And to think all of this would have been prevented if only Bailey decided against calling a Code Pink.
It all begins when Karev realizes his fragile 6-year-old patient is missing. After Karev tells Bailey, security briefly convinces her not to call the code — not because they’re not concerned about the missing child, but because calling a Code Pink means locking down the entire hospital. That’s a big deal anywhere, and especially somewhere where going from one room to the next can be the difference between life and death. Karev is intent on finding this kid though, so he says five words to change Bailey’s mind: “What if it was Tuck?” With that, the code is called.
The good news is that Karev soon finds the kid hiding under a stairwell. The bad news is that Ben’s pregnant patient starts crashing as soon as the code goes into effect. This might be fine if they were in an OR or even just a regular hospital room (maybe?), but they’re not: They’re stuck in a hallway, and all the doors to get out of that hallway are locked shut. Ben can either watch his patient die or do something. So he does something as a horrified DeLuca assists.
Now’s an appropriate time to remember when Ben used a clipboard to open up a patient in the psych ward. He’s a good doctor, yes, but he doesn’t always play by the rules — and the medical field is all about playing by the rules, despite what previous episodes of Grey’s (LVAD, anyone?) have told us. He performs an emergency C-section on this woman — Gretchen — and once the code is lifted, Bailey finds Ben and DeLuca standing above her soaked in her blood. There’s a time and place for emergency C-sections, and in an isolated hallway during a Code Pink is… not it.
Ben truly believes that he did what he had to do to save Gretchen and her baby’s lives even though what he did was all kinds of wrong. To make things worse, both Gretchen and her baby die soon after. He thought he saved their lives; instead, he just gave them a few minutes longer.
Bailey spends that whole day looking for someone else, anyone else, to blame. Why did Meredith, the assigned doctor, leave Gretchen alone with Ben? Why did Arizona, who Meredith requested come by, leave Gretchen alone with Ben? DeLuca thought they absolutely had to do what they did, right? This can’t be all Ben’s fault, right? She discovers that Gretchen was stable when both Meredith and Arizona looked at her, and that DeLuca only said they did what they had to because that’s what Ben told him. Basically, things are not looking great for Ben.
NEXT: The elevator comes back to bite Ben [pagebreak]
And things look even bleaker once Bailey reviews some footage from the security cameras that reveals an elevator door opening right before Ben slices into Gretchen. That proves Ben had the option of leaving that hallway, of seeking help, and that he went ahead anyway. As Webber asks Bailey later, “Was it a mistake or was it hubris?”
But, look: How much time does someone really have to be cocky in a moment like that? Just because Ben glimpses at the elevator door opening doesn’t mean he processed that, oh, yeah, the elevator door is opening and that means we can get out of here and get more help and do this in a better environment. To me, that seems like an honest mistake — and one that will likely haunt Ben the rest of his life. Isn’t that punishment enough?
Bailey recognizes that, as Ben’s wife, she’s not exactly the best person to decide how to discipline him, so she sets up a panel to figure the situation out. Owen, Maggie, and Meredith take turns interrogating Ben and the various people that worked with him the day it all went down, and, at first, they seem to think that Ben did see the elevator open and that he recklessly ignored it. It’s not until he gives them a pretty romantic description of saving someone’s life — or trying to save someone’s life, rather — that they begin to believe he really didn’t notice the elevator: “The rest of the world disappears,” he explains. Apparently that’s all the panel needed to hear to be on his side.
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He’s not getting off scot-free, though. Bailey suspends him for six months, and he is not happy. He wants special treatment; she says she would have straight-up fired him if he’d been anyone else, that this is generous punishment. He believes he made a forgivable mistake; she’s not sure how to process her disappointment in him. It’s messy, messy, messy. Someone book them a couples therapy session stat, please, because I’d rather not say goodbye to Ben yet.
NEXT: Bye, bye, Penny — and Callie?![pagebreak]
When Ben and Bailey aren’t arguing, Callie and Penny are making big plans. Penny got the grant to go to New York for a year, an opportunity Callie insists she take. After some cute back-and-forth (yes, cute — Penny, stop growing on me!), Callie asks Penny to ask her to move to New York. She does, and Callie apparently says yes, because she excitedly tells Arizona about how she and their daughter are going to move across the country. This, it’s safe to say, isn’t what Arizona meant when she previously encouraged Callie to figure out the whole Penny situation.
Instead of just talking to Callie about it, Arizona goes straight to the same custody lawyer April’s been going to, because, yes, getting in a custody battle seems like a great next step for her still freshly healed relationship with Callie. Can’t Penny just, I don’t know, get a grant to go to Mars so that Callie can stay and we can be done with all this Calzona drama?
While those two divorcees might not have the brightest future ahead, Jackson and April are finally making some positive strides. He’s not happy with who he’s becoming, and he wants them to treat each other like they did when they were best friends. It’s a big step for them, and it becomes a huge step once April walks forward, restraining order be damned, and instructs Jackson to touch her belly and feel the baby kicking. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful, platonic relationship between two parents? Whatever it is, it’s a welcome light moment in an episode otherwise weighed down with some fairly dark stuff.
In terms of this season’s Grey’s episodes, this two-parter was solid: Ben and Bailey needed something to test their relationship, and this is the best test there is. But there weren’t any moments that seem instantly iconic, that compare to Izzie cutting the LVAD or Meredith’s speech in the house of candles or the shooter coming face-to-face with Derek. Maybe that’s just because it just aired, because it’s too soon to tell what is iconic and what’s not. Or maybe those are just remnants of a Grey’s past now, of a Grey’s when everything was simultaneously fresh and comfortable, and, perhaps most importantly, of when everyone banded together when one of them almost killed someone — once again: LVAD, anyone?