Grey's Anatomy premiere recap: Season 13, Episode 1
Alex makes a shocking decision and Meredith puts her sister before her heart
Break out your scrubs and get your dark and twisty wits about you — we’re officially scrubbing in for another season of Grey’s Anatomy.
This season, we’re doing something a little different for our Grey’s recaps. In the spirit of the surgeons we so love to chronicle, a few of us will be taking turns (Doing rotations! Just like doctors!) unraveling the episodes each week, and I’m thrilled to be jumping in first. As a certain Shepherd would say, it’s a beautiful day to save lives. Let’s get to it!
We pick right back up at Owen and Amelia’s wedding, where everyone is out on the dance floor except our Meredith, who we know only dances when there’s some good tequila involved. Riggs comes over and points out the happy couple’s happiness won’t last — kind of a downer statement to make on a couple’s wedding day, but he claims he’s not just being an ass. That’s just what he’s seen in his experience.
Meredith counters that the lovebirds literally just got married and they should try to be happy for them (just not happy enough to dance). He asks if they should go somewhere else, but before she can answer, Maggie comes over and pulls him away to the dance floor.
While Owen and Amelia are in wedded bliss, things are very much not okay at the hospital, where DeLuca has been rushed in an ambulance with his face in very bad shape and Alex alongside him. The other doctors ask what happened and he doesn’t answer, but of course we know — he pummeled the guy after walking in on what looked like DeLuca and Jo in a compromising position.
The wedding festivities get interrupted by the DeLuca news, and everyone disperses (must suck having surgeons as wedding guests, huh?). Maggie heads to the hospital, as do Bailey and Ben, and Meredith joins them there shortly after. She sees Bailey talking to the police and pulls Alex away from everyone else. “You think no one’s gonna realize this is you?!” she seethes. “This is assault. I’m a doctor — I have a duty to report you to Bailey.”
But of course, she doesn’t — at least, not yet. So far, DeLuca isn’t in any shape to tell anyone anything, and all the doctors know is Karev was with him when he came in. So Bailey tells Ben to send Karev her way if he sees him, and goes back about her important chief business.
Mer and Alex meet furtively in a stairwell and she tries to steer him towards talking to the cops, but he wants to wait until she can recheck DeLuca’s CTs and make sure they’re clear. After that, he runs into Ben in the hallway, who notices his hand and doesn’t seem to buy the I-slipped-in-the-rain story.
And when he sees Jo at the hospital outside DeLuca’s room, he won’t listen when she tries to tell him what really happened at the apartment. Karev is hurt and still reeling from what happened — both before and during his pummeling of DeLuca — and he lashes out at her with a devastating speech. “You can’t help it, it’s not your fault,” he says. “It’s easy for you to throw people away and just move on when things are bad. It’s not you, it’s the way you were raised — or not raised. I wanted to marry you. I was asking you for something you’re not capable of. I should have known better.” Ouch.
NEXT: Mer comes clean, but so does Alex
In the OR, Avery tries to get the blood out of DeLuca’s eye, which they hope will relieve the pressure and allow him to see again. Maggie is watching in the room with the surgical team while Ben and Mer watch from the gallery, where they both acknowledge they know Alex is the one who did it. Ben hasn’t told anyone else yet, because he thinks he understands why it happened — Alex just reacted in the moment, in a split second. Something he knows all too much about. For Meredith, it’s not blind loyalty, it’s earned loyalty. These two have been through everything together, and she’s not ready to turn him in just yet.
Jo goes to pack her bags and skip town, but Edwards finds her and demands to know what happened. She subsequently tells Meredith that Jo didn’t sleep with DeLuca, that he just was making sure she got home safe. Mer relays all this to Alex, emphasizing DeLuca and Jo aren’t the bad guys here — they are. And Webber catches Jo before she can take off and convinces her to stay.
As all this is going down, poor April is in a hospital bed recovering from that wrenching, on-the-fly C-section she needed in season 12’s finale. Catherine’s in the room, fawning adorably over her new grandbaby, and sweetly asks what the baby’s name is. Her name is Harriet. “Harriet Avery,” Catherine smiles. Well, actually, hold up a second. “Who said her last name is Avery?” April asks. HA! Catherine tries to give her the ol’ Avery charm, pointing out the last name could open doors for little Harriet, but Kepner counters that her last name means something, too — good people and strong work ethic (and quality pork, we can’t forget that). The debate gets settled succinctly when Jackson walks in and casually mentions they’re hyphenating the baby’s last name. She’ll be a Kepner-Avery!
When Jo goes to see DeLuca, he has a patch over his eye and his face is still really beat up. She apologizes, but he just wants to know if she’s okay, like the good guy he is. She begs him not to tell anyone what she said about being married, and he realizes that’s why she came to see him — not because she cared, but because she was worried about her secret. He’s not happy, but says he’ll keep her confession to himself. Then Alex tries to come in to talk and DeLuca freaks, screaming for him to leave.
In one of the break rooms, Meredith tells Riggs she has to do something she doesn’t want to but is going to anyway, and asks him to stay with her for a while first. Then she sits down in Bailey’s office and drops the bomb: Alex beat up DeLuca. When Maggie finds out, she can’t believe Mer didn’t say anything. Before they can grab him, we see he’s turned himself in and the police are arresting him for aggravated assault. Jo is watching as he’s led away in handcuffs.
Maggie is mad at Meredith for lying to her, and can’t believe she poured her heart out to her all day while she knew. Being sisters and living with Meredith means something monumental to her — it means she’d do anything for Meredith, and it means she could trust her. “Don’t lie to me again,” she warns. And then, suddenly, Riggs is at their door. Meredith comes outside to talk to him and he asks what the holdup is — he knows they have feelings for one another. She tries to explain someone will get hurt, but then lies for Maggie’s sake and tells him she doesn’t feel the same way he does. When Meredith gets back inside, Maggie asks who was at the door and she says no one, already breaking the “don’t lie to me” promise she just made.
The episode ends with Meredith visiting Alex behind bars at the police precinct, where he laments that he’s probably going to lose his job and his medical license, and is likely to never step foot in that hospital again. But Meredith — doling out wisdom that can apply to her life, too — says they’re both grown-ups who have to face up to the stupid things they do.
“The past is written, there’s no changing it. What’s done is done,” she says in a voiceover. “But the future is ours to choose, for better or worse.”
What did you think of the premiere episode? Should Meredith have turned Alex in earlier? What will happen next for Alex and his career? Did she do the right thing by pushing Riggs away for Maggie’s sake? Leave all your thoughts and diagnoses in the comments below.