A day in the life of Maggie Pierce ends when Meredith learns the truth.

By Samantha Highfill
October 03, 2014 at 02:09 AM EDT
Ron Tom/ABC
  • TV Show

Maggie Pierce likes puzzles the way that Meredith Grey likes tequila. She can’t put it down until it’s finished. But unlike Meredith, Maggie didn’t grow up with Ellis and Thatcher as “role models,” and she more than likely never slept her way through Europe. It’s also incredibly unlikely that she even knows what being “dark and twist” looks like, and we can all but guarantee she’s never had to deal with meeting a half-sister before. But she’s in Seattle now, as the head of cardio at Grey Sloan Memorial. And this week, we got a look at the world through her eyes.

Coming into the second week without Cristina Yang, Grey’s was smart to focus all of its attention on the newcomer. With most other main characters only making occasional cameos, it made it more difficult to feel Yang’s absence. And by showing Maggie’s side of the story, it made her more relatable. It was a win-win.

Starting with Maggie’s voiceover, we learn that Maggie has a thing for puzzles of all kinds, specifically crosswords. And unlike Meredith, she talks to her parents on what appears to be a daily basis. Then again, like Meredith, it sounds like Maggie’s father is much more prone to tears than their mother. But enough with the comparisons. After all, this episode is about how Maggie is her own, very likable person.

After avoiding Meredith at the elevator, Maggie meets up with Willis. Sorry, Milton. Put it together and what do you get? Wilson, who is Maggie’s resident for the day. Together, they make the rounds through three patients of the week: A mother in danger of dying during childbirth, a man trying to pass a very large kidney stone, and an elderly woman whose daughter refuses to let her die despite her pleas.

Along the way, Maggie teaches Jo a handful of things, the most important of which being that pretty and/or nice girls sometimes need to “bring the thunder.” In other words, they need to channel their inner Bailey from time to time so that other people know to take them seriously. And as Maggie learns when she finally meets Bailey, that rule doesn’t apply to the Nazi. As Jo puts it, “Bailey is the thunder.” Speaking of Bailey, Maggie hears about the temporarily closed genome lab and becomes an instant supporter, even accidentally blabbing about how stupid the board is to Avery. Oh yeah, Maggie’s really good at putting her foot in her mouth, but Bailey loves her for it.

Alex, on the other hand, hates Maggie’s big mouth. After Jo lets it slip that Alex might get a spot on the board (and fails to mention that it’s a secret), Maggie brings it up in front of Alex’s current boss. As a result, Alex is fired from the private practice, and Jo is fired from Maggie’s service. Like Meredith, Maggie doesn’t like people she can’t trust. (Let’s face it: The comparisons are never going to end.)

NEXT: Maggie tells Meredith the truth

For Owen, this episode is about his ability to trust Maggie. When Maggie asks to look into the McNeill family—a.k.a. Yang’s last patients before her exit—he instantly becomes defensive. What does Maggie think that she could find that Yang couldn’t? Well, with a little help from Bailey’s genome lab, she is able to find the cause of the family’s heart problems. It had been a genetic mutation all along. Sometimes, working hard to solve a puzzle pays off.

However, the one puzzle Maggie can’t solve is her family. After meeting Zola in the cafeteria, Maggie heads over to Richard’s table, where Amelia’s sitting, and drops this line: “Is everyone in this room somehow related?” Oh, if only you realized, Maggie. If only you realized.

After complaining about how Meredith clearly isn’t that awful considering that she adopted a beautiful, surgically needy African orphan, Maggie looks to Richard for advice. He of course encourages Maggie to tell Mer the truth. Then poor Richard lies through his teeth, telling Maggie that, from what he knew of Ellis, “leaving you would’ve been the most difficult decision of her life.” As we know, Ellis was not a big fan of motherhood, though maybe he wasn’t lying, because Ellis probably would’ve wanted a child with Richard. In other words, even when he’s no longer on the show, Thatcher still getting hit with all the insults.

But before Richard can explain just how well he knew Ellis, Maggie is pulled to the ER by Amelia, who loves her simply for calling Derek “the other Shepherd.” (Though to be fair, Maggie’s never seen Derek lean on something.) While treating a young woman who had a stroke after sex, Maggie and Amelia bond, therefore proving that Greys and Shepherds just mix. Maggie isn’t technically a Grey, but you get the picture.

Greys and Greys on the other hand? Well, that’s another story. When Maggie decides to let her elderly patient die and Meredith is forced to stand by and watch, Mer attempts to get Maggie fired. But thankfully, after hearing her side of the story, even Mer comes around. As for the rest of the hospital? Well, they like Maggie because of the present her parents sent her: A singing man in a fish costume wishing her congratulations. Yep, it’s safe to say her childhood was nothing like Meredith’s.

By day’s end, Jo brings the thunder and gets back on Maggie’s service—even though Maggie still can’t remember her name—and Maggie tells Meredith the truth. Only, Meredith doesn’t believe her. She thinks Maggie is either wrong or lying. And in this moment, it’s clear that Mer needs to dance it out with Cristina, because without her, she seems to have a semi-permanent stick up her ass.

But with that last sentence, it’s evident that the episode served its purpose: It got me on Team Maggie, at least in some way. Honestly, the show’s smartest move was teaming Maggie up with the other, sort of newcomer in Amelia, who’s no stranger to the dark-and-twisty side of life. After all, there’s nothing like a twisted sister to get you through life in Seattle.

Episode Recaps

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.
  • TV Show
  • 16
  • TV-14
  • 03/27/05
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