Grey's Anatomy recap: 'Don't Let's Start'
Derek and Meredith invite her "family" to dinner, and April's mother stops in for a visit.
Grey’s Anatomy‘s title can be confusing, because this really isn’t a show about Meredith Grey. Okay, so it is a show about Meredith Grey, but rather it’s not only about Meredith Grey. It’s also about Alex and Bailey and Derek and the patients who enter Grey Sloan Memorial, etc. They’re all part of Mer’s world, and yet, each of them serves a purpose in crafting this show. With that in mind, a really solid hour of Grey’s involves all of those elements.
This week, there were many elements being juggled, which made for a fine hour, though it wasn’t anything particularly special for the show that has proven before that it knows how to handle its ensemble. By separating everyone out somewhat distinctly, the episode didn’t flow as well as it could have. But like I said, it was perfectly fine.
We start off with Mer’s voice-over talking about how trauma is messy and chaotic while April tries to take charge of a very busy ER. But when a young woman comes in as the victim of a car jacking, all attention goes to her. She’s introduced to us as Melissa, but that’s all we seem to know when they’re forced to open her up in what might be the biggest blood explosion ever on the show.
By the time they get her into surgery, it’s clear that she’s a veteran from one of her tattoos, but it isn’t until she wakes up that Jo, Callie, and Hunt get her full story. It turns out that the reason she was so attached to her car was that she was sleeping in it. It was her home, and therefore, contained her entire life. So now that she’s found out that it was sold to a chop shop, she’s literally got nothing left. It’s a story that resonates on a veteran level with Hunt and on a homeless level with Jo.
After Melissa refuses to stay at a place for veterans of the war—she doesn’t think her time spent fixing computers in Iraq warrants it—Hunt pulls rank on the patient and finally convinces her to get some help so that she can help herself. As for Jo? Well, she freaks out when she realizes that she doesn’t have a bed or a home of her own. She just stays at Alex’s, so what would happen if they were to break up? Would she be homeless? However, Alex doesn’t let her freak out for long before he assures her that he’s not going anywhere… except for home with her.
As for April, after she gets away from Melissa’s case, she runs into her smoking hot husband who informs her that he’s picked her mother up from the airport and brought her to the hospital to say hello. And in Kepner world, saying hello involves sort of hitting on Jackson before showing off the zoo decals she brought to decorate the baby’s nursery. But when April tells her mom she can’t spend the day doing baby things—you know, she has to save lives and whatever—Jackson offers to go in her place. Apparently being on the board has really freed Jackson up. Either that, or he’s really freaking out about becoming a dad.
Actually, it seems like it’s a bit of both. By the time April makes it home at the end of the day, April’s mom and Jackson are busy putting together the baby’s nursery, complete with the Kepner crib that has survived four generations and desperately needs a paint job. But when April’s mother offers to make dinner, Dr. Mom has had enough. She yells at her mother about how she doesn’t want her help, something she almost immediately regrets when she finds out that Jackson was the one who reached out to her mom for help. Turns out he’s really freaking out because, unlike the Kepner’s, his family is all about pretty blue eyes and even prettier careers. The poor man doesn’t know a thing about babies, and he’s desperately trying to do his homework.
With that, April finds her mother outside the hospital, awaiting an apology. April obliges, but only after her mother tells her how very proud she is of what she’s doing and the life she’s living. (No doubt her super hot hubby has something to do with that.) And yes, April can call her mother with all her baby questions. From there, April heads home to find Jackson reading in the new rocker he built… twice. She assures him that he’s going to be a great father, and the two of them are all cute and stuff.
NEXT: Shower sex!
But not every relationship in the hospital is quite so cute. Although Maggie and Meredith seem to be getting along thanks to Ellis’ journals—a sentence I never thought I’d write—Derek pushes Mer to do more, especially considering the fact that Maggie still calls her Dr. Grey. Derek suggests that Mer invite Maggie to dinner. After all, she’s family(ish).
Meredith agrees but soon regrets it when McDreamy adds Richard to the invitation list. And when he tries to defend his actions by telling Meredith that her family was one of the reasons she wanted to stay in Seattle, they nearly embark on yet another Obama-related argument before Derek concedes. That’s not what he means. He simply comes from a big family (of bigger hair) and he wants that for Mer. Also, “Zola needs more black people in the family because I’m running out of ways to braid her hair and Bailey won’t show me anymore.” Now this is the Derek I’ve been missing, and I think Meredith agrees.
When the duo finally starts prepping for dinner, their to-do list is as follows:
1. Turn off the oven
2. Set the table
3. Have hot hot shower sex
4. Eat pot roast
But when their (long-awaited) sex takes a bit longer than expected, it leaves just enough time for Richard and Maggie to be forced into a confrontation outside. Essentially, Richard tells her that he isn’t trying to be a bad father. He’s simply a new father. But that’s not Maggie’s issue. She isn’t looking for a dad. She has one of those. Richard is simply her genetic history and all she needs from him is honesty. He apologizes and she walks away. Although I don’t like that she hurt Richard with those words, I don’t completely hate her for them. To be fair, she does have a dad.
We go from Maggie to her brand new running partner, Bailey—yes, you read that correctly. Bailey spends the episode with a patient who comes to the hospital for heartburn but leaves in a body bag after discovering that his bad eating habits have led to him having a tumor. Sidenote: I was not a fan of the way they did the scene in which Maggie told the patient’s family that he’d died. In general, I like that sort of out-of-body thing, but to bring it in this late in the episode did not work. I’m still not sure he actually died.
By day’s end, Bailey informs Ben that she ran her own labs and has decided that she needs to start being healthier, hence the jogging and the whole punching Ben thing. Hey, punching is good cardio.
Last but not least, we need to talk about Arizona, who is now sleeping at the hospital. After Dr. Herman has to take a rather abrupt personal day, Arizona is left to cover her service and prepare for a very intense fetal surgery they’ll be performing the next day. And when Karev stands in to watch the surgery, he gets a taste of what Herman is like, and it’s not nice to say the least. The most helpful note I wrote from this scene was “bitch.” The way Dr. Herman yells at Arizona to recite her personal notes back to her word for word was just too much. I literally have no reason to like—or even care about—this new character.
That being said, we later find out that Herman’s attitude has a reason behind it. After Arizona tells Alex about her marriage, he convinces her to speak up against Herman, which leads to Arizona finding out that Herman will be dead in six months. Confession: My response to that news was “Thank God,” before I realized that’s why she was so mean. Fetal surgery is still a very new field, and the doctors who practice it are essentially inventing it. So whatever Herman knows isn’t in a textbook; it’s only in her head, which means she has six months to teach Arizona a year’s with of medicine… if she’s up for it.
Okay, so I still don’t like Herman, but at least she’s tolerable.
All in all, the episode had its moments: The Jackson-April story played well, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that Meredith and Derek are finally smiling at each other/”showering” together. Also, Jo and Alex are great. If only everything ran together a bit more smoothly, I’d have no complaints. Looking back on it, perhaps the writers tried to fit too much into one hour. Then again, maybe that was the point. After all, Mer’s voice-over is all about recovering from the chaos caused by trauma.