Callie and Maggie fight bullying while Meredith fights with her sister-in-law.
Take a deep breath. Just kidding, you don’t really need to, because that episode was fun.
Okay, okay, it wasn’t a complete blast: That intolerant mom was a total bummer, and poor Jackson can’t escape questions about April. But other than that? Grey’s Anatomy returned to its (relatively) lighthearted roots in tonight’s season 12 (12!) premiere.
Let’s start with Meredith, because if there’s anyone we’ve worried about in the months since last season, it’s her. That season ended with the grieving Meredith dancing it out at Richard and Catherine’s wedding in a rare-but-beautiful moment of joy, although we all knew the pain she was struggling with. You don’t lose someone like Derek Shepherd — hell, you don’t lose anyone — and just get over it overnight.
Judging by this episode though, Meredith is doing pretty okay. She’s living with Maggie and Amelia, a set-up that’s causing some humorous bickering, and keeping busy at work (while wearing Derek’s ferryboat scrub cap, of course). One question though: Where are her kids?
For example, the episode opens with Meredith stumbling through a hallway filled with toys into the living room, where Amelia is hammering a hole in the living room wall. Apparently this was an idea she and Meredith talked about rather enthusiastically at an earlier time. Only problem was that Meredith was drunk on tequila during the conversation and Amelia was completely sober — and sober Meredith doesn’t exactly agree with wasted Meredith’s great plans.
Back to her kids: Wouldn’t they wake up to the sound of someone banging on a wall? Like, that is loud! Kids are sensitive to noise! Last season’s hashtag was #WhereIsDerek, maybe this one’s should be #WhereAreTheKids.
Anyway, Meredith’s roommate struggles are baby-issues compared to the death of her husband, so the world of Grey’s already feels a whole lot lighter right from the start. The case of the week makes it a bit heavier though: Two teenagers tried to kill themselves by standing in front of a moving train. The reason? They’re in love, and thought dying together was the only way to be together forever without conservative parents crashing their party.
It’d be easy to dismiss this reasoning with a sigh and mumbling, “Teens, right?” But they’re not just silly, naive teens. They’re struggling humans who don’t see a way out, don’t see a way to be who they really are. A major part of this is that Jess’ — one-half of the couple — parents are trying to send her to one of those camps that attempts to “turn” gay teens heterosexual. As Callie rightfully points out, those camps are “tantamount to child abuse.” But Jess’ mom doesn’t want to hear it.
After talking to Jess and hearing about her parents’ plan, Callie tries her best to talk to the mom. Long story short, the conversation doesn’t go so well: The mom wants Callie to focus on physically saving Jess, and only that. So Callie goes back to the OR and focuses on the surgery, along with Maggie and Karev. The three eventually end up talking about how bullies are the worst, but it turns out Karev and Callie were both bullies in their own ways. Maggie can’t quite relate, because kids used to call her “little maggot” thanks to her age, size, and lisp. Things get real dark real fast, but it’s good to hear more about Maggie’s life pre-Grey Sloan Memorial.
NEXT: Maggie tries her hand — literally — at confronting the bully.