Meredith gets on a relationship high—then is forced to come down from it. Way down.
Meredith’s been pretty absent from episodes as of late, and that’s apparently because she’s been busy operating her little heart out: Since Derek left on Nov. 14, Meredith’s done 89 surgeries—and hasn’t lost a single patient, something that causes Jo to call her “magic.” Meredith doesn’t know that she’s on a so-called streak though, or that Jo’s secretly bowing down to her. She’s too busy working.
So busy, in fact, that she skips out on a trip to D.C. to see Derek. And she’s okay with that: Mer seems to have really taken Yang’s “he’s not the sun, you are” goodbye speech to heart and is all about taking care of herself and acknowledging that, no, the world doesn’t revolve around her husband. Alex is suspicious, and he and Grey spend most of their screen time (which isn’t much) arguing about relationships—and tending to an injured family, but that part is fairly boring especially compared to Meredith’s musings on herself and her relationship.
Meanwhile, Callie and Maggie are dealing with an older woman who broke her hip during sex. She says things like “razz my berries” and “are you getting laid?” to her doctors, who react with both discomfort and amusement. The “are you getting laid?” question is especially relevant given Maggie’s elevator interaction with Nathan, a dreamy radiologist who later asks her out—only for Maggie to say “no.”
Maggie and Callie end up operating on the older woman, who’s willing to go through a five-hour, somewhat risky surgery so she can get her sex life back. Afterward, the two have a heart-to-heart of sorts about love: Maggie claims she doesn’t date, that she feels like there’s a gap she can’t get over when it comes to dating, that it always gets too awkward. But Callie’s not having it. “That’s a load of crap,” she replies. “Life’s too short to be scared, so screw the gap.” Classic Callie wisdom right there. And somehow, this pep talk works: Maggie later sees Nathan and says “yes” to drinks. Screw the gap.
Speaking of gaps, there’s a big one between Ben and Bailey because of Roslyn. To refresh: A few weeks ago, Ben’s brother Curtis revealed he identified as a woman named Roslyn. Ben reacted with anger—anger that his sibling kept a secret from him for so long, anger that he was lied to. Bailey, however, acted with a bit more compassion and even brought Jackson in to talk to Roslyn about next steps. This all gets brought up again this episode when Bailey suggests Ben call his sister to see if she’s okay, a suggestion that ends in an argument.
But Ben changes his mind after an encouraging talk with Jackson and ends up calling Roslyn—and then proudly telling Bailey, who reacts with a stone-faced “okay.” To Bailey, he didn’t do anything to be proud of—he just did something he should do, like brush his teeth or wash the dishes—so she seems to feel no need to congratulate him. But then he apologizes, and all of a sudden, he’s back on her good side. The lesson here? Ben should call his sister more often.
NEXT: An 11-year-old plays doctor with the help of Owen, Amelia, and Webber.
All these plotlines are touching and interesting in their own ways, but none are as climactic as the one starring Amelia and Owen: The hospital receives a call from an 11-year-old named Ruby whose mom is hurt—and who can’t get ahold of 911 because the line is busy (earthquakes, man). Because she’s on a cell phone, they’re having trouble tracking where she is, which leaves Amelia, Owen, and Webber to feed this pre-teen directions through the phone. No pressure.
Ruby’s mom’s breathing goes in and out, and eventually they instruct her to do something gross (er, life-saving) with a s’more skewer and a straw. This works for about two seconds until Ruby notes her mom’s lips are “going blue again,” sending Owen into emergency medic mode: “I’m going to teach you how to do CPR,” he says. So he does—and makes his fellow doctors join him in an impromptu performance of the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” so Ruby can have a beat to perform CPR to. While they’re adorably singing, Kepner (welcome back, April!) breaks in to say they’ve found Ruby’s location and a helicopter’s on its way. And then Ruby’s cell phone dies, leaving Owen and co. restlessly awaiting the phone call that the helicopter’s arrived.
It was at about this point that I started thinking, “Ruby’s mom is going to die and Owen’s going to adopt Ruby and she’s going to grow up to be a renowned surgeon.” After all, Owen’s always wanted kids and even if his thing with Amelia works out, she’s probably not going to be into having a baby anytime soon—as Private Practice fans will remember, her last pregnancy ended tragically. This suspicion only intensified once Owen met Ruby on the roof of the hospital and exchanged a loving, enthusiastic hug with her. Sure, this could just be because he just walked this poor little girl through what will probably remain the tensest moments of her life, but it could also be because they are meant to be father and daughter.
But that theory’s not going to come true, at least not yet: After operating on Ruby’s mom, Amelia comes out to say she’s fine. And then she celebrates with Owen by getting it on in—where else?—the on-call room.
Meredith’s also celebrating, this time about her streak. At first she freaks out once she realizes the streak started the day Derek left, but that causes her to have an even better realization: Her streak means she doesn’t need Derek—she does want him though, and wants to share this good news with him. So she sits down, all smiles, and calls him. But a woman picks up. A woman who won’t answer each of the many times Meredith demands, “Who is this?”
As a character whose always had a sort of saintly glow around him, it’d be strange for Derek to cheat, and it doesn’t seem likely that the show would taint his character like that again (been there, done that—that time, Meredith was the “other woman”). Then again, they have been apart for what seems to be a long time. Then again, McDreamy couldn’t cheat on Meredith. Then again, he has been sort of an ass as of late.
Whatever happens though, it seems like it’s probably time for Mer and Derek to head to couples’ counseling together—and for him to return to Seattle, if only for the sake of us viewers. It’s time to come home, McDreamy. It’s time.