This hour of TV could have been straight-up awful and I still would have watched the whole thing just to see why Derek didn’t pick up his phone and why a woman did. But thankfully, the episode had a lot going for it—though waiting until the very end to get some kind of update—any kind of update—on the Meredith-Derek situation was slightly painful.
Not nearly as painful as it was for Meredith though, who keeps calling Derek after a woman picked up and keeps getting voicemail. She doesn’t really have any option but to assume he’s cheating, and even Karev and Maggie’s insistence that Derek couldn’t possibly be having an affair doesn’t help squash Meredith’s (or my) fears. And then she has to spend the whole day working among residents who keep reminding her that she’s on a streak, because that’s what a woman who thinks her husband might be cheating really needs: extra pressure from her colleagues to not kill anyone.
Her patient today is a guy from a punk rock band who got in a car accident along with his pregnant wife. The older man who caused the crash, Martin, is also in the hospital and out of control—so out of control that he hits Maggie, knocking her to the floor. She insists she’s okay, but Bailey insists she get a CT scan to make sure. Maggie being Maggie ignores that demand, instead simply sticking a bandage on her bruised cheek and carrying on with her day.
Meanwhile, Martin’s wife, Sally, comes in to the ER to find her husband. He has Alzheimer’s, she explains, and she left him alone for just a few minutes so she could take a shower. That’s when he took the car keys and left. Webber, Maggie, and Ben soon take Martin into surgery to see what’s happening inside, and Maggie makes some controversial-in-context comments about Sally: “If you can’t be a responsible caregiver, find someone who can,” she says.
The whole time, Ben’s awkwardly coughing in an attempt to stop Maggie from talking. He knows Webber’s history with Alzheimer’s; Maggie doesn’t. But she, also awkwardly, doesn’t understand what Ben’s doing and asks why he’s clearing his throat. Webber then steps up: “I think Dr. Warren is trying to subtly tell you to shut up,” he says. “I lost my wife to Alzheimer’s.” And that successfully closes Maggie’s mouth.
So now Maggie knows that Adele had Alzheimer’s, but she still doesn’t know that her own mom had it too—or at least, it’s assumed she doesn’t know. Later though, Webber tells Maggie about Ellis and finds out that Maggie knew she had the Alzheimer’s gene all along: She got a full genetic history when she was 12, but just didn’t knew where the Alzheimer’s gene was from.
Actually, she’d been worried that the gene came from Webber and is visibly relieved when she finds out he’s Alzheimer’s-free. Webber’s been delegated to the role of resident dad in the most recent episodes, which can get boring, but seeing him be an actual dad to Maggie—someone who’s seemingly starting to open up to him—is intriguing and something I want to see more of.
Before this heart-to-heart, Martin wakes up from surgery completely lucid. He’s reciting poems to his wife, he’s catching up on the past five years. Webber is absolutely floored—there’s no way he could have accidentally cured this man’s Alzheimer’s. And he didn’t: Amelia soon discovers that Martin never had Alzheimer’s, that there’s actually a build-up of fluid in his brain—and that means his ailment is curable.
Amelia tells Martin this and suggests she put in a shunt to stop the fluid from building up. The catch: She has to do it within a few hours or else the fluid will build back up, he’ll go back to exhibiting Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, and he’ll no longer be in any condition to provide consent for the surgery. At first, he’s all for it—and so is his wife, who’s been acting as caregiver for the past five years. But then he finds out that the car crash he caused ended up killing a pregnant woman.
NEXT: Martin changes his mind.
He’s instantly full of guilt and instantly wants to forget everything. It does sound nice: Do something bad, wipe your memory of it away, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-style. But his wife is sitting right there, sobbing at the prospect of seeing her husband disappear again. This doesn’t change anything though. “You let me rot,” he orders. “You let me go.”
This is about the time someone should have brought a therapist or a chaplain or someone, anyone, in to try to change his mind. Of course he wants to take the option of forgetting: He just found out he’s responsible for someone’s death. But he’s choosing not to get the surgery simply because he’s in a moment of extreme weakness and wants the easy way out. He’s not thinking about his wife or his family, the people who will have to watch him change and suffer knowing he could have chosen to stop it from happening. That is tough as hell. But, alas, no one’s able to change his mind.
In equally sad news, the pregnant woman involved in the crash dies after having a seizure. But Jo and Arizona perform CPR on her so they can deliver her baby, who’s at first silent but eventually stars crying. He’s okay. Jo isn’t.
All the death and sadness is, understandably, getting to Jo. She breaks down and leaves the room once Karev announces the baby is fine, crying over how unfair the world can be. While she—and probably others—see this as a sign of weakness, Bailey later commends Jo for, well, feeling. “Don’t apologize for caring about your patients,” Bailey tells her. “That’s what’s going to make you such an excellent doctor.” Mama Bailey always comes to the rescue.
The baby’s dad lives, too, and becomes the 90th patient in Meredith’s streak. So Meredith goes home to celebrate. Just kidding! She goes home to find a solemn-looking Derek standing at the door. “I took the first flight. I left my keys,” he says to a shocked Meredith. “You called me and a woman answered my phone.” She repeats that last part back to him. And then it’s over.
From this exchange, it’s pretty clear that either Derek cheated or that he came really, really close to cheating. The latter would be forgivable: He and Meredith have been on the rocks, and temptation happens—although it’s still hard to believe that Grey’s would taint Derek by turning him into an almost-cheater, by turning him into someone who would almost break his Post-it vows. Then again, Grey’s is all about showing how human humans can be, and almost-cheating is about as human as you can get. But whatever happens, at least I got what I wanted: McDreamy’s back. Thank goodness for that.
- April was crazy horny, and Jackson was crazy confused by her behavior. Turns out April, grieving over her late baby, just wants to feel like herself again—so after some heated conversation, Jackson obliges: They have sex in a car in the hospital’s parking lot.
- In other sexy news, Amelia and Owen tried to get it on twice in the on-call room but were twice interrupted by work. If they want to have sex so bad though, why don’t they just make a date for a bedroom that’s not in their workplace like, you know, normal people?
- In even more sexy news, Callie made out with a woman named Heather and Arizona saw. Callie thinks Arizona’s jealous the whole episode and gets sassy about it, insisting that they’re over so it’s okay for her to kiss other people. But later on, Arizona reveals she wasn’t jealous, but that she dated Heather—and Heather is crazy. She was just concerned for Callie’s well-being. If they don’t get back together, maybe they can just be adorable best friends?
- Maggie ends up confessing to Webber that she never got the CT scan like she was ordered to and guesses she might have a concussion. She could have a concussion, but the fact that this is even a plotpoint makes me think it might be something more serious. Please don’t kill off Maggie, Grey’s. Please.