When it comes to Meredith Grey, it’s like she has the Midas touch — only instead of gold, it seems like everyone she is related to turns cold (as in dead). After all, in the past 13 years we’ve witnessed the deaths of Meredith’s mother, husband, and sister Lexie. I mean, at this point it’s a wonder her family tree hasn’t lit itself on fire. Thankfully, Amelia is still alive, but given the Meredith Touch and her “grapefruit-sized” brain tumor, it does give us all grave concern for her survival odds.
As Amelia is obsessing over her scans, we see Meredith obsessing over stacks of dirty dishes and the overstuffed washer full of laundry. Apparently living with three kids (one of whom actually makes an appearance!) and a slovenly Karev is starting to wear on her.
Grey Sloan Memorial, though, has gotten the West Elm makeover of Bailey’s dreams. The renovations are finished (for the low cost of $15.8 million) and Harper Avery — Jackson’s grandfather and Catherine’s ex-father-in-law — has arrived to review the finances, much to Bailey’s understandable nervousness. Did they really need an entire wall of succulents?
The last time we saw esteemed surgeon Harper, he had bowel obstruction surgery that he insisted he remain awake for. While he obviously no longer has anything blocking his bowel, clearly something is still stuck up his…
Arizona, meanwhile, is bragging to April about how wonderful her sex life with Carina is before dealing with her patient of the episode: a pregnant woman who’s been in natural labor for 20 hours and is not dilated nearly enough. She tells Ben to monitor the poor woman, who, I have to say, looks pretty darn good for laboring almost a full day. Television labor is sooooo much better than real labor.
Nathan and Maggie have their hands full with Walter, who has a two-foot blood clot. Walter is a psychiatrist at Grey Sloan who had helped Meredith move past Derek’s death, and Maggie is preparing to do his big surgery.
Harper isn’t the only bigwig visiting Grey Sloan Memorial. Amelia has called in an old teacher, Tom, the head of neurosurgery at Hopkins, to operate on her tumor. Right away we see where Amelia may have gotten some of her arrogance, as he makes Amelia tell DeLuca that he’s the best. Tom is surprised that Amelia is still seeing patients and that she hasn’t told her chief of surgery yet.
But maybe that’s because her chief of surgery is busy getting all the heads of every department together for Harper’s anticipated entrance, even though Jackson tells her that his grandfather doesn’t like crowds. While everyone’s waiting, there’s an adorable blink-and-you-miss-it moment where Maggie adjusts Jackson’s lab coat collar. Before you can even register it though, Harper blows in on the high heels of Catherine, insulting Bailey by calling her “Bingy” and barking at everyone to get back to work.
Amelia decides to show Webber her tumor, and he asks if Meredith or Maggie knows. She says she doesn’t want them to, but you know these girls can’t keep secrets for long. Webber asks Tom how long he thinks the tumor has been growing, and his answer is a shocking 10 years. This explains so much of Amelia’s craziness, am I right?
Another throwback in this episode: THE ELEVATOR! Next to the on-call rooms, it was the elevator that saw the most action in the first few seasons. Tonight we get to see Karev and Jo making good use of the lift before getting to the ground floor, where a teenager named Pete is being wheeled in for a “Ho-Co-Pro” gone wrong. Turns out that — like those three words chopped into a nickname — hot air balloons, fire, and tuxedos don’t mix. Ho-Co-NO.
Owen’s sister Megan is still healing well, her abdomen transplant taking nicely, if not too slowly for her liking. She’s itching to get back to her son Farouk, though it seems throughout the episode that Owen is in no rush to lose his sister again. Besides — who else would he complain to about Amelia since Teddy is no longer around?
The secrecy surrounding Amelia’s tumor is driving DeLuca crazy, so he cleverly calls her into the tech room, where all of Amelia’s scans are up with her name prominently marked on each. He calls Maggie into the room under the guise of discussing their romantic history, and even cleverly says he’s trying to “Shepherd in a new era” between them, while not so subtly gesturing at the scans behind him. But lovable Maggie just does not pick up what DeLuca is putting down. For a surgeon, she’s sometimes not the sharpest scalpel on the tray. (Recap continues on page 2)
In what feels like a Tuesdays with Morrie-ish story, Meredith spends most of her time at family-less Walter’s bedside, trying to dig deep into her feelings and anger with Nathan. He asks her if Nathan is in love with her right before Nathan and Maggie interrupt with a plan to avoid cutting into him — instead, they want to suction out the clot like a Dyson.
The pregnant woman is still not dilated, and Arizona wants to do a C-section, so of course, Carina suggests getting her to produce more oxytocin via orgasm. Both Arizona and Ben find the idea laughable until Preggo’s husband tells them they’re willing to try anything to move this baby along. Well, it’s definitely not the first time a patient has had sexy time in their room, but it is perhaps the loudest and the most successful, as the husband rushes into the hallway to tell Arizona that the baby is crowning. Huzzah!
In the boardroom, Harper is on a tear about how much money the renovations cost, while also managing to degrade and berate his grandson (whom he calls Jackie, instead of Jackson), as well as women as a whole. “That’s the problem when women are in charge,” he growls at Catherine and Bailey before telling them that he’s going to pull funding from the hospital. But Bailey is still on her I-hate-high-heels feminist tear from the premiere. Rather than sit idly by, she goes off on the man, telling him that even though they did Megan’s surgery pro bono and the renovation was incredibly expensive, given Stephanie’s heroics, it would be a PR nightmare for them to pull out now. Thankfully he relents, but not before telling Bailey that she’s fired. But wait; there’s more! After debating how to handle the situation, Bailey and Catherine bust back into the boardroom only to find a very dead Harper keeled over on the conference table.
His passing is marked with a brief staff meeting in which Jackson tells everyone that he “takes comfort in knowing that his grandfather died [insert awkward pause here] doing what he loved.” Jackson then reaffirms Bailey’s position as Chief because, well, you can’t be fired by a dead person.
April is not handling moving out of her apartment with Jackson well, which plays itself out in Tuxedo Pete’s surgery. After getting sentimental over her prom story in the OR with Karev and Jo, she then takes Jamie, the object of Pete’s affection, to task because Jamie is on the fence about whether or not she’s going to go to homecoming with the lovesick boy. In the end, though, Jamie winds up saying yes with a much smaller and safer balloon.
Jo took notes during April’s prom story and waits for Alex outside the hospital with a sign that says “Homecoming?” Meredith will be relieved to find out that Alex is going back home to live with Jo.
After a close call, Walter manages to pull through okay as well, ultimately encouraging Meredith to confront Nathan about missing his opportunity with Megan. He admits that he still loves her, but Meredith tells him that he needs to show Megan that she’s his first and only choice.
Amelia finally decides to tell Owen about her tumor and asks Maggie to tell Meredith. Owen is by Amelia’s side as she slips into her hospital gown and gets her blood drawn. Because it’s Meredith, she wordlessly curls up next to Amelia, begging the questions: Just how big are those hospital beds? and Will Amelia survive her forthcoming surgery if Meredith touches her?