Meredith and Penny butt heads while April lies to Jackson in an attempt to help a young patient.

By Ariana Bacle
November 06, 2015 at 04:09 PM EST
Tony Rivetti/ABC

Grey's Anatomy

S12 E6
  • TV Show

Meredith is trying her best to rise above — and that’s not working out so well for her in this episode, which features Penny Blake kicking off her stay at Grey Sloan Memorial. On Meredith’s service. Because that sounds like a good idea.

Their interactions go exactly how you’d expect them to go. Meredith is hypercritical and Penny… Well, Penny tries not to be crushed in the process of being Mer’s punching bag, which is definitely not an easy task.

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Here’s the thing: Meredith is being super harsh, but expecting her to be friendly to Penny is also asking a lot of her. The solution here is to just have the two avoid each other for the rest of their lives, something that might work in the real world but will sadly — for both them and the viewers — never fly in the world of Grey’s.

This plotline might eventually gain some steam and become something iconic or, at the very least, entertaining. But for right now, it seems unnecessary and clumsy — especially during the parts when Callie pins the blame on Mer for acting the way she is acting toward Penny. Again, Mer is undoubtedly being tough on Penny, but let’s not forget she is grieving her dead husband who Penny failed to save. A ton of people (Callie included) would probably act the same way if they were suddenly forced to face someone who contributed to a loved one’s death on a daily basis. It’s a hard thing, a hard thing that isn’t necessary for anyone to do.

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And this is why I’m not buying that Richard hired Penny despite knowing she was on Derek’s case the day he died. Richard is a protective paternal figure to Meredith, one that wouldn’t want to inflict even more pain on his traumatized daughter figure. Sure, he can claim he was trying to teach her a lesson, but does everything really need to be a lesson? No. Definitely not. Especially when it involves exposing someone to something horribly painful.

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Meredith is eventually going to grow from this, and she and Penny are probably going to end up becoming best buddies or something (even though I really hope she doesn’t become the new Cristina because I’m already tired of her constant look of helpless despair, and she’s only been on two episodes). Until then, though, it’d be nice for everyone to have a bit more empathy toward Mer.

NEXT: April lies to Jackson

Aside from that mess, the hospital is relatively drama-free. Key word: relatively. April’s friend Nathan brought a little boy with huge tumors on his hands over from Jordan, and they want Jackson to fix him. The problem is April showed Jackson outdated photos of this boy’s hands and his condition has since worsened. The scans she showed Jackson showed pea-sized tumors on the boy’s hands; the reveal of his current hands shocked my watching partner so much that she gasped, “I thought that was a stuffed animal!” after I pointed out that, no, those are his actual hands.

Jackson’s mad that April lied to him, but April is all, “It was a good lie!” She’s kind of right. She’s also kind of (extremely) misguided and probably a little too invested in this case. She even kisses the little boy on the head before he gets wheeled into surgery, a move that contributes to my theory that she’s eventually going to adopt him. (This theory is built on the fact that his parents were murdered over in Jordan and that April wants a child — a very complicated theory, as you can see.)

Jackson and Callie assume they’re going to have to amputate his hands; that doesn’t end up happening because they figure it out, and everything is great. Nathan and April are happy; Jackson and Callie are happy. And the whole success even inspires an unusually sweet moment between Jackson and April, a couple I’m still not really on-board with, but whatever: A happy moment is a happy moment, and Grey’s could always use more of them.


  • Richard’s college friend comes to the hospital after getting in a car accident with his daughter, a situation that results in said friend asking Richard is he has kids. Richard says no — even though Maggie is standing right there. Later, he goes back on what he said and tells this friend that, yes, he does have a daughter, and she’s great — and this time, Maggie is also standing right there, getting all teary. Aww.
  • Maggie announces to Meredith and Amelia that it doesn’t burn when she pees anymore. Hooray!
  • Callie and Penny are apparently going to keep dating. Boo. (I’m not the only anti-Penny person here, right?)
  • Nathan and Owen have a weird moment when they greet each other by sternly muttering each other’s last name before Owen pretty much orders Nathan to leave. Owen has been out of the spotlight recently, so it’ll be good to see him back in it once these two’s past inevitably gets dredged back up.
  • Alex finds Mer in the church’s chapel attempting to communicate with Derek so she can figure out why Penny is there. It’s surprising to see Mer, someone who’s seemingly been indifferent to religion throughout the series, there, but it’s also a good way to show how desperate she is to get through her situation. Good on you, Meredith, for continually trying — no matter how hard it is.

Episode Recaps

Grey's Anatomy

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

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