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'Grey's Anatomy' recap: 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner'

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Mitchell Haaseth/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

type:
TV Show
genre:
Drama
run date:
03/27/17
performer:
Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, James Pickens Jr., Kevin McKidd, Jessica Capshaw
broadcaster:
ABC
seasons:
13
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-14

First off, congratulations: You’ve now spent 250 hours of your life watching Grey’s Anatomy, as tonight marked the drama’s 250th episode. Second, congratulations: You just made it through one of the more emotionally draining episodes of Grey’s Anatomy to air as of late — post-McDreamy-grieving episodes included.

As we all found out last week, Callie’s new girlfriend is the woman partly responsible for Derek’s death. She and Meredith both realize this as soon as they lock eyes, but everyone else is completely clueless. And Meredith, for one, wants to keep it that way.

She puts on a fake smile and offers everyone drinks, two things that tip Karev off that something is up. Despite his attempts to get some information, Mer insists she’s just fine. Then she grabs a framed photo of her and Derek and runs upstairs, suggesting that she is the opposite of just fine. Karev, though, is still the only one to notice: Maggie — who’s struggling with a UTI following her sex-fest with the hot intern — barges in on Meredith’s solo meltdown in the bathroom to pee, and Amelia comes in soon after to argue with Maggie about how they need someone to cook dinner. Meanwhile, Meredith is literally sitting in the corner looking impossibly emo. Do they think this is just normal for Meredith? Are they really that consumed with their vaginal problems and dinner-party issues that they don’t notice their own sister rocking back and forth on the bathroom floor?

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Meredith finally exits the bathroom and returns downstairs, where Penny kind of ambushes her. To make matters worse, Callie left Penny there alone because she is on-call and had to take care of something on the hospital. Meredith coldly waves off Penny, telling her essentially that she doesn’t want to communicate with her and to go mingle with the others. So she does just that, wooing Arizona and, unfortunately, Amelia.

They all eventually sit down to dinner, and Meredith keeps her cool (even though Penny is sitting right next to her — who decided on these seating arrangements?!) until it comes out that, surprise, Penny is going to be a resident at Grey Sloan Memorial come next week. Ha, ha. Funny joke, Grey’s

It’s not a joke, though. It’s real. And Meredith loses her cool, promptly revealing who Penny is to her: “The perfect Penny killed my husband,” she tells the table. Aren’t dinner parties so fun?

Amelia freaks out and begins obsessively asking Penny what went wrong with Derek, what his last words were, what she could have done but didn’t to save him. Right then, a laughing Callie and Owen enter the house and are updated on the painfully uncomfortable situation now happening before their eyes. At this point, it feels like Jerry Springer is about to hop out at any moment.

NEXT: Meredith blows up at Amelia [pagebreak]

Meredith goes up to a bedroom, where Amelia soon joins her. They’re both upset, but Amelia’s anger is now directed toward Mer: She thinks Mer should have told her at the very beginning of the night who Penny was, while Mer doesn’t think she did anything wrong (which she didn’t!). How would Mer have even brought it up? “Oh, hey, Amelia, Callie’s new girl? Yeah, she killed your brother. What a world, right? Let’s have margaritas!” Not to mention that Meredith was visibly upset in the bathroom after Penny first arrived and Amelia didn’t even ask if she was okay.

Because she’s upset and because Amelia is being irrational, Meredith blows up and yells about how she can’t fall apart. She has to be there for her dead husband’s three kids. It’s the angriest I’ve seen Meredith in a while, and maybe ever. So angry that she screams, “Get her out of here before I kill her.” They’re in what looks like a kid’s room, so there aren’t many options for weapons, but Amelia is escorted out anyway. 

Amelia then tries to talk it out with Owen, who is very patient and very calm — and who annoys her for those very reasons. She mistakenly calls him perfect, meaning someone hasn’t seen season 5 of Grey’s Anatomy. You’re not the only one with problems, Amelia.

Fortunately he gets this point across to her by telling a story about how he felt relief when he thought Cristina had died in the plane crash. It’s a dark story, so Amelia, of course, eats it right up. Perfect seems nice at first, sure, but no one — especially no one as messy as Amelia — wants to be with someone who doesn’t know struggle at all. Once he tells her this anecdote, they smile and hold hands in a sweet moment that’s enveloped in a feeling of, “Aww, everything’s gonna be all right!”

Things are a bit grimmer in Meredith’s room, where she and Karev are swigging from a bottle of tequila. Callie tries to butt in, but Meredith responds by shutting the door on her. The rest of the night it just needs to be her and that bottle of tequila. And Alex — but mostly that bottle of tequila.

Outside, Callie’s confronting Penny about never telling her about her connection to Derek. Penny says she didn’t know if Callie knew him, and then says it was the “worst night of [her] life.” This is probably true, but it’s hard to feel bad for her when Derek’s grieving sister and wife are feet away. Last week, Meredith told the interns that when they tell someone their loved one has died, their pain is the biggest thing in the room. That sentiment applies here, too: Yeah, Penny contributed to someone losing a life when he didn’t have to, and that must suck and be traumatizing. But she didn’t know him; she didn’t love him. She doesn’t wake up every morning longing for his mere existence. She just has guilt. Lots and lots and lots of guilt.

NEXT: Penny might stay after all [pagebreak]

Callie cuts the conversation short, although she later goes back to the front porch looking for Penny. As she tells Jackson, she’s not sure how she can shut off her feelings for Penny — or if she even wants to. Turns out Meredith might be able to come around to them dating, though: After what was probably a large amount of tequila, Meredith walks Karev to the door only to find Penny emerging from the bathroom. Penny gives her a heartfelt apology and says she’s going to file for a transfer to another hospital come Monday. Then Meredith surprises her — and everyone else watching — by saying, “I’ll see you Monday. Don’t be late.” Sure about that, Mer?

This episode was so full of drama and emotion and tears and suspense and surprises that it truly felt like a return to what I can only call Old Grey’s. Karev helped with that: His unwavering concern for Meredith was one of the best things about the hour. He didn’t give up, even when she kept insisting nothing was wrong; he didn’t leave her, even she insisted she was okay. Instead, he cracked open a bottle of tequila and joined her in her misery (though Jo was impatiently waiting downstairs…but we’re just going to ignore that). That’s a good friend.

And friendship is at the core of every great Grey’s episode. In some ways, Cristina’s departure was harder to take than Derek’s because it was implied that she’d always be there. Meredith and Derek were constantly on and off, and although Cristina and Meredith had their tiffs, they were always mostly unbreakable. Couples break up; friends like Meredith and Cristina don’t (usually). Now that she’s gone, Karev is beginning to take on the role of Meredith’s person — and though Cristina is irreplaceable, he’s a pretty great stand-in. Meredith (and Cristina) would probably agree. 

Extras

  • Jo apologized for ratting out Edwards, and everything was momentarily fine between the two of them — that is, until Jo dug herself into a ditch and told Edwards she feels like she understands her better now that she knows she was sick. Edwards interprets this as Jo saying, “Oh, I get why you’re better than me, because you were sick and had to fight!” She thinks Jo is jealous, and maybe Jo is…but it also seems like Jo was maybe just trying to bond over how they both experienced hardships growing up?
  • Maggie and DeLuca have a sweet moment in the hospital when she’s waiting to get back her STD test results that involves him saying he’ll tell her everything about his past if she wants, or she can take the tougher route and just trust him. Aww, cute intern is being cute — and now I’m extra excited to see where this romance goes. 
  • Something I’m less excited about? The drama that’s probably about to go down between Meredith and Amelia. You don’t just tell your sister-in-law you’re going to kill her and then wake up the next morning all lovey-dovey again (not that those two were ever exactly lovey-dovey).

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