so Luke thanks her and then passionately kisses her. Simone backs away and says she can’t. Without giving a reason why, she leaves.

Amelia has arrived at Mer’s house, and she watches the house burn with Mer, Maggie, Winston, and the kids. Andy tells Mer that they are trying to save the house, but it’s too early to tell if they can or not. Maggie reveals that she got the Post-It note out of the house and gives it to Mer. It’s such a touching moment, especially when Mer hugs the note and can’t believe the house is burning. The kids are really sad too as they watch the firefighters attempt to save their home. 

It seems like a very unnecessary plot point to burn down a Grey’s Anatomy staple. I’m sure I’m not the only one who isn’t happy with this decision or that the midseason finale was a bit lackluster. Be prepared though because the winter premiere on Thursday, February 23, 2023 will feature Mer leaving Seattle. Have the tissues ready!


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