Amelia's past is uncovered, and Derek hits rock bottom.

By Samantha Highfill
Updated November 14, 2014 at 03:37 AM EST
Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC
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  • ABC

Here’s the thing about McDreamy: Much like the name implies, most of his original appeal came from the fact that he’s more or less the dream guy. He’s smart. He saves lives. His hair is the definition of perfection, and he loves deeply. Sure, he’s had his flaws over the seasons. There was the whole he’s-actually-married thing, and let’s not forget the engagement ring that he hit with a bat, but they’ve all been things that we as viewers have been able to explain away. “Yes, he’s still married, but somehow, he’s the victim because Addison was the one who did the cheating. It’s not his fault that he loves Meredith. Also, he did the commendable thing when he tried to save his marriage.”

As for the engagement ring? Well, “he was lost because of a patient that meant a lot to him, which points to the fact that he’s a good doctor with a big heart.” But what do we do with an imperfect McDreamy? There are moments in this hour in which I find myself disliking him, and it’s so strange because I can’t think of a time when I was against Derek on this show. I wasn’t happy with him when he took over for Richard as chief, but Richard did need to get help. I literally don’t know how to watch this show if I’m not rooting for Derek in some way.

Then again, by the end of this hour, I found myself loving the idea that our oh-so-perfect McDreamy had hit rock bottom. I think it’s a great story to tell and one that I’m very interested in… if only everyone around him would stop screaming so much and let him fess up to his issues.

Getting into the episode, we pick up with footage from Derek’s father’s murder intercut with a voice-over about second chances. Life gives them and so does surgery. Surgeons, however, don’t tend to get them. With that, we start things off in the ER, where nobody seems to be sleeping. Arizona can’t sleep for thinking about the Dr. Herman situation; Callie can’t sleep for Sofia asking questions about the divorce; and Meredith can’t sleep for all the sex she’s having with Derek. (One of these things is not like the other.)

Enter patient number one … and two. Out of the ambulance comes a man who refuses to stop holding on to his dead wife. After a fir started at their home, he grabbed his wife, jumped out a window, and then used his body to break her fall. The heartbreaking hero’s name? Norris, and his wife is Haddie. By the time Meredith convinces Norris to let his wife go, they find out that she’s actually still alive! The bad news is that they have a really awful daughter who shows up to the hospital only to realize that Amelia, whom she knows from Narcotics Anonymous, is her parent’s doctor. And not only does Ms. Sarah want a new doctor, but she decides to start screaming at Amelia and out her entire life story, a.k.a. all the stuff about how Amelia’s fiance overdosed and whatnot. Honestly, it was bad enough to let people know she’s an addict, but you did not have to go into such picturesque detail. Also, I wonder if Sarah can recite every group members’ life story or if she has some strange obsession with Amelia, because that was super detailed, right?

And the real kicker is the way that Derek walks right by his sister and takes her patient instead of hugging her. Yep, in this moment, McDreamy is an asshole. Meredith confronts him pretty much immediately, but he assures her that he’s going to talk to Owen about it later.

Elsewhere, Jo—now known as Dr. Badass—is preparing for her first ever solo surgery with “Little Bitty” Dr. Bailey looking on. After a good vomit, Jo completes a successful hernia surgery only to run to Edwards afterward and panic when she can’t remember if she skipped a step or not. When Jo goes to Bailey, the ol’ Nazi lets her stew for a bit before telling Jo that she knew all along that Jo had completed all the steps. The lesson: Jo can’t second-guess herself. And yes, Bailey’s mean. Get used to it.

Also in a panic, Amelia heads straight to Richard to find out what she should do next. But he assures her that she’s done nothing wrong. She’s sober, so if she can do her job well, then that’s all that matters. She can’t get away from her past, but that doesn’t mean she has to apologize for it. And that’s why when Hunt approaches Amelia later, she invokes her right not to discuss anything with him.

So when Hunt then goes to Derek, it’s time for the other shoe to drop, as Mer puts it. See, things have been good with Meredith and Derek and all their “time-out-ing,” but she’s just waiting for the other shoe to drop, which of course it does when she finds out that Derek only makes things worse with Hunt. Basically, after Derek helps save the secret-spillers mother, Sarah apologizes for outing Amelia before Hunt asks Derek if he thinks Amelia should be the face of their neuro unit. And when Derek doesn’t say anything, well, he says everything.

Also, just a sidenote for Hunt: Amelia didn’t kill her boyfriend. He overdosed. She’s a drug addict, not a murderer. Derek could’ve at least said that much.

NEXT: McDreamy, are you okay?

But here’s where things get really annoying and suddenly I start defending McDreamy again. Once Derek realizes his mistake, he goes straight to Amelia to admit it and correct it, but before he can finish a sentence, she just starts screaming at him. I literally yelled, “Shut up!” at my television. You people are adults; learn to talk like them!

At the board meeting Hunt called, Derek stops it before it can begin. Yes, Amelia is in recovery, but the hospital should’ve protected her. That horrible woman with a crazy good memory should’ve protected her. But most importantly, Derek should’ve protected her. And then he admits that he didn’t because he wanted his old job back. Yes, it’s awful, but the man is clearly saying it because he knows how awful it is. He’s admitting that it’s his fault and he’s telling them all that Amelia should stay in her current position. So wipe that look off your face, Meredith, he just said he couldn’t do the job better than Amelia. Seriously, the man has flaws, but you can’t fault someone for things they admit to, can you?

By the time Amelia gets home that night, she tells Derek that she’s moving out, and that’s when Derek opens up. He talks about his need to protect her ever since their dad died and how he should’ve been there today. And then he says “I don’t know who I am anymore; not anybody I ever thought I’d be.” Our beloved McDreamy—and his Einstein-esque hair—admits that he’s angry all the time. He’s miserable and he doesn’t know what to do with it. He can’t get control of it. He doesn’t know how to feel.

The good thing about having an addict in the family: They can tell you when you’ve hit rock bottom. The bad news: Instead of hugging you, they hold onto their anger and walk right by you. Seriously Shepherds, hugs feel nice sometimes.

Across the hospital, the other big drama of the episode surrounds Arizona and Dr. Herman. After Herman skips out for the day, Arizona has to make a tough call and decides to scrap a fetal surgery and do a C-section instead. With Alex scrubbing in to help once that baby’s delivered, the surgery goes well … at first. But when the mother ends up having a placenta condition, they lose her.

However, when Herman finally shows back up at the hospital, she assures the father that her original surgery could’ve cost him both his wife and his child. Now, thanks to Arizona, he still has a child at least. Of course, that’s not enough for Arizona, but her screaming match is cut short when Herman starts vomiting. Apparently she started some radiation therapy today, but claims she was watching Arizona all day. Herman thinks she made the right call. But after feeling helpless today, Arizona is in. She won’t tell Hunt about Herman if she’ll teach her all she knows.

Also, all you need to know about Jackson and April in this episode is that they are adorable and have their coping mechanisms for worrying about the baby situation. April’s, of course, is faith, and Jackson’s is more of a “what happens, happens” take on the world. Hey, so long as it works.

After a long day, Meredith finally gets to talk to Maggie about the dinner they failed to throw the night before. And yes, Maggie is mad. Quite frankly, she’s sick of buying dinner for one, talking to her television, and being scared that she’s going to buy a cat. She was excited for dinner. So with that in mind, Mer invites her to something better than dinner: Beers with Alex and Callie at the house where “everybody” has lived.

Now this is the kind of scene I love. All of them raising their beers to George before talking about how they’re all related through sex? More of this! Because yes, it is horribly weird, but it’s also horribly perfect.

Also, Arizona is moving in. Yeah, everyone really does live there.

So all in all, I had issues with moments and enjoyed others. I just really wish, much like Derek himself, I knew what to do with Derek.

Most importantly, let’s all raise a glass to O’Malley.

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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  • Shonda Rhimes
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