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Grey's Anatomy recap: I Choose You

Karev is forced to make a tough decision while Meredith fights for better pay.

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ABC/Mitchell Haaseth

Grey's Anatomy

TV Show
run date:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
Current Status:
In Season

Grey’s Anatomy turned into Sophie’s Choice tonight, and it was not fun. Not fun at all.

It all started when a woman birthed a set of twins who turned out to have tumors on their livers. Karev needs two livers in order to save the two babies, but only the dad is a match. Which means Karev has to choose which baby lives and which dies. See? Alex’s choice.

Just the mere thought of having to do this is enough to drop any stomach. It’s awful and terrifying and unimaginable in its unfairness. And Karev feels this way, too: He stays up all night trying to find a way and almost hands the decision over to Bailey until Arizona gives him a classic Grey’s pep talk. 

RELATED: See the cast of Grey’s Anatomy before they were stars

Part of the magic of Karev is that he was pretty much a capital-A asshole when we first met him. Since those early days, though, he’s remained stonefaced but shown more and more of his warmhearted self — and Arizona sensed that self was there from the beginning. She tells him she knew how much he cared from the first moment they really talked, that she’s proud of him, that this is his job and he has to do it or else he won’t be able to look at himself in the mirror anymore. So he listens and decides to open up both babies before making a decision. That way, he can more accurately tell who is in better shape.

They go into surgery, and long story short, Alex tries to save both of them but fails. The baby boy can’t be saved. Watching him flatline is heartbreaking, and watching Alex pick up the baby and hold him even more so. But at the same time, it’s also an American Sniper moment of sorts: It’s supposed to be meaningful and emotional — and it is, to an extent — but the obviously fake baby, one they seemingly plucked straight from The Simpsons, kind of ruins it. 

The moment when Karev delivers the bad news to the mother, though, isn’t cluttered by any low-quality props: First, Arizona tells her she has a beautiful baby girl before Karev steps up and tells her that they did everything they could to save her boy but ultimately couldn’t. The camera pans to new intern Andrew DeLuca, who earlier admitted to Karev that he didn’t want to work with kids because he couldn’t handle the pressure of being responsible for parents’ children after hearing a mother wail over her dead child when he was an EMT. This mother also wails. Andrew is, understandably, freaking out a bit.

RELATED: The evolution of Meredith Grey

So he heads to the bar, where Maggie is also hanging out and freaking out a bit. Ethan — that guy from radiology she apparently dated for six months while Meredith was grieving away from Seattle — is getting married, and she got an invitation to the wedding. First of all: Ethan, why would you send your very recent ex-girlfriend an invitation to your wedding to someone else? Second of all: Maggie responds to this by ranting to Meredith and company during a wine night that she’s an alien with no home and she wants to have sex, and this is probably the most entertaining monologue to appear on Grey’s in the history of Grey’s. More drunken alien-focused rants from Maggie, please!

NEXT: Maggie might finally get that sex she wanted