Monday, March 6, 2023

Grey’s Anatomy 19x08 Recap: “All Star” (The Post-Meredith Saga Begins) [Contributor: Julia Siegel]

“All Star”
Original Airdate: March 2, 2023

It’s the first episode after Meredith’s departure for Boston, but don’t worry: you’ll still hear the titular character's voiceovers that traditionally open and close episodes. The hour tries to keep the audience interested in the other characters by continuing previously set up storylines. Will it be enough to keep the Grey’s Anatomy fans watching? Time will only tell.


The episode opens with the interns fixing up the damage caused to Mer’s house by the lightning storm. The montage includes some comical moments like Jules and Blue eating instead of helping Simone, Lucas, and Mika and the interns sleeping on the floor since they don’t have beds yet. Once the house is repaired, they start moving in their own furniture into the living room. Friendship bonds continue to also be strong for Jo and Link with the former making a large, protein-packed breakfast for the latter. Link has a big day ahead of him as is scheduled to operate on a member of the Seattle Seahawks. He wants to take his meal to go and get to work early because he is facing a lot of pressure. His patient is the Seahawks number one draft pick with his whole future ahead of him and needs ACL surgery. Link really wanted Nico’s help with the case, but his colleague is traveling. Jo gives him a solid pep talk and has some funny moments when she shows she knows nothing about sports.

Richard catches Teddy walking into work and asks if she is going to take the chief of surgery job. She knows she has until 6 p.m. to decide and plans to wait a few more hours. Richard has been filling in while trying to hire the next chief and urges Teddy to take it. Teddy looked over his offer and isn’t sure she wants the job anymore because all the past chiefs hated it. Richard tries to convince Teddy that both she and the hospital need this, but he doesn’t get an answer out of her.

While in a Grey Sloan Memorial elevator, Maggie shows Amelia a video that Mer sent her of Zola learning to play the cello. It’s quite squeaky, and the aunts laugh a bit. Winston gets in on the next floor, and the vibe is immediately awkward. After he gets off on the following floor, Amelia says she would rather listen to the bad cello playing than that awkward silence again. Maggie says she and Winston are planning on trying marriage therapy, but they couldn’t get an appointment for three weeks. In the meantime, they have decided on a cease fire until the first session.

Bailey, Owen, and Winston find Link right outside of the hospital to ask for a meet-and-greet with his patient, who has the great nickname of Tank. They are all fans of his, and even Schmitt bikes up and asks to assist on the surgery since he went to the same high school as the NFL player. Link doesn’t want any of them around because he doesn’t want all the attention. He goes back inside and brings the interns to do rounds on Tank. They are greeted by a journalist in Tank’s room who is planning on covering how the day unfolds. The group presents the case of Tank’s ACL tear and his prior surgical history for meniscus tears. Link asks the interns a series of questions and grants Simone and Blue rights to scrub in on the surgery for correct answers. The rest of the interns will spend the day with Schmitt, who is stalking from outside the room.

When the three remaining interns get to the ER, Mika says that everything is now a competition to see who can get the next surgery. She offers up a prime bedroom at Mer’s house to the winner, and no one seems to care that Lucas already has that room. Then a young man walks into the ER complaining of extreme constipation caused by a food challenge gone wrong five days prior. The group’s eyes dim a little because they don’t think they have a surgical case on their hands. They page Schmitt and present the patient to the chief resident. A nurse comes over looking for help, and Schmitt sends Jules with her. He then gives Mika and Lucas a list of things to try before a procedure will be necessary, and the literal scut work makes it look like their day won’t be much fun. Meanwhile, Jules goes into an exam room to check on a young mother, Sierra. She is pregnant with her third child and has been spotting for a few days. She has one of her youngsters with her, and Jules pages OB for a consult and to get an ultrasound to identify the cause of the bleed.


Upstairs, Bailey has made her way into Tank’s room to take photos with him while wearing a Seahawks scarf. She quips that she’ll text the photos to Ben to make him jealous. Blue is very excited to assist on the surgery and tells Tank about how big of a fan he is. The journalist likes Blue’s passion and wants to get quotes from him for his story. Simone waits quietly in the background for everyone else to leave the room before talking to Tank. She tells him how she had a few ACL tears and surgeries in college from ice skating. They bond over being student athletes, and Tank asks why she didn’t continue skating after recovering from surgery. Simone replies that she got into medical school and didn’t have time for it anymore.

Teddy and Owen get paged to daycare but they aren’t sure why. On the way there, Owen tries to sell Teddy on taking the chief of surgery position. Teddy sniffs out that Richard must have told her husband that he could be chief of trauma again if she took the higher position, which Owen admits is true. She can’t believe Owen’s mindset of only thinking of what would be best for him. They find Bailey also at daycare, and she tells them that Allison bit Pru. Owen thinks the incident is a one-parent job and leaves. Teddy apologizes to Bailey and doesn’t realize this is the exact person she needed to run into.

Jo does an ultrasound on Sierra and doesn’t find anything wrong. She suggests rest and avoiding strenuous activity, which doesn’t seem possible even though we don’t know much about Sierra. Jo orders fluids for her patient before she can be discharged. Sierra gets a phone call and seems even more stressed out, but she won’t confide her problems in Jules when the young doctor tries to be supportive.

Tank and Simone continue to hit it off. He says he didn’t know colleges had ice skating teams and talks about how he needs to kick it up a notch in the NFL for his family. He was scouted starting in sixth grade and had an offer to move to Seattle by himself at age eleven, which he took. Tank describes only seeing his family at Christmas each year and how he knows his new career is the chance he has wanted to get his family back together. He is worried his ACL can’t be repaired and that he won’t be able to play football again. He doesn’t know what he will do if that happens, and Simone counters with, “What if you can?”

Back in the ER, Mika and Lucas are trying to make a deal over who has to give their patient an enema. Mika eventually caves and does it because the patient is in a lot of pain. The comedy train continues with Bailey and Teddy walking and talking. Bailey asks Teddy if she thought about the chief position and rattles off a list of issues including not getting a substantial pay increase, dealing with too many complaints, and no one else wanting the job. She makes a great point by telling Teddy that she is in a great negotiating position and can ask for anything because the hospital needs her. Teddy goes right to Richard and regurgitates a list of demands that Bailey fed her: a full-time administrative assistant who is allowed to attend budget meetings in her place when she is busy, an additional three weeks of vacation, double the pay rate offered, and a research budget. Richard is taken aback by the speech and says he needs time to think it all over. As he walks away with a perplexed look on his face, Bailey pops up from behind a nearby counter and gives Teddy a big thumbs up of approval.


Amelia finds Maggie after a surgery to chat. Maggie is working on a case study for her and Winston’s surgery on baby Arlo. Amelia wants Maggie to break the cease fire with Winston. However, Maggie says she needs a victory, is failing at marriage, and hates failing, so she will stay neutral. Amelia warns her that hiding from the hard parts of relationships doesn’t make it less hard, it only makes things last a little longer.

Simone and Blue prep Tank for his surgery. The patient FaceTimes with his mom, who asks the interns to take care of her son. Jo goes into the OR scrub room to wish Link good luck before the surgery begins. He takes her well wishes and knows he needs to stay sharp since it has been awhile since he has been in a pressure cooker surgery. Jo tells him that he will be fine, and I honestly believed her when she said it.

Elsewhere, Richard brings Teddy into his office for a meeting after considering her offer. He goes on a ramble about how Grey Sloan Memorial is where legacies are built and how it is an honor to serve, but service requires sacrifice. The last part rubs Teddy the wrong way since she has literally served. Richard announces he is going to take the job himself, as it brings him joy and he is happy with the money already on the table. It’s not about the money for him, and Teddy exasperatedly agrees to drop the stipend from her list of demands, which gets Richard back into negotiating mode.

Winston, Owen, Lucas, and Jo are among the doctors in the packed OR gallery watching Tank’s surgery. Owen asks Winston how his home life is, and Winston says Owen’s advice blew up in his face. He reveals Maggie has been staying with Amelia for the past few weeks. He says he should have thought twice before taking Owen’s advice, which Owen knows is a fair point given his own relationship woes. Down below, Link explains the toll of football on Tank’s knees and how the average defender in the NFL lasts six years before their bodies give out.

Jules goes to check on Sierra and finds her patient in a sad state. Her kid threw all her stuff around the room. Jules tells Sierra that she understands what it is like to be completely overwhelmed. Sierra explains that she wasn’t trying to get pregnant and a condom broke. She loves her kids, but didn’t want another. Now she is scared that the post-partum depression she suffered twice before will come back again. After being diagnosed, she tried medication and therapy, but neither really worked and the depression lasted a long time. Jules asks if she tried to terminate the pregnancy, and Sierra replies no and asks how much an abortion costs. Jules explains how the clinic helps patients of all incomes on a sliding scale and asks if she wants an abortion. When Sierra nods her head, Jules agrees to call the clinic to help her. 

Back in the OR, Link finishes attaching Tank’s ACL, and the whole gallery applauds. Link asks everyone to respect Tank’s privacy and not go to his room for selfies. The scene changes to Mika waiting outside the bathroom for her patient to poop. Lucas can’t believe she is this invested. When the patient finishes and happily tells the doctors he pooped, he says he wants to immediately go back to the restaurant to finish the food challenge. Mika looks at Lucas and is convinced she will win the bedroom after all. 


Upstairs, Blue and Simone are in Tank’s room when he begins to crash. They go get Link, who is outside the room being interviewed by the journalist. Tank’s blood pressure is dropping, and Link knows they need to re-intubate him, so they page Winston for help. When Winston arrives, they do an endoscopy to figure out what is going on. They find that Tank has a large blood clot, which needs to immediately be addressed in the cath lab.

A quick comedy break shows Richard wheeling and dealing with Teddy over her demands. They are interrupted by Amelia coming into the office and asking to be considered for the chief of surgery position. Teddy drolly says, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” which sums up the whole situation. After the reprieve, Jo comes into Sierra’s room to explain how an abortion would work and says they can have someone watch her kid for her during the procedure. Sierra loves her kids and wants to be okay for them, so she agrees to the abortion. Jo asks Jules if she wants to assist, which the intern is happy about.

In the cath lab, the doctors find a large clot formed quickly after Tank’s surgery. Winston assures Link that there is nothing any of them could have done to prevent it when Link tries to blame himself. Tank starts crashing again, so they immediately begin compression and pair shocks with rounds of epinephrine. The scene cuts to Sierra’s abortion, where Jo explains every step of the procedure as she does it. She has Jules guide the ultrasound, and the whole thing lasts no more than ninety seconds. Even Sierra can’t believe how quickly it is over, and she is immediately relieved that she is fine.

We then see a montage of Link, Winston, Simone, and Blue performing CPR on Tank. After two hours, Winston tells Link they need to call it. Link is understandably angry, so Winston calls time of death. He wants to try to stall the press by walking out of the room first, but Link wants to take care of it himself. He knows the press only saw Tank as a football player, while Link saw him for the kid he was. He feels Tank’s death is on him and goes to deal with the press. Simone tears up as the show cuts to a well-timed commercial break.


After the abortion, Jo and Jules inform Sierra of potential side effects. Sierra thanks them, reunites with her kid, and goes home. Jo tells Jules that she did great work by talking and listening to the patient. Jules is excited because she hasn’t had anyone compliment her work before. She tells Jo about how growing up with hippie parents didn’t exactly pave the way to success for her. Jo says she didn’t have a conventional upbringing either, but that doesn’t mean anything. Jo is proud of Jules for staying and listening and that Sierra was better off for it. Jo gets paged and leaves Jules, who can’t stop grinning. I hope we get more Jo/Jules scenes, as their quirks actually pair well together.

We then see Amelia trying to convince Richard that she deserves the chiefdom over Teddy. Amelia wants twice the rate Richard is offering and unlimited travel to other labs. She also found out what Seattle Presbyterian pays their chief of surgery and says Richard should be ashamed of his offer as she slides him a piece of paper with their salary. Teddy quickly states that she doesn’t need to go anywhere in an attempt to keep herself in the running. Richard immediately decides he is unable to consider Amelia’s application because he already offered the job to Teddy. He turns to Teddy and agrees to pay her 75% above her current salary, to hire a full-time assistant, and give her a small stipend. Teddy happily agrees to the deal and shakes on it. Richard walks out, and Amelia is fast to say that Bailey sent her to help and that she didn’t want to be chief. The new chief of surgery is a little dumbfounded, yet happy for the help. Teddy smiles and takes a seat in her new office.

Simone is sitting on Tank’s bed looking rather sad when Blue walks by and sees her. He asks if she is okay, and Simone admits that she told Link she would call Tank’s mom and give her the bad news. Blue says that having to call a family member to tell them a loved one has passed away is sickening, impossible, and that there are no right words to say. Simone asks Blue to make the call with her, which Blue agrees to. They sit on the bed together and FaceTime Tank’s mom. Simone can’t get the words out, so Blue takes over the call.

Maggie finds Winston on a balcony and apologizes for his loss of Tank. She offers to send him the introduction to the paper she is working on as a distraction. Winston takes offense to the offer and says that Maggie buries herself in work to avoid feelings, which he doesn’t do. Maggie thinks Winston is avoiding her by switching specialties and clearly can’t understand why he wants to do so. Winston tells Maggie she is throwing it way out of proportion and believes that Maggie is willing to throw away their marriage for a change in jobs. Maggie tells Winston that he needs to use his gift to try and save as many people as he can, which I guess she thinks he can’t do in another position for whatever reason even though the line is a metaphor about their marriage as well. Winston exclaims that not everyone can be resuscitated and walks away. The once strong relationship seems like it may fully crack, so it will be interesting to watch the self-destruction continue.

Simone goes to leave the hospital for the day, and Lucas slides into the elevator with her. Being alone in an elevator together after a tough day gets the most of Simone, who passionately kisses Lucas. The pair make out the rest of the way down. In the lobby, Teddy finds Owen and the kids and wants to go out for a sushi dinner to celebrate her promotion, but Owen kills her vibe by revealing that the press is having a field day with Tank’s death. The media is saying that Link killed Tank, and Teddy immediately realizes that she is now chief and will have to deal with the fallout. Talk about a bad first assignment. The family is mobbed by journalists and TV cameras as they try to leave the hospital. Owen tries to press through and attempts to stop the bombardment of questions by repeatedly shouting, “No comment.”

The scene cuts to Link drinking on the couch at home with Jo sitting next to him. Link laments about losing his 22-year old patient and thinks that he did kill him. Jo assures her bestie that he did everything right and that a clot can happen to anyone. Jo gives him a hug, and Link tries to kiss her. Jo pulls away, and Link immediately apologizes. She understands he is drunk and sad, so she says it is okay and hugs him again.

Simone and Lucas arrive home at the intern house and appear to want to continue their makeout session. Their plans are immediately killed when they walk inside and find a man named Tre standing in the living room holding a bouquet of sunflowers. Simone is surprised to see Tre, and Mika says she let him in because he said he knew Simone. Tre gives Simone a big hug and tells her he should have come a long time ago. He asks who Lucas is, and Simone quickly says Lucas is her roommate. Lucas is just as confused as the audience at this point. The episode ends without further explanation. Could this be Simone’s supposedly ex-fiancé? Maybe he’s not an ex after all as she had led everyone to believe. We will all have to tune in next week to find out the truth about Tre.


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