Grey’s did not feel like a winter finale for most of the episode. It didn’t feel like it when we found out the event of the day was a wildfire that only ended in one death (RIP, Casey). It didn’t feel like it when Jo yelled at Karev for always choosing Meredith over her. And it didn’t even feel like it when Meredith and Amelia had a screaming match in the hospital hallways. But that last moment? That last moment screamed winter finale (and, as a result, also screamed, “Please don’t go on a holiday hiatus!”).
Riggs and Owen continued butting heads, and we continued to be left in the dark about why they were butting heads. Then, conveniently, Owen’s mom showed up. Turns out that her boyfriend was in the fire, and she’s coming to check on him. And guess who greets her with a warm hug? Riggs.
Riggs and Owen later meet in the hallway, where Owen clocks him in the face after saying, “It is not your family; it is mine.” Meanwhile, Meredith is doing some investigating of her own to find out the story behind their troubled relationship by chatting up Owen’s mom. She gets the answer out of her but refuses to tell Amelia what it is — that’s Owen’s business, she maintains. And that pisses Amelia off.
Amelia goes on to yell at Meredith about how she’s loyal to everyone but her, her own sister. That’s when Meredith gets harsh: “You are not my sister,” she says. “Cristina is my sister. You are Derek’s sister.” Tell us how you really feel, Mer.
This upsets Amelia, who responds by saying Derek would be disgusted if he saw Meredith now. By this point, Meredith is disgusted with Amelia, so she tells her she wants her out of the house. It’s about time: These two were never going to get along, and forcing them together is pointless. At least give them some more time to grieve before sticking them in a Real World-style living situation.
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After work, Amelia heads to the bar and sips on some non-alcoholic beverage until Riggs rolls up and orders her a vodka tonic because he doesn’t know she’s an addict. This is bad, bad, bad and sad, sad, sad to see her fall back into it after staying sober for so long and through such hard times. It’s not like we can even say, “Maybe she doesn’t drink it!” because we see her take a satisfied sip from the glass.
My first instinct was to blame Riggs for this, mostly because everyone else seems to be blaming Riggs for everything on this show, but he had no way of knowing — and he asked her if she wanted a drink before he ordered one, leaving the decision completely up to her. That’s not to say she’s weak — addiction is a real disease, and Amelia is really affected by it — but it is to say that she needs to get help, ASAP. Where’s an impromptu AA meeting when you need one?
While Amelia’s at the bar, Meredith’s telling Owen he needs to pull it together before he gets in trouble. And that’s when she drops the bomb that turned the winter finale into a proper winter finale: “You never told me you had a sister,” she says to him, matter-of-factly. Well, then. That doesn’t explain much, but it does give another hint about Owen and Riggs’ messed-up past.
NEXT: Alex springs a big question on Jo [pagebreak]
Things are similarly unclear over at Alex and Jo’s, where Jo tries to leave Alex. She’s tired of him prioritizing Meredith, and she’s tired of being everyone’s second choice in general. She’s right that Alex does prioritize Mer, but those two are best friends and have been for over a decade. Plus, Grey is going through something terrible. It’s not wrong for him to pay extra attention to her, but it is wrong for Alex to deny that he does. The solution to this whole thing would be to put Karev, Jo, and Meredith in group counseling to sort all of these weird feelings out. That is not what happens. Instead, Karev proposes.
Jo accurately tells Karev that he “sucks at proposing” before explaining to him that he doesn’t listen to her, that this isn’t going to make everything better. He thinks it will, and he is adamant that he’s on her side; now he just wants an answer. We don’t get to find out what that answer is, though. Of course.
Karev and Jo have never grabbed me as a couple, so the possibility of them getting married does not excite me. At all. Alex has been through a ton, and his character is definitely one I want to see happy, but I just don’t buy that Jo what will make that happen for him. Even Izzie made more sense, and maybe that’s because their relationship was relatively fraught, a quality that made their good moments all the more exceptional. Karev and Jo, on the other hand, don’t really have serious problems. They’re comfortable; they’re familiar — in other words, they’re closest to a real-life, healthy relationship. But no one watches Grey’s Anatomy to see real-life, healthy relationships. They watch for intense, dramatic, epic love stories.
On that note, Jackson and April end the episode by arguing about their relationship outside the hospital. Jackson says their sex was confusing while April says it was amazing. Jackson’s tired of April deciding how things are going to go without thinking about anyone else, and April wants an answer. Apparently, Jackson has one: April screams at him to “just say it!” as he pauses and smiles. And that’s the last we see of them.
April’s stalkerish tendencies this season have made me hesitant to wish her back into Jackson’s life, but their relationship is definitely one of the more interesting ones going on now that Derek is dead, so it wouldn’t be the worst thing if they did get back together. Judging by Jackson’s close-mouthed smile, that’s what’s going to happen anyway. Even if they don’t, it was still one of many great cliffhangers to end this part of the season on — and one that’s inspiring me to already count down the days until its 2016 return.
- Jo and Stephanie talked it out, so everything’s cool there now. Phew.
- Arizona meets a cute patient (played by Awkward‘s always delightful Nikki DeLoach) and decides to ask her out, a decision she runs by Webber — who is not in the mood to help: “I’m not going to wingman a patient for you!” She tries to ask her out anyway but is interrupted by the patient’s girlfriend. Maybe it won’t last? She does need to come back to the hospital for a check-up…
- Maggie and DeLuca tell each other about their “unprofessional” feelings for each other and decide to be together whenever they’re not at work (and by that they mean whenever they’re not walking through the halls — they make this decision as they’re in the hospital’s on-call room, after all). All the other couples could be over, and I’d be content with Grey’s romantic offerings as long as these two keep at it.
- Penny barely shows up in this episode because Grey’s Anatomy apparently wanted to leave its audience with a gift before going off the air for a few weeks. How sweet of you, Grey’s!