Grey's Anatomy recap: 'It Only Get Much Worse'
The title of this week’s episode is ‘It Can Only Get Worse’ and as we (and poor Edwards) quickly discover, things at Grey-Sloan Hospital can always stand to take a turn for the worse no matter how grim the preexisting circumstances.
The episode marks the beginning of Phase 2 of Minnick’s master plan to overhaul the teaching program, which sees residents put in charge of their own cases which they see from start to finish, with an attending only supervising them. Needless to say, this leaves both groups (minus a few individuals) with opposing emotions. The residents, of course, are thrilled at the chance to actually be in charge for a change, while the attendings are still smarting from Meredith’s suspension. And to be honest, so am I. #TeamGrey
(Weird aside, but it’s odd that Meredith is still narrating this episode given her lack of physical presence at the hospital right? I don’t remember this happening any time in recent memory, but I could be wrong given that even my Grey‘s loving heart can’t comb through 13 seasons worth of memory.)
Back in the episode, Edwards is one of the lucky two residents set to scrub in, with Minnick serving as her attending. But when her first patient dies, both doctors hit the pit and steal Leah’s patient, a young boy named Matty who has come in with nasty case of gallstones. The poor kid is excited about his upcoming explorer cruise vacation, but unfortunately his condition is bad enough that he needs surgery — which Edwards manages to tell him without exclaiming in glee. Though she does hug Minnick briefly later.
Arizona finds out that Edwards is scrubbing in on this surgery and brings it up with Minnick, who says that the resident can handle it and that Arizona is welcome to observe. (She also tries to flirt with her, but Doc Robbins is not having it.) It’s a good thing that Arizona did take her up on the offer because there is a terrible complication during Matty’s surgery that requires her to jump in, following the most ominous use of the words “Turn the camera around” ever. While this is happening, Edwards is slightly panicked and Minnick is super flustered.
Unfortunately despite all their efforts Matty eventually dies. Edwards questions what she did wrong and turns to Minnick for reassurance, but the attending just walks away, leaving Arizona to pick up the pieces. But before she can, Edwards has fled, too. Later, Arizona tracks Minnick down and yells at her. But Minnick shares that this is actually the first time she’s lost a child patient, shocking Arizona (and me). The distraught attending then asks Arizona for advice. Being the kind soul she is, Arizona tells her that she won’t get over, or really forget it.
Following their pep talk, Arizona and Minnick go to break the news to Matty’s parents, but they find that Edwards (with some help from Weber) is already on it, truly finishing out this case. Of course this is just a temporary reprieve for Minnick, who is overwhelmed with her grief and guilt in her car later, causing her to freak out and break her horn. Luckily, Arizona steps in and disconnects the wire, before consoling her with a hug and telling her that she could make friends here if she tried.
NEXT: Mr. Bailey’s Brilliance
The second resident receiving his own surgery is… Ben!
Only as he quickly discovers, his status as Bailey’s husband (a.k.a. “Mr. Bailey”), doesn’t allow him to fit in with the residents, while his being a resident (and thus happy with Minnick’s arrival) puts him at odds with his attending friends.
In any case, Ben is paired up with a reluctant Dr. Weber and given his surgery following a brief scene which sees Kepner basically beg a grudging Richard agree to do so. Bailey offers to talk to Ben’s attending to make things better for him, but when she finds out it’s Dr. Weber, she declines… only to scrub in with both men later, despite neither wanting her there.
In true Grey’s fashion, the doctors vent their feelings over an open patient. Richard disses Bailey’s music choice as a resident (though he later admits she’s his favorite student), before Bailey says that the hospital did need a shake-up in terms of its teaching methods. In the middle of their argument, Ben points out that he is in fact done with the surgery and that neither really noticed. He also adds that this was his first “start to finish” case as a resident, and it was supposed to be fun. Only it wasn’t and now he won’t get this “first” back.
(Sidenote: I didn’t think this show had too many surprises waiting for us in it’s thirteenth season, but Bailey being a Hanson fan is a pretty great one.)
Later on, Katherine tries to make nice with Richard after his earlier dig that maybe she’ll call in a consultant to help with their marriage, but the former Chief is having none of it. He tells her he was a good surgeon and an excellent teacher and that Bailey was his “start to finish” case, and that she turned her against him.
Things aren’t hunky dory in the Bailey residence either. Ben explains the tough predicament he finds himself in and doesn’t tell Bailey what side he’s on (attendings or residents) before going to bed.
NEXT: Kepner Vs. Cancer
Elsewhere in the episode Kepner is having a very rough first day on the job seeing as how none of her friends and co-workers really want to cooperate because they’re firm over on #TeamMeredith as well. In fact, even her patient, Mrs. Gagliano, calls her “Dr. Not Grey.”
At first, this kind of bites her in the butt because unlike Meredith and Maggie, she hasn’t been a part of Ms. Gagliano’s case from the beginning and so isn’t as prepared to deal with her much-needed surgery — not to mention all the additional stress of her new job. So when they go into surgery, they run into some unexpected heart complications (which to be fair, aren’t on her) and Mrs. Gagliano winds up in the ICU, with all of her cancer intact.
But things aren’t looking up for the poor woman just yet as she has some complications from Kepner’s rushed staples, which winds her up in the OR again. Only this time, the only surgeons operating on her are Kepner and Wilson… after the former finally has enough of Maggie constantly bringing up her lack of loyalty to Meredith.
After that, Mrs. Gagliano catches a break with the next surgery going smoothly and her coming out cancer free. As a reward, she even offers to learn Kepner’s name. Unfortunately, the new Chief Attending’s day isn’t done just yet. She drops by the daycare to say bye to Harriet, and she runs into Jackson, who all but calls her a traitor and insinuates that his mother suggested her for this job, as opposed to her earning it. And here, even I have to disagree with Jackson — because if there’s one thing you can call April, it’s definitely hardworking.
Case in point, we see her staying late to do paperwork, which Katherine drops in to tell her she can actually take home and work on. But Kepner explains that she doesn’t want to go home because Jackson is there and then she tells her why (minus some choice words). Turns out Katherine Avery gets exactly where April is coming from, because she too had to work for everything, unlike Jackson who’s had a safety net to fall back on. Instead Katherine commends April for recognising her duty to the hospital and stepping up. With that said, they go out to dinner together.
Huh. Who’d have thought the hospital would bring these two together?
Last but not least, we have a brief bit with Owen where we learn that not only is the former hospital chief refusing to take sides (which, fair enough), but he genuinely doesn’t think you can vote wrong in an election, which the other attendings hilariously correct him about. Oh Owen. Never change.
Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.